Photographer of the Year 2016

Congratulations to the winners of the New Zealand Geographic Photographer of the Year 2016. From 3500 entries, these are the finest visions of our environment and society, and this year's contribution to the ever-expanding record of our place, and our people.




Sep-Oct 2016

Kākāpō genome

Mt Owen tragedy


Darran Mountains

Special Focus

Kermadec Ocean Sanctuary

The proposed Kermadecs Ocean Sanctuary stretches over 620,000 square kilometres of sea, pocked with small rocky islands and riddled with underwater volcanoes and deep trenches. It supports life not found anywhere else in the world. Yet the sanctuary remains unratified; subject to a fisheries dispute currently before the courts and the rubber stamp of Parliament. What's at stake?


Living World

Decoding kākāpō

In a world first, the entire genome of every individual of the kākāpō species will be sequenced, giving researchers the ‘code’ to all living birds (and a few long-dead ones, too). This is vital information in the quest to solve the kākāpō’s biggest problems, granting the world’s weirdest parrot its best chance at long-term survival.


Without a trace

In the wilds of Kahurangi National Park, a tramper disappears two days before Christmas, sparking a huge search and rescue effort. Nearly four years on, Alistair Levy has still not been found.


Kava: Elixir of the Pacific

The tradition of kava has brought people together and consummated important social occasions in the Pacific for 3000 years. The use of kava is growing in New Zealand, with some 25,000 drinkers consuming up to 32 times the recommended pharmacological limit on any given weekend, then driving home. What is kava, and what role does it play in our society?

Travel & Adventure

First ascent: finding unclimbed walls in the Darrans

The Darran Mountains lie deep in the marrow of northern Fiordland—a chunky, perplexing range of diorites and sandstones, gneisses and granites. This is a land of extremes, with the country’s most remote summits, the greatest rainfall and the longest, hardest-to-climb alpine rock walls. Adventurers have been coming here since William Grave and Arthur Talbot in the late 1800s, to test themselves and forge new routes through this vertical landscape.

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