Charmaine’s year of unexpected activities…

Some of my time-consuming activities this year have arisen in the course of local community commitments; others have been projects which have emerged through meeting interesting people  further afield.  Here are some examples of both…

Earthsong Centre Trust constitution and new reporting requirements

At meetings of the Earthsong Centre Trust, which I chaired 2015-16,  it became clear that our constitution was out-of-date.  I led theprocess to  update the Trust’s constitution. This required several meetings, several drafts to be circulated, and when successfully completed and approved by Earthsong, submission to  the Societies Office and the Charities Commission 

Extra jobs for RAP

As a Board member for the Ranui Action Project Society, I had to take on some additional responsibilities for staff supervision and support, writing employment agreements and suchlike.

DR Congo Information Meeting

Lema and her daughter Amani

Our friend Lema Shamaba has had a particular concern about the way in which the media almost ignore the desperately bad situation the Democratic Republic of Congo.  So I helped her to organise a public in information meeting, which involved researching the current situation carefully, meeting with other Congolese refugees, writing letters to the Catholic Church, Members of Parliament and others, organising publicity and follow-up.


Poutasi Ukulele Project 

The Poutasi Ukulele Project in Samoa was revived this year in a different form – Tuatagaloa Joe Annandale decided to find a suitable trainee in Poutasi Village, and send him here.  We organised his travel and gave him some support while he was in Auckland.

Talanoa Magele and John Hewitt

Talanoa Magele proved to be an outstanding craftsman, and after staying for five weeks and working with John Hewitt, he was able to make a range of ukulele from coconut shells and other timber. I arranged with John the purchase of new woodworking machinery, and the selection of some of his own equipment and materials, and helped organise the packing and shipping to Samoa.


He Kete, He Kōrero 

When we were in Northland earlier in the year, we spent time with Toi Te Rito Maihi and Maureen Lander. Penguin Books  unexpectedly offered to reprint the book He Kete, He Kōrero, written by Toi  and Maureen. Tanya and I agreed to underwrite the reprint, and I have spent time liaising with Toi, Maureen, and Graeme from Penguin Books.


Friends  of Toi’s are now helping with storage, and a sales process will be organised soon..  .

That’s enough to give you some idea of how I’ve been spending many of my days in 2016!

Next year I intend to concentrate on some writing I began during our short escapes to baches and beaches, and have a quieter and more orderly life…


  1. Sylvia Bagnall says

    What good citizens you both are. Has the book been released? I want a copy. xx

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