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    • World Justice Project 2014 rankings for New Zealand released
      • 21 Aug 2014
      • Rainey Collins lawyers
      • Partner Alan Knowsley was again one of the 2500 experts around the world consulted by the World Justice Project to rank 99 countries on the issues of Constraints on Government Powers, Absence of Corruption, Open Government, Fundamental Rights, Order and Security, Regulatory Environment, Civil Justice and Criminal Justice. New Zealand ranked in the top 12 countries in all categories ranging from 2nd for Open Government and 3rd for Absence of Corruption to 12th for Criminal Justice. Anyone interested in further details can email Alan on aknowsley@raineycollins.co.nz

    • New Graphic Novels for August
      • 21 Aug 2014
      • Wellington City Libraries News Blog
      • From apocalyptic to dystopian, historical to everyday life, along with plenty of science fiction, all represented in this month’s selection of new graphic novels. With four new series also included there is a great choice of reading for all comic fans. Thanos rising / writer, Jason Aaron ; artist, Simone Bianchi with Riccardo Pieruccini. “Discover the hidden truth, as Thanos rises as the unrivalled rogue of wretchedness in this gripping tale of tragedy, deceit and destiny. Where did this demi-god of destruction come from, and more importantly, what does he want from the universe?” (Adapted from Amazon.co.uk) Suicide risk. Volume one, Grudge war / created and written by Mike Carey; art by Elena Casagrande. “Heroes are dying, and cops are dying twofold. Humanity is underpowered in the face of their onslaught, and people are suffering untold casualties trying to stem the flow. After barely surviving a super-powered bank heist gone horribly wrong, beat cop Leo Winters vowed to try and find a way to stop them. Following a lead, he discovered two lowlifes who seemed to be able to grant a person powers, for the right price. The problem is: you don’t get to choose which power.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary) Sheltered : a pre-apocalyptic tale [1] / co-created and illustrated by Johnnie Christmas ; co-created, written and lettered by Ed Brisson. “The adults of Safe Haven stockpile guns, food, and supplies, prepared for any disaster, whether natural or man-made. But the real threat comes from within, as their own children turn on them. Lucas leads the teenage killers, claiming a disaster is coming and sacrifices are necessary, but outsider Victoria and her friend Hailey doubt his motives and must try to survive long enough to escape.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary) Room for love / Andrea Meyer.Room for Love “Jacquie Stuart has just turned 32 and she wants to do a major rewrite on her life. Needing moonlighting money, she gets the idea of investigating a new dating trend; looking for Mr. But can the key to her happiness lie right under her very own roof?” (Adapted from Syndetics summary) Zero. Vol. 1, An emergency / written by Ales Kot ; illustrated by Michael Walsh [and 4 others]. “Kot (Wild Children) crafts a thriller about war, technology, and the human condition through the eyes of trained spy Edward Zero and his life of merciless killings. Each of the five issues collected here is illustrated by a different artist and encapsulates a specific time in Zero’s life. What does it mean that children are washed of emotion and trained to murder without ever questioning the sanctity of life? Should we care if the schooled assassins might be clones?” (Adapted from Syndetics summary) UXB / by Colin Lorimer. “In a shattered future London, experimental lifesuits are grafted to the bodies of three brothers, affording the boys great power, and great license. As the siblings settle into the abandoned Buckingham Palace, the problems of the world fade from sight in a whirlpool of old movies, violent video games and porn.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary) The Hartlepool monkey / story, Wilfrid Lupano ; art, Jérômie Moreau. “A yarn from the Napoleonic Wars tells of a French ship wrecked off the British coast, the single survivor a chimpanzee, the captain’s pet. The ignorant and bloodthirsty British villagers mistook the hapless simian for an enemy seaman and hanged the creature. Lupano expands this story with zest and inventiveness, working in a cabin boy, a young Charles Darwin, and the nascent naturalist’s doctor father.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary) FBP : Federal Bureau of Physics. Volume 1, The paradigm shift / Simon Oliver, writer ; Robbi Rodriguez, artist. “The Federal Bureau of Physics is a new series set in a world where earth’s physics have gone haywire. Adam Hardy, a new agent on the FBP’s payroll, is tasked with closing a troublesome Bubbleverse. Although it should have been a standard operation, Hardy’s trip is made more complicated by his partner’s hidden agenda. Hardy must escape the Bubbleverse, confront his partner, and solve the mystery of his famous physicist father’s death; all while trying to keep both feet in earth’s gravitational pull.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary) Aâma. 1, The smell of warm dust / Frederick Peeters. “At the start of the first volume of this French SF thriller trilogy, set in the distant-future Verloc Nim wakes in a molten crater, his eyes filled with tears over his lost daughter, and his memories a blur. Moments later, he’s approached by a robot gorilla named Churchill who’s thrilled to see him and hands him his journal. The journal reveals how Verloc’s younger brother, Conrad, cajoled Verloc into accompanying him and Churchill to an isolated experimental colony at the edge of the cosmos. Upon their arrival, the true purpose of Conrad’s visit is revealed, as is Verloc’s role in it.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary) The park / Oscar Zarate. “On a beautiful Sunday afternoon, an incident takes place in a North London park. Chris is accidentally bitten by an excited dog, and aims a defensive kick at it. The owner, well-known polemicist Ivan Grubb, takes to his blog to express his outrage, spinning the story to sit happily within his own narrative. When Ivan and Chris relate the event to their children, they are surprised and confused by the strength of feeling their reactions have provoked. The Park is a delicate examination of how anger, repression and powerlessness can overwhelm even the most logical and well-intentioned person in a confusing modern world.” (Adapted from Amazon.co.uk)

