Public History Talk: An overview of New Zealand’s radical right tradition

Wednesday 5 July 2023, 12:10pm to 1pm

Taiwhanga Kauhau — Auditorium, (lower ground) National Library Wellington. Entrance on Aitken Stree or on Zoom.

Historian Matthew Cunningham explores some of the many threads of New Zealand’s diverse radical right tradition, including early discrimination against Chinese immigrants and the more recent rise of identitarianism and the alt-right.

Histories of Hate

In the recently published book, Histories of Hate, editors Matthew Cunningham, Marinus La Rooij and Paul Spoonley have brought together experts from multiple disciplines to explore intolerance and extremism in Aotearoa New Zealand, from the precursors of the radical right during British settlement in the late nineteenth century to today’s QAnon conspiracists and keyboard warriors.

The radical right

In seeking to understand the Christchurch terrorist attacks of March 2019, several commentators observed the similarities with the murder of an elderly Chinese man named Joe Kum Yung by Lionel Terry in 1905.

In this talk, Matthew Cunningham explores some of the many threads of New Zealand’s diverse radical right tradition between the murder of Joe Kum Yung and the rise of identitarianism and the alt-right. He suggests that the radical right is a diverse mix of ideas, ideologues, organisations, social clubs and political parties animated by different combinations of ideas in different ways and at different times.

Matthew Cunningham is an independent historian residing in Wellington, New Zealand. He has a diverse publication history, including books, edited collections, oral histories, peer-reviewed journal articles, Waitangi Tribunal commissioned research reports, Marine and Coastal Area reports, public history articles, and journalistic and general interest pieces. He is also a published children’s author.

More information can be found here.