Announced: the longlist for the Jann Medlicott Acorn Prize for Fiction

The longlist for the Jann Medlicott Acorn Prize for Fiction (the fiction element of The Ockham New Zealand Book Awards)  has just been announced.  And as always it reflects the rich, diverse, and vibrant literary scene in New Zealand. In this blog we are going to take a very quick look at the ten fiction contenders, but we strongly recommend a close look at the equally excellent Non-Fiction categories.

In the longlist this year we have…

Gigi Fenster’s A Good Winter; a gripping dark and, in some respects, demanding thriller set in an apartment block among a group of women. The novel was initially abandoned by the author who said “The lead character took over the work in not-so-good ways.’ Gigi eventually submitted it to and won the Michael Gifkins prize. Aljce in Therapy Land by Alice Tawhai is the debut novel from the acclaimed short story writer. Online relationships, stoned characters and logic, workplace bullying, quantum physics all overlayed with aspects of Alice in Wonderland in this smart, funny, and complex work.  Entanglement by Bryan Walpert is a multi-layered, multi-faceted work that weaves big ideas about the nature of existence and time into the integral fabric of the plot, whilst also being very personal about the characters’ inner lives. In Stephanie Johnson’s Everything Changes the central characters buy a rundown motel as a way of restarting their lives in this moving and funny work. A brother and sister from a Māori-Russian-Catalonian family negotiate the stormy waters of modern romance, largely from the Auckland apartment they share, in Greta & Valdin by Rebecca K Reilly, described by one reviewer as “part Shakespeare, part Wes Anderson”.

In Whiti Hereaka’s Kurangaituku a part bird, part woman central character “the Kurangaituku” retells her life from her inception till her death and beyond. This mythological tale is about love, in both its destructive and creative aspects. Sue Orr’s Loop Tracks is set in two time periods; the late 1970’s in Auckland and 2019 in Wellington, and centres around young sixteen-year-old Charlie’s choices and decisions in 1978, and how they flow into her 2019 future.  She’s a Killer by Kirsten McDougall is set in the very near future in New Zealand where the effects of climate change are really beginning to bite and affect both our physical world but also our society in this sharp and darkly funny work. Confidence tricksters, compulsive liars and jumbled up childhood memories all feature in Emma Neale’s excellent first collection of short stories Pink Jumpsuit: short fictions, tall truths. And to round up the list is Clare Moleta’s Unsheltered; a powerful tale of a woman’s search for her daughter set against a background of destructive weather and social disintegration.

As always there are several novels that might have made the cut but didn’t,  the most notable being  Jacqueline Bublitz’s wonderful Before You Knew My Name.

We have also had the recent pleasure of having Kirsten McDougall in conversation with Rajorshi Chakraborti and interviewing Bryan Walpert  about their nominated books; you can watch these interviews at the end of this blog.

A good winter. / Fenster, Gigi
“I looked after Lara. We both looked after Sophie and her baby. We had to. It’s not like Sophie was going to look after that baby herself. All she was interested in was weeping and wailing for her dead husband. She was so busy weeping and wailing for her dead husband that she rejected his baby who was right in front of her. When Olga’s friend Lara becomes a grandmother, Olga helps out whenever she can. After all, it’s a big imposition on Lara, looking after her bereaved daughter and the baby. And the new mother is not exactly considerate. But smoldering beneath Olga’s sensible support and loving generosity is a deep jealous need to be the centre of Lara’s attention and affection—a need that soon becomes a consuming, dangerous and ultimately tragic obsession.” (Adapted from Catalogue) Also available as an eBook. 

Aljce in therapy land / Tawhai, Alice
“On her first day the sky had a salmon tint to it; after the rain, and before the cloud entirely cleared, as if it had been put into a washing machine with roses. Someone was probably really annoyed at the way they had run. Aljce parked in the asphalt car park outside the Therapy Hub. She was looking forward to her new job. It would be an exciting adventure with new challenges.” (Adapted from Catalogue)

Entanglement / Walpert, Bryan
“A memory-impaired time traveller attempts to correct a tragic mistake he made in 1977 when, panicked, he abandoned his brother on a frozen lake in Baltimore. Decades later, in 2011, a novelist researching at the Centre for Time in Sydney becomes romantically involved with a philosopher from New Zealand. Another eight years on, and a writer at a lake retreat in New Zealand in 2019 obsesses over the disintegration of his marriage following another tragedy. Are these separate stories, or are they one? Is the time traveller actually travelling? Can the past be changed? As the answers to these questions slowly emerge, the three tales become entangled, along with the usual abstractions: love, desperation and physics.” (Catalogue)

Everything changes / Johnson, Stephanie
Buying a rundown motel to start a new life — what could possibly go wrong? In this funny and moving novel, prize-winning author Stephanie Johnson turns her wry eye on us. ‘What a fabulous read. Stephanie Johnson’s characters choose an old motel with little to offer except an amazing view in order to start a ‘new life’. Their first guests are a classic cast of the sorrowful and dysfunctional that every-day life throws at us these days.  This is her best book ever, and I loved every page of it.’ – Fiona Kidman” (Adapted from Catalogue) Also available as an eBook.

Greta & Valdin / Reilly, Rebecca K
“Valdin is still in love with his ex-boyfriend Xabi, who used to drive around Auckland in a ute but now drives around Buenos Aires in one. Greta is in love with her fellow English tutor Holly, who doesn’t know how to pronounce Greta’s surname, Vladislavljevic, properly. From their Auckland apartment, brother and sister must navigate the intricate paths of modern romance as well as weather the small storms of their eccentric Māori-Russian-Catalonian family” (Adapted from Catalogue) Also available as an eBook. 

