2020 AHI Annual Symposium

Please note the new date – the AHI 2020 Symposium has been rescheduled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Auckland History Initiative (AHI) is pleased to announce its second Annual Symposium to be held at the Waipapa Marae, the University of Auckland, 27 November 2020, followed by an evening lecture and function.

Further details of the day’s programme will be annouced over the coming months. We look forward to seeing you there.

Date and time: Friday 27 November, 2020, 9am-4pm NZST

Location: Waipapa Marae, 16 Wynard Street, Auckland, 1010


2020 AHI Public Lecture

Please note the new date – the AHI 2020 Public Lecture has been rescheduled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The second Auckland History Initiative Annual Lecture will be hosted at the University of Auckland, following the AHI Symposium. All are welcome and there will be a reception after the lecture.

Date and time: Friday 27 November, 2020, 6-7.30pm NZST

Location: Engineering Lecture Theatre 439 and reception at the Neon Foyer, Engineering School, Building 401, 20 Symonds Street, Auckland, 1010

Professor Emeritus Manying Ip CNZM, FRSNZ will speak on:

“Tracing Chinese Footprints in Auckland”

When the global threat of COVID-19 (Aka Wuhan Coronavirus) is sweeping round many countries, in New Zealand we have witnessed various incidents where Chinese people are targeted as carriers of the deadly virus and suffered different degrees of abuse.  Seeing the Chinese as contaminants and spreaders of disease has a long history in New Zealand.  From the 1850s the popular press carried editorials, poems and pseudo-scientific treatises identifying the Chinese as unhygienic harbingers of ‘hideous diseases’ like smallpox and leprosy.

This lecture will trace the Chinese footprints in Auckland from the 19th century onwards.  Neglected and overlooked by mainstream New Zealand, the Auckland Chinese had always played active roles in many sectors of the Queen City from its earliest days.  Longstanding Chinese businesses like those of the Ah Chees and the Wong Doos occupied prominent sites around Queen Street and Hobson Street. These, together with numerous fruitshops, laundries, eateries and merchandise shops in suburbs ranging from Mt Albert, Mt Roskill, to Pitt Street and K Road in the City Centre, wove a rich Chinese element into Auckland’s cultural fabric. Chinese market gardeners were responsible for providing fresh produce to the Auckland population, and from 1900s onwards, their gardens ranged from Grey Lynn to Western Springs to Carlaw Park in the modern CBD.

Professor Emeritus Manying Ip CNZM, FRSNZ is Professor Emeritus at the School of Asian Studies, University of Auckland, New Zealand. Her publications include nine much acclaimed books and more than 30 chapters and articles. She is a respected advocate for the New Zealand Chinese community and public commentator on Asian issues.

Auckland City Centenaryfilm and panel discussion 

Join a panel of historians from the University of Auckland to discuss stories of Tāmaki Makaurau with a chance to socialise in Old Government House afterwards. Registration required.

October 18, 2019

4-5.30pm and drinks to 7pm (if registered)

Old Government House, the University of Auckland, Auckland CBD, Auckland 1010

An Auckland History Initiative event: The NZ On Screen documentary Auckland City Centenary –Last, Loneliest, Loveliest celebrates Auckland City which was established in 1871. The opening and closing scenes picture the Waitematā harbour – water being integral in weaving the stories of Tāmaki Makaurau and the journeys its people have made. Far from being a classic depiction of progress, the film presents a sobering account of Auckland’s history and a disparaging forecast for the future. This thought-provoking documentary will be screened and followed by a discussion led by a panel of historians from the University of Auckland. The film poses the question: does Auckland have a soul? Our collective identity will be one of many big questions explored in this panel along with ideas related to the City’s cultural diversity and relationship with the environment.

2019 AHI Annual Symposium

On 15 April 2019, the AHI hosted its inaugural Symposium at the Waipapa Marae, the University of Auckland. The day included a keynote address from Professor Grace Karskens of the University of New South Wales, presentations from leading Auckland historians and a series of panels in the afternoon that featured the 2019 Summer Research Scholars. View the 2019 AHI Symposium Programme.

Ngā mihi to all that attended and were involved in the discussions around Auckland’s past. Below is a collection of highlights from the day.

Grace Karskens

Grace Karskens

Going Public: Historians, Public History and the Power of Place Abstract What is the role of historians in public history? Are they revered experts and instigators? Equal collaborators? Or do they just provide the ‘colourful’ stories in public history projects?...

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Ben Schrader

Ben Schrader

Government House: The first ‘Auckland’ building? Ben Schrader The Maoriland period (1890-1910s) was the genesis of New Zealand cultural nationalism. Recent research on Maoriland cultural production and consumption – in literature and the wider arts – has shown how...

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Charlotte MacDonald

Charlotte MacDonald

Glitter and Gore: Auckland’s origins as a garrison town Charlotte Macdonald Amongst the first and most consistent European presence in colonial Auckland were redcoat soldiers of British regiments sent as part of the Governor’s retinue; as a fighting force in the...

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Hazel Petrie

Hazel Petrie

Black Fellows and White Chinamen: Chinese, Indian, Lebanese, & Dalmatians arrive in Auckland, c1890-1920s Hazel Petrie Abstract New Zealand’s earliest non-Polynesian immigrants were largely British.  From 1840, their numbers grew exponentially until, by about...

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