Cinderblock and beyond: Non-Fiction in 2022

Cover image showing a few of our NZ Non-Fiction Picks

It’s January, so a lot of us are preparing to tackle our New Year’s reading resolutions! Our suggestion; build a book fort in the middle of your living room and disappear into it until early February (you’re allowed to emerge for meals and chats if you’d like, and the cat will need to be fed, but you can get vitamin D from pills or a UV lamp).

While you’re building your fort, be sure not to use any of the books below–they’re too good to disappear into load-bearing walls. These are the books you want to read, then read again, then force on other people. Some are new, others are from earlier in the year, but they all get the “Librarian Recommends” sticker. Best of luck in your book fort and your 2022 reading goals!

Aroha : Māori wisdom for a contented life lived in harmony with our planet / Elder, Hinemoa
“Ki te kotahi te kakaho ka whati, ki te kapuia, e kore e whati. When we stand alone we are vulnerable but together we are unbreakable. Discover traditional Māori philosophy through 52 whakatauki – powerful life lessons, one for every week. Each one is retold by respected Māori psychiatrist Dr Hinemoa Elder to show how we can live a less stressful life, with more contentment and kindness for each other and the planet.” (Adapted from Catalogue)

Out Here : An Anthology of Takatapui and LGBTQIA+ Writers from Aotearoa New Zealand / Tse, Chris
“Aotearoa is a land of extraordinary queer writers, many of whom have contributed to our rich literary history. But you wouldn’t know it. Decades of erasure and homophobia have rendered some of our most powerful writing invisible. Out Here will change that. This landmark book brings together and celebrates queer New Zealand writers from across the gender and LGBTQIA+ spectrum.” (Adapted from Catalogue)

A clear dawn : new Asian voices from Aotearoa New Zealand
“This landmark collection of poetry, fiction and essays by emerging writers is the first-ever anthology of Asian New Zealand creative writing. A Clear Dawn presents an extraordinary new wave of creative talent. With roots stretching from Indonesia to Japan, from China to the Philippines to the Indian subcontinent, the authors in this anthology range from high school students to retirees, from recent immigrants to writers whose families have lived in New Zealand for generations”–Publisher’s website.” (Catalogue)

The commercial hotel / Summers, John
The Commercial Hotel is a sharp-eyed, poignant yet often hilarious tour of Aotearoa: a place in which Arcoroc mugs and dog-eared political biographies are as much a part of the scenery as the hills we tramp through ill-equipped. We encounter Elvis impersonators, Norman Kirk balancing timber on his handlebars while cycling to his building site, and Summers’ grandmother: the only woman imprisoned in New Zealand for protesting World War Two.” (Adapted from Catalogue)

Reawakened : traditional navigators of Te Moana-nui-a-Kiwa / Evans, Jeff
“Ten navigators share the challenges and triumphs of traditional wayfinding based on the deep knowledge of legendary navigator Mau Piailug. They also discuss the significance of receiving the title of Pwo (master navigator). Their stories are intertwined with the renaissance of knowledge and traditions around open-ocean voyaging.” (Catalogue)

Wai Pasifika : indigenous ways in a changing climate / Young, David
“David Young focuses on the increasingly endangered resource of freshwater, and what so-called developed societies can learn from the Indigenous voices of the Pacific. Combining nineteenth century and Indigenous sources with a selection of modern studies and his own personal encounters, Young keeps a human face on the key issue of water.” (Adapted from Catalogue)

Helen Kelly : her life / Macfie, Rebecca
“When Helen Kelly died on a Wellington spring night in October 2016, with her partner by her side and a bunch of peonies, the first of the season, by her bed, Aotearoa lost an extraordinary leader. Kelly was the first female head of the country’s trade union movement, but she was also much more–a visionary who believed that all workers, whether in a union or not, deserved to be given a fair go; a fighter from a deeply communist family; a strategist and orator who invoked strong loyalty; a woman who could stir fierce emotions.” (Adapted from Catalogue)

Hei taonga ma nga uri whakatipu : treasures for the rising generation : The Dominion Museum ethnological expeditions, 1919-1923 / Ngata, Wayne
“From 1919 to 1923, at Sir Apirana Ngata’s initiative, a team from the Dominion Museum travelled to tribal areas across Te Ika-a-Maui to record tikanga Māori that Ngata feared might be disappearing. This beautiful book tells the story of these expeditions, and the determination of early 20th century Māori leaders to pass on ancestral tikanga.” (Adapted from Catalogue)

The forgotten coast / Shaw, Richard
“Richard Shaw unpacks a family story he was never told: that his ancestors once farmed land in Taranaki which had been confiscated from its owners and sold to his great-grandfather, who had been with the Armed Constabulary when it invaded Parihaka on 5 November 1881. Honest, and intertwined with an examination of Shaw’s relationship with his father and of his family’s Catholicism, this book’s key focus is urgent: how Pākehā wrestle with, and own, the privilege of their colonial pasts.” (Adapted from Catalogue)

Tranquillity and ruin / McLauchlan, Danyl
“Danyl McLauchlan wanted to get closer to the hidden truth of things. But it was starting to look like the hidden truth of things was that nothing was real, everything was suffering, and he didn’t really exist. In these essays Danyl explores ideas and paths that he hopes will make him freer and happier – or, at least, less trapped, less medicated and less depressed. Tranquillity and Ruin is a light-hearted contemplation of madness, uncertainty and doom.” (Adapted from Catalogue)

Uprising : walking the Southern Alps of New Zealand / Low, Nic
“Armed with Ngai Tahu’s ancient oral maps and modern satellite atlas, I crossed the Southern Alps more than a dozen times, trying to understand how our forebears saw the land. What did it mean to define your identity by sacred mountains, or actually see them as ancestors, turned to stone?” (Adapted from Catalogue)

 

Homegrown histories, parenting & puppies: recent NZ non-fiction

“Having a diversity of voices and perspectives in the historical literature, as opposed to having one view on this part of the world, is essential.”

― Madi Williams, Polynesia, 900-1600

Kia ora e te whānau, we’re back with a new selection of kōrero pono (non-fiction) from Aotearoa!

I tēnei marama (this month) we’re starting off with some kurī pīwari (cute dogs) as featured on the cover of Big Dog, Small Dog. This pukapuka is by Selina McIntyre who works in the Waikato as a dog behavioural expert. For those of you who’ve spent time cuddling up with your kurī during Level 3 and 4, this might be the perfect pick for you! Or, if you’ve been looking after tamariki, then you might like to leaf through Parenting in the Anthropocene, a wide-ranging pukapuka which includes chapters on growing up in a climate crisis, nurturing tamariki Māori, and childlessness. Contributors include cool humans such as Brannavan Gnanalingam, Jess Berentson-Shaw, Leonie Pihama and Emily Writes.

A major recent release is Polynesia, 900-1600 by historian Madi Williams (Ngāti Kuia, Ngāti Koata). Polynesia covers the time period that in Western history is referred to as ‘the Middle Ages’, but Williams challenges Eurocentric ideas and provides an Indigenous perspective on the history of South Polynesia. Another important pukapuka is Mark Beehre’s landmark oral history, A Queer Existence: the lives of young gay men in Aotearoa New Zealand. It features 27 men who grew up after the 1986 Homosexual Law Reform Act (which decriminalised sex between men) and gives them space to tell their stories in their own words.

Two more history pukapuka incoming! He Kupu Taurangi: Treaty Settlements and the Future of Aotearoa New Zealand begins with a foreword by Sir Tipene O’Regan and spans the time that Christopher Finlayson spent as Minister for Treaty of Waitangi Negotiations, as well as thoughts on the future of Treaty settlements. In The History of a Riot, Jared Davidson looks at the 1843 worker’s revolt in Nelson (a New Zealand Company settlement) and challenges some of the stories that Pākehā New Zealanders tell themselves.

Finally, whether your garden is big or small, shady or a sun-trap, Homegrown Happiness promises to help us plan a low maintenance vege patch – ka rawe!

