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Nga Uruora/the Groves of Life: Ecology and History in a New Zealand Landscape Paperback – December 1, 1995

ISBN-13: 978-0864732910 ISBN-10: 0864732910

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Paperback, December 1, 1995
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 376 pages
  • Publisher: Victoria University Press (December 1, 1995)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0864732910
  • ISBN-13: 978-0864732910
  • Product Dimensions: 6.3 x 1 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.3 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,541,540 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Geoff Park's "Nga Ururora. The Groves of Life,"first published in 1995, is an interesting read for anyone who wants to look more deeply behind the facade of "clean and green" or "hundred percent pure." These slogans have been used to sell NZ's landscape to the world over the last 25 years, and many New Zealanders want to believe in them. The book is a collection of microhistories. Six locations in different regions of coastal, lowland New Zealand tell the story. These are not the iconic landscapes of fiords, glaciers or snowy peaks that attract the mass of tourists and NZers know so well, but lesser known locations such as as a section of the Mokau River in Taranaki, The Whanganui Inlet in North West Nelson and the 'Sand Plain Forest' near Punakaiki on the west coast of South Island. Too few New Zealanders have understood the history (Maori and Settler)and ecology of this kind of country, or appreciated its intrinsic beauty. Park looks at the fate of these areas and their various degrees of conversion from their natural state.

Nga Uruora is a mix of oral and documented history, ecology and personal reflection. A professional ecologist himself, Park gets out in his kayak and interviews the locals. He takes up the cause of the unspoilt coasts, wetlands and lowland Podocarp tall forests. You cannot help but come away realising the importance of their remnants.

Park may well have inspired others with his book. Projects to protect wetlands and restore coastal areas in New Zealand have proliferated in the last 15 years. The story of land alienation from Maori inhabitants has been told before, as has that of deforestation by settlere and developers, but not with so much sensitivity to the landscape itself. Nature is not just about high mountains and steep valleys.
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