Volume XIII, No. 2
New Zealand's reputation for being clean and green is well deserved. Visitors who arrive expecting a pristine, well-organised country are not disappointed. The country is a microcosm of the world's great natural attractions and boasts glacial mountains, superb toasts, hissing geysers, boiling mud, huge forest reserves and a variety of fauna.
Any number of vigorous outdoor activities— hiking, skiing, rafting and, of course, that perennial favourite, bungy jumping—await the adventurous. The people, bound In a culture that melds European with Maori ancestry, are resourceful, helpful and overwhelmingly friendly.
MAORI IMAGERY GETS
Prominent Maori artist Cliff Whiting has been appointed Kaumatua to Tourism New Zealand.
Dr. Whiting's appointment is a further step by Tourism New Zealand to ensure Maori Culture is correctly portrayed when marketing New Zealand as a visitor destination through its 100% Pure New Zealand global marketing campaign.
And Dr. Whiting says he sees the role as one of bringing together, not only Maori and Pakeha, but all cultures in New Zealand. "This is an opportunity to achieve a profile of New Zealand that works for all of us."
Dr. Whiting, Whanau-a-Apanui, has been one of the leading proponents of modernising Maori imagery and culture and of restoring marae buildings throughout New Zealand. Recently he has been the Kaihautu —Maori CEO of Te Papa, the Musem of New Zealand. Here he worked in partnership with the CEO on Maori exhibitions and the care and use of the iwi treasures from around New Zealand held at Te Papa. He is also the designer of the museum's unique marae.
The appointment of Dr. Whiting as Kaumatua is an important step towards ensuring that we portray Maori in an authentic way, says George Hickton, chief executive of Tourism New Zealand.
"The input from the new Kaumatua will be imperative — to ensure that Tourism New Zealand's future portrayal of, and dealings with Maori culture, is not only sensitive and culturally acceptable, but innovative and contemporary."
My bank has new ownership and will no longer accept checks written to KIWIphile FILE. Please remember when you renew to write the check to my name, Eva Trapani Thanks.
ONE TREE HILL BECOMES NO TREE HILL - (Oct. 26, Reuters)
A single pine tree in Auckland that came to symbolise the state of race relations in New Zealand, and which was a victim of repeated attacks by indigenous Maori activists, was recently felled on safety grounds.
Fearing high winds could uproot the tree, the Auckland City Council removed the badly damaged 125 year old pine, which it has battled for years to keep growing on the top of One Tree Hill.
The hill, a rocky remnant of an ancient volcano, is a favourite lookout for tourists visiting Auckland and was immortalised in the U2 song "One Tree Hill" written in the memory of a New Zealand member of the band's road crew who died.
The tree was situated on a historic Maori village site and became a symbol for race relations in New Zealand after early settlers chopped down a native tree on the site around 1850.
The original several hundred-year-old totara tree was felled for firewood by "some goth of a settler",
a newspaper in the fledgling British settlement reported at the time.
After the totara was cut down attempts were made to replant native trees on the site. Pines were planted around the native species to protect them from harsh weather conditions, but the native trees perished and only one of the pines survived.
Maori nationalists attacked the 20 metre (66 foot) pine with a chainsaw in 1994 and again last year, claiming it was a symbol of colonialism in New Zealand.
"Maori were upset about the way they had been treated by Pakeha (European settlers) and attacked the prominent tree in protest to highlight their case," said Auckland City Council spokeswoman Ngarimu Blair.
The city council responded by stepping up security, guarding the tree for a time and putting metal patches over the gashes while tree experts tried to save it.
Cable ties were put in place to stabilise the tree but the council became concerned that they might break in high winds so the council eventually decided to remove the tree on public safety grounds.
The council plans to replace the pine and will again endeavour to grow a native tree on the site.
"The One Tree Hill pine is sentimental not only to Aucklanders. It is considered by the entire country, and even internationally, to be an icon. It will be missed," said Auckland Mayor Christine Fletcher.
Re: One Tree Hill
I have launched a site for people to share their memories of the 125 year old pine that served as an Auckland icon for such a long time. It is also a place to discuss the future of One Tree Hill and what tree if any can replace the one that was recently felled.
Please visit http://www.onetreehill.org.nz/ if you have any memories or experiences you would like to share.
KIWI ADVENTURE INSPIRES CLOTHING
An American outdoor clothing catalogue with a circulation the size of New Zealand's population has chosen New Zealand as the theme for the first three issues of 2001.
"The Territory Ahead" has a circulation of 3.6 million registered mail order customers—that's a total of 11 million for the three issues.
Tourism New Zealand initiated the promotion and the clothing company found New Zealand was just what they were looking for.
"The landscapes in New Zealand capture what 'The Territory Ahead' is renowned for, says advertising/pr manager Alexandra Kolendrianos. "A sense of adventure and a rugged place of escape— beautiful and unique."
The catalogue not only shoots photos for back-drops, but prints travel itineraries, recipes, legends, stories and maps in the catalogue while using landscape as a photo backdrop.
"This is a very positive and cost-effective result for New Zealand", says George Hickton, Chief Executive of Tourism New Zealand. "We contributed time and images, but had no direct financial input.
"The magazine's demographic—outdoor people 35-55 years with US$100,000+ income—is a great fit with our adventure image. And it is great to get global exposure for our regions."
The catalogue has already shot photos in Northland, Marlborough, Nelson and Queenstown, and Tourism New Zealand have provided dozens of images for use.
