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Last updated: 2 June 2009

Tobacco Board

Collection | Ref # TB | Held by Archives New Zealand, Head Office, Wellington

What is it?


Tobacco Board


Tobacco Board

Level of description:



c11.02 linear metres

Reference number:


Former NRAM reference number:



Commercial tobacco growing in New Zealand came under Government control in the 1930s with the passing of the Tobacco Growing Industry Act, 1935. Under this act the growing of tobacco was restricted to those to whom licences were issued by the Tobacco Board. In New Zealand commercial tobacco growing was almost exclusively confined to the Waimea in Nelson, especially Motueka and Riwaka, where high sunshine, evenly spread rainfall throughout the year, heavy soils and little wind, produced fine yields. By the mid 1960s fifty percent of the total consumption of tobacco leaf in New Zealand was from locally grown crops.

Most of the tobacco grown in New Zealand was flue-cured, producing a yellow-leaf, known as Virginia Gold, which was used largely in the manufacture of cigarettes. The remainder was air-cured, and used in the manufacture of smoking mixtures and pipe tobacco. Crops in New Zealand were grown under contract to the manufacturers. Research into soil types, fertiliser programmes and the selection of tobacco varieties suited to local conditions, was carried out by the Cawthorn Institute in Nelson.

Additional scientific input was made by the Department of Scientific and Industrial Research, which, with the backing of growers and manufacturers, ran a Tobacco Research Station. In 1987 the Tobacco Growing Industry Repeal Act was passed in Parliament, winding up the Tobacco Board and disposing of its assets.

The Tobacco Board records contain annual reports, minutes, details of licences issued, New Zealand Tobacco Growers Federation correspondence, files from the Tobacco Research Station and the Tobacco Research Committee, tobacco import information, photographs and maps. The period covered is 1936-1986.

Reports, newspaper clippings, minutes, registered files, maps, photos, bulletins

Dates covered:

1936 - 1986

Access conditions:

Partly restricted

Finding aids:

Record group list available

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Associated with:


Tobacco Research Station

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