In 2004 Friends of Mana Island commissioned Denis Fairfax to undertake an oral history project.
The project involved recording people who had worked on Mana Island. Many of them were involved in the transition of the island from being a farm, to becoming a scientific reserve, and a conservation and sanctuary area for threatened and rare species.
The people recorded were Donald Cameron, Phyllis Cameron, Ronald Carson, John Gault, Margaret Gault, Robin Gay, Mark Heffernan, Lance Payne, Alfred Saunders, Andrew Vella, John Liddell and Jason Christensen. The recordings were mainly conducted from 2004-2006, with the latter two in 2009.
Most of the recording tapes are stored at the National Library of New Zealand together with abstracts. The recordings can be listened to at the library.
We plan to digitise them so they are readily available to a wider audience through our website. There are also plans to record a couple more people.