Karoro / Black-Billed Gull 


New Zealand Carrot   

Moko Skink 

Toanui / Flesh-Footed Shearwater

The list of threatened, at risk and endangered species in Auckland lengthens every year.  With too many names to hold in our mind, how do we honor the passing of life?  What funerals or farewells are appropriate?

Tamure / Snapper 

Taiko / Black Petrel 

Pirita  / Green Mistletoe  

Matuku-Hūrepo / Australasian Bittern  

Tuna / Long Fin Eel 

Ooze me in the mud whence I came. Belly me slow in the rich primordial soup, cradle of our molecules. Let me wallow again, before we drain your wetland and pave it over.

Mātātā / Fernbird 

 Pua O Te Reinga / Wood Rose 

Titi / Cook’s Petrel 

Yellow Bladderwort  

Te Āwheto / Vegetable Caterpillar Fungus

Rohutu / NZ Myrtle  

Bryde’s Whale

Dive me deep, brother whale, in this time we have left. Deep in our mother ocean where I once swam, gilled and finned. The salt from those early seas still runs in my tears. Tears aren’t enough anymore. Give me a song, a song for a sadness too vast for my heart, for a rage too wild for my throat.

Koromako / Bellbird

Sickle Fern

Araara / Trevally 

Uhi Perei  / Black Orchid  


Titi / Sooty Shearwater 

Quick, lift off. Sweep me high over the coast and out, farther out. Don’t land here. Your breeding grounds are no longer safe. Your eggs  trampled, your chicks devoured while we debate our rights and freedoms. Fly me from our ignorance and arrogance, fly me far.

New Zealand Storm Petrel 

Mango Pounamu / Blue Shark

Fierce Lancewood

Cave Wētā / Tokoriro

Maire Raunui / Black Maire 

Northern Tuatara

Teach me tuakana. We have much to learn. We are but babies on this planet. You outlived the dinosaurs, and still hold to the ancient ways. Tell me old stories while you can remember. 

Ngutu Pare / Wrybill 

Toi / Mountain Cabbage Tree 

Chevron Skink 


Tawhairauriki / Black Beech

Pepeketua / Hochstetter’s Frog  

Hide me in a deep pool. Can’t you find one? Show me how to survive in a world of concrete, pipes and culverts. My heart is bulldozed and ploughed over.  Burrow me a labyrinth deeper than longing.

Manoao / Silver Pine 

Tokoeka / North Island Brown Kiwi

Sea Sedge


Shore Skink 

Red Admiral Butterfly  

Kahukura, crawl me out of here. Wind me to sleep in a shroud of silk, where in patience my bones will dissolve. I’ll wait as long as all creation if only it will come again — and I take wing.  

Karuhiruhi / Pied Shag

Parkinson’s Rata  

Matuku-Moana / Reef Heron 

North Island Weka

Coastal Cress 

Ornate Skink

Coastal Spleenwort

Kia ora Kauri. Kei te pehea? Fill us with awe and wonder - we need it.  Forgive us for cutting you down by the thousands - your rainforests provide us with shelter, food, medicine and drinking water. But your days now too may be numbered...  

 Nau / Cook’s Scurvy Grass

Tara Iti / New Zealand Fairy Tern

Puha / Shore Puha / NZ Sow Thistle

 Kotuku / White Heron 

Burr Reed / Maru 

Wētāpunga / Giant Wētā

Crawl me into a dark hole and hide me from my guilt. My kind know so little about Auckland’s invertebrates. We cannot even write your epitaph. We don’t know whose names to put on it. How many farewells have we missed? How many could  have been avoided?

Pateke / Brown Teal 

Pekapeka-tou-roa / Long-tailed Bat 

Moho Pererū / Banded rail

Poor Knight's Spleenwort

Tuturiwhatu / Northern New Zealand Dotterel  

Parekareka / Spotted Shag  

In the time when his world, like ours, was ending, Noah had a list of his fellow creatures, too. We picture him standing by the gangplank, calling their names, checking them off on his scroll. Now we also are checking them off.

Giant Kōkopu

Tuturuatu / Shore Plover 

Copper Skink 

Pekapeka-tou-poto / Northern Lesser Short-tailed Bat 

Hihi / Stitchbird 

Korora / Northern Blue Penguin   

We reenact Noah’s ancient drama, but in reverse, like a film running backwards, the species exiting.

Pārera / New Zealand Grey Duck 

North Island Kokako

Maui’s Dolphin

Moko Kākāriki / Auckland Green Gecko 

Tūturiwhatu / NZ Dotterel 

Your tracks are growing fainter. Wait. Wait. This is a hard time. Don’t leave us alone in a world we have wrecked.

Mikoikoi / Native iris 

Adam’s Mistletoe  

Mud Pondweed 

Small Knotweed

Gone from Auckland [1].


Coastal Moa


Bush Moa

North Island Snipe


North Island Piopio

Sand Daphne  

New Zealand Raven

Gone. Āke, ake, ake [2].

Forsters Forget-me-not 


Waitākere Scurvy Grass  

Laughing Owl

Pygmy Sundew 

Pokororo / New Zealand Grayling

Poor Knight's Spleenwort  

Native Wheatgrass

New Zealand Quail

North Island Giant Moa

Mate ā-moa - dead like moa - to be exterminated, disappear, lost forever [3].

Kua ngaro i te ngaro o te moa [4]. Lost as the moa was lost.

Ka ngaro ā-moa te iwi nei [5].

Adopted from Joanna Macy’s The Beastiary.


  1. Regionally extinct.
  2. Gone forever. Extinct.
  3. Extinction.
  4. Whakatauaki Māori.
  5. Whakatauaki Māori.