Vincent O'Malley

Historian and co-founder of research consultancy HistoryWorks.


Dr Vincent O’Malley is a Pākeha New Zealander of Irish and Scottish Highland descent. Based in Wellington, he has a first-class BA (Hons) in History from the University of Canterbury and, in 2004, became the first PhD graduate in New Zealand Studies from Victoria University of Wellington.

Vincent O’Malley is a co-founder of the Wellington-based research consultancy HistoryWorks, and has nearly two decades’ experience as a professional historian. Working on behalf of iwi, hapū, and various Treaty claim agencies, including the Waitangi Tribunal and the Crown Forestry Rental Trust, he has prepared many research reports for submission to the Tribunal, appearing as an expert witness many times. He is also the creator of New Zealand history blog The Meeting Place, which will delve behind the headlines and provide historical context to topical media stories.

He has published widely on Crown and Māori historical relationships, and on the history of Māori and Pākehā interactions more broadly. His books include, as author, Agents of Autonomy: Māori Committees in the Nineteenth Century (1998) and, as co-author with David Armstrong, The Beating Heart: A Political and Socio-Economic History of Te Arawa (2008). He was co-editor, with Wally Penetito and Bruce Stirling, of The Treaty of Waitangi Companion: Māori and Pākehā from Tasman to Today (Auckland University Press, 2010). In addition, he has authored many monographs, book chapters, and contributions to scholarly journals, including the New Zealand Journal of History, the Journal of the Polynesian Society, Labour History Review, the Journal of New Zealand Studies and Ethnohistory.

Vincent O’Malley’s new book The Meeting Place: Māori and Pākehā Encounters, 1642–1840 explores the process of mutual discovery between Māori and Pākehā, from initially unpredictable and sometimes violent encounters, through to more peaceful and stable relationships in the two decades or so before the signing of the Treaty of Waitangi.