In the last issue Sarah described in disturbing detail the way we, by comparison to our parents’ generation, waste food. In short: We think about food too much, buy too much, cook too much, eat too much and end up chucking out too much…
Category archive: NZ History
I’ve been thinking about John Key for some time. John who? Yes, exactly. The New Zealand electorate’s love affair with John Key, which is still far beyond my understanding, seems to have ceased the moment he gave up being prime minister. It is as if he was swallowed by the hole of regretful memories. Does anyone remember why they loved him? Or is it a case of being embarrassed by a teenage romance best forgotten? Forgotten until recently, that is, when he popped up with a knighthood.
I watched Radio New Zealand’s Guyon Espiner’s interviews of past prime ministers on the computer to check out the body language as well as the words. I took notes of the show (The Ninth Floor), but with my prejudices it’s just as well I didn’t try journalism as a career. So let me state from the outset that Jenny Shipley is far and away my least favourite PM. She reminds me even now of a bossy head girl who’s never had a moment’s self doubt.
The legend of the Kiwi Otter
Despite the fact that no one has ever found a skeleton, the legend of the New Zealand otter persists, particularly in the back country of Southland. In her book New Zealand Mysteries, Robin Gossett has collected a wealth of anecdotes from witnesses, including Maori traditions of a small otter like animal called the waitoreke.
Were we supposed to go WOW! when the Government announced it would build a rail link to Auckland airport by… 2030? Maybe 2050?
TV3 news (sorry, Newshub) carried the story last month. And it featured something so familiar that it felt like déjà vu, yet there it was on our TV screens.
There’s dark green bush all around us; I can see it through the windscreen. I’m sitting between Mum and Dad in the Land Rover and I’m frightened. That’s my first memory and, for a long time, I didn’t know its origin. Was it a ‘false’ memory from the family’s stories of our baby days we loved to hear?
First, an early morning recollection from the day before: a friend describing a short story which captured the pitiful cries of whale calves separated from their beached mothers.
Then this: on a country road where the occasional car usually dawdled, most now zipped along at highway speeds.
With hope borne of nothing more than a fresh year, I dream on: That we all woke up to the inequity that has passed for national values for too many years. The reckless obsession with the glittering lights of our economy, dairying and tourism, illustrate how self-interest has overtaken public interest as a legitimate goal. I couldn’t resist showing, with minor deletions, Charlotte Bronte’s view of this clash of values in Shirley, published in 1849: