J. S. Polack (1807-82) lived in New Zealand during 1831-7 and 1842-50. An enterprising businessman and land speculator, he traded in timber and flax, and in 1835 set up the first brewery in the country. He also learned the Maori language, and warned against the destructive effects on Maori society of urganized European settlement, while arguing for the benefits of systematic colonization. This two-volume work, published in 1838, was the first of two successful books by Polack about his experiences in New Zealand and is still regarded as an important and impartial source about the period immediately preceding the Treaty of Waitangi. Volume 2 focuses on Maori material culture and craftsmanship, traditional beliefs and rituals, and warfare (including lurid reports of cannibalism), as well as the early interactions of Maori and Europeans through trade, missions and whaling.