Jim McAloon

Prof Jim McAloon profile picture

Professor of History School of History, Philosophy, Political Science & International Relations


Teaching in 2020

Research interests

New Zealand social, economic and political history: 19th century settlement; labour history; British and Irish immigration; economic development.

Office hours

By appointment or drop in if the door is open.


  • MA Cant
  • PhD Otago

Research areas

I have a wide range of interests in the economic and social history of New Zealand and other places, including settler societies, colonial development, class and history, labour history, migration, and twentieth century political history. I am happy to supervise in all these areas and others. I have also had some experience in Māori land issues, particularly with reference to the South Island.

I am a member of the NZ Historical Association and the Economic History Society of Australia and New Zealand.

My current research is on the middle class in colonial New Zealand.

Current research and publications


  • Peter Franks and Jim McAloon, Labour: The New Zealand Labour Party 1916-2016, Wellington, Victoria University Press, 2016.
  • Jim McAloon, Judgements of all kinds: economic policy-making in New Zealand, 1945-1984, Wellington: Victoria University Press, 2013
  • Brad Patterson, Tom Brooking and Jim McAloon, with Rebecca Lenihan and Tanja Bueltmann, Unpacking the kists: the Scots in New Zealand, Montreal : McGill-Queen's University Press, 2013.
  • Jim McAloon, No Idle Rich: the Wealthy in Canterbury and Otago 1840-1914, 230pp, Dunedin: University of Otago Press, 2002. (This book won the History section in the Montana NZ Book Awards in 2003, and the Archives and Records Association of NZ Ian Wards Prize in 2002).
  • Jim McAloon, Nelson: a regional history, 261pp, Whatamongo Bay: Cape Catley/Nelson City Council, 1997.
    (This book was joint winner of the 1999 J M Sherrard Award in Regional History)


  • Jim McAloon, ‘Revisiting The Shadow of the Land’ in Brad Patterson, Richard S. Hill and Kathryn Patterson, eds, After The Treaty: The settler state, race relations, & the exercise of power in colonial New Zealand, Steele Roberts, Wellington, 2016.
  • 'The State and Economic Development in Australia and New Zealand: Escaping the Staples Trap?' in Christopher Lloyd, Jacob Metzer and Richard Sutch, eds, Settler economies in world history, Leiden, Brill, 2013, pp. 521-44.
  • 'Resource frontiers, environment and settler capitalism' in Eric Pawson and Tom Brooking, eds, Making a new land: environmental histories of New Zealand. Dunedin, University of Otago Press, 2013, pp. 70-85
  • ‘Mobilising Capital and Trade' in Tom Brooking, Eric Pawson et al, Seeds of Empire, Transforming the Landscape of New Zealand, London: I B Tauris, 2011, pp. 94-116.
  • 'New Zealand Since 1945' in Raymond Miller, ed, New Zealand Government and Politics, fifth edition,Melbourne: Oxford University Press, 2009.
  • 'The New Zealand Economy, 1792-1914' in Giselle Byrnes, ed,The New Oxford History of New Zealand, Melbourne: Oxford University Press, 2009.
  • 'The Making of the New Zealand Ruling Class' in Melanie Nolan, ed, Revolution: The 1913 Great Strike in New Zealand, Christchurch: Canterbury University Press, 2005.
  • 'Ulster Settlers and the Colonial Middle Class' in Brad Patterson, ed, Ulster-New Zealand Migration and Cultural Transfers, Dublin: Four Courts Press, 2005.
  • 'The Scots in Colonial Business' in Tom Brooking, and Jennie Coleman, eds, The Heather and the Fern: Scottish Migration and New Zealand settlement, Dunedin: University of Otago Press, 2003.
  • 'Resource frontiers, settler capitalism and environmental change 1770-1860' in Tom Brooking and Eric Pawson, eds, The Oxford Environmental History of New Zealand, Auckland: Oxford University Press, 2002.