(To teach "The Territory Ahead" phone 800-686-8212 or go to:
A FIRST IN NZ (GUIDED) WINE TOURS
"With our Wine, Gourmet and Culture tour, we found that we were breaking new ground," says Robert Panzer, Managing Director of Tailored Travel. New Zealand Custom Tours, who runs exclusive, intimate, in depth fully guided wine tours that create a balance between the "ultimate" wine adventure, and the complete cultural and scenic experience of New Zealand
"Everyone was impressed with our personal and innovative approach, something people had not yet experienced with other companies."
The 15 day tour departs from Auckland and finishes in Christchurch and it covers the major wine regions of both the North and South Islands of New Zealand The group is accompanied by expert guides, includes sumptuous gourmet meals, discussions with wine-makers during personalized vineyard visits and tastings, taking part in traditional "Kiwi" experiences and staying at luxurious accommodation. Truly a unique experience about the land, the people, the food, and their wines.
All tours have a minimum of two and a maximum of 6 guests.
"We cater for the discerning traveler who wants to KNOW the country rather than just see it."
(Tailored Travel—New Zealand Custom Tours Nelson, New Zealand Ph 64 3 543 3825
ROCK DRAWINGS — by Richard Croft (reprint)
Interested in rock art? North Otago on South Island's southeast coast has one of New Zealand's most extensive examples of Maori rock art, providing a link with ancient Maori history.
From the town of Oamaru it is only a short journey up the Waitaki River Valley to Duntroon and the base from works scattered which to explore these mysterious over 160 sites. Two main ones are public but others can be visited by available to the arrangement.
Until about 500 years ago eroded limestone outcrops in the South Island were commonly used as shelter by itinerant hunting parties. The Maori would draw on rock, using pieces of charcoal from their fires. Sometimes they used volcanic red ochre.
The rock drawings common to North Otago have a "family" likeness with individual subjects, the most recognised of which is a stylised version of the human form (in silhouette) with arms and legs flexed (facial features were never shown)—and other animals, mostly dogs, birds and fish drawn in profile. Quite fascinating.
The Visitor Information Centre at Oamaru is happy to help, and there are a wide variety of excellent accommodations available.
THE TRANQUILLISER GUN (from "No.8 WIRE, the Best of Kiwi Ingenuity")
"If you love something, shoot it full of tranquilliser"
If you were alive during the 1970s, you would have enjoyed the TV show "Daktari". Basically it was an action/drama series about a vet on the savannahs of Africa, pulling thorns from lions' paws and shooting zebras with a tranquilliser gun. How pleasing then, to learn that Daktari wouldn't have been half the swash-buckling man-about-the-savannah that he was without the help of a New Zealander.
Say you're a vet, a ranger, a zoologist or animal physiologist keen to study animals without killing them. Before the invention of the tranquilliser gun and darts, the only way to catch a live animal without killing it was to chase it down in a vehicle
and lasso it with a pole and a loop of rope and wrestle it to the ground where it could be safely injected. Obviously if the animal was a slow one, the vehicle may not have been needed. If it was a dangerous one then even this method would have been too risky, and the animal would need to be trapped. It wasn't until 1959 that the tranquilliser gun was invented and perfected—and it took a New Zealander to manage it.
Let's have a quick look at the difficulties the task poses. First, you have to deliver a dose of tranquilliser into the body of the animal, so you need a syringe that doubles as a projectile and delivers the dose upon impact. Next, you don't want to hurt the animal with the impact, so you have to be able to contrnl the velocity of the flying drugs so that, no matter how far away you are from the animal, the needle just sticks into the skin without breaking a bone. The guns to shoot these syringes will have to have variable power, and variable calibre to accommodate different dose syringes. This invention was waiting for an expert in gun making, animal physiology, ballistics, pharmaceuticals and anaesthesia.
Cohn Murdoch of Timaru was working with colleagues studying introduced Himalayan thar (wild goat-antelope) populations in New Zealand, and had the idea that if a dose of tranquilliser could be safely projected into one of the animals it would be a lot easier to catch, examine, tag and release them. Murdoch was a pharmacist who had a veterinary practice on the side. During the Second World War rifles and shotguns were not imported into New Zealand, so, as a serious hunter, Colin became an expert at fixing and modifying guns. With the motive and the means, Murdoch began to develop the range of tranquilliser rifles, pistols and darts that revolutionised the way animals were studied and treated all over the world.
At first Colin tested the system dog-tucker rams in Timaru, then he travelled tne world looking for unsuspecting animals to test his invention On. From long range he anaesthetised hundreds and hundreds of kangaroos, zebra, crocodiles and other animals. From the moment he produced the first gun in New Zealand, it became known. He patented it and started getting inquiries from overseas. Colin's company, Paxarms (pax=peace + arms) began exporting the systems from Timaru to over 150 countries. Every time they sent one to an area, other zoologists got to hear about it and demand would grow. Both Cohn and his invention played large parts in the domestication of deer, Cohn himself riding in the helicopter with
Sir Tim Wallis when they tranquillised and caught the first three deer for Wallis' experiments in 1964.
Colin has 17 patents for the products and has won design and inventors' awards both in New Zealand and overseas. And the tranquilliser gun is not even the most influential of Murdoch's inventions. He invented pie-filled, sterile, disposable plastic syringes for humans and multi-dose automatic vaccinator syringe hypodermic guns for animals, and these are used today in the billions around the world each year.
So, hey, next time you're crouched over a heavily sedated cheetah, administering much needed dental work and then watching it awake none the worse and wander off majestically into a safari sunset, please think of Colin Murdoch, the Timaru Daktari who made it all possible.