Big dog, small dog / McIntyre, Selina
“Dog behaviour expert Selina McIntyre uses a natural and direct method, helping humans understand how dogs deal with things like fear, change and anxiety. Big Dog Small Dog is packed with practical advice and natural ways to understand your dog’s world: what they really want from their daily walk, what they think about children, and the truth about dog parks. Owning a dog is a huge responsibility and the more we prepare for such a major life decision, the more we empower ourselves. With the right signals, you’ll soon be able to understand and speak your dog’s language.” (Adapted from publisher’s description)

Parenting in the anthropocene / ed. Emma Johnson
“Humans are changing the world in extremely complex ways, creating a new geological age called the Anthropocene. How do we – as parents, caregivers and as a society – raise our children and dependents in this new world? This multi-author book explores the ways to ensure the health and wellbeing of the next generations, with a view to encouraging inclusivity and critical discourse at a time of climate crisis, inequality and polarisation. Topics include tikanga Māori and collective care child-rearing through to new family forms.” (Adapted from Catalogue)

A queer existence : the lives of young gay men in Aotearoa New Zealand / Beehre, Mark
A Queer Existence uses photographic portraiture and oral history to record the life experiences of a group of 27 gay men born since the passing of the Homosexual Law Reform Act 1986. Candid, powerful and affecting, these first-person narratives form a valuable insight into how gay men continue to face their own challenges as they forge their queer identities.” (Adapted from Catalogue)

Polynesia, 900-1600 / Williams, Madi
“This book provides a concise overview of the history of Polynesia, focusing on New Zealand and its outlying islands, during the period 900-1600. It provides a thematic examination of Polynesia to avoid placing the region’s history into an inaccurate, linear Western chronology. The themes of movement and migration, adaptation and change, and development and expansion offer the optimal means of understanding Polynesia during this time. Through this innovative and unique perspective on Polynesian history, which has not been previously undertaken, the reader is encouraged to think about regions outside Europe in relation to the premodern period.” (Catalogue)

He Kupu Taurangi : Treaty settlements and the future of Aotearoa New Zealand / Finlayson, Christopher
“Between 2008 and 2017, an unprecedented number of Treaty of Waitangi settlements were completed with iwi and hapū across New Zealand. In He Kupu Taurangi, the authors cover themes including apologies, financial and cultural redress, natural resources, co-governance and the establishment of legal entities. They pay particular attention to the landmark Whanganui River and Ngāi Tūhoe settlements, which have become internationally recognised.” (Adapted from Catalogue)

The history of a riot / Davidson, Jared
“In 1843, the New Zealand Company settlement of Nelson was rocked by the revolt of its emigrant labourers. Over 70 gang-men and their wives collectively resisted their poor working conditions through petitions, strikes and, ultimately, violence. Yet this pivotal struggle went on to be obscured by stories of pioneering men and women ‘made good’. The History of a Riot uncovers those at the heart of the revolt for the first time. Who were they? Where were they from? And how did their experience of protest before arriving in Nelson influence their struggle? By putting violence and class conflict at the centre, this fascinating microhistory upends the familiar image of colonial New Zealand.” (Catalogue)

Homegrown happiness : a Kiwi guide to living off the suburban land / Lewis, Elien
“Whether you have a small urban section or a rambling, shady backyard, Homegrown Happiness will help you create the perfect garden to suit your needs. An advocate of the low-maintenance no-dig gardening method, Elien Lewis leads you through a year in your vegetable garden, including advice on: preparing and maintaining your vegetable patch, what to plant and when, whatever your climate, how to establish a working compost bin, keeping pests at bay, and the best time to forage and harvest.” (Adapted from Catalogue)

Te Reo, tikanga, bees and mountains: recent New Zealand non-fiction (the eBook edition)

This book is about walking as a form of knowing. Armed with Ngāi Tahu’s traditional oral maps and modern satellite atlas, I crossed the Southern Alps more than a dozen times, trying to understand how our forebears saw the land. What did it mean to define your identity by sacred mountains, or actually see them as ancestors, turned to stone?

― Nic Low, Uprising: walking the Southern Alps of New Zealand

Kia ora e te whānau, we hope that you’re all doing well – especially as we start to open up our mirumiru (bubbles) again. Although our whare pukapuka (libraries) are open at Level 2, we’re taking precautions, and we still have heaps of eBooks (and audiobooks) that you can access through Overdrive and Borrowbox; today we have a selection of eBooks for you.

We’re sneakily including the revised fourth edition of Māori Place Names (added to our eBook collection at the end of last year and published in paperback in 2016), because Te Wiki o Te Reo Māori is starting on Monday the 13th! Learning the ingoa (name) for where you live and how to pronounce it properly is a great way to build confidence in speaking Te Reo ― as well as for learning about the history of a place. Languages are always entwined with culture, and if you’d like to learn about Māori values and how to incorporate them into daily life, we reckon a great place to start will be with Tikanga: living with the traditions of te ao Māori, by Francis and Kaiora Tipene.

As well as heralding the start of Mahuru Māori (on the 7th i tēnei tau), September is also Bee Aware Month ― a time for raising awareness about Aotearoa’s ngaro huruhuru (native bees) and pī mīere (honey bees), and the critical roles they play in the ecosystem. The pukapuka Healthy bee, sick bee focuses on the introduced honey bee and their wellbeing, including sections on viruses, pesticides, pathogens and the future of bee health.

We’re really excited to read Nic Low’s beautiful pukapuka, Uprising: walking the Southern Alps of New Zealand. Low’s journeys across Kā Tiritiri o te Moana (the Southern Alps) brings him closer to both his Ngāi Tahu and Pākehā heritage, and he wonders what if “New Zealand’s walking culture had developed with Māori still owning the land? What kind of hybrid traditions might have emerged if Kemp’s Deed had been honoured, the mahika kai preserved?” If you’re stuck on the waitlist for this one, you can always read an extract from Uprising over on E-Tangata.

Some other pukapuka to check out are Tūrangawaewae: identity & belonging in Aotearoa New Zealand, an award winning collection of essays that is now available as an eBook; and Te Papa to Berlin: the making of two museums ― for all you wonderful GLAM sector nerds out there (GLAM = galleries, libraries, archives and museums).

Māori place names : their meanings and origins / Reed, A. W. (eBook)
“Pronounce and understand Maori place names with the new fourth edition of A.W. Reed’s classic guide to meanings and origins of names across New Zealand. From Ahaura to Whitianga, this handily sized book is the definitive guide to the most common and notable Maori names on our land. Why do Whangarei, Tauranga, Motueka and Timaru have the names they do? Why all the fuss about the spelling of Whanganui and Rimutaka? What are the original names for Auckland, Hamilton, Wellington, Christchurch and Dunedin?” (Catalogue)

Tikanga : living with the traditions of te ao Māori / Tipene, Francis and Kaiora (eBook)
“Following on from their bestseller, Life as a Casketeer, Francis and Kaiora Tipene share how they bring the values of tikanga Māori into day-to-day living, what they know about whānau, mahi and manaakitanga, and how they live a life rich with the concepts of te ao Māori. Known for their warm hearts, grace and humour, the stars of the wildly popular series The Casketeers show how tikanga shapes their lives as they juggle five sons, three businesses and a television show.” (Adapted from Catalogue)

Healthy bee, sick bee : the influence of parasites, pathogens, predators and pesticides on honey bees / Lester, Phil (eBook)
“Entomologist Phil Lester explores the wonderfully complex and sometimes brutally efficient life history of honey bees, and the problems they face in New Zealand and around the globe. What causes a beehive to collapse? Are pesticides as big a problem as they appear? What can we do to improve the health of our honey bees? With intelligence, insight and jokes, Healthy Bee, Sick Bee tells the story of this much-loved little insect and offers new ways of thinking about their future survival.” (Adapted from Catalogue)

Uprising : walking the Southern Alps of New Zealand / Low, Nic (eBook)
“Raised in the shadow of New Zealand’s Southern Alps, Nic Low grew up on mountain stories from his family’s European side. Years later, a vision of the Alps in a bank of storm clouds sparked a decade-long obsession with comprehending how his Māori ancestors knew that same terrain. Kā Tiritiri-o-te-moana, the Alps, form the backbone of Ngāi Tahu’s territory; far from being virgin wilderness, the area was named and owned long before Europeans arrived and the struggle for control of the land began.” (Adapted from Catalogue)

