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Friday 1 November 2013 1:37pm

Exploring land-use tensions in Aotearoa New Zealand

Edited by Jacinta Ruru, Janet Stephenson and Mick Abbott

making_our_placeThe book

Fascination with the interplay of people and place inspired the editors to bring together New Zealanders from differing backgrounds and disciplines to explore some of the stories and sites of conflict and change to be found amongst our sacred, historic, rural, urban and coastal landscapes. All engage with the underlying question: are there better ways to reconcile the tensions inherent in our struggles with the land and each other?

The authors are from fields as diverse as architecture, ecology, design, history, planning, law, theology and tourism. They discuss issues ranging from the early-settler surveying lines to the Wanganui/Whanganui naming debate, the legal arguments over wahi tapu and Māori customary land to dairying in the Mackenzie Basin. In exploring different ways of framing landscape tensions, they seek new understandings of why such passion, reverence and contest is generated and ways to identify new approaches to resolving problems.

The editors

The co-editors are based at the University of Otago: JACINTA RURU in the Faculty of Law; JANET STEPHENSON at the Centre for the Study of Agriculture, Food and Environment; and MICK ABBOTT at the Department of Applied Sciences.


Shonagh Kenderdine, Raewyn Peart, Lyn Carter, Tom Brooking, Mick Strack, Bruce Clarkson, Murray Rae, Linda Te Aho, Anna Thompson, Robert Joseph, Seth Gorrie


'Here at last is a selection of possible alternatives to conflict and some sound ideas on the way forward from some of the best minds in the field ... It should be required reading for local authority officials, lobby groups and those with an interest in how we share and manage the land.' – Waikato Times, 29 October 2011

'100% Pure? Yeah, right: could have been the alternative title of Making Our Place, which provides a thorough, informed and engaging look at the many ways our presence has shaped and scarred the Aotearoa New Zealand landscape. It reveals several sources of land-use tensions in NZ – between Maori and Pakeha, development and protection, dairying and tourism – but its key contribution is in how these tensions are managed and resolved ... By not avoiding these issues, what is revealed is the overall tension between our own short, selective, human memories, and the capacity of the landscape to retain the scars, and memories, of our impact upon it.' – New Zealand Surveyor No. 301

Praise for Beyond the Scene

'Makes one want to leave the armchair and actually visit the areas.' – Heritage Matters

'lyrical ... and fresh' – New Zealand Geographer.

'These are wonderful stories and the editors need to be applauded for bringing them to us at this time in our evolving history.' – Waikato Times

'There is a feast of imaginative and interesting writing in this book.' – Beattie's Book Blog

Publication details

Paperback, 240 x 170 mm, 244 pages, b&w photographs, ISBN 978 1 877372 88 9, $45

Out of print (ebook available)

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