(Editor: "No. 8 Wire" written by Jon Bridges and David Downs, is an excellent and infomative book. If youre a real(fl) Kiwi, you'll want to read it. I bought my copy on-line from www.FlyingPig.co.nz You can order also from FlyingPig.co.nz, 111 Franklin Road, Freemans Bay, Auckland. NZ.
Ph. No. 0800 359 464. It's in paperback and not expensive).
NEW ZEALAND RUGBY HISTORY (from nzrugby.co.nz)
The first game of rugby played in New Zealand took place before the New Zealand Rugby Football Union was formed. From early European times, football in various forms had been played but from the description of the game in local papers, it is certain that the match between Nelson College and Nelson football club, played on 14 May 1870, was played under rugby rules.
In 1871 the game became organised in Wellington and it had spread to Wanganui by the following year. Auckland adopted rugby in 1873 while Hamilton followed suit in 1874. By 1875 game had become established all over the colony and a team representing Auckland clubs undertook a two-week southern tour. Matches were played (and lost) against teams from Wellington, Dunedin, Christchurch, Nelson and Taranaki.
Since 1893, New Zealand has sent teams to every major rugby country and to some countries where the game is very minor. At the same time, the NZRFU has been host to players from all corners of the world. The game is spreading all the time and although rugby players in some countries may not be too sure where New Zealand is, it is certain they would have heard of the All Blacks.
Tours of foreign countries early in the twentieth century were long and arduous. Players spent, literally, years away from their families. The personal sacrifices of such men, and the close team culture that developed over the course of such tours, began to have a magical effect on our rugby. National representative honours were becoming hugely respected, as much for the acknowledgement of those sacrifices and the recognition of the pride involved in making them as for the outstanding winning record we were developing.
The 1905 "All Blacks" swept through Britain and Europe displaying a style of rugby that took the other nations by surprise. New Zealand's long history of innovation in the game really began here, as a team from "the colonies" had never before handed out thrashings of that order to any "Home Unions", let alone showed such a combination of ferocity and grace. Fear of the black jersey was born.
Teams of New Zealand soldiers in the second World War were instrumental in bridging the gap between the two halves of the century. Most able-bodied New Zealanders enlisted for army service, but no matter which part of the world they found themselves in, they would still pick sides during breaks in the fighting and play the game they loved.
The All Blacks became the most feared opponent in the sport. Fierce rivalries existed between all the rugby powers, but the men wearing the black jerseys with the silver fern and delivering the formal challenge of the haka had a psychological edge on the opposition whenever they stepped onto the field.
Modern All Black teams have proudly continued the legacy, and have given their heart and soul on New Zealand's behalf. The sport of rugby now has a World Cup tournament, held every four years since 1987, and New Zealand's success in only one of these so far is no real indication of our ongoing strength. The game here remains an integral part or our culture and identity as a nation, and the unchecked passion we have for the sport will ensure that the future of All Black rugby is as innovative, uncompromising, dedicated and successful as it ever was.
AUCKLAND HOLIDAY WEEKEND - Reva Byrd
I wore a yellow rose from Mert's garden in New Plymouth to meet Graeme at the Auckland airport. When Merv cut the huge, yellow rose he proudly told me the botanical name, "in case anyone asks."
(Having resisted Latin in the 8th grade, I quickly forgot the name). The rose did, however, add romance and intrigue to my meeting with a strange man in a strange city in a strange country.
At the terminal a handsome woman approached me and said, "You must be Reva. I'm your hostess. I was coming to town and told Graeme I would pick you up. He'll come by for lunch and meet you then."
Graeme was a friend of my Unity minister in Virginia. When I wrote him I explained my desire to visit Auckland while in New Zealand. An enthusiastic letter arrived inviting me to visit the church and stay in the home of one of its members.
Merv was a new friend who lived in New Plymouth, New Zealand. I wrote asking, "What do your lady friends and family think of my visiting you in your home?"
"I have lady friends, but nothing serious at my age. My family is happy for me that you will visit. Anyway it's nobody's business! I didn't think you were a prude. Come any time and stay as long as you like."
That settled it. I didn't hesitate. The door was open for me to visit and stay the month of November in New Zealand.
I planned to visit Auckland sometime during my stay in New Plymouth. I found I was welcome and happy both places. While Merv fulfilled his obligation to work for a few days, I went to Auckland. It was Thanksgiving in the U.S., but it isn't a holiday in NZ.
A bus seemed a convenient and cheap way to travel and enjoy some local color. I made reservations and paid at the downtown bus station.
Lou, driver of the "C" bus, picked me up at Merv's door in New Plymouth at 7am and delivered me to the downtown airport terminal in Auckland. Lou also acted as our tour guide. All the other travelers seemed to be local. Lou treated me as special. He said, "Come sit on the front seat. You can see the sights better if you sit up here. There's a tray you can use,' he added when he saw I was keeping a journal of my travels.
It was a four-hour trip. Halfway, Lou announced, "We are stopping at a restaurant where tea or coffee are free. You can buy whatever else you want." Evidently most of the passengers had eaten a light breakfast because they filled up on junk food. I was more fortunate. Merv had made a full course breakfast complete with coffee, although he wasn't a coffee drinker.
Lou was humorous, jolly and friendly. Along the way he picked up people who had reservations. He even went up a dirt road to find a passenger he
missed because the directions were confusing. This would never happen in America! He pointed out interesting places along the way.
