#142: Big Xmas Read

This newsletter contains the original hyperlinks to the source articles, some links may have now expired. Editor.



From Brian Sweeney, producer NZEDGE.COM | 21 December 2011 | #142 | London

Merry Christmas. NZEDGE.COM publishes daily on Facebook and Twitter. Here is our selection of news about New Zealanders appearing in the world’s media in November and December.


New Zealand tops list of world’s cleanest governments; least corrupt – New York Times

Maori have not lost sense of identity though 140,000 call Australia home – Herald Sun

John Key returns as PM with endorsement for free market policies, asset sales – Bloomberg

New Zealand only MSCI developed country index still in black over past year – Financial News

New Zealanders overseas “strongly motivated” to invest on home shores – Telegraph

New Zealand professionals in the UK returning south for money and lifestyle – Guardian

NZ Defence Force, “great warriors,” receive US military medals – Otago Daily Times

New Zealand geothermal scientists work with global partners for energy solutions – Xinhua

Christchurch quake a warning to avoid building urban centres on soft soils – Our Amazing Planet


Russell Garcia, Kerikeri’s most famous American; arranger, composer, 95 – Los Angeles Times

Roger Kerr, Roundtable leader, “national treasure”, NZ business provocateur, 66 – NZ Herald

Joyce McDougall, psychoanalyst, helped others find truth about themselves, 91– Guardian

Carmen, larger-than-life entertainer, gay-rights campaigner, Sydney, 75 – Sydney Morning Herald

Jason Richards, V8 Supercar champ, much respected driver on and off track, 35 – The Australian


Black Caps celebrate historic win over Australia, Doug Bracewell 6-40 – The Australian

Steve Hansen, 52, replaces Henry as All Blacks coach; sport’s “greatest honour” – Telegraph

Taki Te Koi, basketball player, leader on court for Dominican Uni, US – Marin Independent Journal

Jerome Kaino, All Black loose forward, 28, named player of the year – Taiwan News

Tim Payne, Junior All White, 17, snapped up by Blackburn Rovers – Sky Sports

Jesse Ryder, batsman, 27, smashes world record 16 sixes against Australia A – Herald Sun

AJ Hacket and Henry Van Asch, bungee pioneers, want danger, but the safe kind – Time

Mahe Drysdale rows “convincing victory” on Boston’s Charles River – ESPN

Trent Busuttin’s “big skinny horse” Sangster wins Flemington Derby – The Australian

Keith Murdoch, All Black, in Australia, portrayed in Finding MurdochSydney Morning Herald

Grant Dalton homeward-bound to head Emirates NZ America’s Cup campaign – Telegraph

Tyran Smith, player agent, 37, brokers NRL’s “most extraordinary contract” – Sydney Morning Herald

Rob Holah, Danny Butters off-duty in US compete for fire-fighting glory – Augusta Chronicle

Roger Tuivasa-Sheck, 18, fancy footwork earns him Sydney Roosters deal – Sydney Morning Herald

Granny McDonald, first woman to train Melbourne Cup winner, 1938 – Sydney Morning Herald

Blair Stewart, “valuable commodity”, playing for French rugby team Grenoble – RTÉ News

Jack Bauer, road racer, 24, a “signing coup” for US Team Garmin-Cervelo – Denver Post

Stephen Donald, World Cup’s “unlikely hero”, 27; helps Bath focus on ambitions – BBC


Weta, special effects juggernaut, Rise of the Planet of the Apes primate geniuses – Crave Online

Peter Jackson’s Meet the Feebles’ malevolent muppets “hilariously offensive” – New York Times

Bret McKenzie applies “rare talents” to Muppets score writing songs for pigs – New York Times

New Zealand’s foreign-language Oscar entry The Orator “brave new voice” – Hollywood Reporter

Peter Jackson’s fourth Hobbit video instalment “true techie tonic” – Guardian

Wellington will roll out red carpet anew for Hobbit premiere November 2012 – Variety

Jane Campion to direct Queenstown-set Sundance miniseries Top of The Lake – Hollywood Reporter

