244 pages, colour photos
Images of pristine forests, mountain ranges, untameable rivers and empty expanses of coastline are the key attraction in how we promote Aotearoa New Zealand internationally: '100% Pure' no less. Such wildness is at this nation's psychological and physical core. This book searches for an understanding of 'the wild', of what makes wilderness such an important part of our psyche. The seventeen essays come from trampers, scientists, conservationists, policy-makers, photographers, historians, and writers. Together they examine many aspects of the idea of wilderness.
What and where is New Zealand's wilderness? Is the wilderness something that we lock up or not? How do Maori see wilderness? How is it defined by law and what is government policy? Why? Where does that leave us? What do we want of wilderness? Can we exploit its resources? Wild Heart looks forward, as exploring the 'possibility' of wilderness lies at its core. What could wilderness in Aotearoa New Zealand become, and, consequently, what might we its people also become?
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Mick Abbott is Director of the Master of Design programme in the Department of Applied Sciences at the University of Otago. Richard Reeve is a Dunedin-based poet and editor currently studying environmental law at the University of Otago.