Geography

Mason Bay marram

Mason Bay on the west coast of Stewart Island at about 47° south is argu­ably the most exposed beach in the country. Desperate westerlies regularly scream in here from the subantarctic and Southern Ocean. Little wonder that there is a vast swathe of dunes inland from the shore, and that farmers who once at­tempted to eke out a living here tried to stabilise the invading dunes with mar-ram grass. Now conserva­tionists would like to see native plants replace the introduced marram...

Magazine

088

ISSUE 088

Nov - Dec 2007

Sinbad Gully

Time

King Country

Iraq

Mason Bay

Waiheke Waters

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Geography

Sinbad Gully

The last mainland kakapo were found in this damp and secluded Fiordland valley in the 1970s, but recently a slew of other new animals has been discovered in its upper reaches. This photograph was taken after rain during the search for kakapo.

History

Time

When we switch on the television to watch the All Blacks playing on the other side of the world, none of us thinks we might miss the broadcast because we’ve got the time wrong. In common with the inhabitants of most countries, we depend on an accurate knowledge of the time for just about eve­rything we do. Modern life could barely be sustained without it, and we take it so much for granted that we hardly ever think about it. However, the assumption that the precise time can always be known dates back little more than a century.

History

King Country

While the sun didn’t set on the British Empire until after WWII, there were places within it where it hardly rose in the first place. In New Zealand, for a period of some 20 years from the early 1860s, Maori barred European settlers from about 20 per cent of the central North Island, making the region a de facto state within a state. When Pakeha did eventually move in, somewhat hesitantly, they joined Auckland and Wellington by rail, milled the forests, introduced farming to a reluctant land, and co-founded one of the country’s most popular tourist attractions. Maori call this place Te Rohe Potae —“Under the Brim of the Hat”. Pakeha call it the King Country.

Geography

Security contractors in Baghdad

In the months following the 2003 invasion of Iraq, ads started appearing around the world for former soldiers to take up work as security contractors protecting those employed in the country’s reconstruction. Many Kiwis answered the call, and now, four years later, with no end to the conflict in sight, some are dying and others are calling it quits. For those who work there it is all about balancing what they hope to gain against what they might lose.

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