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Annual New Zealand History Awards Announced

Media release: 1 February 2018

Themes of pacifism and conscientious objection feature prominently among this year’s annual New Zealand History Awards, which sees a total of $100,250 awarded to 10 applicants.

“Researchers Margaret Lovell-Smith and Dan Bartlett delve into reactions to conscription in Canterbury during the First World War,” Chief Historian Manatū Taonga Ministry for Culture and Heritage, Neill Atkinson said.

Image taken from the Voices Against War website.

“Collectively peace groups, some women’s groups and religious organisations, and sections of the labour movement spoke out about war and their story will be revealed in the new book Voices Against War,” Neill Atkinson said.

“David Grant’s research considers how a group of young socialists, including future Prime Minister Peter Fraser, opposed the introduction of military conscription in the First World War, but went on to become key members of the first Labour government which introduced military conscription in the Second World War.

“In Dissent: A New Zealand Anthology, Morgan Godfery explores the country’s history of resistance, protest and change. From Renata Kawepo’s diaries and the campaign for universal suffrage to Marilyn Waring’s threat to cross the floor in Parliament he reveals New Zealanders as reformers willing to confront injustice.

“Other projects include Keith Newman’s Hidden Heritage of the Cape Coast, which explores the Māori, colonial and more recent history of the coastal Hawke’s Bay settlements of Haumoana, Te Awanga and Clifton. The publication will cover historical, ecological, geographical, coastal and sociological aspects of the area.

“Ryan Bodman’s Rugby League: A New Zealand History is a social and cultural history of rugby league in this country. Long at the periphery of mainstream New Zealand sporting culture, rugby league established enduring relationships with numerous similarly marginalised groups.

“In Immigration City, Hazel Petrie will examine how seven generations of a single family exemplify the changing life of Auckland city. By providing insight into the challenges ordinary people faced and how they managed, the book will illustrate the broader social issues affecting each generation and society’s response to them.  

Insanity and Immigration Control in New Zealand and Australia, 1860–1930, by Jennifer S. Kain, will examine the experiences of immigrants to New Zealand who suffered from mental illnesses. Some were institutionalised after their arrival, while others had shorter stints in police cells, hospitals and asylums, remained in the community, or were deported by the authorities.

“The country’s burgeoning jazz scene, with its music, dance, fashion, design and relationship with society and the entertainment industry during the 1920s, is the subject of Aleisha Ward’s study of the Jazz Age in New Zealand.

“Ripapa Island and Godley Head, two sites in Lyttelton Harbour which served as coastal defence facilities in the 19th and 20th centuries, are the subject of Peter Wilkins’ research. Ripapa Island has also been a prison for passive resisters from Parihaka, First World War conscientious objectors and military detainees, including the German raider Count Von Luckner. Godley Head, one of the most complete Second World War counter-bombardment battery sites left in New Zealand, was also one of the earliest marine lighthouses.

“Angela Lassig’s project, an illustrated non-fiction publication on women’s dress in 19th century New Zealand, will be the first book of its type to be published here. Physical objects, photographs, artworks, cartoons, advertisements and newspaper accounts will be used to provide context,” Neill Atkinson said.

Since 1990, almost $2.8 million has been granted to some 300 applicants for the New Zealand History Awards. An independent panel assesses the quality and originality of applications, and the extent to which the project will make a significant contribution to New Zealand’s history.

For more information about the awards, check:


Updated on 22nd February 2018