History

The night Tarawera awoke

When Mt Tarawera and the surrounding area erupted in the early hours of June 10, 1886, the explosion annihilated the world-famous Pink and White Terraces, smothered a vast swathe of countryside with ash and killed more than 100 people. It remains the largest volcanic eruption since European settlement, an outburst of subterranean fury that continues to fascinate and terrify more than a century later.

Magazine

065

ISSUE 065

Sep - Oct 2003

Clutha

Auckland's container port

Nikau

Tarawera Eruption

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Science & Environment

What price a river?

Drawing on a vast catchment in the mountains west of Lakes Wanaka and Hawea (the latter visible in the distance in this photograph), the Clutha River—New Zealand’s largest by volume­ flows through the parched country of Central Otago before pouring into the Pacific Ocean. It delivers precious irrigation water to the region’s burgeoning horticultural enterprises and turns the turbines of two of the nation’s largest power stations. But problems with sedimentation in the hydro lakes and a boom in property development along the Clutha’s banks are beginning to threaten the river’s integrity.

Living World

Nikau: the Kiwi palm

Although nikau occur naturally from North Cape to about the latitude of Akaroa, nowhere are they a more striking part of the landscape than on the South Island West Coast. Standing tall like giant feather dusters, the stately plants have become something of a botanical signature to the region.

Geography

The shipping news

Of all the changes in the shipping industry in the past few decades, the most far-reaching has been the containerisation of cargo. Auckland, New Zealand’s largest container port, handles nearly half the country’s container trade. The reorganisation of facilities to ensure the efficient handling of more than 1500 steel boxes a day has transformed the port—here coming into view on the bridge of Contship Borealis, one of the world’s largest container ships.

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