Top posts for the quarter

We are approaching the end of March, so it must be time for the top five posts of the first quarter. Coming in at number one – by a healthy margin – is Our favourite Californian – the history of Radiata pine forestry in NZ … who would have thought? At number 2, there continues to be huge interest around our most polluted river – the Manawatu – with only the rare day passing without at least a few hits on this post. Few surprises about the next most popular posts … lawnmowers, Nga Manu Nature Reserve and Jeanette Fitzsimons – perhaps an unlikely combination anywhere else, but not here! Click on the links below to read the posts.

1. Our favourite Californian – the history of Radiata pine forestry in NZ

2. Manawatu River – pollution concerns date back to 1890

3. The lawnmower – the great New Zealand love affair

4. A Kapiti environmental history – Nga Manu

5. Jeanette Fitzsimons: how our attitudes towards the environment have changed 1974 -2010

The lawnmower – the great New Zealand love affair

A lawnmower was an indispensable piece of equipment for the New Zealand homeowner for much of the 20th century, and a piece of equipment for which New Zealand men in particular have formed a kind of reluctant affection – perhaps more so than any other country in the world. (Though we as New Zealanders take our lawn for granted, many people in even the developed world have only a court-yard garden at most.) The traditional quarter-acre section, ubiquitous until the 1980s, but now subdivided into near-oblivion, was comprised largely of lawn, and the lawn mower was an essential tool for keeping the lawn (or perhaps more accurately in many cases – grass and weeds) under control. Lawn-mowing was the obligatory weekend task that could not be overlooked – even if Dad (because, lets face it, it was generally his job) was able to avoid the other tasks and sneak off to the rugby/cricket/fishing. Continue reading