New learning resources in the New Zealand collection

This month you will find lots of new language resources for learning Te Reo Māori to have a look at in the New Zealand collection. We have featured one of the 4 volumes of ‘Māori Made Easy’ workbooks and a new fun way to learn, called A Māori word a day. There is also lots of variety with books on poetry, Māori musical instruments, cycling and World War 1.

Syndetics book coverMāori made easy : for everyday learners of the Māori language. Workbook/Kete 1 / Scotty Morrison.
“The accessible guide to learning the Maori language, no matter your knowledge level.
Fun, user-friendly and relevant to modern readers, Scotty Morrison’s Maori Made Easy workbook series is the ultimate resource for anyone wanting to learn the basics of the Maori language.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverA Māori word a day : 365 words to kickstart your reo / Hemi Kelly.
A Maori Word a Day offers an easy, instant and motivating entry into the Maori language. Through its 365 Maori words, you will learn the following-
– English translations – Word category, notes and background information
– Sample sentences, in both te reo Maori and English
Exploring the most common, modern and contemporary words in use today, A Maori Word a Day is the perfect way to kickstart your te reo journey!” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverTaonga pūoro = Singing treasures : the musical instruments of the Māori / Brian Flintoff.
“And to further breathe life into this book, the technical information about each instrument is interwoven with the stories and myths that belong to each instrument. In addition, instructions are given for making and playing these singing treasures, and there is an explanation of the art forms used in Maori carving.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverTe ahu o te reo : reflecting on research to understand the well-being of te reo Māori / co-editors, Vincent Ieni Olsen-Reeder, Jessica Hutchings, Rawinia Higgins.
Te Ahu o te reo Maori: Reflecting on Research to Understand the Well-being of te reo Maori is an edited collection of bi-lingual writings that brings together Maori researchers, writers and community language advocates who were involved in the Te Taura Whiri-funded study. Contributors include: Vini Olsen-Reeder, Professor Rawinia Higgins, Jessica Hutchings, Jen Martin, Stephanie Fong, Associate Professor Jenny Bol Jun Lee-Morgan, Eruera Lee-Morgan, Waitiahoaho Emery.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverWayfinder : new & selected poems / Jan FitzGerald.
“Any reader of the literary journals of the late 1960s and ’70s would have noted the name Jan Coad. Hone Tuwhare certainly did, and James K. Baxter, from both of whom Jan received admiration and friendship. In 2005 writing under her married name, FitzGerald, Jan launched her long-gestated collection, Flying Against the Arrow (Wolfdale Press). This was followed by On a Day Like This (Steele Roberts Aotearoa, 2010). All the while, the poet was quietly maturing as an artist, and in this collection, for the first time, the two talents perform a happy tango.” (Mighty Ape summary)

Syndetics book coverThe kiwi cyclist’s guide to life / Jane King.
“The Kiwi Cyclists Guide to Life takes an inquisitive peek into the lives, minds, adventures and bike sheds, of many Kiwis from different walks of life, who love nothing better than experiencing freedom, fun, adventures and misadventures on two wheels. Whether road-racing at breakneck speed, soaring over jumps on a mountain bike in the forest, or navigating nature on a picturesque cycle trail at a more leisurely pace – many of us cant get enough of the thrills and spills that riding a bike provides. These tales are of the fun, enthusiasm and dedication of a variety of different characters – from high-profile elites, mountain biking trailblazers, BMX fanatics, cycling groups and communities, recreational riders – not forgetting the MAMIL (middle-aged man in lycra), collectors, restorers and a bunch of under-the-radar bike-nuts you’ve got to watch out for.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverJack’s journey : a soldier’s experience of the First World War / Jack Pryce ; edited by Trish McCormack and Andrew Gibson.
“When Jack Pryce sailed to war in 1915 with the Otago Infantry Battalion he was restless, wanting to “make good” of his life. Experiencing the carnage of Gallipoli and Passchendaele and other epic battles on the Western Front, he rose through the ranks to gain his commission.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverAnimism in art and performance / Christopher Braddock, editor. “This book explores Māori indigenous and non-indigenous scholarship corresponding with the term ‘animism’. In addressing visual, media and performance art, it explores the dualisms of people and things, as well as ‘who’ or ‘what’ is credited with ‘animacy’. It comprises a diverse array of essays divided into four sections: Indigenous Animacies, Atmospheric Animations, Animacy Hierarchies and Sensational Animisms.” (Syndetics summary)

