Te Anamata o Te Tiriti me Tākuta Carwyn Jones: 29 o Paengawhāwhā i Te Whare Pukapuka o Te Awe

He aha? Te Tiriti: ki hea ināianei?
Āhea? Rāpare 29 o Paengawhāwhā, 12:30-1:20pm
Ki hea? Te Whare Pukapuka o Te Awe (29B Tiriti o Brandon)

I runga anō i ngā tohutohu a Māmari Stephens i roto i tana tuhinga “He rangi tā Matawhāiti, he rangi tā Matawhānui”, kāore e tawhiti atu te whakanuitanga 200 tau o waitohutanga o Te Tiriti o Waitangi. Engari ka pēhea ianei te āhua o Aotearoa hei ngā 20 tau e tū mai nei? Ā, ka whakawā pēhea nei ngā tumu kōrero i te tau 2040 i ngā whanaketanga o ngā tekau tau ruarua ka hipa?

Ko tētahi tangata e taea ana pea e ia te whakautu i ēnei pātai ko Tākuta Carwyn Jones (Ngāti Kahungunu). He Ahorangi Tāpiri a Tākuta Jones i Te Kauhanganui Tātai Ture i Te Whare Wānanga o Te Herenga Waka, ā, ko ia hoki te kaituhi o New Treaty, New Tradition – Reconciling New Zealand and Māori Law and co-editor of Indigenous Peoples and the State: International Perspectives on the Treaty of Watangi. Ko ia hoki te perēhitini-ngātahi o Te Hunga Rōia Māori o Aotearoa, me te ētita-ngātahi o te Māori Law Review me AlterNative – an International Journal of Indigenous Peoples.

E whai wāhi ana hoki a Tākuta Jones ki tētahi atu kaupapa whakahirahira. E rua marama ki muri ka hono atu ia ki te ohu Adaptive Governance me te Policy i te BioHeritage Challenge, Ngā Koiora Tuku Iho, hei kaihautū-ngātahi me Tākuta Maria Bargh. He tūranga whakahirahira tēnei: ki te whakatau me pēhea e taea ai e ngā panonitanga ki te kāwanatanga me te ture i Aotearoa te āwhina ki te whakaora i te taiao o te motu – i mua o te hokinga kore ki muri.

Ki te rapu i ētahi atu kōrero, pānuitia tā mātou uiui ki a Tākuta Carwyn Jones i raro!


E kōrero ana te pae tukutuku a te Adaptive Governance me te Policy (AGP) mō tētahi mataaho āheinga e whakaratoa ana e te whanaketanga o tētahi Rautaki Koiora ā-motu, tae atu hoki ki te WAI 262.  Ka taea e koe te whakamārama i te hiranga nui o WAI 262 me te Rautaki Koiora?

E whakarato ana te Rautaki Koiora i tētahi anga whakahaere matua mō te whanake i ngā mahere koiora ā-takiwā, ā-rohe hoki puta noa i ngā tau 30 e tū mai nei i Aotearoa.  E whakarato ana hoki i tētahi moemoeā whaitake me te whakarite i tētahi māramatanga whānui o te wāhi hei whāinga mā tātou hei iwi, ki te tiaki me te hiki i te koioratanga.

Ko te pūrongo WAI 262, Ko Aotearoa Tēnei, me te urutau a te kāwanatanga whānui e whanake mai ana, e whakatau haere ana hoki i ēnei momo take (me ētahi atu), me te arotahi atu ki te whakaurunga a te Māori me te tūranga o te mātauranga Māori.  Ka whakauru hāngai tonu te Rautaki Koiora me Wai 262 ki ngā pātai o te kāwanatanga taiao me te kaupapa here e pā ana ki te tuku ihotanga koiora o Aotearoa.

Me pēhea a Te Mana o te Taiao – te Rautaki Koiora o Aotearoa e whai whakaaro ai ki te pūrongo WAI 262 a Te Rōpū Whakamana i te Tiriti o Waitangi?

