Inside and Outside the “Dark Forest”

  Gurmon Sup (translated into English as “Dark Forest“) was an extraordinary installation at Te Uru Gallery in Titrangi by Jae Kang, an Auckland-based Korean artist and passionate  tomato grower.  She used recycled irrigation materials to create sinuous snakes and coils, piles of black polyethylene tubes, pipes and fixings invading rooms, hanging down the handsome golden spiral staircase […]

New Voices

All four sessions we went to at the exciting annual Going West (Books + Writers Festival)  in the Titirangi Hall last Sunday morning were stimulating. Barbara Brookes talked about the writing of her recently published A History of New Zealand Women, a wonderfully inclusive and thoughtful work, turning many common ideas about  our nation’s story (especially regarding women’s […]

Turning the University Inside Out?

We were delighted recently to be invited to the inaugural Cumberland lecture at the University of Auckland on Thursday 15 September – especially as it was on this provocative topic, and to be given by an outstanding woman –  Professor Wendy Larner, Provost at Victoria University, Wellington, . 1n 1946 Dr Kenneth Cumberland moved from Christchurch […]

Secrets make you sick…Shot Bro!

  In 2009, Rob Mokaraka, well-known actor and TV personality, became suicidal, and threatened police with a meat cleaver, apparently wanting to be killed.   He was shot, outside his home in Point Chevalier, and spent a long time healing, both physically and emotionally, after being diagnosed as having suffered for many years from  depression.   Now, in 2016, […]

Joan Macdonald

For the last month we have known that a dear friend, Joan Macdonald, was dying. We saw her on the morning of Friday 12 August. She was sleeping deeply; we talked quietly to her, saying our goodbyes, and spent some time with her daughter Beth before we left. Joan died that night, peacefully. On Friday […]

Pictures from Tongatapu Island

Tonga’s history – treasured or trashed?

Within an hour of our arrival in Tonga we had learnt a little about Tongan government failure to protect an area of heritage and environmental sensitivity from housing development. The Tonga Heritage Society is a diverse group of Tongans and others – residents, expatriates, academics, business people -which was established to protect this area at Popua.  […]

Walking for Peace

We’ve just been to Taranaki to join the Pakeha Hikoi for Peace– a walk from New Plymouth to Parihaka in support of Mayor Andrew Judd’s campaign for Maori representation on New Plymouth District Council. The council’s proposal to include one Maori ward for the next Council election was defeated last year by a Citizen’s Referendum. […]