Category: Recent picks

Wellington’s own Katherine Mansfield features in this month’s new arrivals to the New Zealand collection.

Vincent O’Sulivan has revised and enhanced the 1974 Katherine Mansfield’s New Zealand. New Zealand is seen through Katherines’s eyes with excerpts from her writing and colour added with new images. We also feature two books looking at the Christchurch earthquake from two very different perspectives, one from the NZ volunteer Response teams in Responders and the other focusing on Christchurch cafe life. Also the Battle for Crete, North Island courthouses and family history finish off this month’s picks.

Syndetics book coverKatherine Mansfield’s New Zealand / Vincent O’Sullivan.
“A stunning, fully illustrated guide to the country and times that shaped our greatest short story writer — a feast of images and relevant excerpts from Mansfield’s stories and journals. Katherine Mansfield was born in Wellington in 1888 and died in France in 1923, regarded as one of the finest short story writers of her time. Her country of birth, initially a source of frustration for her, in time came to influence her writing. From Kezia’s Karori journey in Prelude, to the landscape of The Woman at the Store, the images of colonial New Zealand are a distinctive and compelling part of Katherine Mansfield’s writing. A fascinating section of the book details her expedition to the Urewera and thermal regions. The first (monochrome) edition of Katherine Mansfield’s New Zealand appeared in 1974; this edition has been extensively revised, with colourful new images and vivid excerpts from Katherine Mansfield’s writing.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverResponders : the New Zealand volunteer response teams, Christchurch earthquake deployments / Pete Seager & Deb Donnell.
“RESPONDERS: The NZ Volunteer Response Teams Christchurch Earthquake Deployments gives the readers a unique, behind-the-scenes look into the contribution of the New Zealand volunteer response teams in the days and weeks that followed the Christchurch Earthquakes. Twenty two teams of over 300 trained light rescue volunteers came from all over New Zealand to assist a city in shock. They have contributed their private photographs and personal accounts of their deployments to help the 111 Emergency Services and USAR Task Forces provide assistance to Christchurch after the September 2010 Darfield Earthquake and the more devastating 22 February 2011 Christchurch Earthquake.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverCafé reflections on Christchurch City, 1975 – 2012 : a tribute to the Christchurch central business district community / Deb Donnell.
“This book looks at life pre-quake for the CBD community, and takes the reader through a personalised account of what happened in the CBD when the earthquake struck, as well as giving an update of the 18 months post quake for Deb, her family, and many of her CBD friends and neighbours”–Publisher’s information.

Syndetics book coverMen of valour : New Zealand and the battle for Crete / Ron Palenski.
“New Zealand’s battle for Crete in the Second World War. For a time in the Second World War, Crete was the prize both sides wanted. The Allies had it and the Germans wanted it. The Germans won. The man in charge of hanging on to it was Bernard (Tiny) Freyberg, the New Zealand Divison commander who was made the Greek island s intended saviour. With him was a ragtag army of New Zealand, Australian, British and Greek troops, most of whom had just been beaten off Greece; they had the clothes they stood up in and most of their arms and ammunition had been left behind in Greece. They had to withstand the mightiest airborne invasion the world had yet seen. They had to confront the elite of Hitler s army, a blitzkrieg from the air. Wearily, both sides fought almost to a standstill. It was a German victory but at such a cost that it was the end of airborne assaults; German losses were almost as many as those of the Allies. The New Zealanders got away thanks to the Royal Navy or on boats they begged, borrowed or stole; many never got away at all.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverBuilt for justice : visits to old North Island courthouses / Terry Carson.
“Built for Justice tells the story behind 61 old North Island courthouse buildings. Designed and typeset by award winning book designer Anna Egan-Reid, Built for Justice is an attractive hard cover, 176 page book, illustrated with 90 colour images and fifteen black and white. The book through photographs, historical research, newspaper reports and anecdotes takes an entertaining social history look at the role of courthouses in small town New Zealand.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverLetters my grandfather wrote me : family origins / Bryan Crawford.
“Receiving two Victorian portraits from his grandfather, the author begins a forty-five year investigation into his famly origins. He discovers an amazing diversity of backgrounds from Yorkshire and Devon ancestors to Scottish kings. The author lives in Wellington.” (Adapted from back cover)

New to the NZ Collection

This month the New Zealand Collection features history of Antarctica and also some great new and revised New Zealand history. This includes an item that focuses on teaching history to secondary school students. The last book is a study of issues faced by whānau in Māori education.

Syndetics book coverA history of Antarctica / Stephen Martin.
“This revised and expanded book – first published in 1996 – traces the patterns of human activity in Antarctica, from the southern journeys of the 16th century to the modern expeditions of adventurers and tourists. Using material from diaries, letters, and fresh research, the book illuminates the main themes of Antarctic history with the personal stories and images of the men and women who explored, worked, and lived in this frozen and remote continent. The book examines such topics as the early Polynesian explorers, the amazing diversity of flora and fauna, the detailed geological features, etc. A History of Antarctica is about the people of Antarctica – those who have chosen to endure the risks and enjoy the rewards of conquering the world’s most forbidding land.”(Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverSurveying the Antarctic : the New Zealand Geological Survey Antarctic Expedition 1957-1958 / Eugene Brian Fitzgerald.
“This volume is the story of the first New Zealand Official Government Expedition to Antarctica. It is based on the diary, notes and memory of the author, together with the letters and accounts written by other members of the expedition.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverImages from Albertland : Harold Marsh, 1876-1948 / Paul Campbell.
“William Harold Marsh, farmer, father and adventurous photographer captured a time of enchantment, when life was lived at a slower place, governed by a different set of values and priorities and ambitions. One of the first generation of those immigrants who sailed around the world to settle in Albertland, 70,000 coastal acres on the Kaipara Harbour, in Northland, New Zealand, he has left a legacy of those times, a window into the past for those yet to come.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverThe Heaphy Track / Chris Petyt.
“Heaphy he never actually followed the whole route. He along with Thomas Brunner and Kehu, their Maori guide, travelled down the coast in 1846 from the north and only traversed the coastal section of the track from the Heaphy River to the Kohaihai River. The first Europeans to traverse the route are only recorded as “Aldridge and his mate”. Following the discovery of gold in the Aorere Valley in late 1865, the route of the Heaphy Track was used by gold miners to traverse between the Aorere Goldfield and those that were subsequently discovered on the West Coast. Author Chris Petyt has dug deep and wide to assemble this first comprehensive account of the human history of the Heaphy Track. Today, the Heaphy is one of New Zealand’s premier walking tracks and the longest of the multi-day tracks designated by the Department of Conservation as Great Walks. Those contemplating a trip over the track will also find it useful as the final chapter is a guide to walking the track.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverTurning points : events that changed the course of New Zealand history / Paul Moon.
“Historian Paul Moon has chosen 20 events that have shaped the course of New Zealand history over the years. The events are described and illustrated with photographs drawn from the archives, and Moon outlines how New Zealand history has changed as a result”–Publisher’s information.

