All articles in ‘History’

Gold Mining in New Zealand

A history of Gold Mining

by Kerry Monaghan

The history of gold stretches as far back as the beginning of civilization. Humans have long since realized the value of gold for both decoration and currency due to its rarity, lustre and ease of exchange, and while it remains a global business with n…

Captain James Cook

Part Ⅱ: James Cook's Naval Career 1755-1768

by Dr Michelle Ann Smith

James Cook’s quest to ‘range’ further than any other man began incrementally. Having declined the offer by his employer, John Walker, to take command of one of his ships Cook volunteered for service with the British Royal Navy. Walker was unsurprised at …


Part Ⅴ

How the Queen’s Justice failed Southern Tribal Chiefs As a terrible storm raged over the North Island coast in December 1769 the ships of Captain Cook and the French explorer Jean-François-Marie de Surville unknowingly passed within a relatively short d…

Captain James Cook

Part Ⅰ: Where No Man Has Gone Before

by Dr Michelle Ann Smith

This year, between October and December, a replica of the Endeavour will sail around New Zealand to commemorate a significant event in Aotearoa New Zealand’s history: Captain James Cook’s first visit to New Zealand. While not the first European to visit …


Part Ⅳ: Captain John Stewart – Enabler for the ‘Cannibal Statesman’

Captain John Stewart – Enabler for the ‘Cannibal Statesman’ In the early decades of the 18th century New Zealand was enjoying the profitable beginnings of international trade with its nearest neighbour, New South Wales. Captain John Stewart – Enabler…

Kauri Gum Reserves

A History

by Kerry Monaghan

Agathis Australis or Kauri in Maori is one of New Zealand’s oldest and mightiest coniferous trees that can grow upwards of fifty metres and can live around two thousand years. Agathis Australis or Kauri in Maori is one of New Zealand’s oldest and might…


Part Ⅲ: The Saintly Sinner

The white man who figuratively held the gun for a chief to pull the trigger thus igniting the worst holocaust New Zealand in New Zealand’s history The white man who figuratively held the gun for a chief to pull the trigger thus igniting the worst holoc…

Mayday and Maypoles and Workers Rights

This Month in History

In the Northern Hemisphere the traditional ‘May Day’ celebration is an ancient festival whose origins are shrouded in the mists of time. It is said that the earliest May Day observances began in pre-Christian times out of the Roman empire, a dedication t…

Kiri and Dave’s Big Adventure

And The Flight Of An Albatross

by Julie Halligan

The question hung in the air between us ‘So what drew you to the Chatham Islands in the first place? The two pairs of eyes looking back at me widened, the heads nodded together and two voices in unison replied ‘Fossilised sharks teeth’. Kiri jumped …


Part Ⅱ: Notorious Pakeha Maoris

by Julie Halligan

Part 2 in a 6 part series looking at the ‘scumbuggering’ that has happened through the years in New Zealand. The Georgian England of the 1800s was a savage regime still attempting to come to grips with the sweeping social changes that had arisen as a di…


Part Ⅰ: Once Were Whalers…

by Julie Halligan

‘Once Were Whalers…’ is part 1 of a 6 part series looking at the ‘scumbuggery’ that has happened through the years in New Zealand. It was the era that has retrospectively been described as the Age of Discovery, a time when the commercial and imperial int…

In Search of Our Tangata Whenua

Part Ⅱ: Parallels In Celtic–Maori Death Myths and The After-Life Underworld

For thousands of years, history, genealogies, stories and mythology had to be memorised by rote and gruelling repetition, then handed down in perfect oral delivery to each ensuing generation. For this mammoth task, children exhibiting the brightest and b…

Larnach Castle

by Julie Halligan

Situated on the picturesque Otago Peninsula perched atop a rising ridge stands the imposing and lasting monument to one man’s insistent desire to announce to the world that he had arrived, that he was someone and that he had ‘done good’. William Larnac…

In Search of Our Tangata Whenua

Part Ⅰ: Waipoua Whitewash Challenging NZ History: Who Were Here First?

Welcome to Part one of In Search of Our Tangata Whenua, in which elocal examines revolutionary ideas about ancient New Zealand. New Zealand was first settled in the 13th century, by Maori, right? Think again. The first people living in New Zealand we…

Burying The Evidence

Excavation Proves Human Habitation 3,400 Years Ago

by Mykeljon Winckel

In 1963, somebody dug up evidence that man may have been in the Hawkes Bay area 4500 years ago, and instantaneously his revelation was buried. Surely not, I hear you say to yourself, if somebody unearthed indisputable evidence, wouldn’t that be enough?…

Split-Apple Rock

An Ancient, Purpose-Built Solar Observatory

by Martin Doutré

On the northern coastline of New Zealand’s South Island is a geological wonder that is world renown, traditionally called Split-Apple Rock due to its appearance as a giant sliced-in-two apple. The giant boulder, given its height and fairly symmetrical r…

The Stewarts of Kilbarchan, Scotland Have Arrived!

Waikato Immigration Scheme

by Dr Michelle Ann Smith

On the 14th March1 1865 the Resolute, the last of the Waikato Immigration Scheme ships, slid down the river Clyde (Glasgow) thus beginning its long journey to New Zealand. 358 passengers disembarked in Auckland on 24th June 1865 after a relatively quick…