Stewart Island/Rakiura #2: Tales & Truths

Digging deep into Stewart Island’s history, it is hard to avoid the stories and myths that locals whisper in the wind and dusty library books hold secret. I’ve been listening carefully, to those that were born and raised here, those that chat away, those that say they witnessed some of the following incidents. Here is a collection of the local legends I came across but as with most mythical stories, I cannot guarantee for their accuracy.

Whether you believe them or not, you need to differentiate between fact and fiction. As pun-master Jonathan Frakes in Beyond Belief put it:

“Is this story a product of a writer’s imagination? Or have we unlocked the truth?”

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Stewart Island/Rakiura #1: Basics of NZ’s Shark Research

The world of sharks is enormous; there are around 530 known species swimming in the earth’s oceans and lots of them do so around New Zealand – a fact that has kept me from swimming far out but I’d happily assist a marine scientist with applied shark research on Stewart Island/Rakiura. I was honoured to serve NZ’s oldest university, keen to see some not-in-a-tank, bad-ass sharks, and also, really looking forward to brag with “We do shark research” in the local pub.

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Dunedin’s Landfill and Its Inhabitants

Some of the graduate students of the Science Communication Centre went on a film-assignment, destination: Dunedin’s landfill and its residents, the pūkeko. I joined them on the trip because I needed to get out of the office, and also because I wondered how garbage was handled on an island country such as New Zealand.

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