Election 2017

What an extraordinary election campaign we are experiencing here in Aotearoa! For those living outside Aotearoa, a summary of some key events: We’ve lost two party leaders – Andrew Little from Labour, who resigned with dignity to allow his deputy, Jacinda Adern, to become leader; and Meteria Turei, from the Greens, whose attempts to draw […]

A fierce footnote

I can’t stand the term “ethnic cleansing”.  There’s nothing clean about persecution,  rape, mutilation and murder of a group of human beings because of their ethnicity, religion or political beliefs.  Tell the truth, for goodness  sake –”attempted ethnic extermination”, or “forced ethnic relocation”… genocide…hatred and criminal violence…inexcusable evil… Every day we’re hearing this term used […]

Nganeko – a personal tribute

On June 15 this year we lost a dear friend, Nganeko Minhinnick.  We first met Nganeko in 1987, at a Forest and Bird Society meeting where she  spoke about the mining by New Zealand Steel  of the Maioro iron sand dunes, her people’s ancient burial area at the mouth of the Waikato River, and the […]

Charmaine’s year of unexpected activities…

Some of my time-consuming activities this year have arisen in the course of local community commitments; others have been projects which have emerged through meeting interesting people  further afield.  Here are some examples of both… Earthsong Centre Trust constitution and new reporting requirements At meetings of the Earthsong Centre Trust, which I chaired 2015-16,  it became […]

Turanganui-a-Kiwa… (Gisborne)

  Turanganui-a-Kiwa was our spring holiday destination this year.  Sunshine every day, so much to do and see.. here are a few  highlights.. Watching the Walkway From our motel balcony we enjoyed watching the variety of people on Oneroa, the new coastal walkway, which stretches the length of Waikanae beach: walkers, of course, but also runners, […]

Two Roads Worth Travelling

From Turanganui-a-kiwa to Te Wairoa: on the inland road… From Gisborne, the inland road leads across plentiful plains, up into rugged hill country , and then descends into Tiniroto, Frasertown and Wairoa. A side road took us to Tiniroto village – pub, school, community garden and a couple of houses clustered above the lake.  A hospitable publican […]

Te Wairoa…(Wairoa)

Te Wairoa itself has all the charm to be a thriving town.  The shops and cafes stretch along the edge of the river, colourful and cared-for.  Houses are plentiful – and unbelievably cheap, around $100,000 for a modest bungalow .   But there aren’t enough paying jobs.  The Wairoa Freezing Works, once a major thriving employer […]

Inside Out

    We’ve had four very different experiences in the last week which could all be called “Inside Out”- very fitting for spring weather, this time of challenge, change and new growth: • Gurmon Sup (“Dark Forest”, an installation at Te Uru Gallery by an Auckland-based Korean artist and tomato grower) • New Voices (readings […]