Introducting envirohistory NZ

Lake Manapouri

Last month, Dr. Catherine Knight launched a new blog and web resource portal for New Zealand environmental history. Dr. Knight, whose research focuses on environmental history of Japan and New Zealand, has maintained a very active blog over the past month with several short stories and articles. Recently she wrote about the history of the controversy over the impact of a hydro-electric development project on Lake Manapouri. This is a topic not uncommon in Canadian environmental history.

As European settler colonies, there many important points of comparison between Canada and New Zealand. Canadian and New Zealand environmental history researchers can benefit from a comparative approach to studying such topics as Aboriginal-Newcomer relations, ecological imperialism, hydro-electric development, national parks, conservation, forestry, urbanization, and wildlife management. Graeme Wynn, a prominent environmental historian of Canada and New Zealand, demonstrates the value of adopting such a transnational perspective in his own work in forest history.

Interested readers should take a look at environhistoryNZ. There is a lot of common historical ground between Canada and New Zealand worth exploring.

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