Article by AsiaPacificReport.nz
Pacific Media Centre Newsdesk
One of New Zealand’s best-selling and most-respected historians and social commentators, Professor Paul Moon, has been acknowledged for his contributions as a researcher, academic and teacher.
The AUT Excellence Awards recognise and celebrate excellence in the university’s community.
Professor Moon was awarded the top accolade – the AUT University Medal – this week for sustained and exceptional academic achievement, especially in Māori, Treaty of Waitangi-related issues and early New Zealand history.
The award at Auckland University of Technology comes as Professor Moon prepares to launch a new online course, focusing on the Holocaust.
The paper is the first of its kind in New Zealand and will be delivered entirely online, enabling people to study from all over the world. It is anticipated that the course will be available next year.
Surveying the Holocaust, from its historic origins in European anti-Semitism, through to its implementation during the period of the Third Reich, the course will centre on the preconditions of the Holocaust in Europe, its subsequent implementation and scale, and recent historiographical issues relating to its enduring significance.
Students will have the opportunity to investigate in detail a specific case study relating to the Holocaust, and to examine the relevance of the Shoah in the contemporary world.
There will be lecturer support, tutorials for students to participate in, interactive learning, regular feedback on students’ work, and a comprehensive range of resources. The technical aspects of the paper will be supported by AUT’s Centre for Learning and Teaching.
“Now, more than ever, it’s important to remember the uniqueness of the Holocaust, and to understand the mentality that led to it,” Professor Moon says.
Professor Moon also received the Teaching Innovation award. His innovative approach to increasing student engagement has resulted in a number of fully online papers focusing on New Zealand history.
These four papers have formed the basis of AUT’s minor in history.
In his 24 years at AUT, Professor Moon has built an international reputation in the field of New Zealand history.
His innovative approach to learning has led to the development of online history papers and delivery of history based treaty seminars, resulting in a new undergraduate history minor at AUT in 2016.
Professor Moon has published 26 books, including Encounters: The Creation of New Zealand, which was shortlisted for the international Ernest Scott Prize in History.
Biographies, Treaty claims
Other titles include This Horrid Practice: The Myth and Reality of Traditional Maori Cannibalism, A History of New Zealand in the Twentieth Century, a trilogy of volumes on the Tūhoe tohunga (expert) Hohepa Kereopa, as well as biographies of Governors Hobson, FitzRoy, and the Ngapuhi chief Hone Heke,
His works have been published by some of the biggest international publishers including Penguin, Random House and HarperCollins.
He has worked on several Treaty of Waitangi claims and with numerous government agencies on Treaty-related issues. He is one of only a few historians whose work has been cited favourably in Parliament by MPs.
“The award is recognition of the growing role of history as a discipline at AUT, and of the contribution of all the people involved in teaching the subject,” Professor Moon says.