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Not unlike my California, New Zealand is a place of natural wonders, yet with a tenth the disfigurements and annoyances of human occupation. Half of the population lives in Auckland. Beyond are 104,000 square miles of pristine landscapes linked by 2-lane roads. It is a man's world of sailing and ranching and clear-cut forestry, an outdoor mecca for hunters, fishermen, trampers and kayakers. It had a whiff of utopia about it, all fitness and sustainability, resolved harmony between colonist and native, a self-contained and defensible place where the pitfalls of human society can, in fact, be overcome. Or was it just my imagination?