"Over there is the Methanex plant that converts gas into gasoline, called Methanol. The second largest industry in the area is dairy. There's a cheese factory there." Cows dotted the landscape in contrast to the sheep that had dominated the hillsides on the South Island.
A geologist on board pointed out Mt. Messenger. He said, "For 2,000 years the volcano has formed alternating rings of grass and rock that reminded one of rings on a tree. Those ridges on that hill are part of a Maori cemetary."
We stopped at the bus station of the city of Hamilton, large by New Zealand standards. Lou knew the names of his frequent passengers and knew why they were traveling. No one left without a, "Have a good visit!" or "Hope your mom is feeling better."
We let out passengers in the small town of Taupiri and in Papatoetoe, a suburb of Auckland. I had different seatmates, and a male nurse who worked in a nursing home and was going to Auckland for the week-end. He moved to let a woman who had car sickness sit by me nearer the front.
Then a delightful little Maori girl with snapping brown eyes and a complexion to be envied, was drawn to me. Veronica Poa, age 5, "almost 6", was traveling with her mother, a brother, and two younger sisters, one still nursing. "We're going to live with Nana," she reported proudly. "She has a job in a school cafeteria. We will stay until Christmas."
At the bus station they left behind a man who may have been the father. I hoped he had a job that could support his young family. The mother seemed sad to be leaving him. Profitable work isn't always available for often untrained, uneducated Maoris.
I understand that the socialist-type government supports Maori families with little or no income. They owned all the land before the Europeans came. They were fierce warriors and fought among themselves. I met some Maoris who worked in the cities, but many still live in small houses on the small farms they still own. I heard some former New Zealanders complain about taxes going to support the natives, comparable to our American Indians.
My hostess Joan recognized my yellow rose and introduced herself. "I live across town in Brown's Bay. You'll see a lot of the city on the way home. You must be hungry. Graeme will be by for dessert. We'll have a good time."
That was true! I found we had similar interests like knitting and travel. It seemed a long way to her house in the Brown's Bay section of Auckland. Joan told me, "Auckland is the largest city in New Zealand, with one-third of the population. The city is bulging with newcomers arriving every day. They're mostly from Indonesia, Japan and other oriental countries."
I was more than ready for lunch when Joan asked, "Would you like hot oxtail soup and a sandwich?"
"That sounds great." I had heard of oxtail soup. At this point I would have eaten any part of the ox. I found the tail delicious the way Joan cooked it!
Graeme came for coffee—or was it tea? and dessert. Both these new friends immediately made me feel that we were one family. Graeme told me he had started a new church called New Age Ministries I didn't care what he called it. These were wonderful people. At a small church gathering that night I met six ladies, several of whom welcomed me to stay longer with them in Auckland.
One of the ladies called the next morning. I could tell they had been talking about me. She explained later that one lady had said, "What an unin- hibited woman!" I did find the former English subjects quite reserved.
We had two cups of coffee that night while we talked. They encouraged me by admitting, "I enjoy your accent and you have a great way of telling a story." One woman said, "I lived a while in California and hearing you talk makes me homesick for the U.S."
Since New Zealanders don't seem to travel a lot in their own country, they found my stories of the past two weeks fascinating. I got turned on by such an attentive audience and entertained them with more than my usual dramatic fervor.
"My stories are usually written and often pub- lished, but I'm just a Virginia ham. I love a live audience," I explained to this new group.
Joan said, "I have a club meeting for ladies who want to lose weight. You don't need that and a visitor may embarrass some of the ladies, so if you want to go to the beach and shop, I know you'll enjoy it."
It was sunny, but Joan said it might rain, so I carried my plastic raincoat and her, bumbershoot (umbrella). I really felt they were extra baggage, but Joan insisted. (to be concluded in March)
(From "The Awesome Threesome", about three seniors whose ages totaled 235 years. Author REVA BYRD loves the free, single life, traveling and writing about it! This published author and award-winning artist illustrates her recent childrens' books).
FARMHAND - James K. Baxter
You will see him light a cigarette
At the hail door careless, leaning his back
Against the wall, or telling some new joke
To a friend, or looking out into the secret night.
But always his eyes turn
To the dance floor and the girls drifting like flowers
Before the music that tears
Slowly in his mind an old wound open.
His red sunburnt face and hairy hands
Were not made for dancing or love-making
But rather the earth wave breaking
To the plough, crops slow-growing in his mind.
He has no girl to run her fingers through
His sandy hair, and giggle at his side
When Sunday couples walk. Instead
He has his awkward hopes, his envious dreams to yarn to.
But ah in harvest watch him
Forking stooks, effortless and strong —
Or listening like a lover to the song
Clear, without fault, of a new tractor engine.
1948, Collected Poems
(From Out of Town, Writing from the New Zealand
HELP YOUR FELLOW KIWIPHILES!
Some of you must have been in NZ during the last year or so. Please send along your notes, your memories, your suggestions to help others in their planning. THANKS.
CLIPPER'S SMALL-SHIP NZ CRUISES
Clipper Cruise Line, a small-ship adventure
specialist, has three new it ineraries to New Zealand this winter. Cruising aboard the 28-passenger Clipper Odyssey, guests will visit secluded coves and bays, spectacular fjords and charming ports far from the typical tourist destinations.
