Cover image for Kia Kaha : New Zealand in the Second World War
Kia Kaha : New Zealand in the Second World War
Crawford, John (John A. B.)
Publication Information:
Auckland, N.Z. ; New York : Oxford University Press, [2000]

Physical Description:
xiv, 330 pages : illustrations, maps ; 24 cm
General Note:
Collection of essays presented at Kia Kaha, Forever Strong conference, held at the National Library in Wellington, N.Z., May 4-7, 1995.
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
D767.85 .K48 2000 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks

On Order



This collection of essays is the most important history of New Zealand's involvement in the Second World War to appear in many years. It demonstrates the key role the nation played in the Allied cause, and topics include strategy, command in war, the operations of New Zealand Armed Forces, the home front, the scientific war, and the founding of the United Nations. The book provides new insight on the longterm impact of the war effort on New Zealand and on the difficulties small nations face when they try to get their concerns heard by world powers.

Reviews 1

Choice Review

One of the few remaining gaps in the history of WW II in the Pacific is the study of New Zealand's involvement in the conflict. This series of essays, originally presented at the Kia Kaha Conference in Wellington in 1995, partially fills this void. These papers cover a variety of military, political, and social topics including strategy, naval and military campaigns, conscientious objectors, science and technology, and the Maori war effort. Since each chapter represents the effort of a different author, there is no central thesis or theme to the book. Several authors, including Ian McGibbon and John Battersby, point out that in the areas of strategy and postwar planning, New Zealanders followed a policy of pragmatism and were primarily concerned with their nation's physical and economic security. As John Crawford argues, although the New Zealanders were indeed faithful allies of Great Britain, they were not exhibiting the "unthinking, almost atavistic loyalty" sometimes imagined today. As with most books of this type, the essays are a little uneven with some better than others. It is, however, an excellent start at generating new research on a neglected aspect of the war and is recommended for anyone interested in the Pacific War, New Zealand, or Oceania. C. J. Weeks Southern Polytechnic State University