Back to lockdown

This magazine is a small miracle.

Written by      

Brett Phibbs

The 112 pages in your hands right now represents an extraordinary effort by dozens of people labouring not just under the regular challenges of telling our stories, but doing so under the threat and entanglements of a global pandemic and the associated health response.

Shoots have been cancelled or deferred, travel has been limited, extra precautions have been added, and members of the editorial team have had cotton swabs inserted deep into their noses. (The test was negative.)

Right now, photographer Richard Robinson and writer Bill Morris are on a boat, sailing back from the Auckland Islands where they have been on assignment for New Zealand Geographic for nearly a month. Blissfully isolated from the pandemic in the subantarctic, they return to a nation with entire regions in lockdown, an election postponed, communities and families again in the grip of restrictions on movement.

The stories in this issue were decided, at least in part, by the trajectory of the virus, where production opportunities were determined by alert levels and travel restrictions, or completed within them.

Even today, as we go to press—the only day in the cycle we are operating in the editorial office—we do so with face masks, creating an apocalyptic atmosphere that has begun to feel strangely normal in Auckland.

Advertising looked like it was recovering for this issue, until it suddenly wasn’t. But readers have supported this magazine at the newsstand and with subscriptions which has eased the pain somewhat. Even the government purchased some subscriptions.

So, if you have paid to read this magazine—thank you. You are supporting this magazine, the galaxy of contributors who work for it and our record of history.

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