Edited by May Bass and Mark Derby


The life and work of outstanding New Zealand peace activist Owen Wilkes. Tributes from friends and associates.

Born in Christchurch, Owen Wilkes was an internationalist and a dedicated New Zealander — a subsistence farmer on the West Coast (where his self-built eco-home was demolished by the local council), an archaeologist, tramper and yachtsman.

Published by Raekaihau Press in association with Steele Roberts Aotearoa

Review by David Littlewood: NZIR Vol 48 No 3 May June 2023

ODT review Feb 25

Labour History Melbourne Review

Out of stock


The first full-length account of the life and work of Owen Wilkes.

Owen Wilkes (1940–2005) was known throughout the Pacific and across the world as an outstanding researcher on peace and disarmament.
His work —
• exposed plans to build a US Navy satellite tracking station in the Southern Alps
• identified a foreign spy base at Tangimoana (near Bulls)
• led to job offers from leading peace research institutes in Norway and Sweden — and an espionage charge for taking photographs during a cycling holiday
• supported local campaigns against foreign military activity in the Philippines, and for a nuclear-free Pacific.

About the author

Edited by historian Mark Derby and Owen’s former partner May Bass. Contributions from experts in their own fields who knew and
worked with him:
Ingvar Botnen
Nils Petter Gleditsch
Nicky Hager
Di Hooper
Murray Horton
Maire Leadbeater
Robert Mann
Neville Ritchie
David Robie
Ken Ross
Peter Wills

The book includes a timeline, a bibliography of Owen’s publications in several languages, and an index.

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