Happy Lunar New Year: Stories of Chinese New Zealanders

Image saying Happy Lunar New Year

via GIPHY


The Lunar New Year is a great time to learn more about the history of Chinese culture in Aotearoa. To start your journey, we’ve selected a few popular books about the lives of Chinese New Zealanders. The below booklist includes the legendary story of New Zealand’s largest Chinese art collection, the fascinating history of Chinese greengrocers in Aotearoa and work from Wellington’s local Chinese cartoonist, Ant Sang.

You can head to He Matapihi Molesworth Library (located within the National Library) to find these amazing books, and other fascinating reads from our New Zealand collection!

Happy Chinese Lunar New Year!


The fruits of our labours : Chinese fruit shops in New Zealand / Lam, Ruth
“Before supermarkets, local fruit and vegetable stores run by Chinese families were a pillar of our communities. The greengrocers’ personal anecdotes, historical documents and photos weaved into the country’s rich social and cultural tapestry. This book was written and researched by Ruth Lam, Beverly Lowe, Helen Wong, Michael Wong, and Carolyn King. ” (Adapted from the Catalogue)

Turning stone into jade : the history of the New Zealand Chinese Association = Diao shi cheng bi / Fung, David
“The story of New Zealand Chinese Association, the oldest Chinese organisation in New Zealand. In its early incarnations, the association offered kinship and a united voice for an often marginalised and fragile minority. The work it has performed and its own struggles to maintain a relevant identity as political change ebbed and flowed in both Asia and New Zealand. ” (Adapted from the Catalogue)

Looking for a better life … : the Chinese poll tax certificate records in Auckland / Wong Hop, David V.
“This book records the Chinese people who arrived in Auckland between 1882 and 1928; Chinese who came from different parts of China and travelled east to the Americas, or south to the Phillipines, Java and Australia. This book is published with support from Chinese New Zealand Oral History Foundation and many Chinese families. ” (Adapted from the Catalogue)

Being Chinese : a New Zealander’s story / Wong, Helene
“Born in New Zealand in 1949, author travelled to southern China where her father was born, then she came face to face with ‘being Chinese’. Drawing on her experience of writing for New Zealand films, she takes the narrative forward through the places of her family’s history – the ancestral village in Zengcheng county, the rural town of Utiku where the Wongs ran a thriving business, and the Lower Hutt suburbs of her childhood.” (Adapted from the Catalogue)

New China eye witness: Roger Duff, Rewi Alley and the art of museum diplomacy = Xin zhongguo de mu ji zhe: luojie · dafu, luyi · aili yu bo wu guan wai jiao / edited by James Beattie and Richard Bullen ; Chinese translation by Xiongbo Shi.
“In 1956, Through Alley’s contacts with premier Zhou Enlai and Duff’s diplomatic skills they shipped Chinese art to Canterbury Museum which made the largest Chinese art collection in New Zealand. (Adapted from the Catalogue)

The dharma punks / Sang, Anthony
“Auckland, New Zealand, 1994. A group of anarchist punks have hatched a plan to sabotage the opening of a multi-national fast-food restaurant by blowing it sky-high come opening day. Chopstick has been given the unenviable task of setting the bomb before the opening, but the night takes the first of many unexpected turns when he is separated from his accomplice.” (Adapted from Catalogue)

 

 

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)

 

Art Deco heritage architecture and collectables

Glamourous, avant-garde and beautiful, Art Deco style influenced the world since 1920 in architecture, fashion, jazz music, and cars. This blog has all things about Art Deco, from New York to New Zealand, and from admirable to collectable.

Art deco : living with the art deco style / Miller, Judith
“In the 1920s and 1930s, designers and craftsmen made innovative use of both natural and man-made materials to produce elegant pieces that broke with tradition and celebrated the future. This beautifully illustrated book explores all the key collecting areas, with chapters on furniture, glass, ceramics, sculpture, metalwork, silver and plastics, prints and posters, rugs and textiles. With clear price codes and biographies of key makers and designers. ” (Adapted from Amazon.co.uk)

Art deco New Zealand : an illustrated guide / Moyle, Terry
“A book covers New Zealand’s Art Deco heritage in the world famous cities like Napier and Hastings, and in towns and cities throughout the country. With many Art Deco buildings obscured, dilapidated, or even lost, the stunning detailed illustrations bring to life a compelling and evocative vision of the past. Here the style and mood of buildings, along with the cars and fashion styles of the period give an appreciation of New Zealand’s Art Deco heritage. ” (Adapted from the Catalogue)

Art deco : the twentieth century’s iconic decorative style, from Paris, London, and Brussels to New York, Sydney, and Santa Monica / Schwartzman, Arnold
“Art deco is the 20th century’s most glamorous architectural style which shaped popular ideas of modern luxury. This book highlights photographs of Art Deco buildings, with an emphasis on London, Los Angeles, New York, Chicago, Miami, and Paris. Art Deco features detail on murals, mosaics, flooring, ironwork, and other ornamental flourishes.” (Adapted from the Catalogue)

Art deco collectibles : fashionable objets from the Jazz Age / Capstick-Dale, Rodney
“This book demonstrate Deco style items at the height of fashion, and are highly prized collectibles today. They demonstrate an era of close cooperation between designers and manufacturers, who aimed for function and beautiful products. This informative showcase of portable classics of avant-garde modern design from Britain, Europe (particularly France) and the United States.” (Adapted from Amazon.co.uk)

Sydney art deco / Sheridan, Peter
“Longlisted for the Indie Book Awards 2020 for Illustrated Non-Fiction. This book explores the impact of the Art Deco style on the landscape and life of Sydney during the 1930s and 1940s with a glimpse of Australian artwork, fashion, furniture and accessories. The time of Art Deco was a brief hiatus between two World Wars and compounded by the devastating effects of the Great Depression. ” (Adapted from the Catalogue)

Raupo to deco : Wellington styles and architects, 1840-1940 / Mew, G
“Celebrating a century of architectural achievement in Wellington, this book links the progression of style characteristics from raupo thatching to art deco ornament with the development of the city. It contains information about more than 300 architects associated with Wellington at various times plus photos, elevations and reproductions of rare plans. The authors last collaboration was the prize-winning Ring Around the City.” (Adapted from the Catalogue)

Carpets of the art deco era / Day, Susan
“The design revolutions of the early 20th century were woven into the very fabric of the carpets and rugs of that era. It charts the evolution of Victorian floral into the angular elegance of Art Deco and bold abstraction of Modernism. Such artists and designers as Picasso, Poiret, Gray, Delaunay, Matisse, Klee, and many more advanced the designs going on underfoot, making these rugs extremely collectible artworks in their own right. ” (Adapted from the Catalogue)

A kind of magic : art deco vanity cases / Hue-Williams, Sarah
“After 1918, post-war euphoria spread across Europe and America. Technology such as aeroplanes, motorcars and ocean liners changed the pace of life, while avant-garde fashion, jazz, The Great Gatsby and Hollywood flourished. The vanity case, the ultimate jewelled fashion accessory were made using  precious metals including platinum and gold, with inlays of lacquer, gemstones, mother of pearl, jade, or enamel. These ‘reticules’ took Paris’ skilled designers and craftsmen months to complete and were extremely expensive. Objects of desire to be passed round and shown off at gatherings of the super-rich, they became miniature status symbols to be seen with at the opera or restaurant. (Adapted from the 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.