Ko tētahi o ngā āhuatanga matua o te pūrongo WAI 262 ko te miramira i ngā hapori Māori tae atu ki ngā iwi, hapū me ngā whānau, me tā rātou mahi ki te whakatakoto i ō rātou wawata mō te whakahaere i te hononga a te tangata ki te taiao, me te whai i ngā tikanga pūataata e haepapa ai ngā kāwanatanga ā-rohe, kāwanatanga matua hoki ki te whakauru atu ki aua wawata.  E āta mohimohi ana te pūrongo ki te kī ko tā te whāinga ā-Tiriti me rapu ki te whakamana i ngā hapori Māori i te tuatahi ki te whakatau take ka pāpā atu ki ō rātou taonga (tae atu ki ngā āhuatanga o te taiao), ā, i ngā wāhi e hiahiatia ana ētahi tauira whakahoa, me whakauru te Māori ki ngā whakataunga take, kaua ko te tū hei kaitohutohu anake i te kaiwhakatau.  Ko tētahi o ngā putanga whaikī o Te Mana o te Taiao, ko te whakatinanatanga e ngā hoa Tiriti, whānau, hapū me ngā iwi ngā tūranga matua hei kaitiaki.

Ko tētahi atu mahi o nāianei a te AGP ko te whanake-ngātahi i ngā tikanga ā-ture e “whai reo ai te taiao”.  He aha ētahi whai wāhitanga?

Ko ētahi o ngā momo tauira ka whai wāhi pea i konei ko ngā mea pēnei i te whakamana i te whakatangata ā-ture ake o ngā āhuatanga horanuku, pērā i tērā i kitea ake mō Te Urewera (he papa ā-motu i mua) me Te Awa Tupua ( ko te awa o Whanganui i mua).

He whai tikanga nui te whakaaro o ngā tauira kāwanatanga rerekē.  He tauira āu e hoahoa-ngātahitia ana e koe i tēnei wā, ā, kua whakamātauria?

He whānui tonu ngā āhuatanga e whai wāhi atu ana ki ngā tauira kāwanatanga rerekē.  E tūhuratia ana e mātou ngā whakaaro mai i Te Ao Māori mō te whakarite i ngā hononga ki te tangata, ina koa, a te tangata ki te taiao.  E whai ana mātou ki te arotake i ētahi o ngā tauira o nāianei mō te kāwanatanga-ngātahi kua whanaketia mā te tukanga whakatau take Tiriti me ētahi atu horopaki, ā, kua whakaritea e mātou tētahi pūrongo o ngā taputapu pūtea kua hoahoatia hei tautoko i te koioratanga me te whakapoapoa i ētahi tauira rerekē o te kāwanatanga.

He aha ō matapae mō te whakatinanatanga o ēnei tauira kāwanatanga i te anamata?

Me āta aro te whakatinanatanga ki te horopaki ā-takiwā, te taiao ā-takiwā, me ngā hononga ā-takiwā.  Ko tētahi āhuatanga ka whaitake nui pea i roto i te whakatinanatanga ko te whakamana i ngā hapori ā-takiwā ki te whakatinana i tā rātou tūranga hei kaitiaki.

I a tātou e titiro ana ki ētahi tauira kāwanatanga rerekē me ngā tikanga ā-ture mō Aotearoa, tērā anō ētahi tauira o tāwāhi e pīata mai ana, e whai take ana?

Ehara i te mea kei Aotearoa anake ēnei take, nō reira he nui ngā mahi puta noa i te ao e whakauru atu ana ki tēnei tūmomo wāhi ōrite.  I Aotearoa nei, kua waia tātou ki te whakapūnga o ngā whakaritenga mana tūmatawhānui, engari i ngā pūnaha kotahitanga  pēnei i Amerika, Kanata, ā, tae atu pea ki Ahitereiria, e hāneanea ana ki a rātou te whakaaro o ngā ao rerekē o te mana whakahare me te horahora i ngā whakataunga take.  Nā tēnei ka hua mai pea ētahi wāhi mō ngā tauira kanorau, kāwanatanga ā-takiwā hoki.

Ki ōu whakaako ka pēhea te whai o ēnei tauira me ēnei kaupapa here i ngā raru nui pēnei i te urutā KOWHEORI-19 o te wā nei?

