Nga Tamatoa leader Sid Jackson

Picture this: 1971 at Waitangi’s Treaty grounds; the GG in white ceremonial tunic, topped off by a helmet and proud feathers to match;  a bare-chested Maori shouting his welcome; a high axled army truck nearby.  The GG began his speech, but the heavens had other ideas and tropical rain bucketed down.

The GG’s plumage, designed for drier colonial climes and already at half mast, wilted, then capitulated. People scattered and we reporters sheltered under the truck. In front of us, Rob Muldoon and leading Waitangi protester Hana Jackson, remained shouting at each other – her insistence to his resistance. Neither could have known that this in one way or another  would be the pattern for years to come as protests grew. Meanwhile, under the truck we saw somebody’s hand combing the grass nearby until its owner found… his dentures. History can sometimes be blessed by lighter moments.

When robber bees invade a hive

beesI should begin by saying I am but a beginner beekeeper, so these are just my observations. I don’t keep them for honey, but for pollination, though my kids would tell me the joy of sticking their heads under a giant honey tap in harvest season is a hard reason to beat.

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Selling Godzone in Secret

Larissa_1Tens of thousands of Kiwis out in the rain over the weekend to protest against  the TPP which many thought had  been killed off  in the  last,  failed round of talks. But no.  In the collective race  from commonsense and responsibility to their peoples and institutions, governments are expecting the deal to be finalised later this month. Meanwhile  some Ministers have already dismissed the protests.

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Kalimera Corfu!

 Funny… it just didn’t seem like Greece. We’d been dazzled by the blue and white on Santorini, subdued by the mainland Greek’s grey and shades of olive and now Corfu looked like Greece’s bohemian cousin, in her green, orange and pink. But then maybe it was Corfu Town’s shabbiness, its charm and its palette of ochre that gave it the taste of Italy.

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Balmoral – Gateway to the East

I grew up in a village called Balmoral  where we wished, without a hint of masochism, that  the dentist’s drill  would  shriek; where we knew we were half-way to Hollywood when the cinema doorman took our tickets –  dressed in a tuxedo.

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Mt Eden’s Fight Club…

Chris HThe recent news about the violence in Mount Eden Prison has many elements. Political, naturally; Labour will be pleased to have been given the opportunity to rub National’s nose in the troublesome policy of privatisation. The Prison Officers’ Union will be equally pleased to say I told you so.

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