Tūrangawaewae : identity & belonging in Aotearoa New Zealand / ed. Cain, Trudie and Ella Kahu (eBook)
“What is a New Zealander? What does it mean to be a citizen of or a resident in this country? How do we understand what makes New Zealand complex, and unique? And what creates a sense of belonging and identity, both here and in the world? Written for university students, this book will appeal to anyone interested in where we have come from and where we are headed. It’s a book for active participants in Aotearoa New Zealand and in global society.” (Adapted from Catalogue)

Te Papa to Berlin : the making of two museums / Gorbey, Ken (eBook)
“For 15 years Ken Gorbey was involved with developing and realising the revolutionary cultural concept that became Te Papa Tongarewa. Then in 1999 he was headhunted by W. Michael Blumenthal to salvage the Jewish Museum Berlin. This book is a lively insider perspective about cultural identity and nation building, about how museums can act as healing social instruments by reconciling dark and difficult histories, and about major shifts in museum thinking and practice.” (Adapted from Catalogue)

Bikepacking, beachcombing, sea foam and civics: recent New Zealand non-fiction

You have to remember how the islands move. If you forget that, you’re lost.

― Mau Piailug, master navigator from Satawal, Micronesia

Kia ora e te whānau,

We’ve recently celebrated Matariki, a time of reflection and remembrance as well as for thinking about future goals and aspirations. How are you planning to fill your kete of knowledge i tēnei tau / this year? Some new pukapuka might help you on your journey, including Reawakened: traditional navigators of Te Moana-nui-a-Kiwa, a tribute to Mau Piailug and the palu (initiated oceanic navigators) he inspired and trained across the Pacific. The empirical knowledge needed to successfully navigate the world’s largest body of water is immense, and it’s a privilege to read the words of those who carry this mātauranga.

Hot off the press is Tutira Mai: Making change in Aotearoa New Zealand, a collection of essays and case studies on citizen activism. It has a mix of Pākehā, Māori and tauiwi perspectives and sounds like a useful resource for anyone interested in civics and citizenship education. If you’re the adventurous type, Bikepacking Aotearoa will help you plan overnight cycling trips from two days to two weeks, while a more serious but important read is No Māori Allowed: New Zealand’s forgotten history of racial segregation.

We’re already letting our minds drift towards summer and the feeling of sand beneath our feet but in the meantime we’re turning the pages of Beachcombing. Author and bio-geographer (cool!) Ceridwen Fraser investigates the different objects and creatures that wash up on Aotearoa’s beaches, and what shorelines can teach us about “life, death and dynamic processes in the sea” (publisher’s description). Another pukapuka that looks at the relationship between people and te taiao / the natural world is Tree Sense, which includes writing by Huhana Smith, Elizabeth Smither and Anne Noble and an indigenous plant list. Mīharo!

Reawakened : traditional navigators of Te Moana-nui-a-Kiwa / Evans, Jeff
In this important book, ten navigators – the late Hec Busby, Piripi Evans and Jacko Thatcher from Aotearoa New Zealand; Peia Patai and Tua Pittman from the Cook Islands; and Kālepa Baybayan, Shorty Bertelmann, Nainoa Thompson, `Onohi Paishon and Bruce Blankenfeld from Hawai`i – share the challenges and triumphs of traditional wayfinding based on the deep knowledge of legendary navigator Mau Piailug.” (Adapted from publisher’s description) Also available as an eBook.

Tutira Mai : Making change in Aotearoa New Zealand / ed. Dodson, Giles and David Belgrave
“From prison theatre and flaxroots community engagement to social enterprise and online campaigning, the ways citizens can make change are diverse and continue to grow. Navigating the complexities of active citizenship requires understanding, analysis and action. This timely book brings together research and practice-based analysis, along with case studies of citizen activism from Aotearoa New Zealand, to help readers generate effective ways to make a difference.” (Adapted from publisher’s description)

Image from FishpondBikepacking Aotearoa : twenty cycling adventures along paths less travelled / Kennett, Jonathan
Bikepacking Aotearoa is a guide to twenty cycling adventures around New Zealand. The trips range in length from two days to two weeks and explore the less travelled parts of this beautiful little country. These routes are perfect as weekend getaways or as preparation for a bikepacking event. Introductory chapters cover equipment choice, bike setup, training and preparation. Includes detailed route descriptions, maps, elevation charts, and essential service listings.” (Adapted from Catalogue)

No Māori allowed : New Zealand’s forgotten history of racial segregation / Bartholomew, Robert E
“There was a time when Māori were barred from public toilets, segregated at the cinema & swimming baths, refused alcohol, haircuts & taxi rides, forced to stand for white bus passengers, not allowed to attend school with other students. One of the places it happened was the town of Pukekohe. Using historical records and first-hand interviews, No Māori Allowed looks at what happened in Pukekohe and the extent of racial intolerance across the country at this time.” (Adapted from Catalogue)

Image from Mighty ApeBeachcombing : a guide to seashores of the Southern Hemisphere / Fraser, Ceridwen
“If you’ve ever walked along a beach or rocky shore and wondered at the things cast upon it by the waves, this book is for you. Sea foam, ambergris, giant squid, stranded whales, seaweed, shells, plastic, dead birds, shoes and pieces of planes or rockets. Beaches are our windows to the ocean, and the objects we find on them tell stories about life, death and dynamic processes in the sea. Includes teaching notes.” (Adapted from Catalogue)

Tree sense : ways of thinking about trees
“As climate change imposes significant challenges on the natural world we are being encouraged to plant trees. At the same time, urban intensification threatens our existing arboreal resources. To find our way through this confusion, we need to build our respect for trees and to recognise their essential role in our environment, our heritage, our well-being and our future. We need to build a robust ‘tree sense’. This collection of essays, art and poetry by artists, activists, ecologists and advocates discusses the many ways in which humans need trees, and how our future is laced into their roots and their branches.” (Adapted from publisher’s description).

Fashion, food, soil and survival: recent New Zealand non-fiction

…close your eyes and you can imagine what it might have been like to wear, how the wearer might have sounded as she walked… crisp silks rustling and swishing, and beads softly tinkling.

― Claire Regnault, Dressed: fashionable dress in Aotearoa New Zealand 1840-1910, p.9

This month we’re feeding our minds with some particularly beautiful pukapuka! They include Claire Regnault’s lavishly photographed history of Pākehā women’s fashion styles during the Victorian era; and the rich anthology of Te Mahi Oneone, uplifting the taonga that is the soil and from which flows identity and hauora (health). Just as the soil needs to be respected so does our kai, and Waste Not Want Not aims to break some food-wasting habits by providing recipes and strategies for loving our leftovers.

We’re also looking forward to dipping into Te Kai a te Rangatira. Created by rangatahi, it looks at what nourishes Māori leadership and includes interviews with over 100 leaders in their fields, including Linda Tuhiwai Smith, Che Wilson, Moana Jackson, Tā Tipene O’Regan, Tina Ngata and Patricia Grace.

Another important collection is Her Say ― maybe you’ve heard of Jackie Clark and The Aunties? They’re dedicated to helping women who are experiencing or have lived with domestic violence, and Clark is responsible for compiling this book and putting the words of women front and centre. Other winter reads are Pauling and Beatty’s lovingly researched Sharing the Mic: Community Access Radio in Aotearoa New Zealand, and the second edition of Bateman’s comprehensive field guide to the wildlife of New Zealand.

Happy winter reading e te whānau!

