Close to Home: Fiction Set In and Around Wellington

There’s nothing quite like the feeling of reading a novel and recognising the locations and events in the pages, because they’re set in your home town.  We’re lucky in Wellington, we have a plethora of novels set right here in the windy little capital.  Here are a selection to get you started.


The wives of Henry Oades : a novel / Moran, Johanna
“In 1890, Henry Oades decided to undertake the arduous sea voyage from England to New Zealand in order to further his family’s fortunes. Here they settled on the lush but wild coast – although it wasn’t long before disaster struck in the most unexpected of ways.” (Catalogue)

The nature of Ash / Hager, Mandy
“Ash McCarthy thought he finally had it made: away from home and all its claustrophobic responsibilities, he’s revelling in the freedom of student hostel life. But life is about to take a devastating turn, when two police officers knock on his door. Their life-changing news forces him to return home to his Down Syndrome brother Mikey, and impels him into a shady world of political intrigue, corruption, terrorism and lies . . . so many lies.” (Adapted from Catalogue)

Auē / Manawatu, Becky
“Taukiri was born into sorrow. Auē can be heard in the sound of the sea he loves and hates, and in the music he draws out of the guitar that was his father’s. It spills out of the gang violence that killed his father and sent his mother into hiding, and the shame he feels about abandoning his eight-year-old brother to another violent home. But Arama is braver than he looks, and he has a friend and his friend has a dog, and the three of them together might just be strong enough to turn back the tide of sorrow.” (Adapted from Catalogue)

She’s a killer / McDougall, Kirsten
“The world’s climate is in crisis and New Zealand is being divided and reshaped by privileged immigrant wealthugees. Thirty-something Alice has a near-genius IQ and lives at home with her mother with whom she communicates by Morse code. When Alice meets a wealthugee named Pablo, she thinks she’s found a way out of her dull existence. But then she meets Pablo’s teenage daughter, Erika – an actual genius full of terrifying ambition.” (Adapted from Catalogue)

Mysterious mysteries of the Aro Valley / McLauchlan, Danyl
“A returning hero. A desolate valley. A missing mathematician. A glamorous council bureaucrat with a hidden past. A cryptic map leading to an impossible labyrinth. An ancient conspiracy; an ancient evil. A housing development without proper planning permission. All leading to the most mysterious mystery of all. Mysterious Mysteries of the Aro Valley is a dark and forbidding comic farce.” (Catalogue)

The unlikely escape of Uriah Heep / Parry, H. G.
“For his entire life, Charley Sutherland has concealed a magical ability he can’t quite control: he can bring characters from books into the real world. But then, literary characters start causing trouble in their city, making threats about destroying the world… and for once, it isn’t Charley’s doing. There’s someone else who shares his powers. It’s up to Charley and a reluctant Rob to stop them, before these characters tear apart the fabric of reality.” (Adapted from Catalogue)

One night out stealing / Duff, Alan
“Boys’ homes, borstal, jail, stealing, then jail again – and again. That’s been life for Jube and Sonny. One Pakeha, the other Maori, only vaguely aware of life beyond pubs and their hopeless cronies . . . Reviewers found it compulsive and unforgettable, one saying: ‘Brutal, foul-mouthed, violent, despairing and real . . . it can’t be ignored’. In this novel Alan Duff confirms his skills as a gripping story-teller and a masterful creator of characters and situations.” (Adapted from Catalogue)

A mistake / Shuker, R. Carl
“Elizabeth Taylor is a surgeon at a city hospital, a gifted, driven and rare woman excelling in a male-dominated culture. One day, while operating on a young woman in a critical condition, something goes gravely wrong” (Catalogue)

Sodden downstream / Gnanalingam, Brannavan
“Thousands flee central Wellington as a far too common ‘once in a century’ storm descends. For their own safety, city workers are told that they must go home early. Sita is a Tamil Sri Lankan refugee living in the Hutt Valley. She’s just had a call from her boss – if she doesn’t get to her cleaning job in the city she’ll lose her contract.” (Catalogue)

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. Drawn in, Kara forgets for a moment who she’s there to protect.” (Catalogue)

