#136: International Velvet

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Edge Message #136 from Brian Sweeney, producer NZEDGE.COM | New York City

NZEDGE.COM publishes daily on Facebook and Twitter. This newsletter presents a selection of New Zealanders appearing in the world’s media in the last week.

New Zealand, musician Moby’s favourite place to holiday on planet – My Fox Chicago
Christchurch rattled by costly aftershocks; unpleasant reality for “Limboland” – The New York Times
Tom Mockridge, unflappable newsman, becomes CEO of News International – Guardian
New Zealand scientists’ petunia tinkering sets US biotech precedent – The New York Times
Peter Jackson’s Hobbit Facebook video as breathtaking as any of his films – Entertainment Weekly
Manukura, rare, and fluffy, white kiwi; advocate for species – The Australian
Happy Feet feasts and fattens on salmon ahead of return to ice flow – The Sydney Morning Herald
Kimbra, singer, wins Australian songwriting comp for Cameo Lover – Nine News
Bevan Docherty, double Olympic medallist, wins Edmonton triathlon – Universal Sports
Adam Blair, “world class forward”, signs with West Tigers – The Age
Martha Jeffries eats her way through world’s pantry as director of World Kitchen – Stuff
Royal NZ Ballet“look wide awake, sexy and charged” performing in UK – Guardian
Macleans College a learning curve for US teacher-trainee; includes morning tea – Pittsburgh Live
Geoff Fisken, WW2 ace, scourge of Japanese pilots, sheep farmer, dies, 96 – The New York Times

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




The New Zealand Institute is an important think tank. They have just released a paper on social well-being addressing the Top 10 Question: “Can New Zealand reduce the disadvantages suffered by young people in a way that contributes to New Zealand becoming a successful multicultural society?” New Zealand has very high rates of 15 to 19 year old unemployment compared with other OECD countries; high rates of criminal offences, teenage births, suicide, obesity, cannabis use and hazardous drinking. Disadvantage is strongly concentrated in Mâori and Pacific ethnic groups. New Zealand also has one of the highest proportions of disengaged 14 to 18 year old students, and the lowest median age of leaving initial education compared to other OECD countries. Improving engagement in schools and the school to work transition will reduce youth unemployment. The paper More Ladders, Fewer Snakes proposes that accelerated roll-out of e-learning to low decile schools and improving the school-to-work transition will materially reduce youth unemployment and resulting social issues. See here to read the executive summary or download the full report.



The gallerist Hamish McKay of 39 Ghuznee St Wellington currently has a beautiful exhibition of the velvet works of the late and legendary artist Julian Dashper, gathered from private collections. These were the works that got him noticed, says Christina Barton, Director of the Adam Art Gallery, in the exhibition essay. “They are true to what Dashper always delivered: on the one hand, a considered meditation on the nature of painting, and, on the other, a mode of story-telling, about where he was at any particular moment. “My personal favourite is Purple Rain at Glorit (No 3, March 1986, Collection of Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa). To me this one painting summarises an era – the late 1980s – and a place – Auckland – better than any other I can think of. I can say this without misgivings as I was there; it was my time as much as Julian’s. Imagine a road trip out of the city circa 1986. Take the route out north and west, past Helensville on the back road that skirts its way around the Kaipara Harbour and climbs through hilly farmland to meet State Highway One at Wellsford. That’s where you’ll find Glorit, or at least the country hall that sports that name. Pull over on the gravel beside the hall, turn the stereo up and listen to Prince’s signature tune, from his chart-topping album (remember he was huge then, like those other American superstars, Springsteen, Madonna, and Michael Jackson). Listen to the music build as the dust settles and the landscape rolls out around you. It is big-sky country around there, with a scale and openness that is breathtaking. McCahon knew and loved the place, and you can see in his Kaipara drawings (like the A Poem of Kaipara Flat series of 1971) an almost profligate abandonment of good taste for some of the most vibrant and high key paintings he ever made: blues, pinks and oranges capture this airy brightness, only approximating the drop-dead colours the sky actually turns to as the sun sets on that westerly horizon.” Go here for the full essay, and see the paintings at the Hamish McKay Gallery here.



“The Future of the Commons” Friday, August 5 from 8:30 am to 11:00 am. Victoria University Friday 5 Aug 2011, Hunter Council Chamber, Kelburn Parade. Free Entry.

Nobel Laureate Professor Elinor Ostrom will discuss constructive actions that can be taken in response to the tragedy of the commons. Responses lead by Rod Oram and Aroha Mead. In the face of a globalised “tragedy of the commons” – ecological crisis driven by exploitative use of the natural world for short term economic gain – what are the most urgent individual and collective responses that need to be made in order to avert full scale human tragedy and build resilience? Professor Ostrom is the first woman to win the Nobel Prize for Economics. Her research on the commons “has challenged the conventional wisdom that common property is poorly managed and should be either regulated by central authorities or privatized” (The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences). She is based at Indiana University Bloomington. Presented by Sophie Jerram and Dugal McKinnon, Hikurangi Trust and supported by the NZ Climate Change Institute, US Embassy and Victoria University.





Giarna Te Kanawa is an active member of the New Zealand community in New York. She is fundraising for Achilles New Zealand, who enable people with all types of disabilities to participate in mainstream athletics in order to promote personal achievement, enhance self esteem, and lower barriers to living a fulfilling life. In 2011 four amazing New Zealand athletes – Tawera Nikau (amputee), Mike Lloyd (blind), Janet Martin (deaf) and David McCalman (quadriplegic) – are competing in the New York Marathon under the Achilles New Zealand banner. You too could run the marathon under the New Zealand Achilles banner. They are seeking five runners who can participate and sponsor for a minimum of $2500. Get your trainers on and open your wallets. Contact Giarna in New York or visit the fundraising pages here and here.



Top picture, Raumati South, New Zealand. More pictures at www.paradiseroad.com. Fern symbol via www.nzflag.com.

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