100 years ago HMS New Zealand arrives in New Zealand (12 April 1913) In March 1909, New Zealand’s Prime Minister, Sir Joseph Ward announced that ‘the Dominion’ (New Zealand) was offering ‘the Motherland’ (Britain) the ‘free gift of … a first-class battleship’. The Prime Minister thought that his offer toRead more

102 years ago: Prime Minister Sir Joseph Ward announces that New Zealand will gift a ‘first-class battleship’ to the Royal Navy (22 March 1909). Prime Minister Ward was positioning New Zealand as a loyal and active participant in the defence of the British Empire. This was a time of increasing navalRead more

Revisiting World War II.

It’s just 2 weeks now since Slice of Heaven opened and the word from Te Papa’s hosts is that it’s “what New Zealanders have been waiting for!”  This is my first blog – ever. I was one of the team working behind the scenes to bring the stories from 20th CenturyRead more

One hundred years ago, Britain’s Royal Navy was threatened by the modern fleet being built by Germany. In March 1909, the New Zealand Premier, Sir Joseph Ward, responded to the defence crisis by promising that New Zealand would underwrite a ship for the Royal Navy. He declared: ‘We distant sonsRead more