#64: Matariki

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Edge Message #64 from Brian Sweeney, producer NZEDGE.COM


“I have always been caught by a sense of being part of the cutting edge, the edge which guarantees change.” Whale Rider writer Witi Ihimaera.

Welcome to the hundreds of new New Zealand Edge registrees from around the globe; your messages are appreciated and acknowledged. Such energy and love for Aotearoa.

New Zealand achievers around the globe as tracked by the world’s online media are found at

Edmund Hillary, John Hood, Karen Walker, Black Grace, Harry M Miller, Auckland Blues, Whale Rider, Chris Kelly, John Kent (RIP), Theresa Gattung, Len Lye, Rawiti Paratene, Bill Manhire, Niki Caro, Stan Lay, Tim Radford, David J Stevenson, Bruce Simpson, Wendy Dawn Thompson, Georgina Beyer, Reg Mombassa, C K Stead, Chad Taylor, Bruce Ellis, Colin Wilson, Stephen Fleming, Kate Sylvester, Whirimako Black, Keri Hulme, Noel Turner, D4, The Datsuns, Sacred Hill, Henry Hargreaves, Anna Pacquin, Pippa Sanderson, Zambesi, Peter Blake, Peter Jackson, Peter Hillary, Kim Crawford, Katrina Alexander, Simon Jansen, Bebe Eversfield, Daniel Beddingfield, Christine Jeffs, Teddy Tahu Rhodes, Tarun Mohaubhai, Boyd Webb, Rina Owen, Cameron Brown, Richard Stephens, Malcolm Burns, Greg Henderson, Martine Hardaker, and sometime-Kiwi Tom Cruise. Find out who they are and what they’ve been doing at: 

Today we publish 130-plus messages received about the experiences of New Zealanders here and living overseas; emotionally connective correspondence about coming home, leaving home, staying away, being homesick, being frustrated about being here! A full range of affirmations, disclosures, celebrations, commitments, ideas. If you want to feel good today, read this mail.

So many people have written over the past week as a result of a collaboration with http://www.oldfriends.co.nz (an amazingly effective service for finding people/being found!) that we will have another mailbox up in a couple of weeks.

I was invited a few weeks back to give a nzedge perspective on “the design of cultural identity” at a Victoria University School of Architecture/Dowse Art Museum symposium on design, in conjunction with a Finnish design exhibition touring New Zealand. See http://www.nzedge.nz/com/speeches/design

A reference point for my talk was an article in the Sydney Morning Herald, distressing about the revelation that one million Australians are living overseas. A federal government survey has revealed that five percent of the population are expatriates, half earning more than $100,000 a year. It’s an $87 billion opportunity to tap.

New Zealand ALSO has about a million people living offshore – about 20% of our population. This is a multi-billion dollar opportunity (and loss). It would be interesting for a number-cruncher to assess the embedded investment in people (especially education) that we have lost to other nations over the past 30 years; and it is a challenge for everyone to increase the creative and capital flows in the space we call “Greater New Zealand”.

nzedge.com has primarily been about creating emotional connections with the five million nzers on the planet – the analysis shows there are massive opportunities for economic ones too. Multiply that!

Matariki is the Maori New Year that has just been celebrated. “During the weeks of Matariki, all activities to do with providing for daily living take on spiritual significance, based on giving respect to the source of life. Crops are planted, and Rongo-ma-tane, the god of cultivated food, is appeased for a productive return. It’s a good time to gather pikopiko (fern fronds) and a host of native berries. It’s also the right time to cast fishing nets and lines into the deep waters of Tangaroa – god of the sea – to make the most of bountiful supplies of migrating fish. The natural world regenerates, another seasonal round begins.”

Brian Sweeney
Publisher, Producer
mailto: brian@nzedge.com

Thumbnail: Image of Pleiades (Matariki) star cluster, from the Ministry of Culture and Heritage

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