New issue of Environment & Nature NZ

kahikateaA new issue of ENNZ: Environment and Nature New Zealand is now out!

Contents:
Vaughan Wood, “Editor’s Introduction”
Linda Tyler, “Illustrating the Grasses and the Transactions: John Buchanan’s Development of Technologies for Lithography in Natural History”
Julia Wells, “A Physician to the Sultan’: The East African Environment in the Writings of a New Zealand Doctor”
Vaughan Wood, “The History of the Phormium Flax Industry in Canterbury”
Paul Star, “Review: Alan F. Mark, Standing My Ground: A Voice for Nature Conservation”
Vaughan Wood, “Recent Publication: Neville Peat: Stewart Island: Rakiura National Park”

Opiki toll bridge: graceful relic of a thriving flax industry

When driving north along State Highway 56 through the low-lying plains flanking the Manawatu River, a traveller cannot help but notice a suspension bridge to the north of the current road, a tall industrial chimney incongruously positioned at the western end of its span [click here to view map]. Now, its suspension wires dangle without purpose, as if suspended in time as well as space, but this graceful structure still strikes a dignified – if somewhat ghostly profile – on the landscape, hinting at an important role it played in the local economy in the not too distant past. Continue reading

Adventures in environmental history: flax, kidnapping & convicts

envirohistory NZ has launched a new page, and a new project: a timeline of New Zealand’s environmental history. This timeline will track developments or events which had significant implications for the New Zealand environment from first settlement of the islands by people from the Polynesian islands, through to today. It will be developed incrementally over time, and comments and contributions are always welcomed.

A lesson from 1793How not to set up a flax industry:

1793 saw the first attempt to set up an industry to process flax, which was in demand in the maritime industry for the manufacture of ropes, canvas sails, nets and sacks. Continue reading