Dolphins of Aotearoa: Living with New Zealand Dolphins

Dolphins of Aotearoa: Living with New Zealand Dolphins

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By Raewyn Peart

Shortlisted for the 2015 Royal Society of New Zealand Science Book Prize

Dolphins of Aotearoa explores the ongoing relationship between humans and dolphins in New Zealand. Over this nation’s rich history, numerous people, both Māori and Pakeha, have sought out dolphins and significant numbers of dolphins have sought out people. For many, encountering dolphins has been a profound and life changing experience.

This book tells the stories of many of these remarkable encounters, featuring all of the famous dolphins, such as Pelorus Jack from the early years of the 20th century, Opo in the 1950s, Maui and more recently Moko. In addition it chronicles the ultimately doomed attempts to keep dolphins in captivity in facilities such as Marineland in Napier. Importantly, Dolphins of Aotearoa also summarises the work of the dedicated scientists and researchers who over recent decades have learnt so much about our dolphins, and whose research has given great impetus to the conservation of these remarkable creatures.

Extensively researched and lavishly illustrated with historic and contemporary photographs, and incorporating a guide to all of the dolphins of New Zealand, this is an important and much needed addition to the literature about New Zealand’s marine world. It will have huge appeal.

Judges comments: “New Zealand’s five resident dolphin species are among the most-loved and cherished of our native fauna. In this beautifully produced book, Raewyn Peart goes beyond the traditional illustrated natural history book to tell a scientifically-grounded, moving and engaging story of the relationship between humans and dolphins in New Zealand.”

Hardback book, 308 pages.

Published by Craig Potton Publishing in 2013.


Reviewed on National Radio by Vanda Symon (23 June 2015)