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 […]

Happy New Year, Winter Solstice, and Matariki!

At Earthsong:  A time to plant, and a time to rest and reflect… Tanya and Yuki have planted a hundred garlic cloves in the Earthsong community garden for harvesting on midsummer day.  But with looming frosts and lots of rain, better to wait a month or two before planting most other crops outside.  Trays of seedlings nestle on our deck awaiting […]

A Treat at Tongariro

We ‘ve just had an invigorating break in the dramatic Tongariro National Park in the Central North Island. We enjoyed the icy air and  rosy snow-capped mountains at dusk on our first day,  exploring the mounds on the plateau left by an ancient avalanche, a drive up to Scoria Flat on the rocky volcanic slopes of Ruapehu, misty bush walks beside […]

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 […]