Today in New Zealand History

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Updated Paperback 3rd Edition due for Release February 2020. Pre-order your copy now!

Hardback Edition out now!

From the Ministry for Culture and Heritage and the Alexander Turnbull Library, this glorious, fully illustrated discovery of New Zealand’s key times brings history to life. Each day of the year features a story ranging from the nation-forming to the quirky. A timeline lists key events that have shaped the course of New Zealand’s political and constitutional development, while Born on this Day boxes scattered throughout provide details on around 100 figures of significance to New Zealand history.

SPECIFICATIONS: Hardback/Paperback | 280 x 210 mm | Approximately 500 Colour Photographs | 304 Pages |

Neill Atkinson is Chief Historian at Manatū Taonga – Ministry for Culture and Heritage, where he leads the content team responsible for the NZHistory and Te Ara websites. He has written six books on aspects of New Zealand’s political, labour and transport history.

Editor and historian David Green is particularly interested in New Zealand’s race relations and sporting history.

Production editor Gareth Phipps works with public history content on the Ministry’s NZHistory, Te Ara and Vietnam War websites.

Senior Historian Steve Watters has written extensively for NZHistory and leads a number of the Ministry’s educational initiatives in schools.

Dates matter, and they are often a starting point for our engagement with history. For most New Zealanders, days like 6 February or 25 April are laden with significance. They are recognised as markers of important moments in our past; they inspire pride, connection, reflection, or perhaps controversy. Some dates hold a sombre or sinister place in the nation’s collective memory: 22 February (the second Canterbury earthquake), 12 October (Passchendaele) or 24 December (Tangiwai). Others highlight more uplifting moments, like Rutherford’s Nobel Prize (10 December 1908), Hillary’s ascent of Everest (29 May 1953) or New Zealand’s golden hour at the Rome Olympics (2 September 1960). This book presents a series of snapshots of New Zealand historical events organised by date, from 1 January to 31 December. They range from dramatic headline moments to the hopefully less familiar and sometimes downright quirky — from Jockey Y-fronts (16 March 1940) and a Nazi sabotage hoax (29 March 1942) to the Greymouth beer boycott (29 September 1947) and a parachuting Santa (20 November 1937). A timeline lists some of the key moments and events that have helped shape the course of New Zealand’s political and constitutional development, while Born on this Day boxes scattered throughout the text provide brief biographical details on almost 100 figures of significance to New Zealand history.

Additional information

Book Type

Paperback, Hardback

Radio NZ, September 2017
“Such a good idea, it’s a wonder why it hasn’t been done before…”

The Cafe, September 2017
“What a great present for someone who likes history…” Click here to watch.

The Reader – The Booksellers New Zealand Blog, October 2017
“The collaboration between the Ministry of Culture and Heritage and the Alexander Turnbull Library has resulted in a book that is both informative and visually captivating … By uniting two such esteemed groups, this team have produced a book that rises above the usual coffee table pretty. I found the clear and easy to read text gave me enough information without boring me through detail.” Click here to read the full review.

The Daily Telegraph, October 2017
“This is a marvellous look at a rich and varied history, with elements that will be familiar but much that will come as a surprise to Australian readers.”

Radio Live, October 2017
Neill has done a series of interviews with Radio Live NZ over the course of October. You can listen to each segment below: 

October 22 – A  look at the darker side of NZ History
Click Here

October 15 – Political history
Click Here

October 8
Click Here

October 1
Click Here

New Zealand Memories, November 2018
“The Ministry for Culture and Heritage and the Alexander Trumbull have collaborated to produce this outstanding 304-page book.”



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