Ka urutau pai pea ki te kanorau o ngā matea ka hua mai i tēnei momo raru nui.  I te mea hoki ki te whakamanahia ngā hapori ā-takiwā, ka whai rātou i ngā mahi e hāngai ana ki ō rātou āhuatanga ake, te tiaki i ngā tāngata – arā i kitea tēnei i ngā wāhi arowhai ā-hapori i whakaritea e ētahi rōpū Māori, ā-iwi hoki, ā, i whakahaeretia i te wā e taumaha ana te urutā i Aotearoa.

The Future of Te Tiriti with Dr Carwyn Jones: 29 April at Te Awe Library

What? Te Tiriti: Where to Now?
When? Thursday 29 April, 12:30-1:20pm
Where? Te Awe Library (29B Brandon Street)

As Māmari Stephens points out in her essay “He rangi tā Matawhāiti, he rangi tā Matawhānui”, the 200th anniversary of the signing of te Tiriti o Waitangi isn’t far off. But what will Aotearoa look like 20 years from now? And how will historians in 2040 judge the developments of the past few decades?

One person who may be able to answer these questions is Dr Carwyn Jones (Ngāti Kahungunu). Dr Jones is an Associate Professor at the Faculty of Law at Victoria University and the author of New Treaty, New Tradition – Reconciling New Zealand and Māori Law and co-editor of Indigenous Peoples and the State: International Perspectives on the Treaty of Watangi. He’s also co-president of Te Hunga Rōia Māori o Aotearoa – The Māori Law Society and co-Editor of the Māori Law Review and AlterNative – an International Journal of Indigenous Peoples.

Dr Jones is involved in another significant project as well. Just over two months ago he joined the Adaptive Governance and Policy team at the BioHeritage Challenge, Ngā Koiora Tuku Iho as co-lead with Dr Maria Bargh. The role is a significant one: to work out how changes to governance and law in New Zealand can help save the country’s environment – before it’s too late.

To find out more, read our interview with Dr Carwyn Jones below!


The Adaptive Governance and Policy (AGP) website mentions a window of opportunity provided by the development of the national Biodiversity Strategy, as well as WAI 262. Could you explain the importance of WAI 262 and the Biodiversity Strategy?

The Biodiversity Strategy provides a key organising framework for developing local and regional biodiversity plans across the next 30 years in Aotearoa. It provides an important vision and ensures that there is a common understanding of where we as a country need to get to in order to protect and enhance biodiversity.

The WAI 262 report, Ko Aotearoa Tēnei, and the whole of government response that is developing, also addresses similar kinds of issues (amongst many others), with a particular focus on Māori participation and the role of mātauranga Māori. The Biodiversity Strategy and WAI 262 both engage directly with questions of environmental governance and policy relating to New Zealand biological heritage.

How could Te Mana o te Taiao – Aotearoa NZ Biodiversity Strategy take the Waitangi Tribunal’s WAI 262 report into account?

One of the central features of the WAI 262 report is the emphasis on Māori communities, including iwi, hapū, and whanau, being able to proactively set out their aspirations for managing the relationship between people and the environment and having transparent mechanisms to ensure that central and local government are accountable for engaging with those aspirations. The report is careful to note that a Tiriti-consistent approach should first seek to empower Māori communities to make decisions that affect their taonga (including aspects of the natural environment) and that where partnership models are required, these must involve Māori participation in decision-making, not merely acting in an advisory capacity to the decision-maker. One of the stated outcomes of Te Mana o te Taiao is that Treaty partners, whānau, hapū, and iwi are exercising their full roles as kaitiaki.

Another current AGP activity is the co-development of legal mechanisms that “give voice to nature”. What would this include?

Some of the kinds of models that might be included here could be things like the recognition of legal personality of landscape features as we have seen with Te Urewera (formerly a national park) and Te Awa Tupua (formerly the Whanganui river).

The idea of alternative governance models is also really interesting. Are there any you’re co-designing at the moment, and have they been scenario tested yet?

