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Wayback Machine

Downloads and podcasts

Page 1 – Introduction

On this page you will find New Zealand history podcasts that you are free to download and use. See also Document downloads.

You can also find these podcasts on our Podbean website, which includes this tool for adding the podcasts to iTunes and other devices. 

Right click on audio links below to save mp3s to your computer or other device.

History Group seminars, 2015

Richard Seddon book

Professor Tom Brooking: King of God’s Own

Although he was no saint Seddon was a far more complex and multi-faceted character than the often rather one-dimensional revisionist portraits within our historical literature. Tom Brooking is the author numerous books and publications, including the 2014 biography: Richard Seddon King of God's Own. Recorded 2 September 2015

Victoria University staff page

Dr Grant Morris: ‘Legal Villain’

Dr Grant Morris is a Senior Lecturer in Law at Victoria University of Wellington. In this podcast he explores James Prendergast, the most infamous figure in New Zealand’s legal history. Known mainly for his condemnation of the Treaty of Waitangi as 'a simple nullity' in 1877, Prendergast was a highly respected lawyer and judge and his good reputation remained intact until the 1980s, when the Treaty of Waitangi finally returned to the centre of New Zealand political life. Recorded 1 July 2015

To Be Truly British We Must Be Anti-German cover

Andrew Francis: Enemy aliens and the New Zealand experience

This presentation discusses a still under-researched aspect of New Zealand’s war on the home front. It assesses the government, press and public’s conduct interwoven with Germans settlers’ wartime experiences. It considers the government’s task in attempting to safeguard the dominion’s security while remaining fair and just to New Zealand’s German communities; it analyses the role of the press, in particular those who fostered an increasingly hostile anti-German spirit; and it discusses the extent to which the public’s reaction to the ‘enemy in our midst’ was both a pseudo-patriotic response to wartime conditions and the culmination of an anti-foreigner campaign developed throughout the Victorian and Edwardian eras. Recorded 3 June 2015

NZ's First World War heritage cover

Imelda Bargas and Tim Shoebridge: New Zealand’s First World War Heritage

Imelda Bargas and Tim Shoebridge are Senior Historians in the Ministry for Culture and Heritage's History Group. In this talk Imelda and Tim will explain how they came to work on their book, New Zealand's First World War Heritage and some of the challenges they faced putting it together. They'll also explore the themes covered in the book, using some of their favourite stories and sites. Recorded 6 May 2015

Rough on women cover

Margaret Sparrow: Rough on Women Abortion in 19th Century New Zealand.

Dame Margaret Sparrow has had a long career in general and reproductive health. She was awarded an MBE in 1987, the New Zealand Suffrage Centennial Medal in 1993, and the DCNZM for services to medicine and the community in 2002, which in 2009 became a DNZM. Here she talks about researching the lives of women who had abortions in 19th century New Zealand. Recorded 1 April 2015.

Aroha Harris, University of Auckland

Aroha Harris: New Perspectives on Māori History, 4 March 2015.

Lecturer in History at the University of Auckland, Aroha Harris (Te Rarawa, Ngāpuhi) talks about her latest book Tangata Whenua: An Illustrated History, a collaboration between Harris, Judith Binney and Atholl Anderson.


History Group seminars, 2014

Coal- the Rise and Fall of King Coal in New Zealand, 5 November 2014 - historian Matthew Wright discusses his recent publication on the chequered history of coal.

Holding On To Home: New Zealand Stories and Objects of the First World War, 1 October 2014 - Kate Hunter and Kirstie Ross discuss their recent publication.

'New Zealand English: is there more here than meets the eye and ear?', 3 September 2014 - language expert Dianne Bardsley discusses geographic and social conditions that have produced the distinctive form of New Zealand English.

'I am the island of Niue, a small child that stands up to help the Kingdom of King George - Niue Island involvement in World War I', 6 August 2014 - historian Margaret Pointer discusses why 150 Niueans were accepted for service in the Maori Contingent, their experiences in Auckland, Egypt, France and England and what life was like for the men returning home.

'Judgements of all Kinds: Economic Policymaking in New Zealand 1945-84', 2 July 2014 - Jim McAloon, Associate Professor of History, Victoria University. In this talk Jim McAloon sheds light on the perceptions, ideas, and competing interests which shaped the views and actions of ministers and officials in managing a small externally dependent economy in the decades following the Second World War.

'Captain Kindheart’s Crusade', 4 June 2014 - Nancy Swarbrick. In this talk Nancy Swarbrick discusses pet culture in New Zealand in the context of the international movement that began in the nineteenth century and still resonates today .

'A Tasman tale?: New Zealand's Depression and Australia, 1930-39', 2 April 2014 - Malcolm McKinnon. In this talk Malcolm McKinnon discusses ways in which a trans-Tasman frame of reference expands our understanding of the economic depression in 1930s New Zealand.

