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  • Fight for the Forests: The Pivotal Campaigns that Saved New Zealand’s Native Forests

Fight for the Forests: The Pivotal Campaigns that Saved New Zealand’s Native Forests

Date: Wednesday 25 March 2020, 5:30pm to 6:30pm
Cost: Free. Koha from non-members appreciated
Contact details: ATLOutreach@dia.govt.nz
Cancelled

Hear Paul Bensemann talk about the ‘Save Manoupori’ campaign. From small beginnings, a much larger movement grew. Bensemann’s book ‘Fight for the forests’ was a finalist in the 2019 Ockham NZ Book Awards.

This event is cancelled to protect against the risk of COVID-19.

A remarkable story of activism

Involved in conservation issues since he joined the ‘Save Manapouri’ campaign at 19, Paul Bensemann tells the remarkable story of how a group of young activists became aware of government plans to mill vast areas of West Coast beech forest and began campaigning to halt this. From small beginnings, a much larger movement grew, initially centred on the work of the Native Forests Action Council, and eventually Forest and Bird and Native Forest Action.

Research at the Alexander Turnbull Library

Paul’s book research started with a NZ Society of Authors/Copyright Licencing NZ grant that provided a six weeks’ fellowship at the Stout Research Centre. He spent most of that time at the Turnbull (using the Sir Charles Fleming and Action for Environment collections), with many follow-up visits to the Library during his three-year full-time writing project. He also interviewed many campaigners and collected many old photographs to supplement photographer Craig Potton’s beautiful forest scenes. Fight for the Forests was a finalist in the 2019 Ockham NZ Book Awards.

Book cover with words an image of lush forest and decimated forest.
Cover of ‘Fight for the forests” by Paul Bensemann (Potton & Burton, 2018)