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Fight for the Forests by Paul Bensemann – book review

Paul Bensemann’s detailed history of the hard-fought campaigns to save New Zealand’s native forests leaves the reader with few, if any, doubts about the intensity of the cause. Fight for the Forests: The Pivotal Campaigns That Saved New Zealand’s Native Forests (Potton & Burton, $69.99) is a valuable lesson in how, from 1970 to 2000, the environmental movement and many thousands of individuals took a stand against mass logging.

Aside from the story of battles won and lost, Bensemann also reveals how the environmental movement evolved into a highly effective lobby group. This lively account also examines the personalities who spearheaded campaigns that swept up from Lake Manapōuri to the West Coast and far beyond. The book leaves us with the sobering thought that although some battles may have been won, this particular fight continues.

This article was first published in the February 23, 2019 issue of the New Zealand Listener.