Clipper's New Zealand journeys include visits to places of both natural beauty and cultural interest such as Queenstown at the foothills of The Remarkables mountain range, where passengers can take a jet-boat ride on the Shotover River; glacier- carved Milford Sound; the English-influenced city of Christchurch; Napier, where an optional tour takes travelers to Cape Kidnappers, the largest and most accessible mainland nesting place of gannets; and Tauranga, located on the Bay of Plenty, named by
Captain Cook for the plentiful supplies given to him by the native Maoris.
For all cruises, a 3-night optional extension in Sydney, site of the 2000 summer Olympics, is available at additional cost.
The 128-passenger Clipper Odyssey has all outside staterooms, ample teak-covered deck space, single-seating dining, main and day lounges and outdoor pool, as well as a gym, jogging track and viewing platform.
Brochures and additional information are available from travel agents or by contacting Clipper at 7711 Bonhomme Ave., St. Louis, MO 63105; phone 800/325-0010 or 314/727-2929, fax 314/727-6576, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or log on to www.clippercruise.com.
MAORI VILLAGE ACTIVITIES - ROTORUA
There are hangi and concert evenings—then there is Mai-Ora—Essence of Maori, a truly cultural experience that happens within the grounds of the New Zealand Maori Arts and Crafts Institute in Rotorua.
Mai Ora has been designed to offer visitors from both near and far an experience of the culture of the indigenous people of Aotearoa, New Zealand.
Mai Ora is an early evening programme of learning, playing, feasting, and meeting new friends.
It begins at 6:15pm in summer or 5:15pm in winter (or before for visitors who want to include a visit to the geothermal valley and arts and crafts centre.)
Visitors gather in the courtyard to form a roopu (group) and are given an introduction by their hostess of the customs they will experience.
The roopu walks to the kainga (village) to find it deserted.
The Tangata whenua (home tribe) have seen the group arrive and have sought the safety of Rotowhio marae to prepare for a powhiri (traditional welcome) that will determine if the visitors come in peace or war.
On arrival at the waharoa (entranceway) three warriors challenge (wero) a chosen rangatira (chief).
It is fiercely serious, and only the acceptance of a token piece of greenery ensures the roopu are welcomed onto the marae in peace.
Once inside the beautifully carved meeting house, Te Aronui-a-Rua, Maori protocol follows with traditional speeches of welcome in Te Reo Maori (Maori language).
To close formal proceedings the hongi (gentle pressing of foreheads) is performed with representatives of the group.
Different aspects of the culture are presented in song and dance.
Traditional weapons, games, instruments are shown to the accompaniment of chants and haka (war chants).
The use of modern instruments moves the performance to more modern tunes renowned love song, Pokarekare-ana.
The fitness and agility of the warriors is shown in a weapons demonstration, while the women is seen with the use of the poi.
Males in the group are invited to join in and learn a haka (war dance), while women experience the poi before proceeding to watch the lifting of the hangi (traditional Maori method of cooking—using steam created when water is poured on hot stones, then enclosed under-ground for 3-4 hours).
Hangi food is usually food like chicken, lamb, sweet potatoes (kumara), potatoes, cabbage, and sweetcorn.
The buffet selection is impressive—oysters, crab, prawns, salads, venison casserole, lamb, rice, vegetables and maori bread, with chocolate gateau, cheesecake, fresh fruit salad, tea and coffee to follow.
More entertainment follows the feasting, then it's time to say goodbye.
Mai Ora runs nightly at a cost of $NZ65 adults, $35 children.
Book through any motel or hotel reception desk, Tourism Rotorua, or directly with the institute, 3km south of city centre on Hemo Road.
HEATHER IN NEW ZEALAND - NEXT
Subtropical languidness may be all the rage in the humid north, but crisper cimates require something altogether more bracing in the garden. Preferably something with a bit of backbone and a long pedigree of toughness. Cold clear winter days with a sniff of snow in the air, paired with dry, hot summers, demand strong survival skills from a plant. Heather is one such group that does spectacularly well in the right climate.
Heather is a broad term for the group of plants that is more properly categorised as either ericas or callunas. Both are squat, prolifically flowering plants with tight, needle-like leaves. Callunas flower only in summer and have a tightly furled leaf which helps them tolerate long dry spells
in summer. Ericas flower for long periods throughout the year, including the coldest months. Both bloom in every shade of pink, through to mauve, magenta and deep purple. The foliage can be green, yellow or deep gold, turning to a burnished russet red in the cold.
To see the full impact of a mass planting of these small flowers, it's worth a visit to the Heather Garden on Beacon Point Road, Lake Wanaka. Madge and Max Snow open the garden to visitors every Monday for an entry fee of $2. This former farming couple from the Lindis Pass retired twelve years ago to a scrub-covered block in sight of the blue lake. They wanted to clear the land for a garden that would look good all-year round, have lots of colour and not need too much work.
"We hadn't used heathers before" says Madge, "but they like our stony soil, clump up very quickly and are so easy to care for. They don't like fertiliser but we do water them in summer."
The garden remains intensely colourful through the driest summers and even when the snow is flying. So much so that buses full of foreign tourists have been known to pull up in surprise and snap off a few rolls of film.
"Most of them can't understand the sign that explains we're only open on Monday," laughs Max. "But they do recognise the word "Open" and they come in anyway. We're always happy to show people around."
BOOKS (from Next)
Kiwiana the Sequel by Richard Wolfe & Steve Barnett
What was once considered cultural cringe is now steeped in whimsical nostalgia as we celebrate our Kiwi icons. The definitive meat pie, rugby rites of passage and the difference between a saveloy and a polony are among the lucky dips into our that define our national character. Good on you, mates!
