Environment - Plane shame

In many ways, being an environmentalist is like having a religion. Both require devotion, patience, compassion and a sense of higher good. Experiences of nature take on a reverent quality, they invoke meditative reflection about the world, inspire awe...... Read More

Wrap up and walk

On a recent calm morning I was checking a rat-trap line on the shore near Stillwater and came across a pair of brown teal in a quiet corner. This may sound commonplace, but until recently it would have been unheard of. Brown teal are New Zealand’s...... Read More

Many names for Matariki

This is the season of Matariki – the start of the traditional Maori and Polynesian new year. In astronomy, this group of stars brings with it a lot of surprises. Matariki is known by many other names around the world: Pleiades, Seven Sisters, Messier...... Read More

TOSSI - Birdsong and ramblings

Having just returned from several weeks campervanning as far south as Hanmer Springs, I thought it timely to share some of our experiences and observations.  I’ll start by declaring that I am going to sing the praises of Tāwharanui Open Sanctuary....... Read More

Ethical dilemmas

When I was first studying environmental ethics and environmental law in the early 1990s, it was all about sustainability. Sustainability and sustainable development and management, though we thought they were oxymorons even back then. How can you have...... Read More

Many moons to see

Most people have only ever seen one moon – our own. But this month, we are going to look at how to use technology to find and observe the four largest moons of Jupiter (Galilean Moons) – Io, Europa, Ganymede, and Callisto. June is the best...... Read More

Changes afoot

It’s planting time again. Volunteers at the SOSSI nursery have once again raised thousands of seedlings and a truckload more has arrived from the Botanic Gardens, so we have 15,000 waiting to get their roots down. Upcoming public planting days...... Read More

Technology careers

It is often said that grandparenting is one of life’s greatest joys. Certainly, listening to my 16-year-old grandson muse about his life dreams and plans during a long, cross country walk in the Kaipara was very special for me. He was constructing...... Read More

Planting underway

It’s planting season. Each year we give the plants grown in the Tāwharanui nursery new homes in the ground around the park. By far the largest number are planted during public planting days. This year, public planting days will see the planting...... Read More

Handsome hihi

Hihi, or stitchbirds, were once believed to be widespread throughout the North Island and northern offshore islands. By 1885, the only remaining population was on Te Hauturu-o-Toi/Hauturu. Andreas Reischek, a noted and avid collector of species for European...... Read More