Treasures in the box – BorrowBox eBooks and eAudioBooks

Find these hidden gems of eAudiobooks and eBooks by New Zealand authors on BorrowBox. Immerse yourself in the storylines that are read by the authors’ own voices. You can download the app from AppleStore or GooglePlay for a better experience.

cover imageMoney in the Morgue : Unabridged edition / Ngaio Marsh, Stella Duffy Read by Stella Duffy
“Shortlisted for the CWA Historical Dagger Award 2018. Mr Glossop’s car breaks down he is stranded for the night at the isolated Mount Seager Hospital. Trapped with him are a group of quarantined soldiers with a serious case of cabin fever, three young employees embroiled in a tense love triangle, a dying elderly man, an elusive patient whose origins remain a mystery … and a potential killer. ” (Adapted from BorrowBox)

cover imageThe Luminaries / Eleanor Catton Read by Mark Meadows
“It is 1866, and Walter Moody has come to make his fortune upon the New Zealand goldfields. On arrival, he stumbles across a tense gathering of twelve local men, who have met in secret to discuss a series of unsolved crimes. A wealthy man has vanished, a whore has tried to end her life, and an enormous fortune has been discovered in the home of a luckless drunk. Moody is soon drawn into the mystery.” (Adapted from BorrowBox)

cover imageThe Parihaka Woman / Witi Tame Ihimaera Read by Shavaughn Ruakere, Jim Moriarty
“Richly imaginative and original, weaving together fact and fiction, it sets the remarkable story of Erenora against the historical background of the turbulent and compelling events that occurred in Parihaka during 1870-80. As Erenora’s world is threatened by war and land confiscation, Erenora must take up her greatest challenge and save her exiled husband, Horitana.” (Adapted from BorrowBox)

cover imageThe 10pm Question / Kate de Goldi Read by Stig Wemyss
“The 10pm Question is an award-winning novel which defies all age categories. It does so with a sparkling wit and an operatic cast of characters so delightful and maddening they become dear to us. Frankie Parsons is twelve going on old man, a talented boy with a drumbeat of worrying questions: animals, flu, and cancer. Only Ma answers his 10pm questions, but it is Ma who is the cause of the most worrying question of all. ” (Adapted from BorrowBox)

cover imageDisplaced / Cristina Sanders
“Eloise and her family must leave Cornwall on a treacherous sea journey to start a new life in 1870s colonial New Zealand. On the ship across, Eloise meets Lars, a Norwegian labourer travelling below decks, and their lives begin to intertwine. When her brother disappears, her father leaves and the family are left to fend for themselves in their new home, Eloise must find the strength to stand up. An enthralling historical novel of immigration, courage and first love from an award-winning New Zealand author.” (Adapted from BorrowBox)

cover imageAccess Road / Maurice Gee Read by Heather Bolton
“As she watches her brother losing the battle with his memories, Rowan wonders how long she can keep her own past at bay. Rowan was safe in her ‘upper crusty’ suburb, now drawn more strongly ‘out west’. Clyde Buckley – violent as a boy; enigmatic, subterranean as an old man – returns to his childhood territory. What does he want? What crimes does he hide? And how is Lionel involved? Rowan must find out. ” (Adapted from BorrowBox)

cover imageMister Pip / Lloyd Jones Read by Susan Lyons
“After the trouble starts and the soldiers arrive on Matilda’s island, there comes a time when all the white people have left. Only Mr Watts and his wife remains. As Mr Watts stands before the class and reads the only book left to him, Great Expectations ‘by my friend Mr Dickens’, Dickens’s hero, Pip, starts to come alive in Matilda’s imagination. And on an island at war, the power of the imagination can be a dangerously provocative thing.” (Adapted from BorrowBox)

cover imageA Conversation With My Country / Alan Duff Read by Alan Duff
“A fresh account of New Zealand from one of our hardest-hitting writers. Following Once Were Warriors, Alan Duff wrote Maori: The Crisis and the Challenge. His controversial comments shook the country. A quarter of a century later, New Zealand and Maoridom are in a very different place. Alan never shies away from being a whetstone on which others can sharpen their opinions.” (Adapted from BorrowBox)

New Zealand in the eye of artists

From time to time, we may stop and cherish the beautiful sceneries around us. Thanks to these artists who freeze the beautiful moments onto canvas, now we can cherish New Zealand scenery along with the rest of the world. This blog also includes artists’ work using different techniques.

Looking for the light : landscape photographs of New Zealand / Latham, Peter
“New Zealand born landscape photographer presents this epic collection of his most popular gallery fine-art prints, together with numerous new images of the New Zealand landscape. Peter’s poetic eye and unique presentation has earned him a coveted reputation in the elusive art market. ” (Adapted from the Catalogue)

Grahame Sydney : paintings 1974-2014 / Sydney, Grahame
“Grahame’s paintings of the Central Otago landscape and the wider South Island are known and loved by large numbers of New Zealanders at home and abroad, and have become touchstones that reflect the depth of feeling many people have for this country. His work now spans over four decades and encompasses oils, watercolours, egg tempera, lithographs, etching, photography and film. (Adapted from the catalogue)

Van der Velden : Otira / Vangioni, P. J.
“Petrus van der Velden is one of New Zealand’s keystone artists, and this sumptuous publication brings together major examples of his ground-breaking Otira series from public and private lenders throughout New Zealand. It highlights the manner in which van der Velden’s art has resonated throughout the twentieth and into the twenty-first century.” (Adapted from the Catalogue)

Drawing the Waitakere Coast / Binney, D. H.
“In 2008, painter Don Binney completed 24 charming coloured pencil drawings of Auckland’s West Coast, from Huia to Te Henga (Bethells). They are evocative of the coast so many New Zealanders love and they are magnificent works in themselves. They are accompanied by text commenting on the landmarks shown in each of the drawings. “(Catalogue)

Art New Zealand.
“Art New Zealand is the major visual arts journal in New Zealand. First published in 1976, it has consistently surveyed New Zealand’s contemporary art with rigour and professionalism. It is essential reading and reference for those interested in New Zealand art. Its place in the art world is secure and its reputation is unequalled.” (Publisher’s website)

Artists’ impressions of New Zealand
“Denis Robinson’s latest offering is something of an artist’s road trip around New Zealand. There is a wide variety of techniques displayed in the work, and often this seems related to place, like central Otago, which attracts oil painters than Wellington, where watercolourists dominate the painting landscape. Denis Robinson has once again achieved a portfolio of striking artworks that not only demonstrates the deep well of artistic talent in this country, but also reflects the scenic beauty that surrounds us.” (Adapted from the 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)

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).