West by Stanley Palmer
Guaranteed to gladden the heart of aficionados of Stanley Palmer's art, this most beautiful book showcases his landscapes in oils, watercolours, mono- prints and drawings, portraying scenes of the West Coasts of the North and South Islands. Also chronicled are the artist's exhibitions.
Savour the South by Mavis Airey
A gastronomic guide to the regional cuisine and delicacies of the South Island. You'll find also, culinary calendars, maps and details of vineyards,
restaurants, boutique breweries and specialist suppliers. And, of course, there are the marvellous colour photographs and recipes for Golden Bay crabs, Oamaru potatoes, Akaroa salmon, Kaikoura crayfish, Bluff oysters, Canterbury cervena and Hokitika whitebait, plus vegetarian and wild-food fare.
(Harper Collins, NZ$39.95)
NEW ZEALAND MASTER GAMES
An annual multi-sport event attracting some 8,000 participants mostly between the ages of thirty and ninety-something in up to seventy sports, alter- nates between the cities of Wanganui and Dunedin.
At the New Zealand Masters Games, participation comes before competition, entry being anyone from any country who meets the age criteria for their particular sport, no matter what their level of ability or skill. An atmosphere of friendliness and camaraderie is reflected in the comprehensive social program, which is an integral part of the event.
The next event will be held in Wanganui (North Island) 3-11 February 2001. The next Dunedin event (South Island) will be held 2-10 February 2002.
CIRCUMNAVIGATING NEW ZEALAND
February 28— March 12, 2001
Starting rate: $5,180 (includes airfare from L.A.)
Sail along New Zealand's spectacular coastline exploring both North and South islands, areas dominated by mountains and fjords, and well beyond the reach of conventional tourism. You will see thermal pools of bubbling mud and spouting geysers. Only a small ship (you will be joined by fewer than 130 other passengers) can provide an immersion in these magical places where forests and mountains are reflected in the still, crystal-cIear waters. You will also sail around New Zealand's Bay of islands, an archipelago, of 144 islands that are home to an abundance of marine life.
(National Wildlife Federation EXPEDITIONS. Call 800-606-9563 www.nwf.org/expeditions
email email@example.com )
THREE NEW UNWANTED ORGANISMS' IN NEW ZEALAND — Scoop Science
A frog and two fish species have joined the growing list of New Zealand's least wanted introduced species.
Recently the Department of Conservation (DOC) declared the Eastern banjo frog, the mosquito fish and the European (koi) carp as "unwanted organisms" under the Biosecurity Act 1993. This means that action can be taken using the enforcement powers under the Biosecurity Act to prevent or reduce the spread of these species. The only exception is if the person gets a written permit first. It was already an offence to liberate them into national parks, other public conservation land, and reserves.
The koi carp and its hybrids were designated a noxious fish species 20 years ago. Since then it has been illegal to rear, raise, hatch or consign those fish without first getting a permit from the DOC. It has also been, and still is, an offence to keep in captivity or to possess any mosquito fish withot't prior written approval.
"This trio are further examples of species that have been introduced to New Zealand, and which now threaten our unique natural heritage," said DOC Bio-security Chief Technical OfficerGeoff Hicks.
Dr. Hicks said it was also a reminder to the public to be aware of the threat these species present. "Both the mosquito fish and koi carp have recently been recorded in the South Island for the first time, and both appear to have been spread by people emptying fish tanks into the wild without realising the consequences of their actions."
The new "unwanted" status will not affect the commercial fishers who have permission to remove and kill koi carp from parts of Waikato and Auckland.
The Eastern banjo frog (Limnodynastes dumerilii) just recently found in NZ, is named for its unusual "plonking" call, and is known to eat a wide range of insects, small frogs and skinks. It is also known to carry the chytrid fungus which has been implicated in the global decline of frogs and other am- phibians.
The mosquito fish (Gambusla affinis) a native of North America, was first introduced to NZ for mosquito control more than 70 years ago, but with little evidence of success. Instead, the mosquito fish has made more of an impact on native insects and fish populations than on mosquito numbers.
Koi carp (Cyprinus carpio) pose a significant threat to the health of New Zealand's freshwater ecosystems by uprooting water plants, lowering water quality and eating insects and other young fish.
Until recently they have been found only in the North Island, but a new infestation in Nelson has also been the subject of a joint DOC and New Zealand Fish and Game Council eradication attempt. Action to declare them unwanted is to prevent their spread to the South Island.
For further information please contact Rachel Garthwaite, DOC Science and Research, 04 471 3213, or Geoff Hicks, Biosecurity Chief Technical Officer (Conservation), 04 471 3063.
From the ECOLOGIC FOUNDATION
— NZ Calendar, Maruia Nature Catalog
In purchasing our calendar you are helping to sustain a distinctive voice in environmental debates— that of the Ecologic Foundation. In the search for workable pathways to sustainability, we are committed to a thoughtful, consultative approach, based on integrating "the three E's" — ecology, economy and ethics.
Nature in the wild is the theme this calendar. Ecologic and its esteemed predecessors, the Maruia Society and the Native Forests Action Council, have a long and successful record in protecting wilderness. Wonderful places like Okarito, the Pureora and Whirinaki forests, Fiordland's Waitutu coast and the Paparoa National Park are sites with whose protection we are particularly associated. We have a similar track record in our work in the South Pacific — especially in Fiji, New Caledonia, and the Solomon Islands.
