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Elizabeth Orr

Keeping New Zealand Green

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Our forests - and their future.

Elizabeth Orr is best known for her part in the passing of the 1972 Equal Pay Act, and as the first woman chancellor of Victoria University of Wellington.

In the Te Horo district south of Otaki her reputation is quite different; she is the woman who, with the help of her stonemason labourer husband Gordon Orr, built stone walls around the totara/matai/titoki stands on their property.

This book reflects Elizabeth's determination to save those stands of bush from stock, possums and foreign weeds, and she is equally determined in it to present a balanced history of the New Zealand Forest Service, whose contribution towards preserving our native forests has, she contends, been seriously misunderstood.

But Elizabeth is the daughter of Pat Entrican, Director of Forestry from 1939 to 1961.  Entrican was a controversial figure, usually associated with the great Kaingaroa forest and the Tasman pulp and paper enterprise created to utilise its millions of pines.  Elizabeth tells stories about Tasman's Kawerau mills, the biggest industrial plant built in New Zealand up to that time.

So did Entrican and his fellow directors really care about the fate of our indigenous forests? Keeping New Zealand Green presents the evidence for a new assessment of the Forest Service, and makes a plea for the action now needed to preserve our fauna and its habitats from threatened extinction.


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