Sue Neureuter grew up visiting the Noises Islands which have been in her family since the 1930s. Having witnessed the decline in marine life and seabirds in the Hauraki Gulf first-hand she recalls her parents' stories. “When Mum first got to the Noises which was the late fifties, Dad used to make her row out and he’d put his rugby jersey on and plop over the side and pick crayfish up and dump them around her feet.”
This personal account is the first of a New Zealand Geographic-produced web-series—made in association with Live Ocean and Pew Charitable Trusts—that examines the former abundance of the Hauraki Gulf through the memories of those who can still remember these Songs of the Sea.
The health of the soil plays a crucial role in water quality, food quality and carbon sequestration but the pressures placed on it from industrial agriculture and excessive fertiliser use means it's currently not in the best shape. There are some farmers who see a return to nature as the smartest approach, however, both to create a more efficient business and to reduce their impacts on the environment. As Nicole Masters of Integrity Soils says, if we want to feed the world and still have a habitable planet, the only way to do it is through regenerative agriculture.
The plants and animals that are native to Aotearoa have evolved away from large landmasses, which means we have some of the highest numbers of endemic species on earth. Unfortunately, the sometimes accidental and sometimes deliberate introduction of tens of thousands of exotic plants and animals has pushed many of our unique species to the edge of extinction. With the widespread destruction of ecosystems, the ecological requirements for endemic species often no longer exist, but by nurturing and propagating at-risk species and making nursery plants available to restoration projects, Jeff McCauley is helping to turn things around at the Native Plants Nursery in Piha.
Adrienne and Robert Scott of Reclaimed Timber Traders (RTT) in Palmerston North lead a team pioneering a sustainable business model that not only repurposes our precious timber resource but also provides employment opportunities and a sense of purpose for those who are disadvantaged or struggle to find a role in the system.
One family’s mission to trace their ancestor’s remains buried deep in the coastal sands of northern New Zealand and, together with a local Maori tribe, attempt to lay to rest the other restless spirits of 499 missing miners lost at sea over 100 years ago.
The Kakapo is an anachronism in a modern world. Large solitary and flightless, it’s a New Zealand parrot, but with a difference – a bird that sleeps by day and walks the forest floor by night. Being nocturnal the Kakapo has, until now been a bird with many secrets.
Because of the difficulties in compiling a documentary on a species that comes out only after dark, most of the behavioural sequences that make this film unique – had to be filmed with the aid of special night-vision equipment.
A Leigh Fisheries longliner reels in a catch with practiced efficiency. Target species—such as snapper—go to the fish bin and then to market, and a flick of the wrist dispatches non-target species back into the sea.