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Devastating impact of the Waikato War revisited

22 September 2014

Devastating impact of the Waikato War revisited by leading historian

At a time of great focus on World War One, a new book by prominent historian Dr Vincent O’Malley draws startling comparisons with the Waikato War of 1863–64. Taking a new approach to analysing evidence on the war, O’Malley’s book challenges previous assumptions made about casualties suffered by the Waikato tribes.

‘This new approach to estimating casualty figures suggests that the scale of the losses suffered by the Waikato tribes was much greater than previously thought,’ says O’Malley. ‘Indeed there is every indication that the numbers killed and wounded may have exceeded those sustained by New Zealand troops during World War One in per capita terms.’

‘These estimates can, of course, be debated but it is clear from Census data that overall Māori losses in the Waikato War were horrendous.’

O’Malley’s essay on the Waikato War is one of thirteen featured in Beyond the Imperial Frontier, published by Bridget Williams Books, which reflect on early encounters between Māori and Pākehā, giving an insight into the different ways the two ‘fronted’ one another across the nineteenth century.

Beyond the Imperial Frontier: The Contest for Colonial New Zealand will be launched by Bridget Williams Books on 24 September 2014 at Victoria University. Prior to the launch Dr O’Malley will deliver a lecture on ‘The Waikato War: Myth, History and the “Art of Forgetting”’. O’Malley is continuing his research into the Waikato War and this will result in a major new publication with Bridget Williams Books in 2015.

5.30pm, Wednesday 24 September
Vic Books, Victoria University
1 Kelburn Parade, Wellington

JD Stout Lecture:
‘The Waikato War: Myth, History and the “Art of Forgetting”’
4.10pm, Wednesday 24 September
McLaurin Lecture Theatre 103, Victoria University

Publication: 24 September
RRP: $49.99 (print)
RRP: $20.00 (e-book)

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