Lucy Mackintosh’s Shifting Grounds: Deep Histories of Tāmaki Makaurau Auckland receives continued recognition

Earlier this month Lucy Mackintosh was highly commended in the inaugural Public Environmental History Prize of Australian and Aotearoa New Zealand Environmental History Network. The judges citation can be read below:

Deep Histories of Auckland
Lucy Mackintosh’s important book, Shifting Grounds: Deep Histories of Tāmaki Makaurau Auckland researches the deep history of three sites in present-day Auckland, linking history with archaeology. She demonstrates not only what was present there at various times in the past but how and why these earlier material histories were overlaid or destroyed physically and culturally. Mackintosh demonstrates a long history of Māori cultivation and management of rich volcanic lands, despite later European difficulty in using these areas as pastoral or agricultural land (when applying inappropriate technology and techniques such as ploughing). She shows that many of these Māori cultivation sites were not fortified, despite this fiction being used not only to justify eviction and confiscation of land but wider colonial control. Identifying and explaining this physical and narrative erasure are major contributions to an understanding of the interactions of the human and physical world of Auckland, before and after colonisation. Continuing her recognition of Auckland’s complex post-colonial intercultural relations, she considers the role of Chinese market gardeners and overseas markets outside the United Kingdom. These achievements mean that her beautifully produced book (thanks once again to Bridget Williams Books) is the best history of Auckland so far published. It is also the deepest history of any part of Aotearoa written by an environmental historian rather than a geologist or archaeologist. Mackintosh engages with many publics, including the Māori communities most closely associated with the three sites considered, demonstrating their sustained interactions with Europeans. She has used a range of communications media to reach the widest multicultural audiences of Aotearoa New Zealand. She has been a co-curator of the important exhibitions of Auckland Museum, and organised the large conference which included contributions from international speakers. Her Radio NZ interviews, now online, have been widely heard, especially those in 2019 when she spoke to support Māori demonstrations of their ownership of Ihumātao.

Shifting Grounds: Deep Histories of Tāmaki Makaurau Auckland was also recently shortlisted for the Penguin Random House New Zealand Award for Best Illustrated Book at the 2022 PANZ Book Design Awards

Congratulations Lucy Mackintosh for the ongoing recognition of your work!

More information about the Public Environmental History Prize can be found here.

The prize is in recognition of the value of environmental history research and its communication to audiences in varied forms. The Australian and Aotearoa New Zealand Environmental History Network has established two prizes: the Public Environmental History Prize and the Environmental History Book Prize. These prizes aim to reward and encourage excellence in the field. Each will be awarded biennially in consecutive years. The winners will be announced during the annual ‘Green Stream’ conference session at the Australian Historical Association Conference. The prize winners will receive a citation and will be invited to deliver the Network’s annual Environmental History Lecture held online.

The AANZEHN will make a call for entries to its 2023 Environmental History Book Prize towards the end of 2022.