Dr Jonathan West

Dr Jonathan West is a historian who works at the Office for Māori Crown Relations–Te Arawhiti, as Manager Te Kahui Whakamana (Settlement Commitments). His research and writing explores the environmental history of Aotearoa New Zealand. Most notably his book The Face of Nature: An Environmental History of the Otago Peninsula won the W.H. Oliver Prize for best book in New Zealand History, and was shortlisted for the Ockham New Zealand Book Awards for Illustrated Non-Fiction. He lives with his family in Heretaunga Lower Hutt.

As the Judith Binney Fellow, Jonathan will work to complete the manuscript of ‘Mirrors on the Land: Histories of New Zealand’s Lakes’, a publishing project which in word and image will illuminate how Māori and Pākehā have lived with lakes, and how that relationship has shaped their histories.

The book studies some of the country’s major lakes including Taupō, Rotorua Te Arawa lakes, Te Waihora, the Waitaki lakes, Wanaka, and Manapouri. It will explore iwi relationships with lakes, the struggle between the colonial state and iwi for ownership of lakes, acclimatisation of introduced species, the clash between tourism, conservation and development, the drive for hydropower, and pollution through urban and rural land use.

“Lakes are our largest bodies of freshwater, now the public’s number one environmental concern. We have radically altered, for the worse, almost all lakes we live near; we have so far failed to restore any of them. Mirrors on the Land will show why lakes are an ideal lens through which to look for a better understanding of how people and nature have shaped one another, and our prospects together in Aotearoa New Zealand.”


Dr Jane McCabe

Dr Jane McCabe is a historian of whānau and family. She is author of several books (most recently Kalimpong Kids, Otago University Press) and taught History at the University of Otago from 2014 to 2020. Jane’s research career began after a trip to northeast India to look into her grandmother’s hidden history, which was the impetus for her Kalimpong Kids project. Jane’s PhD on this migration scheme combined extensive archival research with outreach to the many Kalimpong descendants all around New Zealand.

Jane’s work on Kalimpong has shaped her community-centred approach to history, as is evident in her second major project. It is a study of land ownership and inheritance in Taieri and Hokianga that includes families of Māori, British, Chinese and Dalmatian ancestry. This research led to new understandings of rural inheritance by bringing two complex sources – land records and family stories – together.

The Judith Binney Award will support the completion of a book from that project entitled Family Land: Inheritance, Culture and the Family Farm. It will be published by Auckland University Press. In taking on the challenging task of writing an entangled history of two very different districts, Jane “respectfully takes inspiration from the concept of whakapapa, as a means of narrating intricate connections between these two distinct places”. She looks forward to ongoing discussions about land and family matters when the book comes out next year.

Dr Malcolm Mulholland
(Ngāti Kahungunu)

Dr Malcolm Mulholland is an academic and writer. He is the sole author of Beneath the Māori Moon: An Illustrated History of Māori Rugby, and co-author of Marae – The Heart of Māori Culture, and Māori Carving – The Art of Recording Māori History. He has authored or co-authored 14 chapters in various  publications, and has edited or co-edited 7 other publications. His history of St Joseph’s Māori Girls College is due for release early next year.

His publications span a range of issues involving Māori, as well as having a specific focus on Māori history. He is particularly interested in the interaction between Māori and the Crown and notions of national identity.

Dr Mulholland’s Judith Binney Writing Award will support the preparation of a book exploring prominent flags as symbols of identity.

Prominent flags have played an important role as symbols of unity and dissent within the relationship between the British/Crown and Māori. I believe my thesis is the first-time flags have been explored in such depth.”

Dr Hinekura Smith
(Te Rarawa, Ngāpuhi)

Dr Hinekura Smith describes herself as a Māori woman, educator, weaver and researcher who descends from the Far North iwi of Te Rarawa and Ngāpuhi.

She has over 25 years experience in Māori education, beginning her career with 12 years as a te reo Māori teacher in secondary schools, before moving into Māori medium professional development, initial teacher education, followed by further study, lecturing and research.

While teaching in the tertiary sector, Dr Smith completed a Master of Education on marae-a-kura (school-based marae) and Māori success ‘as Māori’ followed by a doctoral research project titled Whatuora: Whatu kākahu and living as Māori women.

Her research interests weave together Māori identity politics, decolonizing education, arts-based research methodologies, Māori and Indigenous postgraduate student development and Kaupapa Māori / Mana wāhine centered research that enables holistic cultural wellbeing.

She is a researcher and senior Māori postgraduate advisor at Ngā Wai a Te Tūī Kaupapa Māori Research Centre, Unitec.

“Judith Binney’s scholarship acknowledges the marginalization of Māori women’s voices and provides an important platform to recentre our voices as critical storytellers of our histories. My PhD is a continuation of this imperative, creating space for Māori women’s histories and knowledge to be heard and importantly passed down intergenerationally to our tamariki and mokopuna.”

Dr Mere Whaanga
(Rongomaiwahine, Ngāti Kahungunu, Ngāti Pahauwera)
Erika Schollum

Dr Mere Whaanga and Erika Schollum will work collaboratively and use the Judith Binney Writing Award to support their work on documenting the oral history of Dr Whaanga’s tipuna, including the small stories, legends, and previously undocumented sites of significance. Dr Whaanga’s traditional scholarship and Ms Schollum’s photography will map a journey through the East Coast, spanning Wairoa, Mahia, Nuhaka, and Paparatu.

Dr Whaanga was raised on ancestral land and writes from a rural Māori perspective imbued with traditional concepts and mātauranga. She is a well published writer. A major project was the Māori History Fellowship (2001-2003) which resulted in the tribal history A Carved Cloak for Tahu (AUP 2004).

As a professional historian she co-ordinated the Sites of Significance project for the Treaty claim of Te Tira Whakaemi o Te Wairoa, project managed Te Arawhiti Truth & Reconciliation hui, and researched and wrote the expert witness evidence for the Takutai Moana Claim for Rongomaiwahine.

Her current writing project is about 21 generations of ahikāroa on whānau land, Taipōrutu at Māhia.

Erika Schollum spent the early part of her career as a photographer.

She completed her 1st Hons LLB at Waikato University in 2012 and was admitted to the bar the same year.

She served as Head Student Editor for the Waikato Law Review and led an extensive research project on the Supreme Court of New Zealand during her tenure with Waikato University.

This love of academia and research has driven her forward to new projects on traditional rongoa as commercial products.