Such imagery was repeated ad nauseum in the NZMR with non-European children cast as exotically Other serving, as in the wider British world perhaps, to accentuate a hierarchy of more or less-deserving peoples in juvenile minds.
While not wishing to diminish this argument the case of the NZMR also hints at a second interpretive angle.
This is certainly the line of reasoning embedded in NZMR material and is borne out amongst others in another story cycle, concerning 'Apakuki' a 'Fijian convert'.
In effect both NZMR readers and Apakuki were viewed as equally 'civilized' through the redeeming effects of Christianity.
The NZMR was too dependent on individual initiative and may not have been economically sustainable.
In its short life, however, the NZMR was significant as an incipient colonial juvenile production that focused children's attention on their own comer of the world.
Stuart Ross, 'Introduction', NZMR, (November 1882), p.
Rutherford Waddell, 'The Sabbath-school and Missions', NZMR, (February 1884), p.
Stuart Ross, 'A Happy New Year', NZMR, (January 1885), p.
32) 'Burning of Idols in Madagascar', NZMR, (October 1883), p.