Kurangaituku / Hereaka, Whiti
“In the void of time, Kurangaituku, the bird-woman, tells the story of her extraordinary Life – the birds who first sang her into being, the arrival of the Song Makers and the change they brought to her world, her life with the young man Hatupatu, and her death. But death does not end a creature of imagination like Kurangaituku. In the underworlds of Rarohenga, she continues to live in the many stories she collects as she pursues what eluded her in life. This is a story of love – but is this love something that creates or destroys?” (Adapted from Catalogue) Also available as an eBook.

Loop tracks / Orr, Sue
“It’s 1978: the Auckland abortion clinic has been forced to close and sixteen-year-old Charlie has to fly to Sydney, but the plane is delayed on the tarmac. It’s 2019: Charlie’s tightly contained Wellington life with her grandson Tommy is interrupted by the unexpected intrusions of Tommy’s first girlfriend, Jenna, and the father he has never known, Jim. The year turns, and everything changes again… written in real time against the progress of the Covid-19 pandemic and the New Zealand General Election and euthanasia referendum” (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. Alice’s imaginary friend, Simp, has shown up, with a running commentary on her failings. ‘I mean, can you even calculate the square root of 762 anymore?’ The last time Simp was here was when Alice was seven, on the night a fire burned down the family home. Now Simp seems to be plotting something. ” (Adapted from Catalogue)

Pink jumpsuit : short fictions, tall truths / Neale, Emma
“In Emma Neale’s first collection of short fiction, the tales range from the surreal to the real; from the true to the tall. This collection includes some of her internationally recognised flash fiction and more extended examinations of the eerie gaps and odd swerves in intimate relationships. There are confidence tricksters, compulsive liars, emotional turn-coats, the pulse of jumbled childhood memory still felt in adult life, the weird metamorphosis of fantasy hardening into reality…” (Adapted from Catalogue)

Unsheltered / Moleta, Clare
“Against a background of social breakdown and destructive weather, Unsheltered tells the story of a woman’s search for her daughter. Li never wanted to bring a child into a world like this but now that eight-year-old Matti is missing, she will stop at nothing to find her. As she crosses the great barren country alone and on foot, living on what she can find and fuelled by visions of her daughter just out of sight ahead, Li will have every instinct tested. She knows the odds against her: an uncompromising landscape, an uncaring system, time running out, and the risks of any encounters on the road. ” (Adapted from Catalogue) Also available as an eBook.

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)

 

The Aotearoa Reference collection is now available

NZ collection sign

Our NZ reference collection can now be requested. These items can be identified in the catalogue as held at the Offsite NZ Collection. We regret the time taken to make this large collection available. Our preparations were interrupted more than once by factors outside our control. We are still working through the process to stock-check all the books that were brought out of the Central Library. As soon as books are checked they will be made available on our online catalogue. If you have a particular request which you can’t find in the catalogue, please let us know, and we will make this a priority.

Please use this email address heritagequeries@wcc.govt.nz to make your request and one of our team will retrieve it for you. Don’t forget to let us know your library card number and which branch you would like to view the book at. You will receive two emails, one confirming the request, and the second when the book has arrived at the branch. This is a free request service.

Most books will be available for you to consult for three weeks at the library branch. If you don’t need the books for three weeks, just let the staff in the branch library know and they will return the book for you.

If you need to renew the item for a further 3 weeks, make a request through the same email heritagequeries@wcc.govt.nz and the library team will check if there is another customer waiting.

Darkness, mātauranga and manu: recent New Zealand non-fiction

As the moths rise up when the sun goes down, nectar rises in the flowers of the plants that will be pollinated by them. Tainui, tarata and raupeka/Easter orchid respond to the onset of darkness by flooding their flowers with sweet strong perfumes…

Annette Lees, After Dark (p.14)

The days are getting longer, the kihikihi-wawā (chorus cicadas) are starting to emerge, and the nights are clear and filled with whetū (stars) ― i tēnei marama we’ve collected a bunch of pukapuka hou (new books) to take you into raumati (summer)!

Watercolour botanical study of tarata in blossom, with sprays of tiny white flowers.
The heavily perfumed tarata (lemonwood); watercolour by Sarah Featon c.1885, collection of Te Papa

First up is Annette Lees’ love letter to the night, After Dark: walking into the nights of Aotearoa. Mixing social history, science and memoir, this pukapuka is structured according to different hours of the night, starting at dusk and finishing just as the sky begins to lighten, at the break of day.

While Lees chronicles a relationship with the night, historian Lucy Mackintosh explores a connection to place in Shifting grounds: deep histories of Tāmaki Makaurau Auckland, in particular Pukekawa/Auckland Domain, Maungakiekie/One Tree Hill and the Ōtuataua Stonefields at Ihumātao.

Another recent pukapuka is the very timely He pou hiringa: grounding science and technology in Te Ao Māori, edited by Maria Amoamo, Merata Kawharu, and Katharina Rukstuhl. There are lots of ways to engage with and produce scientific knowledge, and the researchers and scientists who’ve contributed to Te pou hiringa are firmly anchored in mātauranga and Te Ao Māori. Ka mau te wehi! Oh, and it’s also the perfect size for taking on a trip to the awa or moana. 

If you’re looking for some lavishly illustrated pukapuka you likely can’t go wrong with Cover Story by Steve Braunias or Ray Ching’s New Zealand bird paintings. The former is a wild ride through Aotearoa’s history of amazing album covers (it’s even LP sized!!) while the latter will refresh your karu (eyes) with Ching’s lovingly painted manu. Sadly, we’re assuming the pekapeka-tou-roa won’t be included.

We’re also excited for the landmark publication Hei taonga ma nga uri whakatipu: treasures for the rising generation, about the expeditions initiated by Sir Apirana Ngata to record tikanga and taonga from around Te Ika-a-Māui. For more treasures from across the motu, Te Kupenga was published to mark the centenary of the Alexander Turnbull Library and looks at the history of Aotearoa through 100 objects. Last but certainly not least, Vincent O’Malley’s Voices from the New Zealand Wars brings this conflict to life through the words of those witnessed it.

Kia pai tāu pānui happy reading!