Refereed articles

  • Jim McAloon, ‘Economic Thought and Social Democracy in Australasia and Scandinavia, 1919–39’ Labour History, 114, 2018, pp. 113-130.
  • Jim McAloon, ‘Staples and the Writing of New Zealand's Economic History: A Survery and an Agenda’ New Zealand Journal of History 49(2):3-22, October 2015.
  • 'Scottish-Colonial business relationships in the nineteenth century: Sanderson & Murray of Galashiels and Murray, Roberts and Co of Dunedin' in Immigrants and Minorities, vol 29 no 3, 2011, pp 243-263.
  • 'Unsettling Recolonisation: Labourism, Keynesianism, and Australasia from the 1890s to the 1950s', Thesis Eleven, 92, 2008.
  • 'By Which Standards? The Waitangi Tribunal and New Zealand History', New Zealand Journal of History, 40, 2, 2006.
  • 'Long Slow Boom? Manufacturing industry in New Zealand 1945-70', Australian Economic History Review, 46, 1, 2006.
  • 'Class in Colonial New Zealand: towards a historiographical rehabilitation', New Zealand Journal of History, 38, 1, 2004.
  • 'Gentlemen, Capitalists, and Settlers: A Reply to Hopkins', Australian Economic History Review, 43, 3, 2003.
  • 'Gentlemanly Capitalism and Settler Capitalists: Imperialism, Dependent Development and Colonial Wealth in the South Island of New Zealand', Australian Economic History Review, 42, 2, 2002.

Recent conferences

  • Jim McAloon, 'Irish immigrants and the middle class in colonial New Zealand 1890-1910'. Colonial and Wartime Migration Conference, Université de Picardie Jules Verne, Amiens, France, September 2018.
  • Jim McAloon, ‘Middle class women and property in New Zealand c.1890-c.1940’. Asia-Pacific Economic & Business History Conference, Hobart, February 2018.
  • Jim McAloon ‘Middle-class property in colonial New Zealand‘ New Zealand Historical Association Conference, University of Auckland, November 2017.
  • Jim McAloon ‘Middle-class property in colonial New Zealand‘ Asia-Pacific Economic & Business History Conference, RMIT University, Melbourne, February 2017.
  • Jim McAloon, ‘Harry Holland, the Maoriland Worker, and the Easter Rising’, “Yet no clear fact to be discerned”: The New Zealand Response to the 1916 Easter Rising. Conference, University of Otago, March 2016.
  • Jim McAloon, ‘Merino, Mussels and Merlot: New Zealand’s thriving resource-based economy?’, Asia-Pacific Economic and Business History Conference, Adelaide, February 2016.
  • Jim McAloon, ‘Harry Holland, The Maoriland Worker, and the Easter Rising’ Conference on New Zealand and the Easter Rising, organised by the University of Otago’s Irish Studies Centre, March 2016.
  • 'The Scottish Diaspora and the Colonial Middle Class'. Paper presented to the Nations, Diasporas, Identities Conference, Irish Scottish Studies Programme Victoria University of Wellington/AHRB Centre for Irish and Scottish Studies, University of Aberdeen, Victoria University of Wellington, March 2008.
  • 'Full Employment and External Constraint: New Zealand 1945-52'. Paper presented to the Asia-Pacific Economic and Business History Conference, University of Melbourne, February 2008.

Recent theses supervised

PhD (Completed)

  • David Hall, 'Emerging from an Entrenched Colonial Economy: New Zealand Primary Production, Britain and the EEC 1945-1975' (2016)
  • Matthew Cunningham, 'The Reactionary and the Radical: a Comparative Analysis of Mass conservative Mobilisation in Australia and New Zealand during the Great Depression (2015)
  • RJ (Jo) Bunce. 'James Macandrew of Otago: "Slippery Jim" or a "leader staunch and true?" (2013)
  • Grace Millar, 'Families and the1951 Waterfront Lockout' (2013)
  • Rachel Patrick, 'An Unbroken Connection?: New Zealand Families, Duty, and the First World War' (2014).

MA (Completed)

  • Mark Dunick, 'The New Zealand Socialist Party 1901-1913' (2016)
  • Stephen Clarke, 'Restless Spirit, Resolute Conviction: The Life and Times of Joseph 'Ivo' Evison' (2015)
  • Joseph Cruden, 'The Wairarapa Wealthy in Public Private, 1876-1913' (2015)
  • Alexandra Dekker, 'Freshwater Colonists:The Wellington Acclimatisation Society and the Introduction of Trout, 1871-1914' (2014)
  • Carl Blackmun, '"Not the Socialism we Dreamed of" Becoming Ex-Communists in the United States and New Zealand, 1956-1958' (2012)
  • Gillian Nelson, 'In Quietness and in Confidence Shall be Your Strength': Vicesimus Lush and His Journals, 1850-1882' (2012)
  • James Keating, 'Manufacturing Consensus? New Zealand Press Attitudes Toward the Labour Movement in 1890' (2011)


Teaching in 2020