A stunning collection of photographs and stories, capturing Wairarapa –the place and its people The Wairarapa region has drawn people to its natural splendour for over a thousand years. From Haunui-a-nanaia who first said – “Wairarapa” – as the sight of the Wairarapa made his eyes glisten, through the descendants of the Takitimu and Kurahaupo waka who followed him, and the sheep owners and small farmers who were the first Pakeha settlers, to successive waves of those seeking to find their own place in the sun, generations have been drawn to the dramatic beaches, imposing mountains, and chattering rivers and streams of the region. Over time these people have sought to innovate and draw inspiration from the wide variety of landscapes to create a better region, a better world.
Pete Nikolaison has travelled the length and breadth of greater Wairarapa with his camera. He has flown around the coastal fringe, looking down on the wild unknown beaches of the south and east coast, and the small settlements that pepper the shoreline. He has soared above the central plain in helicopters and balloons, looking down on the settlements scattered across the landscape. He has climbed the steep tracks of the Tararua Range, marvelling at the imposing mountains, pushed continually higher by the strong tectonic forces that have created New Zealand, but also eroded by the strong winds and heavy rains that sweep across from the west. He has driven through the remote areas of the vast eastern hill country, where extensive sheep farms, established 150 years ago, now compete with vast forests of Pinus radiata on the dry slopes.
He has found his way to the wind-swept eastern beaches, where a slowly increasing holiday population takes its leisure and where generations of fishermen have fought the sometimes treacherous Pacific Ocean. Inland, he has tracked along Wairarapa’s waterways; the excitable mountain streams, the ponderous creeks that cross the farmed plains, and the sometimes timorous, sometimes agitated major rivers – Ruamahanga, Waipoua, Waingawa, Waiohine and Tauherenikau – that all find their way into the waters of Lake Wairarapa and out through Lake Onoke to the sea again.
As Pete has journeyed he has captured the essence of the district he was born and raised in, with its sublime natural beauty, its sometimes ferocious winds and always the wide expanse of the Wairarapa sky. But he has also recorded the lives of those who chose to live there – many of them Wairarapa born and bred, but also those who found their way over the Rimutaka Hill or through the Manawatu Gorge to find a place where they can make their mark on the world, by creating fine art pieces, growing new and exciting crops, or finding room for innovation in the wide scope of agricultural practice.
BOOK A4 size