There are a whole range of things that contribute to alternative governance models. We’re exploring ideas from Te Ao Māori about organising relationships between people and, particularly, between people and the environment. We’re aiming to evaluate some of the existing models of co-governance that have been developed through the Treaty settlement process and other contexts, and we commissioned a report on financial instruments that are designed to support biodiversity and incentivise different modes of governance.

How do you see these governance models being implemented in the future?

The implementation needs to be sensitive to local context, the local environment, and local relationships. One aspect that is likely to be important in implementation is to empower local communities to exercise their role as kaitiaki.

When looking at different governance models and legal mechanisms for Aotearoa, are there overseas examples that have stood out as potentially useful?

Of course, these issues are not unique to Aotearoa and so there is a lot of work going on around the world that is engaging in this same kind of space. New Zealand tends to have quite a centralised understanding of the organisation of public power, whereas in federal systems such as the USA, Canada, and to some extent even Australia, there is more comfort with the idea of different spheres of authority and diffuse decision-making. That can sometimes create space for diverse and localised governance models.

How do you think these models and policies would approach crises like the current COVID-19 pandemic?

Likely to respond well to the diversity of need that this kind of crisis creates. Generally, if local communities are empowered, they will take steps, appropriate to their local circumstances, to keep people safe – as we saw with some of the community checkpoints that a number of Māori and iwi-based groups established and managed through the height of the pandemic in Aotearoa.

Evening events at Arapaki Manners Library

Arapaki Library is starting up its early evening event series, providing competition and creation galore

Need some fun after a long day of work or study? Have time to kill waiting for your bus? Want to do something, but make it free? Maybe you have some creative energy to burn? If any of these apply, the Arapaki event nights are for you! The programmes are held in the early evenings at Arapaki Manners Library and are FREE, with all resources provided.

The events are on from 5 to 6:45pm:

Monday – Games Night
Tuesday – Zine Night
Wednesday – Chess
Thursday – Write Night
Friday – Silent Book Club

The event series is beginning on Monday, 29th of March and will be on every week. We look forward to seeing you there!

Neighbours Day Aotearoa is just around the corner

Neighbours Day Aotearoa 2021 runs from March 20-March 30th this year, and the theme is The Great Plant Swap to support neighbourhoods to growing stronger together. We’ve lined up an inspiring list of books to spark your creative ideas, from help with your own garden plants to ideas for activities. Share a plate with your neighbours and also grow connections on this Neighbours Day. Or, it’s never too late to plant something now to share later.


The sharing solution : how to save money, simplify your life & build community, by Janelle Orsi.
Sharing is the answer! This book is packed with heaps of ideas to connect with your neighbours :
Meals and food, through bulk buying clubs, meal-sharing arrangements, community gardens, neighbourhood fruit harvests, household goods, a book club, tools and toys to appliances and exercise equipment, car-pooling, caregiving for pets, children, older family members, or relatives with disabilities…. the list could go on. The ultimate beauty of sharing is that it’s a solution we create for ourselves.

Day walks of Greater Wellington, by Marios Gavalas.
Consider sharing transport to go on walks together. This book is a really helpful guide to over 70 walks (with approx times and grades) divided into 5 regional sections – across Otaki, Wellington city, the eastern bays, Wainuiomata Valley and the Hutt Valley. Illustrated with maps and plenty of photographs, this is a handy tool to choose the right path for the day.

The everything plant-based meal prep cookbook : 200 easy, make-ahead recipes featuring plant-based ingredients, by Diane Smith
“Enjoy hundreds of delicious plant-based recipes to mix and match with your meal prepping, like: Tropical Spinach Smoothie, sheet Pan Ratatoville with Creamy Polenta, Cauliflower-Sweet Potato Mash, Pan-Seared Artichoke Hearts with Spinach and Sun-Dried Tomatoes, Loaded Tahini-Spiced Potato Skins, Chocolate-Orange Zucchini Cake, and tasty meals for every part of the day!” (Adapted from the Catalogue)

The LEGO neighborhood book : build your own town! by Brian Lyles.
Pool your LEGO resources to build on a much larger scale! Try your hand at creating your own neighborhood in miniature. Add buildings, shops, and then design the interiors by filling your buildings with furniture and light fixtures, as well as the finishing touches to your models with plants, traffic lights, scaffolding, and park benches.