Domestic travelling and international dreaming

At this point in history we are lucky to be able to travel freely within New Zealand and the bubble countries. So what about also taking your mind on a journey with these travel books?

Also there are a few links to the world’s famous destinations, which you can virtually visit. Click on the links to these destinations you may not previously have been to, are now free, so sit back and enjoy.

DisneylandBlenheim PalaceMuseum Du Louvre,   Taj Mahaland the  Roman Colosseum.

RV travel lifestyle.
“RV Travel Lifestyle, New Zealand’s longest-running NZ-owned motorhome travel publication. We visit NZ’s most beautiful spots north to south from Cape Reinga to Stewart Island and everywhere in between. Hire or buy an RV for an amazing way to explore our pristine and often wild places. We visit cycleways, historic and cultural sites, stunning beach and mountain destinations to inspire our readers.” (Catalogue)

North & south.
“North & South is New Zealand’s premier monthly current affairs and lifestyle magazine, specialising in long-form investigative journalism, delivered by award-winning writers and photographers. North & South also showcases New Zealand ingenuity and creativity, explores the country and profiles its people. It is a touchstone of New Zealand life.” (Catalogue)

The lord of the rings location guidebook / Brodie, Ian
“Since the first screening of The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring in 2001, New Zealand has become the embodiment of Middle-earth to millions of movie-goers and Tolkien readers the world over.This definitive full-colour guidebook showcases the principal movie set locations around New Zealand as seen in all three films.” (Adapted from catalogue)

Surf dreams : New Zealand surf culture / Morrison, Derek
“This book presents 15 major surfing communities and those who live there and who live to surf (Ahipara, Tutukaka, Piha, Whangamata, Mt Maunganui, Raglan, Taranaki, Gisborne, Lyall Bay, Kaikoura, Westport, Greymouth, Sumner, Dunedin, Riverton). The characters, the competitions, the breaks, the communities, the dream lifestyles”–Publisher information.” (Adapted from catalogue)

Gourmet trails : Australia & New Zealand.
“This book is perfect for travel enthusiasts and foodies. Each trail features a blend of food producers, farmers markets, restaurants and cafes, wineries and breweries, all combining to create a weekend-long itinerary that is not only a delicious taste experience but also shines a light on local food culture, specialties and traditions. It includes detailed itineraries recommending the most interesting stops, the best places to stay and, of course, where to eat along 40 weekend-long trails.” (Adapted from catalogue)

Behind Winery Doors : Marlborough & Nelson New Zealand
“Features 45 of Marlborough and Nelson’s leading vineyards including maps of the region. Each vineyard is captured in photographs, memorabilia, sketches and where appropriate, press clippings, along with information about their history, how they came to the name and logo, and what they proudly produce.” (Catalogue)

4WD North Island : 102 off road adventures / Cockroft, Andy
“This book covers a wide variety of 4WD tracks (some of them very tough indeed). It includes a free CD which has photos taken all along the routes and details for the GPS user. The author, Andy Cockroft, is very well known and active in 4WD circles.” (Adapted from catalogue)

 

 

Our delicious adventure : recipes and stories of food and travel / Grover, Jane V.
“Yearning to break with the routine of the everyday, Jane Grover and her family – fisherman husband Mr G and their brave teens – spent a season exploring Australia’s southern coastline from Sydney to Perth and recorded their adventures in delicious, juicy detail. Enjoying the simple life, they camped under the stars, fished for dinner and cooked on campfires on the beach as they took on this beautiful country. Join her as she gathers cockles on the Fleurieu Peninsula, nets blue swimmer crabs in Streaky Bay, savours local raspberries from the Albany Farmers’ Market and eats freshly shucked oysters from the shoreline of Bruny Island in Tasmania.” (Adapted from catalogue)

NZ Garden Bird Survey 26 June- 4 July

The New Zealand Garden Bird Survey is happening between 26 June to 4 July.

Would you like to join the rest of New Zealand and make a difference to the environment, while having fun spending 1 hour in your backyard watching birds?

Healthy bird populations can indicate that the environment is healthy. And you can help Manaaki Whenua – Landcare Research understand what’s happening in the populations of all the birds around us, in city and garden environments, by counting birds in your backyard.

The best thing about this national event, is that you can also win a pair of Nikon Prostaff binoculars or a nature escape to Wellington.

You can find more details on the Garden Bird Survey website, and use the tally sheet to record your unique findings. The information is also available in Te Reo Māori.  And don’t forget to  join the exciting competition! There are also some cool children’s activities.

Get ready for this event and make use of the library books as helpful guides to help you locate the birds. Also find helpful resources from the citizen science collection blog.

A photographic guide to birds of New Zealand / Moon, Geoff
“A comprehensive guide to birds that includes species accounts which have been updated according to the 4th edition of the Ornithological Society’s official Checklist of the Birds of New Zealand. It features photographs of the most commonly seen birds along with detailed information on distribution, habitat, behaviour and breeding.” (Catalogue)

 

How to watch a bird / Braunias, Steve
“As prize-winning journalist Steve Braunias stands on an apartment balcony on a sultry summer evening, a black-backed gull flies so close he is instantaneously bowled over with happiness: ‘I thought: Birds, everywhere. I wanted to know more about them. ‘This book is the result – a wondrous personal journey into the amazing world of birds, and the people ensnared, captivated and entranced by them: the passionate tribe of bird-watchers and twitchers.” (Catalogue)

 

Birds of New Zealand / Fitter, Julian
“An authoritative new photographic guide to the birdlife of New Zealand. this beautiful photographic guide is the ideal companion for travelling birdwatchers and nature enthusiasts alike. Featuring over 300 species of bird most likely to be seen in New Zealand, it is the only guide that anyone travelling to this fascinating region of the world will need. * Illustrated with over 600 full-colour photographs and featuring detailed species descriptions and distribution maps * Key information on national parks helps readers to find the best spots to discover each bird” (Adapted from the catalogue)

 

Shorebirds / Arkins, Alina
“Introduces common shore birds of New Zealand giving information about breeding, feeding, habitat, conservation and migration. Suggested level: primary, intermediate, junior secondary.” (Catalogue)

 

 

Beautiful birds of New Zealand / Ballance, Alison
“This book describes 100 birds, which covers all the NZ birds that you are most likely to see, including some rare and endangered birds. For each bird there is one page of accessibly written and highly informative text with one large photograph facing it.” (Catalogue)

 

 

Attracting birds and other wildlife to your garden in New Zealand / Ell, Gordon
“Birds in the New Zealand Garden was originally published in 1981 (and went on to reprint 11 times). In this highly practical new hardback book, which includes beautiful bird and nature photography by Geoff Moon and others, enticing birds, lizards, butterflies and other animals into your backyard is made simpler than ever, regardless of the size or style of your garden. Tricks ranging from building a bird table or a nest box to raising froglets or establishing a nature pond  tables listing ideal native and introduced shrubs and trees to provide food and shelter for birds, butterflies, bees and more.” (Adapted from the catalogue)

