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Welcome to the libraries’ News Blog! Here you’ll find reviews of new books, information about what’s happening at our libraries, and any breaking author news. We’ll also keep you up to date with exciting book award shortlists and prize announcements as they come to us, so check back often!

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Home & Garden for Autumn

This month’s recent picks feature a compilation of award winning interiors, upcycling tips and ideas for outdoor living. A change of season brings a time to think about your surroundings – upcycling is a great way to use what you have to create a feel of home. You will find an array of books to help you create outdoor rooms which is the hot new thing in design.

Syndetics book coverLife spaces : 120 award-winning interiors from the 2014 IDEA Awards.
“Since its inception in 2003, IDEA (Interior Design of Excellence Awards) has been celebrating the very best of an industry full of remarkable people and projects. This year, for the first time, we are publishing a book to celebrate the high quality of projects of the past year, the ones that have continually risen above the crowd to surprise and delight us.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverA designer’s life : an archive of inspired design and décor / Nicky Haslam.
“The enduring appeal of English-style interiors from the current master of the genre. Nicholas “Nicky” Haslam is one of the world’s most distinguished interior designers, and this career-crowning monograph explores his signature style. Haslam began designing in 1972 and has become known for opulent, original, and timeless interiors.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverUpcycled chic and modern hacks : thrifty ways for stylish homes / Liz Bauwens and Alexandra Campbell ; photography by Simon Brown.
“In an age when we can buy the same bookcase in Sweden, Singapore, and San Francisco, adding individuality to our surroundings is increasingly important. It creates a sense of place, a feel of home. Upcycling sums up today’s approach to interiors. It means re-using or re-styling things in an innovative and contemporary way, transforming an older piece of furniture from junk to fabulous.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverGracious rooms / Barbara Westbrook ; written with Heather MacIsaac.
“In her first book, the South’s most inviting designer explores her principles for creating a beautiful home rich with comfort and warmth. Barbara Westbrook has been designing classically inspired homes full of Southern charm and a European touch for more than twenty years.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverOutdoor rooms / editor, Karen Booth.
“Outdoor rooms are gaining momentum as the hot new thing in home design, but consumers often struggle to work out how to have one built. A well designed Outdoor Room provides a sanctuary where we can relax and talk face to face with friends and family. What form or style an outdoor room takes is a matter of taste. With over 160 pages of full colour pictures Outdoor Rooms provides all the information and inspiration you need to create an outdoor room that is as unique as you are.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverAll new backyard idea book / Sandra S. Soria.
“This completely revised and updated edition of the best-selling Backyard Idea Books brings together hundreds of fresh ideas and unique solutions for making the most of all garden outdoor spaces. The previous editions of Backyard Idea Book have sold over 165,000 copies combined. Lushly illustrated with 275 photos, All New Backyard Idea Book provides design options for patios and decks, structures like pergolas, arbours, and sheds, beds, borders, and other landscaping, and dining and entertaining.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverOutside living : terraces, balconies, roof decks, courtyards, pocket gardens, and other small outdoor spaces / Francesc Zamora Mola.
“Anyone looking for design ideas for patios, terraces, and other compact outdoor spaces will find this inspirational sourcebook invaluable, whether starting afresh or fine-tuning an existing design. This is the ultimate resource for innovative terrace, roof garden, patio, and balcony design ideas for outdoor spaces of all shapes and sizes.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Gathering at Gallipoli

Gallipoli1

Since our troops landed there on 25 April 1915, Gallipoli has been a destination of great significance for New Zealanders of all ages. The trek to Gallipoli is even more meaningful this year, as we mark the centenary of those landings.

Some 2000 New Zealanders and 8000 Australians will gather at the Dawn Service on Gallipoli Peninsula to remember the soldiers of our two countries who fought together there as ‘ANZACs’. We will reflect on the passing of 100 years since the 25 April landing at Anzac Cove and the birth of ‘the Anzac spirit’. And for all Kiwis it will be a time to reflect on what the bitter Gallipoli campaign meant for our developing identity as a nation.

For many of those gathering at the commemorative site, it will also be a deeply personal experience. As we camp out under the stars on the eve of the Dawn Service, we will be thinking of relatives who fought at the Dardanelles – like my great-uncle Jack, of the 16th (Waikato) Company, 2nd Battalion, Auckland Infantry Regiment, who took part in the landing on 25 April 1915.

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Graves or memorials to most of the approximately 2700 New Zealanders who died at Gallipoli are in 24 cemeteries dotted around the peninsula. Besides attending the Dawn Service, some visitors will have time to explore the significant cemeteries, battlefields and other sites.

Many of the travel guides (like those published by Lonely Planet) have basic information about places of historical importance on the peninsula, but the library also has several more detailed guidebooks. These are essential reading for those visiting Gallipoli and are full of details to help anyone interested in the campaign to gain some understanding of the place where so many young New Zealanders fought and died.

