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Browse the 1966 Encyclopaedia of New Zealand
Graphic: An Encyclopaedia of New Zealand 1966.


This information was published in 1966 in An Encyclopaedia of New Zealand, edited by A. H. McLintock. It has not been corrected and will not be updated.

Up-to-date information can be found elsewhere in Te Ara.



The First 100 Years

In common with most newly developed countries, New Zealand has not escaped the consequences of rapid exploitation and waste of its forest resources and the conversion to farmland of its well-vegetated landscapes. This transformation of forest cover, with allied grass, fern, shrub, and swamp lands, into a wide expanse of grass brought problems in districts where some of the following conditions existed – high and intense rainfall, strong winds, and severe frosts at higher altitudes; young oversteep slopes, mountainous and hilly terrain; steep slopes; highly fractured rotten rocks; earthquake shattered zones; and steep active rivers, or erosive soils. The result of this transformation was an increased runoff which accelerated soil erosion (by sheet, slip, flow, and gully erosion) to such an alarming extent that legislation was necessary to bring about a control programme.


Douglas Archibald Campbell, M.AGR.SC., B.SC., Chief Soil Conservator, Ministry of Works.