One of the ways we work to preserve New Zealand history is through oral history.
In the From Memory war oral history programme we have recorded the voices of New Zealanders who have served our country in times of war. The soldiers, sailors, airmen, nurses and thousands of other personnel, at home and overseas. These ordinary New Zealanders have extraordinary stories to tell.
New Zealand Veterans from the Second World War
We’ve interviewed veterans of the Second World War and those who served in the post-war occupation of Japan and in the Korean War. Our March 2013 publication 'The War that never ended : New Zealand veterans remember Korea' completes the Ministry's From Memory programme which has seen over 150 oral history interviews deposited with the Alexander Turnbull Library's Oral History Centre.
Books published as part of the From Memory programme are listed on the History Group's book page.
Vietnam veterans are part of another project - Vietnam War: Memories of New Zealand and the Vietnam War.
Remembering Christchurch Oral History Project
This project is part of the Ministry’s History and Cultural Heritage programme of work for 2013/14. The Ministry is working with CEISMIC partners to draw and build on research already underway.
Brief summary of project:
- Remembering Christchurch will focus on the ‘human heritage’ of Canterbury through a collection of interviews with 20 men and women aged in their 80s and 90s. Interviewees will be people who have lived most of their lives in Christchurch and can therefore reflect decades of personal and social experience in the city and surrounds.
- Our interviews will be full life histories, covering the subjects’ lives from childhood to the present. Their experience of the earthquakes and their impact on their lives will be just part of the interview.
- The project will be lead by Alison Parr, Senior Oral Historian, who will conduct half the interviews. She will work with Christchurch oral historian, Rosemary Baird, who will record the other half.
- All recordings will be deposited in the Oral History Centre at the Alexander Turnbull Library, Wellington, where they will be available to researchers. The Ministry will also explore potential depositing arrangements with CEISMIC.
Oral history toolkit
To encourage other oral history projects, we’ve created a toolkit to help you record your own oral history interviews.