Dressed : fashionable dress in Aotearoa New Zealand 1840-1910 / Regnault, Claire
“This illustrated social history explores the creation, consumption and spectacle of fashionable dress in Aotearoa New Zealand. New Zealand’s 19th century dress culture was heavily shaped by international trends and interactions with Māori, the demands of settler lifestyle and the country’s geographical and environmental conditions. Dressed teems with the fascinating, busy lives of early businesswomen, society women and civic figures.” (Catalogue)

Te mahi oneone hua parakore : a Māori soil sovereignty and wellbeing handbook / ed. Hutchings, Jessica and Jo Smith
“In te ao Māori, soil is taonga. It is also whanaunga – the root of tūrangawaewae and whakapapa. It is the source of shelter, kai and manaakitanga. Through a range of essays, profiles and recipes, this book seeks to promote wellbeing and elevate the mana of the soil by drawing on the hua parakore Māori organics framework as a means for understanding these wide-ranging, diverse and interwoven relationships with soil.” (Adapted from catalogue)

Image from Mighty ApeWaste not want not : fridge cleaner cooking / Burtscher, Sarah
“Waste Not Want Not is a cook book based on the top 10 foods thrown out in NZ. With 1.7 billion dollars of food wasted every year, this book brings the general household 80 delicious recipes and 40 plus tips and tricks on how to stop wasting food. Sarah Burtscher looks at the top 10 foods we tend to waste and pairs them with yummy recipes – including Forgotten Vegetable Soup and Easter Spiced Whole Orange Cake.” (Adapted from RNZ article and catalogue)
There’s a great article about this book over on RNZ’s website!

Te kai a te Rangatira : leadership from the Māori world
“The words in this book represent the collective effort of over thirty rangatahi who interviewed more than one hundred Māori spanning the length and breadth of Aotearoa. In both Te Reo and English, it explores the origins and values of Māori leadership, as well as the life experiences that nurture rangatira across different rohe, iwi and hapū.” (Adapted from catalogue)

Her say : survivors of domestic abuse tell their own stories / Jackie Clark and The Aunties
“This powerful new book features the stories of a number of very different New Zealand women, told in their own words. The collected stories chart their narrators’ lives and personal histories, through the lens of having lived with – and escaped – an abusive relationship. It’s a book for all women, showing how owning our stories gives us the power to write new endings. It will challenge, illuminate, and empower readers and the storytellers themselves.” (Adapted from publisher’s description) Available as an eBook.

Image from FishpondSharing the mic : community access radio in Aotearoa New Zealand / Pauling, Brian and Bronwyn Beatty
“From Invercargill to Auckland, community access radio has been broadcasting by, for and about New Zealanders across four decades. Using extensive interviews and in-depth research, Sharing the Mic tells the stories of the volunteers, staff and managers at the heart of access broadcasting and places the history of Aotearoa’s access radio within the wider media and technological changes of the last 40 years.” (Adapted from catalogue)

Image from FishpondWildlife of New Zealand : a Bateman field guide fully revised and expanded / Fitter, Julian
“The essential fully revised and expanded field guide to the wildlife of New Zealand. This field guide covers most of the birds, mammals and reptiles that you are likely to see, as well as a good selection of invertebrates and a large number of trees, shrubs and other plants. Accompanied by hundreds of colour photographs, the succinct species descriptions contain information on identification, distribution and biology.” (Adapted from publisher’s description)

Mātauranga, foraging and the whenua: recent New Zealand non-fiction

Kia ora e te whānau, the arrival of the colder weather makes it a good time to snuggle up with some pukapuka.

This selection of recent releases includes four anthologies which between them cover the experiences and insights of Māori academics, Indigenous relationships with the whenua / land, climate change, and art publishing in Aotearoa. Mīharo! We love collections of writing like these, which you can dip in and out of like a kererū in a birdbath (probably with less splashing though).

Other recent releases are Danny Keenan’s incisive account of the New Zealand wars – the first such book to be written from a Māori perspective, and Linda Waters’ investigation into the details and detective work of art conservation. If you’re already missing summer and long days in the māra / garden, Niva Kay’s guide to organic home gardening might be just what you need. We’re also smitten with Johanna Knox’s classic, The Forager’s Treasury, now in its fully revised second edition.

Climate Aotearoa, Wars without End and The Abundant Garden are also available as eBooks on Overdrive, our most popular source of eBooks and eAudiobooks.

Happy reading!

Ngā kete mātauranga : Māori scholars at the research interface /
ed. Professors Jacinta Ruru and Linda Waimarie Nikora

“In this transformative book, 24 Maori academics share their personal journeys, revealing what being Māori has meant for them in their work. Their perspectives show how mātauranga is positively influencing the Western-dominated disciplines of knowledge in the research sector. It is a shameful fact, says co-editor Jacinta Ruru, that only about 5 percent of academic staff at universities in Aotearoa are Māori.” (Adapted from catalogue)

Cover image from Mighty ApeKia Whakanuia te Whenua : People Place Landscape / ed. Hill, Carolyn
“Confronting the pain of alienation and whenua loss for all Indigenous peoples, Kia Whakanuia te Whenua offers an alternative world view. It also seeks to stimulate interdisciplinary thinking, share and integrate knowledge, and create positive change for all who reside in Aotearoa New Zealand. Fourty-four writers share their perspectives and expertise across a range of disciplines.” (Adapted from publisher’s description)

Wars without end : ngā pakanga whenua o mua, New Zealand’s land wars : a Māori perspective / Keenan, Danny
“From the earliest days of European settlement in New Zealand, Māori have struggled to hold on to their land. When open conflict between Māori and Imperial forces broke out in the 1840s and 1860s, the struggles only intensified. Wars without end is the first book to approach this contentious subject from a Māori point of view, focusing on the Māori resolve to maintain possession.” (Adapted from catalogue, eBook available here).

The Forager’s Treasury : the essential guide to finding and using wild plants in Aotearoa / Knox, Johanna (Revised edition, first published in 2013)
In the urban and rural wildernesses, there is an abundance of food just waiting to be discovered. Johanna Knox (Ngāti Tukorehe / Ngāti Kahu ki Tauranga) makes you look at the plants around you in a different light. She provides advice on finding and harvesting edible plants, as well as recipes for food, medicine, perfume and more. (Adapted from publisher’s description).

The Abundant Garden : a practical guide to growing a regenerative home garden / Kay, Niva
“Niva and Yotam Kay of Pakaraka Permaculture, on the Coromandel Peninsula, share their long experience in organic gardening in this comprehensive book on how to create and maintain a productive and regenerative vegetable garden. This is grounded in the latest scientific research on soil health, ecological and regenerative practices.” (Adapted from catalogue, eBook available here).

Climate Aotearoa / ed. Clark, Helen
“Climate Aotearoa includes contributions from a range of scientists, and outlines the climate situation as it is now and in the years to come. It suggests the changes you can make for maximum impact, what we should be asking of our government and what we should be asking of our business community. In doing so, this is a hopeful book: actions can make a difference.”(Adapted from Overdrive description, eBook available here)

Cover image from FishpondDwelling in the Margins : art publishing in Aotearoa / ed. Kerr, Katie
“On the periphery of Aotearoa New Zealand’s publishing scene, there is a rich and varied cottage industry of small press publishers that are pushing the boundaries of book-making. Dwelling in the Margins introduces the leading figures of independent publishing in their own words. Through a curated collection of stories and essays, thirty practitioners reflect on their craft, speculate on the changing landscape of book-making, and imagine alternative frameworks for the future of publishing.” (Adapted from publisher’s description)

The back of the painting : secrets and stories from art conservation / Waters, Linda
“The seal of the Prince of Yugoslavia, the icon that protected persecuted Russians, Monet’s repurposed canvas: all these stories can be found on the backs of paintings in New Zealand art museums. This book explores the backs of thirty-three paintings held in the collections of the Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa, the Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tāmaki and the Dunedin Public Art Gallery.” (Adapted from publisher’s description”)

Best First Book Awards: The Winners!

Congratulations to all the recently announced MitoQ Best First Book Awards winners at the 2021 Ockham New Zealand Book Awards. They show what a vibrant and thriving literary scene we have at the moment–one we should be proud of. Surprisingly all the winners this year were Wellington based. The winners were:

Fiction: Victory Park by Rachel  Kerr

Poetry: I Am A Human Being by Jackson Nieuwland​

General Non-Fiction: Specimen: Personal Essays by Madison Hamill

Illustrated Non-Fiction: Hiakai: Modern Māori Cuisine by Monique Fiso


We have recently had the great pleasure of hosting events on and offline for three of the winners!