Modern potluck : beautiful food to share, by Kristin Donnelly.
This updates the potluck concept into a new generation, These 100 make-ahead recipes are perfect for a crowd and navigate carnivore, gluten-free, dairy-free, vegetarian, and vegan preferences gracefully. With beautiful color photographs and lots of practical information such as how to pack foods to travel, Modern Potluck is the ultimate book for gathering friends and family around an abundant, delicious meal.

Root, nurture, grow : the essential guide to propagating and sharing houseplants, by Caro Langton,
The handbook is a practical guide with step by step instructions on how to make the most of your favourite houseplants through simple, propagation techniques. There are also welcome techniques projects including homemade rooting mediums, seed-bombs, and a self-watering plant pot. Share your plants with neighbours by making beautiful gifts and displays.

The thrifty pantry : budget-saver family favourites from under $2.50 per serve This cookbook is for the thrifty minded, with 100 recipes using common staple ingredients. Each recipe is helpfully costed out, this tailor made for cooking on a budget or at short notice. Chapters are organised into cost per serve plus there’s a handy recipe key for gluten free, vegetarian and freeze-ahead meals.

The Garden Party, a fresh new summer festival – plus giveaway

A new summer festival is coming to Pōneke, organised by the wonderful people who bring us the Verb Festival and The Spinoff. It’s called The Garden Party, and it promises to be a fabulous celebration of music, talks and food aimed at the whole family.

So, gather friends and whānau and come along to the Botanic Garden Soundshell on the 20th and 21st of February for a weekend full of the interesting and the delicious!

Details

When?

Saturday 20 February & Sunday 21 February, 10am – 3:30pm

Where?

Botanic Garden Soundshell — View on Google Maps

What’s on the programme?

The full timetable will be out on 9 February, but Festival artists include Witi Ihimaera, Elizabeth Knox, Noelle McCarthy, Leonie Hayden, Linda Clark, Toby Manhire, Toby Morris, Rachel Haydon and many more.

For a full list of artists and the very latest details, visit Verb Wellington’s Garden Party website.

Entry to the festival is free or by donation if you can.

More about The Garden Party

Giveaway

To celebrate this upcoming series of events, we have a copy of The Nature Activity book by Rachel Haydon to give away — along with a (very stylish) Verb Tote bag!

To go into the draw, email us at enquiries@wcl.govt.nz and tell us which Garden Party event excites you the most this year and why.

The winner will notified via email. Good luck!

Sneak peek

Navigating the Stars – Taki Rua Productions and Witi Ihimaera

Verb Wellington in partnership with Taki Rua Productions bring Witi Ihimaera’s new book Navigating The Stars off the page, in a special Garden Party performance reading with live music directed and led by Maiava Nathaniel Lees.

Sunday 21 February, 10am

Big Fun Family Quiz — with hosts Toby Morrs & Toby Manhire

Toby Morris & Toby Manhire (The Spinoff) host a quiz full of fun questions for the whole family with special cameo guests. Win prizes, come dressed as your favourite book characters for bonus points.

Sunday 21 February, 11.30am

…And there are loads of other activities planned too (flag making, nature activity fun with Rachel Haydon, a treasure hunt, string ‘o’ spells, and the nature activity book walking tour), so keep an eye out for the full timetable coming soon on Verb Wellington’s The Garden Party webpage.

We’re bringing libraries to Wellington’s Pasifika Festival

Our librarians have put together fun and free activities, resources and giveaways aimed for people of all ages and interests to support this year’s Wellington Pasifika Festival.

Visit other countries or new worlds through our free virtual reality experience! From climbing El Capitan to diving down into the Mariana Trench, or flying a car through a dystopian city and more, there is a virtual experience for everyone to try.

Delve into the stories, history and songs of our Pasifika communities by browsing the diverse range of library resources which will be on display.

Say hi to our roving Librarian with their trolley of withdrawn items which they will be giving away to lucky people throughout the afternoon.

Come down to see the library team in the Odlin’s Plaza on the waterfront between 12noon – 6pm this Saturday 23 January 2021. We’re on the grass area outside St John’s bar, near the pedestrian crossing from the Michael Fowler Centre car park.

