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Olympics, weeds and flying Kiwis win funding

Media release
23 January 2008

Olympics, weeds and flying Kiwis win History Award funding

A century of New Zealand participation in the Olympic Games and the intriguing story of New Zealanders and their weeds are among 11 historical projects to receive a total of $100,000 from the New Zealand History Research Trust Fund in the 2008 Awards in History.

Well-known sports writer Joseph Romanos receives the major award of $25,000 to complete a history of New Zealand’s Olympic century, to be published before this year’s Beijing Games.

Other big awards for 2008 include Alison Clarke’s history of childbirth rituals in 19th century New Zealand and Jude Wilson’s ‘Flight of the Kiwi: The History of the ‘OE’ ‘.

The Awards in History provide financial assistance for research projects that will significantly enhance the understanding of New Zealand's past.

Since the inaugural awards in 1990, 223 projects have received funding. The home-grown topics range from spies and revolutionaries to war brides and air hostesses, iwi histories and Māori rugby league to punk culture and Crown Lynn crockery.

Biography remains a popular field in 2008, with profiles of the influential nutritionist Dr Muriel Bell and Wairarapa identity Charles Daniell receiving funding. Once completed, these works will join those of past recipients who have profiled fascinating individuals from Abel Tasman to Kate Sheppard, Colin McCahon and Douglas Lilburn.

The successful applicants for 2008 are:

- Diana Brown (Dunedin), A Biography of Dr Muriel Bell – $8000
- Alison Clarke (Dunedin), Childbirth Rituals in 19th Century New Zealand – $10,000
- Neil Clayton (Dunedin), Over the Hedge: A History of New Zealanders and their Weeds – $10,000
- William Cottrell (Darfield, Canterbury), ‘New New Zealand’: Domestic Interiors 1840 to 1910 – $10,000
- Joseph Romanos (Wellington), Our Olympic Century: New Zealand’s First 100 Years at the Olympic Games – $25,000
- Suzanne Scheele (Christchurch), An Economic and Social History of the New Zealand Flax Fibre Industry – $6500
- Tim Shoebridge (Wellington), The Good Citizen: A Life of C.E. Daniell – $4000
- Lynette Shum (Porirua), Representing Chinatown: Wellington’s Haining Street 1920–60 – $5000
- Jude Wilson (Lincoln, Canterbury), Flight of the Kiwi: The History of the OE – $10,000
- Bernard Wood (Porirua), Maori Rugby League 1908–2007 – $5500
- Matthew Wright (Lower Hutt), Old South: A History of the South Island to 1890 – $6000

The Awards in History are made annually by the New Zealand History Research Trust Fund, and are administered by the Ministry for Culture and Heritage.

The funding can be used for a variety of purposes such as enabling historians to work full-time on a project, or to pay for research, writing and travel costs.

Applications for Awards for 2009 close on 15 October 2008. Further information and application forms are available online at:


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