I periodically find myself in conversation with people who start with ‘You’re a historian, so you must know…’ – and then ask me something about some obscure piece of trivia in an area I’ve never looked at. However, my answer’s the same every time: as Einstein said, I don’t need to keep stuff to that … More History’s all about shapes and patterns – and it’s all relative
There has been a debate brewing this past week in New Zealand about whether to make teaching history compulsory in schools. New Zealand history, of course. At the moment it isn’t. Because I’ve been on the radio and TV a bit this past week, thanks to the promotion of my book on the Treaty of … More Should history be compulsory in New Zealand schools?
On 6 February 1840, as Hone Heke prepared to be the first Maori to sign the Treaty of Waitangi, the young missionary printer William Colenso stopped proceedings. He had a question for William Hobson, the man about to become governor of the New Zealand colony. Did Maori really understand the Treaty? It turned out that … More Did Maori really understand the Treaty of Waitangi in 1840?
I was interviewed on Tuesday by Sean Plunkett, host of a major talk-back radio programme, about my new book Waitangi: A Living Treaty. Click on the text below to listen to the podcast in which I also explain the origins of the term ‘Aotearoa’. Enjoy. Matthew Wright interviewed by Sean Plunket If you want to … More A radio interview about my latest book
It’s Waitangi day – the 178th anniversary of the day when the Treaty of Waitangi was signed in the Bay of Islands, establishing a basis for the British to establish a colony – and assert Crown law – across New Zealand. In the broadest context this colony was part of a much wider explosion of … More Thinking about Waitangi as a living treaty
I featured in the national media yesterday, subject of a personality profile piece to highlight my latest book, Waitangi: A Living Treaty. It was kind of cool. The feature was syndicated across several of the major national daily papers, and online – here. The basic idea of the book is that the Treaty is a … More Yes, the meanings of the past DO change
I spent a pleasant hour in Wellington’s Unity Books this week signing copies of my new book Waitangi: A Living Treaty. Book signings are always fun to do; you always meet new people, chat with them about why they’re interested in your book, and that kind of thing. The concept behind the book is that … More Pictures from a book signing