Kotare Village and Koanga Institute

We’ve known Kay Baxter and Bob Corker for more than 25 years.  They did design plans for our land at Awhitu, and our orchards were planted with Kay’s recommended varieties of heritage deciduous and subtropical plants.  We have a huge respect for their work over the years.  So we decided to go to an Open […]

Pictures from Tongatapu Island

Tonga’s history – treasured or trashed?

Within an hour of our arrival in Tonga we had learnt a little about Tongan government failure to protect an area of heritage and environmental sensitivity from housing development. The Tonga Heritage Society is a diverse group of Tongans and others – residents, expatriates, academics, business people -which was established to protect this area at Popua.  […]

Whakapirau Bay

    A lovely water’s edge house filled with colourful  art works in flax, mosaic and paint,  looking across an inlet to Pahi,  on the north-eastern Kaipara Harbour…a very restful place to take a break. We read books on the fascinating local history – including Dick Scott’s Seven Lives on Salt River, about early Maori occupation and […]

Diversity in Dunedin…

We had a week in Dunedin last month – and managed to find all the ingredients of a fine holiday: catching up with family and friends, lesbian company, cultural activities, conservation projects, and a political visit. We stayed the first night with former Aucklander, Pleasance, in her hilltop villa, and joined a monthly dinner group of Dunedin lesbians.  Ann Charlotte, whom we met there, […]

Towards “A Ukulele Revolution”

(from left) Joe, Bernard, Tanya and Charmaine with some of Bernard’s beautiful instruments We have an exciting new project – helping to raise funds for a ukulele-making workshop and training centre in Poutasi, on the south-east coast of Upolu, Samoa.  This village was destroyed by the 2009 tsunami, partially rebuilt, and then severely damaged again by […]

A new Coromandel enterprise..

A highlight of our recent holiday weekend in Coromandel was going for a guided walk with Jamie Watson, a young local Maori man planning to develop a Maori tourism enterprise in the area. We met him at Driving Creek  Café after our trip on the Driving Creek Railway with our friends Shila and Farida.  We admire […]

Samoa scenes…

We’ve just returned from the winter warmth of Samoa and Tanya’s 70th birthday. Here’s a few glimpses of our week… Flowers…     Fale…     Poutasi Village Developments : Crafts, Education and Gardens…       Church on Sunday, of course: the Methodist Church in Siumu     Tanya’s 70th birthday surprise from Sinalei Staff… accompanied by “Manuia lou […]