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Leading historian Keith Sorrenson’s book launch tomorrow

Leading historian Keith Sorrenson’s book launch tomorrow night

Professor Keith Sorrenson’s latest book, Ko te Whenua te Utu/Land is the Price, will be celebrated at the Gus Fisher Gallery tomorrow night.

Professor Sorrenson is one of New Zealand’s leading historians. He has studied the history of Maori and Pākehā in New Zealand for more than half a century. In Ko te Whenua te Utu/Land is the Price, Sorrenson brings together his writing from the last 56 years into a collection of powerful essays about Maori history, land and politics and Pākehā ideas about those origins. His book covers the land purchases and the King Movement of the nineteenth century, and on to twentieth-century politics and the new history of the Waitangi Tribunal.

Throughout his career, Professor Sorrenson has been concerned with the international context of New Zealand history while also attempting to understand and explain Māori conceptions and Pākehā ideas from the inside. He has been determined to tell the real story of Māori losses of land and their political responses as, in the face of Pākehā colonisation, they became a minority in their own country. Ko te Whenua te Utu / Land is the Price is a powerful history of Māori and Pākehā in New Zealand.

Now a Professor Emeritus in the University of Auckland’s Department of History, Professor Sorrenson will speak at the event, along with the department’s Professor Linda Bryder.

Professor Sorrenson was born in Upper Papamoa in 1932. He is a descendant on his mother’s side of Pukenga, Wairaka and Toroa of Mataatua. He began as a junior lecturer in the University of Auckland history department in 1958. He then completed a DPhil at Oxford and further research in East Africa, before returning to Auckland in 1964. He became a professor of history in 1968 and retired in 1995, after three stints as Head of Department.

He was president of CARE (Citizens Association for Racial Equality) in the 1970s, a council member of the NZ Historic Places Trust from 1973 to 1984 and was a leading member of the Waitangi Tribunal from 1986 to 2002.

Professor Sorrenson is the author of several books, including Maori and European Since 1870, Separate and Unequal: Cultural Interaction in South Africa 1919-1961, Maori Origins and Migrations and Na To Hoa Aroha – the edited correspondence between Sir Āpirana Ngata and Sir Peter Buck from 1925 to 1950, as well as numerous scholarly articles.

Ko te Whenua te Utu/Land is the Price will be launched at the Gus Fisher Gallery, 74 Shortland Street onThursday 22 May at 5.30pm.


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