Book Review: A Short History of New Zealand, by Gordon McLauchlan

Available in bookstores now.

Gordon McLachlan was born in Dunedin and iscv_a_short_history_of_nz well known to many New Zealanders thanks to his  appearances on television, work in radio, and his best-selling books. He first published A Short History of New Zealand in 2004 with it being reissued in 2009. This current publication covers Helen Clark’s government, the Christchurch earthquakes, the 2011 Rugby world cup and the present government with John Key as Prime Minister.

The majority of books on New Zealand history are hefty academic books that most people are not keen to heave around and actually sit down and read. This particular book I have found interesting and informative. I particularly like Gordon McLachlan’s style of writing. He makes history come alive while being full of facts and at the same time an accurate account of our history from the very early years before the Pakeha, right through our history to present day.

While a lot other authors have written more comprehensive books on New Zealand history, I found this particular book an easy read without weighing you down unnecessarily with academic discussions and analysis. There are many photographs and quotes from past politicians and from other publications.


Reviewed by Christine Frayling

A Short History of New Zealand
by Gordon McLauchlan
Published by David Bateman Ltd