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.  […]

Autumn at Earthsong

Manabu has helped Tanya harvest the kumara – a good crop to be shared around the community – and has planted the onions for their six-month growing season.  Garlic goes in next month, of course, on the shortest day or thereabouts. We are also gathering copious quantities of persimmons, tamarillos, apples, guavas and feijoas, and the […]

The 1980s – the forgotten decade that changed NZ forever

On Tuesday 17 May, Charmaine spoke at one of Ika’s Salon evenings… Laila Harre, the owner of Ika Bar and Grill,  asked Charmaine to describe some of the huge changes in Auckland and Aotearoa in the 1980s, their effect on her personally and politically, and on the students and staff of Auckland Girls’ Grammar School […]

Whakapirau Bay

    A lovely water’s edge house filled with colourful  art works in flax, mosaic and paint,  looking across an inlet to Pahi,  on the north-eastern Kaipara Harbour…a very restful place to take a break. We read books on the fascinating local history – including Dick Scott’s Seven Lives on Salt River, about early Maori occupation and […]

Who Owns Our Water?

When I saw this heading in huge capitals on a one-page article in the NZ Herald… SHOULD ONE RACE CONTROL NEW ZEALAND’S FRESH WATER? my first thought was “could this be an article about how Pakeha colonists have taken over the country’s natural water sources and used, abused, bought, sold, polluted , drained and destroyed so many, […]

Tahuna Minhinnick (1960-2016)

  We are also mourning the sudden death of Tahuna Minhinnick, aged only 56.  We have known Tahuna and his family from Ngaati Te Ata Waiohua for almost thirty years, and worked with them during our 22 years on the Awhitu Peninsula.  Tahuna Minhinnick’s death is a tragic loss to his whanau and his iwi.  The son […]

Korero Café and the Ranui Community Centre

After major renovations, the Ranui Community Centre and Korero Café reopened with a dawn blessing on Friday 29 January.  Local stalwart Buffie Mawhinney and her team have re-used timber and other materials pulled out of the old building in very creative ways for walls and  furnishings .  The Auckland Council, Henderson-Massey Community Board and Community Trusts have all […]

An 80-year-old creates a political party…

Charmaine drove to the Awhitu Regional Park on Saturday 13 February for the 80th birthday party of George Flavell, a kaumatua of Ngaati Te Ata Waiohua, the people of the Awhitu Peninsula and beyond. And what a special event it was, too!  George had arranged for his guests (more than a hundred of us – […]