A Political Painting..

We’re grateful to Garth, Tanya’s brother, for lending us this powerful painting by Margaret Lawlor-Bartlett- an 85-year-old grandmother!  She painted it in 2015- and now in her 90s, she is still painting, after a 60 year career as an artist. It will be displayed next year in a retrospective of her work over many decades. […]

Happy Helpful Honda!

We’ve just been thinking how lucky we are to still have our 2001 Honda.  She is now almost 20 years old, has seen us from the farm days through to the city, has done 456,120km, has a few mended scratches,  bangs and rust patches, and has faded somewhat from her original marvellous mauve.  But she […]

Busy in the City…

  Before our Northland journey, we’d had a rather busy month – a mix, as usual, of supporting NZ drama, films,  music and books, indulging and learning…as well as gardening (Tanya) and Isaac Body Corp Owners’ Committee (Charmaine) Three very different films: Rose Matafeo’s Baby Done –  a riotously funny journey with a top woman […]

ELECTIONS: Aotearoa and DSA

  Aotearoa In the final tally, Labour won a clear 50% of seats (i.e.60 of the 120). National lost a further two seats so now has only 33 on the final tally.   As we  hoped, the Maori Party now has two MPs, Rawiri Waititi and Debbie Ngarewa-Packer (one electorate seat and one list MP).    […]

Elections 2020 in Aotearoa

      Sunday 18 October – the day after our  elections How lucky we are to live in a country where a warm, eloquent and truthful woman Prime Minister has been able to hold our nation together during the difficult times of the last three years.  We  hoped that Jacinda Ardern and the Labour-led […]

Reflections on Westminster-style democracy..

Our government structures are based on those of England, unsurprisingly.  Early settlers from England, Scotland and Ireland assumed their right to install the systems of government they were used to.  After the signing of the Treaty of Waitangi in 1840, they flooded the country with immigrants (historian James Belich describes the settlement process as a […]

Protest Action…Saving Trees

  Save Canal Road Native Trees… For more than 100 days now, protesters have been occupying a property  in Canal Road , Avondale, to prevent the felling by a property developer of  the remaining twenty-three 100-year-old native trees.  The surviving trees include rare natives like black maire and kawaka; half the trees which grew on […]

Out and About

Bubbah at the Basement Theatre… Our first theatre outing after Covid Lockdown was a Basement Theatre production: Bubbah: My Ode to South Auckland, described  as “South Auckland stories by South Auckland people”, written by Bubbah in her garage with her team of Maori and Pasifika mates, describing life as it happens in their ‘hood – […]