July - Aug 2006

Haast Coast

1913 Strike






Living World

The Banabans of Rabi

Decades of phosphate mining on Banaba/Ocean Island left it unfit for growing and gathering food, so the islanders who lived there were resettled on Rabi in the Fiji group after WWII. Most remain on Rabi living a subsistence existence but some still dream of far-off Banaba, now part of Kiribati.


Spring in Haast

While all of Westland tends to be damp, southern Westland is moister than elsewhere. Haast receives a healthy 3500 mm of rain a year, but it is more than local precipitation that makes this area wet. A series of major rivers, their headwaters draining the Main Divide from Mt Cook down to west of Mt Aspiring, converge here to empty into the Pacific along only 50 km of coast. Over the last 6000 years, the debris they have carried has built the country's largest wetland plain. Lake Moeraki provides a foretaste of the area to those arriving from the north.

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