Home » Product » Fun Map of New Zealand 1938
  • Author: Charles Haines Advertising Agency Ltd
  • Publisher: New Zealand Tourist Department
  • Engraver: E V Paul, Government Printers, Wellington
  • Date: 1938
  • Dimensions: sheet: 51 x 76 cms


Rare & entertaining pictorial “Fun Map of New Zealand” [1938] wonderfully promoting the country’s nascent pre-war tourist industry

About this piece:

Cover Title: Fun Map of New Zealand Wonderland of the Pacific

Map Title: New Zealand Government Tourist Department Fun Map of New Zealand

Colour-printed pictorial map, forming one side of folding promotional brochure, the verso with additional descriptive text & illustrations. Traces of old folds. Couple of very light fox marks on central horizontal fold, otherwise in fine condition, the printed colours of the map especially fresh & bright.

Wonderfully entertaining and amusing pictorial “Fun Map of New Zealand”, commissioned by the Government’s Tourist Department in the period just before the Second World War to promote the country’s nascent tourist industry and specifically “designed to appeal to carefree visitors on cruise ships and holiday tours….” !

First highlighted as being on the presses of the Government Printing Office in April 1938, a subsequent article in Dunedin’s Evening Star newspaper of July 8th 1938 (p.14) heralded the much-anticipated appearance of this “unique production….a large scale sketch map subtly dramatising in humorous but persuasive fashion the various regional features of interest throughout New Zealand. It is exceedingly well printed in vivid colours and reflects the greatest credit of all those concerned with its production. On the reverse side of the map are given serious details of the Dominion’s tourist attractions, with photographic illustrations and useful data. The production was originated and designed in its entirety by the Charles Haines Advertising Agency Ltd. Maps of a humorous character have been issued by the publicity bureaux of other countries and have proved highly effective and the Tourist Department has adopted this unique method of drawing attention to the scenic and other attractions of New Zealand. The map is being distributed by the department throughout the World.”

One other (clearly unbiased) Kiwi newspaper in July 1938 described it as “being considered to be the best of its kind seen anywhere in the World”.

The Charles Haines Advertising Agency, which still exists today, is the oldest in New Zealand, having been first established in 1891.

The text on the verso of the map explains that….

“… there is no need to offer apologies for the appearance of the ‘Fun Map of new Zealand’, which, while making humorous reference to many historic and notable incidents in the Dominion’s history, does so without malice and a spirit of genuine light-heartedness. From the delightful representation of the ‘Three Kings’ in the far north, all looking slightly ‘blue’ as though feeling ‘just a little bit out of it’, to the busy oyster-scoopers of Foveaux Strait, there is one big smile for owners of the ‘Fun Map’”.

The map is now relatively scarce and, due to its folded format, is not always found in the best condition. This example is a notable exception.

A very well-preserved and extremely attractive example of this uncommon & amusing map.