Syndetics book coverGallipoli : a guide to New Zealand battlefields and memorials / Ian McGibbon.
This 2014 revised update of the original edition published 10 years ago “is the indispensable handbook to the history and geographic features of the campaign for a modern, general readership. Easy to follow and highly illustrated, it introduces the battlefields, cemeteries and memorials, detailing the stories behind each and offering historical overviews of New Zealand’s involvement”. (from cover)

Syndetics book coverGallipoli : the battlefield guide / Mat McLachlan.
“More than 30,000 Australians visit Gallipoli every year, and the numbers are increasing each year as the centenary of the landing approaches. This practical guide book enables them to plan their trip, work out what to see and in what order, and gives the historical background to the major battles. It gives all the necessary information – both practical and historical – to appreciate what happened, and where. Detailed tours (both walking and with transport) are described, and accompanied by specially drawn maps.” (from library catalogue)

Syndetics book coverTurn right at Istanbul : a walk on the Gallipoli Peninsula / Tony Wright.
Tony Wright’s book is not a travel guide as such but an absorbing and entertaining personal story. “His account of the modern phenomenon of increasing numbers of young Australians and New Zealanders heading for Gallipoli is an Anzac ‘Pilgrim’s Progress’.” “Anyone who has ever dreamed of travelling to Turkey and taking part in the Gallipoli experience will find this book a moving, inspiring and occasionally hilarious roadmap to the heart of Australia and New Zealand in an ancient land.” (adapted from cover)

B8kU-rUCIAAfZn_Ngā Tapuwae
New Zealand has developed a set of trails at Gallipoli as part of the Ngā Tapuwae project. (Trails are also being developed on the Western Front.) The online resource includes a downloadable app with audio tours, interactive maps, personal stories, travel guides, articles and a wealth of other material that helps the user follow in the footsteps of the NZ soldiers who fought at Gallipoli. Link here

WW 1 Display in the Central Library
Drawing from my family archive, the library’s local and NZ history specialist and I have prepared a display of original letters and postcards sent from the trenches. Other interesting pieces of WW1 memorabilia include battalion insignia and a New Testament issued to the troops. Be sure to take a look at these items in the display case on the Second Floor of the Central Library.

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Here is a close-up of a postcard in the display, sent from France in December 1916.

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Reading correspondence from those terrible years is often heartwrenching and the stories and letters in this display certainly convey the pain and sadness of the war.

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Click here to listen to a Radio New Zealand interview of Michael Williams, Waikato-based composer who has been working on writing Letters From The Front, his first symphony. He matches letters from the First World War with musical movements and it will debut performed by the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra in April to coincide with Anzac Day commemorations.

Special events in April

This month we have loads of events on, including coding workshops, school holiday activities and the return of ComicFest!

ComicFest 2015Please note that all our libraries will be closed on Friday 3rd, Sunday 5th & Monday 6th April for the Easter break. We will be open on Saturday 4th April during regular hours. We will also be closed on Saturday 25th April for ANZAC Day.

You can always check our event calendar to see all events happening in one day, or look further ahead for the rest of the month. See below for what’s coming up this month:

ComicFest 2015! (April/May)
- Wednesday 29 April – Free Mystery comic film! 6-8pm at Central
- Thursday 30 April – Panel: From cartoons to comics 6-7pm at Central
- Thursday 30 April – Comicfest get together 7.15-8pm at MEOW
- Friday 1 May – Digital comics workshop with Tim Gibson 5-6.30pm at Central
- Friday 1 May – Panel: The current and future state of New Zealand comics 7-8pm at Central
- Saturday 2 May – Free Comic book day! World comics display & Manga drawing competition – all day
- Saturday 2 May – Comics 101 workshop with Sarah Laing 10-11.30am at Central
- Saturday 2 May – Cosplay competition 11.30am-12pm at Central
- Saturday 2 May – ‘Tintin –the journey from comic to film’ 12-1pm at Central
- Saturday 2 May – Panel: New Zealand Women’s Comics with the editors of Three Words 1-2pm at Central
- Saturday 2 May – Comicfest announces winners for the Manga drawing competition 2-2.30pm at Central

One-off events
- Thursday 2nd April 6.30-7pm – Traditional Easter storytime at Tawa library
- Sunday 12th April 9am-3pm – Gather Coding Workshop for 12-14 year olds – Mezzanine meeting room @ Central
- Monday 13th April 9am-3pm – Gather Coding Workshop for 15-18 year olds – Mezzanine meeting room @ Central
- Wednesday 22nd April 6-7.30pm – Chinese Poetry evening at Central Library

Throughout the month:
- “From the Western Front” memorabilia exhibit – Central Library 2nd floor
- Charlotte (Lottie) Le Gallais ANZAC display – Central Library landing between ground & 1st floors

Commemorating ANZAC – Free School holiday activities
- Wednesday 8th April – Kilbirnie Library 2-3pm
WW100- Monday 13th April – Cummings Park Library 11am-12pm
- Monday 13th April – Johnsonville Library 2-3pm
- Tuesday 14th April – Karori Library 11am-12pm
- Wednesday 15th April – Central Library 11am-12pm
- Thursday 16th April – Tawa Library 11am-12pm
- Friday 17th April – Island Bay Community Centre 1-2pm

Business Excellence seminar series
All seminars run 5.30-6.30pm at Central.
- How Can The Council Help You Do Business? – Thursday 9th April
- Building resilience into business - Thursday 16th April
- Accountancy – Thursday 23rd April

Recurring events
- Wednesdays 5.30-7.30 – Gamesfest at Central Library
- Thursdays 6pm – Mystery Movie Screenings at Central library
- First Thursday of every month 6.30-7pm – Late Night storytime at Tawa Library (this month is Easter themed)
- First Friday of every month 6.30-7pm – Late Night storytime at Johnsonville Library
- Second Friday of every month 6.30-7.30pm – Free drawing classes with Joyce at Johnsonville library
- Every other Thursday (9 April & 23 April) 11.15-11.45am – Bond Street Storytime at Bond Street shipping container lounge area

Kohunga Korero
- Omāroro (Newtown) – 7th April – 10.30am (1st Tuesday of each month)
- Korimako ki Ngāio (Cummings Park) – 13th April – 10.30am (2nd Monday of each month)
- Waitohi (Johnsonville) – 21st April – 2pm (3rd Tuesday of each month)
- Motukairangi (Miramar) – 28th April – 2pm (new time) (4th Tuesday of each month)

