The tree hunters

Out there in forest reserves, down remote back roads and tucked away in corners of small towns hide giant tōtara, mataī and rimu. A tiny group of obsessive people, guided by old records and half-remembered stories, regularly hit the road in search of these monsters. Their aim: to bag a champion tree, one whose size, age and majesty will put it at the top of New Zealand’s notable tree register.



Mar - Apr 2021



Rangitoto Baches

Tree Hunters




In search of summer

More than a century ago, people were granted temporary leases to build baches on Rangitoto Island, and a thriving community grew around these rudimentary dwellings. But Rangitoto is public land. A debate over the legitimacy of private baches existing there began in the 1920s and continues today. Meanwhile, three of the historic baches have now been opened for public use, welcoming a new generation of people to the island.


Places of rest

Amber Aranui searches the world for Māori and Moriori human remains to bring home as a researcher for Te Papa’s Karanga Aotearoa Repatriation Programme.

Living World

The birds and the bees

Plant sex is the ultimate form of a long-distance relationship, with animals co-opted into carrying out the act. The result: much of life on Earth depends on the habits of hungry insects, bats, reptiles and birds. But we don’t know exactly who’s doing what to whom, and when—and what might happen if they disappear.

Science & Environment

Can the vaccines save us?

A few short generations ago, New Zealand was beset by a virus that closed schools, churches, cinemas and campgrounds and put people in quarantine. Polio killed at least 835 New Zealanders and paralysed many more. Regular epidemics were only banished in the 1960s by a vaccine decades in the making. Now, as the world awaits the rollout of COVID-19 vaccines, how have things changed? What has science learned about designing tools to help our immune systems fight back?


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