New Zealand’s Rivers: can we learn from history?

Catherine Knight

 RSNZ Manawatu Branch July 2018 meeting – joint with EngNZ Rivers Group

7.30 pm Tuesday, 24 July, Palmerston North Central Library, George Street, Palmerston North

In early 2017, the issue of ‘swimmability’ attracted considerable controversy, reflecting the sense of urgency that many New Zealanders feel about the degraded state of many of our waterways. Fresh water became a key election issue, and the incoming government made some big policy promises. In this talk, Dr Catherine Knight, author of New Zealand’s Rivers: An environmental history, will provide important context to this debate by exploring some of our complex – and often conflicted – history with rivers since humans first settled in Aotearoa New Zealand. She will argue that knowing our history is an important foundation to forging a better future, both in terms of our environment and our socioeconomic wellbeing.

Catherine Knight is an environmental historian. New Zealand’s Rivers: An environmental history (Canterbury University Press, 2016) was longlisted for the Ockham New Zealand Book Awards 2017 and was selected as one of the Listener’s Best Books for 2016. Her previous book, Ravaged Beauty: An environmental history of the Manawatu (Dunmore Press, 2014), won the J.M. Sherrard major award for excellence in regional and local history, and Palmerston North Heritage Trust’s inaugural award for the best work of history relating to the Manawatu. Her third book, Beyond Manapouri: 50 years of environmental politics in New Zealand, was released in May this year. Catherine is a policy and communications consultant and lives with her family on a small farmlet in the Manawatu, where they are working towards restoring the totara forest that once thrived on the river terraces.

New Zealand’s Rivers: An environmental history (Canterbury University Press) will be available for sale (cash only) on the night (RRP $49.99). Catherine’s third book, Beyond Manapouri: 50 years of environmental politics in New Zealand (Canterbury University Press) and will also be available for purchase on the night (RRP $39.99).

All warmly welcome!

This event is proudly sponsored by the EngNZ Rivers Group as part of their Regional Events programme.