Image from Mighty ApeAfter dark : walking into the nights of Aotearoa / Lees, Annette
“Every 24 hours, the Earth rolls into its own vast shadow and darkness floods across the land and sea. In a 1600-kilometre-long gliding plumb-line down the length of New Zealand, our beaches, towns, cities, farms, forests, lakes and mountains sink into shadow. Annette Lees takes us walking into the night of Aotearoa that follows. In the company of bats, owls, moths, singing crickets and seabirds, After Dark guides us from dusk to dawn through a rich and fascinating trove of night stories.” (Adapted from publisher’s description)

Shifting grounds : deep histories of Tāmaki Makaurau Auckland / Mackintosh, Lucy
“Both natural and human histories have been woven together over hundreds of years in places across Tāmaki Makaurau Auckland, forming potent sites of national significance. Approaching landscapes as an archive, Mackintosh delves deeply into specific places, allowing us to understand histories that have not been written into books or inscribed upon memorials.” (Adapted from catalogue)

Image from Bridget Williams BooksHe pou hiringa : grounding science and technology in Te Ao Māori / ed. Maria Amoamo et al.
Māori have a long history of innovation based on mātauranga and tikanga, the knowledge and values passed down from ancestors. Yet Western science has routinely failed to acknowledge the contribution of Indigenous peoples and their vital worldviews. This book raises two important questions: what contribution can mātauranga make to addressing grand challenges facing New Zealand and the world? And in turn, how can Western science and technology contribute to the wellbeing of Māori people and lands?” (Adapted from catalogue)

Image from Mighty ApeCover story : 100 beautiful, strange and frankly incredible New Zealand LP covers. Volume 1 / Braunias, Steve
“From 1957-87 the LP was king of New Zealand music and this book showcases 100 of the best examples of cover art at full LP size. Braunias brings his inimitable wit and empathy to bear on the artistic flair, fashion and occasional gaudiness these album covers represent. Based on interviews and his own experience collecting over 800 albums from op-shops, he reflects on what they say about our popular culture.” (Adapted from catalogue)

Image from FishpondRay Ching : New Zealand bird paintings / Harris-Ching, Raymond
“Ray Ching is internationally recognised as one of the world’s greatest living wildlife artists. Born in New Zealand, he has spent the majority of his career in England. But he has never lost his interest in his roots or the New Zealand birds that inspired him. Over the last 60 years, he has built up a remarkable collection of paintings of our wildlife.” (Adapted from publisher’s description)

Hei taonga ma nga uri whakatipu : treasures for the rising generation : The Dominion Museum ethnological expeditions, 1919-1923 / Wayne Ngata et al.
“From 1919 to 1923, at Sir Apirana Ngata’s initiative, a team from the Dominion Museum travelled to tribal areas across Te Ika-a-Māui The North Island to record tikanga Māori that Ngata feared might be disappearing. These ethnographic expeditions were the first in the world to be inspired and guided by indigenous leaders, recording fishing techniques, art forms, ancestral rituals and everyday life.” (Adapted from catalogue)

Te kupenga : 101 stories of Aotearoa from the Turnbull
“Published to mark 100 years since the establishment of the famous Alexander Turnbull Library, this energetic, comprehensive book approaches the history of Aotearoa New Zealand through 101 remarkable objects. Each tells a story, be it of discovery, courage, dispossession, conflict, invention, creation, or conservation. The objects range from letters and paintings to journals, photographs, posters, banners and books.” (Adapted from publisher’s description)

Voices from the New Zealand wars = he reo nō ngā pakanga o Aotearoa / O’Malley, Vincent
This book takes us to the heart of the New Zealand wars with a series of first-hand accounts from Māori and Pākehā who either fought in or witnessed the wars that ravaged New Zealand between 1845 and 1872. From Heni Te Kiri Karamu’s narrative of her remarkable exploits as a wahine toa, through to accounts from the field by British soldiers and powerful reports by observers on both sides, we learn about the wars at a human level.” (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)

Phantom National Poetry Day: Librarians’ Picks

Today is Phantom National Poetry Day – a one-day national poetry extravaganza to celebrate the poetry of Aotearoa. We’re always in the mood for poetry and we love the opportunity to revisit old favourites and discover new gems. Here, our librarians have shared some of their picks:

Celeste’s Pick:
Big weather : poems of Wellington
“Since the nineteenth century, Wellington has been the site and object of much literary activity and never more so than now. Where many of New Zealand’s leading poets once wandered, frequenting bars, delivering mail up the steepest of streets, raising their children in the suburbs, today’s XY generation are now vividly, energetically present, and recent poetry has kept track of the changing inner and outer life of the city. BIG WEATHER: Poems of Wellington captures the vivacity and diversity of the capital.” (adapted from catalogue)

Fiona’s Pick:
Other animals / Lloyd, Therese
“Focused on the theme of a well-lived life, Other Animals is the powerful and provocative first book from one of New Zealand’s most exciting new poets. With a uniquely lyrical voice, these works find their ways towards ideas of beauty, wisdom, and, ultimately, to a sense of joy in the world that only poetry can bring.” (Catalogue)

 

Susannah’s Pick:
Cat world : poems on cats / Jeune, Margaret
“Cat World by Margaret Jeune is a collection of poems about cats drawn from the author’s personal experiences as a cat owner and carer over many years.” (Catalogue)

This is Susannah’s cat Kedi, who is not included in the collection but who seconds Susannah’s purrrrfect choice.


Paige’s Pick:

Head girl / Sadgrove, Freya Daly
“‘The first time I read Freya’s work I thought . . . uh oh. And then I thought, you have got to be kidding me. And then I thought, God dammit. And then I walked around the house shaking my head thinking . . . OK – alright. And then – finally – I thought, well well well – like a smug policeman. Listen – she’s just the best. I’m going to say this so seriously. She is, unfortunately, the absolute best. Trying to write a clever blurb for her feels like an insult to how right and true and deadly this collection is. God, she’s just so good. She kills me always, every time, and forever.’ -Hera Lindsay Bird” (adapted from catalogue)

Alex’s Pick:
Under glass / Kan, Gregory
“A dialogue between a series of prose poems, following a protagonist through a mysterious and threatening landscape, and a series of verse poems, driven by the speaker’s compulsive hunger to make sense of things”–Publisher information.” (Catalogue)
Also available on Libby as an eBook.

