I recently wrote about Song of the Kauri on the Forest & Bird blog. Here’s an excerpt:

I grew up with a father whose great passion and weekend sport was tree planting. He instilled in me our duty to keep nature ahead of us. He believed, like Henry David Thoreau, that “in wildness is the preservation of man”.

We had a cottage on a lake where he planted and nurtured his beloved trees with an almost religious fervour. He had bird houses, platforms, and every type of avian dwelling erected in the surrounding forest.

The idea for this film came to me quite unexpectedly. I have been a close friend of instrument-maker Laurie Williams for many years and have had the pleasure of touring the world with one of his kauri guitars. Beyond the sound and exquisite craftsmanship, there is a story in the wonderful timbers he uses, mainly recycled and reclaimed NZ natives.

Laurie had brought a few instruments and when Karamea, a local land owner, saw them he said “I want my trees to sing”. He believed that the strongest environmental message he could send was to let his trees travel the world as messengers of sustainable forestry and balanced capitalism.

The driving questions of the film are:

  • Can we commercialise kauri in a way that also benefits our forests and wildlife?
  • Can the government detail a cohesive forestry policy that will ensure sustainable management and economic viability for the private sector?
  • Can high-value, slow-growing kauri (60 years to see a return) compete with fast-growing yet cheap crops like pine?
  • Can we become price makers instead of price takers in the world market if we adopt a native forestry plantation model?
  • Can we free ourselves from the use of tanalised timbers by growing native trees?

Catch the full post here http://blog.forestandbird.org.nz/the-currency-of-kauri/

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Mathurin has been involved in the New Zealand film industry since 1985. Song of the Kauri is his documentary directorial debut and he has surrounded himself with a stellar cast of uniquely talented people who are all impassioned by this project and share a common vision to tell this story. More about Mathurin

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