Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | News Video | Crime | Employers | Housing | Immigration | Legal | Local Govt. | Maori | Welfare | Unions | Youth | Search


New book marks centennial of NZ beauty spots

New book marks centennial of NZ beauty spots

A new book celebrates 100 years since Parliament passed world-leading legislation to protect New Zealand’s scenery.

Then Prime Minister Richard Seddon introduced the Scenery Preservation Bill to prevent the destruction of New Zealand's top scenic spots – in particular, our thermal springs - and to promote our identity overseas.

In marking the centennial, which falls on 20 November, Tony Nightingale and Paul Dingwall of DOC's Science & Research Unit have written Our Picturesque Heritage 100 Years of Scenery Preservation in New Zealand, to be launched by Conservation Minister Chris Carter at Otari-Wilton's bush on 19 November.

“The passing of the Act was remarkable because it had broad political support within Parliament at a time when Government was more accustomed to passing legislation to clear land for farming,” Mr Carter said today.

"Deciding to promote such legislation was politically courageous and the legislation was also bold in international terms.”

New Zealand was three years ahead of the United States with its scenery preservation legislation, and now has more than 1500 scenic and historic reserves around the country.

The frontispiece of the book has a photo of King Dick Seddon sitting on a pile of moraine in front of the Franz Josef glacier. In introducing the Bill to Parliament, the outspoken and charismatic politician said:

“The time has come in the history of our colony when our scenery should be preserved, when the historic and beautiful places should be for all time conserved, and when we should do something to protect the thermal springs, which are of so great value to the country, from being destroyed and from falling into the hands of private individuals.”

Mr Nightingale said Mr Seddon would have been pleased that his legislation has had far-reaching consequences in New Zealand’s tourism boom.

“What surprised us in doing this project was that very little had been written about our scenic heritage, and the fact that it is a cultural artifact, created at a time and place,” Mr Nightingale said.

Four generations of scenery preservation work since the Act was passed has involved New Zealand identities such as botanist Leonard Cockayne, buried with his wife at Otari-Wilton's Bush; Surveyor-General Percy Smith; Polynesian Society member Hoani Tunuiarangi; conservationist Perrine Montcrieff; Apirana Ngata; and Member for Northern Maori Hone Heke Ngapua.

Mitre Peak at Milford Sound, Sutherland Falls, Waitomo Caves, the Central North Island volcanic plateau, Mt Taranaki, Rangitoto Island, Whanganui River, Buller Gorge, Trounson Kauri Park, the pancake rocks at Punakaiki, the gannet colony at Cape Kidnappers, Waimangu Scenic Reserve, and the Moeraki boulders are examples of New Zealand's outstanding scenic heritage represented in the book.

© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines


Sector Opposes Bill: Local Government Bill Timeframe Extended

The Minister of Local Government Peseta Sam Lotu-Iiga has asked the Select Committee to extend the report back date for the Local Government Act 2002 Amendment Bill (No 2). More>>


Breed Laws Don’t Work: Vets On New National Dog Control Plan

It is pleasing therefore to see Louise Upston Associate Minister for Local Government calling for a comprehensive solution... However, relying on breed specific laws to manage dog aggression will not work. More>>


Not Waiting On Select Committee: Green Party Releases Medically-Assisted Dying Policy

“Adults with a terminal illness should have the right to choose a medically assisted death,” Green Party health spokesperson Kevin Hague said. “The Green Party does not support extending assisted dying to people who aren't terminally ill because we can’t be confident that this won't further marginalise the lives of people with disabilities." More>>


General Election Review: Changes To Electoral Act Introduced

More effective systems in polling places and earlier counting of advanced votes are on their way through proposed changes to our electoral laws, Justice Minister Amy Adams says. More>>

Gordon Campbell: On Our Posturing At The UN

In New York, Key basically took an old May 2 Washington Post article written by Barack Obama, recycled it back to the Americans, and still scored headlines here at home… We’ve had a double serving of this kind of comfort food. More>>


Treaty Settlements: Bills Delayed As NZ First Pulls Support

Ngāruahine, Te Atiawa and Taranaki are reeling today as they learnt that the third and final readings of each Iwi’s Historical Treaty Settlement Bills scheduled for this Friday, have been put in jeopardy by the actions of NZ First. More>>


Gordon Campbell: On The Damage De-Regulation Is Doing To Fisheries And Education, Plus Kate Tempest

Our faith in the benign workings of the market – and of the light-handed regulation that goes with it – has had a body count. Back in 1992, the free market friendly Health Safety and Employment Act gutted the labour inspectorate and turned forestry, mining and other workplace sites into death traps, long before the Pike River disaster. More>>

Get More From Scoop



Search Scoop  
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news