 

Gábor’s Pick:
Postscripts / Sturm, J. C
J. C. Sturm was the writing name of Jacquie Baxter who for many years was the New Zealand Room librarian at the old Wellington Central Library. Postscripts is Sturm’s second book of poetry after Dedications (1996), though her work had appeared in numerous anthologies and journals as far back as 1947. Her poems cover a wide range of human experience, are often compelling, largely autobiographical and sometimes have a profoundly emotional impact as she reviews a life of loss and love, youth and age as seen from both Māori and Pakeha perspectives.

Neil’s Pick:
Reading the signs / Freegard, Janis
“The poems in Janis Freegard’s new collection take their starting point from the poet’s daily ritual of reading the tea leaves while writing in the Ema Saiko room in the Wairarapa. Reading the Signs is a series of linked poems that are thoughtful and humorous, provocative and tender, and come together as a quiet epic about a planet that is fast running out of puff.” (adapted from catalogue)

 

Steph’s Pick: (an old favourite and a new favourite, because choosing only one is impossible)
Fast talking PI / Marsh, Selina Tusitala
“‘Tusitala’ means writer of tales in Samoan, and Marsh here lives up to her name with stories of her life, her family, community, ancestry, and history. Her poetry is sensuous and strong, using lush imagery, clear rhythms and repetitions to power it forward. Her work deals specifically with issues that affect Pacific communities in New Zealand and indigenous peoples elsewhere, most recently focusing on the challenges and triumphs of being afakasi.” (adapted from the catalogue) – Also available on Libby as an eBook.

The savage coloniser book / Avia, Tusiata
“The voices of Tusiata Avia are infinite. She ranges from vulnerable to forbidding to celebratory with forms including pantoums, prayers and invocations. And in this electrifying new work, she gathers all the power of her voice to speak directly into histories of violence. The Savage Coloniser Book is a personal and political reckoning. As it holds history accountable, it rises in power.” (adapted from catalogue)

 

Special Mention:
Our very own poetry publication, Tūhono, is full of poems written by children and young adults of Pōneke on the theme of tūhono – connection, and we could all do with more of that right now. Find this heart-warming collection on Libby, there are 500(!) available to lend.

Tūhono. a journal of poetry by children and teens / 2020 :
“Tūhono : connection. This is the theme that binds together all 197 poems you are about to read, which were contributed by young Wellington writers aged 5-18 and collected by Wellington City Libraries throughout the month of November 2020. The year 2020 was challenging for many people. Some had to spend time apart from their friends and the people they love. Some had to find ways to live with uncertainty and the sense that everything might not be okay in the world. But taken together, these poems represent a constellation of thoughts, ideas, worries, anxieties, hopes, loves, and dreams about how we find ways to connect, even in the face of adversity.” (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”)

Understanding Racial Politics In Aotearoa

As the world becomes increasingly galvinised by the Black Lives Matter and Anti-Racist movements we must remember that New Zealand is not immune to racism. Our history of colonisation and immigration has given us our own struggles that need to be understood and overcome. The books listed below offer a starting point for understanding racial politics in New Zealand from a Māori perspective.

Hīkoi: forty years of Māori protest / Harris, Aroha
Hīkoi provides an overview of the contemporary Māori protest movement, a summary of the rationale behind the actions, and photographs of protests, marches, and the mahi behind the scenes. Results of protest are also discussed including the Waitangi Tribunal; Māori becoming an official language; Māori-medium education; and Māori television.

Imagining decolonisation.
What is decolonisation and why do we need it in New Zealand? This book discusses why it is needed if we are going to build a country that is fair and equal for all who live here, as well as what it could look and feel like.

Ka whawhai tonu mātou: Struggle without end / Walker, Ranginui
A revised edition of this best-selling history of New Zealand from a Māori perspective. Dr Walker discusses the fact that Māori have been involved in an endless struggle for justice, equality and self-determination for the last two centuries. A challenging must-read for all New Zealanders.

Decolonizing methodologies: research and indigenous peoples / Smith, Linda Tuhiwai
This is a revised and updated edition of a landmark work. It explores how imperialism and research interact and how this has had an impact on ‘knowledge’ and ‘tradition’. Social justice and concepts such as ‘discovery’ and ‘claiming’ are discussed and it is argued that it is necessary to decolonise research methods in order to reclaim control over indigenous ways of knowing and being.

Journey towards justice / Workman, Kim
Kim Workman is a central figure in the ongoing discussion of justice and prison policy in New Zealand. This is a powerful first-hand account of struggle, spirituality and questions of cultural identity as well as the state and social forces that have helped shape contemporary New Zealand.

Colonising myths–Māori realities: he rukuruku whakaaro / Mikaere, Annabel
A collection of a series of papers that reflects on the effect of Pākehā law, legal processes, and teaching on Māori legal thought and practice.

Online resources

Bridget William Book Treaty of Waitangi Collection
This amazing collection of ebooks is available on our Wellington City Libraries Online Resources page. You will need your library card and pin number to access these full-text scholarly works.

Bridget Williams Books The NZ History Collection
Provides online access to over thirty years of award-winning history and biography publishing from Bridget Williams Books – includes over 90 New Zealand history titles. You will need your library card and pin number to access these full-text scholarly works.

Te Ara — The Encyclopaedia of New Zealand
Te Ara has great information about the history of Anti-racism and Treaty of Waitangi activism, Māori protest movements and the Human Rights Commission.

The Waitangi Collection: NZ On Screen
Includes films about Treaty and activist groups such as Ngā Tamatoa (see below).