    • Samuel Marsden Collegiate Information Session at Amesbury School
      • 21 Aug 2014
      • Amesbury Drive School Establishment Board of Trustees
      • If you would like to find out more about what Samuel Marsden can offer your daughter for year 7, your family is cordially invited to attend an information session to be held at Amesbury School on Tuesday 2 September at 5:30pm. 0 0 1 77 439 Amesbury School 3 1 515 14.0 Normal 0 false false false EN-NZ JA X-NONE /* Style Definitions */ table.MsoNormalTable {mso-style-name:"Table Normal"; mso-tstyle-rowband-size:0; mso-tstyle-colband-size:0; mso-style-noshow:yes; mso-style-priority:99; mso-style-parent:""; mso-padding-alt:0cm 5.4pt 0cm 5.4pt; mso-para-margin-top:0cm; mso-para-margin-right:0cm; mso-para-margin-bottom:8.0pt; mso-para-margin-left:0cm; line-height:107%; mso-pagination:widow-orphan; font-size:11.0pt; font-family:Calibri; mso-ascii-font-family:Calibri; mso-ascii-theme-font:minor-latin; mso-hansi-font-family:Calibri; mso-hansi-theme-font:minor-latin; mso-ansi-language:EN-NZ;} If you are interested but unable to attend on that day, please email Fiona Hannaway at fiona.hannaway@marsden.school.nz or call her on 476 8707 extn 831.  Fiona will be happy to arrange a tour for you and/or a meeting with myself. SAMUEL MARSDEN COLLEGIATE SCHOOL Phone +64 4 476 8707  Fax +64 4 939 8934  Marsden Avenue, Karori www.marsden.school.nz