Jackson Nieuwland

I am a human being / Nieuwland, Jackson
“Poet Jackson Nieuwland’s first published collection is a beautiful, complex and surreal body of work. The poems within are very intimate and display vulnerability, and fragility. Working with the concept that no single word can adequately defines us and the multiplicity of who we are and what we have, the potential to become is explored in a sequence of poems such as I am an egg, I am a tree, I am a beaver, I am a bear, I am a bottomless pit, etc. The works within are delicately accompanied by Steph Maree’s line drawings.” (Adapted from Catalogue)


Madison Hamill

Specimen : personal essays / Hamill, Madison
“A father rollerblading to church in his ministerial robes, a university student in a leotard sprinting through fog, a trespass notice from Pak’nSave, a beautiful unborn goat in a jar … In scenarios ranging from the mundane to the surreal, Madison Hamill looks back at her younger selves with a sharp eye. Was she good or evil? Ignorant or enlightened? What parts of herself did she give up in order to forge ahead in school, church, work, and relationships, with a self that made sense to others?” (Catalogue)


Rachel Kerr

Victory Park / Kerr, Rachel
“Kara lives in Victory Park council flats with her young son, just making a living by minding other people’s kids – her nightly smoke on the fire escape the only time she can drop her guard and imagine something better. But the truth is life is threadbare and unpromising until the mysterious Bridget moves in to the flats. The wife of a disgraced Ponzi schemer she brings with her glamour and wild dreams and an unexpected friendship.” (Adapted from Catalogue)

New Zealand material recent arrivals

We returned to He Matapihi library and discovered (as we have not yet been open for a full year) that in June the sun starts to stream in the windows after lunch making our window seat the place to be!  Along with the sunshine we also have the latest New Zealand material to arrive.  As always new New Zealand material covers a range of topics so check these out to see if any interest you.  These titles are proving popular so remember it’s free to place a reserve and have these titles sent to your local branch, or come in and browse the He Matapihi  New Zealand lending collection and try and catch some of the reported six minutes of Wellington sunshine.

Mighty ApeHusna’s story : my wife, the Christchurch massacre & my journey to forgiveness / Ahmed, Farid
“Husna’s Story is written by Husna’s husband Farid Ahmed. They were praying at El Noor Mosque in Christchurch when a gunman burst in and shot and killed 51 people and injured many others in a terrorist attack. This book tells Husna’s story, describing the day of the attack – in all of its normal, mundane detail up until the tragedy, and then the horrendous tragedy of what followed. Interwoven with this is the story of Husna’s life, telling of the selflessness and bravery with which she lived her life. As well as looking after her paraplegic husband, Husna was an important member of the community, helping women when they were giving birth, running classes for children and helping many others. Her last selfless act was going back into the mosque to look for her husband on that fateful day. She had already led the other women and children to safety. Tragically she was shot. Husna’s husband, Farid Ahmed, quite incredibly, forgives the alleged killer. His remarkable philosophy of forgiveness, peace and love is an example of how religion and faith, through personal application, can be a tool for navigating the most horrific of tragedies.” (Publisher’s description)

Mighty ApeThe new photography : New Zealand’s first generation contemporary photographers / McCredie, Athol
“In this handsome book, leading photography curator Athol McCredie tells the story of the beginnings of contemporary photography — also known as art photography — in New Zealand. Through interviews with the photographers Gary Baigent, Richard Collins, John Daley, John Fields, Max Oettli, John B Turner, Len Wesney and Ans Westra, and accompanied by an outstanding introductory essay, McCredie shows how the break-through approach of personal documentary photography created a new field of photography in New Zealand that was not simply illustrative but rather spoke for itself and with its own language.” (Catalogue)

Mighty ApeNew Zealand seaweeds : an illustrated guide / Nelson, W. A.
“This fully revised edition describes over 150 genera and 250 key species across three main sections covering green, brown and red algae. Each species entry includes up-to-date information on nomenclature, type locality, morphology, habitat and distribution and gives notes on identification and key characters. Features reproductions of the paintings of celebrated botanical artist Nancy Adams.” (Catalogue)

Fish PondThe longest day : standing up to depression and tackling the Coast to Coast / Calman, Matt
“Matt Calman’s most consistent tool for dealing with problems throughout his life was alcohol. But it got to the stage where he was no longer willing to put up with the dark side of his drinking. So he quit. But the problems that had been simmering away for most of his life merely came to a head. It led to a major depressive phase with panic attacks and thoughts of suicide. Finally Matt began the slow climb to rebuild himself with a much stronger foundation. Finally he was ready to find something, or for something to find him. It could have been anything. It just happened to be the Coast to Coast Multisport World Championships, the toughest endurance race in New Zealand. The Longest Day outlines Matt’s path back from the depths of depression, his struggles to learn to run, cycle and kayak at an elite level, and the culmination of all that training: his Coast to Coast race. The book explores the parallels between the inner landscape (his journey to well being) and the outer landscape (the world around him and tackling the Coast to Coast). Through his training he learns about process rather than outcome, and how true success and enjoyment is embedded in the journey (not the destination). Matt is a brave, honest writer with a talent for articulating what is going on inside his head.” (Catalogue)

Mighty ApeAll the way to summer : stories of love and longing / Kidman, Fiona
“Fiona Kidman’s early stories about New Zealand women’s experiences scandalised readers with their vivid depictions of the heartbreaks and joys of desire, illicit liaisons and unconventional love. Her writing made her a feminist icon in the early 1980s, and she has since continued to tell the realities of women’s lives, her books resonating with many readers over the years and across the world. To mark her 80th birthday, this volume brings together a variety of her previously published stories as well as several that are new or previously uncollected; all moving, insightful and written with love. The final stories trace her own history of love, a memoir of significant people from childhood and beyond” (Catalogue)

Mighty ApeThe burning river / Patchett, Lawrence
“In a radically changed Aotearoa New Zealand, Van’s life in the swamp is hazardous. Sheltered by Rau and Matewai, he mines plastic and trades to survive. When a young visitor summons him to the fenced settlement on the hill, he is offered a new and frightening responsibility-a perilous inland journey that leads to a tense confrontation and the prospect of a rebuilt world.” (Catalogue)

Mighty ApePoetry New Zealand Yearbook. 2020
“Each year Poetry New Zealand, this country’s longest-running poetry magazine, rounds up new poetry, reviews and essays, making it the ideal way to catch up with the latest poetry from both established and emerging New Zealand poets. Issue #54 features 130 new poems (including by this year’s featured poet, rising star Essa May Ranapiri, and C.K. Stead, Elizabeth Smither, Kevin Ireland, Chris Tse, Gregory Kan, Fardowsa Mohammed and Tracey Slaughter); essays (including a graphic essay by Sarah Laing); and reviews of new poetry collections. Poems by the winners of both the Poetry New Zealand Award and the Poetry New Zealand Schools Award are among the line-up.” (Catalogue)

Mighty ApeThe case for cannabis law reform / McLeod, Vince
“The Case For Cannabis Law Reform makes a comprehensive argument for reforming our cannabis laws. Across 58 fully-referenced chapters, this book covers practical, moral, economic, cultural, medicinal, historical and spiritual reasons to repeal cannabis prohibition – among others” (Catalogue)

Imagining decolonisation. 
“Decolonisation is a term that scares some, and gives hope to others. It is an uncomfortable and bewildering concept for many New Zealanders yet needed if we are going to build a country that is fair and equal for all who live there. This book sets out the case for decolonisation by illuminating through anecdotal, real life examples — what decolonisation might look and feel like.” (Catalogue)

Local Literature: New Books

We’re reading a lot of local fiction and non-fiction lately, because it’s so good! Stories from New Zealanders make us feel reminiscent and connected, as well as providing the satisfaction that comes from supporting local writers. Some of these voices are new, some of them have been around for a while but still have new perspectives to share.

This month, notable titles include the swirling poetry of Between You and these Bones; and The Braided River, an anthology of migrant essays compiled by Diane Comer, who draws on how essays continue to be an expression of oneself and migration in a shifting world. We finish off with a current Librarian’s Choice, All Who Live on Islands, which perhaps proves Comer’s hypothesis true.