Te Tiriti Based Futures And Anti-racism 2020
An online conference, 21-30 March, 2020. Includes Jen Margaret and  Julia Whaipooti.

You can also learn about how other ethnic groups have experienced racism in Aotearoa through the resources below:

Polynesian Panthers : Pacific protest and affirmative action in Aotearoa New Zealand 1971-1981
The Polynesian Panthers sought to raise consciousness and take action in response to the racism and discrimination Pacific peoples faced in New Zealand in the 1970s and 1980s. Interviews, memoirs, poetry, newspaper articles, and critical analysis help create a thought-provoking account of this period in New Zealand history.

Old Asian, new Asian / Ng, K. Emma
Did you know that a 2010 Human Rights Commission report found that Asian people reported higher levels of discrimination than any other minority in New Zealand?  This anecdotal account is based on Ng’s personal experience as a second-generation young Chinese-New Zealand woman and explores the persistence of racism against Asians in New Zealand.

Justice and race: campaigns against racism and abuse in Aotearoa New Zealand / Sutherland, O. R. W.
“This is the story of ACORD – the Auckland Committee on Racism And Discrimination. For 15 years ACORD exposed and campaigned against the institutional racism of police, justice and social welfare systems. It laid the groundwork for a national duty solicitor scheme and gained protections for children incarcerated by the state.” (From our catalogue)

#StayAtHome Film Festival: Louise’s Māori and Pasifika Picks

Our Kanopy and Beamafilm streaming platforms have a great selection of FREE content from Aotearoa and the Pacific. It’s always good to see our own cultures represented on the screen, so while we are still spending a lot of time at home grab the opportunity to watch some gems that have a Māori and Pasifika kaupapa!

This blog only highlights a small selection of films including emotional movies, documentaries, and a feel good gem about musicians and finding yourself. You will find more if you search ‘Māori’, ‘New Zealand’, or a specific Pasifika country within Kanopy or Beamafilm.

Go ahead and immerse yourself in the stories of Aotearoa and the Pacific!


The Orator

Year: 2011
Length: 106 minutes
Director: Tusi Tamasese

Watch the full film here on Beamafilm!

The Orator is a beautiful and emotional movie that was written and directed by Samoan film-maker Tusi Tamasese and shot entirely in Samoan on location in Samoa itself. Saili’s story is one of love and challenges as he learns he must stand tall, despite his small stature, to become a hero. Highly recommended.

Discover More:

You can also watch Tamasese’s other feature film, One Thousand Ropes, on Kanopy.


Kuo Hina E Hiapo: The Mulberry is White and Ready for Harvest

Year: 2001
Length: 28 minutes
Directors: Joseph Ostraff, Melinda Ostraff

Watch the full film here on Kanopy!

Tapa cloth is a true artistic treasure of the Pacific. In Tonga it is called ngatu and this short documentary illustrates  ngatu’s symbolic importance and collaborative production. Beautiful and fascinating!

Discover More:

Our Te Moana-Nui-A-Kiwi/Pasefika popular topic page provides links to all sorts of Pasefika books and online resources.


Mauri

Year: 1988
Length: 100 minutes
Director: Merata Mita


Watch the full film here on Kanopy!

Merata Mita was the first Māori woman to write and direct a dramatic movie when she brought out Mauri in 1988. Set on the East Coast, Mauri stars Anzac Wallace (Utu) and activist Eva Rickard. This is a landmark film from a landmark Māori film maker.

Discover More:

You can also watch Ngati on Kanopy, another ground-breaking  film from a Māori film maker, this time Barry Barclay.


Waru

Year: 2017
Length: 86 minutes
Directors: Ainsley Gardiner, Awanui Simich-Pene, Briar Grace Smith, Casey Kaa, Chelsea Winstanley, Katie Wolfe, Paula Whetu Jones, Renae Maihi

Watch the full film here on Kanopy!

Eight female Māori directors give us eight connected stories, each taking place at the same moment in time during the tangi of a small boy called Waru. This is a very moving and challenging film with all eight stories  subtly linked while following different female characters. All must come to terms with Waru’s death and try to find a way forward within their community.

Discover More:

A tangi is at the heart of Waru. If you want to learn about Māori protocols surrounding tangi, or other Māori topics, our Māori Information Resources page is an excellent place to start.


The Rain of the Children

Year: 2008
Length: 102 minutes
Director: Vincent Ward

Watch the full film here on Kanopy!

I love this film. Vincent Ward’s beautiful dramatic documentary explores the life of Tuhoe woman Puhi and her relationship to Rua Kenana and the community at Maungapohatu. Ward looks at the curse Puhi believed she lived under in an incredibly moving way, and the result is a jewel of a film.

Discover More:

You can also watch Vincent Ward’s first film about Puhi, In Spring One Plants Alone, on Kanopy.


The Deadlands

Year: 2013
Length: 107 minutes
Director: Toa Fraser

Watch the full film here on Beamafilm!

Woo hoo! Revenge and action abound in Toa Fraser’s movie starring James Rolleston and Lawrence Makoare. You gotta love the use of mau rākau – a traditional Māori martial art – and a script in te reo Māori!

Discover More:

If you want to start learning te reo Māori our recent Resources to Learn Māori blog can help with all sorts of tips to get you started.


The Pa Boys

Year: 2014
Length: 90 minutes
Director: Himiona Grace

Watch the full film here on Kanopy!

My whānau love this heartfelt film about a musician and his reggae band on a road trip of music and self discovery. Francis Kora is wonderful as Danny who is unsettled, and then opened up to his culture, when Tau (Matariki Whatarau) joins the band. Music, landscape, laughs and love – beautiful and simple.

Discover More:

The band in The Pa Boys sets out from Wellington where Danny lives. If you love the music scene in Wellington you can learn more about it on our dedicated Wellington Music page.