Syndetics book coverThe story of a treaty / Claudia Orange.
“The Treaty of Waitangi is a central document in New Zealand history. This lively account tells the story of the Treaty from its signing in 1840 through the debates and struggles of the nineteenth century to the gathering political momentum of recent decades. The second edition of this popular book brings the story up to the present”–Back cover.

Syndetics book coverGreater Māori Auckland / David Simmons ; including the Māori place names of Auckland, collected by George Graham.
“Traditional tales of the Auckland isthmus and wider region. The author extends his original Maori Auckland (1987), to include the broad regions north and south.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverHistory matters : teaching and learning history in New Zealand secondary schools in the 21st century / Michael Harcourt and Mark Sheehan, editors.
“History Matters reflects the dynamic nature of teaching and learning history in New Zealand secondary classrooms. It demonstrates not only the wealth of enthusiasm and expertise within the history teaching community,but also a commitment by teachers to developing a research literature on historical thinking that is `for teachers and by teachers¿. The book bridges the gap between theory and practice among history teachers and contributes to the sorts of questions that teachers are currently addressing as they seek to improve our understanding of what it means to teach history in New Zealand in the second decade of the 21st century.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverKia puāwaitia ngā tumanako : critical issues for whānau in Māori education / Jessica Hutchings … [et al.].
“This report presents the findings of a kaupapa Maori research project called Critical Issues for Whanau in Maori Education. We asked a variety of whanau the question: What sorts of educational research would be of benefit to your children and whanau in education? The aim was to use the whanau responses to refine a Maori-led and whanau-informed research agenda for Te Wahanga. Whanau are integral to the educational wellbeing of Maori students. Yet little educational research has been done with an explicit whanau focus. This research aimed to help fill the gap. We used the kaupapa Maori approach of whanaungatanga and the method of korero a-whanau to work directly with whanau in ways that upheld their integrity and authority. Korero a-whanau ensures the voices and day to day experiences of whanau in education are heard. It acknowledges their diverse priorities and aspirations. Three overarching themes connected the many issues raised by whanau. These are Nga Moemoea (whanau aspirations), Rangatiratanga (whanau autonomy and authority) and Te Reo Rangatira (learning and maintenance of reo Maori)” (Syndetics summary)

NZ Collection goes wild

From the mountains to the oceans, the urban forest to an island, this month’s collection features a look at New Zealand’s diverse natural and urban environments. There is also a timeline of key events in our history in “Nation Dates” and the last book “Sinai Journal” looks at 30 years of New Zealand’s involvement in multinational foces.

Syndetics book coverAbove the treeline : a nature guide to alpine New Zealand / Alan F. Mark ; contributions by David Galloway, Rod Morris, David Orlovich, Brian Patrick, John Steel and Mandy Tocher.
“This first ever field-guide to New Zealand’s rich and diverse alpine environment includes: an informative introduction on alpine habitats and ecology; detailed descriptions of more than 675 species of flowering plants; a visual guide to easily recognised flowering-plant genera ; sections on conifers, ferns, mosses and liverworts, lichens and fungi; coverage of alpine fauna, including birdgs and lizards, butterflies and moths, grasshoppers, beetles and other invertebrates.–Cover”. (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverCoastal fishes of New Zealand / Malcolm Francis.
“Coastal Fishes of New Zealand provides a comprehensive, informative and up-to-date identification guide to the fishes likely to be encountered by New Zealand divers and fishers. Illustrated with over 275 superb colour photographs of live fish in their natural habitats, this book includes all of New Zealand’s common reef fishes, and also many of those that live in other habitats. Using the latest research, marine scientist Malcolm Francis also provides a wealth of other information about identifying features, geographical distribution, habitat and size for 221 species of fish. Other interesting biological features, such as feeding, growth, spawning and behaviour are also discussed. If you were to have one book on the abundant fish life found around our coasts, this is the one to own.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverAuckland’s remarkable urban forest / Mike D. Wilcox.
“Auckland’s Remarkable Urban Forest provides a comprehensive account of the trees and forests of Auckland. It covers trees to be found in the parks, reserves, campuses, school grounds, cemeteries and historic homesteads of the city; public native bush reserves within the urban Auckland area; native revegetation projects undertaken by community groups; exotic woodlands; street trees; trees of suburban home gardens; notable trees; flowering trees; tree health, forest climbers weeds; utilisation and management of the urban forest”. (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverMatiatia : gateway to Waiheke / Paul Monin.
“Matiatia Bay is the gateway to Waiheke Island. Lying beside the island’s best natural harbour, it has been the landing place for Maori waka, settler barges, tourist yachts and commuter ferries today. This beautiful heritage site is threatened by development – a marina is proposed, and intensive parking. Establishing the significance of the past, historian Paul Monin tells Matiatia’s story from early Maori occupation to the present day. Here in a fertile bay in the magnificent setting of the Hauraki Gulf is a microcosm of New Zealand’s history. Charmingly written, MATIATIA: GATEWAY TO WAIHEKE includes a rich array of photographs and maps”. (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverNation dates : significant events that have shaped the nation of New Zealand / [Wendy McGuinness & Miriam White].
“Nation Dates presents a timeline of 440 key events, spanning the years 1770-2011, that have shaped the development of New Zealand as a nation. The Sustainable Future Institute has compiled this timeline as an important record of our nation’s past and a valuable resource for establishing a context for our future”. (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverSinai journal : 30 years of Kiwis serving with the Multinational Force and Observers.
“It’s the world’s most successful peace keeping mission – which hardly anyone’s heard of!” So says one of the many New Zealand Defence Force personnel interviewed for Sinai Journal: 30 Years of Kiwis serving with the Multinational Force and Observers. 2012 marked the thirtieth year of New Zealand’s significant contribution to the successful, if not widely known, Multinational Force and Observer (MFO) peace keeping mission in the Sinai, set up in 1982 to monitor the Treaty of Peace between Egypt and Israel. Working with 11 other countries to preserve a cold peace between two once warring nations, New Zealanders have distinguished themselves at the MFO with their sense of humor and can-do attitude. Sinai Journal documents the adventures of around eighty personnel who have served at the MFO since 1982 through personal anecdotes, essays and some wonderful photos. Contributions of note include those from the two kiwi Force Commanders; Don McIver and Warren Whiting; as well as colourful characters such as former MP and current Carterton Mayor, Ron Mark. This book is a fascinating social history that celebrates both the thirty year milestone and recognises New Zealand’s long standing, unique, contribution to peace in an unpredictable and volatile part of the world”. (Syndetics summary)

