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New Zealand History Awards celebrate Summer with Wanderlust

The New Zealand History Research Trust Fund has announced nine award winners for 2012. The Trust is administered by Manatū Taonga/the Ministry for Culture and Heritage and awards funding for research about New Zealand’s past; this year’s winning subject matter covers the history of tramping to the story of toys in New Zealand and Christchurch’s lost heritage.

Wanderlust: A History of Tramping in New Zealand was this year’s big award winner receiving $60,000. Writers Shaun Barnett and Chris Maclean will use the money to write their research into a book tracing the evolution of tramping and tramping culture in Aotearoa.

“Tramping is a curiously New Zealand term for what is known elsewhere as hiking, rambling or bush walking,” said Chris Maclean. “New Zealand's vast network of tracks and huts, the finest in the world, has ensured tramping remains a popular outdoor pursuit, especially over summer. Organised tramping began after the First World War, with the birth of such groups as the Tararua Tramping Club, and now there are more than 80 clubs. The appeal of strolling on a track through sun-dappled beech forest, or watching the embers in a smoky hut, or camping on the tussock tops remain the same simple pleasures that drew pioneering trampers into the wilds.”

Neill Atkinson, Chief Historian at the Ministry for Culture and Heritage says the range of topics and quality of New Zealand History Awards applications  is growing each year.

“The Trust Fund introduced its large Award last year, in part to raise the profile of the funding scheme, which has been running for over 20 years. Since 1990 the Awards have assisted more than 260 history projects, making a huge contribution to our understanding of New Zealand’s past,” said Neill Atkinson.

This year, in addition to the nine history projects funded, five publisher grants have been made to support the publication of specialist works of history.
“The Trust Fund is delighted to be able to offer publisher grants to help ensure that important histories, which may not always be commercially viable, are published and reach a broad readership. ”

Awards in History recipients for 2012

Major award: Chris Maclean (Waikanae) and Shaun Barnett(Wellington), ‘Wanderlust: a history of tramping in New Zealand’ – $60,000
Other awards:

•    Jarrod Gilbert (Christchurch), ‘The history of gangs in New Zealand’ – $7500
•    David Grant (Wellington), A biography of Norman Kirk’ – $12,000
•    Catherine Knight (Paraparaumu), ‘Forested hinterland to pastoral province: the  environmental transformation of the Manawatu’ – $12,000
•    Susann Liebich (Wellington), ‘Reading culture and community in Timaru, 1890-1939’ – $10,000
•    Angela Middleton (Dunedin), ‘Mission life in the Bay of Islands, 1814-1840’ – $12,000
•    Margaret Pointer (Wellington), ‘Niue, 1774-1974: 200 years of contact, interaction and change’ – $10,000
•    David Veart, (Auckland), ‘Hello girls and boys: the New Zealand toy story’ – $12,000
•    John Wilson (Christchurch), ‘Lost Christchurch’ – $12,000

The New Zealand History Research Trust Fund publisher grants

•    Bernard Cadogan, 'George Grey' (Penguin) -$5000
•    Alison Clarke, 'Meeting little strangers : childbirth in nineteenth-century New Zealand' (Bridget Williams Books) - $5000
•    Cybele Locke, 'Workers in the margins : union radicals in post-war New Zealand' (Bridget Williams Books) - $5000
•    Vincent O'Malley, 'The meeting place : Māori and Pakeha encounters 1642-1840' (Auckland University Press) - $5000
•    Rebecca Priestley, 'Nuclear NZ : New Zealand's nuclear and radiation history to 1987' (Auckland University Press) - $4000.

Updated on 23rd July 2015