New Chinese Corner at the Central Library

Discover a rich and colourful collection of Chinese Language teaching books at the Wellington Central Library. Look at different ways of learning Chinese with the help of the new teaching resources found in the Chinese Corner and explore the plethora of new books, DVDs and CDs.
The launch of the donated new Chinese Collection was hosted at the Central library last Monday, by the Mayor Celia Wade-Brown, the Chinese Ambassador Wang Lutong, the Director of the Confucius Institute and invited guests.
Find out more about the Chinese language, history and culture and make the most out of the easily accessible teaching resources available to borrow for free at the new Chinese Corner. You are all welcome to visit!
Chinese Corner
Ba xian guo hai xue han yu. v.1A [electronic resource] = Chinese your way / chu pin ren: Mei guo Mixigen zhou li da xue Kongzi xue yuan ; chuang yi: Zhao Yong ; bian xie: Cao Xiaoyan , Wang Ji, Li Fujia deng.
Learn Chinese through stories or ‘travel logs’ recorded by several American high school students’ while traveling in China. Learners can choose to browse the stories or to use interactive features to learn words, grammar, communicative usages and other cultural information related to the stories.

Ti yan Han yu. Xie zuo jiao cheng = Experiencing Chinese. [Writing course] / zhu bian Chen Zuohong deng [et al.].

Chinese for children. 1 / Multimedia Press China Central Radio & TV University ; ChinaSprout.
Chinese lessons for children in the form of a story that can be used in a home or classroom setting. Learn to recognize and write common characters, as well as match them with Pinyin and English.

Common knowledge about Chinese culture = Zhongguo wen hua chang shi / The Overseas Chinese Affairs Office of the State Council, China Overseas Exchanges Association.

Five thousand years of Chinese characters [videorecording] / chief producer, Xu Lin ; produced by the Office of the Chinese Language Council International (Hanban) / Confucius Institute Headquarters, Beijing.
Introduces the evolvement of Chinese characters and demonstrates the impact Chinese characters have exerted on the enduring unification of China, and on the passing on of Chinese culture. Serving as comparisons, the evolution of other languages is also discussed during the narration of the history of Chinese characters.

New DVDs in April

Our pick of the new DVDs in April include the latest season of ‘Game Of Thrones’; new TV with ‘Mom’, ‘The Honourable Woman’ & ‘Penny Dreadful’; Oscar winning dramas ‘Boyhood’ & ‘Whiplash’; heart-warming English comedy ‘Pride’; and critically acclaimed Foreign films ‘The Lunchbox’ & ‘In Bloom’.

cover imageGame of thrones. The complete fourth season.
“As Season 4 begins, the Lannisters’ hold on the Iron Throne remains intact in the wake of the Red Wedding slaughter that wiped out many of their Stark nemeses. But can they survive their own egos as well as new and ongoing threats? Meanwhile, an unbowed Stannis Baratheon continues to rebuild his army; the Lannister-loathing ‘Red Viper of Dorne,’ Oberyn Martell, arrives at King’s Landing for Joffrey’s wedding to Margaery Tyrell; Daenerys Targaryen and her dragons and unsullied force aim to liberate the largest Slavery City in the east…with long-range plans to take back the Iron Throne; and a depleted Night’s Watch faces the advance of Mance Rayder’s wildling army, who are in turn running from the undead White Walkers.” (Reviews from Amazon.co.uk)

Syndetics book coverThe lunchbox.
“Trying to add some spice to her marriage, Ila prepares a special lunchbox for her husband at work. Unbeknownst to her, it is mistakenly delivered to another worker, Saajan. Curious about the lack of reaction from her husband, Ila puts a note in the next day’s lunchbox. This begins a series of lunchbox notes between Saajan and Ila, and the communication soon evolves into an unexpected friendship. Ila and Saajan become lost in a virtual relationship that could jeopardize both their lives.” (Syndetics summary)

cover imageBoyhood.
“Groundbreaking, award-winning drama directed by Richard Linklater and starring Patricia Arquette and Ethan Hawke. Filmed over a period of 12 years with the same cast members, the film begins as Olivia (Arquette) moves to Houston, Texas, with her son Mason (Ellar Coltrane) and daughter Samantha (Lorelei Linklater) after the disintegration of her marriage to the children’s father (Hawke). From then on we follow Mason as he progresses from a child to a young man while dealing with his parents’ divorce and the numerous other difficulties of growing up. The film was nominated for six Academy Awards including Best Picture, Best Director and Best Original Screenplay, with Arquette taking home the trophy for Best Supporting Actress, and also won three Golden Globes and three BAFTAs.” (Reviews from Amazon.co.uk)

cover imageWhiplash.
“Andrew is an ambitious young jazz drummer, single-minded in his pursuit to rise to the top of his elite east coast music conservatory. Plagued by the failed writing career of his father, Andrew hungers day and night to become one of the greats. Terence Fletcher, an instructor equally known for his teaching talents as for his terrifying methods, leads the top jazz ensemble in the school. Fletcher discovers Andrew and transfers the aspiring drummer into his band, forever changing the young man’s life. Andrew’s passion to achieve perfection quickly spirals into obsession, as his ruthless teacher continues to push him to the brink of both his ability—and his sanity.” (Reviews from Amazon.co.uk)

cover imageThe honourable woman.
“…As a young girl, Nessa Stein witnessed the assassination of her father by the armed wing of the Palestinian Liberation Organisation. Now in her late thirties, Nessa is at the forefront of the Middle East peace process. Ennobled for her campaigning work, the newly made Baroness must fight forces that are conspiring against her as she awards a highly lucrative contract to a Palestinian businessman. When he is subsequently killed, Nessa and her brother come under the close scrutiny of Whitehall and the Secret Intelligence Service. Set against the gripping backdrop of government paranoia and espionage, The Honourable Woman tells the story of one woman’s personal journey to right the wrongs conducted in a past life.” (adapted from Reviews, Amazon.co.uk)

