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A six-part series paralleling the 1995 book: Ngā Uruora - The Groves of Life Ecology and History in a New Zealand Landscape by Geoff Park.
Ecologist Geoff Park examines the impact of European agriculture on the Hauraki Plains country, once the site of the richest pre-colonial Maori culture. It's also where the country's future landscape was shaped. (54′44″)
Petone foreshore was the 'beachhead' of the New Zealand Company who had arrived expecting to find tens of thousands of acres of flat land suitable for agriculture. Settlers were to be bitterly disappointed. (55′41″)
Ecologist Geoff Park goes in search of the reason why a small stand of ancient Kahikatea trees on a bend of the Mokau River has survived, despite the onslaught of forest-clearing and dairying. (54′29″)
Papaitonga is the name that Sir Walter Buller gave to his country estate. It was his site for a 'grand theatre' of Maori artefacts, and also the place where the philosophy of modern conservation was formed. (54′23″)
The continued existence of the fragile Nikau Scenic Reserve near Paparoa is an anomaly amidst the dairy country. As it turns out, it's survival is linked to the story of the Western Black Petrel. (53′27″)
What significance should be placed on a few surviving remnants of the pre-agricultural landscape of Aoteraoa, and what would Joseph Banks made of his 'properest place for a colony...'? (54′27″)
Ngā Uruora – The Groves of Life Ecology and History in a New Zealand Landscape, by the late Geoff Park (7 July 1942 to 17 March 2009). Ngā Uruora, a classic of New Zealand environmental writing, was published by Victoria University Press but is currently out of print.
Geoff Park was a respected ecologist and writer whose primary concerns were conserving the last remains of New Zealand's indigenous lowland forest ecosystems and understanding the colonial history that led to their near-vanishing. The series Ngā Uruora: The Groves of Life - Ecology and History in a New Zealand Landscape expands this theme as Geoff took RNZ producer Matthew Leonard to visit the evidence and areas that stimulated and advanced his understanding.
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