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New Zealand History Trust Awards celebrates its 21st anniversary economically

For the first time in its 21 years the New Zealand History Research Trust has awarded a major grant of $60,000 – to Brian Easton for his project, ‘Not in Narrow Seas: A History of New Zealand from an Economic Perspective’.

Neill Atkinson, Acting Chief Historian at the Ministry for Culture and Heritage (which administers the awards), says the significant award was given to celebrate the trust’s 21-year milestone: “We hoped by offering a single major award we would attract a strong field of applicants, which was certainly the case.  We also felt a major award should go towards an important and enduring work that contributes to our understanding of this country’s past”.

The Trust offers financial assistance to people carrying out projects that will considerably enhance the understanding of New Zealand's history. The funding can be used for a variety of purposes: to enable historians to work full-time on a project; to pay for research and writing costs; and to pay for travel costs associated with research.

Dr Brian Easton considers himself very privileged to have received the first major New Zealand History Research Trust Award. “There is so much interesting history research being done, so many good proposals, that I consider myself very lucky to receive the support from the Trust.”

The purpose of the grant is to assist him to write a history of New Zealand from an economic perspective. “There are a lot of good histories of New Zealand, but they almost invariably omit the economics, and so they miss a critical and revealing dimension of our history.”

Since its inception in 1990 the History Research Trust has supported more than 250 projects and given out more than $2 million. Most grants range between $5000 and $12,000. 

Nine other applicants also received funding in the latest round, which distributed a total of $150,000:

  • Charles Clark, ‘Waves Against the Shore: A Maritime History of the New Zealand Wars’ - $4000
  • Paul Diamond, ‘A Biography of Charles Mackay’ - $8000
  • Sarah Gallagher, ‘My Flat, Your Flat, Our Place: Preserving an Ephemeral Print Culture’ - $8000
  • Penny Griffith, ‘In Her Own Right: A Biography of Millicent Baxter’ - $12,000
  • Gerald Hensley, ‘Friendly Fire: A History of the ANZUS Dispute’ - $12,000
  • Fiona McKergow and Kerry Taylor, ‘Te Hao Nui - The Great Catch: Object Stories from Te Manawa’ - $12,000
  • Bill Morris, ‘Whaling Nation’ - $10,000
  • Rebecca Priestley, ‘New Zealand’s Nuclear History to 1987’ - $12,000
  • Keith Scott, ‘“Dear Dot …”: Extraordinary Tales, Ordinary Lives: The Story of the Children’s Column of the Otago Witness, 1876-1936’ - $12,000

For background on the awards visit: http://www.mch.govt.nz/funding-nz-culture/funding-sources/new-zealand-history-research-trust-0.


Updated on 23rd July 2015