Teaching New Zealand history may involve a fresh look at women's roles in colonial society.

That's the message from historian Dr Catherine Bishop, whose new book Women Mean Business is challenging long-held assumptions that colonial women were wives, mothers or domestic servants whose place was in the home.

Dr Catherine Bishop, author of Women Mean Business: Colonial Businesswomen in New Zealand. Photo / Jesse Taylor
Dr Catherine Bishop, author of Women Mean Business: Colonial Businesswomen in New Zealand. Photo / Jesse Taylor

Bishop, who was born in Whanganui and studied initially at Victoria University in Wellington, began postgraduate research in Australia intending to look at women's domestic lives but female entrepreneurs and businesswomen kept popping up.

"There were oodles of them and they were everywhere..."

Advertisement

So, she decided to focus instead on the numerous

Advertisement