cover imageThe best of me.
“The story of Dawson and Amanda, two former high school sweethearts who find themselves reunited after twenty years apart, when they return to their small town for the funeral of a beloved friend. Their bittersweet reunion reignites the love they’ve never forgotten, but soon they discover the forces that drove them apart twenty years ago live on, posing even more serious threats today.” (Syndetics summary)

cover imagePenny dreadful. The complete first season.
“An erotically charged, profoundly unsettling new saga that completely reinvents literature’s most iconic and terrifying characters. Dorian Gray, Victor Frankenstein, and timeless figures from Dracula join a core of original characters in a dark and brutal quest to save a soul, even as they grapple with their own monstrous temptations.” (Syndetics summary)

Cover imageFinding Vivian Maier.
“Who is Vivian Maier? Now considered one of the 20th century’s greatest street photographers, Vivian Maier was a mysterious nanny who secretly took over 100,000 photographs that went unseen during her lifetime. Since buying her work by chance at auction, amateur historian John Maloof has crusaded to put this prolific photographer in the history books. Maier’s strange and riveting life and art are revealed through never-before-seen photographs, films, and interviews with dozens who thought they knew her…” (Publishers description from Amazon.com)

Cover imageThe hunger games. Mockingjay, Part 1.
“The worldwide phenomenon of The Hunger Games continues to set the world on fire with The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1, which finds Katniss Everdeen (Jennifer Lawrence) in District 13 after she literally shatters the games forever. Under the leadership of President Coin (Julianne Moore) and the advice of her trusted friends, Katniss spreads her wings as she fights to save Peeta (Josh Hutcherson) and a nation moved by her courage. The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1 is directed by Francis Lawrence from a screenplay by Danny Strong and Peter Craig and produced by Nina Jacobson’s Color Force in tandem with producer Jon Kilik. The novel on which the film is based is the third in a trilogy written by Suzanne Collins that has over 65 million copies in print in the U.S. alone…” (Publishers description from Amazon.co.uk)

Cover imageKill the messenger.
“Two-time Academy Award nominee Jeremy Renner (“The Bourne Legacy”) leads an all-star cast in a dramatic thriller based on the remarkable true story of Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Gary Webb. Webb stumbles onto a story which leads to the shady origins of the men who started the crack epidemic on the nation’s streets…and further alleges that the CIA was aware of major dealers who were smuggling cocaine into the U.S., and using the profits to arm rebels fighting in Nicaragua…” (Publishers description from Amazon.com)

Cover imageMom. The complete first season.
“Anna Faris and Emmy® winner Allison Janney star in a new comedy from Chuck Lorre. Anna Faris plays Christy, a single mom whose newly found sobriety has given her the ability to see her life clearly… and she does not like the view. Now she must try to untangle years of reckless decisions in order to make a better life for her and her kids. But she discovers that just because you want to be a better person doesn’t mean it’s going to be easy. Everywhere she looks there are challenges: She is trying to stop drinking in wine country, have a healthy romance with her unavailable boss, raise her young son to be a good man despite his father’s influence, convince her troubled teenage daughter to make better choices than she did, and, perhaps the most difficult task – forgive her estranged mother, Bonnie, played by Allison Janney, for not giving her any of the tools she needed to handle life in the first place…” (Publishers description from Amazon.co.uk)

Cover imagePride.
“Set in the summer of 1984 – Margaret Thatcher is in power and the National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) is on strike. At the Gay Pride March in London, a group of gay and lesbian activists decides to raise money to support the families of the striking miners. But there is a problem. The Union seems embarrassed to receive their support. But the activists are not deterred. They decide to ignore the Union and go direct to the miners. They identify a mining village in deepest Wales and set off in a mini bus to make their donation in person. And so begins the extraordinary story of two seemingly alien communities who form a surprising and ultimately triumphant partnership…” (Publishers description from Amazon.co.uk)

Cover imageIn bloom.
“Like a bomb triggered to go off, In Bloom builds in the viewer’s gut, a drama coiled to attack. Something is happening in the filmmaking world of Georgia, which hasn’t previously qualified as even a backwater, and this movie is some kind of ultimate statement by writer-director partners Nana Ekvtimishvili and Simon Gross (she’s Georgian, he’s German). Its triumph exactly a year ago at the Berlin Film Festival was a bolt out of the blue, with a finely chiseled narrative of tween pals Eka (Lika Babluani) and Natia (Mariam Bokeria) trying to keep the wolves of the 1992 Georgian civil war away from their previously peaceful Tblisi doorsteps. But the movie shows how impossible this is, and that wolves will have their way. The childhood innocence in the eyes of Babluani and Bokeria melts away as they’re forced to make terrible choices, the bubble of girlhood punctured by huge social forces. The movie never, ever makes a wrong move, and many sequences are as good as anything in recent cinema…” (Adapted from Amazon.com review)

Cover imageOlive Kitteridge.
“Frances McDormand stars as the eponymous character in this miniseries adapted from Elizabeth Strout’s novel. Set in the fictional town of Crosby, Maine, the story takes place over 25 years and follows Olive Kitteridge, a depressed high school maths teacher, who has good intentions despite her harsh exterior. She is supported by her husband Henry (Richard Jenkins), a kindhearted pharmacist, while their son Christopher (Devin Druid/John Gallagher, Jr.) grows resentful towards his mother. The series captures different periods of Olive’s life and her interactions with the other townspeople. The cast includes Zoe Kazan, Bill Murray, Rosemarie DeWitt and Martha Wainwright…” (Publishers description from Amazon.co.uk)

New Fiction Talking Books

Some exciting new talking fiction books in our collection, featuring a number of very popular authors.

