Seminar: Jonathan West, ‘An Environmental History of New Zealand’s Lakes: Reflections on a Work in Progress’

I am writing a monograph titled Mirrors on the Land that aims to trace, in word and image, people’s relationships with New Zealand’s lakes from Māori settlement to the present. In this seminar I set out the scope and aims of my work, explain why I think it matters, and describe my progress. I discuss in more detail the history of Waipunahau, Lake Horowhenua, which is to date the lake on which I have done most work. Finally, I venture some comparisons between histories of other North Island lakes such as Tutira, Rotorua and Taupo, and draw some tentative conclusions, or lessons learnt so far.

Jonathan West is a New Zealand historian broadly interested in intersections of environmental, economic and cultural change. His book The Face of Nature: An Environmental History of the Otago Peninsula, was shortlisted for the Ockham New Zealand Book Awards 2018. He worked at the Waitangi Tribunal for several years, and manages the historian team at the Office for Māori Crown Relations – Te Arawhiti. He is the J D Stout Research Fellow for 2019.

Venue:            Old Kirk 406 (F L W Wood Seminar Room)

Date:               Friday, 19 July 2019

Time:              12:10pm

For more information: Contact Dr Cybele Locke (; 04 463 6774).