The dark history of New Zealand's leper colony

From Saturday Morning, 10:35 am on 5 October 2019
Ben Kingsbury

Ben Kingsbury Photo: supplied

From 1906 to 1925 Quail Island in Lyttelton Harbour was the site of New Zealand’s only leprosy colony.

The fate of those who ended up on the Island was grim, with a lack of care and reports of institutional abuse.

While official record of the colony is light, historian and author Benjamin Kingsbury has pieced together the story through contemporary newspaper reporting and the letters of the people involved.

He's just about to release his book The Dark Island - Leprosy in New Zealand and the Quail Island Colony.