Highlighted book:

  The New Zealand Wars cover

The New Zealand Wars: a brief history
Libro International, Auckland 2014

From 1845 to 1875, New Zealand experienced a succession of conflicts that stretched from the Bay of Islands to Wellington. What they meant has been debated ever since. To some they were land wars, to others, the Maori wars; lately we are calling them the New Zealand wars. Why were they fought? Who really won them?

In reality these wars were fought over both land and sovereignty. In the process, the British, settlers and allied Maori ended up fighting other Maori, and by the late 1860s the wars had really become a civil war. And the fighting was tough for all who fought in them. Matthew Wright outlines what happened and why.

First published in 2006 as Fighting Past Each Other, this brief introduction to the wars is completely re-written and updated for readers of all ages.
'Magpies' described the earlier edition as: 'The perfect introduction to the causes, events and results of the New Zealand Wars... well written in a fresh and accessible style, with a language level pitched nicely at young reader'.

Buy online from Fishpond:

The New Zealand Wars: A Brief History

Kindle, Kobo and iBook editions soon.

Paperback, 88 pp
ISBN 978-1-877514-68-5

Review comments about Matthew Wright's books:

‘Wright has carved out a niche for himself in pre-Treaty New Zealand history, from which very few written records survive. It’s not an easy field to research.’
- Mike Houlihan, D-Scene, 5 September 2012.

'...Wright’s credentials as both military and social historian are impressive: a biography of Freyberg; perceptive histories of New Zealand’s navy and airforce; WWII studies of the Crete, North African and Italian campaigns, escaped Kiwi prisoners of war; and the Pacific war; the 19th century New Zealand wars; the New Zealand Division on the Western Front during 1915-18; a succession of regional social histories; a general history of New Zealand; and specialised works on such diverse topics as Kiwi aviation, cars and trucks...Wright’s prose is clear, sober and unfussy, yet, when it needs to be, tellingly powerful. His judgements are sound and, above all, balanced...'
- Edmund Bohan, New Zealand Books, 1 March 2011.

'Like [Michael] King and [Keith] Sinclair, Wright has profound knowledge of his subject and uses lucid prose to convey it...He is deeply interested in the why of things, in the complex interplay of environment, economics and personalities.'
- Fritz Logan, Timaru Herald, 21 November 2009.

'Familiar places become much more fascinating and monumental as a result of Wright's multi-faceted treatment of his subject...the extent of his research into the archives is obvious... We can discern here the true paths of human interaction in all their complexity.' 
- Mick Ludden, Wairarapa Times-Age, 17 February 2007.

"Who would have imagined Michael King's history would so soon be challenged on several major points?  You do not have to be an ageing academic to enjoy the gentle battles of intellectual giants: Wright is readable, and...authoritative.
- James Ritchie, Waikato Times, 23 December 2006.

"Wright is rapidly emerging as one of our most prolific military and social historians, an assiduous researcher and no mere blinkered follower of academic and ideological fashion.  Far from it."
- Edmund Bohan, The Press, 16 September 2006.

"...[an] unrivalled blend of compelling scholarly detail and poignant human interest..."
- Wairarapa Times-Age, 10 June 2006.


Purchase Matthew Wright's books online:

small logo


Copyright © Matthew Wright 2010  Site design GPXGraphics