Margaret Tennant is Honorary Research Professor in the School of Humanities at Massey University, Palmerston North. She is the recipient of awards and fellowships that acknowledge her work on the history of social welfare.
Her main research interests are in women's history and the history of health and social policy. Her publications have included such topics as deaconesses and church social work; gender, ethnicity and notions of ‘disadvantage’ in constructing New Zealand childhood; and historical conceptions of the relationship between government and voluntary sector welfare. She has participated in a team researching the dimensions of New Zealand’s non-profit sector for the Johns Hopkins Comparative Nonprofit Sector Project.
The Fabric of Welfare: Voluntary Organisations, Government, and Welfare in New Zealand, 1840–2005 (Bridget Williams Books, 2007)
Past Judgement: Social Policy in New Zealand History, co-edited with Bronwyn Dalley (Otago University Press, 2004)
Through the Prison Gate: 125 Years of Prisoners’ Aid and Rehabilitation (Prisoners’ Aid and Rehabilitation Society, 2003)
Children’s Health, the Nation's Wealth: A History of Children's Health Camps (Bridget Williams Books/Historical Branch, N.Z. Department of Internal Affairs, 1994)
Women in History 2: Essays on Women in New Zealand, co-edited with Barbara Brookes and Charlotte Macdonald (Allen & Unwin, 1992)
Paupers and Providers. Charitable Aid in New Zealand (Allen and Unwin/Historical Branch, Department of Internal Affairs, 1989)
Women in History: Essays on European Women in New Zealand, co-edited with Barbara Brookes and Charlotte Macdonald (Allen & Unwin, 1986)