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02 JANUARY 2013

Addressing contemporary issues through traditional craft practices

"Binding handcrafted books for me is not merely a way of turning back the clock, but a way of addressing contemporary issues, both environmental and social as well as aesthetic."

(Michael O'Brien, Bookbinder)

"A Step Back In Time", short documentary about Oamaru's iconoclastic bookbinder Michael O'Brien. Director: Moss Bowering–Scott, Research: Libby Dallison, Executive Producers: Richard Bell and Steve Bloxham, New Zealand Broadcasting School, CPIT, Uploaded to YouTube on 16 August 2010.

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TAGS

2010Aotearoa New Zealand • archival paper • authentic materialsauthenticity of thingsbook • bookbinder • bookbindingCPIT • craft evangelist • crafts traditioncraftsmanshipcraftspersoncritical consciousness • critical reappraisal • design essentialismdifferent futureseccentric • handcrafted books • handmadehumanisation of technologylimits of progresslocalmanual qualities • Michael OBrien • moggans • New Zealand Broadcasting School • OamaruOtagopaper • paper marbling • perception of modernityshort documentarysustainabilitytactile richnesstraditional practicesVictorian • Victorian Oamaru • Victorian Town at Work • ways of life

CONTRIBUTOR

Simon Perkins
27 JANUARY 2011

Te Ara Encyclopedia of New Zealand

"What is Te Ara? 'Te ara' in Māori means 'the pathway'. Te Ara – The Encyclopedia of New Zealand offers many pathways to understanding New Zealand. When complete, it will be a comprehensive guide to the country's peoples, natural economy, institutions and society. ...

An important feature of Te Ara is its Māori content. The Māori perspective is presented with each theme, and entries with substantial Māori content are available in the Māori language."

(Aotearoa New Zealand, Ministry for Culture and Heritage)

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TAGS

Aotearoa New ZealandAucklandcatalogueChristchurchCommonwealthcultural heritageDunedinencyclopaediaheritagehistoryIndigenousLand WarsMaori • Ministry for Culture and Heritage • national cultural heritage onlineOtagoPacificPakehasocietySouth Island • Te Ara • Te Tiriti o Waitangi • the pathway • Treaty of WaitangiWellington

CONTRIBUTOR

Simon Perkins
26 MAY 2009

Speculation about New Zealand's economic value and advantage in 1866

"THE FUTURE OF COLONIES.

(From the Melbourne Argus.)
Will Victoria be the foremost of Australian colonies in the future? Hitherto we have not permitted ourselves to doubt it ; but then it is only quite lately that events in New Zealand have been calling attention to the extraordinary resources and prospects of that country. Long secluded, petty, and almost unnoticed, the settlements in those islands have suddenly sprung into a prominence and importance which recall the progress of our own early days. Communities are quickly built up in these regions of the far south, which were a hemisphere of mystery to the old world a few short years ago. The turn of New Zealand is fast coming ; within four or five years she has doubled her inhabitants. Population is multiplying, not only on the auriferous hillsides and terraces of Otago and Westland, but in the province of Auckland, furthest removed from the goldfields. Her bound into importance has been so sudden that those great islands have not been oven named yet. Countries as largo as England and Scotland are only distinguished as the North and South Islands – the native appellations, unlike native ones in general, being in this instance too clumsy and long–winded for every day use ; while as for the common term New Zealand, it cannot, of course, serve for the future, and, as inappropriate and absurd, its withdrawal was long since determined on. If their present extraordinary advance be sustained, those islands will be soon well on the path to that magnificent destiny which, from their geographical position and great natural opportunities, was predicted for them by the thoughtful in England long before the first of our settlements was formed on their shores. Perhaps it is in climate that New Zealand has the most striking advantage over the Australian continent. Being very mountainous, surrounded by the ocean, and far from any other land, there are no desert winds, and the moisture is perennial, and at all seasons reliable. The country is about the size of Great Britain, but the shape being much more elongated, there are greater varieties of temperature ; for while the sugar cane, it is suspected, would grow in the peninsula of the extreme north, antarctic breezes give to the south the winter of Britain. As a whole, however, the climate has been compared, not unjustly, to that of Great Britain in its vicissitudes at all seasons, and its influence on the soil and the human constitution. There is no country, therefore, better adapted for the transplantation of the Anglo–Saxon and Celtic races, with a successful perpetuation of the original type. It is entirely because of the difference of climate between New Zealand and the archipelagos of the Pacific that the Maoris are so much more energetic, industrious, and masculine, than their soft kinsmen of the Sandwich and Society Islands. And the earth, like the air, seems fashioned for the development of a great nation. Noble harbors indent the coasts ; great and deep rivers, hundreds of yards wide, hundreds of miles long, traverse the plains ; the mountains are as high as those of Switzerland, the forests as majestic as in the tropics. And over so many degrees of latitude almost all useful plants, except those exclusively of the torrid zone, can find congenial growth–all cereals, from the hardy oat and rye which need the cold, to rice and maize which love the sun–all fruits and vegetables and their products, except, perhaps wine, for which the restlessness of the atmosphere may not be well suited–all minerals, from gold, the most artificially valuable, to iron and coal, the most useful, are found. Then the constant verdure affords unlimited scope for grazing, and the adjacent seas yield abundance of fish. Just now the South Island has the largest population because of the gold–fields, has in more permanent advantages the North is vastly superior. It has not its neighbor's severe winters, the mountain masses do not engross so much of its surface, the extent of fertile land is far greater, and the navigable rivers have longer courses. The North Island must be the principal seat of agriculture and of internal and external trade.

