The Arms of Admiral Sir Joseph Nias, KCB

By Roger Barnes On the 29th of January 1840, HMS Herald, under the command of Captain Joseph Nias and with (the soon-to-be Lieutenant-Governor) Captain William Hobson as a passenger, sailed into the Bay of Islands. Eight days later, the Treaty of Waitangi was signed in a marquee at the residence of James Busby, with Hobson […]

Welcome to the Heraldry Society of New Zealand’s official blog

This is a warm welcome to all and singular! If you are interested in heraldry, particularly in New Zealand, or if you wish to learn more about the science of heraldry, then you have come to the right place! The Heraldry Society of New Zealand (HSNZ), established in 1962, is the principal New Zealand learned […]

Sir Ernest Shackleton

By Roger Barnes This year [2015] is the centenary of the start of Sir Ernest Shackleton’s Trans-Antarctic expedition during which he showed remarkable endurance, bravery and leadership. Over a period of 21 years (1901 to 1922), he made several expeditions to Antarctica and the islands of the Southern Ocean, travelling via New Zealand on numerous […]

Walter Oliver Cernohorsky 1927-2014

By Gregor Macaulay Walter Cernohorsky, longstanding member and councillor of The Heraldry Society of New Zealand (HSNZ), and valued contributor to the Society’s journal The New Zealand Armorist (the Armorist), died in Auckland on 23 September 2014, aged 87. Walter was born on 30 June 1927 in Brno, in what is now the Czech Republic, the youngest […]

The Battle of the River Plate: Achilles and Admiral Graf Spee

Article by Roger Barnes December 2014 marked the 75th anniversary of the Battle of the River Plate in which New Zealanders were significantly involved, and in which the enemy ship was the German “pocket battleship” Admiral Graf Spee. December 2014 was also the centenary of the death of the eponymous Admiral Maximilian Graf von Spee. […]


On Monday 18th May, a reception for Dr Claire Boudreau (Chief Herald of Canada), Mr Kevin MacLeod (Canadian Secretary to The Queen), Madame Emmanuelle Sajous (Deputy Herald Chancellor and Deputy Secretary to the Governor General of Canada), and Dr Christopher McCreery (Private Secretary to the Lieutenant Governor of Nova Scotia) was held at the Northern […]

Obituary: James Macintosh McCready

By: Gregor Macaulay Jim McCready, for many years New Zealand’s leading heraldist, died in Dunedin on 18 December 2012, aged 89.  His funeral was held on 21 December. James Macintosh McCready was born on 10 February 1923 in Dunedin and, except during the Second World War, lived and worked there for his entire life. He […]