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About the book
  • Published: 31 October 2016
  • ISBN: 9781775538462
  • Imprint: RHNZ Godwit
  • Format: Hardback
  • Pages: 384
  • RRP: $69.99
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Islands: A New Zealand Journey


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A journey to New Zealand's most fascinating, wild and isolated islands.

A journey to New Zealand's most fascinating, wild and isolated islands.

Following on from their non-fiction book-of-the-year winning Coast, this is the next epic journey from writer Bruce Ansley and photographer Jane Ussher.

New Zealand is surrounded by hundreds of islands, mainly remnants of a larger land mass now beneath the sea. Some are idyllic retreats; others have poignant histories of castaways, prisons and leper colonies. Some have become sanctuaries, safe from destructive predators; some are farmed by fifth and sixth generations of the same family; others are isolated outposts, barely sustaining life at all; while some are hidden where you’d least expect...

Islands featured: Cavalli Islands, Bay of Islands; Great Barrier, Little Barrier, Arid; Puketutu, Pakatoa, The Noises, Rabbit Island; Waiheke, Kawau; Rangitoto, Rakino, Rotoroa, Motuihe; Great Mercury, Slipper, Motiti, White Island; Somes, Mana, Kapiti, Motuopuhi; Arapawa, Motuara, D'Urville, Hauwai; Browne's, Ripapa, Quail, Quarantine; Dog Island, Titi Islands.

  • Pub date: 31 October 2016
  • ISBN: 9781775538462
  • Imprint: RHNZ Godwit
  • Format: Hardback
  • Pages: 384
  • RRP: $69.99

About the Authors

Bruce Ansley

Bruce Ansley writes of a New Zealand he knows and loves. For many years he lived in a tiny traditional bach in Golden Bay, and he built a house in the far reaches of Pelorus Sound. He has worked as a commercial fisherman in Fiordland and as a deer farmer on Banks Peninsula. He has also called each of the four main cities home.

For more than two decades Ansley was a writer for New Zealand Listener, before becoming a full-time author in 2007. He has held fellowships at Oxford and Cambridge Universities, and has won a number of journalism awards. His television credits include writing for A Week of It and McPhail and Gadsby.

Ansley made his first boat out of a banana box when he was eight years old, beginning a lifelong romance with the New Zealand coast. On a fine day he can usually be found out on the water in his Norwegian motor sailer. His most recent book, Islands: A New Zealand Journey, with photographer Jane Ussher, features islands from the Cavallis in the north to the Titi islands in the far south, in waters he grew to love as a fisherman.

Ansley’s 2012 book Coast: A New Zealand Journey, another collaboration with Jane Ussher, won Best Illustrated Non-fiction Book at the New Zealand Post Book Awards in 2014. His other books include A Long Slow Affair of the Heart, the tale of a married couple’s canal boat trip through France; Christchurch Heritage, a personal account of what his home city stood to lose in its 2010 and 2011 earthquakes; Gods and Little Fishes, a memoir of a beach suburb in the 1950s and ’60s; and A Fabled Land: The Story of Canterbury’s Famous Mesopotamia Station, an account of life on the station founded by the novelist Samuel Butler. Ansley’s eighth book, Wild Roads: A New Zealand Journey, was an epic drive around New Zealand’s most dangerous, infamous, remote and remarkable roads.

Ansley has three sons and lives with his wife Sally on Waiheke Island.

Jane Ussher

Jane Ussher is well known and respected for her documentary work as a photographer, and is regarded as one of New Zealand’s foremost portrait photographers. For 29 years she was the chief photographer at The New Zealand Listener, after which she took up a career as a freelance photographer. Her work has featured in many books, including collections of her own photographs. In 2008 she visited Antarctica at the invitation of then Prime Minister Helen Clark to document the historic huts of Scott and Shackleton, out of which grew her landmark book Still Life. Her recent book Coast, written by Bruce Ansley, won the Illustrated Non-fiction category of the 2014 NZ Post Book Awards. In 2009 she was made a Member of the New Zealand Order of Merit for services to photography, and was also inducted into the Massey University Hall of Fame.

Jane lives in Auckland with her husband, Grant, and son, Nick.


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