Miramar morning / Edwards, Denis
“In 1947 a young woman is found murdered on the slopes of Wellington’s Mt Victoria. The events that follow create a frightening undertow of corruption, menace, lies and violence. In 1972 a woman in Sydney is blown to pieces by a letter bomb. A few days later her sister in Auckland receives a suspicious parcel at work. What is the link between the two crimes?” (Adapted from Catalogue)

Bridget Williams Books: The Treaty of Waitangi Collection

A selection of book covers from the Bridget Williams Books Treaty of Waitangi Collection

Image showing the BWB logo and a couple book covers from the Treaty of Waitangi Collection


Did you know that your library card gives you access to numerous collections from the award-winning New Zealand publisher Bridget Williams Books? Today we’d like to draw your attention to their outstanding home for online resources regarding the Treaty of Waitangi.

Bridget Williams Books’ Treaty of Waitangi Collection is broken up into different subtopics to assist your learning journey. You might like to start with one of their foundation texts, such as What Happened at Waitangi? by Claudia Orange. Following on from there, you could dive into BWB’s history resources to gain a deeper understanding of the historical context in which the Treaty of Waitangi was signed. One useful text for this might be Redemption Songs by Judith Binney. After that, BWB has also provided a commentary selection, which includes publications such as New Myths and Old Politics: The Waitangi Tribunal and the Challenge of Tradition by Sir Tipene O’Regan. 

To access this Bridget Williams Books collection, simply head over to our eLibrary resources and scroll down to find Bridget Williams Books. Follow that link to access the collection. You will need your library card number and your pin to login. Happy reading!

Bicycles, money and menopause: Recent New Zealand non-fiction

A selection of our New Zealand Non Fiction Picks

We disappeared together into a world that no longer exists, of forges and lugs and pinstriping. A time when the humble bicycle was not so humble, and everyone knew the name of the craftsman that built the machine they rode.”

Jonathan Kennett, The bikes we built

We hope you’ve enjoyed some time away and have remembered to return all your library pukapuka! I tēnei marama (this month) we have a real lolly scramble of pukapua hou (new books) for you, so there should be something for everyone.

Have you ever heard of the Wallaby full suspension bicycle, built by Frederick Gough in Ōtautahi/Christchurch in 1889? Or did you know that “by the turn of the century New Zealand had around 70 factories manufacturing bicycles […] with 25 in Christchurch alone”? (RNZ) Brush up on your cycling history with The Bikes We Built by Jonathan Kennett.

Image from Te Papa
Man on a Bicycle, 1949, by William Hall Raine. Collection of Te Papa (A.010052)

If movies are more your jam, pick up a copy of The Gosden Years instead a loving tribute to the late Bill Gosden, director of the New Zealand International Film Festival for nearly 40 years. Wellington film buffs will fondly remember his pre-movie speeches and incisive writing. 

We also can’t wait to get our hands on Lana Lopesi’s Bloody Woman. The writer and art critic’s latest pukapuka is beautifully described by poet Tusiata Avia: “Bloody Woman is bloody good writing. It moves between academic, journalistic and personal essay. I love that Lana moves back and forward across these genres: weaving, weaving – spinning the web, weaving the sparkling threads under our hands, back and forward across a number of spaces, pulling and holding the tensions, holding up the baskets of knowledge.

Our next couple of pukapuka look at systemic social and environmental issues. Too Much Money examines the massive wealth gap in Aotearoa; author Max Rashbrooke points out that data collection on wealth is often unreliable, compounded by the strategies used by the rich to keep their wealth secret – which means that inequalities are probably much worse than we think. And in Extinctions, Professor Michael Hannah looks at what characterises a mass extinction event, their consequences, and what it means for us now.

The pukapuka Te Puna Waiora, published by Christchurch Art Gallery, showcases the stunning raranga (weaving) of the senior weavers of the rōpū (group) Te Kāhui Whiritoi, while Nine Lives brings together the voices of some of Aotearoa’s most accomplished writers and gives them free reign to write about a New Zealander of their choosing. Finally, This Changes Everything provides expert advice on menopause and the less well-known perimenopause (which can begin as early as people’s mid to late 30s) with the aim of providing expert advice and dispelling long-standing myths.

