Farewell and gratitude for a wise elder…

    We are specially sad to hear of the recent death of Dr Rangimarie Turuki Arikirangi Rose Pere. We are hugely respectful of her deep wairua, courage, liveliness of spirit and vision, and her extensive work in education,  in Aotearoa and around the world.  We have admired her ability to challenge conventional Pākehā wisdom […]


A World Away i te Nota (in the North) Our big adventure this month has been a six-day holiday in Tai Tokerau (Northland).  Most of our exploring was around Te Hokianga-nui-a-Kupe, the birthplace of Aotearoa – one of the very oldest areas of settlement by the Pasifika voyagers who were to become tangata whenua. It’s […]

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 […]

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 […]

Books and Writers

  Four more really interesting autobiographical books by women authors in Aotearoa have been published this year:   Alison Jones, a Professor in Te Puna Wānanga, the School of Maori and Indigenous Studies at the University of Auckland, and early in her academic journey she did important research at AGGS , which helped to change […]