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Kia kaha te reo taiao cover

Te Wiki o te Reo Māori / Language of the environment - give it a go

(2018). Produced from a collaboration between Te Taura Whiri i te Reo Māori me Te Papa Atawhai.

Māori are the tangata whenua of Aotearoa New Zealand, the people of the land. This term reflects the importance of the environment – Te Taiao – to Māori identity, culture and tikanga. Whakapapa connects people, the environment and living things. This booklet was developed to provide information about the natural world, and to help you become familiar with te reo Māori words and phrases you can use while you are out enjoying Te Taiao, the unique environment of Aotearoa.

Cover beloved


Farry, E. (2016). Be Loved Press Ltd.  

Beloved encourages us to slow down, breathe deeply and connect with our true nature in order to become more present in our own lives. Nature helped the author to heal, and in the process, revealed to her a new way of seeing the world. This period gave her a deep gratitude for the guidance and beauty of nature, and awakened in her a love of photography. Read Kim Higginson's review here.

Cover the bushmans bible

The Bushman’s Bible

Dr Dave Baldwin. (2017).  Palmerston North, New Zealand: Fields Publishing House.

The Flying Doctor Dave Baldwin has published the third book of his Healthy Bastards campaign, looking at spirituality.  The Bushman's Bible looks beyond the material world at religion, for those who attend the "big blue" temple in the mountains and bush, rather than conventional churches and temples in the city.  It's the final part of a trilogy aimed at improving the health of men hesitant to ask for help, specifically those in rural and isolated areas.  Read Gerard Vaughan's review here.

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Nature in mind: Systemic thinking and imagination in ecopsychology and mental health

Duncan, R. (2018). Routledge.

This book argues the case for bringing nature-based work into mainstream education and therapy practice. It is an invitation to radically re-imagine the relationship between humans and nature and provides a practical and epistemological guide to reconnecting human thinking with the ecosystems of the earth. Read Liana Stupple's review here.

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The biophilia effect: A Scientific and Spiritual Exploration of the Healing Bond Between Humans and Nature 

Arvay, C. G. (2018). Sounds True.

Did you know that spending time in a forest activates the vagus nerve, which is responsible for inducing calm and regeneration? Or that spending just one single day in a wooded area increases the number of natural killer cells in the blood by almost 40 percent on average? Already a bestseller in Germany, The Biophilia Effect is a book that transforms our understanding of our interconnection with nature. It shows us how to engage the natural world wherever we live for greater health, inspiration, rejuvenation, and spiritual sustenance. Read the review by Charmaine Denney here. 

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Ecotherapy: Theory, research and practice

Jordan, M., & Hinds, J. (2016). Palgrave Macmillan.

This book provides a comprehensive exploration of this emerging area of practice written by a collection of leading experts from around the globe. Divided into three parts, the book offers a unique examination of a range of theoretical perspectives, unpacks the latest research and provides a wealth of illuminating practice examples, with a number of chapters dedicated to authors' own first-hand experiences of the positive psychological effects of having contact with nature. Read the review by Zee Southcombe here.

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Vitamin N: The essential guide to a nature-rich life

Louy, R. (2016). Algonquin Books.

In his landmark work Last Child in the Woods, Richard Louv was the first to bring widespread attention to the alienation of children from the natural world, coining the term nature-deficit disorder and outlining the benefits of a strong nature connection.  From boosting mental acuity and creativity to reducing obesity and depression, from promoting health and wellness to simply having fun. Vitamin N is a comprehensive, and practical guidebook for the whole family and the wider community, including tips not only for parents eager to share nature with their kids but also for those seeking nature-smart schools, medical professionals, and even careers. Read the review by Liana Stupples here.

Ramble On

Ramble On: A celebration of walking in New Zealand

Southcombe, Z.R. (2017). 

This illustrated anthology celebrates New Zealand's favourite recreational activity of walking through personal essays and interviews, encouraging people to walk for their physical, mental and spiritual wellbeing. Read Rachael Clarke's review here. 

Naturally mindful

Naturally Mindful: Reconnecting with the natural world, discovering your true self

Thompson, C. (2016). Leaping Hare Press

Pause. Breathe. Live in the moment. Naturally Mindful offers you an opportunity to notice and become aware of the natural world which surrounds us. Expert authors share more than 100 meditative insights to re-connect us with nature, along with meaningful exercises to practice and enjoy every day. Read Lee-Anne Tarling's review

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Mindfulness in Nature

Smiley, N., & Harp, D. (2017). U.S: Hatherleigh.

Mindfulness in Nature helps readers separate themselves from their busy lives and allows them to engage in a deeper, more fulfilling relationship with the natural world around them through meditative practice. Read Kim Higginson's review

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Green Exercise: Linking nature, health and well-being

Barton, J., Bragg, R., Wood, C., & Pretty, J. [Eds]. (2016). Routledge.

The book comprises chapters from leaders in green exercise and related research from around the world. It describes the impact of green exercise on human health and wellbeing through all stages of life and covers a wide spectrum from cellular processes such as immune function through to facilitating human behavioural change. Read Kate Cherven's review

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With Nature in Mind: The ecotherapy manual for mental health professionals

McGeeney, A. (2016). Jessica Kingsley Publishers.

