Ramblings of a much published New Zealand author

12 February 2011

New Zealand Odyssey: Kinleith Pulp Mills

'New Zealand Odyssey', published in 1989 by Heinemann, was authored by me, Don Donovan (who did the text and illustrations) and Euan Sarginson, who did the photography and design. In this series of blog posts, I will publish some of my drawings.

I painted this extraordinary record of awesome pollution in 1987 at the time when a man whom I didn't know then but who is now a dear friend of mine was the Chief Executive Officer of the company that owned the mill. I sent him a copy of this picture just recently and he replied, tongue in cheek: 'White gold in the sky!'

The fact is that the value of almost every industry has to be balanced against the degree to which it endangers its environment. The bigger the contribution it makes to a country's economy the more its pollution may be permitted. It happens all over the world: Italy's marble quarries, open cast coal and diamond mining, nuclear waste.

For me, the humble artist, Kinleith's 'white gold' simply made a dramatic subject.


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By Don Donovan