Going Bush: New Zealanders and Nature in the Twentieth Century

Kirstie Ross

Author: Kirstie Ross
Format: Paperback
Pages: 200
Published: January 2008
ISBN: 9781869404246
$39.99

What does ‘the bush’ mean to Pākehā New Zealanders? Is it a particular type of vegetation, a place to tramp, something to save or a refuge from civilisation? Going Bush: New Zealanders and Nature in the Twentieth Century is an energetic exploration of these ideas – a cultural reconnaissance of the great outdoors.

It blazes a trail through nature, past school gardeners and prize-winning carrots; trampers, ‘blinkin’ tourists’ and deer cullers; memorial plantings and national parks; caravanners and Young Farmers’ Club members; litterbugs and vandals. By exploring the meanings that Pākehā found in nature from the 1890s to the 1970s, Kirstie Ross shows that the bush was as much about conservative values as about conservation.

Going Bush presents a fascinating account of New Zealand culture and society in the twentieth century that is powerfully relevant to debates over our relationship with the natural world today.

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Reviews

Every New Zealander can relate to this book: from gardening to tramping, rural education to a drive through the countryside, Ross examines how our country’s landscape has become part of our national identity. – NZ Memories