Bird words : New Zealand writers on birds
“New Zealand birds have inspired mythology, song, whimsical stories, detailed observation, humour and poetry. From the kakapo, kokako and kaka to the sparrow, starling and seagull, both native and imported birds have been immortalised in print. This is a varied and stimulating selection from the flocks of New Zealand writers who have given our birds a voice. They have brought extinct birds back to life and even enabled the kiwi to take flight on the page.”–Publisher information.” (Adapted from the Catalogue)

Whio : saving New Zealand’s blue duck / Young, David
“The blue duck, or whio, is one of New Zealand’s ancient treasures, a beautiful torrent duck that once lived on clear, fast-flowing rivers throughout most of the country. Sadly, this is no longer the case. The blue duck belongs to the not so well known ‘second tier’ of endangered species (including kaka, kea, parakeets and North Island brown kiwi) whose numbers have dropped alarmingly in the last 15 years. Whio tells the story of how a dedicated group of scientists, field workers and volunteers have set about saving the blue duck. ” (Adapted from the catalogue)

A naturalist’s guide to the birds of New Zealand / Thomas, Oscar
“This photographic identification guide to 239 bird species in New Zealand, including the most commonly seen, unique and endemic species, is perfect for resident and visitor alike. High-quality photographs from one of New Zealand’s youngest nature photographers are accompanied by detailed species descriptions, which include nomenclature, size, distribution, habits and habitat. The user-friendly introduction covers climate, vegetation, biogeography and the key sites for viewing the listed species. ” (Adapted from the catalogue)

Forest and ocean : bird songs. / Melbourne, Hirini “Hirini Melbourne was a tireless advocate of Maori language and culture and led by example. On this album are a selection of his songs in Te Reo, performed by the composer together with simple, intimate guitar accompaniment. Recordings of forest and ocean bird calls are sensitively woven into the recording. These songs are suitable for childrens’ choirs, too… A truly enjoyable album and an excellent resource for primary schools in particular.” (SOUNZ)

1-2-3 bird! / Gunson, Dave
“Racing birds, splashing birds, safari birds and party birds … Be a bird spotter! A fun counting book”. This book is available in both Maori and English.  (Adapted from the catalogue)

 

 

The cuckoo and the warbler : a true New Zealand story / Warne, Kennedy
“The Cuckoo and the Warbler tells the story of one of the most remarkable wildlife relationships in New Zealand, between pipiwharauroa, the shining cuckoo, and riroriro, the grey warbler. It is a story of tragedy, trickery and faithful care – and it plays out each spring and summer in the forests of Aotearoa. Although rarely seen by humans, the interaction of these two native birds is a striking example of nature’s inventiveness.” (Catalogue)

The indigo bird / Taylor, Helen J.
“Fantail is looking for Takahe, but where can he be? Is he playing with Weka in the snow or splashing in the puddles with Pukeko? Perhaps he’s hiding in plain sight! Suggested level: junior.” (Catalogue)

 

 

New legends of Aoteaora : New Zealand birds / Swadling, Irene
“A collection of six stories told in a traditional style about New Zealand birds and their environment. Suggestd level: junior, primary.” (Catalogue)

 

 

In the garden : explore & discover the New Zealand backyard / Candler, Gillian
“In the Garden introduces young children to common creatures they can find in a New Zealand garden. It is the only guide available for young children and families that shows creatures in their natural habitats, with sections on bees, wasps, butterflies, snails, lizards, and birds.  In the Garden is a finalist in the non-fiction section of the New Zealand Post Children’s Book Awards. ” (Adapted from the catalogue)

One lonely kākāpō : a New Zealand counting book / Morris, Sandra
“Introduces the numbers from one to ten alongside a variety of native New Zealand birds, reptiles and sea life.” (Catalogue)

 

 

 

12 huia birds = 12 manu huia / Stokoe, Julian
“12 beautiful huia birds play and sing in the forest. But is that a canoe arriving? A rat sniffling? A ship on the horizon? One by one, the huia start to disappear what will remain? 12 Huia Birds is a captivating celebration of one of our loveliest birds. Through gentle rhyme and colourful imagery it subtly conveys an environmental message and includes links to a 12 Huia Birds app, educational resources and games. This book has both English and Maori versions. ” (Adpated from the catalogue)

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)

The 80s called and they’ve given their magazine back

Wellington City Magazine on Recollect

Wellington City Libraries is bringing the past back to the future with the popular 1980s Wellington City Magazine now accessible online.

Not only will it showcase the big hair, shoulder pads and jazzercize of the era in the capital, but also the cool cats, clubs and cafes, and feature articles and columns from many still well-known contributors.

Wellington City Magazine on Recollect

Wellington City Magazine offers a fascinating insight into Wellington’s culture in the mid-1980s during a time of considerable societal and economic change, says Wellington City Libraries Local Historian Gabor Toth.

“Its first edition was printed at the very end of Robert Muldoon’s final term as the National Government’s Prime Minister in 1984, and came to an end after 27 issues following the share market crash in 1987.

“Published by Henry Newrick, the magazine had an enormous variety of feature articles and regular columns. Its advertising content reflected a boom in the local economy as financial regulatory controls were dropped, the share market rose to new heights and a new generation of high-earning workers, investors and entrepreneurs opened their wallets. The magazine was also highly innovative in its graphic design, page layout and high-quality photograph reproduction.

“The first five issues were called Wellington Cosmo to reflect the fact that Wellington was seen as being a particularly ‘cosmopolitan’ city, a legal threat to change the title as it violated the international Cosmopolitan Magazine trademark, and a failed appeal and injunction, saw it change its title to Wellington City Magazine.

“The magazine had three editors; Lloyd Jones, John Saker and Malcolm McSporran and attracted many talented writers and journalists who often had significant literary, academic or business backgrounds – including David Burton, Ian Wedde, Simon Morris, Lorraine Mexted, Tony Simpson and Bill Gosden.

“The magazine also took on causes, and was one of the first outlets to raise the profile of the St James Theatre when it was threatened with demolition.”

This was a labour of love for Gabor, hand scanning every page and photoshopping the gutter out of the double page spreads, says Manager of Libraries & Community Spaces, Laurinda Thomas.

“Everyone, young and old, is going to get a kick out of these magazines – it’s like a time machine, and everyone can just go online and get transported there.

“So many of the restaurants, bars, cafes, cinemas, galleries have been replaced with new ones, but some things that haven’t changed are the political, arts and cultural scene – and the Green Parrot!”

Go to wellington.recollect.co.nz and click on the ‘Collections’ button to see all 27 issues, and keep an eye on Wellington City Council and Libraries social media channels for some 1980s nostalgia to coincide with the launch.

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”)

Te Tiriti o Waitangi – 6th February events

Here in Wellington we’re far away from Waitangi where the official Waitangi Day commemorations happen every year. But did you know that we’re lucky enough to be able to visit the Treaty itself locally at the He Tohu exhibition at the National Library?

