Michael Bassett

Former Minster of the Crown, historian, political biographer.


Michael Bassett was a Member of Parliament for 15 years and a Cabinet Minister in New Zealand’s fourth Labour Government. He has taught history at The University of Auckland, and was a visiting professor of history in Canada and the US between 1992 and 2002. He sat for a decade as a member of the Waitangi Tribunal and was appointed to the Board of the Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa in 2009.

Bassett is a well-known historian and political commentator. For many years, he contributed columns to daily newspapers the Dominion-Post, the Press and the Waikato Times and, in 2004, won the Qantas Media Award for Best Political Columnist. He has written nearly a dozen books of political history, including two prime ministerial biographies, Coates of the Kaipara and Sir Joseph Ward.