New Zealand History

New Zealand History header image 1

Dissenting Voices – New Zealand and the South African War 1899–1902

June 1st, 2021

In this talk, Nigel Robson, author of Our first foreign war (Massey University Press, 2021), examines opposition within New Zealand to the South African War 1899–1902.

At a time when patriotic fervour engulfed the country, those who questioned British actions in South Africa, or criticised the widespread support for the conflict that characterized New Zealand’s response, risked public vilification and being labelled a ‘pro-Boer’.

From J. Grattan Grey, the Hansard chief reporter who described the ‘wave of imperialism’ sweeping Australasia in the New York Times, to Charlotte Bewicke, who raised funds for sick and injured Boers, dissenters who publicly voiced opposition to the war displayed both determination and fortitude.


The monthly Public History Talks are a collaboration between the National Library of New Zealand and the Ministry for Culture and Heritage.

Recorded live at the National Library of New Zealand, 5 May 2021.

Download a transcript of this talk:


Podbean App

Play this podcast on Podbean App