History

Grace under sail

New Zealand's reputation in the field of yacht design, construction and racing is second to none. Since Chris Bouzaid hoisted the one One Ton Cup aloft in 1969, the country's yachting fraternity has not looked back. But to do so—examine the sport's earliest years—is to be reminded that today's greater heritage, with roots in the very foundation of the settlement we now call the City of Sails. Rawene, 42 feet long and the last of the big keel yachts built by the boatbuilding dynasty founded by Robert Logan, is part of that heritage, yet she still slices through the waves of Auckland's Waitemata Harbour more than 90 years after she first tasted salt water on Christmas Eve 1908. Having undergone a recent overhaul, she is good for another 90 years.

Magazine

ISSUE 045

Jan - Mar 2000

Kiwi

Kiwiana

Beaches

Classic yachts

Highway one

Smallfarming

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Society

Looking for the good life

Throughout the country, people are forsaking city and suburb to move back to the land. Making money isn't the drawcard—returns from farm products are meagre. Rather, these emigres are flocking to smallholdings in the hope of establishing a more agreeable lifestyle, one in which the pressure of urban work can be offset by the gentler rhythms of nature. In the Hokianga, Miriam Tyler strolls among her grove of 100 walnut trees grown from select seed to provide valuable timber some decades hence.

Geography

On the beach

For its size, New Zealand has one of the longest coastlines in the world, and no part of the country is much more than a hundred kilometres from the sea. The water that surrounds us is mostly equable in temperature, bidding us to come and enjoy, especially during the heat of summer. And enjoy it we do, swimming, snorkelling, surfing, sunbathing, picnicking and the rest. As visitors to our shores regularly complained until a few years ago, over the Christmas holidays the entire country closed down and most of its population was to be found at the beach. Ah, the beach! Place of memory and anticipation, where we meet the ocean, that great other which covers two-thirds of the globe. At the beach the ocean is shallow—playful more often than predatory, therapeutic rather than threaten­ing. We mince in, step by deeper step, shrieking as the cold nips at our legs. Beneath our soles is a terra incognita of sand, shell and rock winnowed smooth by the swirl of the sea. Some of us comb the sand for treasures, or dig for kai. Others roar out across the water in boats. Teens strut and pose, burning while being cool. Children dig, bury or build. Sand is in their hair, their mouths, their togs. It is the universal ingre­dient in our sandwiches. Mothers keep a watchful eye on their brood, and try to sleep or read. Men cook, watch girls, dream of bigger boats. All this activity has become a documentary subject for Auckland photographer Jocelyn Carlin. Over the past four years she has roamed the country—even to the extent of visiting the Kermadecs and Campbell Island—seeking images which capture the beach's human face. Lately, that face has been changing. Says Carlin: "New Zealand, as a colonised nation, took on the values and traditions of the British. Now the strong new identity is that of a Pacific island nation. Maori assert and renegotiate their priori­ties, and immigrants and refugees find their place here along with seventh-and eighth-generation Europeans. Perhaps nowhere is this cultural mix more openly apparent than at the beach." The fruit of Carlin's travels has been published by David Bateman. Called simply Beach, it is a pictorial celebration of a national institution. [caption id="attachment_25383" align="alignnone" width="1600"] Papamoa Beach[/caption] [caption id="attachment_25374" align="alignnone" width="1600"] Gisborne[/caption] [caption id="attachment_25375" align="alignnone" width="1600"] Mt Maunganui[/caption] [caption id="attachment_25376" align="alignnone" width="1600"] Mission Bay[/caption] [caption id="attachment_25377" align="alignnone" width="1600"] St Kilda[/caption] [caption id="attachment_25378" align="alignnone" width="1600"] Mission Bay[/caption] [caption id="attachment_25382" align="alignnone" width="1600"] Opito Bay[/caption]

Geography

Kiwi – icon in trouble

Maori call them "te manu huna a Tane," the hidden bird of Tane, god of the forest. Once they were so abundant that settlers complained their shrill cries kept them awake at nights. Not any more. Kiwi, the unofficial emblem of the nation, are losing in a tussle for survival within the very forests that were once their stronghold. But a concerted programme by biologists, wildlife centres and public-spirited citizens seeks to turn the tide for these Secretive and Peculiar birds.

Geography

Highway One

State Highway 1 is the country's central artery. At its northernmost extension, it is a rutted gravel track churned to dust by the wheels of coaches carrying tourists to Cape Reinga. Where it greets the Southern Ocean at Bluff, it is a spray-drenched ribbon of asphalt. For 2026 km in between, it weaves through an extraordinary array of landscapes, from high-altitude desert in the Central Plateau to sun-drenched pasture in Marlborough. In his just-published book, Highway 1, Bret de Thier offers a photographic salute to a legendary road.

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