NZ Collection: sometimes functional, sometimes beautiful.

We often feature the beautiful coffee table publications that arrive monthly in the New Zealand Collection. So this month at the top of the list (to keep the glossy books company) are a few of the more functional titles that also arrive each month. These are the ones that aid the scholars and the researchers find the piece of information they need for their project, studies or work.

Syndetics book coverThe Auckland University Press anthology of New Zealand literature / edited by Jane Stafford and Mark Williams.
“From Polynesian Mythology to the Yates’ Garden Guide, from Allen Curnow to Alice Tawhai, from Jessie Mackay to Alison Wong, from Julius Vogel to Albert Wendt, from the letters of Wiremu Te Rangikaheke to the notebooks of Katherine Mansfield – Māori, Pākehā, Pasifika, and Asian New Zealanders have struggled for two and a half centuries to work the English language into some sort of truth about this place. The Auckland University Press Anthology of New Zealand Literature brings together for the first time in one volume this country’s major writing, from the earliest records of exploration and encounter to the globalised, multicultural present”. (Publisher information).

Syndetics book coverConstruction law legislation.
This convenient legislation book, Construction Law Legislation is current as at 1 June 2012, and includes the necessary statutory material for your ease of reference in practice or study.

Syndetics book coverCounselling and the law : a New Zealand guide / Robert Ludbrook for the New Zealand Association of Counsellors, Te Rōpū Kaiwhiriwhiri o Aotearoa.
“A comprehensive resource for counsellors that covers all aspects of NZ law that affects counsellors and their clients. It covers: 1) General issues affecting counsellors ; 2) Specialists counsellors ; 3) Employment ; 4) Official agencies: their functions, powers and remedies”–Publisher information.

Syndetics book coverKiwi prefab : cottage to cutting edge : prefabricated housing in New Zealand / Pamela Bell & Mark Southcombe.
“Until recently New Zealanders thought of prefabs as drab, cheap, temporary, poorly designed school classrooms. Prefab houses tended to be thought of as cheap, small, relocatable, standard homes. However, today’s prefab home is design rich, high-quality, and readily customised to individual sites and needs. It is likely to be state of the art, an innovative blend of architecture, design, manufacturing and construction. This book documents and contextualises a history of kiwi prefabrication, our prefab architecture, its present state, some prefab characters and characteristics, and emerging and possible prefab futures”. (adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverChristchurch crimes, 1850-75 : scandal & skulduggery in port & town / Geoffrey W. Rice.
“While researching nineteenth-century Christchurch newspapers for another book, historian Geoff Rice was struck by the diversity of crime in early Christchurch, and the amount of detail in the court reports. Fascinated by what he was reading, he became diverted from the task at hand and set about writing this book instead: about crime and punishment in the first 25 years of Canterbury settlement. The stories are drawn from newspaper reports, with further detail added from police records and the court minute books”. (Adapted from back cover).

Syndetics book coverWilliam Colenso : printer, missionary, botanist, explorer, politician : his life and journeys / by A.G. Bagnall and G.C. Petersen ; [edited by Ian St George].
“Colenso, a Church Missionary Society missionary, printer and botanist, established the first printing press in New Zealand and printed the first book, 5000 copies of the New Testament in Māori, in 1837. He also printed the Treaty of Waitangi. His Authentic and genuine history of the signing of the Treaty of Waitangi (1890) is regarded as the most reliable European account from the time. Throughout his life, he defended the rights and equality of Māori. Posted to Hawke’s Bay and determined to expand the activities of the mission, Colenso undertook major journeys to reach isolated Māori villages on the east coast of the North Island and inland, including over the Ruahines. An extra-marital relationship brought an end to his career in the church and for a time he became a politician, intensely involved in public life. But science called once more and in his later years much time was given to botanising”. (adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverDiplomatic ladies : New Zealand’s unsung envoys / Joanna Woods.
“This book tells the inside story of New Zealands diplomatic wives and daughters over a hundred years of diplomacy. Based on private letters, MFAT archives and personal interviews, it records many unknown episodes in New Zealands diplomatic history, including the part played by the spouses in Baghdad during the first Gulf War, and the perils faced by diplomatic wives in Saigon and Tehran. It also gives a unique insight into the workings of diplomatic life and the role of the diplomatic hostess”. (Syndetics summary)

