Mark Derby


I have more than 30 years’ experience as a professional historian and writer, initially as a researcher for film and TV in this country and overseas. I then worked for the Waitangi Tribunal and Te Ara – the online encyclopedia of NZ.

Since 2014 I have been a freelance historical researcher, writing many reports for both public sector clients such as Te Arawhiti and the Crown Forestry Rental Trust, and others such as the New Plymouth Anglican Cathedral and hapū groups.

I have written eight or so books for a general readership, including a history of Auckland’s Mt Eden Prison which won the 2021 NZ Literary Heritage Award for non-fiction. My writing has been published in several countries and in Māori, French and Spanish.


  • Expert witness
  • Research
  • Te Reo Māori
  • Treaty research
  • Writing


  • Biography
  • Iwi and hapū
  • Labour
  • Politics