Professor of History
With 20 books under his belt, Professor Paul Moon, is one of New Zealand’s best-selling, well known and outspoken historians.
His specialist areas are NZ history (1820-1850) and Treaty of Waitangi issues. A sense of obligation is what drives him to often comment in the media on historical oversights or mistakes. He says everyone is entitled to their own interpretation of history but when someone says something manifestly wrong it needs to be corrected.
A Bachelor of Arts at the University of Auckland, followed by a Masters of Philosophy at Massey University and a Master of Arts at AUT University led him to complete his PhD at Massey in 2002 on British colonial policy and colonial theory relating to intervention in New Zealand around the time of the signing of the Treaty.
There are whole areas of New Zealand history that have never been written about he says. He prefers not to rely on other published histories before writing his own as he believes the worst kind of history is one that is simply a rehash of other books. He prefers to uncover original source material and where possible interview people involved. The prolific number of books he has authored include biographies on Governors Hobson and Fitzroy, Hohepa Kereopa and Hone Heke. Others have included histories of the Sealord deal, the Treaty of Waitangi, histories on NZ in the 19th and 20th centuries and perhaps most controversially, a book on Māori cannibalism.
He’s regularly called upon to consult on Treaty claims to verify history around settlements. He’s also worked with numerous government agencies, on Treaty-related issues. In 2003 he was elected a Fellow of the Royal Historical Society in University College, London.
Professor Paul Moon extended academic profile