'The History of Gangs in New Zealand', 5 March 2014 - Dr Jarrod Gilbert. This seminar looks at the problems of researching gangs, but also the problems encountered when research findings clash with popular and official understandings.

History Group seminars, 2013

‘The White Ships: New Zealand's First World War Hospital Ships', 6 November 2013 - Gavin Maclean. In 1915 the New Zealand government converted the liners Maheno and Marama into state-of-the art floating hospitals, 'the public face of our merchant marine's war'.

The Great Strike of 1913: ‘Industrial War’ in ‘the Workers’ Paradise’ 2 October 2013

Peter Clayworth gives an overview of the strike and examines some of the questions the events of 1913 raise concerning the nature of New Zealand society on the eve of the Great War.

‘Tramping in New Zealand; a History', 4 Septemeber 2013 - Chris Maclean and Shaun Barnett discuss the the history of tramping in New Zealand, and also about the process of researching and writing a book on the subject. Introduced by Jock Phillips.

‘The Red Cross lens on New Zealand social history', 13 August 2013 - historian Margaret Tennant discusses the how her research for the institutional history of the Red Cross has provided a lens to broader historical themes .

‘Writing fiction as a non-fiction writer', 9 July 2013 - historian David Young discusses the question of how much his recent fiction writing (the novel Coast) is influenced by his previous historical endeavours and from his own life.

'Friendly Fire: What happens when allies quarrel', 5 June 2013.  Former diplomat and Head of the Prime Minister's Department, Gerald Hensley discusses the anti-nuclear policy of the newly elected Labour Government in 1984 and how this collided with the United States policy of nuclear deterrence.

IPANZ seminar series, 2012

The Ministry for Culture and Heritage and IPANZ co-hosted a series of four public history seminars to mark the centenary of the Public Service Act. The speakers explored the political context in which the 1912 Act was enacted, the long period of continuity until 1988, the 1980s “revolution”, and the present and the future. Download them here:

History Group seminars. 2011-12

The search for Anne Perry

'The search for Anne Perry' - seminar by Dr Joanne Drayton given at the Ministry for Culture and Heritage, 5 September 2012. Dr Drayton discusses her biography of crime writer Anne Perry, better known in New Zealand as the convicted muderer Juliet Hulme. 

‘Life on the Battlefields 94 years later’ by Charlotte Descamps, 1 August 2012.
Belgian historian Charlotte Descamps, who has lived her whole life in the First World War battlefields of the Ypres Salient, talks about her experiences at Varlet Farm, how evidence of the conflict is unearthed every year, how modern technology is helping to identify human remains almost a century after the war, the ‘iron harvest’ in the Salient (over 200 tons of live ammunition is still collected very year) and the work of the bomb disposal squad, how other items like helmets, rifles, rum jars, badges, buckles and silent pickets help tell the history of the area, and the ongoing research efforts to locate tunnels, ammunition dumps and dugouts.

'Scandal Sheet Confidential: voyages around NZ Truth (1977-2008)' by Redmer Yska, 5 October 2011.
Redmer Yska recalls his involvement with 'NZ Truth' newspaper over three decades: first, as a journalist, second as a historical researcher, and lastly as its biographer, resulting in the 2010 book NZ Truth: the Rise and Fall of the People's Paper

Charles Mackay: The fall and rise of New Zealand's first 'homosexual' by Paul Diamond, 7 September 2011.
In 1929 Charles Mackay, a former mayor of Wanganui bled to death on a Berlin street corner – a victim of violent clashes between police and Communist protesters. How did he get there? An earlier incident triggered Mackay’s tragic trajectory: in 1920 he shot the returned soldier-cum-writer Walter D’Arcy Cresswell, who was blackmailing the (secretly homosexual) mayor. Paul Diamond’s research into the events surrounding both shootings has uncovered new information about this hidden aspect of New Zealand history.

The 2010/11 NCEA 3 history seminar series

Read more about these seminars, including related links here.

Governors and Premiers of New Zealand Gavin McLean - Senior Historian, Ministry for Culture and Heritage

Shame and scandal — women criminals in the late 19th Century 
Bronwyn Dalley - Chief Historian, Ministry for Culture and Heritage

The peaceful conquest — the Vogel era
Neill Atkinson - Senior Historian, Ministry for Culture and Heritage

An overview of NZ 1800-1900
Steve Watters - Historian, Ministry for Culture and Heritage
Gregor Fountain - Deputy Principal, Wellington College

How to attack scholarship questions
Gregor Fountain - Deputy Principal, Wellington College

Seminar PowerPoint slides (pdf)

Associated podcast:

Don’t Mention the (Taranaki) War
Peter Adds -Victoria University of Wellington


'Sticky Beak the Kiwi' song (mp3, 3.2mb) - related information

See also: Roadside Stories - 140 downloadable mp3 files relating to New Zealand places.

How to cite this page

'Podcasts', URL:, (Ministry for Culture and Heritage), updated 17-Sep-2015