Sandra Gorter


Sandra is a professional historian whose works include books and articles published in the fields of maritime, company and social history.

Supported by documented, archival and photographic material, the essential humanity at the base of historical change is the distinguishing feature of any of her works.

Her published career began with a technical manual, a canoeing and kayaking guide to the rivers of Tasmania. The format of the book is so clear, concise, and successful in conveying its information, that the title and information in it, updated in places, is still the basis for the Paddle Tasmania website.

Three histories followed, each providing an account of iconic boats that helped carve a nation’s world-beating yacht-racing history from the seas of New Zealand. These boats, Ranger, Fidelis and Scout were trail-blazing pioneers, and the books are detailed accounts of the boats, their skippers, and the crews that set a nation on the path that has led to the pinnacle of international yacht racing.

Later works include a history of the civil construction industry in New Zealand, detailing the scale of the impact neo-liberal politics have had on work practice and the tremendous rise in the cost of civil construction. Supported by first-hand accounts from both those working in the field and in the office, backed by a rich array of documented and archives and photos of work practice this is a uniquely detailed company history.

Local history of the Clevedon Valley as related by members of the Murray family was project managed through to publication for the Clevedon Historical Society, providing a continuous account of one family’s experience of emigration from the Clyde in Scotland in 1864, through settlement, farming, war, and life in the 20th century through to 2007.

Published works include:

HEB Construction – a company that helped build New Zealand
Ranger, the Making of a New Zealand Yachting Legend
Scout, 100 Years Astern
Fidelis, 50 Years of the Ocean GreyhoundPaddle About Tasmania, a canoeing guide to the rivers of Tasmania
Editing and project management local history:
The Murray Memoirs

Articles published in a range of national and international periodicals and newspapers including: New Zealand Professional Skipper, Classic Boat UK, Wooden Boat USA, Sailfast, Boating New Zealand, New Zealand’s Boating World, Classic Yacht Quarterly, New Zealand Aquaculture magazine, the New Zealand Herald, New Zealand Sheep Farmer, Cessna Owner, Adis Press, Medical publishers and others

Peer reviewed: Gorter S, Working in the Dirt, Circa Issue 6 2018, p10-17

You can contact me at:


  • Oral history
  • Project management
  • Property searches
  • Records management
  • Research
  • Writing


  • Biography
  • Business
  • Family
  • Health and medical
  • Local
  • Maritime
  • Science