31 Mar 2019

Dr Vincent O Malley on increasing public awareness of the NZ Land Wars.

From Te Ahi Kaa, 6:03 pm on 31 March 2019
Dr Vincent O Malley has written books and journals that relate to the conflict between Māori and the British.

Dr Vincent O Malley has written books and journals that relate to the conflict between Māori and the British. Photo: RNZ/Justine Murray

Author and historian Dr Vincent O Malley says a shift in attitude needs to happen so more people know about the history of the country, especially how it relates to the NZ Land Wars.

“To me it’s a national disgrace that more New Zealanders don’t take the opportunity to learn about the wars for here, this is something that I have been talking about for years.“ he says.

In a recent symposium, Te Putake o te Riri hosted by Te Whare Wānanga o Awanuiārangi, Dr Vincent O Malley is bringing about conversation that the history of the land wars is not well known, he tested this theory out when he tweeted to his followers about their experience of learning NZ history, over a few days his tweet garnered fifteen hundred responses, many who didn't know much about the history at all.

This narrative was familiar at high school when his teacher described the history as "boring", it would be many years later that he saw the same teacher at a conference who had since changed his mind and was teaching NZ history to his students.

The Wellington based historian set up his own consultancy business and for the past two decades he has assisted iwi and hapū in the stories and research of their history.  The book The Great War for New Zealand published in 2016 tells the history of the Waikato Tainui from 1800 - 2000.

The oldest of nine children, Dr O Malley was raised in an Irish and Scottish household, his first job was cleaning the history room at the University of Canterbury, he has a running joke that he first entered university at 15 years old, just not as a student. He graduated from the University of Canterbury with a Bachelor’s Degree in History from the University of Canterbury, and in 2004 he graduated with a PhD in New Zealand Studies from Wellington’s Victoria University.