An underlying theme in this issue is that of place and environment, but the articles build upon a wide range of conceptual approaches, locations, human activities and agency. We begin with Jonathan West’s article on New Zealand lakes. An environmental historian, and J.D. Stout Fellow at the Stout Research Centre in 2019, West’s research comes at a critical juncture when the declining quality of freshwater is the focus of intense national debate and argument. As West points out, the pollution in our lakes is the result of the farming practices and the residential uses of the land around them and resolving or mitigating problems decades in the making is going to pose very difficult questions for us all.
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