Connecting with nature is proven to promote healing, growth and good mental health. Ecotherapy harnesses these benefits and this book explains what it is, why it works, and how to introduce it into clinical practice with an emphasis on mindfulness. Be inspired by 100 nature-based activities and guidelines for facilitating outdoor sessions. 

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The Nature Fix: Why nature makes us happier, healthier, and more creative

Williams, F. (2017). W.W Norton and Company Inc.

An intrepid investigation into nature’s restorative benefits by a prize-winning author. In this informative and entertaining account, Williams investigates cutting-edge research as she travels the globe. Read Sorrel Hoskin's review

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The Curious Nature Guide: Explore the natural wonders all around you

Leslie, C. W. (2015). Storey.

With dozens of simple prompts and exercises, best-selling author, naturalist, and artist Clare Walker Leslie invites you to step outside for just a few minutes a day, reignite your sense of wonder about the natural world, and discover the peace and grounding that come from connecting with nature. Read Tracey Grose's review

The sky and earth touched me cover image

The Sky and Earth Touched Me

Cornell, J. (2014). Crystal Clarity Publisher.

World-renowned and highly regarded nature educator and author Joseph Bharat Cornell's classic bestseller, Sharing Nature with Children, sparked a worldwide revolution, connecting hundreds of thousands of educators and children with the renewing powers of nature. The Sky and Earth Touched Me was the grand prize winner for non-fiction at the Next Generation Indie Book Awards. Read Tonya Wyatt's review

Blue mind cover image

Blue Mind: The surprising science that shows how being near, in, on, or under water can make you happier, healthier, more connected, and better at what you do

Nichols, W. J. (2014). Little, Brown and company.

Water attracts and fascinates us and we know instinctively that being near it reduces stress, increases creativity and brings us peace. Nicols reveals a wave of research that is illuminating water’s powerful effects on our bodies, minds and souls. Read Michelle Dendale's review

The art of mindful bird watching cover image

The Art of Mindful Birdwatching: Reflections on freedom & being

Thompson, C. (2017). Conscious Living.

This book isn’t just for experienced birdwatchers; it’s addressed to everyone. It’s a guide to enjoying the inherent beauty of birds, whether you’re a novice or an expert. It’s about discovering that we can all learn from birds to welcome greater wellbeing into our lives. Watching birds is not only an endless source of wonder and wisdom, but also the perfect entry point to rekindle our sense of what it’s like to be truly human and an integral part of the natural world. Read Michael Oakley-Browne's review

How to raise a wild child cover image

How To Raise A Wild Child: The art and science of falling in love with nature

Sampson, S. (2015). Mariner Books.

Scott Sampson is a dinosaur palaeontologist, a science communicator and passionate advocate for connecting people with nature. How to Raise a Wild Child offers a timely and engaging antidote to our increasingly technology driven lives, showing how kids’ connection to nature changes as they mature. Distilling the latest research in multiple disciplines, Sampson reveals how adults can help kids fall in love with nature — enlisting technology as an ally, taking advantage of urban nature, and instilling a sense of place along the way. Read Nicola Corner's review 


Ecoliterate: How educators are cultivating emotional, social, and ecological intelligence

Goleman, D., Bennett, L., & Barlow, Z. (2012). San Francisco: Jossey-Bass

Hopeful, eloquent and bold, Ecoliterate offers inspiring stories, practical guidance and an exciting new model of education that builds, in vitally important ways, on the success of social and emotional learning by addressing today's most important ecological issues. Read Rachel Barker's review


The nature of wellbeing cover

The Nature of Wellbeing: How nature’s ecosystems services contribute to the wellbeing of New Zealand and New Zealanders

Roberts, L., et al. (2015). Wellington: Department of Conservation.

The evidence assembled in this report demonstrates that the ecosystem services that are delivered by our indigenous biodiversity and natural landscapes contribute in a very wide variety of ways to the wellbeing of New Zealand and New Zealanders. 


Psychology for a better world cover

Psychology for a Better World: Strategies to inspire sustainability

Narre, N. (2011).

Psychology for a Better World is for people who believe it is worth trying to make a world in which animal and human species and the ecological systems can flourish. The book is based on the latest research in psychology and is jam packed with action strategies. The final chapter is a guide to help you analyse what you are doing to contribute towards a better world, and how you can be more effective while simultaneously increasing your personal wellbeing. Radio New Zealand interview. Read Hugh Norriss's review


Claim your wildness cover

Claim Your Wildness: And let nature nurture your health and wellbeing

Higgins, L. Dr. (2013, September). Vivid Publishing. 

Claim Your Wildness is essential reading for everyone interested in the contribution nature can make to their physical, mental and social wellbeing. It will be especially welcomed by parents, teachers and others concerned about children’s declining exposure to the natural world. Written by Dr Les Higgins, a health educator and researcher with extensive experience in bush walking and other outdoor activities, the book blends science, personal observation and experience to explain why we need to have regular contact with nature. 


