Highlighted book:

Bateman Illustrated History of New
                              Zealand cover

Bateman Illustrated History of New Zealand
David Bateman, Auckland 2013

"Books of this sweep, length, and immensity of topic are often described as "ambitious". That it certainly is, but it is an ambition emphatically realised. Both author and publisher have done a great job ...  Everyone who lives in this country would benefit from reading this book, and would enjoy it." Graeme Barrow, Northern Advocate

"Wright has covered a lot of ground, engaged with the best of current historical and archaeological thinking and served up a lively, sound general history of New Zealand for the general reader. Bateman should also take another bow, the $49.99 RRP is a bargain these days for such a massive, profusely illustrated book." Gavin McLean, Otago Daily Times

"...an extraordinarily accessible journey through our arguably short but undeniably rich history.  I recommend it to anyone who has an active interest in the past or has simply been looking for an excuse to learn more about the events that shaped this country." - Lemuel Lyes, 'History Geek' blog.

Experience the past. See our journey. Understand the now.

Embark on a unique one-volume voyage of discovery through New Zealand's exciting, turbulent and always fascinating past.
Six hundred photographs and artworks combine with Matthew Wright's interpretative text to bring the past to life, from the arrival of Polynesia to discovery by Europe, race relations, jingoism, world wars, the Pavlova paradise, tour protests and beyond.

Previously published as the best selling Reed Illustrated History of New Zealand, this second edition is fully revised and updated with completely re-written text and revised photographic selection, updated and re-cast for the twenty-first century

Available in print from good bookstores, and online from

David Bateman Ltd's online store


Kindle, Kobo and iBook editions soon.

Paperback, 488 pp
ISBN 978-1-86953-841-5



Review comments about Matthew Wright's books:

'...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