He Tohu is a permanent exhibition of three Aotearoa New Zealand constitutional documents, and preserves these powerful taonga for future generations. The three documents are:

  • He Whakaputanga o te Rangatiratanga o Nu Tireni (1835)
    Declaration of Independence of the United Tribes of New Zealand
  • Te Tiriti o Waitangi (1840)
    Treaty of Waitangi
  • The Women’s Suffrage Petition (1893)
    Te Petihana Whakamana Pōti Wahine

On Waitangi Day this year you can visit the National Library for a 30-minute guided tour exploring this multi-award winning exhibition. Tours begin on the hour and half hour between 9.30 am and 4.30 pm, and there’s much more happening besides.

As part of the commemorations, our own He Matapihi Library (housed on-site at the National Library), will be open for the day for browsing, and will host a children’s puppet show by String Bean Puppets.

Please note that He Matapihi will be the only Wellington branch library open on Waitangi Day, and will open from 9:30am – 4:30pm.

What?
Nan and Tuna — a bilingual puppet show, presented by Stringbean Puppets.

Where?
He Matapihi Molesworth Library, 70 Molesworth St, Thorndon.

When?
Saturday 6th Feb at 10:30am

“Nan and Tuna have been friends for 70 years and now it is time for one last adventure together. But before they leave they need to find someone to care for the river. A bilingual puppet show about eels, rivers and friendship.”

The National Library have a full day of activities planned so there will be lots more to see and do, including:

  • Arts and crafts activities for the whole whānau
  • Historical footage of Waitangi Day commemorations curated by Ngā Taonga Sound and Vision
  • A Māori pronunciation workshop to learn more about the Māori words used in Te Tiriti o Waitangi
  • An installation of giant banners featuring four Treaty signatories, including local rangatira Te Wharepōuri

Waitangi Day at the National Library

He Matapihi will also have a display of books about the Treaty of Waitangi, including some of these:

The Treaty of Waitangi / Calman, Ross
“The best basic introduction to the Treaty of Waitangi, New Zealand’s founding document; it summarizes the history of the Treaty and race relations in New Zealand/ Aotearoa How well do any of us know what the Treaty document means? In this easy-to-follow book, Ross Calman looks at what New Zealand was like before the Treaty and how this important document has effected the way we live now.” (Catalogue)

The Treaty of Waitangi / Orange, Claudia
“Today the Treaty has come to signify what both joins and divides the people of this country. It had different meanings also to those present at the 1840 signing -the new arrivals and the tangatawhenuathen occupying the land. To the British, it was the means by which they gained sovereignty over the country; for Maori, it represented something closer to partnership. That these distinct meanings were conveyed in texts written in different languages only added to the complexities now woven around this crucial agreement.Claudia Orange’s remarkable history was first published in 1987. ” (Catalogue)

Treaty of Waitangi : questions and answers
” Covering many historical and contemporary issues, it is for people who want to gain a basic knowledge about the Treaty of Waitangi and its implications, as well as for those who want to refresh and update their understanding. It includes a summary of legislation and events since 1840 which have breached the Treaty, and a comprehensive reading list for further information. ” (Catalogue)

Treaty of Waitangi settlements
“The settlement of iwi claims under the Treaty of Waitangi has been a prominent feature of New Zealand’s political landscape over the last thirty years. In this timely book, leading scholars offer the first analysis of the economic and social impact of the settlement process.” (Catalogue)

Te Tiriti o Waitangi / Morris, Toby
“Ground-breaking full-colour graphic novel about Te Tiriti o Waitangi | The Treaty of Waitangi. Accessible, engaging, image-rich design. Dual-language flip book with Maori and Pakeha authors Ross Calman and Mark Derby. Text in te reo Maori version developed by Maori Language Commission-registered translator Piripi Walker. Reviewed by some of Aotearoas foremost Te Tiriti o Waitangi experts to reflect current scholarship. Includes a link to both versions of the treaty translated into thirty other languages and New Zealand Sign Language.” (Catalogue)

Treaty to Treaty : a history of early New Zealand from the Treaty of Tordesillas 1494 to the Treaty of Waitangi 1840 / Bennett, R. S.
“This book is a large & detailed history of early NZ and includes events elsewhere in the world that have had an effect on this country. The size of this project and the author’s wish to bring to the fore interesting and important material not covered in other historical work has necessitated the production of three volumes rather than the one as originally intended. Volume One contains essays on background topics.” (Catalogue)

New Zealand material recent arrivals

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

2020 Ockham NZ Book Awards: Non-Fiction Winners!

Last week we profiled the fiction and poetry winners of the 2020 Ockham NZ Book Awards. This week we celebrate the non-fiction winners!

“It is rock-star writing: entertaining, revealing and incredibly heartfelt”

The 2020 General Non-Fiction Award went to Shayne Carter, musician and front man of Straitjacket Fits and Dimmer, for his memoir, Dead People I Have Known (Victoria University Press). Carter also won the E.H. McCormick Prize for best first work of General Non-Fiction. The category judges said of the first-time author’s work: “It is rock-star writing: entertaining, revealing and incredibly heartfelt”.  Rachel King’s marvelous Spin Off essay  about Dead People I Have Known noted that: “The best thing about the book is Shayne’s ability to fully recreate a scene as if he is standing right there experiencing it, and we are standing there with him”.  Reserve a copy of this powerful book here.

Watch Shayne Carter read from Dead People I Have Known here.

“From the obscure and ephemeral to the well-known and loved, the images allow us to be witness to – and challenge us to learn from – our shared past of resistance, dissent and activism”

Stephanie Gibson, Matariki Williams (Tūhoe, Te Atiawa, Ngāti Whakaue, Ngāti Hauiti), and Puawai Cairns (Ngāti Pūkenga, Ngāti Ranginui, Ngāiterangi) – three Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa curators – won the 2020 Illustrated Non-Fiction Award for their work Protest Tautohetohe: Objects of Resistance, Persistence and Defiance. The judges observed that: “From the obscure and ephemeral to the well-known and loved, the images allow us to be witness to – and challenge us to learn from – our shared past of resistance, dissent and activism”.

Alice Webb-Liddall wrote that: “Movements led by Māori, by women and by children continue to shape New Zealand’s community and policy, and have made us world leaders in areas like women’s suffrage. A collection of objects become the markers of every movement, and Stephanie Gibson, Matariki Williams and Puawai Cairns have collated some of the most important, most beautiful and most confronting of these”. Reserve a copy of this fascinating and important book here.

Watch Stephanie Gibson read from Protest Tautohetohe: Objects of Resistance, Persistence and Defiance here.

“The book is not only a reflection of New Zealand’s diversity of people and whenua, but also speaks to how we interact with our environment” 

The 2020 Judith Binney Prize for best first work of Illustrated Non-Fiction went to Chris McDowall and Tim Denee for We Are Here: An Atlas of Aotearoa (Massey University Press). RNZ noted that this book “is not only a reflection of New Zealand’s diversity of people and whenua, but also speaks to how we interact with our environment”. Reserve a copy of this book, which is more than just an atlas, here.

