Creating a Pastoral World Through Fire: The Case of the Manawatu, 1870-1910
This article examines the role of bush burning in the opening up of bush country in the Manawatu for pastoral farming. Within only a few decades, bush burns had transformed a densely forested environment into one of verdant pasture, scattered with the charred stumps and limbs of incinerated forest. The paper explores the perceptions of bush burning at the time, before examining the voices of doubt and dissent in respect to the rapid destruction of New Zealand’s native forest, both at a national and local level. Finally, the paper will seek to explain why, compared in particular to the South Island, the local voices of protest were only weak, and failed to lead to any effective action (political or otherwise) to preserve Manawatu’s forests.
Authors who publish with this journal agree to the following terms:The Journal of New Zealand Studies retains the copyright of material published in the journal, but permission to reproduce articles free of charge on other open access sites will not normally be withheld. Any such reproduction must be accompanied by an acknowledgement of initial publication in the Journal of New Zealand Studies.