Histories of Hate: The Radical Right in Aotearoa New Zealand

Book Editors Matthew Cunningham, Marinus La Rooij and Paul Spoonley
Rights Available World excl. NZ

Histories of Hate: The Radical Right in Aotearoa New Zealand explores intolerance and extremism in Aotearoa New Zealand, from the precursors of the radical right during British settlement in the late nineteenth century to today’s QAnon conspiracists and keyboard warriors.

This volume reveals the complexities of Aotearoa’s radical right traditions and discusses how, through time, various groups have been animated by a diverse mix of ideas, idealogues, organisations, social clubs and political parties.

The text puts a wide range of topics under a direct and critical lens. Colonisation, antisemitism, discrimination against Chinese immigrants, anti-communism, skinhead gangs, support for white minority governments in southern Africa, opposition to Māori Treaty rights, the religious right, and recent events such as the 15 March 2019 terrorist attacks in Christchurch and the rise of COVID-19 conspiracy theories are all covered.

In Histories of Hate, editors Matthew Cunningham, Marinus La Rooij and Paul Spoonley have brought together experts from multiple disciplines, including historians, sociologists, political scientists, kaupapa Māori scholars, and experts in religious and media studies, to create a benchmark text that will be the definitive reference for years to come.

A compelling read and an important, timely book, Histories of Hate traverses Aotearoa’s socio-political and extremist landscape in both historical and contemporary contexts, shedding light on the social and cultural intolerances that continue to shape New Zealand society to this day.

About the Editors

Matthew Cunningham is a public servant, author and professional historian. He has a diverse publication history, including research monographs, oral histories, peer-reviewed journal articles, Waitangi Tribunal-commissioned research reports, public history articles and journalistic articles.

Marinus La Rooij has degrees in history and religious studies from the University of Otago and Victoria University of Wellington and has published on antisemitic conspiracy theories in 1930s New Zealand and Australia. Marinus has also worked for the Waitangi Tribunal as a district inquiry facilitator.

Paul Spoonley completed his PhD on the New Zealand radical right in the 1980s. He is a Distinguished Professor of Sociology at Massey University, and was the former Pro-Vice-Chancellor of the College of Humanities and Social Sciences. He received the Science and Technology Medal from the Royal Society in 2009 for his contribution to cross-cultural understanding and was made a Fellow of the Royal Society of New Zealand in 2011.


Otago University Press


240 x 170 mm


Non Fiction


Publication Date
March 2023

Rights Available:
World excl. NZ

Rights Agents:

Sue Wootton


Contact Otago University Press about this book

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Its more academic approach provides the prehistory, as it were, to today's extremist underworld. The book is helpfully scrupulous in its definitions of populism, fascism and other terms that are often carelessly misused in these discussions.

Paul Little reviews Histories of Hate: The Radical Right in Aotearoa New Zealand for the April 2023 Issue of North & South Magazine

Histories of Hate is a timely reminder that the converse is also true: our remembrance of March 15 should include a rejection of complacency and a renewed commitment to our democratic institutions, as well as a productive demonstration of how they can work for all communities, across the left-right political divide.

Rowan Light for Aotearoa New Zealand Review of Books