Syndetics book coverThe burning room [sound recording] / Michael Connelly.
“In the LAPD’s Open-Unsolved Unit, not many murder victims die almost a decade after the crime. So when a man succumbs to complications from being shot by a stray bullet nine years earlier, Bosch catches a case in which the body is still fresh, but all other evidence is virtually nonexistent. Now Bosch and rookie Detective Lucia Soto, are tasked with solving what turns out to be a highly charged, politically sensitive case.” (adapted from Syndetics summary).

Syndetics book coverHavana storm [sound recording audio book] / Clive Cussler and Dirk Cussler.
“Investigating a toxic outbreak in the Caribbean Sea that is threatening the United States, Dirk Pitt is embroiled in a post-Castro power struggle for control of Cuba; while his children, Dirk Jr. and Summer, embark on a high-stakes treasure hunt.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverPegasus / Danielle Steel.
“Late 1930′s Germany: Best friends Alex von Hemmerle and Nicolas von Bingen, titled childhood friends with neighbouring estates, are witnessing the rise of Nazism when Nick’s father reveals the long-buried secret of his son’s partial Jewish ancestry. Warned by highly placed friends to flee, the only treasures Nick and his sons can take are two dazzling Lipizzaner horses, gifts from Alex. These powerful and majestic creatures become their ticket to a new life waiting across the ocean.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

The New Zealand Collection Presents: This Week in History 29th March – 4th April

As usual this week’s selected topic comes from the Today in History page at nzhistory.net.nz. The New Zealand Collection is located on the second floor of The Central Library. Each week we feature topics in the This Week in History display in the NZ Collection and using available databases and the library collections to illustrate and provide additional information.

2nd April 1916 – The Arrest of Rua Kēnana

Rua called himself the Mihāia (Messiah) and claimed to be the successor whose coming had been predicted by the prophet Te Kooti a generation earlier. By 1907 there were around 600 followers who had joined him and were living at Maungapōhatu, a model community that he had founded on non-violent principles.

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Photo Credit: McDonald, James Ingram, 1865-1935. Rua Kenana. Ref: 1/2-019618-F. Alexander Turnbull Library, Wellington, New Zealand. http://natlib.govt.nz/records/23147416

Rua aimed to blend the best of Pākehā practices with Māori customs. He established a farming co-operative and a savings bank, and promised his people that their land and their mana would be returned. See below an image a bank book from the Maungapōhatu Bank.

Rua Kēnana Bankbook
Photo Credit:Rua Kenana Hepetipa, 1868?-1937. Kenana, Rua Hepetipa 1869-1937 : Peeke takoranga moni I raro i te mana O Rua Hepeti Maungapohatu. Ref: MSX-3427. Alexander Turnbull Library, Wellington, New Zealand. http://natlib.govt.nz/records/22840724

Many Pākehā saw the Maungapōhatu community as subversive and Rua as a disruptive influence. Māori politicians like Māui Pōmare and Āpirana Ngata believed that traditional tohunga (spiritual leaders) such as Rua held back Māori progress.  Rua was summonsed to appear before the local magistrate on 19 January 1916. He excused himself on the grounds that it was harvest time but stated that he would attend the court session scheduled for February. This was viewed as contempt and a new warrant was issued for his arrest. John Cullen, the commissioner of police, began preparations for an armed police expedition to Maungapōhatu. Read an article here from Papers Past published in February of 1916 from The Star to see how Rua was perceived in the Pākehā press

Maungapōhatu
Bourne, George, 1875-1924. Rua Kenana Hepetipa’s wooden circular courthouse and meeting house at Maungapohatu. Ref: 1/2-002915-F. Alexander Turnbull Library, Wellington, New Zealand. http://natlib.govt.nz/records/22846139

On Sunday 2 April 1916, 57 armed police invaded the remote Ngāi Tūhoe settlement of Maungapōhatu in the Urewera Ranges. They had been sent to arrest the prophet Rua Kēnana.

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Photo Credit: Police approaching Maungapohatu, to arrest Rua Kenana. Ref: 1/2-028071-F. Alexander Turnbull Library, Wellington, New Zealand. http://natlib.govt.nz/records/22835478

Rua was standing unarmed on the marae waiting to greet the approaching police when a shot was fired. In the following exchange of gunfire two of the Maungapōhatu residents were killed, including Rua’s son Toko. Senior police officers claimed they had walked into a planned ambush, but the evidence suggests it was the police who fired first. Rua and others were arrested on a number of charges ranging from resisting arrest to treason. They were taken to Auckland for trial. Rua was sentenced to 12 months’ hard labour followed by 18 months’ imprisonment.

Rua was taken to Auckland and charged with treason. Read here the judges summing up at the end of the trial. A jury found him not guilty, but Judge F.R. Chapman found him guilty of ‘morally’ resisting arrest. He lectured Rua that as a member of a race ‘still in tutelage’ he must learn that the arm of the law reached into ‘every corner’. Eight of the jury petitioned Parliament to have the sentence reduced.

Rua was released from jail in April 1918. The community at Maungapōhatu fell on hard times and by the early 1930s many had left in search of work.

Maungapohatu
Maungapōhatu, city in the mist. Photo by George Bourne. Auckland Institute and Museum

Rua went to live at Matahī, a community he had founded in 1910 on the Waimana River in eastern Bay of Plenty. He died there on 20 February 1937.

The Māori Collection alongside the New Zealand Collection holds a number of books about Rua Kēnana, the Tūhoe people and their land in the Urewera.  The title featured first also looks at connections with the 1916 raid on Maungapōhatu and the 2007 raids on Tūhoe activists and urban anarchist supporters.