Central Library Event: Raising Awareness on Waste Products – Issues and Solutions

Join Hannah Blumhardt and Liam Prince, the No-Waste Nomads behind The Rubbish Trip for an introduction to the practicalities and philosophy of waste reduction. Drawing on their own research and over three years of experience living zero waste, Hannah and Liam will guide you through the whys and the hows of life without a rubbish bin, including:

– What is the zero waste movement? Why is waste reduction important?
– How zero waste principles can revolutionise your perspectives on living and lifestyle, beyond your rubbish bin.
– Innovative examples of waste minimisation policy, practice and thinking from around the globe, and how these might inform community-level waste reduction.
– Tips for how you can reduce the rubbish in your life (including fun DIY household products, cosmetics, and other life hacks).

This event is free – everyone welcome. Free zero waste nibbles will be provided from 5:30pm, the talk will start at 5:45pm. This talk is part of The Rubbish Trip’s travelling project, taking the zero waste message around Aotearoa New Zealand.

Wednesday, 13 February – 5:30 to 7:45 pm at the Wellington Central Library
Ground Floor – Young Adult Area

Environmental Awareness: Books to Help Heal the World

Waste Not book cover

In preparation for the Zero Waste event presented by The Rubbish Trip crew, February 13th at Central Library, here are some titles to get you in an eco-mood. We hope they inspire you to live a more sustainable 2019!

Waste not: make a big difference by throwing away less / Erin Rhoads
“We are surrounded by stuff that we often use once and then throw away. But what to do about such a huge problem? Erin went from eating plastic-packaged takeaway while shopping online for fast fashion, to becoming one of Australia’s most popular eco-bloggers. Here she shares everything she’s learnt from her own funny, inspiring–and far-from-perfect–journey to living with less waste. Including genuinely accessible and easy tips, this book is perfect for both the novice and the eco-aware.” (Adapted from catalogue)

No impact man : the adventures of a guilty liberal who attempts to save the planet, and the discoveries he makes about himself and our way of life in the process / Colin Beavan
“Bill McKibben meets Bill Bryson in this seriously engaging look at one man’s decision to put his money where his mouth is and go off the grid for one year–while still living in New York City–to see if it’s possible to make no net impact on the environment. In other words, no trash, no toxins in the water, no elevators, no subway, no products in packaging, no air-conditioning, no television. Colin Beavan hopes to explain to the rest of us how we can realistically live a more eco-effective’ and by turns more content life in an age of inconvenient truths.” (Adapted from catalogue)

Zero waste home : the ultimate guide to simplifying your life / Bea Johnson
“This is a guide to simplified, sustainable living from the author of the popular blog zerowastehome.blogspot.co.uk. Living sustainably should not mean forfeiting either comfort or style. In this book, Bea shows what green living looks like and offers a practical, step-by-step guide to diminishing our environmental footprints and improving our lives. It all comes down to the 5 Rs – refuse, reduce, reuse, recycle, and rot.” (Adapted from catalogue)

The Earth and I / James Lovelock 
“This illustrated anthology is a guide book for being human in the 21st century. Conceived by James Lovelock, inventor of the Gaia theory, the book encourages holistic understanding. Much as Gaia theory considers our earth as an integrated whole of living systems, The Earth and I brings together an all-star lineup of contributors from across the scientific spectrum to offer wide understanding who and where we are.” (Adapted from catalogue)

Garbology : our dirty love affair with trash / Edward Humes
“In Garbology, Edward Humes investigates trash; what’s in it; how much we pay for it; how we manage to create so much of it; and how some families, communities, and even nations are finding a way back from waste to discover a new kind of prosperity. Garbology reveals not just what we throw away but who we are and where our society is headed.” (Adapted from catalogue)

 

We look forward to seeing you at the event. There will be delicious zero-waste nibbles and a bit of time to meander before the talk begins.

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)

What’s new in the NZ Collection this month?

Odyssey of the Unknown ANZAC book cover

The wonderful thing about the New Zealand Collection new books shelf is the amazing variety of topics that you will find here.  As we fast approach the 100th anniversary of the end of World War One there are still lots of new titles about the ANZACS and World War One topics.  There are new additions to the poetry collection. Fascinating histories of the Great South Road, the Waikato river and Steam Punk Oamaru.  Beautiful books about New Zealand birds of prey and Banks’ illustrations of botanical treasures from Cook’s voyages.  This list ends with a thought provoking book about the history and the current situation in West Papua.

Odyssey of the unknown Anzac / Hastings, David
“Ten years after the end of World War I, the Sydney Sun reported that an unknown ANZAC still lay in a Sydney psychiatric hospital. David Hastings follows this one unknown ANZAC, George McQuay, from rural New Zealand through Gallipoli and the Western Front, through desertions and hospitals, and finally home to New Zealand.” (Publisher information)

Gallipoli to the Somme : recollections of a New Zealand infantryman / Aitken, A. C.
“Alexander Aitken was an ordinary soldier with an extraordinary mind. The student who enlisted in 1915 was a mathematical genius. Everything he saw, he could remember. Aitken began to write about his experiences in 1917 as a wounded out-patient in Dunedin Hospital. Every few years, when the war trauma caught up with him, he revisited the manuscript, which was eventually published as Gallipoli to the Somme in 1963. Aitken writes with a unique combination of restraint, subtlety, and an almost photographic vividness. For this edition, Alex Calder has written a new introduction, annotated the text, compiled a selection of images, and added a commemorative index identifying the soldiers with whom Aitken served.” (Publisher information)

All guts no glory : Nelson Tasman nurses and chaplains of World War One 
“Several members of the New Zealand Society of Genealogists Nelson Branch have researched the lives of many of those nurses and chaplains who had an association with the Nelson Tasman area. This book captures the brave and courageous nurses and chaplains who were often very close to the firing line. Several chaplains were killed and 10 New Zealand nurses went down with the ship when the Marquette was torpedoed. The nurses worked in frozen, leaking tents and draughty huts often wearing tin hats and having to rush to a trench for safety when the hospitals were being bombed.” (Catalogue)

