New Zealand and the Sea

Historical Perspectives

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Print publication:

eBook publication:

Pages: 384

RRP: $59.99

ISBN: 9780947518707

DOI: 10.7810/9780947518707

As a group of islands in the far south-west Pacific Ocean, New Zealand has a history that is steeped in the sea. Its people have encountered the sea in many different ways: along the coast, in port, on ships, beneath the waves, behind a camera, and in the realm of the imagination. While New Zealanders have continually altered their marine environments, the ocean, too, has influenced their lives.

A multi-disciplinary work encompassing history, marine science, archaeology and visual culture, New Zealand and the Sea explores New Zealand’s varied relationship with the sea, challenging the conventional view that history unfolds on land. Leading and emerging scholars highlight the dynamic, ocean-centred history of these islands and their inhabitants, offering fascinating new perspectives on New Zealand’s pasts.

‘The ocean has profoundly shaped culture across this narrow archipelago . . . The meeting of land and sea is central in historical accounts of Polynesian discovery and colonisation; European exploratory voyaging; sealing, whaling and the littoral communities that supported these plural occupations; and the mass migrant passage from Britain.’ – Frances Steel

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    • Introduction, Frances Steel


    • Part One: Horizons
    • 1. Finding Tonganui: East Polynesian Seafaring and Migration to New Zealand, Atholl Anderson
    • 2. Native Seas and Native Seaways: The Pacific Ocean and New Zealand, Damon Salesa
    • 3. People, Nature and the Southern Ocean, Ben Maddison
    • 4. Over the Ocean Foam: Migrant Voyages from Britain and Ireland, Angela McCarthy
    • 5. Maritime Connections and the Colonisation of New Zealand, Tony Ballantyne
    • 6. Taming the Migratory Divide, Peter Gilderdale


    • Part Two: Lifeways
    • 7. Humans and Marine Ecosystems: Insights from Large, Remote, Late-settled Islands, Alison MacDiarmid
    • 8. Māori History as Maritime History: A View from The Bluff, Michael J. Stevens
    • 9. Crew Cultures in the Tasman World, David Haines and Jonathan West
    • 10. Waterfronts and Homes, 1900–1970, Grace Millar
    • 11. Maritime Masculinities, Chris Brickell


    • Part Three: Edges
    • 12. Living with the Beach: Representations of the Otago Coast, Douglas Booth
    • 13. Cruises and the Making of Greater New Zealand, Frances Steel
    • 14. Popular Imagination of the Sea: Magazines of the 1920s and 1930s, Susann Liebich
    • 15. Catching the Wave: Marine Slides and Women’s Amateur Photography, Julie Benjamin


  • Wave after Wave: Epilogue, Jonathan Scott