Local Body Elections

We are especially delighted that our friend  Lyn Riesterer , of Whakatohea  descent, became Mayor of the Opotiki District Council – she is the first gay Maori woman Mayor in Aotearoa.  Lyn has been on the Opotiki District Council for two terms, and was Deputy Mayor in her  second term.  Her background is in education […]

Mulame: Lema Shamamba’s Exhibition

    We went to the opening of  Mulame in Objectspace Gallery in Rose Road, Ponsonby.  The exhibition, curated by Ane Tonga, comprises  a series of framed, embroidered  panels by our friend Lema Shamamba, depicting aspects of life in the Democratic Republic of Congo, and it is powerfully political.  Since she came to Aotearoa ten […]

A Fearful Future…?

Canadian writer Margaret Atwood has just published The Testaments, the sequel to her 1985 classic The Handmaid’s Tale, to great acclaim- including a nomination for the Booker Prize before it even arrived in the shops!  We went to the Bridgeway in Northcote to see  the English National Theatre film of an interview with Margaret Atwood […]

Te Wiki o Te Reo Maori

    This year, to celebrate Te Wiki o Te Reo Maori, we joined  a hikoi up Maungakiekie (One Tree Hill) with a couple of thousand young people, their teachers and family members.  At the top of the mountain there were prayers, haka, waiata and the call of the conch.  We talked along the way […]

Spring Round About…

Alcohol and Drug Court supporters’ dinner We’ve heard about the great work of Auckland and West Auckland Alcohol and Other Drug Courts for a while now.  But Justice Department money doesn’t cover all the costs of court clients…such as rental deposits, transport costs  for  appointments with potential employers or Work and Income, repairs for damaged […]

Good Judgement

If you’ve ever wondered what the induction of a new judge into the court system in New Zealand might be like, you might have imagined rows of dark-suited lawyers, and elderly be-wigged Pakeha men presiding. When we were invited to the swearing-in of Auckland barrister Faumui Penelope (Lope) Ginnen as a Judge in the Manukau […]

Best Book, Best Writers, Best Bookshop…

(Charmaine’s unabashedly personal views…) A Teaching Life, by Carol White, has just been published by The Cuba Press.  It has been eleven years in the making, since Carol retired from her position as Co-Principal of Selwyn College, in East Auckland.   I was delighted to be asked to write a foreword to it, and then to launch […]

Charm from the Chathams

Kaa’i and Francesca, our friends from Rekohu/Chatham Islands have been in Auckland again, this time supporting and judging the culinary efforts of children in South Auckland, and extending the marketing of their new unique freeze-dried honey from the Chathams.  They are also finalists in the NZ Artisan Awards…to be decided later in the year.. It’s […]