New books in the library’s NZ collection

How We Met

Come for the quiet reading spaces on the second floor at Central Library and find something interesting amongst these selected new books of the New Zealand collection. This month you can find studies of love and loss, study our kiwi language and our literature, find out how a graffiti project became a monument and find new insights into Pacifica history from Cook to the dawn raids.

Syndetics book coverHow we met : the ways great love begins… / Michèle A’Court.
How We Met is based on a collection of ‘How We Met’ stories – those lovely stories couples love to tell (and we all love to hear) about how they got together – The author’s theory: that these stories of how couples meet – the romantic, absurd, serendipitous, convoluted, scandalous, breath-taking moments of connection – help to weave their lives together. Partly as ‘proof’ that they were meant to begin this couple-journey, and also because in each retelling they go back to those first falling-in-love feelings and rekindle the passion. Michele then tests her theory out on a neuroscientist and a psychologist, and by the end of the book has some useful things to say not only about how great love starts, but how it stays great.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverSorrows of a century : interpreting suicide in New Zealand, 1900-2000 / John C. Weaver.
“Focusing on New Zealand because it has the most comprehensive and accessible coroners’ records, Weaver analyzes a staggering amount of information to determine the social and cultural factors that contribute to suicide rates. He examines the country’s investigations into sudden deaths, places them within the context of major events and societal changes, and turns to witnesses’ statements, suicide notes, and medical records to remark on prevention strategies.” (Publisher information)

Syndetics book coverKiwi speak / Justin Brown.
“Do you speak Nu Zild? In Kiwi Speak, bestselling author Justin Brown eavesdrops at the dinner table, the school yard, the farm and the sports club to bring us an entertaining dictionary of phrases and expressions – the often hilarious, sometimes baffling New Zealandisms we use in everyday life.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverPoetry and Exile : Letters from New Zealand 1938-1948
“German-Jewish poet Karl Wolfskehl spent the last years of his life, from 1938 to 1948, in Auckland, New Zealand, on the globe’s last island reef, as a refugee from Nazi Germany. The conditions of his life forced him to consider the very nature of human existence, and his letters from New Zealand amount to an intellectual autobiography. During his Auckland years Wolfskehl got to know the formative generation of New Zealand writers:Frank Sargeson, R. A. K. Mason, A. R. D. Fairburn (who dedicated his Poems 1929-1941 to Wolfskehl),Denis Glover and the acolytes of the Caxton Press and, to a lesser degree, Allen Curnow.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverThe Bulford Kiwi : the kiwi we left behind / Colleen Brown.
“Little known story from after WW1, when NZ troops waited months in Sling Camp in southern England after the war ended to get a ship home. Rioting in the camp led to plans to keep troops busy by cutting a giant Kiwi into the chalk hill behind the camp. The Bulford Kiwi has become a monument built by soldiers, not governments, for themselves and their mates. In 2017 the Bulford Kiwi was made a protected heritage site by UK government.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverDiscoveries : the voyages of Captain Cook / Nicholas Thomas.
“Cook’s great voyages marked the end of an era in world history. As he sailed into Hawaii in January 1778 he made contact with the last of the human civilizations to grow up independently of the rest of the world. But equally for the Polynesians and Melanesians of the Pacific, Cook’s arrival in their midst merely marked a further (if disastrous) twist in diverse histories already many centuries old. In this immensely enjoyable and absorbing book Cook’s journeys are reimagined, attempting to leave behind (or master) our later preoccupations to let us see what Cook and his associates experienced and what the societies he encountered experienced.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverDawn Raids
“Tension is rising in 1970s New Zealand. Muldoon’s government is cracking down on illegal immigration and the notorious dawn raids are ripping Pasifika families from their beds. At the eye of this political storm, everyday New Zealanders like Sione struggle to keep their families united. Fuarosa, the family’s resident overstayer, fights against the chaos to keep hold of her freedom, and Sione’s sister Teresa might be getting in too deep with black rights activists. First staged in 1997, Dawn Raids is just as confronting and relevant now as it has ever been. Oscar Kightley pulls no punches and brings the play to life with his trademark hilarity and wit.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverSeek and destroy : the history of 3 Squadron RNZAF / Paul Harrison.
“In 2015 No.3 Squadron Royal New Zealand Air Force celebrated 50 years of continuous helicopter operations since it reformed in August 1965. Seek and Destroy is the official history of the machines and personnel that make up the colourful and wide-ranging operations of this unique squadron, which was first formed in 1930 and whose aircraft and personnel have seen service all around the world from the UK to Asia, the Pacific and the Antarctic. This illustrated hardback brings together anecdotal stories of the operations and exercises conducted during the past 50 years, including numerous civil defence and peacekeeping activities.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverThe New Zealand Wars / Philippa Werry.
“The story of the 19th century New Zealand Wars, a part of New Zealand’s history that many people wish they knew more about. The book describes how the wars came about, where and when they were fought, who was involved, and how they affected women and children. It explains the emergence of Kīngitanga or Māori King movement, the land confiscations and the story of Parihaka. The story is told in an accessible way full of fascinating detail, eye-witness accounts, illustrations and little known facts, with lists of websites, resources and books for those who want to discover more.” (Publisher description)

