J.M. Sherrard award in New Zealand regional and local history

A colleague was recently down in Christchurch at the New Zealand Historical Association conference for 2015 and has bought back news of the most recent winners of the J. M. Sherrard award in New Zealand regional and local history. The J.M. Sherrard Award is the only national award for local and regional history in New Zealand.

This biennial award was inaugurated by W. J. (‘Jim’) Gardner in 1972 to commemorate the life and work of the late John (‘Jock’) Sherrard, author of Kaikoura: A history of the district (1966) and to encourage scholarly standards in the research and writing of New Zealand regional history. The award is administered by the Canterbury Historical Association and currently has a value of $1000 which may be divided if there is more than one work deserving of a major award. No application is required.

After being suspended for almost a decade, the award was revived in 2012 and it is the judges’ intention to make the award annually in order to bring it up to date again.

The judges for 2014 and 2015 were:

Adjunct Professor Geoffrey Rice, University of Canterbury (Honorary Organiser)
Associate Professor Caroline Daley, University of Auckland
Associate Professor Jim McAloon, Victoria University of Wellington

The Nineteenth Judging (2014) for books listed in the National Library Catalogue in 2006-2009

Major Awards for 2006-2009

Jenny Carlyon & Diana Morrow, Urban village: the story of Ponsonby, Freeman’s Bay and St Mary’s Bay (Auckland, Random House, 2008)

Lyndon Fraser, Castles of gold: a history of New Zealand’s West Coast Irish (Dunedin, Otago University Press, 2007)

Bruce & Trixie Harvey (Eds.) Waitakere Ranges: ranges of inspiration: nature, history, culture (Waitakere City, Waitakere Ranges Protection Society, 2006)

Highly commended

Julia Bradshaw, Golden prospects: Chinese on the West Coast of New Zealand (Greymouth, Shantytown, West Coast Historical & Mechanical Society, 2009)

Paul Sorrell (Ed.) Murihiku: the Southland story (Invercargill, Southland 2006 Book Project Committee, 2006)


Marie Gray & Jennifer Sturm, And then came the bridge: a history of Long Bay and Torbay (Auckland, Torbay Historical Society, 2008)

John McCraw, Early days on the Dunstan (Dunedin, Square One Press, 2007)

The Twentieth Judging (2015) for books listed in the National Library Catalogue in 2010-2013

Major Awards for 2010-2013

Highly commended

David Verran, The North Shore: an illustrated history (Auckland, Random House, 2010)


Ian Church, Sawyers Bay, including Sawyers Bay School, 1861-2010 (Port Chalmers, I. Church, 2011)

Jim Graydon, On the edge: Wairarapa’s coastal communities (Masterton, Fraser Books, 2013)

The information in this post was taken from The J.M. Sherrard award in New Zealand regional and local history published by the Canterbury Historical Association.

For more information about the Sherrard Award and to read the judges’ comments on each selection come into the Central Research Centre where copies of this publication are held, dating back to the first judging in 1974.

Author: Andrew Henry