Ockham NZ Book Awards Illustrated Non-Fiction Long List

As well as General Non-Fiction, the Ockham New Zealand Book Awards have a special category for Illustrated Non-Fiction. The 2020 long list for this category, which has just been announced, includes magnificently illustrated books that both inform and entertain.

The Ockham short lists will be announced on 4 March, and the final prize winners will be presented with their awards on 12 May.

Check out the titles in the Illustrated Non-Fiction Award category long list!

Crafting Aotearoa: a cultural history of making in New Zealand and the wider Moana Oceania / Chitham, Karl
“A major new history of craft that spans three centuries of making and thinking in Aotearoa New Zealand and the wider Moana (Pacific). Paying attention to Pākehā, Māori, and island nations of the wider Moana, and old and new migrant makers and their works, this book is a history of craft understood as an idea that shifts and changes over time.” (Adapted from our catalogue)

Protest Tautohetohe: objects of resistance, persistence and defiance / Gibson, Stephanie
“Aotearoa New Zealand has a long legacy of activism. This richly illustrated book brings together over 300 objects made by protestors to proclaim and symbolise their causes and their struggles. From banners to badges, t-shirts to tea towels, posters to photographs, it is a vivid reflection of 250 years of resistance and persistance.” (Catalogue)

Frances Hodgkins: European journeys
“This vivid and revealing book is published alongside a landmark exhibition focused on one of our most internationally recognized artists, Frances Hodgkins. Complete with a rich visual chronology of the artist’s encounters abroad, alongside over one hundred of Hodgkins’ key paintings and drawings, the book is an illuminating journey that moves us from place to place through the writings of a number of distinguished art historians, curators and critics.” (Adapted from our catalogue)

Funny as: the story of New Zealand comedy / Horan, Paul
“On TV, film, and live, New Zealand comedy has never been bigger. Published alongisde a major Television New Zealand documentary series, Funny As is a big, authoritative, funny history of New Zealand’s funny men and women. From capping bands to the Topp Twins, hori humour to Billy T James, Lynn of Tawa to Fred Dagg, New Zealanders have made each other laugh in ways distinctive to our peoples and our culture. In 400 pictures and a text built on deep research and over 100 interviews with comics, this book will be Funny As.” (Catalogue)

We are here: an atlas of Aotearoa / McDowall, Chris
“This compelling mix of charts, graphs, diagrams, maps and illustrations is beautiful, insightful, and enlightening. It helps us make sense of our country, to grasp its scale, diversity and intricacies, and to experience feelings of connection to land, to place, to this time in our history, and to one another. By making data visible, each graphic reveals insights: Who visits us? How many fish are in the sea? How do we hurt ourselves? Where do our cats go to at night?  Essays by some of New Zealand’s best thinkers complete the package.” (Adapted from our catalogue)

Louise Henderson: from life
“This is the first major survey of the life and work of French-born, New Zealand artist Louise Henderson (1902-1994). Featuring work from across Henderson’s seven-decade career, the book and accompanying exhibition trace the development of the artist’s bold and colourful abstract style. Henderson worked alongside other major figures including Rita Angus, John Weeks, Colin McCahon and Milan Mrkusich and was one of the first New Zealand artists to commit herself to an overtly modern style.” (Adapted from our catalogue)

McCahon country / Paton, Justin
“In this landmark book, celebrated writer and curator Justin Paton takes readers on a journey through the landscape of Aotearoa, as the artist loved and painted it. From Otago to Canterbury, Takaka to Taranaki, Muriwai to Northland and many more places in between, Paton brings his curator’s eye to a selection of nearly 200 of McCahon’s paintings and drawings, including iconic and beloved works and others never before published.” (Adapted from our catalogue)

Colin McCahon: there is only one direction. Vol. I 1919-1959 / Simpson, Peter “In the first of a two-volume work chronicling 45 years of painting by New Zealand artist, Colin McCahon, leading McCahon scholar, writer, and curator Peter Simpson chronicles the evolution of McCahon’s work over the artist’s entire career. Each volume includes over 300 colour illustrations, with a selection of reproductions (many never previously published), plus photographs, catalogue covers, facsimiles and other illustrative material.” (Adapted from our catalogue)

The meaning of trees / Vennell, Robert
“This treasure of a book pays homage to New Zealand’s native plant species while telling the story of plants and people in Aotearoa. Beautifully illustrated with botanical drawings, paintings and photographs, it shows us how a globally unique flora has been used for food, medicine, shelter, spirituality and science. From Jurassic giants to botanical oddballs – these are our wonderful native and endemic plants.” (Adapted from our catalogue)


The New Photography: New Zealand’s First-generation Contemporary Photographers / McCredie, Athol
“Athol McCredie is a leading NZ photography curator and in this beautiful book he tells the story of the beginning of contemporary/art photography in Aotearoa. Photographers discussed include Gary Baigent, Max Oettli, and Ans Westra.” (Adapted from Fishpond)

New Zealand at War, home and abroad – History Picks for July

This month’s history picks reach the regular quota of World War Two content, with Smoky the Brave also scoring highly on the animals-with-jobs meter and Ake ake kia kaha e! : Forever Brave! looking at the iwi who contributed to the Maori Battalion, both abroad and at home. Elsewhere we go back in Aotearoa’s history with Vincent O’Malley’s The New Zealand Wars providing a detailed look at an oft-neglected topic in our past.

The promise : love and loss in modern China / Xinran
“Xinran begins with the magic and tragedy of one young couples wedding night in 1950, and goes on to tell personal experiences of loss, grief and hardship through China’s extraordinary century. In doing so she tells a bigger story – how traditional Chinese values have been slowly eroded by the tide of modernity and how their outlooks on love, and the choices they’ve made in life, have been all been affected by the great upheavals of Chinese history. A spell-binding and magical narrative, this is the story of modern China through the people who lived through it, and the story of their love and loss.” (Catalogue)

Smoky the brave / Lewis, Damien
“In February 1944, as Japanese advances threatened to engulf Australasia, a four-pound Yorkshire terrier was discovered hiding in a Japanese shell scrape amidst the thick jungles of Papua New Guinea. A mystery, she was adopted by Corporal William ‘Bill’ Wynne. Living in his tent, sleeping on felt salvaged from a card table, and sharing his rations, Smoky became the de facto mascot of the regiment. She went on to fly numerous missions, cocooned in a pack hanging next to the machine-guns used to repel marauding Japanese fighters.” (Catalogue)

North Korea in 100 facts / Monti, Ruth Ann
“Ruth Ann Monti teases out the truth about North Korea to provide an illuminating insight into a society that might just as well be in outer space for most in the West. Did you know, for instance, that high school students are required to complete an 81-hour course on current leader Kim Jong-un? Or that everyone must wear a Kim badge at all times? How about the fact that Kim Jong-il, kidnapped two of South Korea’s film industry giants and made seven films with them – including a Socialist version of Godzilla?” (Catalogue)

