Eileen Barrett-Whitehead

Primary fields

Region Wellington
About Me

My somewhat varied career began many years ago at the National Lending Library for Science and Technology in the UK, where I worked for a time as a qualified librarian. That was followed by a couple of years in the Pacific as a British volunteer (VSO). It was there that I met my first husband, who happened to be a New Zealander, and the rest, as they say, is history - in my case, fairly literally so! Further study at Massey led to an MA(Hons) in History and I found employment at the Crown Forestry Rental Trust as a Research Assistant. From there I moved to the Waitangi Tribunal where I remained for over 10 years, working first as a researcher and then as a report writer. I still maintain a link with the Tribunal and its work but now operate on a free-lance basis.

My experience of living in a number of different countries has translated into an ongoing fascination with the interface between cultures - be it French migrant communities living in London in the Early Modern period (my early interest) or Māori and Pākehā interactions in New Zealand. Work opportunities in Wellington as well as a growing interest in Māori history have led me to focus on the latter in recent times.

Specialities Māori, Treaty
Publications and Research

The research I have done at the Tribunal has been issued in unpublished evidential reports, for specific Tribunal inquiries. My more recent work has contributed to published reports that are issued as the findings of the Tribunal panel concerned.

Prior to becoming involved in Treaty work, I researched and wrote on Huguenot issues including:

  • ‘Factors working for and against Huguenot integration in late-17th and mid-18th century London: insights from the records of the French church of London and some relief agencies of the period' [Conference paper - published in From strangers to citizens: integration of immigrant communities in Great Britain, Ireland and the Colonies, 1550-1750, proceedings of a conference held in London, 5-7 April 2000]
  • ‘Regulating moral and social behaviour in the French Church of London, 1680-1689' in Proceedings of the Huguenot Society Vol.XXVII No.2 (1999)