I guess you may have to be an NZ -er to be interested in this post :) .... I've posted a pdf over at dropbox (2015) that shows samples of the 2 history spines we have used, and like, for our New Zealand based history texts for elementary and pre-highschool.
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.