The New Zealand Hobbit crisis : how Warner Bros. bent a government to its will and crushed an attempt to unionize The hobbit / Jonathan Handel ; with Pip Bulbeck.
“All was not well in Middle-earth . . .After the third Lord of the Rings movie premiered in 2003, fans of the series eagerly anticipated production and release of its prequel, The Hobbit. It turned out they had a while to wait, as a series of troubles delayed production for years.Then, in September 2010, when almost everything seemed resolved, U.S. and international actors unions issued a pub-lic alert advising their members “not to accept work on this non-union production.” Warner Bros. threatened to rip the troubled production from the country and events quickly spiraled out of control. New Zealand plunged into crisis. Saving the Hobbit was do or die for the local film industry, and the government scrambled to avoid disaster. Director Peter Jackson vowed to “fight like hell” to keep the shoot in New Zealand. But then studio executives flew in from Los Angeles like colonial masters ready to bring down the hammer. This short book (70 pp. plus bibliography, etc.) tells the tale”.(adapted from Syndetics summary)

Birds, boxing and birth

The New Zealand Collection has some fascinating new arrivals this month and includes some beautifully illustrated books. Leading the way is the new edition of Buller’s Birds of New Zealand. There is also the story of Moa, a celebration of New Zealanders who dared to dream and a boxing scrapbook about the sport of boxing in New Zealand. In Born to a Changing World the experience of childbirth in nineteenth century New Zealand is narrated from letters and diaries.

Syndetics book coverBuller’s birds of New Zealand : the complete work of J.G. Keulemans / [text by] Geoff Norman.
“A complete, all-new edition of the classic 19th century ornithological paintings of John Gerrard Keulemans for Walter Buller’s iconic A History of the Birds of New Zealand, featuring fresh reproductions of original watercolour paintings. Each exquisite bird image is accompanied by Buller’s descriptive text as well as up-to-date taxonomic information in English and Te reo Māori. This edition makes available the masterpieces inside the rarely seen, and highly valued, original books”–Publisher information.

Syndetics book coverMoa : the life and death of New Zealand’s legendary bird / Quinn Berentson.
“The moa were the most unusual and unique family of birds that ever lived, a clan of feathered monsters that developed in isolation for many, many millions of years. They became extinct reasonably quickly after the arrival of the Maori, and were a distant memory by the time European explorers arrived. So the discovery and identification of their bones in the 1840s was a worldwide sensation, claimed by many to be the zoological find of the century. This book begins by recounting the story of discovery, which was characterised by an unbelievable amount of controversy and intrigue. Since then there has been an unbroken chain of new discoveries, culminating with intriguing revelations in recent years about the moa’s biology, that have come to light through DNA testing and radio-dating. This is a fascinating and important book that richly recounts the life and death of our strangest bird. Packed with a fantastic range of illustrations, MOA fills an important gap in our natural history literature, a popular but serious book on this national icon”. (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverBorn to a changing world : childbirth in nineteenth-century New Zealand / Alison Clarke.
“Emerging from diaries, letters and memoirs, the voices of this remarkable book tell a new story of life arriving amidst a turbulent world. Before the Plunket Society, before antibiotics, before ‘safe’ Caesarean sections and registered midwives, nineteenth century birthing practice in New Zealand was typically determined by culture, not nature or the state. Alison Clarke works from the heart of this practice, presenting a history balanced in its coverage of social and medical contexts. Connecting these contexts provides new insights into the same debates on childhood – from infant feeding to maternity care – that persist today. Tracing the experiences of Māori and Pākehā birth ways, this richly illustrated story remains centered throughout on birthing women, their babies and families”–Publisher information.

Syndetics book coverThe New Zealand boxing scrapbook / Dave Cameron with Paul Lewis.
“From the 1800s to the second decade of the new millennium, New Zealand boxers have made a mark on the national and international stages – from the days of Bob Fitzsimmons and ‘Torpedo’ Billy Murphy through to David Tua’s quest for a world title today. The New Zealand Boxing Scrapbook offers an insight into ‘the sweet science’ of boxing and the men involved. A collection of boxing history, memorabilia and artefacts”–Publisher information.

Syndetics book coverOnSong : stories behind New Zealand’s pop classics / Simon Sweetman.
“On Song is a lively journey through New Zealand’s diverse pop landscape. Prolific music journalist Simon Sweetman has interviewed the writers and performers of beloved Kiwi classics, presenting ‘in conversation’ text that illuminates the fascinating stories behind the pop songs we all know and love, all complemented with a plethora of artists’ personal imagery and archival photography”–Publisher information.

Syndetics book coverThe power of us : New Zealanders who dare to dream / foreword by Sir Ray Avery ; words by Cameron Bennett ; photographs by Adrian Malloch.
“Describes 50 New Zealanders who are extraordinary in their own fields, both locally and internationally, drawn from all fields – science, business, writing, film, sport, art, technology. It includes both the very well-known, such as Sam Neill, Rhys Darby, Barbara Kendall, Neil Finn and Susan Devoy, and the lesser known”–Publisher information.

Syndetics book coverSecrets & treasures : our stories told through the objects at Archives New Zealand / Ray Waru.
“Delves into the archives to tell a very human story of New Zealand, a story that involves love, death, war, immigration, disaster, protest, defiance, censorship and hokey pokey”–Back cover.

Syndetics book coverNew Zealand tattoo : in the home of the tattooist’s art / Chris Hoult ; text by Steve Forbes
“We have tattooing in the blood in New Zealand, and styles worn with pride here in Aotearoa are appreciated worldwide by admirers of beautiful design. And in the early 2010s, tattooing is going through a renaissance. Chris Hoult immersed himself in the Kiwi tattoo scene from 2011 and 2012, and brought writer-musician Steve Forbes along for the ride.What they record in New Zealand Tattoo is the view from the studios of New Zealand now, with profiles of leading tattoists including Merv O’Connor, Gordon Hatfield, Monique Mataga, Jason Parkinson and Te Rangitu Netana. Combining stunning photography and snappy text, New Zealand Tattoo is a contemporary celebration of tattooing here in its three rich tradiions: Ta Moko (Maori tattoo), Tatau (Pacific Islands tattoo) and Tattoo (European and Asian forms).” (Syndetics summary)

What’s new in our NZ Collection

This month the New Zealand Collection features “Mad on Radium” about New Zealand’s engagement with the nuclear world from the start when Lord Rutherford first split the atom. In “Selling the Dream” early N.Z. tourism promotion posters and publicity is explored while “Made in NZ” looks at some of this country’s high achievers. There is also Martin Sneddon’s review of the rugby world cup, a Graig Potton photographic collection, Albert Wendt’s latest and Gareth Morgan’s take on issues facing our far south oceans.

