Right of First Refusal..

or Refusal of First Right? We are appalled that Nick Smith, Minister of Housing, has driven a bulldozer through Ngaati Whatua and Tainui Treaty settlements, claiming that the “right of first refusal” enshrined in them means nothing – that the government is entitled to sell designated Crown land (some already offered to iwi) to private […]

Arts, Animals, Admiration, Ambivalence..

We had an unexpected opportunity in late April to visit the Gibbs Farm Park in Kaukapakapa, north of Auckland. On earlier journeys we’d glimpsed from the road Bernar Venet’s corten steel cluster (called 88.5° ARC x8) but were even more impressed by Neil Dawson’s beautiful Horizons and Maririjke de Goey’s The Mermaid, above…     […]

A Pakeha Failure…

How ignorant and stupid can a Minster of Social Development be? Anne Tolley has set up a so-called Expert Panel to make recommendations on “Modernising Child, Youth and Family” (CYF) .  56% of the children for whom CYF is responsible are Maori. So of course you would expect that at least half the panel would be […]

A Maori Success…

  TANGATA WHENUA: An Illustrated History…  …a superb book, beautifully produced. This is a landmark publication.  It was written by  Athol Anderson and Aroha Harris, both Maori scholars,  and the late Dame Judith Binney, a Pakeha scholar, all three highly respected by Maori and Pakeha alike for their research skills and insight. These are the comments of the judges who […]

Heretaunga

Late in March we had our annual holiday with six women friends, all of us growers and farmers.  This year, our tenth get-together, Jenny and Lesley from Pokaiwhenua Tree Farm near Putaruru organised our stay in the the old homestead on Clearview Estate at Te Awanga, in Heretaunga (Hawke’s Bay).  We had a comfortable house,  a variety […]

Good news for Auckland, and Aotearoa

On Saturday we went to the opening of a new theatre in New Lynn – Te Pou, Aotearoa’s first tikanga Maori theatre.  A most exciting evening, with performance excerpts from the last 50 years of Maori theatre.  The performances began with George Henare (singing It ain’t necessarily so from Porgy and Bess).  Rachel House played a Maori […]

Anzac Day: Celebrate or Commemorate?

I’m alarmed about the extent of the commemorations of Gallipoli, which are beginning to verge on celebrations. Celebrations of what? Of men from New Zealand going to Turkey to try and kill other men they’ve never met and have no personal reason to hate? Of their bravery in the face of death? Of their loyalty to […]