Magazine Articles

  • Night at the asylum

    Night at the asylum

    A stay at the West Coast’s spookiest backpackers. If you’ve ever been to Hokitika, you’ve probably stopped at the glowworm dell: a little crevasse alongside State Highway 6, usually packed with tourists marvelling at what daylight reveals to be the slimy larvae of the fungal gnat. But if you take a wrong turn on the…

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  • Under your own green steam

    Under your own green steam

    “There is no machine known that is more efficient than a human on a bicycle. A bowl of oatmeal, 30 miles, you can’t come close to that.  Put a bowl of oatmeal in your car, you’re not going anywhere, let alone 30 miles. The efficiency is terrible compared to a human.” These are the words…

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  • Five skaters and a goalie

    Five skaters and a goalie

    It was bedlam, plain and simple. North Korean military police had stormed the ice and were trying to wrangle a team of South Africans. They were slipping and sliding as they chased the hockey players around the rink in front of a crowd of thousands. In the stands was 17-year-old Simon Glass. His home in…

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  • Big birds: The 1964 guide to the giant extinct penguins of Aotearoa

    Big birds: The 1964 guide to the giant extinct penguins of Aotearoa

    Most of us think well of penguins. There’s something joyous about their awkward waddling, something heart-warming about their tiny flipper wings, a reminder that these earthbound creatures once knew how to fly.  They’ve featured in everything from an Oscar-winning documentary (March of the Penguins, in which Morgan Freeman chronicles the harrowing breeding-and-feeding cycle of Antarctica’s…

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  • The island

    The island

    For three years, I watched them scrape it out of the horse paddock it once was. I saw it transformed from a place of memory and life to a leftover triangular bit of land framed by a twisting labyrinth of barricaded motorway lanes. It became a landscape of absence, a one that can now only…

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  • Absolutely fabulous

    Absolutely fabulous

    Liz Breslin revisits a hypercoloured Central Otago cinematic classic. There might be 50 ways of saying fabulous, but at letterboxd.com someone called Robino gave the film of the same name two and a half stars and said, “they only said it 17 times.” It’s streaming on TVNZ+ at the moment so I tried to keep…

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  • Nature’s work

    Nature’s work

    How Jobs for Nature helped one community bring its ecological visions to life, for a while. There was this moment back in 2023 when Aimee Hampton locked eyes with a ruru. It swooped into the cool dark canopy, gracefully navigating the forest tangle, and landed on a branch nearby. The discs of its yellow eyes…

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  • Elie and Ellen

    Elie and Ellen

    Professional skier and ski mountaineer Sam Smoothy reflects on a ski descent of Elie de Beaumont with his mum, Ellen. My mother skied the day she gave birth to me. She prefers the backcountry, but thanks to me, ten pounds of destabilising ballast on her slim 5’3” frame, Ellen Smoothy was relegated to the easier…

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  • Natural Born Campervanners

    Natural Born Campervanners

    May 2020. First week out of lockdown. We were trucking along nicely when my wife made an announcement: “I’ve done something. I’ve booked us a campervan for ten days!”  I had many thoughts, largely circling around the theme of whether or not she had paid any attention AT ALL in the 24 and three-quarter years…

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