Whisper of a crow’s wing / Cullinane, Majella
Whisper of a Crow’s Wing, is the work of a poet with a distinct and powerful voice. Cullinane conjures the ghosts that haunt places and objects; our inner and outer world, with rich, physical language. She writes with lyrical intensity about motherhood and family life, including the experience of miscarriage, and the process of moving through grief and loss to a place of acceptance and healing. This is a profound collection from a poet alive to the hidden world of memory and imagination, of the sublime in the everyday, tempered always by a shadow of the fragility of life and love.” (Catalogue)

Ghost South Road / Hamilton, Scott
“The Great South Road was built in 1862 to carry a British army into the Waikato Kingdom. When the British invaded the Waikato in 1863, soldiers shared the road with Maori refugees from Auckland. Today the eroding earthen walls of forts and pa and military cemeteries remember the road’s history. They sit beside the car dealerships and kava bars and pawn shops of South Auckland. Ghost South Road features obscure as well as famous figures from New Zealand history and illustrates the epic walk that the author and photographers made along the two hundred kilometre length of the Great South Road.” (Catalogue)

The Waikato : a history of New Zealand’s greatest river / Moon, Paul
“From snow to surf, the Waikato is New Zealand’s longest river. This fascinating account takes a historical journey along its 425 kilometre length, uncovering extraordinary reports of the people, places and events along its route. Historian Paul Moon traces the Waikato’s path until it exits into the Tasman Sea at Port Waikato. Along the way he uncovers settlements that have disappeared, sites scarred by wars, some of the world’s most convulsive geological events, great tragedies, and the remarkable stories that have taken place along the river.” (Abridged from Catalogue)

Penguins under the porch : a Yorkshireman’s ode to Oamaru / Harbourne, David
“David Harbourne first stumbled across Oamaru more or less by chance while on a short visit to New Zealand from his home in Yorkshire, England. He quit his job, travelled half way round the world and spent a long and very happy time poking around and talking to anyone who would talk back. He ate whitebait frittata, muttonbird and Kurtoskalacs, and became an honorary Oamaruvian just in time for the Victorian heritage celebrations. The result is this entirely quirky, often hilarious, anecdotal “ode” to a town David Harbourne believes is a jewel in New Zealand’s crown.” (Catalogue)

The hunters : the precarious lives of New Zealand’s birds of prey / Stewart, Debbie.
“The majestic New Zealand falcoln in flight looks like a sleek killing machine – but it is one of the most endangered and misunderstood birds in our nation today. This landmark book presents all of our amazing birds of prey, from the cute ruru (or morepork) we hear calling in the night, to the hawks that hover over roadkill on our highways. Stunning photographs show the lives of these birds in intimate close-ups, and the stories make a case for their continuing protection as a vital part of our fragile ecosystem.” (Catalogue)

Joseph Banks’ Florilegium : botanical treasures from Cook’s first voyage
“Joseph Banks accompanied Captain Cook on his first voyage round the world from 1768 to 1771. Banks, along with the Swedish naturalist Daniel Solander, collected exotic flora from Madeira, Brazil, Tierra del Fuego, the Society Islands, New Zealand, Australia and Java, bringing back over 1300 species that had never been seen or studied by Europeans. The Florilegium was never published in Banks’ lifetime, and it was not until 1990 that a complete set in colour was issued in a boxed edition under the direction of the British Museum. It is from these prints that the present selection is made.” (Catalogue)

See no evil : New Zealand’s betrayal of the people of West Papua / Leadbeater, Maire
See No Evil issues a challenge to New Zealanders. The book begins by relating the little-known history of West Papua, but its focus is on the impact of New Zealand’s foreign policy on the indigenous Melanesian inhabitants. The consequences of repressive Indonesian rule have been tragic for the West Papuan people, who are experiencing ‘slow genocide’. West Papua remains largely closed to foreign journalists, but its story is now beginning to be heard.” (Catalogue)

Whāia te mātauranga – Seek knowledge: New books

Te Kō Para Para book cover

Whāia te mātauranga hei oranga mō koutou; Seek after wisdom for the sake of your well-being. This wonderful whakataukī reflects the importance of learning, so if you are seeking to increase your knowledge of Te Ao Māori check out the fascinating Te Kōparapara: An Introduction to the Māori World which leads this eclectic list of new additions to our Māori collection  – your mind and well-being will benefit!

Syndetics book coverTe Kōparapara: An Introduction to the Māori World
“Like the clear morning song of te kōparapara, the bellbird, this book allows the Māori world to speak for itself through an accessible introduction to Māori culture, history, and society from an indigenous perspective. In 21 illustrated chapters, leading scholars introduce Māori culture, Māori history, and Māori society today (including 21st century issues like education, health, political economy, and identity).” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverWāhiao: the people of Whakarewarewa / Dr Marian Maré and Dr Aloma Parker.
“This book traces the history of the Wāhiao people, weaving oral and recorded history to illustrate their relationship with the thermal valley of Te Whakarewarewatanga-o-te-ope-taua-a-Wāhiao.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverHeke tangata: Māori in Markets and Cities / Brian Easton for Te Whānau o Waiparera.
“Heke Tangata can broadly be translated as ‘migration of the people’, and in this book economist Brian Easton tracks the major relocations Māori have made into the cities and market economy since 1945. The picture that emerges is stark: Māori remain a generation behind Pākehā in economic well-being. Commissioned by Te Whānau o Waipareira, this is a concise, clear overview for policy discussion and general understanding of Māori economic participation in contemporary Aotearoa/New Zealand.” (Adapted from the publisher’s website)

