Arts, Animals, Admiration, Ambivalence..

Gibbs 1

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…     […]

Defiant Architecture

Heydar Aliyev Cultural Centre

  We’ve been stimulated and inspired by several films in the recent Resene Architecture and Design Film Festival, particularly three about extraordinary women, and two about New Zealand’s own Ian Athfield. Three Women’s Worlds Those who Dare, Win featured Zaha Hadid,  born in Baghdad in 1950, and  widely regarded as the most extraordinary architect in the world at […]

ALL FRESCO: K-Road Art 2015

street art tall

Dingy alleyways and dirty walls around Karangahape Road are blossoming with art works. Congratulations to the K-Road Business Association for inviting good street artists to enliven some of the bare walls in the neighbourhood.  This is a very creative alternative to fighting a losing battle against random taggers! Once a good piece of street art is created it […]

A Pakeha Failure…

Anne Tolley, Minister of Social Development

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

  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 […]

Curious about Earthsong?


Here’s your chance to get an overview of the process of development over twenty years, to meet residents, go on a guided tour, visit some homes, enjoy autumn at Earthsong, and finish with a chat over afternoon tea.  These tours are held every three months, so if you can’t come to this one, come on Saturday 22 August or Saturday […]


Nga Pou o 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 […]

There and back


On our way to Heretaunga… …we stopped at Te Aroha in order to ride a part of the Hauraki Cycle Trail, currently running from Thames to Waihi via the Karangahake Gorge, with a branch to Te Aroha. (see for information about this family-friendly cycle trail). Te Aroha  is an attractive Art Deco township with hot […]