Writing this site

This website was first launched in 2001, at the Conference of the New Zealand Historical Association during a session devoted to Māori history.

Main street Pungarehu today.Quite a few people have written parts of this website, and are part of wider group writing and supporting our focus which is Māori and the New Zealand Wars.  The main writer of this site though is Danny Keenan (Ngāti Te Whiti, Te Ātiawa) from Taranaki.

Danny was born in New Plymouth and raised in Pungarehu, attending Pungarehu Primary School [before it closed down].

Pungarehu is a small coastal village which is now mostly empty, a far cry from the old days when rustic folk thronged the main street, it’s a bit of a ghost town now sadly.

As it turns out, Danny is from the same town as the awesome Barrett brothers, though this is of course an exceedingly dubious claim to fame ..

Danny has a PhD in history, obtained from Massey University in 1994. Thereafter, he lectured in the History Department until 2005. Danny’s PhD thesis examined the Native Land Court in Taranaki in the mid 1860s, especially its subsidiary, the Compensation Court .

Georgetown University, Washington DC

In 2009, Danny was awarded a Fulbright Senior Scholarship to teach at the awesome Georgetown University, Washington DC (right). 

He taught a course entitled Last Outpost of Empire? New Zealand, National Identity and Māori to 35 extremely able American students.

Danny Keenan

Danny has published widely on Māori and New Zealand history, mostly political history, focusing on Māori and the State in the 19th century, of which the New Zealand wars were of course an essential part.

Click here  to see some of his published material (including his PhD thesis) –  Published work   

You can read some of this published material directly on line by clicking on the respective image. Other material will be uploaded shortly. Our aim is to have everything ever published by Danny  available here, directly on line. Danny’s email address is : danny.keenan@newzealandwars.co.nz

Our Logo

The logo used in this website was designed by Erin Keenan in  about 1998, when she was aged about 14 years old. Erin says the logo represents ‘peace arising from the troubled land’.

Erin and her sisters, from left, Lauren, Erin, Philippa and Ngaire.

Erin has gone on to get a PhD in Māori history, graduating in 2013 [right, with sisters Lauren, (Erin), Phillipa and Ngaire].

Erin’s ground breaking thesis reframed notions of ‘Māori urban migration’ by presenting Māori as perennially nomadic, and given to migration, ever since the ancient times, up to the modern era. 

Her particular focus was Māori from Taranaki, where Erin is from, and their migrations over time to Wellington; and the evolving nature of their claim to, and customary status within, the tribal landscape of which Wellington is a part.

You can read Erin’s awesome PhD thesis here : Māori Urban Migrations and Identities, ‘Ko Ngā Iwi Nuku Whenua’: A study of Urbanisation in the Wellington Region during the Twentieth Century (vuw.ac.nz)

Lauren is also now a published writer of books ranging from personal well-being to children’s fiction; and was nominated for a national book award in 2022. 

Four sisters braving the Auckland Sky Tower.
Danny's number plate






Photo is Danny’s number plate, with four sisters braving Auckland Sky Tower ..