Congratulations to Tony Ballantyne and Angela Wanhalla who have been shortlisted for the NZHA 2015 W. H. Oliver Prize

20 October 2015

The prestigious award is given every two years by the New Zealand Historical Association to work based upon original research which is judged to be the most distinguished contribution to the history of  New Zealand. In an announcement made today, two Auckland University Press books have been shortlisted: Entanglements of Empire: Missionaries, Māori, and the Question of the Body by Tony Ballantyne and Matters of the Heart: A History of Interracial Marriage in New Zealand by Angela Wanhalla.

Judges Giselle Byrnes and Graeme Dunstall were drawn to Tony Ballantyne’s “eloquent and effortless narrative style” in Entanglements of Empire. They noted Ballantyne’s “quietly confident and assured authorial voice” which makes his text “deeply engaging and highly readable”.

The judges went on to say, “The careful analysis and attention to detail, along with Ballantyne’s extensive primary and secondary research makes a significant contribution to New Zealand history and historiography. Entanglements of Empire is one of the standout texts in this year’s entries and represents an important contribution to the historiography of empires and the new imperial history.”

Judges applauded Angela Wanhalla’s Matters of the Heart as a “beautiful exposition of a significant and largely unknown seam of New Zealand’s rich intercultural history.” They added Matters of the Heart was “grounded in rigorous scholarship and written with great care, this is destined to be a major social history text, shedding new light on a critically important aspect of New Zealand’s past.Matters of the Heart does more than fill a void in terms of our rich social history; it connects New Zealand historical scholarship with international literature on the history of emotions and marriage.”

The grand winner will be announced at the NZHA AGM on 3 December at the University of Canterbury.