Syndetics book coverThe prophet and the policeman : the story of Rua Kenana and John Cullen / Mark Derby.
“In April 1916, John Cullen, the Commissioner of the New Zealand Police Force, personally led a raid on the Tuhoe prophet Rua Kenana’s spiritual community at Maungapohatu, deep in the Urewera mountains. The raid, which was based on trumped-up charges, left two of Rua’s followers dead and a number of others wounded, and is often described as the last battle of the New Zealand Wars. The outcome of this raid was disastrous for race relations in this country and a historic low point for the New Zealand police. This book is an account of this dramatic, tragic and profoundly symbolic event in our history, told by recounting the life stories of its two principal antagonists. John Cullen was a farm labourer born in rural Ireland, who rose through the ranks to head the police force and was famously viotent, devious and authoritarian. Rua was notably gentle and inspirational, although often mysterious and contradictory. This is a highly readable, potent and fascinating book of New Zealand history. The two subjects of this dual biography represent two poles of the national character: the archetypal Pakeha no-nonsense conservative who was quite prepared to break the law to serve the interests of the section of society he represented, and the semi-mythical Maori spiritual leader, steeped in mysterious charisma and pre-scientific beliefs. The 2007 anti-terrorist raids on Tuhoe activists and the urban anarchist supporters have given the 1916 Maungapohatu raid a contemporary resonance: a connection that is explored in the conclusion of this book.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverMihaia : the prophet Rua Kenana and his community at Maungapohatu / Judith Binney, Gillian Chaplin, Craig Wallace.
“Rua Kenana was one of many Maori prophetic leaders of the 19th and 20th centuries. He called himself Te Mihaia hou, the new messiah, and was the leader of a section of the Tuhoe at a time when their land, the Urewera country, was threatened by possible prospecting and milling. Withdrawing to Maungapohatu, in the heart of Urewera, he established a community. This work is a history of Rua and his people, of the destruction of the community, by the government during World War I, and the struggle to start all over again.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverBeyond betrayal : trouble in the promised land – restoring the mission to Māori / Keith Newman.
“Beyond Betrayal delves into New Zealand’s pioneering history, and asks why such promising partnerships descended into decades of distrust. After the Treaty of Waitangi was signed, a succession of governors resisted missionary advice, despite their local knowledge and peacemaking skills, and influenced a raft of misunderstandings that provoked violent outbreaks across the country. The rise of Maori prophetic movements, and an intense desire for Maori to have a unified political voice, saw allegiances split between those supporting the government and those frustrated at failed Treaty promises. The pressure to surrender tribal lands had the same impact – a shattered economy and a dispossessed people. The thrilling follow-up to Keith Newman’s bestselling Bible & Treaty, Beyond Betrayal looks behind the events that led to the first Maori land protests, and follows the unfolding drama through the stories of the early missionaries and Maori heroes of the faith. These dramatic and heartrending tales of injustice, sacrifice and redemption form an important and often misunderstood backdrop to the wider New Zealand story – one of the most turbulent periods in our history, told with skill, sensitivity and heart.”–Back cover.

Syndetics book coverStories without end : essays 1975-2010 / Judith Binney.
“Judith Binney’s work spans nearly forty years of historical endeavour that began with the award-winning biography of the missionary Thomas Kendall, The Legacy of Guilt (1968). Her magisterial publication of 2009, Encircled Lands, is the culmination of many years’ work on the history of the Urewera – a great scholarly enterprise that began with a visit to Maungapohatu in the late 1970s. The questions that presented themselves, in that place about that history, led to what Judith Binney has called ‘the unanticipated trilogy’: Mihaia (the biography of Rua Kenana); Nga Morehu (oral histories of women connected to the Ringatu church); and prize-winning biography of Te Kooti, Redemption Songs. Around this central core of remarkable books stands a ring of essays, exploring sidepaths, offering other stories, presenting glimpses tangential to her historical narratives. The people of these ‘stories without end’ are those we meet in the books: Rua and Te Kooti, their wives and their descendants; the leaders of the Urewera; the schoolteachers from Maungapohatu; those early missionaries; the government men. Oral history brings its particular resonance to some essays; a discourse on symbols and maps lends insight to another; taking this very specific history, located in the Urewera, to readers outside New Zealand gives a new slant. The stories in this collection are just that: narratives that flow one into another, filling out histories, bringing people out of the shadows, bringing scholarship to life. They are ‘stories without end’, from a writer who is also one of New Zealand’s greatest scholars.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverTūhoe : portrait of a nation / text by Kennedy Warne ; photographs by Peter James Quinn.
“Tūhoe: Portrait of a Nation explores the relationship between Tūhoe and Te Urewera, the people and the land. It is the result of a multi-year project by acclaimed documentary photographer Peter James Quinn and Kennedy Warne, founding editor of New Zealand Geographic. The two journalists circled the ‘encircled lands’ – the tribal domain that stretches from the forest fortress of Lake Waikaremoana to the coastal valleys of the Bay of Plenty – and collected the stories of Tūhoe. From tribal leaders to possum hunters, traditional healers to tourism operators, Tūhoe shared their words, their culture and their lives. At once an exquisite photographic showcase – incorporating dramatic landscapes, documentary-style reportage and portraiture – and the most up-to-date retelling of Tūhoe history, here is a portrait of an iwi and its encounter with a unique and treasured land. Listening to the past through the voices of today, the book asks, and answers, the question: What does it mean to be Tūhoe?”–Publisher information.

Syndetics book coverTe Manawa o Tuhoe : the heart of Tuhoe / photographs by Terry o’Connor ; introduction by Hirini Melbourne.
A collection of black and white images.