Syndetics book coverSelling the dream : the art of early New Zealand tourism / Peter Alsop, Gary Stewart and Dave Bamford ; foreword by Fran Walsh.
Celebrates the remarkable range of tourism posters and other publicity that helped promote New Zealand – both locally and to the world – until the 1960s, before television and colour photography changed the publicity landscape forever. This imagery is some of the finest graphic art ever produced in New Zealand, and as arresting and impressive today as when it was first created. The art of early tourism was highly significant in New Zealand’s art history, and in the development of New Zealand’s tourism industry and sense of national identity. (Syndetics)

Syndetics book coverNew Zealand / Craig Potton ; [photography, Craig Potton ; introduction, John B. Turner ; poem, Brian Turner].
“Craig Potton rose to prominence as a photographer in the late 1980s, with a distinct and original view of the landscape of Aotearoa/New Zealand. He was a photographer with little interest in a sentimentalised or romantic view of the land, but rather pursued a less compromising and more muscular vision that sought to convey this country’s remarkable landscape in a real light. This book collects together many of his most celebrated images in one place, a body of work that clearly shows why his reputation is so strong.”–Publisher’s description.

Syndetics book coverMade in NZ / Chris Mirams & Ross Land.
“Made in New Zealand is a gorgeous coffee table book which celebrates the ways in which being a New Zealander have shaped some of our most inspirational achievers. Forty successful Kiwis share their perspective on how this country has influenced them and contributed to their success. These captivating stories are accompanied by stunning portrait photography. Award-winning New Zealand photographer Ross Land and award-winning journalist Chris Mirams have approached the full gamut of our society and the book features everyone from Alison Holst to David Kirk; from Professor Margaret Brimble to Jon Toogood and John Minto to Sir Graham Henry”–publisher website.

Syndetics book coverFrom Mānoa to a Ponsonby garden / Albert Wendt.
“In Hawaiʻi Wendt watches the changing shadows of the Koʻolau mountains from his verandah; considers the nature of mauli, the seat of life; walks protected in his partner’s perfumed slipstream to work; and writes to fellow poet Hone Tuwhare from the excesses of Las Vegas. In the second half of the book we move to the garden in Ponsonby in 40 ‘garden’ poems. Includes some of Wendt’s inky, drawn poems about the Sāmoan tsunami or galu afi. A book about ageing and the consideration of death”–Publisher information.

Syndetics book coverA stadium of 4 million / Martin Snedden. The story of New Zealand’s greatest sporting event – and, ultimately – one of its greatest triumphs. Martin Snedden was Rugby World Cup 2011 chief executive and the man tasked with delivering a successful tournament to the IRB and the people of New Zealand. To say that he achieved his goal – including making budget in one of this country’s most difficult years where the devastating effects of the Christchurch earthquake reverberated around the country for months – would be an understatement. RWC 2011 will go down as not only as the ‘best ever’ Cup but, far more importantly, as one of New Zealand’s greatest achievements. One powerful component of this achievement is that the famous All Blacks, in a most dramatic fashion, finally got that damn RWC monkey off their backs and won a trophy. But the much more compelling aspect of this achievement is that, both within and away from that rugby field of dreams , the people of New Zealand united in a way they may never have done before outside of wartime; they put aside the sadness of the previous 12 months and genuinely brought to life their stadium of four million, to provide a wonderful welcome and enduring memories for their 133,000 international RWC visitors. (Syndetics)

Syndetics book coverIce, mice and men : the issues facing our far south / Geoff Simmons and Gareth Morgan with John McCrystal.
Our far south is packed with history and wildlife, and is renowned for its breathtaking and photogenic beauty. But does our appreciation of the region run more than skin deep? Do Kiwis really understand how important the region is and what issues are facing it? In February 2012, Gareth Morgan trapped ten of New Zealand’s top experts on the region in a boat with 40 ordinary Kiwis for a month. Together with Geoff Simmons, he grilled them about the issues facing the region and this book is the result. What they found was startling. Our Far South – that part of New Zealand that extends from Stewart Island almost without interruption to the South Pole – harbours precious wildlife and is the engine room of the world’s oceans and climate. We are blessed to live in this unique part of the world, but we also have a huge responsibility to look after it. This book looks at the three ways we risk inflicting long-term, even permanent harm, on this precious and fragile region. The race to exploit resources has been underway for three centuries, and may be poised to escalate. Pressure from human activity may be threatening biodiversity and even the survival of species. And looming ever larger is the threat of climate change. Damage done to our far south will have profound implications, both for New Zealand and right across the globe.–Cover.

Syndetics book coverMad on radium : New Zealand in the atomic age / Rebecca Priestley.
Although New Zealander Lord Rutherford was the first to split the atom, the country has since been known around the world for its nuclear-free stance. In this engaging and accessible book, an alternative history is revealed of “nuclear New Zealand”—when there was much enthusiasm for nuclear science and technology. From the first users of x-rays and radium in medicine to the plans for a nuclear power station on the Kaipara Harbour, this accountnbsp;uncovers the long and rich history of New Zealanders’ engagement with the nuclear world and the roots of its nuclear-free identity. (Syndetics)

New to the NZ Collection

New to the New Zealand Collection this month you can read some interesting facts about New Zealand in “60 Million Gingernuts, a book of New Zealand records”. “All the Commissioner’s Men” is another look into the New Zealand high profile murder inquiry into the Crewe murders. Also meet three New Zealanders famous for very different reasons, Auckland Politician Sir Dove-Myer Robinson, hunter and artist Stag Spooner and novelist and biographer James McNeish. The last book showcases Taranaki treasures and stories taken from the collections of Puke Ariki.

