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Dame Claudia Joseph Orange, DNZM, OBE (born 17 April 1938) is a New Zealand historian. She is best known for her book The Treaty of Waitangi, which was derived from her PhD thesis and published in 1987.[1] It was highly successful by the standards of non-rugby related New Zealand history. The book's success was due primarily to an upsurge in interest in the Treaty of Waitangi caused by the increasing importance of the Waitangi Tribunal and also major Māori protests at Waitangi Day celebrations. The book has become a definitive reference for Pākehā audiences on interpreting the relevance of the Treaty of Waitangi. Several shorter versions of the book have been published for young and non-academic audiences.

From 1975 to 1983 Orange was a history lecturer at the University of Auckland. Since 1990 she has been General Editor of the Dictionary of New Zealand Biography (, and also worked on Te Ara: The Encyclopaedia of New Zealand ( She is also an Associate Editor for the New Dictionary of National Biography (Britain). Between 1997 and 2000 she was Acting Chief Historian of the History Branch in the Department of Internal Affairs. Late in 2003 she became Director of History and Pacific Cultures at the Te Papa Museum of New Zealand in Wellington.

In 1993 Orange was made an Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE), and awarded DCNZM in the 2009 New Year Honours for services to historical research.[2]



Published work

  • The Covenant of Kohimarama (1979).
  • The Treaty of Waitangi (Allen & Unwin, 1987).
  • Story of a Treaty (Allen & Unwin, 1989).
  • An Illustrated History of the Treaty of Waitangi (Allen & Unwin, 1990).
  • An Illustrated History of the Treaty of Waitangi (2nd edition, Bridget Williams Books, 2004).


  1. ^ Nippert, Matt, 'Dr. Claudia Orange', New Zealand Listener, 12 March 2005,
  2. ^ "New Year Honours 2009". Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet. Retrieved 2008-12-31.  

External links



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