New Zealand History

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With the Boys Overseas: radio listening during World War II and New Zealand’s first broadcast war correspondents

June 20th, 2022

In the 1940s radio played a central role in the life of the New Zealand household as a source of news and entertainment. Sound historian Sarah Johnston is researching radio during this era, particularly the role of our first radio war correspondents, who travelled with the New Zealand forces in North Africa, the Middle East, Italy and in the Pacific as mobile broadcasting units.

Three soldiers around a microphone

Sarah outlines details she has uncovered in her research, including the way demand from listeners back home shaped the work of the broadcasting units. Her talk includes archived radio recordings from the era, courtesy of RNZ and Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision.

This talk is also available on YouTube.

These monthly Public History Talks are a collaboration between the Alexander Turnbull Library and Manatū Taonga Ministry for Culture and Heritage. Recorded live via Zoom, 1 June 2022.

Download a transcript of this talk: 
https://nzhistory.govt.nz//files/pdfs/transcript-sarah-johnston-pht-2022-06-14.pdf

‘There was no honour in it’: Two aspects of New Zealand’s military history

June 7th, 2022

Please note: This talk contains material that may be distressing to some listeners, including the discussions of war crimes. If you wish to skip this discussion, it runs from 9:19 through to 16:36. Please take care of yourself, and if you don't think this talk is for you, no worries, and we hope you'll listen again soon.

John Crawford and Michael Buck sitting with archives on desk

In this talk, military historians John Crawford and Matthew Buck talk about results from their recent research projects. 

Over the last 35 years, John Crawford has written on many aspects of the history of the New Zealand Armed Forces and defence policy. His recent research into New Zealand’s campaigns against the Ottoman Empire during the First World War has uncovered several interesting aspects of New Zealand’s involvement in the Senussi Campaign, fought in Libya in 1915. John’s talk will focus on the Christmas Day attack on the Senussi forces, an under-researched episode in New Zealand’s military history thus far.

Matthew Buck is Senior Advisor Heritage at the New Zealand Defence Force. His focus in recent months has been on veterans’ issues and the way in which the services of veterans were recognised following the two world wars. His work on how medals were distributed after the Second World War is just one aspect of this work. How this came to be a public policy issue lies at the heart of his presentation.

These monthly Public History Talks are a collaboration between the Alexander Turnbull Library and Manatū Taonga Ministry for Culture and Heritage. Recorded live at the National Library of New Zealand, 3 November 2021.

Download a transcript of this talk:

https://nzhistory.govt.nz/files/pdfs/transcipt-john-crawford-and-matthew-buck-2021-11-03.pdf

The Platform: the radical legacy of the Polynesian Panthers

March 3rd, 2022

Protest march featuring sign saying 'Save my freedom'

In this talk, Melani Anae, Associate Professor in Pacific Studies at the University of Auckland discusses aspects of her recent book, The Platform: the radical legacy of the Polynesian Panthers. In the book she writes, ‘Fifty years ago the Polynesian Panther Party began to shine a light on racism and oppressive systems, and we made small changes. But these small changes were and are so much greater than the sum of their parts; they are writ large by the liberating education some of us are still involved in and the snowballing effect it has.’

The book is both deeply personal and highly political and recalls the radical activism of Auckland’s Polynesian Panthers. In solidarity with the US Black Panther Party, the Polynesian Panthers were founded in response to the racist treatment of Pacific Islanders in the era of the Dawn Raids. Central to the group’s philosophy was a three-point ‘platform’ of peaceful resistance, Pacific empowerment and educating New Zealand about persistent and systemic racism.

These monthly Public History Talks are a collaboration between the National Library of New Zealand and Manatū Taonga Ministry for Culture and Heritage. Recorded live at the National Library of New Zealand, 6 August 2021.

Download a transcript of this talk:

https://nzhistory.govt.nz/files/pdfs/melani-anae-transcript.pdf

Crossing the lines: the story of three homosexual New Zealand soldiers in WW2

October 4th, 2021

Cover of Crossing the Lines book

In this talk author Brent Coutts discusses his recently published book, Crossing the Lines, a history of New Zealand homosexual soldiers in the Second World War.

While he uncovered fifty homosexual men who served in the military during the war, his research focused on Ralph Dyer, Douglas Morison, and Harold Robinson, three men who were female impersonators in the Pacific Kiwi Concert Party and Tui Concert Party. Coutts discusses their lives before, during, and after the war, and how he uncovered this new historical narrative which enriches our understanding of the New Zealand soldier experience during this conflict.

These 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, 7 July 2021.