Peter Jackson sparks NZ film boom; “Jackson effect” boosts industry – Hollywood Reporter

Gisella Carr, Film NZ CEO, “NZ not about sheep anymore”; LOTR shifts perceptions – USA Today

Bret McKenzie says he could probably crank out a Conchords film in a month – CNN


Thom Powers, musician, played in some “terrible” bands; now Naked and Famous – OC Weekly

Ladyhawke announces second album release Anxiety; “upbeat” she swears – NME

Vincent Ward, filmmaker, explores collision of fear and awe in Brewster exhibit – E-Flux

Western Springs’ Foo Fighters gig causes geological vibrations; 50,000 attend – Rolling Stone

Naked and Famous, less wide-eyed; “invited to tour world”; sold-out US shows – SF Examiner

Rhys Darby, comedian, 37, prefers stand-up to taped; latest DVD out – SF Examiner

Willy Moon, 21, croons lyrics that “veer between retro sass and heartfelt sincerity” – Guardian

Christchurch changes US photographer’s life; to document quake recovery – Naperville Sun

Kimbra wins Best Female Artist ARIA; Pedestrian TV ponders Australian NZ talent theft

Lucy Lawless at TEDMED; “a beauty pageant for brilliant people” – CNN

Max Gimblett paints spirit of the moment of creation; Zen Warhol Museum exhibit – Pittsburgh Tribune

Ladyhawke to play intimate Club 100 gig; first London show for three years – XFM

Split Enz “gifted tunesmiths” with “knack for hooks”; Message to My Girl “brilliant” – Guardian

Tim Finn’s Cairns show to coincide with release of The View is Worth the Climb – Cairns.com.au

Katchafire On the Road Again promoting their fourth album in WA – Bunbury Mail

Charles Chan stars in The Bone Feeder; special blend of Chinese, Maori theatre – The Malaysia Star

Shaky Isles, dance company, introduce Maori sea monsters to London in TaniwhaThames – Guardian


Karangahake Gorge offers trampers a glimpse of goldmines past – USA Today

Minaret Station understated opulent tent getaway with “laughably” epic views – Financial Times

Te Araroa, world’s longest trail, four months to walk end to end; opens December – Gadling

White Island a “geothermal wonderland” where the earth breathes under foot – Washington Post

Abel Tasman, Lake Tarawera, Bay of Islands three of best kayaking spots – The Australian

Auckland projected as hot new destination for increasing numbers of Koreans – CNN

South Island “shy morning” of mist shot by German photographer; features in Intelligent Life

Hector’s Dolphins make rare appearance in Wellington Harbour – Xinhua

Kieran Scott’s “glorious” images in ‘Wanaka’ capture Whare Kea’s dreaminess – The Australian

Lake Tekapo magical star trails captured in long-exposure for National Geographic

Queenstown: no other place on planet for hours of adrenaline, unbelievable views – Star-Telegram

Cathedral Cove looming Narnian arch one of NZ’s not so secret scenic spots – The Tribune


Taupo Volcanic Zone where pools of mud plop and steam hisses eternally – The Times of India

Great Barrier Island 71g weta captivates insect buffs, and international media – Mail Online

Kapiti Island preserves dawn chorus of tui, saddleback song – Washington Post

Kakapo Recovery program succeeding in their mission to “make more kakapo” – AFAR Magazine

Blue penguins seaward after oil spill recovery; more than 1300 birds not so lucky – Guardian

Manukura, white kiwi with chiefly status, “regains mojo” after heart scare – Washington Post

New Zealand ridding itself of invasive Argentine ant without human help – New Scientist

Bellbird, mystery bird, whistles “gorgeous” chiming songs in dialect – Guardian

Little blue penguins, Rena survivors, throw off jerseys and race to sea – International Business Times

Brushtail Possum dealt to with 1080; NZ uses 80 per cent of world’s supply – Montreal Gazette

Tauranga home invaded by weary seal pup keen for a kip on sofa – New York Daily News

Rattus rattus, New Zealand’s surprise pollinators, saving native plants – BBC

Vincent Zintzen, Te Papa fish scientist, marvels at slimy hunting behaviour of hagfish – New Scientist


