Our members

Professional Historians’ Association of New Zealand/Aotearoa members are skilled historians who research and present history to professional standards.

You can find out more about our members and contact them using the search functions below.

What do our members do?

Historians do specialised work, drawing on material from wide ranging sources such as government archives, libraries, newspapers and company records, or from collections of oral histories and image collections. They have expertise in collating and interpreting information, and presenting this in an engaging and informative format tailored for the intended audience. Presentation takes many forms, including: books, exhibitions, oral histories, heritage assessments, content for television programmes, and online histories.

Our members work with a wide range of organisations and other professionals, such as government agencies, archivists, archaeologists, anthropologists, architects, planners, lawyers and companies.

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  • Wellington
    Maori history, labour, race relations, science, conservation

    Currently working as a freelance researcher, as of July 2014, having spent three years working as a writer on Te Ara the encyclopedia of NZ. Also working on a biography of early 20th cent labour activist Pat Hickey.

    Learning te reo Maori. Formerly worked for Waitangi Tribunal and for DOC.

    Committee member of the Labour History Project, a group dedicated to studying the history of NZ's working people. The LHP is not affiliated to any political party.

    Studied history at University of Otago- BA hons, PhD. Thesis was on the history of the 'Moriori Myth' - the idea of a pre-Maori population in NZ.

    Previously studied Zoology and Ecology at Canterbury and Auckland Univeristies.

    Originally from Nelson, from a family of mechanics in Stoke.

    I am a Pakeha of English, Anglo-Irish and Welsh descent.

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  • Auckland
    Women's academic and professional lives; history of Catholic education
  • Wellington
    NZ defence, industrial, institutional, heritage, Mt Cook

    I live in Wellington, where the archives are. This is my parentage: Geoff Cooke and Patricia Cooke (nee Lett). Of stout Worcestershire farming stock, Geoff Cooke’s people moved to Kenya in the 1920s. He served in WWII with the Northamptonshire Regt on the Rhine and Military Police in Dusseldorf. Back in Kenya Geoff organised the Embu Guard during the Mau Mau before becoming District Officer, Kikuyu. Patricia Lett was born to William Lett OBE (for his WWII role in Customs & Excise in Northern Ireland). After 6 years in theatre in London Patricia joined the British Army and, commissioned a lieutenant in the WRAC, served in GHQ Nairobi during the Mau Mau. She subsequently had a career in NZ education, theatre and Shakespeare. I was born in Cambridge, UK, 1958 and nurtured in Kenya, then after seven years, Tauranga, NZ. I read history at Massey University, completing a BA and BA Hons with a dissertation on ‘NZ Defence Policy 1919-41’. My current role is as a self-employed historian. Carol Comber and I have two children. For profiles see Phanzine, March 2002; With a Passion (Fitzsimons & Beckford, 2001); Shell Oceania, July 2002, Dec 2004 Contact 0274 512 312 Box 9724, Wellington 6141, NZ

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  • Lower North Island
    Nineteenth-century New Zealand Colonial furniture, cabinetmaking, restoration and conservation of furniture, colonial interior decoration and paint treatments, traditional construction methods in timber, identification of nineteenth hardware particularly handles, locks, screws nails ans hinges, specialist in nineteenth century design and furniture history, colonial printing and early photography.
    Career in broadcasting - RNZ, TVNZ, ITN (London). London-trained antique restorer 16th-19th century furniture. Collector of colonial-made furniture and printed material. Author and research historian. PhD Art History Montana Award Best Reference and Anthology 2007 Winner NZ SOciety of Authors Best First Non-Fiction 2007 Read full profile
  • Wellington
    I specialise in architectural and social history, and work particularly on heritage buildings, conservation plans and management plans. I also specialise in heritage policy. I also carry out oral history projects. See my website www.bayheritage.co.nz for more information.

    Please see my website for more information: www.bayheritage.co.nz

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  • Wellington
    Maori history, transnational history, 19th century New Zealand history, local history, documentary film making
  • Wellington
  • West Coast
    Buller and West Coast region, Sport, Mining
  • Northland
    welfare, culture, crime, public uses of history, reenactment

    Kia ora

    I've been a public historian since 1993. I worked in the government's historical section from 1993 until 2011.


    As a public historian, I've published on welfare, photographs, general NZ history, crime and gender, and also the development of public history in NZ. I was also involved in the development of the best history website in NZ, www.NZhistory.net.nz.

    I am currently working on how history is used in and by the public, and some very long-term work on sex and the city (focusing mainly on crime and stories about that).


    I have been a member of PHANZA since its founding (before, actually, being part of the pre-PHANZA organising group), was its founding President and done various other roles in the organisation.

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  • Wellington
    Air Force, social, gardening, women's
  • Auckland
    local, agriculture, arts
    I am now visually impaired. Work only on selected assignments Read full profile
  • Wellington
    labour, Treaty, cultural history
  • Wellington
    Oral History, Biography, Maori History, Public History
  • Otago
    Biography, Social History, Education, Dunedin, Otago, Southland

    I am a Dunedin-based journalist, writer and historian but tend to travel to where the work takes me. I have an M.A. in history from Otago University and a Diploma in Journalism from Canterbury University. I am the author of 26 books, most on New Zealand history, and have edited several non-fiction books. I also have an extensive background in journalism and my articles and photographs have been published in various books, magazines and newspapers. I am always looking for interesting new projects, large and small, on which to work.

