Win a copy of Jock Phillips’ latest book – A History of New Zealand in 100 Objects (Penguin, RRP $55.00) 

A History of New Zealand in 100 Objects book cover

The sewing kete of an unknown 18th-Century Māori woman; the Endeavour cannons that fired on waka in 1769; the shields used to protect protesters during the Springbok tour in 1981; the soccer ball that was a tribute to a victim of the Christchurch Mosque terrorist attack. These and 96 more items carry stories that represent the history of New Zealand. 

The search for the 100 featured objects involved author Jock Phillips travelling to museums all around New Zealand, talking to curators.

“I decided that they would all be in New Zealand and in public collections. So, I went around the museums and asked, ‘what are the jewels in your collection?’ I did about seven or eight road trips. It was hard work but fun and really valuable. The Government gives money to Te Papa because it looks after the national collection but my thinking is that the national collection is all over the country; the things that are important to the nation can be found in Murchison or Hokitika or Gisborne or Arrowtown.”

The oldest item is an 80 million-year-old crocodile jaw; the newest from 2020. He tried to give fair representation of the geography of the country and not be weighted too much in favour of the 20th Century.

“I tried to include stories about popular culture about war, about family life – I had to make sure that women were well represented and different ethnic groups – Irish, Scots, Māori obviously – so I made a real effort to include as many different contributors to the New Zealand experience as possible.”

AA Directions has five copies of A History of New Zealand in 100 Objects to give away. To be in to win, enter your details below. Competition closes at 11.59pm on 31 May 2023. 

Explore more from AA Directions magazine while you're here: 

Reported for our Autumn 2023 issue

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