Saturday, December 31, 2011

Message for Lauris Edmond

Message for Lauris 
( Lauris Edmond)

Umbrella up, zigzag
down Grass Street,
what happened
to the letterbox?

Nasturtiums, bamboo, ti kouka,
flourish beside signs:
No nukes. No GE.
And no mailbox.

Wooden planks hang
on long ropes
for local swingers,
but where’s your letterbox?

Hungry mouth received
rejections, accolades,
acceptances, the letterbox
gone, like you

I miss its painted
pens, plumes, pencils.
Each proclaiming
a writer lives here.

 ©Heather Hapeta 2007
(previously published in the Press, Christchurch NZ)

Summer sun in Wellington

Check out Boxing Day in Wellington New Zealand: see pics here

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Tape Art artists in Wellington, New Zealand,

These local artists have created some 250 murals around the world .. here they were playing in their own backyard, on the wall of our national museum Te Papa,  during a  recent Wellington festival.

You have to be quick to see their art as they last only 24 hours. See more about them on their webpage

Friday, December 9, 2011

Visit New Zealand in Auckland Zoo!

Te Wao Nui - Auckland zoos latest, and big, development which I visited in August 2011 just before it opened

1.     THE COAST
Rugged, windswept and teeming with life, New Zealand’s 15,000km coastline is the world’s 10th longest. New Zealand’s isolated location is ideal for marine life; with deep oceans rich in food and scattered islands that offer a respite from global migrations.  These migrations are some of nature’s greatest stories, and these stories have become part of our culture.
In Te Wao Nui, The Coast represents New Zealand’s iconic coastal habitat. Throughout this habitat, the unique plants of the coast grow amongst the dunes and rocks, while little blue penguins and New Zealand fur seals explore the waters. The human influence is evident through a boatshed that illustrates our strong connection with nature and our need to respect it.
Our weather-battered coastline is an environment that only the hardiest and most adaptable of wildlife can call home.  But there are elements that even these plants and animals cannot withstand. As the kaitiaki (guardians) of our land, we have the opportunity to protect and conserve our unique environment.
Some species in The Coast: Little blue penguin, NZ fur seal, NZ dotterel

For centuries, isolation gave New Zealand’s incredible plant and animal species protection from progress and the threat of extinction. That changed very quickly when humans began their migration to these shores as habitats were decimated and populations dwindled or disappeared.
Tiny, rugged islands, scattered off New Zealand’s coastline, would provide some hope. Too harsh for humans, too far away for pests, these islands became accidental sanctuaries for many species that had vanished from the mainland. In recent years, they have provided inspiration for conservationists who continue to eradicate pests from more and more islands to create safe havens for our animals.
In Te Wao Nui, The Islands represents these accidental sanctuaries and highlights the active efforts to create new ones. Antipodes Island parakeets and Campbell Island teal exemplify the adaptive qualities of the animals who called these islands home. The tuatara resides here too, an iconic New Zealander who still needs our help to survive.
Some species in The Islands: Cook Strait tuatara, Antipodes Island parakeet, Campbell Island teal

Wetlands are one of New Zealand’s most incredible habitats, yet they are also one of the most forgotten. Over 90 per cent of them have been lost since humankind reached these shores, and many people are oblivious to their importance or the life they support.
Te Wao Nui’s The Wetlands recreates one of these special habitats. A towering waterfall cascades down the rock face, flowing into a pool that will be home to many of New Zealand’s unique wading birds. Plant species, instantly recognisable to many will also feature here; from flax to manuka to kahikatea and the cabbage tree.
This habitat focuses on unveiling a world that many visitors will not recognise. Within this world, the mysterious underwater life of eels will be brought into view. Often misunderstood, but with an important role in the environment, the eel is the perfect icon for New Zealand’s wetlands.
Some species in The Wetlands: Long-finned eel, pateke (brown teal), NZ kingfisher

4.     THE NIGHT
Darkness is when New Zealand really comes alive. From the infamous kiwi and morepork, to weta and short-tailed bats, New Zealand is home to an amazing number of nocturnal animals. While many of these animals are icons for our country, few New Zealanders get the chance to see them because they are so rare, and so secretive.
In The Night, Te Wao Nui’s nocturnal habitat, visitors can explore the hidden world and uncover the incredibly unique animals that inhabit it. Entering through a cave, The Night is lit by a night sky filled with stars. Alongside the kiwi, kauri snails and wetas will introduce our invertebrate species, while inanga and kokopu will reveal the truth about the fish commonly known as whitebait.
As much as this habitat reveals the beauty of a New Zealand forest at night, it also highlights just how much these animals rely on us to survive. A trapper’s tent illustrates the nocturnal predators that invade the darkness, while a Department of Conservation hut shows off the incredible work they are doing in conjunction with the Zoo and other partners.
Some species in The Night: Short-tailed bat, Archey’s frog, North Island brown kiwi, kauri snail, wetapunga, morepork, Duvaucel’s gecko, banded kokopu

