When first published in 1961 this was the first book to
present the New Zealand countryside in full colour,
based on colour photographs from a single source,
and with text written by a New Zealand poet. It has
since been into thirteen editions, and sold more than
New Zealand in Colour is the work of a husband and
wife team, Kenneth and Jean Bigwood, who travelled
and photographed intensively over a long period of
time to complete a demanding pictorial assignment.
The results of their work are evident in the 55 colour
plates which evoke so superbly the complex and ex-
citing character of the New Zealand countryside.
Not only did the Bigwoods visit familiar scenic areas, but they travelled to more remote places and
captured also the unsuspected beauties along the route.
The coverage they achieved embraces the whole country
and gives a representative and integrated picture of
New Zealand and its great variation of scene and setting.
Travelling the narrow, thousand-mile length of the
two main islands, and often moving across country
from coast to coast, they have photographed jagged
snow clad alps; gentle cultivated lowlands; native forests-
confused and fern-filled; planted forests-trim and timber
tidy; volcanic wastelands; scarred forgotten goldfields;
lakeland and fiordland; sea coasts and rivers and —
deliberately in the background because this is a book of
the countryside — New Zealand cities and towns.
The text of this book was written by the late James
K. Baxter, the leading New Zealand poet of his
generation and a man who knew and deeply loved the
varied landscapes of his native country. The sensitivity
of his words matches the beauty of the photography.
Not every worthy place can be illustrated here-
New Zealand is too diverse and colourful for that;
but the photographs have been chosen to show in
honesty and beauty, the living spirit of the land and
the character of city, farm and ‘wilderness.
Kennethand Jean Bigwood were born in New Zealand and
have done most of their work in their home country,
although in 1958 they spent a period of travel and photo-
graphy in the United States. Both developed an enthusiasm
for photography and natural history early in life, so that
photography l:lecame their employment and natural history
their hobby. Work for the New Zealand Government
produced photographs and sound films that have been used
for information and publicity purposes all over the world.
Bird photographs in colour and monochrome have been
published in scientific and popular journals, earning the
acclaim of leading ornithologists; and recorded bird songs
have found popular favour in a four-record album called A
. Treasury of New Zealand Bird Song.
For more than twenty years Kenneth and Jean Bigwood
have worked as a man-and-wife team. Their other published
Works include New Zealand in Colour Vol. 2, with John
Pascoe, New Zealand, with M.H. Holcroft, The New
Zealanders in Colour, with J.D. McDonald, The New
Zealand Maori in~olour, with Harry Dansey, New
Zealand’s North in Colour with L. J. Wild,
New Zealand’s Sou Island in Colour with Jim Hender-
son, and New Zealand Farming in Colour with Ralph du
JAMES K. BAXTER
James Keir Baxter was born in Dunedin in 1926. He
attended the University of Otago but broke off his studies
to undertake unskilled labouring work, later returning to
the academic field, graduating BA at the Victoria University
He was the foremost New Zealand poet of his generation
and became a wellknown and controversial figure in his
later years, living an ascetic life devoted to helping drug
addicts and other maladjusted people, notably at his
commune at Jerusalem on theWanganui River.
He died in 1972 at the age of forty-six, deeply mourned
by those whom he had helped and by all concerned with
New Zealand letters.
A truly magnificent book.
In very good to excellent condition with the exception of a torn paper dust jacket.