Annual Research/Book Award


1.  The Award will be of an amount to be determined by the National Executive of the NZ Founders Society from time to time, but will not be less than $1,500 or more than $3,000. The NZ Founders Society adjudicators will recommend to the Executive Committee the number of successful applicants and an award value for each successful applicant, and the Executive Committee will decide the awards to be made each year. Current applications should be received by 31 March for the coming year.  

2.  The method of payment will be one-third forwarded to the candidate on confirmation of their success, a further one-third after a period of approximately six months when the Society has received confirmation of satisfactory progress and a final payment of one-third after receipt of satisfactory evidence showing completion of the research. 

3.  The Award is made for research and/or a publication in an area of New Zealand history. This may include:

  • The settlement stories of any group.
  • The history of an area or place or of the people who settled there.
  • The recollections of kaumatua and older New Zealanders of their way of life.
  • A biography of one or more New Zealanders, who may be a family or family member, whose life and work in New Zealand is of general interest.
  • A work of fiction or creative writing with a New Zealand historical theme.

4.  The award is not available for research into personal family background, family tree or genealogical research.  

5.  Research must be completed within one year following notification of winning the Award, or within a time limit agreed to by the National Executive of the Society prior to the payment of the first instalment of the Award or subsequently.

6.  The research can be a finite part of a larger piece of research, but must be able to be published alone.

7.  Following completion and the work being made public, the NZ Founders Society Inc. reserves the right to use or to publish in part or in any way it thinks appropriate, the research of an Award winner.  This condition does not contravene the rights of the author, and any such publication will be with the prior agreement of the author and will not in any way be to the detriment of the publication of the completed research.      

8.  All research reports and/or publications must contain a printed acknowledgement to the NZ Founders Society Inc.  A waiver of this requirement can only be granted by the National Executive of the Society.

9.  The work is to be published in printed form and at least one complimentary copy of the final report or publication must be presented to the Society. The Society does not support publications that are solely in electronic form. In the event of the project not being completed within the agreed time limit, any progress payments not made and the final payment, could be forfeited.

10.  The acceptance of these conditions is to be acknowledged by the applicant on their application form.

Download the application form in pdf format


Previous Award Recipients

2024 Ian Barton - "Diary of an Anonymous Soldier in New Zealand - 7 July 1863 to 6 April 1867"

2023 Erica Tenquist - "A Bad Leg and 70 Years an Amputee"

2022 Lyn Williams - Biography of John and Bunny Mortimer

2021 Not Awarded

2020 Alan Livingston - Te Pahu, A history

2019 Sonia Edwards QSM - "Valour Remembered, Kawe Mate" - WWII Fallen in Eastern Bay of Plenty, Vol 1 Opotiki to Raukokore, Vol 2 Whakatane and District

2018 Rose Chapman - A Beacon on the Hills: Duart House and the McLeans of Havelock North

2017 Not Awarded

2016 Laraine Sole - "Upokongaro" The Community Up-River 1840-1960

2015 Not awarded

2014 Judy Siers - Arrivals Six Wellington Stories 1850s - 1950s (not completed)

2004-2013 Not awarded

2003 Ian Dougherty - Vauxhall Gardens, Dunedin's Notorious Victorian Pleasure Gardens

2001-2002 Not awarded

2000 Colonial Cottage Museum Society - Making Good on Shaky Ground - A story of colonial Wellington, William Wallis and his cottage (The Colonial Cottage, Nairn Street)

1999 Valerie Cowan - Bridging the Centuries - Five New Zealanders born 1896-1899 talk about their lives

1998 Ann Beaglehole - A History of Eastbourne

1997 Dick Paterson - Hey Days and Dray Days: The Story of Olrig Station and District 1859-1998

1996 Alison Wong - As the Earth Turns Silver, novel set in Wellington circa 1907-1915 with Chinese and British characters

1994-1995 Not awarded

1993 Nerida Campbell - The History of Prefabricated Buildings in Auckland 1840-1865

1992 John Berry - A Man's Tall Dream - The Story of Eastwoodhill

1991 Jean Garner - Sir John Hall: Pioneer, Pastoralist and Politician

1990 Juliet Heraud - Maud Sherwood: NZ Artist 1880-1956

1989 Denis Fairfax - Bibliography of NZ Naval History and Affairs

1988 Doris Stokes - Life of Janetta Maria Cooksley - artist

1987 Ruth Fry - Maud and Amber (Reeves)

1986 Sheila Natusch - William Swainson 19th Century Naturalist

1985 Eric Warr - From Bush-Burn to Butter - a history of the NZ dairy industry

1984 Rev J C McKean - Maori Education 1925-1945

1984 Patricia Sargison - Victoria's Furthest Daughters 1830-1914

1983 William Main - History of NZ Photography and Photographers

1982 Jenny Hammond - Social History of NZ Children