Sid Marsh has been involved in wildlife conservation for 20 years, specialising in forest birds such as kiwi and kokako. His diverse career path has also included a spell in the New Zealand Army. In his spare time, he writes and illustrates books on a wide range of topics; he is currently researching a book on tiger conservation, and preparing a new edition of his 1999 graphic novel Crow of Whareatua, an account of Te Kooti’s guerrilla escapades in Te Urewera during the 1870s. Sid lives on Waiheke Island.
Some Notes on the Rowi & Blue-hen of Westland
From January 2001 to the spring of 2004, Sid was employed as a kiwi ranger at Franz Josef, to help implement a West Coast recovery operation for the rowi or Okarito brown kiwi. He was also in search of a local subspecies of little spotted kiwi that had been known to nineteenth-century diggers as the ‘blue-hen’ — a bird that ornithologists feared to be, at best, functionally extinct.
These notes are Sid’s record of those days. They include personal sketches of the kiwi and their environment, of himself and the other rangers with whom he worked, and of the invasive rats and stoats that killed (and continue to kill) intolerable numbers of native birds. Accompanying the sketches are selected photographs of kiwi and rangers, and together these pictures present a gritty and unorthodox view of a world very few human Kiwis knew existed.
Format: 190 x 236mm, paperback with flaps
Extent: 104 pages
Printing: 80 pages of captioned illustrations, 24 pages of captioned colour photos.
To purchase a copy of Rowi, please use the contact form at the bottom of this page.
An interest in New Zealand’s military history led Sid to research and write Greyhound, published by Wooden Shed in 2012.
Five members of a Sherman tank crew – somewhere in Italy, taking on not just Nazi paratroopers and Tiger tanks, but also each other . . .
Opening in June 1944, Greyhound is an historical novel that sheds light on a largely unexplored chapter of New Zealand’s wartime record. It follows the advance of the 2nd New Zealand Division to the Adriatic coast and eastward to the very borders of Jugoslavia. The Germans confront the advancing Allies with all of their remaining matériel, from concealed snipers to the feared Tiger tank; but by May 1945 the ‘Div’ reaches Trieste, where the Allies are caught between complex partisan factions and pitched against the communist army of Tito. And so the Kiwis leap from the flames of World War Two straight into the opening round of the Cold War.
The drama revolves around the day-to-day survival of Dad, Reay, Mutha, Digs and Smiler, crew of the tank nicknamed, with gallows humour, Camp Oven Coffin. Sown among the fast-paced narrative in Italy are flashbacks that, piece by piece, yield their backgrounds from the home country. But before they can return to the lives and loves they left behind, they must survive an endgame in Trieste that builds to a climactic standoff.
Blending historical accuracy with a vivid sense of ‘being there’, and laced with the laconic humour typical of the Kiwi soldier, Sid’s debut novel powerfully evokes the tensions of tank combat in a war zone riven by shifting political allegiances.
Format: 205 x 146mm, paperback
Extent: 520 pages
NZ RRP: $39.99
To purchase a print copy of Greyhound, please use the contact form below.
Greyhound is also available as an ebook via Amazon – to order, click here