Syndetics book coverTowards democratic renewal : ideas for constitutional change in New Zealand / Geoffrey Palmer and Andrew Butler, with assistance from Scarlet Roberts.
“In 2016, Sir Geoffrey Palmer and Andrew Butler proposed and published a written, codified constitution for Aotearoa New Zealand. Since then the authors have travelled the country, discussing with the public the nature of New Zealand’s identity and where the country is headed. This clear, revised constitution defines and entrenches government accountability and transparency, protects the rights of our peoples and tangata whenua, and offers transformative steps to uphold the sovereignty and integrity of Aotearoa New Zealand.” (Publisher information)

New books on the NZ collection display shelf

Our latest selection features books, writers and publishing. Chris MacLean tells the story of making books in New Zealand from writing to publishing, and Helen Bones ponders the idea of writers from the late nineteenth and early twentieth century having to leave New Zealand to find inspiration and success. There are also some new works of poetry from Anna Jackson and Chris Tse. From the history of a family to a history of William Colenso, there is always something in the New Zealand collection to catch your eye.

Syndetics book coverA way with words : a memoir of writing & publishing in New Zealand / Chris Maclean.
“From an early age, author and publisher Chris Maclean was told he had a way with words. This talent, which protected him from school bullies and made him a proficient debater, later became the focus of his professional life. A Way with Words tells the stories behind those volumes, all of which had challenges and rewards as various as their subjects. In candid, accessible style, and through a fascinating range of illustrations, Maclean describes the stages of book creation, from the first germ of an idea to writing, design, printing and distribution. A Way with Words is a celebration of a very New Zealand approach to writing and publishing.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverThe expatriate myth : New Zealand writers and the colonial world / Helen Bones.
“Many New Zealand writers in the late nineteenth and early twentieth century travelled extensively or lived overseas for a time, and they often led very interesting lives. The received wisdom is that they were forced to leave these colonial backblocks in search of literary inspiration and publishing opportunities. In The Expatriate Myth, Helen Bones presents a challenge to this conventional understanding, based on detailed historical and empirical research. Most who left New Zealand, even if they were away for a time, continued to write about and interact with their homeland, and in many cases came back. In this fascinating and clear-sighted book, Helen Bones offers a fresh perspective on some hoary New Zealand literary chestnuts.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverWanted : the search for the modernist murals of E. Mervyn Taylor / edited by Bronwyn Holloway-Smith.
“Mervyn Taylor – wood engraver, painter, illustrator, sculptor and designer – was one of the most celebrated New Zealand artists of the 1930s to 1960s. He was highly connected to modernism and nationalism as it was expressed in the New Zealand art and literature of the period. Between 1956 and 1964 he created twelve murals for major new government and civic buildings erected in that era of great economic prosperity. Tragically, some have been destroyed and others presumed lost – until now. This fascinating and beautiful book, bursting with archival material, details the detective hunt for the murals and tells the stories of their creation. They cement Taylor’s place as one of New Zealand’s most significant artists, and are a celebration of the art and culture of our modernist era.” (Adapted from publisher’s website)

