Auckland History Initiative Annual Symposium

The Auckland History Initiative (AHI) is pleased to announce that it is hosting its second annual symposium and public lecture on 24 April 2020.

This year’s symposium will include a keynote address by Professor Anne O’Brien (University of New South Wales), a series of panel discussions showcasing recent scholarship on the history of Auckland and a presentation by Phanzine editor Margaret Tennant, Honorary Research Professor at Massey University, exploring the writing of local history. The panels will feature the work of scholars from the School of Architecture, Summer Research Scholars at the University of Auckland, and the perspectives of professional historians engaged with researching and writing Auckland history.

The AHI public lecture 2020, “Tracing Chinese Footprints in Auckland”, will be presented by Professor Emeritus Manying Ip CNZM, FRSNZ.

At a time when the global threat of COVID-19 (Aka Wuhan Coronavirus) is sweeping round many countries, here 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.

For more information on both events, please visit the AHI website:

Register for the Symposium here:

Register for the Public Lecture here:

Symposium: Friday 24 April 2020, 9am-4pm

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

AHI Public Lecture 2020: Friday 24 April 2020, 6 – 7.30pm

Location: Engineering Lecture Theatre 439 (401-439), Faculty of Engineering, Building 401, 20 Symonds Street, Auckland, 1010

This will be followed by a reception in the Neon Foyer outside the lecture theatre.