About Robert

Dr Robert Pede    n, BA (Hons), MA (Dist), PhD

Dr Robert Peden, BA (Hons), MA (Dist), PhD

After 25 years shepherding and managing sheep stations in the South Island, Robert Peden completed an award-winning PhD thesis at the University of Otago in 2007. In 2009 he was awarded a Claude McCarthy Fellowship. Now an independent historian, Robert has recently worked on Te Ara: The Encyclopedia of New Zealand and researched Treaty of Waitangi claims. Making Sheep Country is his first book. He is a member of the Professional Historians' Association of New Zealand/Aotearoa (PHANZA).

Work History

  • 2012: Freelance Writer, Researcher, Editor and Reviewer; wrote a reader’s report for a manuscript for Auckland University Press
  • May 2008 to mid-October 2011: Contract Researcher/Writer, Waitangi Tribunal, Ministry of Justice
  • April 2007 to April 2008: Writer, Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, Ministry of Culture and Heritage
  • March to October 2004: Tutor, University of Canterbury, Department of History 
  • 2002: English Language Teacher, Christchurch Polytechnic Institute of Technology
  • 1990 to 1999:  Station Manager, Irishman Creek Station, Lake Tekapo
  • 1984 to 1990:  Station Manager, Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries, Tara Hills High Country Research Station, Omarama
  • 1983 to 1984:  Station Manager, Dingleburn Station, Lake Hawea
  • 1981 to 1983:  Farm Manager, Gimmermore, Hawea Flat


  • 2012: Editorial Module (Merit), Diploma in Publishing, Whitireia New Zealand 
  • 2009: Claude McCarthy Fellow, wrote: Making Sheep Country. Mt Peel Station and the transformation of the tussock lands
  • 2007: Ph.D., thesis: ‘Pastoralism and the transformation of the rangelands of the South Island of New Zealand, 1841 to 1912: Mt Peel Station, a case study’, University of Otago. The university recorded the thesis as ‘Exceptional’
  • 2003: Maori 115, Te Reo Apatahi (Maori Language), University of Canterbury
  • 2002: C.E.L.T.A., University of Cambridge Certificate In English Language Teaching To Adults
  • 2001: M.A. (Distinction), thesis: ‘Sheep Farming Practice in Colonial Canterbury, 1843 to 1882. The origin and diffusion of ideas, skills, techniques and technology in the creation of the pastoral system’, University of Canterbury
  • 2001: Sir James Hight Memorial Prize in History (joint)
  • 2000: B.A. Honours (First Class), History, University of Canterbury
  • 1999: B.A., History, Legal System, University of Canterbury