Ko te manu e kai ana i te miro, nōna te ngahere

Ko te manu e kai ana i te mātauranga, nōna te Ao

The bird who feeds on miro has the forest

The bird who feeds on knowledge has the world

Nau mai, haere mai ki Tāmaki Herenga Waka.

Ka nui te mihi ki a Ngāti Whātua Ōrākei te iwi mana whenua.

Tihei Mauri Ora!

AHI Mission Statement

Tāmaki Makaurau Auckland is situated amongst many volcanoes on an isthmus that is flanked by the Manukau and Waitematā harbours. The cones punctuate the skyline and the ocean is never far from view. These iconic features of the whenua have not only shaped the landscape but also the many peoples who have settled in this unique environment over centuries.

Welcome to the Auckland History Initiative. This research collaboration focuses on understanding the physical and cultural development of Tāmaki Makaurau Auckland as well as the wider Auckland region extending from Northland to the Waikato, and Auckland’s connections with international and global networks of trade, governance and culture.

In order to advance that understanding the AHI takes several approaches. These include:

  • To increase students’ engagement with Auckland history, to stimulate their interest in and knowledge of their immediate surroundings and to enhance their employability
  • To build relationships between the University of Auckland and Auckland’s Iwi and GLAM sector (Galleries, Libraries, Archives and Museums)
  • To continue to establish relationships and research collaborations in the area of Tāmaki Makaurau Auckland history across disciplines and faculties at the University of Auckland
  • To enhance public outreach by hosting public events focused on inviting discussion on the history of Tāmaki Makaurau Auckland
  • To promote and support research into Tāmaki Makaurau Auckland history through an online platform and associated social media.

Read our AHI Summer Scholars work below

Understanding historic Māori fluidity within Ngāti Te Ata Waiōhua: An outline

Understanding historic Māori fluidity within Ngāti Te Ata Waiōhua: An outline

by Tommy de Silva*
What does the term ‘Tāmaki Makaurau’ mean? Some would argue that it means ‘Tāmaki of a hundred lovers’, while others would claim it means ‘Tāmaki desired by many’ or ‘Tāmaki the bride sought by a hundred’. No matter which meaning you prefer, they all clearly suggest that Tāmaki has long been a place sought after by many rōpū (groups).

read more
Setting-up Auckland’s Jewish Community

Setting-up Auckland’s Jewish Community

by Sarah Oliver*
“David Nathan had decided that if the powers-to-be determined that the new capital was to be on the shores of the Waitemata Harbour then he would follow.” David Nathan was one of the first Jews to move to the shores of the Waitematā Harbour, where in 1841, Captain William Hobson announced the new capital of New Zealand was to be built.

read more
The Post-1893 Political Environment for Auckland Women

The Post-1893 Political Environment for Auckland Women

by Saana Judd*
In 1893, women in New Zealand won the right to vote in parliamentary elections. During this time, the social, political, and economic environment for women was undergoing a period of great change. The end of the nineteenth-century saw women begin to attend university in greater numbers and enter the workforce more fully.

read more

2022 AHI Symposium and Annual Lecture

We warmly invite you to join us for the AHI Symposium and Annual Lecture for 2022. This year the Symposium will be a platform to celebrate the work of our students and the exciting topics they chose to examine for their 2021-22 Summer Scholarships. In a series of four couplet panels, an AHI student will partner with a senior historian to explore the diverse stories of Tāmaki Makaurau.

Afternoon tea will be served in Old Government House between 4.30-5.30pm.

The 2022 Annual Lecture will be given by Professor Michael Belgrave. His talk is titled:

“Disputing Tamaki: Turning whakapapa into History – Chief Judge Fenton’s inquiries into the Ōrakei Block, 1867 to 1869”


Thursday, 17 November


Old Government House Lecture Theatre

Waipapa Taumata Rau, The University of Auckland

Sacrifice, duty and blue space in Onehunga: exploring a mid-20th century memorial swimscape

Sacrifice, duty and blue space in Onehunga: exploring a mid-20th century memorial swimscape

by Gretel Boswijk*
The outdoor swimming season has come to an end (except for those hardy folk who sea swim all year round) and ANZAC day 2022 has just passed by, with ceremonies held at war memorials around the country. What is the link between these two points? In the 20th century, and particularly after World War II (WWII), at least 16 swimming pools were constructed or vested with a memorial purpose often signified by entrance gates bearing a roll of honour or inscription.