Standing My Ground: A Voice for Nature Conservation
by Alan F. Mark (Otago University Press, $45)
Reviewed by Simon Nathan
Some years ago I wrote an article on the History of Conservation for Te Ara, the online Encyclopedia of New Zealand. It was a challenge to summarise a complex and evolving story in 3000 words, but if I had had access to Emeritus Professor Alan Mark’s fascinating autobiography, the task would have been so much more straightforward and the result more authoritative.
Alan Mark has been at the centre of most of the major environmental battles since the 1960s, and his vision and wise advocacy are now widely recognised. From being perceived as a young iconoclast associated with the Save Manapouri campaign, he has become an icon of the conservation movement. In skimming through the photographs scattered through this book, I noted that several politicians over the last 15 years are photographed with Alan Mark – obviously now an effective way to establish your environmental credentials.
Autobiographies are always selective, concentrating on the topics that the author wants to talk about, and the memories that s/he wants to leave behind. Alan Mark has decided to give an account of his working life, concentrating on what would now be called his environmental advocacy. Read more »