Joel Polack


Joel Samuel Polack (fl.1830-1849) was a trader who was based in Kororareka (now Russell, Bay of Islands) from 1830-1837. His knowledge of Maori was extensive, and he visited London in 1838 to give evidence before the House of Lords Committee on New Zealand, which was reluctantly considering colonisation. Polack published two books on New Zealand in 1838 and 1840, both illustrated with plates from his own sketches. He finally left New Zealand in 1849 to try his luck on the Californian goldfields, but died shortly after arrival. The Polack map of NZ was first published in 1838 and then re-issued as a limited edition map by Avon Fine Prints.