newzealandhistory

newzealandhistory header image 1

Wairoa Lockout: an oral history

October 1st, 2019

ROSS_thumb.jpg

Since 2010, the small town of Wairoa on the East Coast of New Zealand has been at the centre of the most bitter and protracted industrial dispute in New Zealand’s recent history. The agri-business giant, Talley’s Group, took over the town’s meat plant in 2010 and commenced a campaign to ‘draw the line on union influence’.

Drawing on oral histories, this talk by Ross Webb focuses on the campaign by meat workers to save their union, the sacrifices involved, and the legacy of three successive lockouts on workers and the community.

Ross Webb is an historian with an interest in labour history. He is currently a PhD candidate at Victoria University, Wellington.

These monthly Public History Talks are a collaboration between the National Library of New Zealand https://natlib.govt.nz/ and the Ministry for Culture and Heritage https://mch.govt.nz/.

Recorded live at the National Library of New Zealand, 2 October 2019.

 

 

Pūkana: moments in Māori performance

September 10th, 2019

PD_THUMB.jpg

From Porgy and Bess to haka, to Elsdon Best and Tuini Ngāwai, Pūkana will range far and wide to give a sense of the ihi, wehi and wana, inherent to Maori performance.

Paul Diamond is lead curator for the Pūkana exhibition, and talks about the background to the exhibition which celebrates Māori performance across time. Paul (Ngāti Hauā, Te Rarawa and Ngāpuhi) was appointed as Curator, Māori at the Alexander Turnbull Library in 2011. He is an author and has also worked as an oral historian and broadcaster.

Pūkana opens on 14 September, 2019 and runs until 23 May 2020 at the National Library of New Zealand, in Wellington New Zealand.

These monthly Public History Talks are a collaboration between the National Library of New Zealand https://natlib.govt.nz/ and the Ministry for Culture and Heritage https://mch.govt.nz/.

Recorded live at the National Library of New Zealand, 4 September 2019.

Please note, due to copyright restrictions, some of  the audio and video excerpts played during the presentation are not able to be republished and the presentation has been edited to reflect this.

 

 

This Mortal Boy

August 7th, 2019

BOOK_THUMB.jpg

In a career that spans more than 30 books, time as a librarian, radio producer and screenwriter, Wellington writer Dame Fiona Kidman also claimed New Zealand's most prestigious literary prize in 2019. At the 51st Ockham Book Awards. This Mortal Boy was awarded the Acorn Foundation's Prize for Fiction.

In this Public History Talk, Dame Fiona talks about her latest work which explores one of New Zealand's last executions, and the events that followed.

These monthly Public History Talks are a collaboration between the National Library of New Zealand https://natlib.govt.nz/ and the Ministry for Culture and Heritage https://mch.govt.nz/.

 Recorded live at the National Library of New Zealand, 7 August 2019. 

100 years of the Tararua Tramping Club

July 3rd, 2019

100_HG.jpg

The Tararua Tramping Club (TTC) was founded in 1919. At that time, most people in New Zealand viewed tramping as an odd form of recreation, but today tramping has become one of New Zealand’s most popular leisure pursuits. The club also fostered climbing, embraced skiing and encouraged women to participate in all these activities. And its leaders encouraged the formation of other clubs throughout the country.

 

In this presentation, freelance writer and photographer Shaun Barnett and author Chris Maclean will explore the context of 100 years of organised tramping in New Zealand, how the club formed, why it was a success and how it set a model for other clubs to follow.

 

These monthly Public History Talks are a collaboration between the National Library of New Zealand https://natlib.govt.nz/ and the Ministry for Culture and Heritage https://mch.govt.nz/.

 

Recorded live at the National Library of New Zealand, 3 July 2019.

 

The Hidden Women of the Public Stage

May 1st, 2019

Rij_thumb.jpg

In our 50th episode, ‘The Hidden Women of the Public Stage: Women in New Zealand orchestras at the turn of the twentieth century’, Inge van Rij, Associate Professor of Musicology at Victoria University of Wellington, explores the paradoxical position of women in New Zealand’s early orchestral history. Focusing on two New Zealand exhibition orchestras (from 1889 and 1906), and contextualising them in relation to the women’s suffrage movement and representations of Maori culture, her talk aims to render visible the experiences of women whose presence on the public stage has long been overlooked.

These monthly Public History Talks are a collaboration between the National Library of New Zealand https://natlib.govt.nz/ and the Ministry for Culture and Heritage https://mch.govt.nz/.

Recorded live at the National Library of New Zealand, 1 May 2019.

 

My Body, My Business

April 2nd, 2019

CW_THUMB.jpg

In this presentation, oral historian, writer and editor Caren Wilton talks about using oral history – ‘history from below’ – to document what can seem to be a secret or hidden world, and telling stories that are both extraordinary and ordinary.  