Māori healing remedies: Rongoā Māori / Murdoch Riley; photos by Phil Bendle.
“A useful book of time-tested Māori herbal therapies. By quoting the words of practitioners of herbal medicine, and by describing some of the practices and karakia associated, this book becomes a compendium of therapies for arthritis, insect bites, skin complaints, sprains, etc. With photographs that identify many indigenous plants used by Māori.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverTwo voyages: the first meeting of Māori and Europeans, and the journeys that led to it / by David Horry.
“This book follows two voyages; that of Abel Tasman in the Heemskerck and Zeehaen, and the Polynesians in the waka Kurahaupō. It describes the journeys to their dramatic point of coincidence in Golden Bay.” (Back cover)

Te reo o ngā toi: A Māori language dictionary of the arts.
This excellent Māori language dictionary of the arts will be an invaluable aid to teachers working in bilingual and Te Reo Māori immersion schools and settings, or those wanting to increase their vocabulary of the arts world. It includes a traditional Māori-English, English-Māori dictionary at its beginning and then moves into more detailed explanations, examples and photographs. From music to art to woodwork you can find all the language you need in this helpful and well designed book published by Te Tāhuhu o Te Mātauranga/the Ministry of Education and He Kupenga Hao I Te Reo.

Tirohanga whānui: Views from the past: an exhibition of paintings from the Fletcher Trust Collection / Peter Shaw.
Tirohanga Whānui is the companion piece to the 2017 exhibition of paintings from the Fletcher Trust Collection held at Te Kōngahu Museum of Waitangi in Northland. Notes on the paintings were written by the Trust’s art curator, Peter Shaw, and notable works include the early nineteenth century painting attributed to John Jackson of Ngā Puhi chiefs Hongi and Waikato, and a drawing from 1826 of Māori weapons, implements and utensils by French engraver Ambroise Tardieu. Beautiful reproductions provide a unique insight into the history of Te Tai Tokerau and Aotearoa.

Ka nui te ranea o ngā pukapuka hou. An abundance of new books.

Being Together in Place

Ngā mihi o te ngahuru. We have an abundant and varied collection of new books for you in this whakairinga rangitaki (blog post) and there is something for everyone – from social comment to health, from poetry to history. Highlights include Urban Māori: The Second Great Migration which is a timely exploration of the twentieth century Māori migration from rural communities to cities and its impact on Māori identity, and The Moon on my Tongue a wonderful anthology of Māori poetry in English.

Syndetics book coverPou o ue / Cyrus Gregory Tauahika Hingston.
Pou o Ue is the companion book to Cyrus Hingston’s earlier Pou o Whakaue: Marae of Whakaue.  This new volume “…is a history of six marae of Rotorua: the tupuna, the whenua, the whare, the hau kainga, and their memories of the marae, the relationships to the tupuna Uenukukopako (Ue) and Te Arawa whanui.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverUrban Māori : the second great migration / Bradford Haami for Te Whānau o Waipareira.
“The post-1945 migration to the cities by Māori transformed Aotearoa New Zealand forever. Exploring what being Māori means today, author Bradford Haami looks back to the experience of the first migrants, and traces the development of an urban Maori identity over the interceding years. Photos and personal korero intersperse a very readable text.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverThe moon on my tongue : an anthology of Māori poetry in English / edited by Reina Whaitiri, Robert Sullivan and Ben Styles.
“From both revered, established writers and exciting contemporary poets, the work in this anthology offers a broad picture of Māori poetry written in English. There are laments for koro (elders), hopes for mokopuna (grandchildren); celebrations of the land and anger at its abuse; retellings of myth and reclamations of history.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverTātai whetū : seven Māori women poets in translation / edited by Maraea Rakuraku and Vana Manasiadis.This is the fourth volume in the Seraph Press Translation Series and is a beautiful little book that celebrates Māori writing and the Māori language. The featured poets include Anahera Gildea,  Kiri Piahana-Wong, Maraea Rakuraku, and Alice Te Punga Somerville. This bilingual collection features a poem each by seven Māori women writers, originally written in English, and a translation in the Māori language.

Syndetics book coverMaea te toi ora : Māori health transformations / Te Kani Kingi, Mason Durie, Hinemoa Elder, Rees Tapsell, Mark Lawrence, Simon Bennett.
“The six contributing authors in the collection include Simon Bennett, Mason Durie, and Rees Tapsell and are all well known in the mental health field. Each discusses aspects of Maori and indigenous health and the importance of culture to diagnosis, patient history, understanding causes, treatment and assessment of outcomes.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverBeing together in place : indigenous coexistence in a more than human world / Soren C. Larsen and Jay T. Johnson ; foreword by Daniel R. Wildcat.
Being Together in Place highlights the challenging, tentative, and provisional work of coexistence between Native and Non-Native peoples in relation to contested spaces such as wetlands, treaty grounds, fishing spots, recreation areas, cemeteries, heritage trails, and traditional village sites.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverThe New Zealand Wars / Philippa Werry.
“Describing the origins of the wars, where and when they were fought, who was involved, and who they affected, this book also examines war memorials, the work of the Waitangi Tribunal, how the wars have featured in New Zealand arts and how they are remembered today. The story is accessible and 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.” (Adapted from the publisher description)

Syndetics book coverTe Ao Hou : the new world, 1820-1920 / Judith Binney with Vincent O’Malley and Alan Ward.
Te Ao Hou explores the history of Maori and Pakeha from about 1830. As the new world unfolded, Maori independence was hotly contested; Maori held as tightly as they could to their authority over the land, while the Crown sought to loosen it. War broke out and for Maori the consequences were devastating, and the recovery was long, framed by poverty, population decline and the economic depression of the late nineteenth century.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverTe Ao Hurihuri : the changing world, 1920-2014 / Aroha Harris with Melissa Matutina Williams.
Te Ao Hurihuri shows Maori engaged in building and rebuilding their communities through the twentieth and twenty-first centuries. Maori held fiercely to iwi-specific connectedness, community organisation and te reo me ona tikanga. New kinds of Maori institutions released the dynamism of tangata whenua, but the struggle continued against a background of social and economic hardship that burdens so many Maori lives.” (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)