My interest in Australasia began as a PhD student at the ANU in the 1980s. My first two books were thesis-based monographs on mothers and babies ('Maternity in Dispute: New Zealand 1920-1939' and 'Mothers and King Baby', about infant mortality and welfare in Australia). This early career research led me to strive to include women and children in my writing of New Zealand History.
Since 2000 I have moved to writing overview histories of NZ and its region. 'A History of Australia, NZ and the Pacific' for the Blackwell History of the World series (with Donald Denoon and Marivic Wyndham) asked whether ours is a coherent region. We decided it is even if it doesn't have a name. Next I wrote 'A Concise History of NZ' for Cambridge University Press (2005) which provides an overview of NZ as linked historically to Britain, immersed in the Pacific and part of Australasia. From there I sought to recover the history of diverse links across the Tasman. A Marsden project with then colleagues Peter Hempenstall and Shaun Goldfinch culminated in the co-authored book 'Remaking the Tasman World' (2008).
My current research is a mix of archival work, e.g. on trans-Tasman trade relations, and overview history, beginning with a second edition of my 'Concise History of NZ'.