Her book 'My Body, My Business: New Zealand sex workers in an era of change’ is a collection of intimate portraits of New Zealand sex workers, based on her series of oral-history interviews carried out over a nine-year period.

These monthly Public History Talks are a collaboration between the National Library of New Zealand https://natlib.govt.nz/ and the Ministry for Culture and Heritage https://mch.govt.nz/.

Recorded live at the National Library of New Zealand, 3 April 2019.

 

 

Ocean: tales of voyaging and encounter that defined New Zealand

March 5th, 2019

SARAH_THUMB.jpg

New Zealand, an island nation, the sea surrounds us. Both barrier and highway, it was the only way for people, goods and ideas to come to this country for hundreds of years.

In this first Public History Talk for 2019, Sarah Ell, author of the book 'Ocean: tales of voyaging and encounter that defined New Zealand', explores the relationship between our peoples and the sea, from the earliest Polynesian voyagers to explorers and entrepreneurs, immigrants and environmentalists.

https://www.penguin.co.nz/books/ocean-9780143772675

These monthly Public History Talks are a collaboration between the National Library of New Zealand https://natlib.govt.nz/ and the Ministry for Culture and Heritage https://mch.govt.nz/.

Recorded live at the National Library of New Zealand, 6 March 2019.

 

The Saving of Old St Paul’s

November 6th, 2018

ec_thumb.jpgSoon after the opening of Old St Paul’s church in Mulgrave Street, Wellington, in 1866, Charles Abraham, the first Anglican Bishop of Wellington, said of the church that it was ‘a very handsome building of wood, and the interior is a great success. Being built of tōtara, it may last, unless some accident occurs to it, several centuries’.

However, less than a century later, the future of the church was under threat, as the Wellington Anglican authorities, at the time building a large new cathedral in nearby Molesworth Street, contemplated what do to with Old St Paul’s when its congregation moved to the new building.

The ensuing battle to save the church - which lasted over a decade - tested New Zealander’s understandings of heritage, community value, private property rights and spirituality.

In this Public History talk about the heritage battle to save Old St Paul’s, historian Elizabeth Cox will focus on this period of crisis in the 1950s and 1960s, when Wellington was divided over the future of the church, and follow the efforts of those trying to decide its future.

Elizabeth is a Wellington historian and heritage consultant, and a Senior Historian at the Ministry for Culture & Heritage. Her book A Friend Indeed: The Saving of Old St Paul’s was published earlier this year, and she writes about the social history of Wellington, through the lens of Old St Paul’s, on her blog www.osphistory.org She also blogs about Wellington heritage issues at www.bayheritage.co.nz/heritage-blog/

These monthly Public History Talks are a collaboration between the National Library of New Zealand https://natlib.govt.nz/ and the Ministry for Culture and Heritage https://mch.govt.nz/.

Recorded live at the National Library of New Zealand, 7 November 2018.

 

 

The tragedy of the SS Talune and the 1918 influenza pandemic

October 3rd, 2018

MCLANE_THUMB.jpg

In October 1918 the SS Talune was permitted to leave Auckland bound for Fiji and Polynesia, even though the ship's master knew that influenza was rife in the city and that there were sick on board ship when it left port. The state of the ship was also known prior to its arrival in many of its destination ports.

Within eight weeks of berthing at Fiji, Western Samoa and Tonga, at least 5% of Fijians, 7% of Tongans and one-quarter of Western Samoa's population had died of influenza.

In this Public History talk, qualified nurse and communicable diseases specialist Ryan McLane discusses how and why this tragedy occurred.

Ryan McLane has worked in a variety of public health roles over the past two decades, including time spent leading a clinical team in an Ebola Treatment Unit in Sierra Leone and managing a public health unit in the Alaskan arctic. During his seven years in New Zealand he has worked with the Ministry of Health, the Southern District Health Board and the University of Otago Medical School. His PhD with the University of Otago focused upon the 1918 influenza pandemic in the Samoas, Tonga, and Fiji.

These monthly Public History Talks are a collaboration between the National Library of New Zealand https://natlib.govt.nz/ and the Ministry for Culture and Heritage https://mch.govt.nz/.

Recorded live at the National Library of New Zealand, 3 October 2018.

 

 

Polly Plum and the first wave of feminism

August 1st, 2018

JENNY_THUMB.jpg

As we celebrate 125 years of women’s suffrage, it's time to re-evaluate Polly Plum, once described as ‘a highly controversial public figure for a few years only’.

In this Public History Talk, feminist historian and author Jenny Coleman shares some of the lesser-known parts of social reformer Mary Ann Colclough's (AKA Polly Plum) life, and her role in the “first wave” of feminism in New Zealand. She was also a leading educationalist and one of the earliest published female authors in New Zealand.

These monthly Public History Talks are a collaboration between the National Library of New Zealand https://natlib.govt.nz/ and the Ministry for Culture and Heritage https://mch.govt.nz/.

Recorded live at the National Library of New Zealand, 1 August 2018.