Living World

Shorebird under threat

Mother's love and protection just aren't enough these days if you happen to belong to one of those shorebird species which nest on open beaches. Predators, recreational vehicles, storms and beach-front developments threaten not just this variable oystercatcher chick but the very survival of several other species.



Oct - Dec 1997


Buller river

Coastal fishing

Rangipo desert



Science & Environment

Buller-the mighty river

Known to Maori as Kawatiri—deep and swift—the Buller is the largest river on the West Coast of the South Island, and in flood carries a greater torrent than any other New Zealand river. Although for most of its course Abe river runs in gorges through remote bush-clad mountains, its last few kilometres broaden to a Mississippian expanse. At Westport, the nation's busiest river port, half a million tons of cement is shipped out each year on the 118-metre Milburn Carrier II and her sister tanker.

Science & Environment

Beyond the desert road

Pumice and ash, scoria and grit-the harsh layers of pulverised volcanic refuse that form Rangipo Dessert east of Mount Ruapehu-may offer little succour to plants, but from such unpromising materials nature has fashioned a landscape of austere and peculiar beauty.


The fortunes of fishing

A glassy sea, an open sky, fish on the bite. An alluring image, but often far from the day-to-day reality faced by small-scale coastal fishermen, who must compete for fewer fish while trying to stay on the right side of increasingly complex government rules. One of the few unregulated fisheries left is tuna, which attracts scores of fishermen to the West Coast each summer to try their luck with line and lure.


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