Friday 1 November 2013 11:42am
Perspectives from New Zealand History
Edited by Tony Ballantyne and Judith A. Bennett
New Zealanders have a strong affinity with the land and firm connections are drawn between the land and cultural identity in the economy, in politics and in art. Histories of migration, settlement and environmental adaptation ensure the subject of communities and landscapes is increasingly important in New Zealand studies.
Māori are 'tangata whēnua' (people of the land) and stress the significance of their relationship with the land. In recent times government agencies have sought to change many placenames from English back to the Māori original in order to signify intellectual decolonisation, e.g. 'Murdering Beach' to 'Whareakeake'. The debate this has caused demonstrates strong feelings that the names of the land and the land itself are tied into ideas of identity in diverse communities.
This collection of essays explores these complex relationships in different parts of the country and at different times. Environment versus settler society has been a longstanding theme and three essays look at aspects of this. Land ownership and the families that make communities are the subjects of two further essays. The next two contributors look at rural society, in search of the itinerant worker and harvest festivities. Two final essays deal with more recent subjects: the challenge to a major government hydro-electricity project and New Zealanders abroad in the world.
TONY BALLANTYNE is Professor of History at the University of Otago. He is the author of Orientalism and Race: Aryanism in the British Empire (Palgrave Macmillan 2002).
JUDITH A. BENNETT is Associate Professor in History at the University of Otago and is the author of Pacific Forest: A history of resource control and contest in Solomon Islands 1800–1997 (Brill Academic Publishers 2000).
Paperback, 230 x 150 mm, 192 pages, ISBN 1 877372 06 4, $39.95
Out of print