1 Mar 2010
The leading New Zealand historian has selected 50 founding documents and provided each with a concise description of its historical context and ongoing importance in his new book New Zealand Birth Certificates.
Professor Moon says the book is designed to be more than just a general textbook. It is also aimed at a general readership.
“The book sets out to let the ‘birth certificates’ of the nation speak for themselves. The text is a succinct one-page summary of each document, reproduced from the original along with related paintings and photographs,” he says.
Founding documents and landmarks reproduced include:
• Cook’s Map (1772)
• Maori (1867) and women (1893) gaining the vote
• New Zealand flag (1902)
• National Anthem (1977)
• South Pacific Nuclear Free Treaty (1985)
These documents and more chart the evolution of New Zealand. Viewing the actual documents provides a further dimension to understanding the history that they preserve. The selection of 50 crucial documents serves to define a relationship with the country, and stands as a signpost for New Zealand history.
The book will be used for AUT's Introduction to New Zealand History paper, which is an online undergraduate paper running in both semesters each year.