Rebecca Taylor, designer, “on a roll”; opens two LA stores in one week; celebs flock – LA Times

Green-lip mussels enormous soft and sweet; South-Island must-eats – Jaunted

Lost in the Haze fashion blog showcases writer Jo in “whimsical” vintage – San Francisco Gate

Maurice Smith-designed ’60s Scandinavian-style home for sale in Boston – Boston Herald

Brent Marris’ Marisco Vineyards judged NZ Wine Producer of the Year – The Drinks Business

WLG, Fitzroy pop-up restaurant, best NZ chefs, 500 seats sold in 25 minutes – Sydney Morning Herald

Marlborough pinot noir is “inimitable” and “feels so effortless … it glides” – Telegraph

Chantelle Nicholson, lawyer turned London restaurant GM, a fine-dining rarity – The Gentlewoman

New Zealand restaurants popular with New Yorkers receptive to new flavours – The Eye

Nelson Blue, D.U.B Pies and Kiwiana representing NZ flavours in NY – Village Voice

Auckland’s glass-enveloped NZI Building not only “eye-catching” but energy efficient – CNN


Christine Winterbourn, biochemist, first woman to win Rutherford Medal – Sydney Morning Herald

Malcolm Grant, University College London, elected chair of UK’s National Health – Financial Times

New Zealand generates a lot of news for a small place says foreign correspondent – ABC

Rolf Olsen, amateur astronomer, snaps first ever photo of alien solar system – Discover Magazine

Jessica Clarke, model, 18, first NZer to feature in Victoria’s Secret show – Stuff

Nico Evers-Swindell, actor, marries Megan Ferguson in LA wedding – New York Times

NZTA ad uses wit and less gore to drive across anti-drink message – Sydney Morning Herald

Christchurch Cathedral deconsecrated ahead of structural repairs – Guardian

New Zealand gets world-first crack at Facebook’s Timeline feature – CNN

Suran Dickson, 34, throws in teaching job to tackle homophobic bullying in London schools – Guardian

St Matthew’s in the City billboard provokes with Mary gasping at pregnancy test – Telegraph

Gisborne sunny Christmas has surreal effect on Guardian reader’s season spirit

Maurice McTigue, Mercatus Center VP, says US Post customer service vital to existence – New York Times

Jill Campbell, Cape Bretoner making NZ home, looking for a festive céilidh – Cape Breton Post

Joel Barlow, self-proclaimed South Pacific royalty, arrested for alleged $16m fraud – Sydney Morning Herald

See all stories and a 7,000 story archive of international New Zealand news 2000-2011 at NZEDGE/MEDIA.



The spring has left his feet and D hurtles into summer, looking backwards whilst planning ahead to Taape’s 60th birthday party in early January. He muses on altruism, mulls on the split between Mana and Maori, and offers Mier’s Theory of Synergy as an explanative formula for the MMP pragmatics of compromise. He reckons that its going to be a tough year fiscally and that Maori issues will come under the blowtorch of retrenchment whilst at the other end of town a crew of white-boys from Timaru are alleged to have bilked New Zealanders out of a sum that is nearly double the total of all Treaty settlements. Go figure! There’s a little story about the now 17 year old Maori Yale University student, Ngaa Raunira Pumanawawhiti, and D concludes the kid is too smart, too self-aware and too truthful to become a politician. There’s a reflexive tract about the past year and, highly aware of failings, an implicit commitment to do better in 2012. We are invited to the Waiohiki Marae Christmas Celebration, told about ‘Talent Upload’ — a digital talent quest — and led to the third Maori Motown which features Chad Chambers, the Maori Rod Stewart. Blessings on us all, he reckons, with more words of love. (3,458 words)


Vincent Ward with his painting Rorschach Tree, 2011.