Syndetics book coverDear Oliver : uncovering a Pākehā history / Peter Wells.
“When writer and historian Peter Wells found a cache of family letters amongst his elderly mother’s effects, he realised that he had the means of retracing the history of a not-untypical family swept out to New Zealand during the great nineteenth-century human diaspora from Britain. His family experienced the war against Te Kooti, the Boer War, the Napier earthquake of 1931 and the Depression. They rose from servant status to the comforts of the middle class. There was army desertion, suicide, adultery, AIDS, secrets and lies. There was also success, prosperity and social status. In digging deep into their stories, examining letters from the past and writing a letter to the future, Peter Wells constructs a novel and striking way to view the history of Pakeha New Zealanders.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverhe’s so MASC / Chris Tse.
“In How to be Dead in a Year of Snakes, Chris Tse took readers back to a shocking 1905 murder. Now he brings the reader much closer to home. He’s So MASC confronts a contemporary world of self-loathing poets and compulsive liars, of youth and sexual identity, and of the author as character–pop star, actor, hitman, and much more. These are poems that delve into worlds of hyper-masculine romanticism and dancing alone in night clubs. With it’s many modes and influences, He’s So MASC is an acerbic, acid-bright, yet unapologetically sentimental and personal reflection on what it means to perform and dissect identity, as a poet and a person.” (Back cover)

Syndetics book coverPasture and flock : new & selected poems / Anna Jackson.
“Poets know words, know routes, know ghosts. Uneasy nights out with dead Russian poets, dalliances with German gasfitters and emotionally fraught games of badminton are brought together for the first time, along with a brand new body of work, in this time-spanning selection of Anna Jackson’s poetry. Local gothic, suburban pastoral and answerings-back to literary icons are all enhanced by Jackson’s light hand and sly humour. Pastoral yet gritty, intellectual and witty, sweet but with stings in their tails, the poems and sequences collected in Pasture and Flock are essential reading for both long term and new admirers of Jackson¿s slanted approach to lyric poetry.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverMr Colenso’s Wairarapa : twelve journeys: 1843-1852 / Ian St George.
“William Colenso was a Victorian polymath: New Zealand’s first significant printer, liberal theologian, inspired educationalist, perceptive botanist, politician, explorer over much of the North Island: a man whose contributions to New Zealand history are amply recorded in the output from his press, his published scientific work, his own surviving publications, his many letters (including those to the editors of newspapers) and his journals and diaries. As the first missionary in Hawke’s Bay, 1843-1852, Colenso’s ‘parish’ extended west to Taupo and south to include the Wairarapa-Bush and this book records, from his own journals, his journeys on foot through the region.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverNew Zealand sign language : a reference grammar / Rachel McKee.
“One of the country’s three official languages, New Zealand Sign Language evolved in the communities that grew from networks of Deaf children at three schools for the Deaf from the late nineteenth century. The Dictionary of New Zealand Sign Language (1997) – now an invaluable online resource at nzsl.vuw.ac.nz – and the Concise Dictionary of New Zealand Sign Language (BWB, 2003) were landmarks in documenting the language. Today, NZSL forms part of the curriculum in intermediate schools, and New Zealanders are increasingly familiar with the language. Drawing on her experience of both teaching and researching NZSL, Rachel McKee has developed A Reference Grammar to support all those who are learning NZSL – students, families and friends of Deaf people, school teachers, public officials.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Recent additions to the NZ Collection

Always eclectic, new additions to the New Zealand Collection this month feature stories from a museum curator, a kiwi sanctuary, photography, poetry, the sad history of post war state care of children and lastly a murder mystery. The new book shelves of the NZ Collection have something to interest everyone.

