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Book review of 'The New Zealand Wars Ngā Pakanga o Aotearoa' by Vincent O’Malley


Harman, K, Book review of 'The New Zealand Wars Ngā Pakanga o Aotearoa' by Vincent O'Malley, Journal of Pacific History pp. 1-2. ISSN 0022-3344 (2019) [Review Single Work]

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DOI: doi:10.1080/00223344.2019.1673934


On 12 September 2019, New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern made a historic announcement detailing how, by 2022, all schools and kura (Māori-language immersion schools) across Aotearoa New Zealand would be required to teach key aspects of the country's history, including the New Zealand Wars. A number of catalysts precipitated this, one of which was the May 2019 release of Vincent O’Malley's The New Zealand Wars Ngā Pakanga o Aotearoa. Such was its popularity that it completely sold out within weeks (requiring a reprint), the title hitting number one on several bestseller charts.

O’Malley's influential work perfectly captures the zeitgeist of 2019 Aotearoa New Zealand, a nation with an increasing appetite for devouring an accurate retelling of the wars that shaped it. As he explains, following the conclusion in 1872 of the New Zealand Wars, many Pākehā (non-Māori New Zealanders) embraced a highly romanticized version of these conflicts. This book serves as a welcome corrective. It provides a succinct overview of the wars fought across Aotearoa New Zealand between 1845 and 1872, insightfully examining the motivations of the combatants on both sides as and, when sufficient evidence to reveal them has survived, the outcomes of each conflict, and the consequences for the nation today.

Item Details

Item Type:Review Single Work
Keywords:history, New Zealand, frontier wars, Maori, Pakeha
Research Division:History, Heritage and Archaeology
Research Group:Historical studies
Research Field:New Zealand history
Objective Division:Expanding Knowledge
Objective Group:Expanding knowledge
Objective Field:Expanding knowledge in history, heritage and archaeology
UTAS Author:Harman, K (Associate Professor Kristyn Harman)
ID Code:135653
Year Published:2019
Web of Science® Times Cited:13
Deposited By:Office of the School of Humanities
Deposited On:2019-11-07
Last Modified:2019-11-08

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