Some Brilliant Things…

Toi Tu, Toi Ora

The most outstanding current event in Tāmaki Makaurau is the contemporary Māori Art exhibition in the Auckland Art Gallery – a wonderful celebration of 112 Māori artists (60% of them women) , filling the whole gallery, and ranging from works, several storeys high to tiny exquisite objects, and in many different media. 

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This exhibition deserves many visits – it is on until May 2021: 


There have been many other interesting events – here are a few we have enjoyed especially…


“Every Brilliant Thing” , presented by Silo Theatre at Samoa House, was a powerful solo performance by  Anapela Polata’ivao showing  the impact of depression in a family, and a young woman coping with it by writing down on paper each day, one small positive thing in her life. Audience members had to read out the messages on the numbered slips which we‘d been given at the entrance – a novel way of involving an audience.




“Ngā Wai” was a stunning Atamira Dance Company creation directed by Sean MacDonald and based on the myths and history of Waimārama, in Hawkes

 Bay, as shared with him by his uncle Robert MacDonald (who took us on a wonderful guided tour of Heretaunga a few years ago).




Ōtara Kai Village

Beside the Ōtara Shopping Centre, this container village includes a food pantry and a book pantry for locals, and since November an exciting Bike Burb where a group of local women have established a thriving cycle hub and repair shop in a container. Swanie from the Bike Burb commented that they’re not only exciting kids with bikes and scooters, but  they are also saving lives by helping young ones deal with anxiety and depression. 

See more at:  


and on Facebook,   at  Ōtara Bike Burb


Te Rae o Kawharu/Grey Lynn School

Our next door neighbours, Grey Lynn School, invited us to their end-of-year Fiafia and Grandparents /Special Friends Celebration on Friday 4 December.

Such a lovely occasion, with outdoor performances by each year level – a range of songs in Māori, English and Pasifika languages, hakas and dances too- all delivered with vigour and enthusiasm. The final item was a kapa haka performance from the visiting AGGS Kahurangi ki Maungawhau  junior students (bringing back memories for Charmaine, of course.. .)

After this, we were treated to a delicious morning tea, and explored the new school library and learning spaces.  The warmth and enthusiasm of staff and children was infectious, and the variety of resources and children’s projects in the new school rooms was impressive.

Grey Lynn School children performing in their playground. One of the two Ockham Isaac blocks in the background – ours is hidden behind this one)

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