Syndetics book coverThe unburnt egg : more stories of a museum curator / Brian Gill.
“Museum natural history collections have been called libraries of life. In The Unburnt Egg Brian Gill continues his spellbinding stories from more than thirty years as a curator. Some tales are so bizarre they read like fiction: a population of ship rats decimating the entire wildlife of an island and then collapsing; birds leaving their young to be raised by other birds; frogs and lizards living in trees and flying. Others reveal the painstaking detective work involved in solving mysteries presented by police, biosecurity agencies, government departments and members of the public. Frogs’ legs on sale as chicken, a feather hidden in a bag of sugar, a live boa constrictor on a street in snake-free New Zealand–it’s all in a day’s work.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverProject Kiwi : how one man’s passion for the land hatched New Zealand’s first community kiwi sanctuary/ Sue Hoffart.
Project Kiwi is New Zealand’s first community-led kiwi conservation project, on the Coromandel Peninsula.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverThrough the eyes of a miner : the photography of Joseph Divis / Simon Nathan ; with assistance from Les Wright and Brendon Wilshire.
“Joseph Divis (1885-1967) photographed life in New Zealand mining towns where he lived and worked between 1909 and 1935. His images provide a unique record of life in some small communities, especially the now-abandoned town of Waiuta, near Reefton.” (Introduction)

Syndetics book coverThe road to hell : state violence against children in postwar New Zealand / Elizabeth Stanley.
“From the 1950s to the 1980s, the New Zealand government took more than 100,000 children from experiences of strife, neglect, poverty or family violence and placed them under state care in residential facilities. In homes like Epuni and Kingslea, Kohitere and Allendale, the state took over as parent. The state failed. Within institutions, children faced abysmal conditions, limited education and social isolation. They endured physical, sexual and psychological violence, as well as secure cells, knock-out sedatives and electro-convulsive therapy. This book tells the story of 105 New Zealanders who experienced this mass institutionalisation.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverDark days at the Oxygen Café / James Norcliffe.
“James Norcliffe is one of New Zealand’s most widely published and anthologised poets. In Dark Days at the Oxygen Cafe, he looks over the shoulders of many characters and creatures, both real and imagined, and takes us deep into uncanny valleys. Poems about Seneca and James Dean sit alongside poems about a Turken dictator and an owl man. We share in a portentous UFO sighting, a small celebration for Laika the space dog, and Peter the Great being offered an Air New Zealand lolly. These scenes from myth, history, pop culture and personal experience make for a wryly funny, deeply felt collection that contemplates the quirks of shared and personal histories.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverNothing for it but to sing : poems / Michael Harlow.
“Michael Harlow’s poems are small detonations that release deeply complex stories of psychological separations and attractions, of memory and desire. Frequently they slip into the alluring spaces just at the edges of language, dream and gesture, as they carefully lower, like measuring gauges, into the ineffable: intimations of mortality, the slippery nature of identity, longing, fear … This is a beautifully honed new collection.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverMister Hamilton / John Dickson.
Mister Hamilton, John Dickson’s first collection in eighteen years, is an appealing, questioning mix of elements. Over a base of South Island bedrock (granite, schist, greywacke), Dickson has peopled this quietly fiery collection with day-to-day working voices and narratives, sometimes comic, sometimes tragic, sometimes charged with a political consciousness and lyrical intensity. Shot-through with veins of jazz, rock and blues, quizzical religiosity and a streak of the absurd, this book takes a fresh look at the streets and lawns and people of urban and suburban ‘Pig Island’ and offers some thoughtful, wisely pitched and immensely likeable poems.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverThe black widow : how one woman got justice for her murdered brother / by Lee-Anne Cartier.
“The Black Widow almost got away with murder. But then her sister-in-law became suspicious… The infamous Black Widow case shocked the nation. An average-looking suburban housewife carefully staged her husband’s ‘suicide’. At first it looked like she might get away with murder, but then her sister-in-law, Lee-Anne Cartier, became suspicious and started gathering evidence and presenting it to the police. Helen Milner, who became known as the Black Widow, was eventually convicted of murder and is now serving out her sentence in Arohata Prison. This book tells how Lee-Anne persevered and put together many strands of information to crack the case wide open.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)