The paper nautilus : a trilogy / Jackson, Michael
The Paper Nautilus is about loss – the forms it takes, how we go on living in the face of it, and the mysterious ways that new life and new beginnings are born of brokenness. The paper nautilus provides a vivid image of this interplay of death and rebirth since, for new life to begin, the angelically beautiful but fragile shell that sustained a former life must be shattered. This book crosses and blends genres most engagingly.” (Adapted from Catalogue)

Haare Williams : words of a kaumātua / Williams, Haare
“A kaumātua – an elder of the Māori people – reflects in poetry and prose on his journey from te ao Maori on the East Coast to contemporary Auckland, New Zealand. And in his poetry and prose, in te reo Maori and English, Haare has a unique ability to capture both the wisdom of te ao Maori and the transformation of that world. This book, edited and introduced by acclaimed author Witi Ihimaera, brings together the poetry and prose of Haare Williams to produce a work that is a biography of the man and his times, a celebration of a kaumatua and an exemplar of his wisdom.” (Adapted from Catalogue)

The braided river : migration and the personal essay / Comer, Diane
“This book explores contemporary migration to New Zealand through an examination of 200 personal essays written by 37 migrants from 20 different countries, spanning all ages and life stages. Throughout, Diane Comer, both migrant and essayist herself, demonstrates the versatility of the personal essay as a means to analyze and understand migration, an issue with increasing relevance worldwide.” (Adapted from Catalogue)

The Black and the White / Cochrane, Geoff
“The Black and the White is a new work – witty, fearless, formidably concise – from one of the most distinctive voices in New Zealand Poetry.” (Source: Victoria University Press)

All the juicy pastures : Greville Texidor and New Zealand / Schwass, Margot
“Greville Texidor – one-time Bloomsbury insider, globetrotting chorus-line dancer, former heroin addict, anarchist militia-woman and recent inmate of Holloway Prison – became a writer only after arriving in New Zealand as a refugee in 1940. All the Juicy Pastures tells the story of Greville Texidor’s extraordinary life in full for the first time, and puts her small but essential body of work in vivid context. Illustrated with many never-before-seen photographs, it restores an essential New Zealand writer to new generations of readers.” (Adapted from Catalogue)

Between you and these bones / Soul, F. D.
“Acclaimed Instagram poet F.D. Soul (@featherdownsoul) debuts a new poetry collection, telling her own invigorating, unapologetic narrative of love, loss, and adversity. Soul’s words pulse, they are alive on the page, attesting to the significance of Between You and These Bones in the modern world. From celebrated New Zealand poetess F.D. Soul comes her highly anticipated second collection of poetry, prose, illustrations, and wisdom.” (Adapted from Catalogue)

All who live on islands / Lu, Rose
All Who Live on Islands introduces a bold new voice in New Zealand literature. In these intimate and entertaining essays, Rose Lu takes us through personal history to explore friendship, the weight of stories told and not told about diverse cultures, and the reverberations of our parents’ and grandparents’ choices. Frank and compassionate, Rose Lu’s stories illuminate the cultural and linguistic questions that migrants face, as well as what it is to be a young person living in 21st-century Aotearoa New Zealand.” (Adapteed from Catalogue)

Kiwi-made graphic novels from He Matapihi Molesworth Library

Earlier this year Wellington City Libraries and the National Library of New Zealand hosted the biennial Comicfest, featuring panels and workshops with New Zealand comic artists such as Dylan Horrocks, Ross Murray, Ant Sang, Alex Cara, Roger Langridge and Sarah Laing.

Now you can check out their works (and more!) at the newly-opened He Matapihi Molesworth Library, in the National Library. From tales of action and adventure to the internal struggles of being a creative, there are stories for all sorts and all ages.

Sam Zabel and the magic pen / Horrocks, Dylan
“Cartoonist Sam Zabel hasn’t drawn a comic in years. Stuck in a nightmare of creative block and despair, Sam spends his days writing superhero stories for a large American comics publisher and staring at a blank piece of paper, unable to draw a single line. Then one day he finds a mysterious old comic book set on Mars and is suddenly thrown headlong into a wild, fantastic journey through centuries of comics, stories, and imaginary worlds . . .” (Adapted from catalogue)

Rufus Marigold / Murray, Ross
“Rufus Marigold is a primate with a problem. He suffers acutely from anxiety and every social encounter is a harrowing ordeal. A budding artist, Rufus spends his days working in an office. As life become increasingly more of a struggle, Rufus yearns to be defined as something other than an a complete nervous wreck. This volume collects and significantly expands upon the original web comic, resulting in a darkly hilarious yet moving account of living with anxiety.” (Catalogue)

Helen and the Go-Go Ninjas / Sang, Anthony
“Kidnapped by time-travelling ninjas, Helen is thrust into the year 2355 – a ruined future with roving gangs and ‘Peace Balls’, giant humming devices that enslave and control people’s minds. The Go-Go Ninjas have one goal – to destroy the Peace Balls. They believe that Helen knows how. Can Helen use her knowledge of the past to help them save the future? An electrifying graphic novel by award-winning authors.” (Catalogue)

Dreams of here, far from home : being nine settler fancies in sequential pictorial form / Cara, Alex
“O! Fortunate reader You will find within these pages nine settler narratives, fun for “New Chums” and “Gone Natives” alike, and rendered in extravagant colour. Thrill to the fears and fancies of these exotic intruders, with their night-terrors and naiveties, and dreams of here, far from home.” (From author’s store)

Mansfield and me : a graphic memoir / Laing, Sarah
“Mansfield and Me charts Sarah Laing’s journey towards publication and parenthood against Mansfield’s dramatic story, set in London, Paris, New York and New Zealand. Part memoir, part biography, part fantasy, it examines how our lives connect to those of our personal heroes.” (From publisher’s summary)

Snarked! Book one, Forks and hope / Langridge, Roger
“The next great Roger Langridge graphic novel series begins as he brings Lewis Carroll’s imaginative world to new heights in a side-splitting adventure that can only be explained as…SNARKED. Presenting a fresh and incredibly modern “Langridge” spin on an already-warped classic, SNARKED starts here in an epic adventure featuring the Red Queen’s children, Princess Scarlett and her baby brother Rusty, as they set out in search of the missing Red King.” (Adapted from catalogue)

What about the newspapers?

We know many of you will be missing using the resources that were up on the second floor of the Central Library.  We thought we would put together some information for some other ways to access New Zealand reference material, newspapers, journals, genealogy information and local history materials.

NEWSPAPERS

Many of the visitors to the second floor came to access local, national and international newspapers so we know that these resources will really be missed. At our branch libraries, you can still read some actual titles or use the online database of PressReader on the branch computers. You can also access PressReader on your home computer or via an app on a device.

Branch Collections The current week’s issues of the Dominion Post are available at all branch libraries. Karori Library also holds the current week of the New Zealand Herald. Newtown Library receives the Samoa Times, the Cook Island News and Taimi Tonga. The Sunday Star Times is available at Island Bay, Kilbirnie, Miramar, Newtown, Tawa, Brooklyn, Karori and Johnsonville branch libraries.

PressReader is a platform which enables you to easily read current newspapers online for free. All you need is your Wellington City Libraries card! PressReader boasts an impressive 2446 newspapers across 120 countries, from Lesotho to Luxembourg. To access PressReader from your phone or computer, go to online databases, then select PressReader newspapers & magazines from the drop-down menu and press “go.” Follow the prompts and enter your library card number and surname. PressReader also holds an extensive range of magazine titles.

Amongst many other publications, you can read the following titles on PressReader:

  • The Dominion Post
  • The New Zealand Herald
  • The Press (Christchurch)
  • Otago Daily Times
  • The Guardian

Microfilm

With our microfilm collection no longer accessible you may need to visit the National Library to view newspaper microfilms, but don’t forget to check out our online databases where you can access a wealth of material from the newspaper section and journals from the Magazine section.

Here are three of the very helpful newspaper and journal databases you can access using online databases.