Building on this foundation, we have increasingly come to grips with the practical environmental problems of the agricultural and urban areas where we all live and earn our livelihoods. Today we are leading initiatives to promote the clean-up of Auckland, the implementation of sustainable agriculture, improved waste management and the protection of nature on private land. We are also promoting major changes to New Zealand's transport and energy systems to reduce the risks of climate change.
You can buy our calendar (NZ$14), become a member, or you can subscribe to our quarterly magazine Ecologic. Just contact our national office at P0 Box 756, Nelson, NZ. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org. Website: www.ecologic.org.nz.
Please also support the Maruia Nature Catalogue, whose mail order gift business contributes significantly to the Ecologic Foundation's resources every year. The Maruia Nature Catalogue's popular range includes solar radios and torches, window pane thermometers, silk long underwear, merino wool adventure wear, educational toys, and much more. For a catalogue, contact them on 0800 77 1133, or email email@example.com. Website: www.nznature.co.nz.
(Editor: I often buy from the Maruia Catalog.They have delicious NZ chocolates, stationery, and other good things. The Ecologic calendar is beautiful, year after year.)
A MAN WITH STARS IN HIS EYES -
by Tula Shelton, INFOTECH=eSTUFF
Richmond's Robert Rea might be an amateur astronomer but he has discovered something most eminent astronomers would give their eye teeth to discover—a new variable star or, to be absolutely correct, two of them.
While there are hundreds of millions of stars in the heavens, just 30,000 variable stars have been sighted to date, Mr. Rea said. His was the most recent and he admitted he discovered it by chance.
A member of the Centre of Backyard Astrophysics attached to Columbia University, Mr. Rea said he had undertaken to line up his telescope and camera on one of the known variable stars, take regular readings and then send the information he gathered off for analysis.
On October 9, he set out to run a check on the error of those readings by correlating them with readings from a handful of other stars which lay within the minuscule area of sky (one-fifth of a degree) which had been assigned to him.
One of these caught his attention because of its fluctuating brightness. While the star had been listed in a guide star catalogue no one had realised until then that it was a variable star, Mr. Rea said.
With time fast running out to collect more data (the variable star was visible for two hours in the evening only and was destined to disappear over the horizon within a few weeks), Mr. Rea called on fellow backyard amateur-astronomer Stan Walker in Kaitaia to help him collect the data.
Nelson was having more than its fair share of cloud cover at that time, Mr. Rea said, but with two observers they were able to gather the data they wanted.
A series of light intensity readings from both islands showed the two stars travelled around each other in just 11 hours. Twice during that time an eclipse would occur and this accounted for the sudden reduction in light, he said.
While the pair's findings confirmed the existence of the variable star and established fluctuations in its light curves, it would be up to skilled astronomers to study the star more closely, Mr. Rea said.
To help them do this, he would be preparing a report on the findings which he hoped would be printed in an Information Bulletin on Variable Stars.
The star, previously known as GSC 5728-92, would be reclassified as variable and would still be known by a number and not a name as was the case with newly-discovered comets.
MILFORD TRACK - THE PATH TO A SOUTH ISLAND HIKE by Christine Barnes (L.A. Times)
When to go: Milford Track is open November through mid-April. Because of the popularity of the route and the limited number of people allowed on it, hikers traveling independently are advised to make reservations as far in advance as possible.
Getting around: The Milford Track is not a technical climb but a hike for fit walkers capable of three days of strenuous exercise. (The fourth day is relatively easy).
Independent walkers must follow a rigid itinerary and stay in Department of Conservation huts. Contact Great Walks Bookings, P.O. Box 29, TeAnau, New Zealand; tel. 011-64-3-249-8514, fax 011-64-3- 249-8515, Internet: http://www.doc.govt.nz.
We booked our guided tour through Milford Track Guided Walk, P.O. Box 259, Queenstown, NZ; tel. 011-64-3-441-1138, fax 011-64-3-441-1124, Internet: http://www.milfordtrack.co.nz . Our package included 5 nights' accommodations, all meals, wine, guide service and orientation, some equipment, Milford Sound cruise, bus shuttle service and a flight from Milford Sound to Queenstown. Our high-season rate was about US$655 per person, plus tax.
What to take : Proper clothing is imperative for staying warm and dry. Warm polypropylene and fleece layers are critical. The company provided backpacks, rain jackets and pants, waterproof pack liners and sleeping sheet. The jackets and pants do not breathe; we invested in good rain gear and brought our own packs, which I recommend. A walking stick is invaluable, too.
For more information : Tourism New Zealand, 501 Santa Monica Blvd., Suite 300, Santa Monica, CA 90401; tel. (877) 9-PURENZ (978-7369), fax (310) 395-5453, Internet: http://www.purenz.com.
When you make inquiries about and/or reservations for anything in New Zealand, if you saw it here please mention that you saw it in the KIWIphile FILE!! Thank you.
"A GOOD PLACE TO BRING UP CHILDREN"
(From New Zealand! New Zealand! In Praise of Kiwiana)
For nearly as long as the country has been 'Godzone', New Zealand has also been hailed as a 'good place to bring up chIldren'. If the saying became a cliché then it was only because it was a truth often stated. It was certainly the case from the 1940s on and, despite a sometimes fashionable cynicism to say otherwise, is still so today.
By the early 1940s New Zealand was at the forefront of care for the infant and child. Among other things this included free dental and medical schemes; free milk in schools; towns and cities free of the pressures of a crowded high-density population; unrestricted access to an abundance of fresh air, sunlight and the wilderness of hills and coast.