Syndetics book cover60 million gingernuts : a book of New Zealand records / Peter Janssen.
This book gathers together New Zealand’s most amazing, inspiring and bizarre records. With chapters on nature, history, people, manmade wonders, popular culture, sport, eating and drinking, this extensive book will captivate both young and old, Kiwi and tourist, from quiz teams to high school students. Did you know: New Zealand’s highest bridge is on the railway line from Napier to Gisborne. The bridge crosses the Mohaka River 97 metres above the water; Auckland s Pasifika festival is the country s largest festival with over 200,000 people attending. It is also the largest Pacific festival in the world; New Zealand s most popular biscuit is the Gingernut with Griffin s Gingernuts selling nearly 3 million packets every year. Toffee Pop Originals (2,394,000 packets) and Superwine (2,393,000 packets) are neck and neck for second and third place; New Zealand s coldest temperature was recorded at Ranfurly on 17 July 1903, the thermometer plummeted to a record -25 degrees. The lowest North Island temperature is -13.6 recorded at the Chateau Tongariro. The coldest temperature recorded in the world was -89.6 at Vostok Station in Antarctica in 1983. There are many, many more fascinating records inside this addictive book.(Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverAll the commissioner’s men / Chris Birt. The killing of Jeanette and Harvey Crewe at Pukekawa, South Auckland, is indelibly burnt into the memory of anyone resident in New Zealand at that time. Most Kiwis know that an innocent man was arrested and spent almost 10 years in prison for two murders he did not commit The story of Arthur Thomas has been well told. The subsequent condemnation by a Royal Commission of Inquiry of two former detectives is also well documented. What has never been disclosed however is the extent of the malpractice which occurred in that double homicide inquiry. Not even the Thomas Royal Commission got to examine that, for reasons All The Commissioner’s Men explains in great depth. Written by veteran journalist, researcher and author Chris Birt (The Final Chapter – third NZ best seller for three weeks in 2001) this new book reveals, for the first time ever, that more than two detectives were involved n this corrupt investigation, and that key players in that nasty game suppressed crucial witness statements, any one of which would have proved categorically that Arthur Thomas was not the murderer. (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverUrban legend : Sir Dove-Myer Robinson / John Edgar.
“Every Aucklander of a certain age knows that we should have listened to Mayor Robbie back in the 1970s’ – Labour Party MP Phil Twyford. But who was he? And why is he still relevant today? From a working class Jewish boy in Sheffield to long serving Mayor of Auckland (1959-1980), Sir Dove-Myer Robinson’s life followed an unusual path. A slight, bespectacled man whose tiny stature was offset by a booming voice and massive ego, he was a natural political campaigner. Associated with a host of local and national causes, he became Auckland’s most recognisable spokesperson. He joined political causes and challenged convention. He fought for our current waste water treatment process, against French nuclear testing, and an integrated Auckland transport system and city. Though his political career was outstanding and memorable, his personal life was a hot bed of gossip. Four wives, one 20 years his junior, and a very public divorce during one of his terms meant he was never far from the headlines. In this book we look at both his personal life and his outstanding political career, which affected not only the future of Auckland, but the future of New Zealand.” –

Syndetics book coverStag Spooner, wild man from the bush : the story of a New Zealand hunter and artist / Chris Maclean. Stag (Neville) Spooner (1917-1946) was a government deer culler in 1939 and 1940, initially in the Tararuas, and then on the South Island’s West Coast. While his successful career as a culler was cut short by the Second World War, he did leave behind a remarkable legacy from this period, a painted diary of his experiences that he entitled Those Wild Men from the Bush. This diary, which forms the heart of this book, is a fascinating chronicle of the life of a professional hunter, who somewhat unusually, was also an artist. Stag Spooner went on to create another highly individual body of art during the war, a series of decorated envelopes that were sent back to his family and friends. In this book Chris Maclean brings to light Stag’s singular body of artwork, while also telling the story of his adventurous life, which started in the Wairarapa where he developed his love of hunting, progressed into becoming a deer culler, and then saw active service during the Second World War in North Africa and Italy, as part of a Field Ambulance Unit. Soon after his return to New Zealand Stag’s life tragically ended on a hunting trip, alone, in the Fiordland mountains. STAG SPOONER is a unique book that finally recognises the life and world of a remarkable New Zealand hunter and artist. (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverTouchstones : memories of people and place / James McNeish.
“A young man leaves home as a deckhand on a Norwegian freighter, to travel the world. He returns to New Zealand changed almost beyond recognition. Along the way he meets nine people who influence his life and help make him the writer he becomes.These include ‘the Mother Courage of the English theatre’, an anti-Mafia reformer in Sicily, a Kanak revolutionary who is assassinated, a rejected cousin and ‘Mr Punch in naval uniform’, the New Zealand poet Denis Glover”–Publisher information.

Syndetics book coverFlashback : tales and treasures of Taranaki / Andrew Moffat.
“Showcasing items from the Puke Ariki collections, Flashback casts fresh light on the heritage of the Taranaki region and its people. Richly illustrated and carefully researched, it debunks the myths, exposes characters, tells little-known tales and gives insights into well-known community treasures, standing testament to the value of Puke Ariki’s heritage collection and its wealth of stories”–Cover.

Rugby, racing and beer?

This months New Zealand recent picks offer a diverse variety of titles, but sorry, no racing books to make up the classic trifecta …

Syndetics book coverReplay : capturing 20 years of New Zealand sporting glory / Photosport ; [author, Andrew Cornaga].
“Produced in partnership with award-winning photographic agency Photosport on its 20th anniversary, this unique book revisits the highs and lows, the agony and ecstasy, the magic and the melodrama of the past 20 years in New Zealand sport.From New Zealand’s winning streak in the 1992 Cricket World Cup to the All Blacks’ long-awaited Rugby World Cup triumph in 2011, REPLAY brings those memorable moments back to life. Photosport’s stunning images are enhanced with commentary from some of New Zealand’s best-loved sporting heroes, as they relive those moments in their own words.Push REPLAY on the best and worst of the past 20 years in New Zealand sport.” – (adapted from Publisher’s description)

