Living World

Life on the edge

Like New Zealanders, penguins occupy the margin of land and sea, being dependent on both habitats, and vulnerable to changes in either as well. Their fate is wedded to our coasts, and as scientists have begun to understand, they are a perfect indicator of the health of this fragile boundary too. What can penguins tell us about our seas and shores?



Jan - Feb 2017

Kaikoura Quake


Craft Beer

Waitaha River



A tale of two currents

Morgan Gorge, a spectacular chasm on the South Island’s West Coast, is a showpiece of whitewater power. Although it has been paddled by fewer than a dozen people, it is the aspiration of kayakers here and around the world to tackle its supreme challenge. If the Minister of Conservation grants a concession to electricity company Westpower to build a hydro-generation scheme on the Waitaha River—as she says she intends to do—Morgan Gorge will become an emaciated trickle for much of the year. Opponents say this would be an environmental tragedy and a cultural loss, tantamount to building a windfarm on the summit of Aoraki/Mt Cook.


Law of the land

Rethinking the way the New Zealand legal system describes the environment, and how people treat it, is the life’s work of law professor Jacinta Ruru.

Science & Environment

In the wake of the quake

The Kaikōura Earthquake was better documented and measured than any natural event in our history. As the data streams in, scientists are scrambling to decode its hidden meanings and answer some burning questions of Antipodean geology: How does seismic energy jump from one fault to another? Why were so many involved in this earthquake? And what can it teach us so we are better prepared for the next one?



From Captain Cook’s first fetid brew in 1773 to the hop-rocking IPAs that dominate today’s craft scene, small breweries at the Top of the South have shaped beer culture and industry in New Zealand. Matt Philp primes his fermenter to figure out why.


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