Solstice greetings to you all..

 Saturday December 22 is the longest day of the year and promises to be warm here, of course.  To our Northern Hemisphere friends and family experiencing the Winter Solstice on Friday 21 December, stay snug, and we’re glad the days will be  lengthening for you from now on. We wonder what you will be doing […]

Violence against women

In our last newsletter we celebrated women winning the right to vote in New Zealand- with some cautions about the very different meanings of suffrage for Pakeha and  Maori women. This month, sadly, we have to acknowledge the continuing acts of violence by men against women here in Aotearoa, and the continuing exclusion of women’s […]

Opposing the Violence

Most of you will know that recently a young English backpacker was murdered on the night of her 22nd birthday in Auckland, and her body dumped in the Waitakere Ranges. There has been an unprecedented outpouring of anger and grief throughout Aotearoa as a result.  It’s as though both women and men have had enough, […]

…and finally, a good place to stay…

…a small town whose population increases from 3000 to 10,000 for  a couple of weeks over Christmas and New Year, every year, but outside this peak Christmas period offers a lively, diverse community, every outdoor activity you can think of , and outstanding places to stay, to eat, and to explore: Whaingaroa-Raglan As part of […]

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 […]