Beliefs recent arrivals

There’s something for everyone here – Celtic and North American traditional stories, two very different reflections on faith journeys to NZ, an introduction to Islamic beliefs, and a Buddhist call to remain relevant to social concerns.

Syndetics book coverTe Rongopai 1814 ‘Takoto te pai!’ : bicentenary reflections on Christian beginnings and developments in Aotearoa New Zealand, edited by Allan Davidson, Stuart Lange, Peter Lineham, Adrienne Puckey.
2014 was the bicentenary year for Rev Samuel Marsden’s arrival in the Bay of Islands. Ruatara, Hongi Hika, Korokoro and five others accompanied them from Australia. Marsden’s church service Christmas Day is taken as the beginning of the mission in New Zealand made possible by the important friendship that had developed between Marsden and Ruatara, a Rangatira in the Bay of Islands. The several essays here explore different aspects of the Anglican missionaries, including dialogue between Maori and missionaries.

Syndetics book coverThe Celtic myths : a guide to the ancient gods and legends, by Miranda Aldhouse-Green.
This includes both vivid retelling of Irish and Welsh myths as well as social history, evidence from archaeology (such as the Gundestrup Cauldron) and a guide to themes such as animals or the environment. the book begins with a discussion on how myths are handed down and ends with a discussion on the influence of monastic writers and translators. This is a great guide for anyone interested in Celtic history. The library has also received Pagan Britain, by Ronald Hutton, which takes a different approach to a similar topic.

Syndetics book coverThe handy Islam answer book, by John Renard, Ph.D.
This user-friendly guide answers nearly 800 questions that cover Islamic history, religious practices, and Muslim cultural perspectives. Some questions include Why is Mecca a holy city for Muslims? What do Muslims mean by the term Allah? What is the Muslim “call to prayer”? Do Muslims, Christians, and Jews worship the “same God”? Why do some people not want girls to get an education? Muslims are diverse, and they have a vast range of views about Islam, just as any other religious adherents. This guide brings us further down the path of understanding.

Syndetics book coverThe God code : the secret of our past, the promise of our future, by Gregg Braden.
The author shares his discovery of a coded message within the molecules of life, deep within the DNA in each cell of our bodies. Regardless of race, religion, heritage, or lifestyle, the message is the same in each cell of every man, woman, and child, past and present – forming evidence of a universal bond.

Syndetics book coverThe perfect I : fitness in mind, fearless in body, by Mike Ansari.
Martial arts expert and mystic, Mike Ansari, describes his forty-year search for God. He first visited a Moslem shrine at aged four and the reader follows him from Iran to his journey to New Zealand. Mike’s beliefs in the need for fitness in mind, body and spirit has led him to follow a strict Sufi regime of self-sacrifice, fasting and meditation. (summarised from the Back cover.)

Syndetics book coverWaking the Buddha : how the most dynamic and empowering Buddhist movement in history is changing our concept of religion, by Clark Strand.
This tells the story of the Soka Gakkai International, the largest, most dynamic Buddhist movement today. This movement invites Buddhism to “wake up” so it can truly work in ordinary people’s lives, rather than foster a style of meditation which detaches from reality. The author draws on his experiences as a Buddhist teacher and journalist to offer insight into how and why the Soka Gakkai’s commitment and approach to social justice has become a role model.

Syndetics book coverA brief guide to Native American myths and legends, by Lewis Spence.
“In this reworking of Lewis Spence’s seminal ‘Myths and Legends of the North American Indians’, Jon E. Lewis puts the work in context with an extensive new introductory essay and additional commentary throughout the book on the history of Native Americans, their language and lifestyle, culture and religion/mythology.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverGod loves sex : an honest conversation about sexual desire and holiness, by Dan B. Allender and Tremper Longman III.
The church’s general attitude to sexual matters has been clear and consistent – all sexual activity outside marriage is sin. But it has seldom honestly addressed the real needs those with sexual desires they believe to be different to the Bible. This book explores a new view of sensuality by recovering the clear meaning of the Song of Songs which it uses to answer questions such as ‘How can our sexual struggles take us deeper into the purposes of God?’

Kerry’s Fiction Picks

Three distinctly different books for this set of ‘picks’. I suppose you could call them genre fiction – one Chinese science fiction, then more scifi in the form of a romance by a well known chick-lit author, and a good old American western with a twist.

Syndetics book coverThe three-body problem / Cixin Liu ; translated by Ken Liu.
Liu Cixin is a well regarded and award winning Chinese author and this book is his first English language translation.  It is the first instalment in his apocalyptic space opera trilogy.  It sounds fantastic!  He has received a lot of press too in the English speaking media as he is so successful in China (here’s a great piece from the New York Times).  The story is set during the Cultural Revolution and centres around a government space program that is attempting to communicate with aliens.  Ye Wenjie is a woman who is so disgusted by the atrocities she sees committed by the regime she hijacks the program and uses it to encourage aliens to attack earth.  “This is a must-read in any language” (Booklist).

Syndetics book coverResistance is futile
Jenny Colgan is better known as a successful chick-lit writer, and this is her new book described as a scifi rom-com.   One of the oddest book genre mash-ups ever possibly?  But it definitely sounds great!  (Apparently Colgan is a huge fan of the romances that often appear in the scifi  genre).  Briefly, this story is about a mathematician who discovers an alien intelligence and falls in love with it.  Connie is the mathematician and she is working with Luke on a secret code breaking project, but just what the code is for and who Luke is becomes what Connie’s keen to unravel.

