Janine Irvine

I have worked as an independent and commissioned family and community history writer since 2010 and had the privilege of working alongside several individuals, families and communities to help research, write and publish their stories and accounts, including Rakaia: Our History; Eyes turned skyward – Air Commodore “Nugget” Cohen’s and The pioneer story of the Roose family (Pukekohe).


I am a life writer interested in the practices and forms of writing community stories, with a focus on the stories of people and their connection to local places and each other. My doctoral research examined local history books, reimagining them as collaborative life writing, and contemplated the ethics and forms of life writing in the books and their production when they are appreciated as a kind of autobiography of a place.

In addition, I participate in research projects within the humanities and social sciences that use life narrative or oral history in their methodology, such Home, Community and Belonging in Northcote, as part of the ‘Capturing the Diversity Dividend of Aotearoa/New Zealand Project’ (Massey University).