The New Zealand Wars = Ngā Pakanga o Aotearoa / O’Malley, Vincent
“The New Zealand Wars were a series of conflicts that profoundly shaped the course and direction of our nations history. The wars are an integral part of the New Zealand story but we have not always cared to remember or acknowledge them. Today, however, interest in the wars is resurgent. Public figures are calling for the wars to be taught in all schools and a national day of commemoration was recently established.” (Catalogue)

The Plimmer legacy : a family story from early Wellington to modern farming in the Rangītikei / Dawson, Bee
“From Wellington’s Plimmer Steps to the green hills of Motukawa. This is the story of a family – several generations of influential people – starting with ‘the father of Wellington’, John Plimmer, whose statue stands at the bottom of Plimmer Steps on Lambton Quay. Stories of Victorian and Edwardian life in the capital city lead on to the diverging paths of later generations, with an ongoing involvement in commerce, politics and farming.” (Catalogue)

Armageddon and paranoia : the nuclear confrontation / Braithwaite, Rodric
“In 1945, the atom bomb was dropped on Hiroshima and warfare was never the same again. There are few villains in this story: on both sides of the Iron Curtain, dedicated scientists cracked the secrets of nature, dutiful military men planned out possible manoeuvres and politicians wrestled with potentially intolerable decisions. None of them wanted to start a nuclear war, but all of them were paranoid about what the other side might do.” (Catalogue)

American cipher : Bowe Bergdahl and the U.S. tragedy in Afghanistan / Farwell, Matt
“Private First Class Bowe Bergdahl left his platoon’s base in eastern Afghanistan in the early hours of June 30, 2009. Since that day, easy answers to the many questions surrounding his case–why did he leave his post? What kinds of efforts were made to recover him from the Taliban? And why, facing a court martial, did he plead guilty to the serious charges against him?–have proved elusive.” (Catalogue)

Ake ake kia kaha e! : forever brave! : B Company 28 (Maori) Battalion, 1939-1945 / Gardiner, Wira
“A truly unique insight into the impact the Second World War had on the iwi of the central North Island and Bay of Plenty districts (including Te Arawa, Ngati Tuwharetoa, Tuhoe, Whanau-a-Apanui, Ngati Maru and Ngati Paoa) focusing on the region’s war effort not only overseas, but also at home and in government. Through personal recollections, eyewitness accounts, numerous anecdotes and highly illustrated throughout, the book tells the fascinating story of the B Company’s war, capturing the special `spirit’ of the Maori Battalion.” (Catalogue)

Tiriti Talks: Morgan Godfery — Te Arawhiti / Māori Crown Relations and the Tiriti

Nau mai, haere mai!  Wellington City Libraries are pleased to present the third of our free events to mark the signing of Te Tiriti o Waitangi in Te Whanganui-a-Tara that happened on the 29 April 1840

Where

The Hall, St John’s In The City
Cnr Willis & Dixon Streets (entrance on Dixon St)

When

Rātū / Tuesday  14 May  @  5.30-6.30 pm

About Morgan Godfery

Morgan Godfery has whakapapa links to Te Pahipoto hapū of Ngāti Awa, and Lalomanu of Hāmoa/Samoa.  He is a political writer (but not a member of any political party).

His strong commitment to issues affecting Māori has driven his weekly/daily  comments  on social media via his twitter account and e-Tangata. An earlier focus of his writing was his blog, Maui Street.

Although the blog is now inactive, there is an impressive list of his published work there.

Read Morgan Godfery on Bridget Williams Books

You can read two of Morgan’s works online — Māui Street and The Interregnum — through our Bridget Williams Books Text Collection subscription (log in with your library card at the links below to start reading):

Māui Street / Morgan Godfery (eBook)
“Morgan Godfery is one of New Zealand’s most energising young thinkers. In just a few years he has become a leading voice in the country’s social and political life. Starting out under his own banner, ‘Māui Street’, his writing now appears across national and international publications. This curated selection brings together the best of Godfery’s writing. Read together, the collection charts the emergence of a significant New Zealand voice.” (Bridget Williams Books)

The Interregnum / Morgan Godfery (eBook)
“In BWB’s latest book of essays, edited by Morgan Godfery, ten of New Zealand’s sharpest emerging thinkers gather to debate the ‘morbid symptoms’ of the current moment, from precarious work to climate change, and to discuss what shape change might take, from ‘the politics of love’ to postcapitalism”. The Interregnum interrogates the future from the perspective of the generation who will shape it.” (Bridget Williams Books)

Enquiries to enquiries@wcl.govt.nz

Our Te Tiriti talks series are a collaboration between Wellington City Libraries and Groundwork:  Facilitating Change.

Tiriti Talks: Jen Margaret – The State of the Pākehā Nation

Nau mai, haere mai!  Wellington City Libraries are pleased to present the second of our free events to mark the signing of Te Tiriti o Waitangi in Te Whanganui-a-Tara that happened on the 29 April 1840

Where

The Hall, St John’s In The City
Cnr Willis & Dixon Streets (entrance on Dixon St)

When

Rātū / Tuesday  7 May  @  5.30-6.30 pm

About Jen Margaret

Jen Margaret is a Te Tiriti educator who devotes her time to working with individuals and organisations to deepen our understanding and application of Te Tiriti o Waitangi.

Her kōrero in this Te Tiriti talk series is based on the State of the Pākehā Nation essay commissioned for Waitangi Day 2018, entitled Ka pū te ruha, ka hao te rangatahi: change in the Pākehā nation. It explores the necessity to unravel privilege, racism and colonisation, and suggests ways in which Pākehā might work to do so.

Jen’s work is guided by the whakataukī : “Ko koe ki tēnā, ko ahau ki tēnēi I kīiwai o te kete”

This whakataukī has been adopted to convey the differing roles and responsibilities for Tangata Tiriti and Tangata Whenua within the Treaty relationship.

Jen has published the following resources which are listed on her website:

Working as allies, non-indigenous supporters of indigenous justice in Australia and Aotearoa New Zealand

Ngā Rerenga o Te Tiriti provides guidance to groups and organisations within the community sector regarding engaging with the Treaty of Waitangi.

Our Te Tiriti talks series are a collaboration between Wellington City Libraries and Groundwork:  Facilitating Change.

Enquiries to enquiries@wcl.govt.nz

Motu Kairangi – A free lunchtime kōrero

Nau mai, haere mai

Wellington City Libraries presents a free lunchtime kōrero about the history of Te Motu Kairangi (The Miramar peninsula).

WATTS PENINSULA: Public walking trails will be established and Fort Ballance will be restored.

The Speaker Morrie Love will mark the signing of Te Tiriti o Waitangi at Te Whanganui-a-Tara, on the 29th April 1840 in his kōrero of Te Motu Kairangi.

Date: Monday 29th April

Place: St Andrew’s Conference Centre, Hall (access to the right of the St Andrew’s on the Terrace building)

Time:  12:30 – 1:15pm

Enquiries to ann.reweti@wcc.govt.nz

One version of the story of the settlement of the eastern shores of Te Whanaganui-a-Tara by Ngāi Tara, Ngāti Itra is told by Elsdon Best in The land of Tara – we have this digitised version  on our Māori Resource page.

