Mirrors on the land: Histories of New Zealand's lakes

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Presented by Jonathan West

Lectures, talks and seminars

The JD Stout Annual Lecture

4 Sep 2019 4:10 pm to 4 Sep 2019 5:30 pm

Hunter Council Chamber, Level 2 Hunter Building, Kelburn Parade

There are few lakes in agricultural catchments that have good water quality.

Lakes reflect the land around them. Their sediments and waters capture and preserve the ways we use and abuse their catchments. They are especially vulnerable to freshwater pollution, now one of New Zealand’s most pressing concerns. Few if any lakes in agricultural catchments have good water quality. This talk by Jonathan West uses histories of lakes Horowhenua, Tūtira, and Taupō to reflect on how and why we have polluted and degraded our lakes, and to help consider: what will it ask of us to restore them? It suggests we face stark and difficult choices. How can we sustain ourselves and enjoy healthy lakes?

For more information contact: Deborah Levy

Speaker Bios

Jonathan West is a New Zealand historian interested in intersections of environmental, economic and cultural change. His book The Face of Nature: An Environmental History of the Otago Peninsula, published by the University of Otago Press, was shortlisted for the Ockham New Zealand Book Awards 2018. He worked at the Waitangi Tribunal for several years, and manages the historian team at the Office for Māori Crown Relations—Te Arawhiti. He is currently writing a history of New Zealand’s lakes.