This summer event includes performance groups from across the Pacific including Mafutaga Tagata Matutua Senior Exercise Group, Israel Star, and opera legend Ben Makisi. The free, whānau friendly event will be hosted by award-winning comedian James Nokise. The full programme is available online.

Update on Libraries’ events and programmes

hand showing update sign

With the move to Covid-19 Alert Level 1 all Wellington City Libraries branches will resume our programmes and events over the coming weeks. Please check our website for details. We will maintain the additional cleaning currently in place and encourage everyone to continue recording their visits using the QR codes.

“Thank you to everyone for patiently following the sign-in and physical distancing rules under the previous Alert level,” says Laurinda Thomas, Manager Libraries and Community Spaces. “When visiting we encourage you to use the hand sanitiser available and record your visits using the QR code posters so we can all help keep one another safe.”

“Over the coming week our teams will be busy setting up our popular programmes like Storytime and Baby Rock & Rhyme, and events, so visit our website to find out what you’ll be able to enjoy at your local branch and when.”

Visit wcl.govt.nz/calendar to see which programmes and events are coming up.

Purapura Whetū: Matariki Resources for Pākeke

The Māori New Year is now upon us – and although the rain is pouring and the tornadoes are twisting and turning, there is still a time for rest after the harvesting of the crops, physical or otherwise; a time for reflecting on our tūpuna who have passed on; a time to reflect on the effects of Covid-19; and a time to rejoice in precious taonga – be they whānau or otherwise, or just plan for a better life ahead.

Te Kāhui whetū o Matariki the stars of matariki
Te Kāhui whetū o Matariki

There are many tohu, or signs, that mark the coming of the new year. Māori of the West Coast of New Zealand aren’t able to view the rising of Matariki, low down on the eastern horizon at this time of the year. So we, in Taranaki and Wellington, turn to Puanga (Rigel, of Orion’s constellation), to mark the Māori New Year. But it is to Matariki that most people look, and although Matariki is a cluster of many stars, we commonly talk about it in terms of the worldwide star story of the Seven Sisters.


Even today, more is being learnt about Matariki. Recently, Dr. Rangi Mātāmua rediscovered a manuscript of his tupuna’s which added two extra stars, Pōhutukawa and Hiwaiterangi, to the kāhui whetū– making up a cluster of nine stars of Matariki. You can learn more about Dr. Mātāmua’s work here. If you’re looking for more information, you can also start with Qiane Matata-Sipu’s Spinoff piece from last year, which has wonderful background on ngā whetū, as well as the kaupapa of the new year around the motu.

Our eLibrary collection includes a wide range of resources about Matariki, Te Ao Māori and the history of Aotearoa. To celebrate Matariki, we have collated a list of these titles, called “He Matatiki: Matariki Reads from Te Ao Māori”. Make sure to have a look through all the treasures in this kete! You can also find more information about Te Ao Māori, whakapapa research and the history of Te Whanganui a Tara in the Māori Resources section of our website.

Throughout these school holidays, we are presenting a range of Matariki activities for tamariki and whānau, as part of our #purapurawhetu Matariki festival. These range from crafting to storytimes, and include activities in both Te Reo Māori and English. You can learn more about our #purapurawhetu programme here. Check our calendar for all the events.

Nō reira, nau mai haere mai ki ōu tātou whare pukapuka ki te whakanui i a Matariki! Come along and celebrate Matariki with Wellington City Libraries!

Me mihi ka tika mātou ki a Ann, i tuku āwhina i ēnei mahi. Thanks and mihi to Ann for her help in putting together these resources!

One Year Till CoNZealand!

What will you be doing this time next year? With the strange and fluctuating state of the world at the moment it’s impossible to say for sure–but hopefully you’ll be joining us at CoNZealand! CoNZealand is the 78th World Science Fiction Convention, being held in Wellington from 29 July to 2 August 2020. That’s right, there’s only one year to go!