Before humans came to this land, New Zealand was almost completely covered in forest. Many of New Zealand’s unique native species called these forests home – the beautiful sounds of the songbirds echoed throughout towering stands of kauri, kahikatea, and our other native trees.
While many of these forests have disappeared, those that remain are revered for their beauty and the life they support. The Forest habitat in Te Wao Nui celebrates our forests and the birds that call it home. From the kaka and kereru to the kakariki and tui, these birds have long been icons of our wildlife.
The Forest takes visitors out of the city to a habitat defined by birdsong, rustling leaves, and a trickling stream.  Representative of the forests of the Waitakere Ranges, this is a reminder of the beauty around us and the forest’s grace and power.  With so many forests already lost, now is your chance to stand up and be a kaitiaki (guardian) for those that remain
Some species in The Forest: North Island kaka, kereru (NZ wood pigeon), yellow-crowned parakeet, red-crowned parakeet, bellbird

New Zealand is a land defined by many colour palettes, but that of the South Island’s high country is one of the most iconic.  The shades of grey that resonate through the schist rock and the dull greens and mustard yellows of the tussocks are contrasted in the bold wings of the birds that live here.
The High Country represents all these elements in Te Wao Nui, and gives visitors the chance to come face-to-face with its most famous resident, the kea. The streams throughout this habitat are the ideal home for whio (blue duck), whose sole habitat is New Zealand’s fast flowing streams.
Like many animals in Te Wao Nui, the species seen in The High Country have developed their unique characteristics over centuries of isolation. As humankind continues to explore and move into their habitats, it is important that we act as kaitiaki (guardians) for these species and habitats.
Some species in The High Country: Kea, whio (blue duck), orange-fronted parakeet, Otago skink

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Great traffic slogans in India

Loved the road signs in India .. this was a visual notice to either pedestrians or train drivers

  •  Mobile off - Seat-belt on
  •  Destination or death – the choice is yours

  •  Drink and drive – you will not survive

Friday, November 25, 2011

Long banned book found - And now what?

A book that was banned in the 1970s has been seized from a  book shop in Wellington this week - read more.

And, see what I've written about Courage Day and censorship

New Zealand Pen said  ....

NZ PEN appalled at book seizure in Wellington

The NZ PEN Centre was disturbed to learn of the seizure of
Bloody Mama from a Wellington bookshop earlier this week.

The book was banned in 1971 by the Indecent Publications
Tribunal which was formed in 1963 and replaced by the Office
of Film and Literature Classification thirty years later.
However the Department of Internal Affairs is still bound by
the Tribunal's now outdated censorship rulings and have
taken what PEN considers to be inappropriate action in the
case of Bloody Mama.

"It is time the DIA reviewed the decisions made by the
Tribunal" said PEN President Tony Simpson.  "Books that were
banned forty years ago are considered quite acceptable now.
Freedom of expression and freedom of access to information
are required in the UN Declaration of Human Rights and it is
unacceptable that government officials are today seizing
books.  This is not the sort of practice we would expect in
New Zealand."

The NZ PEN Centre calls for the return of the book and a
review of the Indecent Publications list to bring it into
line with acceptable practices for the 21st Century.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Advice to aspiring writers: Anne McCaffrey

Advice to aspiring writers:
        "First -- keep reading. Writers are readers.
        Writers are also people who can't not write. 
        Second, follow Heinlein's rules for getting published: 
          1. Write it.
          2. Finish it. 
          3. Send it out. 
          4. Keep sending it out until someone sends you a check. 
      There are variations
      on that, but that's basically what works."

                                 ~ Anne McCaffrey, who
                                    passed away at 85 this week.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Christchurch updates -visitor centre, mall, and free wifi

And of course the container mall is open in Cashel Mall .. with FREE WI_FI read more here
I have just been sent this information from the city of my birth!
"After eight months in temporary premises Christchurch’s i-SITE Visitor Centre now has a specially-designed portable home beside Canterbury Museum on Rolleston Avenue.

“It’s an ideal spot for the visitor centre because it is in an area that will naturally attract most of our visitors to the city,” says Christchurch & Canterbury Tourism chief executive Tim Hunter. “We’re thrilled to have secured such a central location for the centre and are looking forward to welcoming many visitors and locals through its doors over the summer months.”

Prior to the February quake the i-SITE Visitor Centre was based in the Old Post Office building in Cathedral Square. For the past few months it has been operating out of temporary premises at the Chateau on the Park.

Manager, Sandra Caldwell says the new i-SITE Visitor Centre is a one-stop shop for visitors and locals looking for travel advice. It also offers ticketing for many key Christchurch events and booking services for tourism activities, accommodation and transport for Canterbury region and the whole of New Zealand.

“And the location of the centre is superb; it’s an easy walk to attractions such as Punting on the Avon, the Canterbury Museum, Caterpillar Tours at the Botanic Gardens and the North Hagley Park Events Village which is going to be home to some great events over the summer, including the World Buskers Festival in January.

“There are cafes and restaurants close-by and the Re-Start retail complex, with its attractive and vibrant mix of 26 shops and Ballantynes, is a short walk down Cashel St,” Ms Caldwell says.

She says i-SITE staff are delighted to have a more permanent home in time for the busy summer season.
“We’re expecting lots of visitors, including cruise passengers to come through this centre. Our new facilities in the Botanic Gardens will allow us to provide a high level of service to those who want information about the experiences and activities they can enjoy around Canterbury and the South Island.”