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Recipients of this year’s Whiria Te Mahara New Zealand History Grants will give voice to a diverse range of Aotearoa stories.

A history of Chinese restaurants in Aotearoa and their place as locations of reinvention, innovation and cross-cultural exchange, and the missing stories of 20th century women footballers and football administrators are among the projects receiving funding in 2022. Another project will explore the history of the waka taua (war canoe) Ngā Tokimatawhaorua, built for the 1940 Centennial Commemoration of the signing of the Treaty of Waitangi.

Administered by Manatū Taonga Ministry for Culture and Heritage, these annual grants support historians, researchers and writers working on non-fiction projects that expand and enhance our understanding of New Zealand’s past.

Pou Mataaho o Te Hua Deputy Chief Executive, Delivery at Manatū Taonga, Glenis Philip-Barbara says of the funding, "It is always exciting to see the wide range of stories that will receive research funding, and this year is no different. For 2022, we are pleased to award over $100,000 to nine projects which explore some of the many hidden corners of our history."

Another funded project examines disability in the second half of the 20th century, a largely overlooked part of our national history, and traces the author’s own journey to find her two missing siblings.

Māori history is often explored at a national or iwi level, but a project about Ngāi Tupoto hapū, which is based in the North Hokianga, will explore history from a hapū perspective, providing an opportunity to demonstrate new insights and perspectives on Māori social history. A new history of New Zealand music titled Songs from the Shaky Isles will expand the historical coverage of music genres to those often overlooked by music journalism such as reggae music, a hugely popular genre within Māori communities outside the main centres.

Two researchers will explore prominent New Zealanders in the arts space, iconic painter Tony Fomison, and pioneer tapestry weaver and textiles scholar Margery Blackman.

Another recipient will unpack how we understand early Pākehā experiences by exploring soldiers in the British army who were posted to Aotearoa during the New Zealand Wars and often stayed on after the wars and became settler colonists.

"These projects prove that the past can still surprise us," says Glenis Philip-Barbara. "There are so many stories across all of Aotearoa that still need to be told, and these research grants are an important part of ensuring this can happen."

Whiria Te Mahara New Zealand History Grants are awarded annually, and close on 15 October every year. For more information about the grants, contact [email protected].

Whiria Te Mahara New Zealand History Grants recipients list