But what exactly happens at a World Science Fiction Convention, or WorldCon? Basically–a lot! There are writers’ workshops, specialist talks, gaming, cosplay, art exhibitions, charity auctions, parties, dances, masquerades, film festivals, autograph sessions, awards and more, all put together by fans. Each convention also has its own unique events: WorldCon 75 in Finland included a beer tram through Helsinki and a tour of the Olkiluoto Nuclear Power Plant!

With 2020 rapidly approaching, the team at CoNZealand are putting together a convention of their own. They’ve already assembled a fantastic line-up of special guests, including Mercedes Lackey, Larry Dixon and toastmaster George R.R. Martin. We recently spoke to CoNZealand’s library liaison Jenny about how things have been going so far, and what’s coming up. Check out her answers below! (And remember, if you’d like to be part of CoNZealand, you can volunteer here.)

For those just discovering CoNZealand, could you please give an introduction to what it is?

CoNZealand is the 78th World Science Fiction Convention (WorldCon), the world’s premier non-profit science fiction and fantasy convention. It has been running since 1939 (with a hiatus during World War Two), attracting thousands of writers, professional creatives and fans every year to talk about, celebrate and live science fiction and fantasy for five days. WorldCon is quite different from other events that may be more familiar, such as Armageddon Expo or ComicCon in the U.S. At CoNZealand you won’t buy a ticket, you buy a membership, because you’re not going to watch an event, you’re going to participate in panel sessions, workshops, Q & A sessions, music, gaming, costuming, as well as having the opportunity to mingle with celebrated authors and other fans.

One of the most impressive things about CoNZealand is the fact it’s run entirely by fans. Could you describe how this works?

As is often said, all the WorldCons are run by fans, for fans. Everyone taking part in running ConZealand is a volunteer, no one is paid, and any profit goes to charity. As soon as I knew about the ConZealand bid to run the 2020 WorldCon I volunteered to help. I highlighted areas where I thought I could be useful and ended up in the Promotions Division. There are 15 Divisions, each organising different aspects of running CoNZealand, and the Executive Division which oversees the whole convention planning and running. Any member of CoNZealand can volunteer to help before and during the convention, in big or little ways. It’s a great way to meet people from all around the world.

What do you think will make CoNZealand unique from other WorldCons?

WorldCons are a melting pot of participants and cultural styles, and CoNZealand will add a significant Kiwi “flavour” to the cultural mix. We expect there will be a great deal of interest in The Lord of the Rings films and other works from Weta Workshop – especially as our Wellington-based Artist Guest of Honour, Greg Broadmore, is currently working with Weta Workshop to develop an augmented reality game based on Greg’s retro sci-fi world of Dr Grordbort. With the presence of George R.R. Martin as our Toastmaster, we anticipate a lot of Game of Thrones fans will turn up too. Hopefully the Kiwi style will add a laid back, friendly atmosphere to proceedings.

What surprises and/or challenges have you encountered with CoNZealand preparations so far?

The challenges I’ve encountered are realising how much hard work is involved in running CoNZealand and fitting the work around a full-time job. It has also been a steep learning curve for me, I haven’t done project management or promotions work before so I’m learning as I go. I have also gained a lot from volunteering: I’ve learned a lot of new skills and I feel a great sense of achievement about what we are all creating.

What will the next few months of build-up have in store?

So much work to be done, so much work that all the volunteers are doing. The technology, financial, publications, events, and facilities management work is not my skill set so I’ve only seen a tiny fraction of the work they are doing. We are having staff meetings in July and October which will give me a better overview of all that is happening. On the promotions side I’m doing some blog posts (like this one), and I’m working on ways to effectively promote CoNZealand to libraries all around the country. We run stalls promoting CoNZealand at events all around the world: locally, we were at Wellington Armageddon and at Wellycon earlier this year, and you’ll have another opportunity to talk to us if you’re going to Auckland Armageddon in October.

What are you most excited about with CoNZealand?

I’ve only been to one WorldCon before, AussieCon 3 in 1999, and that was the most exciting, mind blowing experience. I’m not only going to another WorldCon, I’m helping to run it, and I feel like I’m part of creating something wonderful. I’m also excited about all the people I’ll meet who “get” science fiction and fantasy, and talking and hearing about aspects of the genre that I never knew existed.

