The massive pillars rise out of the hillside as though they have always been there, sur­rounded by a reckless litter of leaf and bark; as though their powerful boughs, draped with hanging plants, have always held the sky away from the land.



Apr - Jun 1989


Lighthouse keepers

New bird arrivals






Minginui's last stand

On Waitangi weekend, 1989, the tiny central North Island town of Minginui was at the centre of a massive military operation. Troops and artillery flowed into the town in a last-ditch effort to quell a (mock) rebel uprising. The townspeople, mostly spectators in the army drama,had reason to reflect on the significance of the clash: in many ways Minginui itself is facing its darkest hour.

Living World

Last of the lighthouse keepers

Automation has brought to an end the tradition of lighthouse keeping in New Zealand. By mid-1990 the switch will be complete and the manned lighthouse will be no more. Tony Reid visited four of the remaining keepers to discover what draws these people to their unique and seemingly romantic way of life.

Science & Environment

New immigrants

For the last 25 million years New Zealand's shores have been receiving a constant influx of Australian immigrants: plants and animals which have been blown across the Tasman by the prevailing westerly winds. Most successful among the travellers have been the birds, and their continuing arrival provides a bright spot on our often bleak ornithological record of extinctions and endangered species.


The amazing bee

"How doth the little busy bee, Improve each shining hour..." observed hymnwriter Isaac Watts in the 18th century. Bees are remarkable creatures, and they have captured our fascination since ancient times. Indeed, their social organisation and language skills can make them seem almost human.  

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