Summer Solstice Greetings to you all.

solstice magnolia

The longest day is here, with huge lemon-scented magnolia blossoms… We will  celebrate Summer Solstice with family and friends,  at Earthsong.  Tanya will harvest a bed of garlic, and we’ll be feasting on our new discovery -  delicious blueberry-cashew ‘raw food’ cheese cake - plus savoury snacks  and colourful summer salads…           On Christmas Day we hope […]

Wonderful Wild West…

Mercer Bay

It’s wonderful being Westies, with the Waitakere Ranges on our doorstep and its beaches half an hour’s drive away. We’ve just had a three day break  at North Piha, in a comfortable old-fashioned holiday home, Tai Haruru, run by the Forest and Bird Society.  We were totally surrounded by flowering pohutukawa,  with tui hurtling through branches, kereru swooping around the house, birdsong […]

Coltan in the Congo

Lema and Amani

 Did you know that each time we buy a  new smart phone or tablet we are condoning rapes, mutilations and murders in the Democratic Republic of Congo? Tanya and I certainly didn’t know about the coltan mining industry destroying familes and villages in the eastern Congo until we met Lema Shamamba, a refugee from the area, […]

Safety, strength and success: Ranui Primary School

Ranui 5

We hear a lot about the problems of low-decile schools – and not nearly enough about their strengths and successes. Ranui Primary School held its once-a-term community day in early December, featuring student work around the theme Safety- at home, at school, in the community. Their work was inspiring – thoughtful, well-informed and beautifully presented […]

Auckland’s future? or more grey men…

men

Project Auckland, a 20-page supplement published on December 9 2014 by the New Zealand Herald, shows clearly why progress in developing Auckland as a truly liveable city is so slow. Of the 23 key people commenting, only four are women, only Paula Bennett is obviously Maori. And I’d be surprised if any of the commentators is under 40. […]

Treasures in the North

EarthHouse2

We discovered two very different treasures during a few days in Northland this month- Te Mirumiru in Kawakawa, Earth House in Peria Valley -and enjoyed special friends in a lovely landscape. Te Mirumiru… Te Mirumiru is an award-winning childcare centre in Kawakawa. Ngaati Hine have built this eco-friendly and inclusive early childhood education centre, in which 80 children – […]

Media Minutes…

We do find time for some media indulgence  – more often the media seem like a penance. Each month we’ll try and mention something outstanding – where posible with a link to something we think is specially worthwhile. Grandpa Herald…   The front page of the NZ Herald, most days, is repulsive – another celebration of violence […]

RANUI PATAKA KORERO- Ranui Storehouse of Knowledge

Library finished

At 5.30am on Friday 3 October nearly a hundred residents of Ranui and the wider community gathered for the dawn blessing of Rānui Pātaka Kōrero, the new library for Ranui and Swanson people. Leaders spoke about its significance to the community and the special importance of learning to all our young people.         […]