Course syllabus



Course Description:

Haere mai! Whaowhia te kete mātauranga! (Welcome! Fill your basket with knowledge!)

This course will introduce you to key issues in Aotearoa/New Zealand history. We have called the course "Rethinking New Zealand history" 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 preconceptions 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. The course is organised thematically and you will be introduced to different historians’ interpretations of past events.

Meet the team! (more videos on our team page)

Check out our class waiata....then find the words on our waiata page.

Course Convenor and lecturer: 

Dr Felicity Barnes -


Kim Moore

Marco de Jong

Course delivery format:

2 hours of lectures and 1 hour of tutorial

(Timetable and room details can be viewed on Student Services Online)

NB: All readings are online, however, there is a course reader available at UBIQ for this course

You can access a copy here:107 course guide 2018rev.pdf

Tutorial Plus!

Extra help on top of tutorials to get you through!

Essay Wānaga: Week 7: All welcome! details TBA

Exam Wānaga: Dates TBA

Course outcomes:

A student who successfully completes this course will have the opportunity to:

  • Learn the history of our land, Aotearoa.
  • Develop foundational skills for the practice of history
  • Improve their reading, writing, critical thinking and analytic skills.

These are all transferable skills that will help with other papers and most employment.

 Assessment Summary:

5% Writing Response: due  week 3

30% essay :   due week 9

15 % Writing Response: due  week 11

50% exam

Weekly Topics:

See the modules sections for topics and weekly tutorial readings.


Get a head start on the course with any of with these.

Anderson, Atholl, Judith Binney, Aroha Harris, Tangata Whenua: An Illustrated History of Māori, Wellington, 2014.

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

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

Byrnes, Giselle, ed., The New Oxford History of New Zealand, South Melbourne, 2009.

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

Mein-Smith, Philippa, A Concise History of New Zealand, Melbourne, 2005.

Sinclair, Keith, A History of New Zealand, 5th rev edn, Auckland, 2000.



Course summary:

Date Details