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ENVI211 Environmental History of New Zealand

Historical overview of environmental impacts and human expectations from the first settlement of Aotearoa to the present.

This is an interdisciplinary paper on the environmental history of New Zealand, i.e. the interaction of humans and environment that has occurred since the arrival of humans about 800 years ago. It attempts to cover that story in a roughly chronological manner. As one of the last land masses on earth to be settled by humans, and with endemic flora and fauna long isolated from evolutionary trajectories elsewhere, Aotearoa/New Zealand is seen as an outstanding 'laboratory' of environmental interaction. With two main pulses of settlement, it offers unique opportunities for comparative studies of human modifications of the environment and human responses to such change.

Paper title Environmental History of New Zealand
Paper code ENVI211
Subject Environment and Society
EFTS 0.1500
Points 18 points
Teaching period First Semester
Domestic Tuition Fees (NZD) $868.95
International Tuition Fees (NZD) $4,492.80

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54 points
Schedule C
Arts and Music, Science
Teaching staff
Convenor: Professor Tom Brooking
Lecturers: Dr Michael Stevens - History, Associate Professor Ian Barber - Archaeology, Professor Sean Fitzsimons - Geography, Ros Day - Planning, and Ms Nicola Wheen - Law
Required: Eric Pawson and Tom Brooking (eds), Making a New Land: Environmental Histories of New Zealand, New Edition (Dunedin: Otago University Press, 2013).

In addition, course materials will be made available electronically.
Graduate Attributes Emphasised
Global perspective, Interdisciplinary perspective, Scholarship, Communication, Critical thinking.
View more information about Otago's graduate attributes.
Learning Outcomes
By the end of the paper students will have learnt about the extent to which New Zealand is a land transformed from rain forest, swamp and tussock land to giant stock farm covered in grasses of English origin. The complex reasons for the extent and speed of that transformation will be explained, and students will have begun to cross the bridge between the Arts and Sciences and the past and future.

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First Semester

Teaching method
This paper is taught On Campus
Learning management system


Stream Days Times Weeks
L1 Monday 12:00-12:50 9-13, 15-22
Wednesday 12:00-12:50 9-13, 15-16, 18-22
Thursday 11:00-11:50 9-13, 15-22