In contrast to the centrality of whakapapa/genealogy in Māori culture, very little is known about the content of family memory among New Zealanders of European descent.This constitutes a missing link to our past.
All families are storehouses of information, and their memories, written records, photographs and objects have the collective potential to transform our understanding of family life in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries.
In this research project we are asking fifty multigenerational New Zealand families throughout the country, approached through a random sample of the general electoral rolls, to share their knowledge and memories of earlier generations.
We will be recording the oral history interviews with participating families around the country during 2016 and 2017.
We would like to record what you know and remember about any of your forebears. It is not necessary to have researched your family history (although it's fine if you have). Those contributing to this research will be able to choose whether or not to remain anonymous.
Everyone participating in the project will receive an audio copy of their interview, which we hope will become a valued family resource for future generations. The research will culminate in a book about family memory and history in New Zealand.
Photograph: Unidentified family group. Crown Studios Ltd: Negatives and prints. Ref: 1/4-108662-F. Alexander Turnbull Library, Wellington, New Zealand.