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Geoffrey Wayne Rice (born 1946) is an Emeritus Professor[1] of History at the University of Canterbury, Christchurch, New Zealand. He joined the staff in 1973, and served as Head of the School of History from 2006 to 2011, before retiring in 2012.

Geoffrey Wayne Rice
Born1946 (1946) (age 73)
Taumarunui, New Zealand
ResidenceChristchurch, New Zealand
NationalityNew Zealand
Known forStudy of Christchurch history and the 1918 Influenza Pandemic
TitleEmeritus Professor
Academic background
Alma materUniversity of Canterbury
Academic work
Sub-disciplineBiography and Urban History
InstitutionsUniversity of Canterbury

Rice graduated MA in 1970 and was subsequently the first person to be awarded a History PhD by the University of Canterbury in 1974.[2] He served as the foundation Secretary of the New Zealand Historical Association from 1978 to 1981, and was secretary of the Canterbury Historical Association from 1982 to 2007.[2] He has been secretary of the Canterbury History Foundation since 2012.[3] Rice has also been a member of the Royal Society of New Zealand, and is a fellow of the Royal Historical Society, London. He was general editor for the 2nd edition of the Oxford History of New Zealand.[4] Since 1986 he has organised and judged the J. M. Sherrard Award in New Zealand Local and Regional History.[5]

Rice is best known for his detailed studies of the 1918 Influenza Pandemic and its effect on New Zealand[6] [7] and Japan,[8] as well as his studies of the local history of Christchurch. His book Black November (1988; second edition 2005) was the first country-level study of the 1918 influenza pandemic based on individual death records. This book assisted the New Zealand Ministry of Health in preparing its current Influenza Pandemic Plan,[9], and Rice has been invited to give educational presentations on the flu to Ministry of Health staff.[10] Data from his research has been used in several recent epidemiological studies.[11][12] A condensed and updated version of Black November was published in 2017 as Black Flu 1918: the story of New Zealand’s worst public health disaster.[13]

Rice is also known for his books on Christchurch's history and that of its neighboring port, Lyttelton. Rice has also written books and articles on the Fourth Earl of Rochford[14][15] and Heaton Rhodes, as well as some of the Christchurch heritage lost during the 2011 Christchurch earthquake and its aftershocks.[2][16] His precinct history of Victoria Square, a public space in Christchurch, was published in 2014.[17]



  1. ^ "University of Canterbury Professores Emeriti" (PDF) (Press release). Christchurch, New Zealand: University of Canterbury. 2018. Retrieved 17 November 2018.
  2. ^ a b c School of Humanities Staff Profile - Geoffrey Rice - University of Canterbury
  3. ^ "CHF - About - 2016-2017 Executive". Canterbury History Foundation. Retrieved 17 November 2018.
  4. ^ Rice, G., (1993). The Oxford History of New Zealand. Oxford University Press. ISBN 978-0-19-558257-4
  5. ^ "The J. M. Sherrard Awards in New Zealand Regional and Local History" (PDF). University of Canterbury. Canterbury Historical Association. Archived (PDF) from the original on 25 April 2018. Retrieved 25 April 2018.
  6. ^ Rice, G., (2005). Black November: The 1918 influenza pandemic in New Zealand, Canterbury University Press. ISBN 1-877257-35-4
  7. ^ Noted. "1918 flu centenary: How to survive a pandemic". Noted. Retrieved 19 June 2019.
  8. ^ Rice, G. W., Palmer, E. (1993) Pandemic Influenza in Japan, 1918–19: Mortality, Patterns and Official Responses, Journal of Japanese Studies, v. 19, n. 2, pp 389–420
  9. ^ Ministry of Health (2017). New Zealand Influenza Pandemic Plan: a framework for action (2nd ed.). Wellington. ISBN 978-1-98-850285-4. Retrieved 25 April 2018.
  10. ^ Geoffrey Rice (7 May 2018). 1918 Influenza Presentation (Videotape). Wellington, New Zealand: Ministry of Health (New Zealand). Retrieved 17 November 2018.
  11. ^ Nishiura, H.; Wilson, N. (2009). "Transmission dynamics of the 1918 influenza pandemic in New Zealand: analyses of national and city data" (PDF). NZ Medical Journal. 122 (1296): 81–85. ISSN 1175-8716. Retrieved 25 April 2018.
  12. ^ Wilson, Nick; Oliver, Jane; Rice, Geoff; Summer, Jennifer A.; Baker, Michael G.; Waller, Michael; Shanks, G. Dennis (15 September 2014). "Age-Specific Mortality During the 1918–19 Influenza Pandemic and Possible Relationship to the 1889–92 Influenza Pandemic". Journal of Infectious Diseases. 210 (6): 993–995. doi:10.1093/infdis/jiu191. PMID 24676203. Retrieved 25 April 2018.
  13. ^ Rice, G. W. (2017). Black Flu 1918: the story of New Zealand's worst public health disaster. ISBN 978-1-927145-95-1. Retrieved 25 April 2018.
  14. ^ Rice, Geoffrey W. (23 September 2004). "Nassau van Zuylestein, William Henry van, fourth earl of Rochford (1717–1781), diplomatist and politician". Oxford Dictionary of National Biography. doi:10.1093/ref:odnb/30312. Retrieved 27 April 2018.
  15. ^ Rice, Geoffrey W. (2010). Life of the Fourth Earl of Rochford (1717-1781): Eighteenth-Century Anglo-Dutch Courtier, Diplomat and Statesman. Lewiston, New York. ISBN 978-0-7734-1300-9. Retrieved 25 April 2018.
  16. ^ Rice, G., (2011). All Fall Down. Canterbury University Press. ISBN 978-1-927145-10-4
  17. ^ Crean, Mike (29 November 2014). "Victoria Square once a Wild West scene". The Press. p. C10. Retrieved 30 November 2014.