Author(s): Shirley Maddock
The all-time classic telling of life in the 1960s Hauraki Gulf Trailblazing writer Shirley Maddock's journey to document the Hauraki Gulf and its people in 1964 was also a watershed moment for the story of New Zealand. It was a time when colonial innocence still lingered, and a way of life on the islands of the Gulf was a resourceful one, largely independent from the outside world. Across 3000 square kilometres of the Southern Pacific are some 40 islands - more if you count the gannet perches. Shirley Maddock joined air-captain Fred Lad, the first airplane to begin servicing the isolated island communities, to film New Zealand's first locally-produced documentary, Islands of the Gulf, and publish a book of the same name. Maddock would visit everyone from farmers to seamen, lighthouse keepers to island nurses, flying through the morning haze to the rugged battlements of Great Barrier and the dim, bluish mound of Little Barrier; over the top of North Head to the bone white tower of the light on Tiri Tiri; beyond to Kawau, east to Rakino and the little Noises; south-east to the long golden lengths of Waiheke and Ponui, last to the clouded peaks of the Moehau Ranges; and nearer to the inner harbour islands of Motutapu and Motuihe, Brown's Island with its lopped off crater and, at the entrance to the Gulf, the last great volcano, Rangitoto. This new 2017 edition is being published to coincide with the remake of Islands of the Gulf showing on TV ONE prime-time later this year with Shirley Maddock's daughter, actress and writer, Elisabeth Easther.