Award-Winning Local Author To Speak

understanding our past is vital to preparing for a better future. It is not until we understand our environmental history that we realise how much we have already lost … Historian, Catherine Knight

Paraparaumu’s Catherine Knight featuring next month

Catherine will be giving the Ministry of Culture and Heritage monthly history talk on Wednesday 3 May.

Her topic will be New Zealand’s Rivers: can we learn from history?  This will be based around her second book New Zealand Rivers: An Environmental History.

The talk will take place from 12.15pm to 1.00pm at Te Ahumairangi (ground floor), National Library Building, corner of Molesworth and Aitken Streets, Thorndon, Wellington.

Plenty of controversy over New Zealand rivers

The government recently announced a proposal to make more of our rivers ‘swimmable’ by 2040 – it has attracted significant controversy, demonstrating the level of concern about the state of our rivers among ordinary New Zealanders.

In this talk, 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.

A distinguished environmental historian

Catherine is an environmental historian. New Zealand’s Rivers: An environmental history (Canterbury University Press, 2016) has been 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.

Catherine is a policy and communications consultant and lives with her family on a small farmlet in the Manawatu, where they are restoring the totara forest.

Please RSVP to with NZ Rivers in the subject line.

These free public history talks are a collaboration between the National Library of New Zealand and the Ministry for Culture and Heritage. We look forward to seeing you at the Library on Wednesday 3 May at 12.15pm.

(Thanks to Lyn Belt from the Ministry of Culture and Heritage, for supplying most of this material.)