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The groves of life = Nga uruora : ecology and history in a New Zealand landscape / Geoff Park ; [colour photography, Craig Potton].

By: Park, G. N. (Geoffrey Nicholls), 1946-.
Material type: materialTypeLabelBookPublisher: Wellington, N.Z. : Victoria University Press, 1995Description: 376 pages, [24] pages of plates : illustrations (some color), maps ; 24 cm.Content type: text Media type: unmediated Carrier type: volumeISBN: 0864732910 (pbk.) :.Other title: Uruora.Subject(s): Human ecology -- New Zealand -- History | Human beings -- New Zealand -- Influence on nature -- History | Ecology -- New Zealand -- History | Forests and forestry -- New Zealand -- History | Conservation of natural resources -- New Zealand | Human beings -- Influence on nature -- New Zealand -- History | New Zealand -- Historical geographyDDC classification: 304.20993
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Enhanced descriptions from Syndetics:

Nga Uruora: The Groves of Life takes the study of New Zealand's natural environment in radical new directions. Part ecology, part history, part personal odyssey, this book offers a fresh perspective on our landscapes and our relationships with them. Geoff Parks' research focuses on New Zealand's fertile coastal plains, country of rich opportunity for both Maori and European inhabitants, but country whose natural character has vanished from the experience of New Zealanders today. Beginning with James Cook's Endeavour party on the Hauraki Plains, and then the New Zealand Company's arrival in the valley that became the Hutt, Park takes us through the river flatlands where the imperatives of colonial settlement transformed the original forests and swamps with ruthless efficiency. Nga Uruora 's primary journey, however, is to four auspicious places - Tauwhare on the Mokau River, Papaitonga in Horowhenua, Whanganui Inlet and Punakaiki on the South Island's West Coast - where small remnants of the plains forests' indigenous ecosystems of kahikatea and harakeke still survive. The histories of these places, what they mean to Maori, their ecological vulnerability and their significance for conservation are major concerns. Park ties these issues together through the experience of the places themselves, their magic, immediacy and beauty.Alert to how ecology and history interact, and with respect for different ways of knowledge, Park takes issue with those ecologists who say that by the time Europeans arrived the fertile coastal plains had already been ravaged by Maori. He believes that if the last survivors of nga uruora are to become part of the quest for more sustainable ways with the land, the vital part Maori played keeping them alive last century will have to become central, once again, to their care.

Includes bibliographical references (p. 333-370) and index.

In English.

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Reviews provided by Syndetics


New Zealand has long been noted for its exceptional natural beauty, but its coastal plains have been relatively unremarked. Park's highly subjective study of four distinct river flatlands (Tauwhare; Papaitonga; Whanganu Inlet; and Punakaiki) is his attempt to integrate the ecology and history of these environs with an overlay of personal conclusions. The volume is packed with geographical, archaeological, biological, and historical data presented in an almost lyrical mode. A knowledge of Maori culture will assist the reader in comprehending why the four chosen sites are of such interest to the indigenous peoples, and the impact that the possible impending destruction of these areas will have on all New Zealand inhabitants. Title notwithstanding, the treatise is basically a history of lowland conservation in New Zealand. Biologists will profit much from the detailed studies of the ecosystems involved. There are references to several hundred studies worldwide, so the volume has a cosmopolitan tone. The author feels certain landscapes demand an emotional response; his book personifies this approach, reaching a crescendo when relating the urbanization of many areas. A stimulating and evocative work. Upper-division undergraduates through faculty. G. Nicholas Manhattan College