• A spectacular glass ceiling shows the Coat of Arms of all British Dominions and Colonies during WWI

Auckland Museum 166 Years On

November 27th, 2018|Tags: , , , , |

It’s an overcast Sunday, the beginning of the school holidays, when we meet on the steps of Auckland War Memorial Museum, and any thoughts that the blustery weather might serve to deter the crowds are quickly diminished. There’s a real buzz around the building as tourists and families throng the forecourt. Waiting there on the [...]

Railway Springs to Life

October 5th, 2018|Tags: , , , , , , |

Every time I go to Dargaville, I hear a whisper about some hidden discovery that would blow the collective mind if anyone got wind of it. Recently someone did. Unusual conditions on the coast revealed another shipwreck buried deep under the sand at Pouto, on the northern head of the Kaipara Harbour. Pouto is the [...]

Going Green

July 28th, 2018|Tags: , , , |

After taking a wrong turn at the top of town, being redirected by helpful road workers and finally huffing up the last hill to Conical Studios in the company of its charming CEO, Alejandro Davila, there was no hiding my demographic. As it turned out, I’m the perfect age to trial new augmented reality and [...]

  • Mike King plays it up for the cameras

Comic Genius

June 1st, 2018|Tags: , , , , |

As role models go, Mike King is right up there. The reluctant comedian, whose rise to fame was preceded by a bet with a barman and predicted by none other than Ben Elton, has now been in the public eye for more than two decades. King’s trajectory to the top has seen him appear in [...]

  • David was also the inspiration for lighting the bridges over the Avon

A Place to Remember

March 22nd, 2018|Tags: , , , , , |

Driving around the ever-changing one-way system of Christchurch’s inner city you pass empty building sites full of rubble, bounded by link fences, and littered with signs: Keep Out. Building Site. Wrong Way. Dead End. It’s confusing and – yes – it is confronting. Knowing this, I’d set out early for my afternoon interview with David [...]

EPIC

March 22nd, 2018|Tags: , , , , , , , |

I was, I suppose, the token Sheila. A woman among men. Many men, as it happened. We assembled at Christchurch’s Sudima Hotel for the early morning briefing. When I say early morning, I mean somewhere between breakfast and morning tea. Along with the proffered indemnity sheet to sign and information about the defibrillator and other [...]

What Lies Beneath

March 22nd, 2018|Tags: , , , , , , , |

Devonport is a 12-minute ferry ride across the harbour from bustling downtown Auckland and yet it retains the ambience of a quaint seaside village where much remains the same. Certainly, on the surface, it seems that little has changed since I lived there 25 years ago. The flagstaff stands tall, and heritage buildings still line [...]

  • Neil Dawson’s Other People’s Houses finally in situ after a 35-year wait for a home

The Cool Cats of Connells Bay

January 27th, 2018|Tags: , , , , , , |

While it’s true there was a time when I would have followed Billy Connolly anywhere, I can safely say that in this instance I was way ahead of him; for a large part of the journey, at least. You see, when Billy Connolly did his epic televised road trip of New Zealand in 2004, he [...]

Pave Paradise, Put up a Parking Lot

January 27th, 2018|Tags: , , , , , , , , , |

Many of us enjoy nostalgic memories of a time when the land close to our homes was a productive market garden, but not many of us appreciate how creeping urban development is swallowing up prime land, creating a dire situation for our food production. Left unchecked, New Zealand faces a food shortage. Since 1975 almost 10 [...]

From Tragedy to Triumph

December 1st, 2017|Tags: , , , , , , |

It’s 25 years since Jassy Dean’s life was tragically cut short when she died from meningococcal disease just as her teenage years debuted. Jassy was, by all accounts, a sunny, intelligent girl who made an impression on all who met her. Living as she did in a close-knit community for most of her young life, [...]