Footprints on the Land: How Humans Changed New Zealand

Book Author Richard Wolfe
Rights Available World excl. NZ, Australia 

Richard Wolfe eloquently summarises this book’s scope in his Introduction:
For upwards of 800 years, humans have made New Zealand their home, modifying the landscape to suit their needs. Although there can be no going back to the land’s original pristine condition, an awareness of the history of these changes will provide both a background and surely improve understanding of our present circumstances and challenges.

Footprints on the Land tracks those changes — from early settlement and wars through to state building, with railways, species introductions, milling, mining and farming. Later chapters recount the impacts of urbanisation, draining and flooding, and the car, before considering the threats and opportunities that now face New Zealanders as a result.

Wolfe’s tour of the human place in the environment is distinguished by art and photography displaying what we’ve created and what we’ve lost.

About the Author
Richard Wolfe is a cultural historian and curator who has written or co-authored some 40 books on themes from the moa to New Zealand art, including Hellhole of the Pacific and New Zealand’s Lost Heritage. He was a display artist at the Auckland and Canterbury museums, and co-curated the first major exhibition of Kiwiana (a term he helped invent). Richard lives with his artist wife Pamela in Auckland.


Oratia Books


Paperback with flaps

Non Fiction

Natural World

Publication Date
October 2022

Rights Available:
World excl. NZ & Australia

Rights Agents:


Peter Dowling, Oratia Books

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