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This book tells the story of how a conservation ethic emerged in New Zealand. It looks at the phases of Maori settlement and how the need to preserve slowly became an element of the use of some resources. It identifies the issues, personalities and organisations of the past 200 years, as the country evolved from a 'quarry economy' to a modern society grappling with erosion and flooding issues, predator proliferation, and habitat and species loss. As the concerns of the nation have shifted, the approaches to conservation have changed: from acclimatisation of exotic species to national parks, the development of island sanctuaries and, now, an ecological approach that protects relationships as well as specific flora and fauna.