Living World

Grounded! Why do some birds walk?

Flying versus walking. A no-contest, you might think, but many bird species have abandoned the wind beneath their wings for the earth beneath their feet, and nowhere are these pedestrians better represented than in New Zealand. What is the attraction of a life on the ground that sets the kiwi, and dozens of other birds, to striding rather:than soaring?



Jan - Mar 1998


Home births


Flightless birds





Edge city

Like a runway to the future, Auckland's northern motorway slices across oxidation ponds to reach Albany—a long-neglected rural backwater which is being abruptly transformed into a new city. Despite the speed of change, the district has refused to let its identity be quashed by the encroaching metropolis, and Albany in 1998 presents itself as a colourful mixture of country tenacity and urban flamboyance.

Science & Environment

Life on the rock

For the inhabitants of Niue—a knuckle of coral in the emptiness of the South Pacific—existence is precarious. A threadbare coat of soil, a tenuous supply line from distant New Zealand and regular battering from cyclones make the upraised atoll a home from which many are drawn by the prospect of greater economic rewards in Auckland. Yet a determination among its faithful residents to keep alive their culture and traditions may see tourism—managed by the islanders on their own terms—the saviour of this ocean-bound wilderness.


A scurvy business

For the want of a few milligrams of vitamin C, millions of seamen and adventurers perished as they set out from Europe to explore and subdue the world. Although the cruel lash of scurvy has tormented humans for thousands of years, it was from the dawn of the 16 th to the close of the 19 th century that the disease exacted its greatest toll-one that was exacerbated rather than diminished by the emergence of scientific ideas.


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