Archived content: This media release was accurate on the date of publication. 


Department of Conservation, Director General, Lou Sanson says New Zealand has lost a great advocate for native wildlife with the death of artist Bill Hammond.

Date:  01 February 2021

“We join the rest of the country in mourning the sad loss of Bill and our thoughts are with his family and loved ones.

“I recall that Bill’s initial inspiration for his famous ‘bird people’ work came on a joint trip with DOC and the Royal NZ Navy to the Sub Antarctic islands in the early 90s where he came across a copy of Buller’s Book of Birds.

“Inspired by the birds in rata trees on Auckland Islands, he went on to create his iconic series so well loved by many.

“We will have this art forever and he leaves us with an incredible legacy, says Lou Sanson."


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