Papers Past – freely available online and includes digitizations of historic New Zealand newspapers from the 19th and 20th centuries. Perfect for budding historians and anyone wanting to research the history of local people and places! Wellington papers The Dominion are available from 1907 – 1920 and The Evening Post from 1865 – 1945.

Australia & New Zealand NewsStream –  NewsStream hosts the written components of newspaper articles from New Zealand publications dating from 1996, including the Dominion, the Evening Post, the Dominion Post. Note that these online articles do not include photographs and are formatted generically. You can access Australia & New Zealand NewsStream through our.

Australia/New Zealand Reference Centre – This database combines Australia and New Zealand specific magazines, newspapers & newswires, reference books, and company information to create the largest collection of regional full text content available. It provides local perspectives on current events, business, sports, and many other subjects.  Titles include Australian House & Garden, Australian Geographic, NZ Business, New Zealand Management, Metro, Australia Country Report, New Zealand Country Report, the New Zealand Herald, the Dominion Post etc. Click for a full list of titles in Australia/New Zealand Reference Centre. Some key Wellington publication links are:

  • The Dominion/The Dominion Post, 1995- (Full text available)

New Zealand History

If you are looking for New Zealand History material, and you have tried the catalogue to check, and the branch collections don’t have it, you might find what you need in the excellent material available on our Online Databases.  Check out the New Zealand section, it has the New Zealand flag picture. Here you can find online collections of New Zealand history books.

BWB  The New Zealand History Collection -provides complete online access to a major, authoritative resource – over thirty years of award-winning history and biography publishing from Bridget Williams.  Books.  Comprising over ninety titles, it includes recent additions such as the widely acclaimed Great War for New Zealand by Vincent O’Malley, multiple works by late historian Judith Binney and A History of New Zealand Women by Barbara Brookes.

BWB Texts Collection – Brings together a diverse group of short eBooks on the big issues facing New Zealand. Dive in to discover stories, insights and analysis by some of New Zealand’s best writers and commentators. Titles can be read on any device and new titles are added to the collection each month.

BWB Treaty of Waitangi Collection – Gathers together some of the finest writing and scholarship on New Zealand’s founding document online. It features unrestricted access to award-winning histories and commentaries, such as Claudia Orange’s The Treaty of Waitangi, which can either be read in their entirety or searched across for quick reference. Optimised for mobile and tablet devices, this database is delivered entirely within the web browser and is accessible on any device.

eBooks and eAudiobooks – Overdrive Aotearoa Collection – Free eBook and downloadable eAudiobook collection containing fiction and nonfiction titles, including many New Zealand titles

If you want to find out more about how to start using our eLibrary resources click here for help

 Genealogy

To continue or start your family history project, the in-library databases Ancestry and Find my Past are  available at branch libraries.  (Ancestry can be used for searches of New Zealand specific databases such as New Zealand Electoral rolls (from 1853 to 1981) as well as databases from all over the world.   There are also many links to genealogical sources from our Popular Topics Genealogy page.  You can also visit the National Library if you need to access birth, death and marriage microfiche for events after those that are freely available from the historical Births Deaths and Marriages  website.

Local History

With the closure of the Central library building our Local History specialist Gábor Tóth wanted to ensure that we informed everyone that he was starting to add more and more digitized material to Wellington Recollect, our local heritage resource,  a database of heritage photos, books, maps and related ephemera reflecting the Capital’s past. The database is administered by Wellington City Libraries. You can also find Recollect and many other local history resources on our Heritage page.

Another great source for local history is available on the Wellington City Council website.  There is the Cemeteries search, and details about the Wellington City Archives. You can find digitised versions of the   Wellington Heritage Trails and local heritage information on Wellington heritage buildings at the  Wellington Heritage page.

To finish off we thought we should have some fun with Wellington Recollect to have a look at the location of the pop-up library (12 Manners Street) that has been announced and found this great photo (c. 1927) looking down from Boulcott Street towards Manners Street with a tram at the Willis Street intersection and the pop-up will be located in that block  You can check the image out on Wellington Recollect by clicking on the photo.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Wellington City Libraries (19th Oct 2018). Looking down Boulcott Street towards Manners Street. In Website Wellington City Libraries. Retrieved 4th Apr 2019 12:33, from https://wellington.recollect.co.nz/nodes/view/316

Wandering around the new books of the New Zealand Collection

Kia ora, let’s take a meander through the shelves to see what’s new in the New Zealand Collection this month.

There are numerous water issues being discussed around the country and there is a new book about efforts to save Te Waikoropupū Springs told with poetry and images.

Samoan Queer lives are documented with story and portrait. Memoirs of musician Graeme Jefferies, whose career was spent with bands Nocturnal Projections, This Kind of Punishment and The Cakekitchen as well as being a solo artist, and  one from  poet and author Jeffrey Paparoa Holman.
A collection of recent plays in ‘The recent art of actually caring and other New Zealand plays‘ talks about how new theatre is capturing the stories of increasingly diverse New Zealanders.

There are new editions to the poetry shelf and of course beautiful scenery in ‘Wanaka: lake, mountain, adventure‘.  Our last peek is at ‘Thorny encounters: a history of England v the All Blacks‘ about the first 4o rugby internationals between the All Blacks and England.

Time to pick your favourite new book and sit down to read!

Water protectors : the story of the campaign to save Te Waikoropupū Springs in poetry and images / Moran, Kevin
“The Story of the Campaign To Save Te Waikoropupu Springs in poetry and images. Te Waikoropupu Springs in Golden Bay New Zealand is a national treasure. Crystal clear waters surge to the surface to form a bubbling fount. Over 90,000 people flock to visit each year. Yet Te Waikoropupū is under deadly threat. Nitrate leaching from intensive dairy farms is the culprit. You will read of protests, passionate petitions and about the small Iwi battling to protect Te Waikoropupu through the implementation of a Water Conservation Order.” (Abridged Catalogue)

Samoan queer lives / McMullin, Dan Taulapapa
“Featuring 20 autobiographical stories from fa`afafine and LGBTIQ Samoans based in Samoa, Amerika Samoa, Australia, Aotearoa NZ, Hawai`i and USA. Includes a foreword and introduction by co-editors Yuki Kihara and Dan Taulapapa McMullin. Each story is accompanied by a portrait.” (Catalogue)

Time flowing backwards : a memoir / Jefferies, Graeme
“Time Flowing Backwards is the fascinating and revealing story of Graeme Jefferies–one of the most inventive and influential musicians to emerge from New Zealand’s vibrant independent music scene in the 1980s. This memoir spans over three decades of Jefferies’ career spent with bands Nocturnal Projections, This Kind of Punishment and The Cakekitchen as well as a solo artist.” (Abridged Catalogue)

The intricate art of actually caring, and other New Zealand plays
“Theater in New Zealand began as a tool of the British Empire, imported along with Christianity, seeds, and other commodities as a way of acculturating the indigenous Maori population. In the decades since, it has been turned to different ends, and is now a crucial outlet for the voices of the ever more diverse population of New Zealanders.” (Abridged Catalogue)

Now when it rains : a writer’s memoir / Holman, Jeffrey Paparoa
“Jeffrey Paparoa Holman examines a life lived over 70 years through rapid social changes and personal upheavals, from the 1950s to the 2000s, as he stumbles towards becoming the writer he believed he could be. Growing up on the West Coast in the shadow of his father’s war and later imprisonment, he drops out of university and learns too much about drugs & alcohol while working as a shearer, bin-man and fisherman. Later in life he learns te reo and publishes groundbreaking history and memoir. This is a vital chronicle of our times; a frank and compelling insight into the writer’s mind – and soul.” (Catalogue)

The edge of things / Powell, Anne
“Anne Powell’s poems reach from the soul-baring Waikanae River all the way across the earth to cascades of stars over cold desert sand. At times focusing on the wealth of wisdom nature imparts upon patient observation, at others on the daily realities of those people who live beyond our familiar trajectories, Anne Powell stays grounded in her ability to see the sacred in a world of both stillness and disturbance.” (Catalogue)