Eavesdropping Underwater: an Interview with Olivia Price!

Why do scientists eavesdrop on whales and dolphins? What can recordings of whale and dolphin sounds tell us? How do you even record the sound that these creatures make? And what’s it like to go to Antarctica?

Join us on Saturday, May 25 at Te Papa for a FREE talk by NIWA scientists Dr Giacomo Giorli and Olivia Price to hear the answers!

As part of the build-up to Eavesdropping Underwater, we interviewed Olivia Price about her role as a Marine Physics Technician for NIWA.

Can you tell us a bit about your role at NIWA?

I work within a team of physical oceanography technicians to maintain, deploy and recover science equipment that records information about our oceans’ physical properties (i.e. temperature, salinity, oxygen). These properties can tell us a lot about ocean currents and features which provide food and the right kind of conditions for marine life to thrive.

You’re a Qualified PADI Dive Master. What does that entail? How deep have you dived?

I started with a PADI Open Water course in 2014 and have been hooked ever since! A Divemaster certification allows me to act as an assistant to a Dive Instructor and has taught me rescue diving skills. My Divemaster assessment was in Milford Sound, which was the best diving I have ever done! We dived alongside sheer underwater cliffs to 38m (PADI limits are 40m) and saw a very special black coral – that underwater looks white. These corals have been building their underwater forests in Milford for 200 million years.

You were part of a recent journey to the Antarctic onboard a NIWA research vessel. Can you tell us what living on board was like in those conditions?

NIWA’s flagship vessel, the Tangaroa is a multi-purpose research vessel designed to investigate New Zealand’s marine resources and environment. Inside the accommodation, you would never know you’re in Antarctica until you look out the window. It is toasty warm and the cooks aboard are known for their epic meals. With very limited internet/phone access and not seeing another ship for six weeks, it felt like our crew were completely isolated from the rest of the world. This isolation and extreme cold conditions meant we needed to prepare for any kind of emergency- so there was plenty of survival training before we left port and plenty of drills aboard. As we steamed south, each day got longer until we were experiencing 23 hours of daylight. Even then the sun didn’t fully set, instead skimming the horizon. This meant plenty of hours for whale watching and spotting icebergs!

As well as passive acoustic moorings, the “whale listening posts”, you also use physical oceanographic moorings & an ASL echosounder. Can you tell us the difference between these, what they measure and what you hope to achieve from the data recovered?

Passive acoustic moorings (PAM) take a bit of explaining, which will be easier to convey with pictures on Saturday. The physical oceanography moorings have a set of instrumentation on them recording physical properties (i.e. temperature, oxygen and salinity) that will help give an insight into how fresh water coming off the Ross Ice Shelf is interacting with our deep oceans. On the mooring is also some current meters that measure the strength and direction of water flow. The Ross Ice Shelf is particularly important as it is the largest freshwater reserve in Antarctica!
The ASL is an acoustic sounder that measures the amount of Antarctic krill in the water by sending and listening out for sound pings. These krill are a key food source for the Adelie Penguins that live on Cape Adare.

The voyage also focused on some of the tiniest organisms in the ocean – the phytoplankton and bacteria. Can you talk about how data on these is collected, and what it is for?

These amazing little organisms are collected using a CTD Rosette which has a bunch of bottles on it that allows us to collect water samples at different water depths. Several scientists worked hard to analyse phytoplankton and bacteria community structure across the Ross Sea. Although these organisms aren’t visible to our eyes, there are ridiculous amounts of them in the ocean and they are incredibly important. Phytoplankton produce around 70% of the air we breathe, I like to call them the humble trees of the ocean!

What was your favourite wildlife memory from your journey on the Tangaroa?

It is so hard to pick one as we saw a lot of beautiful animals! A moment I will never forget is when we reached the edge of the sea ice at dusk and saw multiple groups of Adelie penguins swimming and leaping into the ice for the night. I felt like I had jumped into a David Attenborough scene.

For more insights into Olivia’s work, join us at Eavesdropping Underwater: the Sounds of Whales and Dolphins on Saturday, May 25 at Te Papa!