#61: World On Edge

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Edge Message #61 from Brian Sweeney, producer NZEDGE.COM


The New Zealand Edge explores our place in the world, a position that right now feels like privilege and sanctuary. Te Rangi Hiroa/Sir Peter Buck is prescient: the need for courage comes in life everyday”. From where we are, our duty to the rest of the planet is to
simply be the best we can be.

TODAY: updates on z-refs in the globe’s online media, a postscript on the mythology of our China-man Rewi Alley, updates to edge forums (re-entry and NZ visual language), and new education resources.

NEWZEDGE: /category/newzedge/
Featuring From The Times Of England, New York, Los Angeles, Japan, India, Seattle and four dozen other media variations, here comes:

  • Highest achiever Edmund Hillary celebrates 50th anniversary of Everest ascent with renewed fundraising for his cherished Nepalese
  • 50th Anniversary of DNA equation tributes Maurice Wilkins, NZ’s Nobelist
  • America’s Cup leaves Auckland as Team NZ routed 5-0; Russell Coutts amongst the greats of yachting; why Alinghi won
  • Aotearoa on Observer 20 dream holidays for 21stC, AKL is younger/fresher/smaller in the NYT, bach culture and Gucci collide on Waiheke
  • Telecom NZ top performer amongst world telcos, Investment Regatta in Akld examines edge, ANZAC tax
  • Whale Rider holds form at Sundance and Rotterdam
  • HIT Lab augmented reality guru Mark Billinghurst in SMH
  • Kiwi filmics Donaldson, Dryburgh and McAlpine do #1 biz with The Recruit
  • Aotearoa tops: Ruapehu in top-5 snowboarding locales; NZ 3 times in Observer list of world’s top scuba dive spots; 90 Mile Beach voted one of world’s top 20; NZ: “the best place in world”, says Moby; The Times admires nature’s “Chelsea winning landscaping” in Southland
  • Mediated reality savant Andrew Niccol’s latest Simone (Al Pacino) in SMH
  • Walters Prize winner Yvonne Todd cited in best of 02 ArtForum; Otago realist Peter Lyons’ luminous landscapes” have Manhattan break
  • NZ win 7s, AB JK cut above as Italy coach, Black Caps World Cup, Carol Owens squashes opponents in KL
  • Datsuns Best Live Band in NME Awards; Beddingfield UK#1 again; Peter Bruntnell makes it in UK, Pacific Soul sway Hawaii, Hayley Westenra “next Charlotte Church”
  • Noel Turner earns rave LA Times review for his Californian restaurant showcasing his NZ country style; Jared Ingersoll and Warren Turnbull amongst Sydney’s top young chefs in SMH
  • Two Towers wins at Baftas, Grammys Visual Effects Society Awards
  • A Small Life wins 8 awards at Karachi International Film Fest; Rings actor Karl Urban most likely to succeed in Nylon; Georgina Beyer story continues to cross barriers
  • Brain gain promise for Auckland U team’s research; GM cheese innovation from Ruakura research while G’peace skeptical, in New Scientist; researcher Joy Hsu finds good strong cuppa really does work wonders
  • Pays au long nuage blanc: Le Monde finds “delicious drops and scenery to match” on NZ wine tour
  • Margot Fonteyn partner, NZ born Alexander Grant, named director at Boston Ballet’s Grand Studio
  • Kate Ruth makes naughty shapes for Nylon; NZ streetwear favs Huffer design hoods and sweats for “icons of the now”; Nicole Garrett’s Habitual jeans coolest denim on the street in NYC; Wellington trained Collette Dinnigan wows Paris; Mike Tyson (in)appropriates Maori moko design
  • Judith Mayhew heads Scotland’s Royal Opera House
  • S-K Lynch’s novel ‘Blessed Are The Cheesemakers’ bestseller in UK and optioned by Working Title
  • Stats: NZ on-island population to hit 4 million; an end to sheep jokes? NZ sheep population plummets to 40 million, hit by cows and grapes.


In Nov 02 a book on NZEDGE hero Rewi Alley, Friend of China – The Myth of Rewi Alley, by Anne-Marie Brady (Routledge Curzon, $102.95) was published to a chorus of reviews, discordant in their assessment of Brady’s revision of Alley’s character and the mythology surrounding his life. Some reviews claimed the book as substantiation for barely disguised parochial opinions of Alley’s life; other reviewers, while interrogating particular claims in Brady’s thesis, found it added shade to an already colourful narrative. Heroes are not usually straightforward and often their status is contested. NZEDGE has published a selection of the reviews to accompany the NZEDGE biography of Alley. See the NZEDGE profile on Alley:
and here for the postscript:

Recent postings to NZEDGE forums.

New Re-entry/Coming Home features comment, angst, expectation, and homesickness from abroad and affirmation from those on-island reaping the return. “I ran away from NZ 14 years ago to escape rugby, sailing, small town attitudes and blind patriotism. I avoided Kiwis as much as possible apart from one or two close friends, but it didn’t work…” to “I believe that after years in New York or London or another place, well-educated ex-pat Kiwis can no longer truly fit in (in NZ)” to”I’m homesick for the infallible attitude, atmosphere and environment I used to take for granted. It is near impossible to describe.”

Page Two of designer Turi Park’s New Zealand visual language proposition draws blood from from Auckland to Cheshire: “The public image for kiwis in the UK is desperately straight, unsexy, unmysterious … and that just isn’t true. Sort it out all you bright people!” to “Black, archetypally means fear of the unknown and the fern is a meaningless symbol, working like a fuedal crest rather than a mark of excellence.” Hop on in:

THANKS to everyone who has written and registered in March, some replies still due, many connections made, thanks to the dozens of people who responded to the Telecom Keep In Touch global billboard offer . . . NZers from Wiesbaden, Dublin, Sao Paulo, Geneva, Romania, Singapore, Venice CA, Jakarta, Tokyo, London, San Francisco, Dallas, Montpellier, Seattle, Toronto, Melbourne, Riyadh, Vancouver, Ottawa, Chicago, Regina, Coleraine …

New education resources are published on Richard Pearse, mathematician Alexander Aitken and suffragist Kate Sheppard

This month’s edition of newzedge affirms powerfully stories of nzers with local heart and global soul. One fifth of our population is off-island. nzers are travelers and settlers; arrival and departure informs our story of origins and heritages sown in the Aotearoa-New Zealand soil. This from Hone Tuwhare’s short story ‘Don’t Go Past Me with Your Nose in the Air’:

“I said, I’m a “fine weather” lover. I wouldn’t like to die when the sky’s black. I just like the feel of the sun warm on my body, the birds busting their heart out in the trees; close my eyes and hold on to the memory of the sun, polishing the different colour of green on the tatara-moa, the harakeke, the totara, the puriri, the karaka – kia ora begorrah! Amen.”

Brian Sweeney


Thumbnail Credit: Geothermal activity at Champagne Pool, Waiotapu, Rotorua. Photo by Andy Reisinger, in Legends of Aotearoa, by Chris Winitana, Harper Collins, Auckland, 2001.P. 100.

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