Atiu Island

We’ve been lucky to spend a week of our winter on Atiu, which  is a small island three-quarters of an hour’s flight north-east from Rarotonga in the southern Cook Island group.  It’s a volcanic island 11 million years old, with a central plateau slowly rising from the sea,  a raised fossil coral border (makatea), and a […]

Arts on Atiu

We discovered amazing artistic talents on Atiu. While chatting to an elderly couple at the local store, Nga and Paiere Mokoroa, we  were invited to visit and see Nga’s exquisite heritage tivaivai  (a type  of patchwork quilt developed in the Cook Islands). We also visited Andrea Eimke, a German woman who set up Atiu Fibre Arts studio […]

People on Atiu

                  We met several interesting locals during our stay.  We visited Mata Arai in her coffee plantation, and then her home, where she showed us her hand processing of the beans and served us a pikelets with a brew of freshly ground coffee. Birdman George (George Mateariki) took […]

Matariki …

Matariki, a time for reflecting on the past and planning for the future, has given us helter-skelter weather in Tamaki Makaurau since the 28th of June.  Fogs to help us see old Ranui street signs in new ways, sunny days to encourage the garlic shoots, still mornings to frame spiderwebs, wild storms to drive us inside. We tried to walk at Te Henga […]

Mana Wahine…

More than a hundred special Matariki events have been offered in Tamaki Makarau between 28 June and 29 July.  The most stunning performance we’ve seen was the Okareka Dance Company’s Mana Wahine, starring five women dancers in a powerful story of women’s strength, power and beauty.  The choreography, by Taiaroa Royal and Tane Mete with Malia Johnston, […]

More Matariki Moments…

We’ve been to several exciting events. Uku Tatai Whetu (“Earthbound to the Stars”),  at the Nathan Homestead- Manurewa Community Arts Centre, included many stunning works.  We especially liked these:  in clay by Noelle Jakeman, recycled materials by Bethany Edwards, and muka by Tuaine Strickland.   On the last day of Floral Art at Fresh Gallery, in Otara, we were given […]

Ranui…

We love the colour and friendliness of the wider Ranui community. Children play after school in the little park outside the library We meet friendly new people: Mary, of Croatian ancestry, has lived in Ranui for more than thirty years, and is now 100 years old. Lema, from the Republic of Congo, is a refugee who crochets the vibrant […]

Arts and Parks

Slowly we are exploring parts of West Auckland that are new to us. Close to home there’s a series of lakes which are part of the stormwater system of the city, and which, like Lake Paremuka here,  feature extensive native plantings and interesting sculptures. At Hobsonville Point, a huge new subdivision on the old Air […]