Back in 2001 I wrote a book on New Zealand’s naval history. Blue Water Kiwis was picked up by the Royal New Zealand Navy to mark their sixtieth anniversary that year, and launched (but not literally) on the flight-deck of HMNZS Te Mana.
I remember that evening rather well, not least because my wife and I ended up locked out of our motel unit. Luckily the kitchen window was open a crack. The upshot was that I climbed in via a boost from my wife, falling head-first into the sink. Maybe that isn’t quite the memory authors should have of a book launch, but it’s mine. OK?
The intent of the book was to tell New Zealand’s naval story from its essential beginning through to the end of the twentieth century. That included what I regard as the ‘inciting incident’ – a hoax terror attack in 1873. Newspaper editor David Leckie insisted that Russian terrorists, armed with ‘mephitic water gas’ and a ‘submarine pinnace’, had taken over a British warship in Auckland’s Waitemata harbour and then held the city to ransom.
Of course it was all from his fervent imagination, but his intent was serious. By this time, the colony of New Zealand was gaining a sense of itself in the world – and it seemed very vulnerable, out in the South Pacific. Where was Britain? So began New Zealand’s naval story.
Blue Water Kiwis sold well in hardback, a delightful production by Reed New Zealand. But it was never reprinted. Then, in 2015, Intruder Books issued a slightly revised Kindle version. And now (dun-dun-dun) – it’s out in a further revised paperback second edition.
You can get it directly from Amazon, right now. Go on, you know you want to… Click the cover to buy.
Copyright © Matthew Wright 2019