One hundred poems and a year / Orr, Bob
“Rucksack Consider this book of mine as if it were a rucksack containing what you might need if you were to step outside your door. There are poems heavily knitted as fishermen’s jerseys in case you should find yourself all at sea. others are like handkerchiefs you can put in your pocket – some of these poems are commonplace as soap – you can stand under the shower with them. Some are casual as jandals – one or two have soles tough as tramping boots. I wrote them while walking down a road with bare feet.” (Catalogue)

A traveller’s history of New Zealand and the South Pacific islands / Chambers, John H.
A traveller’s history of New Zealand and the South Pacific islands gives the curious tourist not only a modern day portrait of New Zealand and the far flung islands, their political systems and economic diversity, but also looks at the early settling of this massive area which covers about a fifth of the entire surface of the earth. The story of the peopling of the South Pacific Islands and NZ is one of the world’s great epics which the author conveys.” (Abridged Catalogue)

Wanaka : lake, mountain, adventure / Peat, Neville
“Neville Peat describes the scenic splendour of Wanaka and the myriad activities and attractions for visitors in this updated edition of a book that serves as both a guide to one of New Zealand’s tourism hotspots, and as a souvenir.The book covers the history of the Wanaka area and its progress into a contemporary centre renowned for an exciting range of outdoor activities and regular events, including the internationally recognized Warbirds Over Wanaka air show. Further material offers a guide to local walking and cycling tracks, local flora and fauna, and Mt Aspiring National Park.” (Catalogue)

Thorny encounters : a history of England v the All Blacks / Elliott, Matt
“In 1905, Vic Cartwright’s England rugby team lined up against Dave Gallaher’s touring All Blacks at Crystal Palace–the first ever meeting of two national teams. Ensuing matches, in both the amateur and professional eras, have been dramatic and controversial, steeped in the historical rivalry of the traditional home of the game for the nation that has claimed rugby as its own. Thorny Encounters chronicles the first 40 rugby internationals between England and New Zealand, spanning 1905 to 2014. Historic encounters between men in white and black have been dramatic, controversial, and steeped in historical rivalry.” (Abridged Catalogue)

Nostalgia is popular this month in the NZ Collection

We hope that it will soon be the start of the golden weather for Wellington as here amongst the new books is Bruce Masons The End of the Golden Weather, the play which was first performed in 1959 and references a very different New Zealand from today. Also a nostalgic look at cars from the 1950’s to the 1970’s in We Had One of Those Too! There are biographies from Lizzie Marvelly and the iconic dance legend Jon Trimmer. Other topics include Eco homes, Anzacs, the Pacific, All Blacks and other sporting pursuits. As always a great variety on the new book shelves of the New Zealand Collection.

The end of the golden weather; a voyage into a New Zealand childhood. / Mason, Bruce
“First performed in 1959, The End of the Golden Weather has become a part of New Zealand history, a touchstone of New Zealand experience” (Back cover)

Syndetics book coverWe had one of those too! / Stephen Barnett.
We Had One of Those Too! celebrates even more motoring memories from New Zealand’s golden age of motoring. Filled with a beautifully illustrated collection of cars, from the 1950s through to the 1970s, that Kiwis loved and drove during that period, this book is literally a nostalgic drive down memory lane. We Had One of Those Too! showcases the cars that have become icons of New Zealand popular culture, and that we, or our parents and grandparents owned. ” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverEco home : smart ideas for sustainable New Zealand homes / Melinda Williams.
“Everything you need to know to build, renovate or just live in an eco-friendly and sustainable way. With loads of inspirational photographs of New Zealand homes, this book is packed full of practical and accessible information. It presents the modern home by moving from room to room, to look at structural materials, furnishings and general life hacks to improve your personal green-star rating. As well as the living spaces (kitchen, bathroom, bedrooms, office, living area, utility rooms and outdoor areas) it also looks at the wider issues – why make an eco home at all?” (Syndetics summary)

Saviours of Zion : the Anzac story from Sinai to Palestine 1916-1918 / Archer, Christopher J.
“The book tells the story of the New Zealand Mounted Rifles Brigade (NZMR Brigade) which fought as part of the Egyptian Expeditionary Force (EEF) in the Sinai and Syria/Palestine from 1916 through to 1918. They operated in the Sinai alongside four Australian Light Horse Brigades (ALH Brigades) as part of Lieutenant General Sir Philip Chetwode’s ‘Desert Column’ but after June, 1917 they were reconstituted as The ‘Australian and New Zealand Division’ under Lieutenant General, Sir Harry Chauvel who commanded the ‘Desert Mounted Corps'”–Publisher information.” (Catalogue)

That F word : growing up feminist in Aotearoa / Marvelly, Elizabeth
“A wake-up call and a battle-cry for all Kiwi women. Lizzie Marvelly tells the story of New Zealand’s feminist roots, then traverses the modern landscape, tearing apart areas of gender imbalance and pervading attitudes to Kiwi women. In particular, Lizzie examines how men have been brought up with certain values — the rugby, racing and beer mentality we know all too well. Lizzie grew up an ardent Chiefs and All Blacks fan, but a wiser head now recognises that there are still endemic issues for society to address. Lizzie speaks about her own first-hand experiences with sexism and male misconduct, while also offering advice to young girls on how to take full control of their lives.” (Catalogue)

Why dance? / Trimmer, Jon
“An autobiography of Sir Jon Trimmer. The book is in two parts. The first is a narrative of Sir Jon’s career. In the second part he discusses aspects of dance and his career and has tips for aspiring dancers –Publisher information.” (Catalogue)

New Zealand’s great walks : the complete guide / Hersey, Paul
New Zealand’s Great Walks are truly world class. In a country blessed with hundreds of spectacular tracks to choose from, these are considered the best of the best. They pass through some of our most breathtaking landscapes – including golden sand beaches, ancient rainforests and high mountains.” (Catalogue)

The Pacific : in the wake of Captain Cook with Sam Neill / Wilson-Anastasios, Meaghan
“A rich, complex and engaging account of Cook’s voyages across the Pacific, from actor and raconteur Sam Neill, in which Sam Neill retraces Cook’s footsteps, in the 250th anniversary year of Cook’s first voyage. Captain James Cook first set sail to the Pacific in 1768 – 250 years ago. These vast waters, one third of the earth’s surface, were uncharted – but not unknown. A rich diversity of people and cultures navigated, traded, lived and fought here for thousands of years.” (Catalogue)

Sport and the New Zealanders : a history / Ryan, Greg
“For many in New Zealand, prowess at sport replaces the social graces; in the pubs, during the furious session between 5pm and closing time an hour later, the friend of a relative of a horse trainer is a veritable patriarch. Sport has played a central part in the social and cultural history of Aotearoa New Zealand throughout its history. This book tells the story of sport in New Zealand for the first time, from the Māori world to today’s professional athletes. Through rugby and netball, bodybuilding and surf lifesaving, the book introduces readers to the history of the codes, the organisations and the players.” (Catalogue)

The jersey : the secrets behind the world’s most successful team / Bills, Peter
“New Zealand rugby is a dynasty that transcends all national barriers. As a culture and a model of humility and consistent success, which have led them to three Rugby World Cups, the world of rugby continues to look to the New Zealand model for guidance. Traditionally, the renowned All Blacks and those charged with guiding them have kept their rules of engagement close to their chests. The Jersey tells an extraordinary story with unprecedented access and insight, and explores the basic requirements and immense challenges required not only to become number one in the world, but remain consistently at the top.” (Catalogue)

Rugby rebel : the All Black accused of being a traitor / Tobin, Christopher
Rugby Rebel investigates a sensational accusation made against brilliant All Black winger Duncan McGregor that he sold team secrets which cost the Original All Blacks their unbeaten record on the famous 1905 tour of Britain, France and the United States. What made it worse was that McGregor’s Accusers were some of his fellow All Blacks. But has his name been unfairly besmirched? This book tells McGregor’s extraordinary and previously untold story. Rugby Rebel shatters myths, offers new insights and provides enough information for the reader to decide whether McGregor was hero, or as his deractors claimed, villain.” (Catalogue)

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)

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)