Vincent Ward is one of the heroic people of New Zealand filmmaking. Uncompromising, fearless, visionary – and that’s before breakfast. An exhibition of contemporary art by Vincent is now showing at the Govett-Brewster Art Gallery in New Plymouth. His work has long offered a powerfully original contribution to our visual experience. This exhibition Breath – the Fleeting Intensity of Life draws together his work as a feature filmmaker and his early training in fine arts at Ilam in Christchurch. His exploration of the still image presents works that coalesce photography, painting and digital imaging alongside filmic vignettes and soundscapes. These new physically imposing works delve into otherworldly landscapes and transcendent states, seeking elusive ‘transformational moments’ that connect with the human psyche. The exhibition conveys the concept of ‘wehi’, where fear and awe collide. It is a celebration of life’s intensity. Vincent’s films, which include Vigil (1984), Map of the Human Heart (1993) and #1-at-the-US- box-office What Dreams May Come (1998) starring Robin Williams, have seen recognition at both the Academy Awards and the Cannes Film Festival and have repeatedly received acclaim for their strong iconic imagery. The Boston Globe called Vincent Ward “one of film’s great image-makers”.


NZ On Screen has recently launched a new moving image collection in celebration of Kiwi discoverers. Kiwi Ingenuity is a tribute to inventive New Zealanders who have made the most of the lateral perspective that comes from living at the Edge. Being open to catalysts in one’s environment – whether a farm shed, laboratory or native birds – has led New Zealand innovators to countless ‘Eureka!’ moments. Kiwi Ingenuity celebrates New Zealand innovators in all their forms: from athletes and architects to artists and atom-splitters. The collection is home to a wealth of archived footage, including great videos on many of our NZEdge Legends such as Allan Wilson, John Britten, Edmund Hillary, Richard Pearse, Ernest Rutrherford and Ettie Rout. Also featured: Peter Snell, Len Lye, AJ Hackett and Ian Athfield. Kiwi Ingenuity is now available free online here.


New Zealand is known as a niche producer of beautiful and sustainable food and beverages. While remaining shy about giving this distinctive cuisine a name, New Zealanders have a unique and recognisable way of cooking. With this in mind Greig Buckley has created Kai, to help discover the delicious foods and beverages produced by talented artisans around New Zealand. The new site lays out its story about New Zealand food and wine heritage, puts the geographical and taste markers in the ground for navigating the Kai experience, and offers a bunch of tasty treats you can buy online. Like, manuka smoked snapper fillet and lime and horopito infused olive oil, both from the Far North; homemade summer cordials from the Kapiti Coast and elderflower blackcurrant sparkle; local mustards, pickles, treats. From Ohaewai to Oamaru. Yum. The site will grow in content, participation, products for sale, and global shipping. The antipodean taste journey is mapped out. See Kai website and Facebook and NZHerald interview.


I always get a lift seeing this globe at Flushing Meadows in Queens, New York. It’s usually seen on the journey to or from JFK or La Guardia airports. It’s seen up close like this at the US Tennis Open. The “Unisphere” was built for the 1964 World’s Fair. The engineers designing the rig had a challenging job with our particular section of the globe, being relatively weightless. This angle feels pretty right.


A brilliant poem about the Rugby World Cup final was sent to me by Geoff Andrew in New York. A 36 stanza “Ode to Stephen Donald” written in the mode of the NZ Herald’s Whim Wham aka Allen Curnow. Efforts to locate the author have been unsuccessful. Believed to be in London. I would like to contact this author, if anyone knows and can introduce us I would be grateful. brian@nzedge.com Here is a three verse burst, dateline one week before the final at Eden Park.

With Aaron Cruden next in line, folks began to panic.

The struggle to secure the Cup could now become …. ‘Titanic’.

“Jeez, where do they find these guys? He’s smaller than the last!”

But Aaron stood at 10 feet tall when he kicked and passed.

The boy played like a veteran and all the fears allayed.

He seemed to be the perfect choice – (why had they plumped for Slade?)

Now the ship was back on course and heading for the Final

And all those doubts and worries could be flushed down the urinal.

So all was well – or was it just? One problem still remained –

The Three Wise Men had rightly asked: “What if he gets maimed?”

“We need a boy to warm the bench, to sub him if desired,

But, with Weepu kicking well – we doubt he’ll be required.”

Fern Symbol via www.nzflag.com. Banner photo: Northern tip of the South Island viewed from Kapiti.




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