Creativity in the City…

Architects… Taiga, our 9-year-old friend from Earthsong, joined us for a day exploring the work of some of Aotearoa’s leading architects.  Fifteen central Auckland architecture firms held open days, and we managed to spend time at four, talking with staff and looking at current project models, past work images and futuristic designs. Taiga had two […]

Celebrating Women…

Renée … novelist, playwright, and inspiring older woman (in her 90th year) has just been awarded a Prime Minister’s Literary Achievement Award ( with a $60,000 koha- so well-earned!)… An excellent item on the NZ Herald website includes the lovely photo above by Rosalie Phillips for the Otaki News. https://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=12144016 We have many fond memories […]

Celebrating Te Reo

We’re still enjoying the upsurge in use and acknowledgement of Te Reo Maori.  And we urge you all to read the excellent article on page 112 of  the September-October issue of New Zealand Geographic. Kennedy Warne’s essay,  A Flash of Fire: what a difference a name makes , explores the differences between Maori and English government […]

Women won the right to vote – 125 years ago today, in Aotearoa

  We caught a bus to the city heart at 6.30am this morning, 19 September,  the 125th anniversary of women winning the right to vote in Aotearoa, for a 7am ceremony in Aotea Square.  We were all welcomed by the wāhine toa of Ngāti Whātua Orākei on the steps of the Aotea Centre, with Sharon […]

Te Wiki o Te Reo Maori

A change of heart and mind is sweeping Aotearoa…       Te Wiki o Te Reo Maori (Maori language week), usually the time for a few token efforts by Pakeha journalists and newsreaders, has become a nation-wide celebration. In Wellington, Auckland, Manukau, Rotorua and Gisborne,  parades of thousands took to the streets.  We joined  ‘Hikoia […]

Founding Day at AGGS

  On Friday 7 September Charmaine was acknowledged at the annual Founding Day ceremony at Auckland Girls’ Grammar School.   She has gifted  her two medals (for the  Suffrage Centennial commemoration in 1993, and for the CNZM awarded in 2002) to the school because, as she told the assembled gathering, it was working with staff and […]

Going West…

  Going West: a Festival of people and language, held annually in Titirangi in West Auckland, this year featured many women and acknowledged te reo Maori  throughout the programme.  We loved the Friday night  opening session with Serie Barford’s poems, Paula Morris’s oratory,  and one of our favourite singers,  Moana Maniapoto.  Some highlights…. The Saturday […]

Whakaalofa lahi atu…on The Rock…

Niue is a tiny emerald island set in the deep blue and grey of the vast Pacific Ocean. “The Rock”, as it’s called by Niueans in Aotearoa, is a coral atoll twice raised by underwater volcanic action, and now encircled by a 64km coastal road. The coast is indented with coves and chasms, and just […]