Fog rolls through a grove of maturing Kauri in the Te Matua Ngahere walk, Waipoua ngahere.Photograph by H. H.


Fog rolls into view
Beckoning help from new space
As the sun hangs low

Though I expected this project to develop with time, I did not expect the visual archive Hugh and I collected to beget a text of this length. Nor did I expect to identify a sister to the menace of kauri dieback in the novel coronavirus. I set out to investigate the kauri tree and learn about the links it represents between people and landscape in Northland. The kauri as a physical tree is just one version of its existence, and these stories help uncover all its variants. I spoke to Māori so that their words may mold this capsule of Northland’s history, for nearly everyone and every place had been touched by kauri.

I will end with this:

In the late afternoon of my last visit with Kevin Prime, when the sun sat low in the sky and our talk had neared its end, he said that sometimes something happens, and you don’t recognize what the consequences are for a long while until, suddenly, you do. It is as simple as that.

“As one gets older and gets more experienced, you start to feel the different things that happen around you. You can observe and you can see differently. Sometimes things seem so surreal and you don’t recognize that it's happening until quite sometime after that you can make the observations and see things that happened,” he told.

I asked if it happened more often now, if he noticed links that weren’t visible before.

“I see the connections in everything I do now,” Kevin responded.