Syndetics book coverPiri, straight up : cups, downs & keeping calm / with Heather Kidd.
“Piri Weepu’s story is one of the most fascinating New Zealand rugby stories ever told. Born into a strong rugby league family – Piri’s brother Billy actually played for the Kiwis – Piri has risen to the very pinnacle of rugby union, while at the same time never losing his great love of the 13-man code. At 28 and in the year of the Rugby World Cup in New Zealand, Weepu was finally given his opportunity and didn’t he take it well. For years he had been in the shadows of Jimmy Cowan (not to mention a number of other first-choicers) but on the world stage, Piri stepped up to the mark and won the hearts of a nation. He kicked the goals for the All Blacks, he kicked for position and, in the absence of the incomparable Dan Carter, he ran the backline. His man of the match performance for the All Blacks in the quarter-final against Argentina and then another superb display against arch-rivals Australia in the semi-final cemented his place in New Zealand rugby folklore.” – (adapted from Publisher’s description)

Syndetics book coverBeer nation : the art & heart of Kiwi beer / Michael Donaldson.
“Pull up a bar stool, and listen to the life story of beer in New Zealand . . .Highly illustrated, meticulously researched and warmly told, Beer Nation recounts the early history of beer, exposes the modern age of commerce and big business, and charts the rise of contemporary boutique breweries – through interviews and first-hand stories from the personalities behind beer and brewing in New Zealand. Michael Donaldson’s rich and engaging narrative is complemented by images from brewers’ private collections as well as quotes and archival photography. Beer Nation will inform, delight and awaken your thirst for New Zealand’s favourite beverage.” – (adapted from Publisher’s description)

Syndetics book coverSerious fun : the life and times of Alan Gibbs / Paul Goldsmith.
“The life of businessman, inventor, merchant banker, philanthropist, art collector, adventurer and inveterate traveller Alan Gibbs has been far from ordinary. The onetime died-in-the-wool socialist became one of the free-market disciples who were never far from Roger Douglas’s inner sanctum as he transformed the country’s economy in the mid to late 1980s.His role earned him the eternal loathing of many on the left even while others in the arts community were grateful for his philanthropy as a major funder of the Auckland Art Gallery with his then wife, Jenny Gibbs. These days he is focussed on bringing the Aquada into commercial production and on acquiring new works for his remarkable sculpture collection on the Kaipara Harbour, The Farm, which has works by Richard Sera, Anish Kapoor and Andy Goldsworthy, among others, and is of international stature.” – (adapted from Publisher’s description)

Syndetics book coverConvicts : New Zealand’s hidden criminal past / Matthew Wright.
“New Zealand’s Pakeha origin as a bolt-hole for convicts escaping Australia, a place where former convicts joined whaling and sealing gangs, and where sea captains thumbed their noses at the law, has been quietly forgotten. It has become a hidden part of our past, buried under the convenient fiction that the Treaty of Waitangi is the sole pivot of New Zealand’s colonial story.In Convicts: New Zealand’s Hidden Criminal Past, noted historian Matthew Wright challenges that notion. Our early nineteenth-century Pakeha past is, at least in part, a story of convicts who had found their way past the edge of the law, an age of heroic tales of survival, scurrilous deeds, cannibalism and piracy.” – (adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverThe making of New Zealanders / Ron Palenski.
“Examining the development of a sense of national identity in a British colony, this highly authoritative work is a valuable addition to the literature in New Zealand. By looking at the onset of home-grown shipping, railway, and telegraph networks as well as at the Maori and kiwi experiences, not to mention the emergence of rugby teams, this book accounts for how transplanted Britons, and others, turned themselves into New Zealanders—a distinct group of people with their own songs and sports, symbols and opinions, political traditions and sense of self. Tracing markers in popular culture, political processes, and public events, this informative and thrilling history focuses on the forging of a distinctive new culture and society.” – (adapted from Publisher’s description)

NZ Collection Recent Picks

This month’s selection includes books on well known topics in New Zealand. Keith Hunter investigates the 40 year old unsolved case of the Crewe murders, John Julian investigates the Rena disaster and twice Olympic gold medal winner Mark Todd publishes his autobiography. There is also a look at fifty years of the work ofIan Athfield – the architect who designed our very own library building, as well as many of Wellington’s other architectual landmarks. In the graphic novel format “Ngarimu Te Tohu Toa” recounts how Moananui-a-Kiwa Ngārimu became the first Māori soldier to be awarded the Victoria Cross.

Syndetics book coverThe case of the missing bloodstain : inside an incompetent and corrupt police inquiry : the truth of the Crewe murders / Keith Hunter.
“For over 40 years the murder of Harvey and Jeanette Crewe is the great unsolved mystery of NZ Criminal history. Local farmer Arthur Alan Thomas was twice convicted of their murders but following a Royal Commission of Inquiry was later given a Royal pardon. In this comprehensive anatomy of the investigation veteran investigative journalist and broadcaster Keith Hunter provides answers to all the unresolved issues in the case.” – (adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverBlack tide : the story behind the Rena disaster / John Julian.
“Tells the real story of the Rena. The Rena, a 236-metre-long container ship was making 17 knots when she ploughed into the Astrolabe Reef at 2:20am on Wednesday 5 October 2011. She was on her way from Napier towards Tauranga carrying 1368 containers along with 1700 tonnes of heavy fuel oil and 200 tonnes of marine diesel. The scene was set for a major economic and environmental catastrophe; a race against time for salvors working in hideous conditions to stem the black tide.” – (adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverSecond chance : the autobiography / Mark Todd with Kate Green.
“Mark Todd’s eventing career is the stuff of legend and encompasses one of the greatest sporting comebacks of all time. When he ‘retired’ from competing in eventing in 2000, he had already been named ‘Rider of the Century’ for his natural empathy with a horse and his extraordinary success, which included back-to-back Olympic gold medals, five Burghley wins and three Badminton victories. He has also show jumped to Olympic level and trained winners on the racecourse.” – (adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverAthfield Architects / Julia Gatley.
“Over many years, Ian Athfield and his team at Athfield Architects have reshaped New Zealand architecture – from the Buck House at Te Mata Estate to Wellington’s Civic Square, from Jade Stadium to Athfield’s own sprawling settlement on the Khandallah hills. Reflecting on half a century of work, Julia Gatley’s landmark book introduces a major body of architecture through modernism, postmodernism and beyond.” – (adapted from Publisher’s summary)

