Community Historian

The Canterbury History Foundation raises funds for and administers the Canterbury Community Historian award. The award depends on the availability of funds, and the Foundation reserves the right not to make an award in any given year. No award was made for 2017-18.

Enquiries about application may be made to the secretary at PO Box 36766 Christchurch, or the application form below may be submitted to the same address.

Closing date for applications for the 2019 award is 10 February 2019.


2019  Dan Bartlett – project on conscientious objectors in Canterbury

2016:  Dan Smith – Maori-themed carvings of John Henry Menzies of Banks Peninsula

2014-15: Kim Newth – Biographies of selected Canterbury WWII veterans

2011: Ian Dougherty – 100 Years of the Canterbury Workers’ Educational Association

2010: Dr Jean Garner – Women’s letters from the John Hall family to England in the 1860s, published as Letters to Grace

2009: Mrs Ruth Low – History of Droving in New Zealand

2008: Dr Vaughan Wood – The Banks Peninsula cocksfoot seed industry

2007: Rhian Gallagher – Jack Adamson, Hermitage photographer and guide, published as Feeling for Daylight

2006: John Wilson – History of Addington

2005: Mrs Philippa Graham – Maori rock drawings in Canterbury and North Otago

2004: Libby Plumridge – Maori Women’s Welfare League, Banks Peninsula, published as Rapaki Wahine Whakamaumahara

2003: Jim Sullivan – Oral history in sound archives, published as Canterbury Voices

2002: Colin Amodeo – Canterbury 1849, published as Forgotten Forty-niners

2001: Margaret Lovell-Smith – Helen Connon, published as Easily the Best


                          Canterbury History Foundation


                        Canterbury Community Historian

                                        Conditions of Award


  1. This Award has been created to enable a competent person to complete a significant historical project for publication, which may be in other than printed form. The Award is intended to contribute towards costs incurred in the course of such work over a three-month period, or longer by arrangement.
  2. The project will be of significance, interest, or benefit to people in Canterbury, though not exclusively so. It will draw on sources, archives, people, or other assistance available in or near Christchurch.
  3. Applicants will be persons normally resident in New Zealand who can show a capability in historical research and writing. Awards will not be made to full-time university staff or students. Except when a topic of outstanding community interest is proposed, recent writers of theses for academic degrees will not be considered; nor will the Award normally be made to assist in the preparation of a thesis for publication.
  4. A decision will be made as soon as is practicable after applications close on the recommendation of the Awards Committee of the Foundation. The Foundation reserves the right not to make an Award in any year.
  5. The successful applicant will normally be expected to reside in or within easy reach of Christchurch during the term of the Award.
  6. If requested, the School of Humanities at the University of Canterbury will provide, without charge, such assistance as it can, other than financial, to facilitate the work of the Historian.
  7. The successful applicant may request that an alternative or additional host be sought and this will be subject to negotiation by the Foundation to make suitable arrangements.
  8. The value of the Award will be from $6,000 to $10,000 to be paid in instalments to be arranged. All travel costs to and from Christchurch and any costs of removal and accommodation will be met by the Historian. Any liability for income tax or GST will be the responsibility of the recipient.
  9. The tenure of the Award will be three to six months ending not later than 30 June of the year following, unless otherwise agreed to by the Foundation. The period may be extended by agreement with the Foundation and the host, but the value of the Award will not be increased.
  10. The Foundation will appoint a representative to make regular progress reports to the Foundation, and who will monitor progress on the project.
  11. The Historian will assist this representative to make regular progress reports to the Foundation, and will provide a written report at the end of the tenure.
  12. The Historian will comply with the workplace rules of the host institution.
  13. Published work resulting from the Award should bear acknowledgement of the financial generosity of the Community Trust and the assistance provided by the Foundation and the host institution. The form of acknowledgement will be discussed with the Foundation.
  14. The Foundation will encourage the publication, in suitable form, of the product of this Award. The Historian will not be excluded from applying to the Foundation for any of the grants it offers each year in aid of publication.

      Dec 2018




Full name:

Postal Address:



  1. Give a brief description of your project, its nature and objectives:
  1. Tell us what sources you expect to be useful:
  1. Tell us the form in which your results should reach the wider community. Do you have any prospect or assurance of financial support for such publication?
  1. Who is your prospective audience? What benefit or interest to the community will your project have?
  1. What progress have you made so far in planning, research or writing?
  1. Suggest a rough timetable for the project.
  1. Is the University of Canterbury Library the most appropriate base for your work? If not, what is your preferred base?
  1. Please name TWO REFEREES (with their addresses and phone numbers) to whom the Awards Committee might turn, in confidence, for assurance of your ability to manage and complete the project successfully, and any other relevant matters.
  1. What other similar projects have you undertaken? Please attach your CV or a list of publications.

Please sign this form, signifying your agreement to the Terms and Conditions and your agreement to the Awards Committee’s making such further enquiries as they think necessary.

Signature:                                                                                   Date:     /         /