The migrations of iwi and hapū from the East Coast – the stories of Ngāti Porou / Ngāti Kahungunu are a complex acount of journeys, fighting and intermarriage.  “Ngāti Kahungunu” was the blanket label given to the eastern tribes by Te Atiawa as the Taranaki iwi sought to plant their foothold on the western shores and the inner harbour between 1820s and 1840s – up to the arrival of the New Zealand Company and its first six ships of immigrants in 1839-1840.

You can also check out our Te Whanganui-a-Tara index of Māori history and here are some eBooks from our catalogue on ‘Te Tirit o Waitangi’.

The Treaty of Waitangi / Orange, Claudia
“Since its publication in 1987, Claudia Orange’s book has become the standard guide to one of the key documents in New Zealand history, selling over 40,000 copies. The complexities of the Treaty, which have done so much to shape New Zealand history for nearly 200 years, are thoughtfully explored as Orange examines the meanings the document has held for Māori and Pākehā. A new introduction brings it up to date with all that has happened since, complementing the book’s lucid and well-researched exploration of how and why the Treaty was signed.” (Catalogue)

Treaty of Waitangi [electronic resource] / Calman, Ross
“The book’s first two parts consider how the Christian word was spread and how Maori responded, explaining the identification they felt with the Israelites of the Old Testament. The third part relates the rise of indigenous religious movements, from the early Papahurihia through Pai Marire, Ringatu and the Parihaka Movement, and the later incarnations of the Arowhenua Movement in the South Island and what remains today’s leading Maori church, Ratana.” (Catalogue)

Treaty of Waitangi settlements
“The settlement of iwi claims under the Treaty of Waitangi has drawn international attention, as other nations seek ways to build new relationships between indigenous peoples and the state. Here leading scholars consider the impact of Treaty settlements on the management and ownership of key resources (lands, forests and fisheries); they look at the economic and social consequences for Māori, and the impact of the settlement process on Crown–Māori relationships. And they ask ‘how successful has the settlement process been?'” (Catalogue)

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

Nostalgia is popular this month in the NZ Collection

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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)

New Fiction from Aotearoa New Zealand

This Mortal Boy book cover

New to the world, or new to Wellington City Libraries, these titles from local authors showcase a range of talents, beginning with Fiona Kidman’s new book about the ‘jukebox killer’ in Auckland in 1955. These tales explore New Zealand influences through eras and locations influencing lives we can recognise and feel kinship with.

This mortal boy / Kidman, Fiona
“Albert Black, known as the ‘jukebox killer’, was only twenty when he was convicted of murdering another young man in a fight at a milk bar in Auckland on 26 July 1955. His crime fuelled growing moral panic about teenagers, and he was to hang less than five months later, the second-to-last person to be executed in New Zealand. But what really happened? Was this a love crime, was it a sign of juvenile delinquency? Or was this dark episode in our recent history more about our society’s reaction to outsiders?” (Catalogue)

The new animals / Adam, Pip
“Carla, Sharon and Duey have worked in fashion for longer than they care to remember, for them, there’s nothing new under the sun. They’re Generation X: tired, cynical and sick of being used. Tommy, Cal and Kurt are Millenials, they’ve come from nowhere, but with their monied families behind them they’re ready to remake fashion. They represent the new sincere, the anti-irony. Both generations are searching for a way out, an alternative to their messed-up reality. Pip Adam’s new novel walks the streets of Auckland city now, examining the fashion scene, intergenerational tension and modern life with an unflinching eye.” (Catalogue)

Death actually : Death. Love. And in between. / Fenwicke, Rosy
“Maggie never wanted to go into the family business, but when her parents die suddenly and her husband has abandoned her and their two children, what choice does she have? So she becomes a funeral director.” (Catalogue)
Set in Queenstown this book encompasses family trials and trivialities with good humour and great characters.

The new ships / Duignan, Kate
“Peter Collie is adrift in the wake of his wife’s death. His attempts to understand the turn his life has taken lead him back to the past, to dismaying events on an Amsterdam houseboat in the seventies, returning to New Zealand and meeting Moira, an amateur painter who carried secrets of her own, and to a trip to Europe years later with his family. An unexpected revelation forces Peter to navigate anew his roles as a husband, father and son. Set in Wellington after the fall of the Twin Towers, and traversing London, Europe and the Indian subcontinent, The New Ships is a mesmerising book of blood-ties that stretch across borders. A novel of acute moral choices, it is a rich and compelling meditation on what it means to act, or to fail to act.” (Catalogue)

Designer days : a story set in Thorndon, Wellington, 2009 / Mercer, R. D.
“‘Down into the dark cave’ Laura says to her baby, pushing the buggy into the underpass. Cave paintings? Yes, indeed, but among them some writing she does not expect to find. Laura and Eddie both resist being constrained by the timetables of office or school. They want the freedom to design their own days. Laura, an IT specialist, craves domesticity. Eddie resents being moved to High School in Wellington. Laura’s husband, Matt, begins to behave curiously.” (Catalogue)

The man who writes the dreams / Barrett, Pera
“A story about following dreams. People have stopped turning their dreams into done-things. Luckily for us, the man who writes the dreams is here to make things right.” (Catalogue)

Equinoctial gales : a story set in Wellington, 1939 / Mercer, R. D.
“There were those who liked to refer to the shopping area of Kelburn as ‘the village’. It gave it status. Did they have in mind some impossible idyll of an English village of established families, in which people knew their place and weather was predictable? The reality of Kelburn in 1930s New Zealand could not have been more different.  A chance event, a “sudden death”, connects the characters in one way or another… But no-one living in Wellington can ignore the weather. They are all affected by its fickleness, its days of violence and its days of blessed calm.” (Adapted from Catalogue)

Alternative medicine / Solomon, Laura
“The stories in Alternative Medicine can be broadly defined as black comedy with a twist of surrealism… In ‘The Killing Jar’ a boy’s spider spies on his adulterous father and reports back to its owner. In ‘The New Heart’ a man experiences somebody else’s memories after receiving a heart transplant. The story ‘Mandy’ features a strangely obsessed protagonist. Everyday sadness at a refugee going blind is sketched out in ‘Blindness’. Childhood relationships are depicted in the short story ‘Pets’ and in ‘Piano Lessons/War Stories’ the narrator reflects upon her grandfather’s time fighting in World War 2.  The stories show human life in various forms and endeavours.” (Adapted from catalogue)

Hilary and David / Solomon, Laura
“In Hilary and David, David, a lonely elderly struggling novelist, contacts Hilary, with whom he has a friend in common, via Facebook, and an unlikely friendship develops via a series of messages. The two begin to share details of their past and current lives. Hilary is a solo mother with two children. One of the children has Down’s Syndrome and the other has Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). Both are struggling… Through a series of messages, Hilary and David share their thoughts on life, the universe, men, women and everything else in between and provide companionship and advice for one another.” (Adapted from Catalogue)