Woodville : genesis of a bush frontier community, 1874-1887 : the process of settlement and organisation on a New Zealand frontier : a thesis presented in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Arts in History at Massey University
The object of this work is summarised in its title: genesis of a bush frontier community. Each component of the title does not merely represent a word, but a concept. "Genesis" denotes notions of birth and growth, and in this context it is applied to the processes and interaction involved in the transition from frontier in 1874 to establishment in 1887. Although "Bush" contains the obvious geographical connotations associated with the Seventy-Mile Bush, during the course of the study it also assumes an ideological meaning, depicting the type of settler, his tasks, goals and aspirations. The concept "frontier", which is dealt in detail elsewhere,
See 1-4 below. implies a meaning of place, process and time. "Community" in this context points to the process of community formation, containing the essential prerequisites of belonging to a distinctive community, with regularised patterns of interaction, a recognised system of authority, and a shared set of mutual expectations.
W.R. Burch Jr, "The Nature of Community" in John Forster, (ed.), Social Process in New Zealand (Auckland, 1969), 85. This is a social history in the broadest sense: the sociological implications of community growth are set within a political, economic, administrative, legal and cultural context, providing the study with a suitable framework in order to reassemble the community's history. In brief, this essay attempts to analyse the dynamics and mechanics of the complex patterns, processes and interaction involved in the settlement of a bush frontier community, tracing its development from infancy through to late adolescence and early maturity.