Syndetics book coverThe Winter family / Clifford Jackman.
This is another genre mixing novel, although mainly a western, it’s also described as noir or horror.  It is extremely violent, so watch out!  It follows a group of outlaws as they travel across America during the 1860s to 1880s.  They have their start in the Civil War, a group of scouters working ahead of Sherman’s army, following Augustus Winter, their ruthless leader.  It ultimately ends with a bloody showdown in Oklahoma Territory.  Says Amazon ”  With its haunting, hard-edged style, The Winter Family is a feverishly paced meditation on human nature, violence and the deep contradictions of progress.”

New ‘Other Genres’, this month featuring New Zealand Fiction

New Zealand Fiction is featured in this month’s ‘Other Genres’ category. This selection highlights the skill and diversity of New Zealand writers. A wide range themes and genres are included, from debut novels to historical, romantic suspense to science fiction, alternative histories to short stories.

Syndetics book coverFool’s gold / Zana Bell.
“It’s 1866 and the gold rush is on. Left to fend for herself in the wilds of New Zealand’s west coast, Lady Guinevere Stanhope is determined to do whatever it takes to rescue her ancestral home and restore her father’s good name. Forced out of his native Ireland, Quinn O’Donnell dreams of striking gold. His fiercely held prejudices make him loath to help any English person, let alone a lady as haughty and obstinate as Guinevere. But when a flash flood hits, Quinn is compelled to rescue her, and their paths become entwined in this uncharted new world.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverThe shark party / Janet Colson.
“For Carla, February means the pressure of another birthday party for Nathan and his wealthy New York art world friends. She buys him a book about Kurt Schwitters, an artist he is thinking of collecting, but a chance encounter with a man in the bookstore changes everything. Patrick, an environmental filmmaker, challenges her relationship and her artistic ambition. In the wake of their fierce attraction, the unscrupulous world that has seduced Carla begins to unravel and the harder she tries to break free the tighter Nathan’s grip becomes.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverThe Paris inheritance / Merryn Corcoran.
“Sixteen year old Mary Hampton is tall, stunningly beautiful but damaged. Born and raised on an isolated farm in rural New Zealand, she is forced to harbour a horrific secret. Mary runs away from home. Armed only with determination and the contents of a letter, she travels to France to search for her Parisian birth father. She begins working as a seamstress in the humble back streets of Paris, where her design skills are quickly recognized. Stunningly, beautiful Mary soon makes new friendships and her fashion career is distracted when she is offered a position as a dancer at the glamorous Moulin Rouge. Her journey to success is hampered by betrayal, jealousy and sabotage.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverPublic sex in Paekakariki : a magical realism tale / Sandi Hall.
“When nurse Margaret Spindle discovers a lovely but travel-worn pregnant stranger asleep in St Peter’s, one with no handbag or luggage except a bulging black rubbish bag, she turns for help to her closest friends, life partners Fay Dalgety and Ruth Bone. On the same day, Fay meets another stranger in Paekakariki. This is designer-chic Freddie Tasco, as out of place in the village as a boot in an aquarium. Fay thinks Freddie is just passing through but Freddie has much sexier plans.” (Adapted from Book cover)

Syndetics book coverNew Hokkaido / James McNaughton.
“It is 1987, forty-five years after Japan conquered New Zealand, and the brutal shackles of the occupation have loosened a little: English can be spoken by natives in the home, and twenty-year-old Business English teacher Chris Ipswitch has a job at the Wellington Language Academy. But even Chris and his famous older brother, the Night Train, a retired Pan-Asian sumo champion, cannot stay out of the conflict between the Imperial Japanese Army and the Free New Zealand movement. When Chris takes it upon himself to investigate a terrible crime, he is drawn into the heart of the struggle for freedom, guided along the way by the mysterious Hitomi Kurosawa and the ghost of Kiwi rock ‘n’ roll legend and martyr Johnny Lennon.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverBlood and koka kola : short stories / Chistodoulos E. G. Moisa.
“The 24 short stories in this collection of short stories by poet and artist, Christodoulos Moisa, is everything such a book should be. They make compelling reading and the subject matter ranges from macabre to historical, from the mythical to the quirky, some enigmatic, others rich with humour and irony; all written with perfect pitch.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverThe Jovian legacy / Lilla Nicholas-Holt.
“Jovian, a planet deep within the universe with an Earth-like atmosphere, is a world of genetically enhanced specimens. Lives are longer, knowledge is advanced, and everything is tuned for a greater sensory experience. Thirty-five light years away on Earth, Jack is a young man who has lived an ordinary New Zealand way of life, surfing the Internet on his computer and spending time with his new girlfriend, Megan. Suddenly Jack finds himself drawn into a world of virtual reality, interplanetary travel and Jovian scientists who express great interest in him.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverThe chimes / Anna Smaill.
“The Chimes is set in a reimagined London, in a world where people cannot form new memories, and the written word has been forbidden and destroyed. In the absence of both memory and writing is music. In a world where the past is a mystery, each new day feels the same as the last, and before is blasphemy, all appears lost. But Simon Wythern, a young man who arrives in London seeking the truth about what really happened to his parents, discovers he has a gift that could change all of this forever.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverSome here among us / Peter Walker.
“It is 1967, and as America’s allies hesitate over whether to send more troops to Vietnam and students take to the streets of Wellington, New Zealand, to protest the war. Among them are Race, Candy, Chadwick and FitzGerald and their elusive, electrifying friend Morgan Tawhai. They are young and hopeful and the world is all before them. Forty years later, in Washington DC, Race’s son Toby is navigating his own path across a landscape still trembling with the reverberations of 9/11. Race and his companions move through the first decade of the new millennium, their friendships tested and pulled apart and reconfigured anew, they come to discover that Morgan who will forever remain the twenty-year-old they once knew, is both the mystery and the touchstone of their lives.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)


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