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  • Wellington
    Kapiti Horowhenua Wellington

    I grew up in Balclutha, but gained MA (Hons) at University of Auckland. Until retirement I was a secondary school history teacher, and my first two books were social studies texts. During twelve years at Levin I became absorbed in the region's history, helped to found Horowhenua Historical Society and wrote a county history that won the James Sherrard Award for local history.

    Moving to Wellington I was a committee member of NOHANZ and served for some years on the regional committee of Historic Places Trust. 1986 was spent mainly at Stout Research Centre, VUW, supported by a Claude McCarthy Fellowship. This allowed me to work through the diary, map and photograph collections of Leslie Adkin as a basis for his biography (1997).

    From 1996 to 2010 I edited the Otaki Historical Society's annual journal has been an exploration of how local actions reflect national concerns, a theme that guided my history of Levin (2006).

    Main activity now is Chair of the Paekakariki Station Museum, with its stories of Maori, community growth, US Marines and railways.

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  • Auckland
    Auckland local history, 20th social history, medicine, public health
  • Wellington
    economics, statistics, public policy

    I am writing a history of New Zealand from an economic perspective. As the 2008 Stout Research Fellow, I am working on the 1769 to 1882 period.

    My webpage is www.eastonbh.ac.nz

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  • Southland
    Heritage Management, Conservation and Research
  • Canterbury
    New Zealand Art 1850 - 2017 (all aspects) and New Zealand history (cultural and social)
    Dr. Warren Feeney has written on the visual arts for more than 25 years and has an interest in all aspects of the arts and New Zealand’s social and cultural histories. He completed his PhD on the history of the Canterbury Society of Arts (1880 – 1996) at the University of Otago in 2009, publishing a history of the arts in Christchurch (1880 – 2005) through Canterbury University Press in 2010. He contributes regularly to the Press and www.eyecontactsite.com, and to arts publications such as World Sculpture News, Asian Art News, Art News and the Listener. Other publications include Marcus King. Painting New Zealand for the World, a biography of artist and graphic designer Marcus King (1891 – 1984) co-authored with Peter Alsop and published by Potton & Burton in 2015. Warren is a full-time free lance historian, writer and arts commentator and is currently researching and writing on the visual arts in Christchurch 1995 – 2017. Read full profile
  • Auckland
    History of medicine, public health, imperial science, agricultural science, food.
  • Auckland
    Auckland 19th and 20th century, archival research, property and land history, military service records
  • Wellington
  • Canterbury
    Heritage; Museums; Televisual Histories
  • Auckland
    Oral history, maritime, yacht racing, social history, local history, the Construction Industry
    Sandra Gorter (MA Hons English): freelance writer and historian, trained at the London School of Journalism and the University of Auckland. Sandra was elected Auckland representative to the PHANZA committee in 2014. Her work in maritime history and on a wide range of topics is distinctive for its personal accounts of the subject through the use of oral histories, and has been published in books, national and international periodicals, and newspapers. Her most recent project, a four-year study of New Zealand's civil construction industry focussing on the company HEB Construction, is due to be published in late 2016. Read full profile
  • Canterbury
    Charities and related taxation and legal issues.
  • Wellington
    editing, politics, race relations, sport

    I've been a historical researcher, writer, editor and indexer, mostly in the Historical Branch / History Group of the Department of Internal Affairs / Ministry for Culture and Heritage, since 1983. I currently work mainly on the Te Ara and NZhistory websites.

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  • East Coast
    Gisborne and the East Coast

    I was born in Auckland but, after 33 years living around the wider Eastland district, call Gisborne my home. I drew on over 12 years in journalism and a degree in English to establish GEMS Communications in early 1997. I was a reporter for The Opotiki News for two years before becoming sub-editor and senior journalist at The Gisborne Herald for 10. I have specialised in meeting the communications needs of a variety of clients ranging from Gisborne District Council and Te Runanga o Ngati Porou to the Ministry of Fisheries and the Seafood Industry Council.

    My business includes providing proofing and editing services, report writing workshops, communications strategies, company profiles, consultation documents, annual reports, newsletters, reports and policy documents, media releases, brochures, websites and magazine articles. Writing local history is an add-on to this.


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  • Horowhenua
    museums, women's and domestic history
  • Auckland
    Medical history, especially mental heath history, gender, social history of clothing, museums.
    My qualifications are:

    BA English and History (Waikato)BA Hons History (Waikato)

    Masters of Museum and Heritage Studies (Victoria University of Wellington)

    I am currently Heritage Researcher in the Heritage Unit at Auckland Council. I have previously worked as Project Curator History at Auckland War Memorial Museum, Curator Human History at Canterbury Museum and as a researcher at Te Ara - Encyclopedia of New Zealand. I have an interest in medical history, especially mental health history, and the social history of clothing. Read full profile

  • Wellington
    nature, conservation