Download a transcript of this talk:

https://nzhistory.govt.nz/files/pdfs/brent-coutts-transcript.pdf

Reflecting on the value of social media as a history-research tool

July 27th, 2021

In this talk, historian Ryan Bodman explores the value of social media as a 21st century history-research tool. Over the past five years, Ryan has been researching and writing Rugby League: A New Zealand History, which is a social and cultural history of the football code in New Zealand.

As part of this project, he has developed a social media account under the same name, which promotes public engagement with his research outputs and has brought a collaborative component to his research process.

In this talk, Ryan will explore the use of social media in the development of his book, paying particular attention to the value of social media to academic historians seeking to engage with people from outside of the university-setting.

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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, 2 June 2021.

Download a transcript of this talk:

https://nzhistory.govt.nz/files/pdfs/ryan-bodman-transcript-june-2021.pdf

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.

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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:
https://nzhistory.govt.nz/files/pdfs/Nigel-Robson-transcript_history-talk_5-May-2021.pdf

 

Inside the Bubble

June 1st, 2021

Inside the Bubble : Kei Roto i te Miru is a collection of human stories recorded during Covid-19 lockdown in Aotearoa New Zealand. Oral historians worked in partnership with Ngā Pātaka Kōrero Auckland Libraries and Manatu Taonga to collect, create and conserve viewpoints from around the country. 

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Oral historian Will Hansen interviewed his flatmate Jack Hitchcox on ‘Queerintine’; living in an all queer flat during lockdown, being a frontline health worker, making art, watching films, reading books, transitioning, coming out to family and friends and future plans.

For further information or support check out InsideOut or Rainbow Youth

Transcript of this talk:
https://nzhistory.govt.nz/files/documents/jacks-story-transcript.pdf 

Kei roto i te miru: inside the bubble

April 7th, 2021

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What happens when a pandemic hits and the country is locked down? How can we help keep New Zealanders connected?

In collaboration with Sue Berman, Principal Oral History Advisor Auckland Libraries, staff at Manatū Taonga Ministry for Culture and Heritage got on Zoom and hatched a plan to use free online software to encourage nine oral historians from various communities around the country to collect short oral histories with our support. Thirty-five stories with Ngāti Porou, LGBTQI community members, rural Pākehā, health workers, musicians, young Mums, Pacific Island New Zealanders, Northland community workers and Chinese New Zealanders were the result.

In this talk Tuaratini will discuss her involvement in the project as a community interviewer, while radio producer and journalist Teresa Cowie will describe her experience working on the creative output of the oral histories. The resulting weekly podcast series, ‘Kei roto i te miru: inside the bubble’, launched on 25 March this year based on the interviews undertaken during the 2020 Covid-19 lockdown.

 

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

‘Palmy Proud’? Audience and Approach in Writing the History of a Provincial City

March 3rd, 2021

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In this Public History Talk,  co-editor and a writer for City at the Centre: A History of Palmerston North Margaret Tennant will discuss the dilemmas faced by its editors and the question of audience for such a volume: whether to take a thematic, ‘slice’ or chronological approach, how much to assume in terms of local knowledge, and whether to link with a commemorative event. City at the Centre evolved with the knowledge of other, complementary forms of story-telling about place, but also against perceptions of Palmerston North as ‘boring’ and less significant than the four main centres. How much history is obliged to become promotion becomes an issue. And, as with any publication, there are always the things which would have been done differently with hindsight.

Pulled together during the 2020 Covid lockdown, City at the Centre was published in October 2020.

In a previous life Margaret Tennant lectured in history at Massey University, her special interests the history of women, of health and of social policy.  She has more recently focused on local history, and is on the PHANZA national committee.

These 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, 3 March 2020.

Tamihana Te Rauparaha’s life of Te Rauparaha

March 3rd, 2021

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‘He Pukapuka Tātaku i ngā Mahi a Te Rauparaha Nui’ is a 50,000-word account of Te Rauparaha’s life written by his son Tamihana Te Rauparaha in the late 1860s. A rich source of Ngāti Toa history, language and culture, it offers fascinating insights into traditional Māori society and the tumultuous history of the 1820s and 1830s. This was an era characterised by intertribal conflict and the redrawing of the tribal map of Aotearoa, as well as by early encounters between Māori and Europeans that were largely conducted on Māori terms. Tamihana’s account of his father’s life has now been published in full for the first time in a parallel Māori/English edition.

In this talk, the book’s translator and editor Ross Calman will discuss the historical context that led to the creation of Tamihana’s manuscript, give an overview of how the manuscript has been represented by various writers and translators over the past 150 years and describe some of the challenges he faced in interpreting the manuscript for a modern audience.

These 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, 2 December 2020.

 

 

 

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