I came to the world of Ikawai rather late. I had dipped into the hefty 800 page volume some time back. What I read was very interesting, but thinking that it was basically an encyclopedia about fish, I had not ventured much further than the introductory chapters.
Recently, my interest in the impact of acclimatisation on Maori led me back to the book. What a revelation! Well actually a series of them. Continue reading →
A couple of weeks back, I took the train to the Wairapara. Emerging from the tunnel through the Rimutaka Ranges (which at 8.8 kms is one of the longest train tunnels in New Zealand), the landscape was striking. What impressed me was the sheer scale of the agricultural plains: the indigenous forest that once covered the hills and plains long ago replaced by an orderly patchwork of fields. But a second glance down onto the plains to the east revealed the presence of a large watery expanse: not blue, exactly – more swirls of green and brown – but unmistakably a lake. Continue reading →