#73: NYNZ – Edge Meets Center

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Edge Message #73 from Brian Sweeney, producer NZEDGE.COM


When Kevin Roberts and I deduced the edge metaphor for New Zealand seven years ago and conceived a global network of New Zealanders, I wrote a side note about the relationship between edge and center. The theory stems from biology – roughly, that change initiates at the sparsely populated edge of a species, before feeding the center. Other observations kicked in: pattern recognition – NYNZ next to each other in a series of 676 alphabetical combinations starting with AA and ending with ZZ. Look in the index of the atlas and see the proximity of New York and New Zealand; sort of like kissing cousins. And in 1642 the Dutch were busy establishing New Amsterdam – and naming New Zealand. And just this year, Russell Shorto published a history of Manhattan – “The Island at the Center of the World.” A history of New Zealand I would write would be called “The Islands at the Edge of the Earth.”

So where is this circumstantial riff leading? Seven weeks into a stay in New York, between watching Presidential debates, back-to-back episodes of Law & Order and the NPC final live on Fox, I’ve been mulling about the umbilical link between this city and our country. Every time I see the Empire State Building I’m reminded of the filming of King Kong happening right now in Miramar Wellington. A few thousand New Zealanders in Manhattan are active and inspirational in art, music, design, style, business innovation and corporate finance. The global New Zealand professional network, KEA (Kiwi Expats Assoc) instigated by Stephen Tindall, David Teece and George Barker, http://www.keanetwork.org launched very successfully in New York last week at the Gordon/Hansen/Famerie restaurant Public http://www.public-nyc.com.

I learnt many years ago that in storytelling, you have to be geographically specific, which is why I’ve opened a new website http://www.nynz.com to put a stake in the ground to say that New York is the location on which we should focus our commercial and creative outreach for the next decade. New Yorkers appear to love the idea of New Zealand, and an influential number are putting serious investments into the country. I don’t know yet how nynz.com will develop, it’s a single page that simply says that the idea of the edge/center nexus is meant to be. Stay tuned.

Inspirational New Zealanders pepper online editions of the New York Times, The Village Voice, BBC News, Vogue, ABC News, National Geographic News, Toronto Star, Rolling Stone, The Guardian, The Observer, The Independent, The Seattle Times, The Oakland Tribune, The National Post, Gulf News, The Belfast Telegraph, Yomiuri Online, WebIndia and many others.

• Our Maurices: laments to passing of Wilkins, Shadbolt

• Ten medals for NZ Paralympians

• Australian Vogue spreads hot NZ over 30-pages

• Scientist Paul Callaghan wins Ampere Prize

• Outside magazine rhapsodizes over NZ

• Marina Erakovic serves up a storm

• Adamson’s Shrek 2 third highest-grosser ever

• Daily Telegraph readers rate edge holiday tops

• Speed skaters victorious at world competition

• NZ tops World Bank ‘Doing Business’ study

• Emily Ansell up at UpOverDownUnder FilmFest

• In My Father’s Den film wows Toronto Film Festival

• Jonathan Wyatt runs to fourth world title

• Breast cancer breakthrough from Liggins Institute

• National Geographic rates NZ as conservation leader

• Feature-length biopic of Precious McKenzie planned

• Famed LIFE photographer George Silk dies, 87

• NBC signs Flight of the Conchords

• Weta/Gen-I supercomputer to be in world top 10

• Bollywood superstar launches Kevin Roberts’ Lovemarks

• Dean Wareham and Luna entrance Japan

• Greg Murphy back-to-back at Bathurst

• Rolling Stone: Finns “epic, voices for the ages”

• Ian Fletcher key player in UK government

• NZ vistas “precious works of art” – Atlanta Journal

• 42 Below intoxicating global market

• Jockey Michael Walker lauded in Sydney

• Stuntwoman Zoe Bell leaps into Toronto Star

• Metra blows BBC away with TV weather reports

• Datsuns tear up North America

• Hard hitting NZ drink driving ad shown around globe

• Karen Walker a London Fashion Week’s highlight

• Mossimo designer Alice Goulter on Cleo hotlist

• Clive Hitchens opens gourmet pie shop in California

• George Barton QC Pres of United Bible Societies

• Karl Urban moves to leading male roles

• Folk musician Jill Rogoff interviewed by Haaretz

• Lucie Silvas climbs British pop charts

• VOA features Dutton’s Arts & Letters Daily website

• National Post finds slice of heaven in Wairarapa

• Mint Chicks on Australian Vice CD

• Four NZ estates in global top twenty –Hideaway Report

• Kahurangi Maori Dance Theatre thrilling – Village Voice

• Observer toasts Martinborough Hotel

• 77-year-old Aroha Pearless uses net to find first crushNZ tops list of holiday destinations inspired by films

• Russell Crowe’s band no grunters – Guardian

• Jonah’s kidney news in Newcastle

• Japanese reviews for Jeffrey Masson’s ode to NZ

• Go to Queenstown for Christmas – Independent

• NZ Sauvignon Blanc in Decanter’s list of top 40 wines

• And more – motorcross, mountain biking, air guitar…

/category/newzedge/ (we’re sorry if any of the news links have gone dead since we first identified the stories).