Kia pai tāu pānui ― happy reading!

Image from Kennett BrothersThe bikes we built : a journey through New Zealand made bicycles / Kennett, Jonathan
“Take a ride through the history of 60 New Zealand-made bicycles, from 1869 to the present day. From the velocipede to the penny farthing, to the Chopper and the BMX, discover how Kiwis have reinvented the wheel over the last 150 years. This book brings us the stories of New Zealand-made bikes and the people behind them.” (Adapted from Catalogue)

Image from Te Herenga Waka University PressThe Gosden years : a New Zealand film festival legacy / Gosden, Bill
“Conceived by Gosden during the last months of his life, the book comprises his curated film notes, with praise for vital and overlooked New Zealand feature films included; programme introductions that illuminate the changing technologies and politics of film exhibition through the decades; and striking original poster art from every year of his tenure.” (Catalogue)

Image from Bridget Williams BooksBloody woman : essays / Lopesi, Lana
“This wayfinding set of essays, by acclaimed writer and critic Lana Lopesi, explores the overlap of being a woman and Sāmoan. Writing on ancestral ideas of womanhood appears alongside contemporary reflections on women’s experiences and the Pacific. These essays lead into the messy and the sticky, the whispered conversations and the unspoken. As Lopesi writes, ‘In putting words to my years of thinking, following the blood and revealing the evidence board in my mind, I am breaking a silence to try to understand something. It feels terrifying, but right.” (Adapted from Catalogue)

Image from Bridget Williams BooksToo much money : how wealth disparities are unbalancing Aotearoa New Zealand / Rashbrooke, Max
“Possessing wealth opens up opportunities to live in certain areas, get certain kinds of education, make certain kinds of social connections, exert certain kinds of power. And when access to these opportunities becomes alarmingly uneven, the implications are profound. Drawing on the latest research, personal interviews and previously unexplored data, this ground-breaking book provides a compelling account of the way that wealth, and its absence, is transforming our lives.” (Adapted from Catalogue)

Extinctions : living and dying in the margin of error / Hannah, Michael
“Are we now entering a mass extinction event? What can mass extinctions in Earth’s history tell us about the Anthropocene? What do mass extinction events look like and how does life on Earth recover from them? Humanity’s actions are applying the same sorts of pressures – on similar scales – that in the past pushed the Earth System out of equilibrium and triggered mass extinction events. Analysis of the fossil record suggests that we still have some time to avert this disaster: but we must act now.” (Catalogue)

Te Puna Waiora : The Weavers of Te Kahui Whiritoi / Campbell, Donna
“The story of Māori weaving is one of great skill, determination and survival. When colonisation threatened Māori society, the women continued to weave. When their taonga plant species were threatened, they advocated for their land and resources. Against overwhelming odds, they upheld the mana and traditions of raranga, passing down their skills and knowledge to ensure that this vital practice thrives in our contemporary world.” (Publisher’s description)

Nine lives : New Zealand writers on notable New Zealanders.
A selected group of New Zealand writers have each chosen a favourite New Zealander to write an essay on. These pieces are personal, illuminating and often moving. The writers include Lloyd Jones writing on Paul Melser (potter), Paula Morris on Matiu Rata (politician), Catherine Robertson on Dame Margaret Sparrow (doctor and health advocate), Selina Tusitala Marsh on Albert Wendt (writer), and Malcolm Mulholland on Ranginui Walker (academic). (Adapted from Catalogue)

Image from Mighty ApeThis changes everything : the honest guide to menopause and perimenopause / Bezzant, Niki
“In this engaging, easy-to-read book, expert health writer Niki Bezzant shares the latest specialist research and advice along with personal stories from real women to answer the most important questions women have about the hottest of topics. From bodies to mental health, alcohol to our stressful working lives, fertility to relationships, natural remedies to HRT, she dispels the myths and confusion around menopause – with a healthy side-serve of calling out sexism, snake-oil and bullsh*t along the way.” (Catalogue)

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)