Ron Palenski

Author, journalist and historian.

Ron Palenski


Dunedin-based Ron Palenski ONZM is a noted and prolific author, journalist and historian. Palenski has a PhD from the University of Otago and his acclaimed thesis ‘The Making of New Zealanders – The Evolution of National Identity in the Nineteenth Century’ forms the basis of his book The Making of New Zealanders (Auckland University Press, 2012).

Palenski has collaborated on biographies of significant All Blacks, from Brian Lochore through to Dan Carter, and his many other books include How We Saw the War; On This Day in New Zealand; Kiwi Battlefield; The Games; Our National Game: The Centennial History of the NZRFU; Key Moments in 20th Century: Sport; Profiles of Fame; The Jersey; Century In Black and Kiwi Milestones.

He has contributed to other published works in New Zealand, Australia and the United States, including scholarly journals. As a journalist, he has been a senior correspondent for the New Zealand Press Association in Europe, assistant and acting editor of the Dominion and Dominion Sunday Times and has covered many significant sporting events, such as the Olympic Games and various international rugby tours.

He has won numerous awards for his sports writing and academic awards for history writing in 2005 and 2006. He was created ONZM in 2003 for his services to sports journalism.

Ron Palenski designed, established and ran the New Zealand Hall of Fame and has held a variety of voluntary administrative roles, including with the Halberg Trust, the New Zealand Rugby Football Union, the New Zealand Masters Games and, as chairman, the Otago Rugby Football Union, for seven years.