Syndetics book coverNgārimu : te Tohu Toa / nā Andrew Burdan ngā pikitia.
“Tells the story of Moananui-a-Kiwa Ngārimu, the first Māori soldier to be awarded the Victoria Cross, describing the battle on the 26 & 27th of March 1943 in which he fought heroically, but was killed. Suggested level: secondary.” – (adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverUnposted letters : from a Japanese prisoner of war camp, 1942-1945 / J.C. Maddever ; compiled by Lorna Manson.
“Jack Maddever would never talk about his war experiences, but he kept a record in his letters which were never posted. He carried them home on his return in 1945 and they provide a glimpse into his day-to-day existence while in a POW camp in Palembang, Indonesia. In three years Jack’s weight dropped from nearly 13 stone (82.5kg) to under 7 stone (44.5kg). Jack died in 1982. His letters, compiled by his widow Lorna Manson, show us his struggle to survive those long years of incarceration.” – (adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverSafe haven : the untold story of New Zealand’s largest ever military camp : Featherston, 1916-1919 / Neil Frances.
“The building of Featherston Military Camp in late 1915 transformed a stony paddock in south Wairarapa into a ready-made barrack town which could house up to 8,000 raw soldiers. Safe haven traces the life of Featherston Military Camp and the men who lived there.” – (adapted from Back cover)

Syndetics book coverThe troopers’ tale : the history of the Otago Mounted Rifles / editor Don Mackay ; foreword by Rhys Jones.
“Talk about the charge of the Light Brigade. The infantry said we were mad, and by Jove we were! We charged over barbed wire entanglements, over trenches…” The Troopers’ Tale tells for the first time the exciting stories of the Otago mounted Rifles during their many overseas campaigns. It features compelling personal histories of the soldiers involved; all neatly placed alongside the provincial history of New Zealand.” – (adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverRefugee stories / edited by Maria Hayward.
“These compelling stories – recounted by former refugees now living in New Zealand – provide a broad presentation of the refugee experience. They describe horrific events and situations, but also reflect the multifarious identities, cultures and strengths of each of the writers. The stories serve to remind us of the importance of humane and ethical behaviour in both our civic and personal lives. They also remind us of the resilience of the human spirit. Notably they teach us about survival, compassion, hope and optimism. Edited by Maria Hayward.” – (adapted from Syndetics summary)

NZ Collection Recent Picks

Here is a selection of recent arrivals in the New Zealand Collection, this month there is a wide variety of topics.

Syndetics book coverPiano forte : stories and soundscapes from colonial New Zealand / Kirstine Moffat.
“This book focuses on the era in which the piano became of central significance in the private, social and cultural lives of many New Zealanders. The stories begin in 1827, with the arrival of what was probably the first piano to be brought to New Zealand, and end in 1930. Initially, a European musical instrument that introduced Maori to a new sound world and which provided European settlers with a reassuring sense of ‘home’.” – (adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverFood@home / Christine Dann.
“A journey through the new ‘foodways’ that are evolving in New Zealand. Author/gardener/cook Christine Dann looks at the ways in which food production, distribution, preparation and service are being brought back home to produce superior food with minimal environmental impact. Christine’s journey starts with the rediscovery of home food gardening traditions of both Maori and Pakeha, and ends at the dining table where a delicious healthy feast is being served.” – (adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverThe occupiers : New Zealand veterans remember post-war Japan / Alison Parr.
“Twelve thousand New Zealand men and women served in the occupation of Japan immediately after the Second World War. This book records memories from those we know as ‘J Force’. The Occupiers explores Kiwi life in the former enemy territory between 1946 and 1948.Veterans recall the horror of witnessing the devastated city of Hiroshima. They describe their culture shock and adjustment to unfamiliar customs. These stories uncover a little-known but fascinating aspect of New Zealand’s post-war experience.” – (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverRebel with a cause / Ray Avery with Paul Little.
“Rebel With a Cause is the inspiring story of a true Kiwi hero who overcame childhood neglect and abuse to become a successful scientist and businessman, and who has saved millions of lives in the third world. He has invented inexpensive lenses for cataract sufferers, low-cost and effective incubators for babies, and a number of other creative scientific and medicinal solutions for the third world. Ray encourages other talented people to get on board and tackle some of the really big problems confronting the poor in developing countries. Rebel With a Cause is fascinating, deeply moving and, at times, very funny.” – (adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverWorkers in the margins : union radicals in post-war New Zealand / Cybèle Locke.
“Marginalised workers of the late twentieth century were those last hired in times of plenty and first fired in times of recession. Often women, Māori, or people from the Pacific, they were frequently unemployed, and marginalised within the union movement as well as the labour force. The world of trade unions and employment conflicts, such as the 1951 waterfront lockout, was vigorous and challenging. As free market policies deregulated the labour market and splintered the union movement toward the end of the century, Te Roopu Rawakore o Aotearoa, the national unemployment and beneficiaries’ movement, gave a new voice to workers in the margins” – (adapted from Publisher’s summary)

Syndetics book coverSwirly World sails south / Andrew Fagan.
“In 2007, Kiwi musician and radio personality Andrew Fagan set sail in his tiny 5.4-metre plywood yacht to circumnavigate New Zealand. All in all he sailed over 3000 miles (around 5000 km) in two months. Fagan tells of having to avoid icebergs, sail through a force ten storm and visit sites of shipwrecks at Port Ross in the Auckland Island group. ‘With the genuine concern of a very fatigued person, I was sailing for my life and I knew it!’ Swirly World Sails South is a sharply accurate and humorous narrative that offers a unique and refreshing perspective on the world of solo sailing.” – (adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverThe quake year / Fiona Farrell ; photographs by Juliet Nicholas.
“Everyone in Christchurch has their own story of the quakes. There are heroic and brave stories related to the events themselves, and also longer narratives of endurance over the months of aftershocks. No one will ever forget this year. In The quake year … author Fiona Farrell interviews people trying to live ordinary lives in extraordinary times” – (from Back cover)

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