#109: NZEdege Heroes, Recent Publishing

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Edge Message #109 from Brian Sweeney, producer NZEDGE.COM

Pictured above: Flight of the Conchords, Anna Paquin, Mils Muliaina, Helen Klisser During, David Thodey


New Zealand headlines in this week’s sampling of global media appearing in Earth Times, NYArtsmagazine, The New Yorker, Guardian, The Times of India, The Toronto Star, Financial Times, The Age, Las Vegas Sun, National Post, The Age, Telegraph, Guelph Mercury, Los Angeles Times, Guardian, The Washington Post, HAMPTONS, The Statesman, Wall Street Journal, Exclaim, The New Yorker and Granta include:

FOTConchords near end of ’09 Spring US tour in Vegas, “riotous 90-minute set”
Anna Paquin, actress, 26, relishing her role in HBO’s True Blood
• Mils Muliaina, Chiefs captain, to skipper All Blacks home games in June
David Thodey, NZ-born businessman, takes over CEO role at Telstra
• New Zealand 80’s indie music scene honoured with two-disc tribute
Bruce Connew, photographer, explores censorship in Granta magazine spread
Suraya Singh, 30, launches Filament, UK erotica magazine aimed at women
New Zealand birth rates highest since ’91, average per woman, 2.2
Kiwi Paradise, German title, hard “to understand [NZers’] mysterious mentality”
Helen Klisser During, arts advisor, excited about Hye Rim Lee, Kihara
New Zealand banking system healthy for Australian dominance
Marie Jones, London-based visual effects producer wins Bafta for Dr Who
Billy Bowden, umpire, first interview in 3 years, backs cricket review system
White Island tour guide urges group not to attempt to outrun lava
Martinborough’s Kusuda Wines an example of Japanese perfection
Kaikoura, Zero Waste district, no kerbside collection, Bokashi promoted
Bernard Beckett, Hutt High teacher and author, Genesis promoted on WOW
New Zealand given rave reviews by senior writers from The New Yorker
Pipi Quinlan, 3, bids and wins $20,000 earthmover on TradeMe
Jane Campion urges female directors to take on “old boys’ network”
• Albiston and Sutherland, directors, awarded Cannes distinction, $6.50 Man
• Palmerston North City Council banishes no. 13 from mailboxes
• Pip Gibbons, RNZ Navy Lt Cdr, poster girl for UN Peacekeepers Day
• Richard Gow, renovator, builds house in Canada from bits and bins
• Unite, NZ’s newest union, calls on bosses to “Supersize” youths’ pay
• Fiordland kea robs Scottish tourist of passport; fear of “fraudulent claims”
• Annabel Alpers, that’s Bachelorette, latest album “bright, transcendent”
• Phillip Wilkins, Mitsubishi, offers free “hardy” goat with every Triton sold
Montana Brancott Winery employs seasonal “vintage” harvest hoppers
• Fisher & Paykel signs $58m deal with Chinese appliance maker Haier
• Jenny Shipley, former PM, lectures Yemeni women in political participation
• Richard Nunns, taonga puoro authority, plays Gillian Whitehead piece in US
• Queen Charlotte Track “what Ritz-Carlton is to a homeless shelter”
• Michael Hill, jeweller, finalist in Ernst & Young World Entrepreneur of the Year




A new schools’ resource on Katherine Mansfield is the fifth education feature prepared for nzedge by Liz and Russell Shaw of Starters & Strategies from Turangi: “Discuss the idea of KM using a mask or several layers of masks when associating with her literary friends. Why would she do this? Can students find any evidence of her not fitting in well and of being regarded as an outsider?” Other world-changing New Zealanders featured in our education series are mathematician Alexander Aitken, suffragist Kate Sheppard, China revolutionary Rewi Alley, and aviator Richard Pearse.






Generous publishers have been sending me books and journals which I am pleased to showcase here.

The Double Rainbow: James K. Baxter, Ngati Hau and the Jerusalem Commune by John Newton (Victoria University Press) is a compelling examination of the community established by poet and seer James K. Baxter on the banks of the Whanganui River. The Jerusalem commune proved to be more than an experiment in idealistic living; indeed, The Double Rainbow is a story of a Pakeha community earning acceptance by living alongside local Maori. It’s a situation that bicultural Aotearoa may yet strive to imagine. Readers of nzedge.com social commentator Denis O’Reilly will know him as a “Baxterite”.

Me and My Little Blokes: How fatherhood changes life for the better by Graham Lowe (Random House) is a heartwarming book revealing the gentler side of the legendary league coach. The only coach to win championships in three countries, Lowie finds that coaching his own little blokes throws up insights about his own mortality, and the preciousness of family love.

Confessions of a Rugby Mercenary by John Daniell (Ebury Press) is a riotous confessional of professional rugby in France. A Wellington, NZ and Oxford rep, John Daniell takes us deep inside a French provincial scrum to the dark world of the journeyman player as his team ricocheted between fear and ecstasy, battling to save the club from relegation and their careers from the scrap heap.

New Zealand Geographic was founded 20 years ago by John Woods and Kennedy Warne to do for New Zealand what National Geographic has done for the rest of the world. The journal celebrates this land—its geography, its wildlife, its natural heritage—and salutes its people and their pursuits, in science, culture, leisure or adventure. The current issue features kelp forests, the great white shark, Auckland’s unique and adored West Coast, and the Wren of Murchison, New Zealand’s avian mountaineer.

Landfall, New Zealand’s foremost and longest-running arts and literary journal, founded by poet Charles Brash in 1947 and published continuously by Otago University Press. Issue #217 is edited by international New Zealand writer Paula Morris from New Orleans and in fair edge form is titled “Flung”; an entire diaspora issue featuring Max Gimblett and Jenni Quilter from New York, Michael Jackson from Harvard, Nick Ashcroft from Oxford, Martin Edmond (Sydney), Paul Ewen (London), Jolisa Greenwood (Connecticut), John Kinsella (Cambridge), Robert Sullivan (Hawaii), Marcus Truver (Hong Kong), Francis Upritchard (London), and several other luminaries including Peter Wells, Richard Von Sturmer, C.K. Stead, Gregory O’Brien, Owen Marshall, Peter Ireland, Charlotte Grimshaw and Hinemoa Baker.



Here are the Top 10 titles for May:

  1. Score, short film 1980 – AB’s vs France, cut to Tchaikovsky score
  2. The Living Room, tv series 2003 – ‘worthy’ arts magazine show
  3. Tangata Whenua – Waikato, doc 1974 –  roots of King Movement
  4. Billy T Live, tv series 1990 – last hurrah for much loved comedian
  5. New Zild, doc 2005 – evolution of New Zealand English
  6. Trio at the Top, doc 2001 –  Racing legends McLaren, Hulme and Amon
  7. The Topp Twins: Untouchable Girls, trailer 2009 – biopic on the Topps
  8. Peter Snell – Athlete, doc 1964 –  Gold Medalist 800m runner
  9. The Governor, tv series 1977 – historical epic on Governor George Grey
  10. Gallipoli – the NZ Story, doc 1984 – the pick of the ANZAC Collection





Top picture, Flatbush, South Auckland; above Westhaven, Auckland; thumbnail, Aoraki Mt Cook, New Zealand. More pictures at www.paradiseroad.com. Fern symbol via www.nzflag.com.


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