How to get kids offline 

How To Get Kids Offline, Outdoors, And Connecting With Nature: 200+ creative activities to encourage self-esteem, mindfulness, and wellbeing

Thomas, B. (2014). Jessica Kingsley Publishers.

Full of ideas, activities and exercises, this book provides imaginative ways to inspire young people to put down the computer games, disconnect from social media, and spend more time away from a screen. In an increasingly electronic world, creating enthusiasm for the great outdoors can seem an impossible task. Yet, the benefits of nature are endless, and they extend further than just improving physical health; being in natural surroundings is also an effective way to boost imagination, creativity and overall wellbeing. Read Carol's review


Landscape and urban design cover

Landscape and Urban Design for Health and Well-Being: Using healing, sensory and therapeutic gardens

Souter-Brown, Gayle. (2014). Routledge.

Gayle Souter-Brown is founder and director of Greenstone Design UK Ltd, salutogenic landscape and urban design consultants. Her research interests in design for health and wellbeing follow years working with disabled adults and children. With 25 years of international experience she lectures, writes and designs from UK and New Zealand. Read Margaret Wikaire's review

An ecology of happiness cover

An Ecology of Happiness

Lambin, E. (2012). University Of Chicago Press.

Eric Lambin emphatically uses a very different strategy in addressing environmental concerns, he asks readers to consider that there may be no better reason to value and protect the health of the planet than for your own personal wellbeing. In this clever and wide-ranging work, Lambin draws on new scientific evidence in the fields of geography, political ecology, environmental psychology, urban studies, and disease ecology, among others, to answer such questions. Read Rachel Barker's review

Te Taiao Maori and the Natural World cover

Te Taiao Maori and the Natural World

(2011). Te Ara - Encyclopedia of New Zealand.

In traditional Maori knowledge, the weather, birds, fish and trees, sun and moon are related to each other, and to the people of the land, the tangata whenua. It is truly an interconnected world – a vast family of which humans are children of the earth and sky, and cousins to all living things. In this richly illustrated book, Maori scholars and writers share the traditional knowledge passed down the generations by word of mouth. It provides a unique window on the relationship of the people of the land with their environment, as well as the profound knowledge and necessary skills they needed to survive here. Read Katherine Morris's review


ecominds feel better outside 

Feel Better Outside, Feel Better Inside: Ecotherapy for mental wellbeing, resilience and recovery

(2013). UK: Ecominds and Mind.

This report sets out how ecotherapy can be used by health, social care and public health professionals to improve health and wellbeing.


Unseen city cover

Unseen City: The majesty of pigeons, the discreet charm of snails & other wonders of the urban wilderness

Johnson, N. (2016). US: Rodale Books.

It all started with Nathanael Johnson’s decision to teach his daughter the name of every tree they passed on their walk to day care in San Francisco. This project turned into a quest to discover the secrets of the neighborhood’s flora and fauna. Johnson argues that learning to see the world afresh, like a child, shifts the way we think about nature: Instead of something distant and abstract, nature becomes real – this shift can add tremendous value to our lives. Read Annabelle Studholme's review here. 


Happy City cover US websize


Happy City: Transforming our lives through urban design

Mongomery, C. (2014) Farrar, Straus and Giroux.

Can cities be engines of happiness and not just for the convenience of commerce? What if designers and policy-makers focused their outcomes on achieving the wellbeing of the people who live, work and play in their cities? These are the big questions that Charles Montgomery wrestles with in Happy City. Read Ciaran Fox's review





Me whakawhanaunga 

Maramataka: Mutuwhenua

Monday 8 October

The moon phase today is called Mutuwhenua – it’s the last day of the lunar cycle. We suggest focusing on connecting with your whānau, friends and community in nature.

Focus on connecting with nature to uplift your wairua/spirit and those around you.


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Keep learning

Me ako tonu

Maramataka: Whiro

Tuesday 9 October

The moon phase today is called Whiro, the new moon, the beginning of the new moon cycle. A day where activity was minimal, a day for wananga/learning. This makes Tuesday a great day to Keep Learning.


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Take notice

 Me aro tonu

Maramataka: Tirea

Wednesday 10 October



The new moon is beginning to expand ever so slightly and can just be seen. See nature through a different lens and take some time to Take Notice and be inspired by what’s happening around you.


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Be active

Me kori tonu

Maramataka: Ohoata

Thursday 11 October

Today is a very good day for fishing, eeling and crayfishing, and a good day for planting which means it’s a great day to Be Active! Getting outside and exercising is good for your overall health and wellbeing and strengthens your connection with nature.

Remember to encourage people to be as physically active as their fitness and mobility allow. You don’t have to run a marathon to be active!


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Maramataka: Ouenuku

Friday 12 October

This is the fourth night of the lunar month. Today is a good day to rekindle your connections with nature, re-tell stories with whānau and give back.

Nature provides for us – it gives us everything we need to not only survive but thrive. We, in turn, have a kaitiaki/guardianship role to give back to nature for future generations.

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