Conventionally the New Zealand welfare system provided total care from the cradle to the grave. Following his or her birth in a state-funded hospital, the new Kiwi was taken under the wing of a Plunket nurse whose observations on baby's progress and height and weight were awaited with keen anticipation by the parents. A 'Plunket' baby was the goal of most.
Founded in 1907, at a time when the country's record on infant care was abysmal, the Plunket Society has become an integral part of the country's health system. More than that it is a part of the weave of our social fabric. It is an extraordinary example of just what a grass-roots people's movement can achieve: in the case of Plunket, a nationwide organisation of preventive care that has not only succeeded by influence and example rather than imposition, but has done so largely by a support network of volunteers. It is a system unique to this country.
It was while working as a medical superintendent in Dunedin that Dr. Frederic Truby King became aware of the need for mothers to be better educated in the care of their babies. It was a popularly held belief of the time that mothers knew instinctively how to care for their children but the situation that existed in the early 1900s suggested otherwise. Bottle-feeding of babies had largely supplanted breast-feeding, with dire results in many cases. There was little knowledge of the preparation of nourishing and balanced formula milks and, instead, straight cows' milk or heavily sugared commercial preparations were often given. The result was frequently severe digestive upset and a scandalously high infant mortality rate.
One of Truby King's first achievements was to devise a recipe for what he termed 'humanised milk': a formula preparation that supplied as near as possible the nutrients of mother's milk.
First founded as The New Zealand Society for the Health of Women and Children, the organisation later came to be called the Plunket Society, in recognition of the high-profile support given by Lady Plunket, wife of the governor-general. Vice-regal patronage gave the society a major boost and with Lady Plunket's assistance branches were established throughout the country.
As well as proper nutrition the King philosophy stressed the importance of fresh air, sunshine, diet and exercise in the pursuit of the happy, healthy child. At first, the King cottage at the seaside suburb of Karitane was lent to the society as a hospital for the care of malnourished and neglected children. Later, when the Society set up a new hospital in a larger residence in Dunedin, the seaside connection was carried on in its name—the Karitane Home for Babies, the first of a string of such hospitals. For 70 years Plunket and Karitane nurses trained at the Homes and went out to carry the King gospel to all parts of New Zealand.
By the 1980s the Karitane Homes had become uneconomic. They have all now been closed and in their place have opened Family Centres. These, along with the Plunket rooms that are as much a part of New Zealand as the RSA halls, continue to extend plunket care for the great majority—more than 85 percent—of all new Kiwis. Today's Plunket nurse, rather than laying down the law, is a friendly advisor whose professional health care is part of a system supported by both government and volunteers.
On his death Sir Truby King, as he'd become in recognition of his services, was accorded, quite properly, a state funeral.
(Editor: You may run across Plunket rooms in your travels. Be aware that they are open to travelers as well locals. Babies can be cared for there, and women and girls may use the restrooms.)
NEW ZEALAND TREES (From New Zealand Handbook by Jane King—Moon Travel Handbooks)
Altogether 112 native tree species grow in New Zealand amongst the dense undergrowth and large areas of scrub (mainly manuka or tea-tree). A few ancient kauri pine (Agathis australis) forests can still be appreciated on the North Island, growing naturally only north of latitude 39 degrees south.
These magnificent trees grow up to 53 meters high, losing their lower branches to become long bare cylinders of intricate design with large bushy tops. They were the favorites of the forest for Maori war canoes—a vast canoe could be chiseled out of one tree trunk. Unforunately, they were also the favorites of early shipbuilders and settlers, who rapidly depleted the forests without much thought to the future—the kauri takes about 800 years to mature. Nowadays, these impressive trees survive in relatively few areas, towering above the other trees in small groves or ran- domly in the bush. Two areas in Northland, northwest of Dargaville, are worth a special visit just to see these giants— Waipoua Forest Park, with two very famous trees (one is estimated to be at least 2,000 years old), and the small but beautiful Trounson Kauri Park.
Most of New Zealand's flowers are white or cream. However, native flowering trees and shrubs add red and yellow highlights to the evergreen flora of New Zealand. A few of the most spectacular flowering trees are the pohutukawa, rata, and kowhai. The striking pohutukawa (Metrosideros tomentosa), or New Zealand Christmas tree, is a mass of scarlet flowers in December. The rata (Metrosideros robusta), another vividly colored tree also covered in red blossoms, is initially a parasitic vine, growing up a host tree (and often strangling it) until it has grown roots and become a tree in its own right. The bright yellow hanging blossoms of the kowhai (Sophora tetraphera) bloom in all their glory during spring. Large beech Nothofagus forests with little undergrowth cover upland areas, and vast areas of land throughout New Zealand have been planted with exotic trees for timber, thus saving the remaining indigenous trees. The most common nonnative tree is the radiata pine. It flourishes here, growing to complete maturity within 35 years—a popular tree with the timber industry.
I was happy to have a month-long visit here at my California home with my dear friend Betty Croft who lives in TePuru, New Zealand. We had a great time together, indulging in cooking, baking, and eating lots of scones and pikelets, talking, visiting with my American friends, and doing a bit of exploring. That's why the KlWlphile FILE is late this time!
Please send in your story or letter for next time. Thank you.
A MAORI BLESSING
Kia hora te marino,
Kia whakapapa pounamu te moana,
Kia tere te karohirohi.
May the seas be calm,
May the shimmer of summer
Glisten like the greenstone,
Dance across thy pathway.
Ma lo koutou e manaaki,
E tiaki, i nga wa katoa.
May your God bless you
and protect you for all time.