Today, the Petone and Lower Hutt area is an intense conglomeration of industrial, commercial and residential buildings and infrastructure – interconnected by motorways, roads and railways – concentrated within the confines of the sea to the south and the steeply rising hills of the valley to the west and east. Within this landscape of steel, glass, concrete and asphalt, it is hard to believe that only 170 years ago, this was thickly forested floodplain and estuary, rich with teeming birdlife – including the now extinct huia, and the endangered kokako. 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 1793 – How 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