I guess you may have to be an NZ -er to be interested in this post :) .... I've posted a pdf over at HSlaunch that shows samples of the 2 history spines we have used, and like, for our New Zealand based history texts.
We're getting ready, again, to go though Captain Cook's voyages to New Zealand using Story of the World Vol.3 and Builders of New Zealand: An Illustrated History for Young People as our spines.
Builders of New Zealand (BoNZ) over other books currently in print. BoNZ has a narrative tone to it that isn't penned in sarcastic humour and is more than just being a deliverer of dates and facts as some other texts are.
ETA: We often get asked about Awesome Aotearoa. For those wanting an informative review on A.A, pop over to Michelle's blog, the owner of Downunder lit . I share her sentiments on that NZ history book.
My view point comes from the perspective of a mum whose family reads and enjoys the humour in various books out of the Horrible History and Murderous Math series,
Ms. Mahy is a gifted wordsmith yet A.A, in my opinion, is not a "fun" book; but one that appears to be totally lacking in respect to any group of people, especially the Maori.
For the middle years (ages 7-11) we choose to enjoy a more old fashioned toned, wholesome text, Builders of New Zealand: An Illustrated History for Young People. Others may dislike BoNZ, but it suits our family rather well.
For those that may be looking for other New Zealand based literature here is a link to an older post listing the New Zealand influenced books we use in our home educating studies, since they just happen to already be on our shelves :-) Or just can just jump straight to the link at the top of our blog.