Graeme Hunt is an historian, journalist, and commentator. He has written a number of books about New Zealand business, and political and organisational history. His books include, The Rich List: Wealth and Enterprise in New Zealand 1820–2000 (2000, and updated in 2003), a 180-year history of New Zealand’s wealthiest entrepreneurs and business people, and Black Prince (2004), a biography of controversial trade unionist Fintan Patrick Walsh. Hunt is also a regular media commentator, and a former editor-at-large of the National Business Review.
Place of residence: Auckland
Hunt, Graeme (1952 – ) is an historian, journalist and commentator. He was born in Auckland and educated at the University of Auckland and Massey University. Originally an accountant, he has worked as a journalist since 1974 and is a former editor-at-large of the National Business Review.
Hunt has written a number of books about New Zealand business, political and organisational history. These include The Rich List: Wealth and Enterprise in New Zealand 1820–2000 (2000 and 2003); Hustlers, Rogues & Bubble Boys: White-Collar Mischief in New Zealand (2001); Centenary: 100 Years of State Insurance (2005); Rural Challenge: A History of Wrightson Ltd (with Hugh Stringleman, 2006); Spies and Revolutionaries: A History of New Zealand Subversion (2007); By Skill and Spirit: A History of the Auckland Officers' Club (2009) and First to Care: 125 Years of the Order of St John in New Zealand, 1885-2010 (2009).
The Rich List, which was a bestseller, follows a 180-year history of New Zealand’s wealthiest entrepreneurs and business people, from pioneers to personalities involved in the 1987 sharemarket crash. Gillian Vine writing in the Christchurch Star (December 2000), comments that ‘The Rich List is a masterly account of our richest people, going back to the days when Johnny Jones built a whaling station at Preservation Inlet … Hunt has done a magnificent job, in researching his subject and then writing about it in a way that is at times as absorbing as a novel.’
Hunt’s first biography, Black Prince (2004), is an account of the life of controversial mid-20th century trade unionist Fintan Patrick Walsh. Reviewing Black Prince in New Zealand Books (March 2005), Don Aimer comments that ‘Black Prince is useful and valuable in rescuing [Walsh] from obscurity, and sustains the conclusion that Walsh “deserves a place in the panoply of outstanding New Zealanders”. This book will be appreciated by those in the field of industrial relations.’
Rural Challenge covers the 144-year history of Wrightson and is a comprehensive history of New Zealand’s largest rural services trader.
Hunt wrote a history of his old school, Penrose High School (now One Tree Hill College) in 2005 and edited a history on Selwyn College, Auckland, in 2006. He is also editor of Wealthmakers: A History of the Northern Employers’ and Manufacturers’ Associations (2005), and Auckland’s Voice of Business: A History of the Auckland Chamber of Commerce 1856–2006 (2006).
In 2007 Hunt's controversial book Spies and Revolutionaries: A History of New Zealand Subversion (2007) was published by Reed Books and Waddington Press. This book describes Ian Milner, Paddy Costello and Dr Bill Sutch as spies and created a spirited public debate on the definition of dissension and subversion.
In 2009, two further books by Hunt were published; First to Care, a 140,000-word history of the Order of St John in New Zealand, and By Skill and Spirit, a history of the Officers' Club in Auckland. Both were richly illustrated.
Hunt is planning to write a history of Niue, the birthplace of his wife Saluma (née Ioane).