New Zealand History

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The Great War for New Zealand

October 31st, 2017


The Great War for New Zealand tells the story of the defining conflict in New Zealand history. War in the Waikato in 1863-64 shaped the nation in all kinds of ways, setting back Māori and Pākehā relations by several generations, marking an end to any hopes of meaningful partnership and allowing the government to begin to assert the kind of real control over the country that had eluded it since 1840. Spanning nearly two centuries from first contacts in the Waikato in the early nineteenth century through to settlement and apology in 1995, Vincent O’Malley’s book focuses on the human impact of the war, its origins and aftermath.

In this presentation, Vincent O’Malley reflects on the book’s key messages and its reception, just over a year after publication, and following the inaugural national day of commemoration for the New Zealand Wars. Has the call for New Zealanders to own their history, warts and all, been heeded?

Vincent O’Malley is a founding partner of HistoryWorks, a Wellington consultancy specialising in Treaty of Waitangi research, and is the author of many books on New Zealand history.

Recorded at the National Library of New Zealand, 1 November 2017


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