Editor's note

Nau mai, haere mai and welcome to the first edition of this weekly newsletter about research and issues facing New Zealand.

The impact of the Christchurch terror attacks continues to affect all aspects of life and politics in New Zealand.

Eva Nisa and Faried F. Saenong, both at Victoria University of Wellington, chart the history of New Zealand’s Muslim population back to the earliest arrivals in 1769. They find that 19th-century Muslim settlers in Christchurch helped build the city’s cathedral and so contributed to its history of Christianity.

Within less than a week of the attacks, the government announced a ban on semi-automatic weapons and assault firearms to prevent stockpiling. Massey University terrorism expert John Battersby describes the ban as one small step that will need to be followed up with further work that addresses gaps in New Zealand’s security approach.

New Zealand authors also explored issues raised by housing development plans on Māori land that is part of a rare cultural heritage landscape and how aged care providers can help digitally savvy older people to stay connected.

All New Zealand articles will continue to be published on the Australian edition of The Conversation, but we have created a new page filled exclusively with New Zealand stories, so you can find this country’s news and research in one place. Please spread the word and encourage friends and colleagues to sign up for this newsletter.

Veronika Meduna

New Zealand Editor

Top story

New Zealand Muslims have come from several parts of the world, including Pacific Islands, Asian countries, the Middle East and Africa. AAP/Martin Hunter

From Mahometan to Kiwi Muslim: history of NZ’s Muslim population

Eva Nisa, Victoria University of Wellington; Faried F. Saenong, Victoria University of Wellington

Some of the earliest Muslims to settle in Christchurch during the 19th century have helped in the construction of Christchurch Cathedral and are part of the city's history of Christianity.

Why NZ needs to follow weapons ban with broad review of security laws

John Battersby, Massey University

New Zealand's ban on semi-automatic weapons and assault firearms is one small step in a country that will need to address gaps in its security approach.

Massacre is now part of Christchurch’s identity, so how does a city rise above that?

Will Rifkin, University of Newcastle

Christchurch is now inextricably associated with the mass shootings at two mosques in which 50 people died. So what can a city do when its name become synonymous with such an event?

Local Māori urge government to address long-running dispute over rare cultural heritage landscape

Tim McCreanor, Massey University; Frances Hancock, University of Auckland

New Zealand is the last major landmass to be settled. One of the sites of earliest occupation is under threat from development, despite its cultural significance for Māori.

Older people are more digitally savvy, but aged care providers need to keep up

Dr Wendy Wrapson, Auckland University of Technology

Older generations are increasingly more connected, but those living in aged care continue to experience a digital divide.