Looking to next year’s British Lions tour, Kevin Roberts looks at Sir Clive Woodward’s book Winning! He describes Woodward as polarizing, an anathema – and the guy with more points on the board than anyone else at last year’s Rugby World Cup. These are the seven steps Woodward devised to win: Step 1 – Set the vision, inspire the team. Step 2 – Design the experience that supports your goal. Step 3 – Build an infrastructure of effective systems. Step 4 – Lay the foundation for a strong elite team culture. The final three planks of the process are: think, plan and do. At the heart of turning England from perennial losers into World Cup winners was a definition of winning, which Woodward articulated as follows: You know you’re winning when you’ve achieved: More points on the scoreboard; A performance of world-class standards in the core area of your game; A team that really clicks in the heat of the match; An experience off the pitch that is enjoyable and inspires the whole organization; Real competition against the team you know can beat you; 75,000 people on their feet going nuts – performance your supporters wildly applaud; Knowing you can do it on a consistent basis.

Denis O’Reilly’s second column on the phight against P. The legendary guitarist and rock icon Joe Walsh has just been in New Zealand on the ‘Sinners Tour’, a project initiated by Mokai Whanau Ora, designed to raise awareness about methamphetamine use in New Zealand and to bring a message of hope, in that, with help, recovery is possible. “Joe is known for touching hearts through music. This time he also touched hearts through the power of his words. In venue after venue when he spoke you could have heard a pin drop. In Parliament he reminded the community of law makers that addiction is an illness and that we needed to focus on making treatment available before we resort to imprisonment.” At Otatara Pa in Hawke’s Bay, Joe recalled an epiphany: “This is a special place, and it is very special to me. It was here on a visit many years ago, up on the hills, that I had a moment of clarity. I don’t understand it, but I reconnected with my soul, and I remembered who I used to be…I admitted I had problems and I had to do something about it. It was the beginning of my recovery from my addiction to alcohol and drugs and when I got back to America it gave me the courage to seek help. Methamphetamine is evil. If you are involved in bringing it into the country, or selling it, or manufacturing it, your ancestors are not at peace with you. You will eventually be responsible for people’s deaths, and when you go to meet your God, it will be a burden on your shoulders. I have tried it. It is a dead end. It goes nowhere. It’s a demon and it eats your soul from inside you. If you are doing meth I say to you, no matter how awful things are they will get worse beyond your wildest imagination. But you can come back, as hopeless as it will look. It was the hardest thing that I have ever had to do but it can be done.”

Rush to your magazine stockist for the September issue of CASE da Abitare, the Milanese style magazine which features an extraordinary 90 page feature on Aotearoa beautifully curated by Lise Strathdee http://www.lisestrathdee.com/, a New Zealander who grew up in Italy and lives between London and the Hokianga. The project began in 2003 with a 6 week road trip around the North Island together with Alice Fiorilli, photographer. It then evolved and developed further as Lise met and collaborated with local artists, photographers and stylists. Features the work of artists George Nuku, Peter Brierley-Millman, Fiona Pardington, Michael Parekowhai, Peter Robinson, Ani O’Neil, Tracey Tawhiao and Jeff Thompson; Architecture Workshop Wellington; Andre Hoskins Auckland, stylist Katie Lockhart, Derek Henderson, chef Peter Gordon; wine, design, furniture, getaway houses and baches, Napier Deco and the work of The House of Taonga http://www.houseoftaonga.com/hot_04/. In her editorial Renata Minetto says “The exhilaration caused by enjoying a 360 degree view of a landscape that has not been marred by the otherwise ubiquitous hand of man is a marvelous sensation that we contemporary Italians have never experienced.” Congratulations Lise Strathdee for an inspirational, original and international definition of Aotearoa. See http://www.abitare.it/Inglese/.

We can be thankful for the fresh work of the non-aligned New Zealand Institute and its stellar director David Skilling. They are a fresh breath of clarity in the direction for the national purse. The Institute’s latest report is “It’s Not Just About The Money: The Benefits of Asset Ownership.” “The challenge in New Zealand is to move deliberately towards meaningfully improving household wealth outcomes, by encouraging and assisting New Zealanders to get ahead. The aim is to expand the population of asset owners and ensure that many more New Zealanders have a genuine stake in the future. Improving these outcomes will involve deliberate action by the government, as well as by business and community groups.” Check out the report at http://www.nzinstitute.org.

My heart skipped a beat on the New York subway today when I spotted a Silver Fern (turned out to be an Irishman wearing an All Blacks jersey!). Our friends at http://www.nzflag.com have a new batch of endorsements in for a flag change, from Daniel Kereopa – champion surfer; bro Denis O’Reilly; Silver Fern Anna Rowberry; Animation Research’s, Ian Taylor; and Jon Toogood, lead singer of Shihad. Bring it on!

Gorgeous summer holiday accommodation available mid December-late January in luxury beach house complex at Raumati, 45 minutes north of Wellington. Absolute beachfront, breath-taking sunsets, gentle beach, best golf course in New Zealand nearby. Three bedroom contemporary beach house plus large one bedroom studio, spacious decks, spa, full kitchen and dining facilities, library and indoor/outdoor recreation accoutrements. Secluded, secure, self-contained, accessible. Contact holiday@southbeach.net.nz.

Discerning luxury waterfront accommodation situated in significant New Zealand environments. The private and intimate nature of each destination creates an ambience of the true essence of New Zealand. Te Kowhai Landing, Lake Taupo – an absolute lake edge experience where art and nature unite in an architecturally designed retreat, the epitome of under-stated luxury; and Pukeko Landing, Lake Tarawera – serenity and seclusion of a private haven overlooking Otumutu lagoon; an intimate brush with nature. http://www.essencenz.com.

Thanks for reading.
Best regards

Brian Sweeney
Publisher, Producer

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