The two islands are rising into importance so fast, and their chief seats of population are so very distant from each other, that their formation into two colonies cannot be long postponed. The late removal of the capital to the town of Wellington on the dividing strait, as a central situation, was almost superfluous in the present aspect of affairs. It is not a central seat of Government that the islands are now asking for, but distinct Governments, as they have distinct interests. The South has only a couple of native tribes, and no Maori wars, and grumbles at being taxed for the expense ; while the North has no gold–fields or digging populations. Already, therefore, the chief communities in both quarters are agitating for separation. Our New Zealand correspondent mentions in his last letter that Auckland is to make common cause in the General Assembly, which has just met, with Otago and Canterbury on this subject, and these three provinces have twice and a–half as many in habitants as the other six.

As for the grand old native war race, it is fast passing away without fulfilling the dream of Sydney Smith, of amalgamating with its supplanters. Diffenbach estimated the Maoris at 115,000 in the beginning of the present century. In 1861, an estimate based on a recent census returned them as 55,336. Now, says our correspondent, nobody believes that they exceed 40,000 souls. That which was probably their last war with us is virtually at an end. Most of our regular forces leaving, no longer necessary in New Zealand. Subdued and hopeless, a fatal despair has seized upon the proud Maori that dull depression, that tedium vite which smites with the hand of death. Among the tribes which have submitted the mortality is described as astonishing. Without the presence of epidemic or other active cause, two hundred individuals of some small hapus near Raglan died off within two months. The Maori is departing over the rock of the Reinga – the gateway of the land of spirits. Centuries hence, when millions of civilised, and therefore superior, men occupy the plains and mountains, the valor and the fate of the ancient owners of the land will be the theme of many a tradition, of many a poetic fancy. Time will lend its embellishment, and history will not forget the gallant aborigines of New Zealand."
(The Brisbane Courier, Tuesday 14 August 1866)

[A rather enlightening article from 1866. The article was retrieved through using the Australian Newspapers beta which was developed by the National Library of Australia as part of the Australian Newspapers Digitisation Program.

The photo shows a National Provincial Council mining licence from 1884 (source).]

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TAGS

1866 • agricultureAnglo-SaxonAotearoa New ZealandAucklandAustralia • Australian Newspapers Digitisation Program • Canterbury • Celtic • colonydatabaseEnglandgeographyGreat BritainIndigenouslandLand WarslibraryMaoriMelbourne • Melbourne Argus • National Library of Australia • NLA • Otago • Sandwich Islands • ScotlandsearchsettlementSociety IslandsSouth IslandSwitzerland • Sydney Smith • tradeVictoria (Australia) • Westland

CONTRIBUTOR

Simon Perkins
25 MAY 2009

National Library of Australia: Pictures Catalogue

"This catalogue contains descriptions of paintings, drawings, prints, photographs and three–dimensional objects held in the Pictures Collection of the National Library of Australia. The emphasis is on Australian material, with some material relating to New Zealand, Antarctica, Papua New Guinea and the Pacific. The main time period covered is late eighteenth century to the present day. The Collection includes thousands of portraits of significant Australians.

The Pictures Collection contains approximately 45,000 paintings and over 600,000 photographs; most of this material has been catalogued with individual descriptions or collection summaries. All these descriptions and summaries can be searched on this database.

Of the material that has been catalogued, more than 80,000 items have been digitised. These images are available through this catalogue, for research and study purposes and publication. More online images are added regularly."
(National Library of Australia, December 2005)

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TAGS

18th century2005AntarcticaAotearoa New ZealandAustraliacataloguedatabasedigitisationdrawingDunedinNational Library of AustraliaOtagoPacificPapua New Guineaphotograph • Pictures Collection • printsearch • three-dimensional objects

CONTRIBUTOR

Simon Perkins
30 DECEMBER 2008

New Zealand did not have its own constitutional government until 1853

"New Zealand did not have its own constitutional government until 1853, when the Imperial Parliament's New Zealand Constitution Act 1852 was implemented. Until that time, New Zealand was a Crown colony. The power vested in the Crown by the various Acts of Parliament relating to New Zealand was in turn vested in the governor. The colonial secretary issued him with instructions as to how this authority was to be exercised. In a colony with only one governor, none of the executive powers were delegated. He could take advice from subordinates but nothing could be done without his authority. In theory once lieutenant–governors were appointed, as in New Zealand after 1846, they would conduct the administration of their provinces, and certain executive powers would be delegated to them under the supervision of the governor–in–chief.

New Zealand was initially under the adminstration of the New South Wales governor, Sir George Gipps. On 3 May 1841 the country became a Crown colony in its own right and Hobson was elevated from lieutenant–governor to governor. Hobson died on 10 September 1842 after a series of illnesses which left many of his duties to his few officials. His replacement was Captain Robert FitzRoy, governor from 26 December 1843 until 17 November 1845. It was during his term of office that the Otakou purchase was negotiated. The Hobson and FitzRoy administrations were periods of considerable economic and political difficulty. Government was severely under–resourced and under–funded. Tensions between Maori and settlers, and between both races and the Crown remained unresolved. With the appointment of Captain George Grey, backed by Imperial troops and much stronger financial support, the Crown was able to take the initiative."

(The Ngāi Tahu Report 1991, Section 5.2.1, Waitangi Tribunal, Department of Justice, Wellington)

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TAGS

1853 • Aotearoa New ZealandAustraliaCommonwealthconstitution • Crown colony • George Gipps • George Grey • governor • IndigenousMaoriNew South Wales • Ngāi Tahu • NSWOtago • Otakou • race • Robert FitzRoy • settlementSouth IslandTe Tiriti o WaitangitreatyTreaty of WaitangitribevaluesWilliam Hobson

CONTRIBUTOR

Simon Perkins
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