For High Hopes and Big Dreams, Peter Janssen and Elizabeth Anderson set out to profile 165 small historic towns, that had once flourished and have now faded. But it turned out to be much more than a story of growth and decline because the history of our small towns is linked to social and political change. The rise and fall of farming, ports, mining, timber and rail are common themes, but there are stories of flourishing Maori communities, religious settlements, ethnic groups and even a brewery town. High Hopes and Big Dreams tells the stories of high hopes and bitter disappointment in small town New Zealand. Some have vanished completely, while other have now discovered a new purpose and are again on the up. The human history of Aotearoa New Zealand is not, in the scheme of things, that long. But it is our history and it makes us who we are for better or worse. With a mix of historic and contemporary photographs throughout, High Hopes and Big Dreams is both a guidebook and a nod towards our tumultuous past.
High Hopes and Big Dreams: 165 NZ Small Towns in Their Twilight
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- Peter Janssen, Elizabeth Anderson
- October 2023