Expanding New Zealand’s historical perspective

Atholl Anderson, Bridget Williams and Aroha Harris at the National Library on 4 February, with FoTL President Rachel Underwood

An extraordinary history, six years in the planning, was published by Bridget Williams Books in November. Tangata Whenua: An Illustrated History, written by Professor Atholl Anderson, Dame Judith Binney (who died before the project was completed) and Dr Aroha Harris, charts the sweep of Māori history from ancient origins to the 21st century. Lively, lucid and lavishly illustrated, it combines archaeology, anthropology, linguistics and oral traditions (Anderson) with colonial history (Binney) and ever-changing post-colonial developments (Harris). This is a rich and authoritative book that provides valuable insights for the future.

Atholl Anderson and Aroha Harris – distinguished researchers and eloquent speakers – spoke to the Friends on Wednesday 4 February about their roles in this huge project. Atholl is Emeritus Professor at the Australian National University, Adjunct Professor of History at the University of Canterbury and Honorary Professor of Anthropology at the University of Otago. Aroha lectures in History at the University of Auckland and is a member of the Waitangi Tribunal.TW_cover