• Vintage planes on display. They flew later in the day

Wings Wows the Crowd

April 11th, 2019|Tags: , , , , , , , |

Thousands of children have quite a presence! I hadn’t expected our first impression of Masterton’s Hood Aerodrome to be one of moving, chattering, laughing hordes as the kids made their orderly, supervised way to the exit. But about 4500 children had been to a special education day that gave them the opportunity to learn about [...]

  • The Davenport

The Grande Dames of Marton

April 11th, 2019|Tags: , , , , , , |

“Go to Marton,” we were urged during a recent stop in Bulls, two hours north of Wellington. “It’s only 14km away and they’ve got the most amazing heritage buildings in the town centre. They’re all earthquake prone though and may need to be demolished at some stage, so see them while you can.” So off [...]

  • Kericell owners John and Robyn Rowe

Founded in Fruit – Kerikeri – Northland’s Home of the Horticulture Industry

April 10th, 2019|Tags: , , , , , , , |

Several years ago a radio jingle regularly promoted Kerikeri as the ‘sunshine centre of the Bay of Islands’. Irritating as that ear-worm was, its effectiveness helped to cement Kerikeri’s persona as a fruit-filled tropical paradise. It conveyed an image of blue skies, golden sun and the citrus for which the town is justly famous, an [...]

  • Rose ‘Harriet Shepherd’

Garden Discoveries Unearth Memories

February 10th, 2019|Tags: , , , , |

I’ve always had an interest in history and recently decided to delve into my own background. All I knew was that my great-great-grandparents lived in the Whangaroa area and their graves were somewhere near the harbour. Missionary James Shepherd arrived in New Zealand in 1818 to be joined by his wife Harriet some years later. [...]

Tangiwai Railway Disaster

November 30th, 2018|Tags: , , , , , , |

Christmas 1953. A less-commercial time than it is today. Retailers, including general stores, closed their doors for four days. Simplicity in Christmas decoration styles, nativity scenes, church services, family togetherness and a traditional large lunch were the order of the day, and it was a time when most of the nation looked forward to an [...]

  • Memorials large and small, many of them featuring poppies. The war memorial building is in Kaeo and the obelisk is at Mangonui (above)

The Eleventh Hour – Commemorating the Armistice

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

By the time an armistice between the Allied Forces and Germany was signed on November 11, 1918, more than 18,000 New Zealanders had died. During the four years leading up to that day, WWI – the ‘Great War’, the ‘war to end all wars’ – claimed lives and injured many thousands, physically, psychologically and in some [...]

Tsunami at 44 South – Chatham Islands Then and Now

October 3rd, 2018|Tags: , , , |

Unsurprisingly, one of the major threats to a small group of islands east of New Zealand is that of a tsunami. At 1am on August 15, 1868, tsunami waves generated the previous day by an earthquake offshore from Arica, Peru – some as high as six metres, nearly the height of a two-storey house – smashed [...]

  • Sculptor Susan Bahary and Nigel Allsopp (far right) (photo National Army Museum)

They Had No Say But Also Served – Commemorating the Armistice

October 3rd, 2018|Tags: , , , , , |

It was the donkey that did it. When I saw the image (provided by the National Army Museum) of that patient beast in its Red Cross headdress, exemplifying the way that a myriad animals joined military personnel in hell on earth for up to four long years, I wanted to pay a small tribute to [...]

River Deep, Mountain High

October 3rd, 2018|Tags: , , , , , |

Robbie Crickett, who with his wife Connie runs NZ Adventures tours, tells it how it is. If he says the road is steep, then it’s steep. If he calls it rough, women soon find out why; in the pre-tour information provided, it was suggested that we bring along support underwear. But the fact that people [...]

Style Never Sleeps

July 29th, 2018|Tags: , , , , , , , |

September/October 2018 marks 30 years since local sculptor Suzie (now Dame Suzie) Moncrieff first came up with the concept of wearable art in a marquee at Wakefield, just south of Nelson. Torrential rain did nothing to dampen the spirits of that inaugural show’s audience, many of whom came along in gumboots. In fact, the punters [...]