Faculty of Arts


Rethinking New Zealand History

Please note: this is archived course information from 2017 for HISTORY 107.


This course will introduce you to key issues in Aotearoa/New Zealand history.

We have called the course 'Rethinking New Zealand' because, while it is intended as an introduction to Aotearoa/New  Zealand’s social, cultural, economic and political history, we also hope to challenge you to examine some of your assumptions or pre-conceptions about New Zealand history.

For instance, was New  Zealand ‘discovered’? Was the nineteenth century a time of settlement or conquest? Was New  Zealand a ‘social laboratory’, a world leader in social policy? Was New Zealand a place where rugby was always king? Was it a family paradise, the most British of all Britain’s colonies, a country of equal citizens?

Reviewing our history over the past hundred years gives us a greater sense of our own identity as a nation and of our place in the world.

A broad range of nineteenth-century and twentieth-century topics will be canvassed using interpretations that give fresh insight into our political, economic, social and cultural history.

View the course syllabus

Availability 2017

Semester 1



Recommended Reading

James Belich, Making Peoples: A History of the New Zealanders: from Polynesian Settlement to the end of the Nineteenth Century, Auckland, 1996.

James Belich, Paradise Reforged: A History of the New Zealanders from the 1880s to the Year 2000, Auckland, 2001.

Michael King, The Penguin History of New Zealand, Auckland, 2003.

Ranginui Walker, Ka Whawhai Tonu Mātou: Struggle Without End, rev. ed, Auckland, 2004.

Philippa Mein Smith, A Concise History of New Zealand,  Cambridge ; Port Melbourne, Victoria, 2011.


Coursework + exam


HISTORY 107: 15.0 points


HISTORY 122, 123

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