Magazine

ISSUE 031

Jul - Sep 1996

Main trunk line

Kingfishers

Biological control

Mangere island

Rugby

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Science & Environment

Biocontrol

The Green crown of Hunua State Forest arched above me, a remnant of New Zealand's ancient wooded past, and home still to that rare and operatic wattlebird, the kokako. At my feet, a possum struggled in a trap, a creature which has lived in these islands barely 100 years, yet whose depreda­tions threaten the very forest in which I stood.

Living World

Rugby – just a game?

Mere minutes to full time, with the All Blacks and their arch rivals the South African Springboks tied 12-12 in the 1995 World Cup final, faces at the Ponsonby Rugby Club reflect the strain of the national game. For many New Zealanders, rugby is the silver fern on the jersey of life.       

History

Riding the long steel road

An enthusiasts' steam train rides the Main Trunk Line across the Waikato River at Ngaruawahia. Conceived by the visionary politician Julius Vogel in 1870, the North Island rail trunk took almost 40 years to complete; a hard-won link piercing the heart of the land. Now, after close to a century of use, it remains a vital—and romantic—strand of the country's transport network.

Geography

The sacred kingfisher

The delicacy and brilliance of a hummingbird wedded to an industrial-strength beak that would do a woodpecker proud, the chimeric little kingfisher stakes a claim in our hearts. Returning with a snack for his family, this male prepares to land in the entrance of his nesting burrow in an old tree.

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