Award-winner Hidden Places: Ōkārito marked an early milestone for the Natural History Unit (later to become NHNZ) — it was part of the first series made by the unit. The 15 minute episode follows birds, such as white heron, Russian godwits and royal spoonbills, all of them flocking to Ōkārito's "unique world of sea, lagoon, rivers and forests". Logging of kahikatea, the tallest endemic forest tree, also features. Robin Scholes, later to produce movie Once Were Warriors, wrote and directed this episode. It won Best Documentary at the 1979 Feltex Television Awards.
According to government estimates, there are now only 6900 hectares of pure kahikatea left but the rate of logging is increasing. In 1973, 4000m³ of kahikatea were taken from the Coast. In 1977, eight times as much fell.– Narrator Graeme Wilson