Richard Robinson

Poor Knights Islands

Protected from fishing for 35 years, the waters of the Poor Knights Islands abound with life. Diver and conservationist Wade Doak called this place a “wet library”, a sort of reference section for marine life unfettered by human activity, and an image of hope for the future of our coasts. 

Science & Environment

Poor Knights, rich seas

French oceanographer Jacques Cousteau rated the Poor Knights Islands off Northland’s east coast as one of the top 10 dive spots in the world. Twenty-five years after they were gazetted a marine reserve, they remain as magnificent as ever, a place of rare undersea richness where exciting biological discoveries continue to be made.

Documentary - Wild South

Lost World of the Poor Knights

The Poor Knights are a place where giant wetas and giant landsnails still browse the forests, where large poisonous centipedes and shore crabs stalk the forest floor after dark. It’s also home to a large variety of lizards which pollinate the flowers and distribute the seeds of the forest. Once all these animals lived on the New Zealand mainland, but they would never survive today for this is a slice of New Zealand the way it once was and can never be again.

Living World

No Take Zone

The Poor Knights was among the first of New Zealand's marine reserves, benefiting from a groundswell of public interest that for a time saw Aotearoa leading the world.

Science & Environment

Sea change

“The sea has all our dreams,” writes Keri Hulme. For some, those dreams are of strange and wonderful creatures, such as you might find 70 metres below the surface at the Poor Knights Islands. For others, the dreams are of the ocean’s untapped riches: minerals, fossil fuels, sea creatures, energy. Which dreams will prevail in 21st-century Aotearoa?