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Annual history awards reveal New Zealand’s stories

Media release: 11 March 2019

Deeper insights into the life and times of Helen Kelly and Te Rauparaha are among the New Zealand stories to be revealed through this year’s annual New Zealand History Awards, Manatū Taonga Ministry for Culture and Heritage Chief Historian Neill Atkinson said today.

Te Raparaha, chief of the Kawias, Hall, R., fl 1840s. Image sourced from Alexander Turnbull Library. Author Ross Calman is preparing a new bilingual edition of Tāmihana Te Rauparaha’s biography of Te Rauparaha.

“These are just two recipients of the 10 awards totalling $106,025 which have been distributed to authors researching subjects as diverse as changes to the marine environment, public sector reform, and trans-Tasman literary culture,” Neill Atkinson said.

“Christchurch writer Rebecca Macfie’s biography of the late Helen Kelly will cover the early influences on her life and her rise in the trade union movement from 1989, where she challenged workplace law and campaigned for workers’ rights, until her death from cancer aged 52.

“Wellington’s Ross Calman is preparing a new bilingual edition of Tāmihana Te Rauparaha’s biography of Te Rauparaha, one of the only full-length biographies written in te reo Māori in the nineteenth century.

“Another Wellingtonian, Nick Bollinger, is researching a history of New Zealand’s counterculture between 1960 and 1975.

“Dr Rosi Crane’s project will delve into the history of the first 70 years of the Otago Museum. From Dunedin, Dr Crane will specifically cover the working lives of the museum’s first three curators.

“Administered by Manatū Taonga, the awards support projects an independent panel believe will make a significant contribution to the study of New Zealand history and society,” Neill Atkinson said.

Kurī, polynesian dog on display at Otago museum. Kane Fleury, © Otago Museum. Sourced from Wikimedia Commons. Dr Rosi Crane's project will look at the history of the first 70 years of the Otago Museum.

This year’s recipients:

  • Nick Bollinger, Wellington, Revolutions per minute: the counterculture in New Zealand, $12,000
  • Helen Bones, New South Wales, The evolution of the Tasman writing world in the twentieth century, $12,000
  • Ross Calman, Wellington, He pukapuka tātaku i ngā mahi a Te Rauparaha nui/A record of the life of the great Te Rauparaha: A bilingual edition of Tāmihana Te Rauparaha’s Life of Te Rauparaha, $12,000
  • John Cookson, Christchurch, Little republics: county and municipal government in New Zealand to 1940, $9345
  • Rosi Crane, Dunedin, Skeletons in the attic: a history of the Otago Museum, $4230
  • Victoria Froude, Bay of Islands, Largely unseen – a history of New Zealand’s marine environments from pre-human times to today $11,950
  • Nadia Gush, Hamilton, Out & About? A social history of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and queer women in Aotearoa New Zealand during the 1980s, $12,000
  • Catherine Knight, Ashhurst, The long shadow of reform: The impacts of the 1980s public sector reforms on environmental stewardship in New Zealand, $12,000
  • Rebecca Macfie, Christchurch, The life and times of Helen Kelly, $8500
  • Vincent O’Malley, Wellington, The New Zealand wars, $12,000



Updated on 1st April 2019