Beyond the Imperial Frontier

Beyond the Imperial Frontier

The Contest for Colonial New Zealand

Out of stock, but available as an ebook.

Marianne Williams recorded that soon after her arrival in New Zealand she was greeted by three young Māori girls who had welcomed her with ‘How do you do Ma’m’ in English, in answer to her own greeting of ‘Tena ra koe’.

Frontiers in colonial New Zealand were not simply lines on maps, but zones of contact and encounter. Beyond the Imperial Frontier explores these zones to discover the different ways Māori and Pākehā ‘fronted’ one another across the nineteenth century. Beginning with a pre-1840 era marked by significant cooperation, Vincent O’Malley details the emergence of a more competitive and conflicted post-Treaty world. As a collected work, these essays also chart the development of a leading New Zealand historian.

Available in paperback and ebook formats from booksellers and using the ‘Buy’ buttons on this page. For more information on these purchase options please visit our Sales FAQs page or contact us.

Table of contents

A Note on the Essays

1. Frontier Histories: An Introduction
2. Cultural Encounter on the New Zealand Frontier: The Meeting of Māori and Pākehā before 1840
3. Manufacturing Chiefly Consent?: James Busby and the Role of Rangatira in the Early Colonial Era
4. Beyond Waitangi: Post-1840 Agreements between Māori and the Crown
5. English Law and the Māori Response: A Case Study from Grey’s New Institutions in Northland
6. Reinventing Tribal Mechanisms of Governance: The Emergence of Māori Rūnanga and Komiti in New Zealand before 1900
7. Te Riri ki Waikato: The Invasion of Waikato and Its Aftermath
8. The New Zealand Settlements Act 1863 in Wider Context: Local and International Precedents for Land Confiscation
9. The East Coast Petroleum Wars: Raupatu and the Politics of Oil in 1860s New Zealand
10. Frontier Justice?: The Trial and Execution of Kereopa Te Rau
11. Reconsidering the Origins of the Native Land Court: Neo-Revisionist Challenges to Orthodox Interpretations
12. The Curious Case of Tiritiri Matangi Island: Terra Nullius New Zealand-style?
13. ‘A Living Thing’: The Whakakotahitanga Flagstaff and Its Place in New Zealand History

Print publication:
Ebook publication: Dec 2015
Pages: 284
RRP: $49.99
ISBN: 9781927277539
ISTC: A022014000005561
DOI: 10.7810/9781927277539

Search inside


'Historical amnesia over New Zealand's own wars', Vincent O'Malley's op-ed on

'Let's not be selective about the history we remember', Vincent O'Malley on ONE News Q&A, Sunday 19 April

'Waikato War ended bicultural dream', Waatea News


'Microstudies such as [O'Malley's] ensure that history is not reduced to an easily-digested mess of pottage.' Hazel Petrie, Journal of the Polynesian Society, December 2015

‘Vincent O’Malley has long been an advocate for Māori claims to the Waitangi Tribunal. That he is a historian whose work is immediately and practically useful is hugely to his credit. … He is well informed and well intentioned, and to journey with him is exciting; the game bag fills fast, and the sights along the way are enthralling.’ Craig Wilcox, Australian Historical Studies, August 2015

‘O’Malley is able to range widely across time and topic, from a fresh analysis of the 1863 invasion of the Waikato, to the taking of Tiritiri Matangi Island in the Hauraki Gulf, to the oil wars of the East Coast (who knew?) ... This also makes it the perfect book to dip into and out of, although I read it from cover to cover, in order of appearance. Well almost. I couldn’t resist dipping into Chapter 7 [on the Waikato war] first ... The chapter on the Waikato war is not alone in its impact. To this lay reader, every essay offers freshly disturbing insight into a history that is far too poorly understood. This accessible, readable collection could go a long way to remedying that.' Alison McCulloch, Scoop Review of Books, 30 October 2014

‘A very useful book for those interested in this aspect of New Zealand history. It’s well written, straightforward to follow and a good contribution to the debate on Colonialism,’ David Calderwood, Waikato Times, October 2014

'This collection stands out as an important contribution to our understanding of the history of the frontier in New Zealand, and how that history continues to resonate in the politics of the present.' Martin Fisher, Te Karaka, December 2014