    • Too big to read on the bus – literature picks for August
      • 21 Aug 2014
      • Wellington City Libraries News Blog
      • A magesterial magnum opus opens this month’s selection – a new study of the English novel which covers its history over seven hundred years. It is too big to read on the bus or pop in your handbag – you will need a stout table to accommodate this big beast of a book! There have been many histories of English literature but nothing of this type or on this scale has been attempted before. Michael Schmidt, a Mexican-born poet who currently lectures in English literature at Glasgow University, has integrated writers and writers who read one another’s work in order to produce an impressionistic landscape of the subject. He is giving a lecture at Te Papa in September as part of the “Writers on Mondays” programme. Read about it at the Victoria Modern Letters website The novel : a biography / Michael Schmidt. “The 700-year history of the novel in English defies straightforward telling. Encompassing a range of genres, it is geographically and culturally boundless and influenced by great novelists working in other languages. Michael Schmidt, choosing as his travel companions not critics or theorists but other novelists, does full justice to its complexity” (Global Books summary). Handling the truth : on the writing of memoir / Beth Kephart. “National Book Award finalist Kephart, who has written several memoirs and teaches a college course on the subject, offers an exploration of the genre that is informative and enjoyable. Drawing on the work of dozens of great authors (Annie Dillard, Mary Karr, Jeanette Winterson) as well as student comments, Kephart dives deeply into all that memoir can offer writers while acknowledging the pitfalls of oversharing and naming high-profile memoir abusers. Her insights are thoughtful and erudite. Real writers, she says, do not write to trump or abolish. They write . . . to rumble or howl”. (Booklist) Bradbury speaks : too soon from the cave, too far from the stars / Ray Bradbury. “He is an American treasure, a clear-eyed fantasist without peer, and a literary icon who has created wonder for the better part of seven decades. On subjects as diverse as fiction, the future, film, famous personalities, and more, Ray Bradbury has much to say, as only he can say it.Collected between these covers are memories, ruminations, opinions, prophecies, and philosophies from one of the most influential and admired writers of our time. As unique, unabashed, and irrepressible as the artist himself. (Global Books summary). Home is the hunter / Helen MacInnes. “After years of war, Ulysses finally returns to Ithaca. Rather than the joyous welcome he had hoped for, he finds his palace full of suitors, all scheming to possess his wife, and Penelope is wondering why it has taken him seven years to get home.” (Wellington City Libraries catalogue note). “Books that changed the world : the 50 most influential books in human history / Andrew Taylor. Contains profiles of fifty of history’s most important and influential books, as selected by journalist and author Andrew Taylor, each with a summary of the contents, and a discussion of its historical context and legacy.” (Wellington City Libraries catalogue note). The last days of Troy / Simon Armitage.“imon Armitage is rightly celebrated as one of the country’s most original and engaging poets; but he is also an adaptor and translator of some of our most important epics, such as Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, The Death of King Arthur and Homer’s Odyssey. The latter, originally a commission for BBC Radio, rendered the classical tale with all the flare, wit and engagement that we have come to expect from this most distinctive of contemporary authors, and in so doing brought Odysseus’s return from the Trojan War memorably to life” (Global Books summary) About writing / Cathy Glass. “Drawing on years of experience and thousands of readers comments and reviews of her writing, Cathy Glass provides a clear and concise, practical guide on writing and the best ways to get published” (Global Books summary) Beckett remembering, remembering Beckett : a celebration / edited by James and Elizabeth Knowlson. “This book collects a series of interviews that offer insight into the playwright’s beliefs about life, his work, friends and colleagues, and includes essays by contemporaries whom Beckett influenced.” (Wellington City Libraries catalogue note). Introducing Barthes / Philip Thody & Piero. “Roland Barthes’ stated aim set down in the 1950s was to destroy the idea that signs are natural. The study of signs, semiology, is introduced there, and analyzes the way in which humans communicate their social values through their appearance, visual imanges, literature and culture.” (Global Books summary). And a good one from another part of the library… The Bloomsbury cookbook : recipes for life, love and art / Jans Onddatje Rolls. “Part cookbook, part social and cultural history, this book will delight both Bloomsbury group aficionados and those new to the subject, with over 170 recipes from members of the group, including Frances Partridge, Helen Anrep and David and Angelica Garnett, accompanied by hundreds of paintings, photographs and quotations” (Publisher’s website)

    • Scots Rugby at an all-time high
      • 21 Aug 2014
      • Scots College
      • The College is celebrating a successful 2014 rugby season with outstanding performances across the whole College. Our 1st XV took the Premier Championship title - a first for Scots -  winning 21-18 in a closely fought match against St Pats Silverstream last week at Porirua Park. As regional winners this qualifies them to compete against Gisborne Boys High School this Saturday in the semi-final of the Hurricanes Regionals held in Gisborne. We wish the boys the best of luck. read more

    • New Mysteries for August
      • 21 Aug 2014
      • Wellington City Libraries News Blog
      • From Texas to New York, London’s West End to the Dark Ages in Ireland and of course Sweden, murder is everywhere. This month’s selection of new Mystery novels includes some old favorites, such as Arne Dahl, Hakan Nesser and Peter Tremayne, plus some a few new ones for your reading enjoyment. The reckoning / Rennie Airth. “In 1947, someone shoots Oswald Gibson, a retired bank manager, in the head while he’s fishing in a stream near Lewes, Sussex. Before his death, a visit from a stranger prompted Gibson to compose a letter to Scotland Yard asking about Madden’s whereabouts. Long retired from Scotland Yard, Madden is sure he never met the man. A month earlier, someone shot Dr. Wallace Drummond in his surgery in Ballater, Scotland, “in exactly the same manner.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary) The corpse bridge / Stephen Booth. “The old Corpse Bridge is the route taken for centuries by mourners to a burial aground across the River Dove in Derbyshire. But Earl Manby, the landowner, announces plans to deconsecrate the burial ground and turn it into a carpark for his holiday cottages. Once again bodies appear on the road to the Corpse Bridge. Is there a connection with the development? Or is there a serial killer at work?” (Adapted from Syndetics summary) To the top of the mountain / Arne Dahl ; translated from the Swedish by Alice Menzies. “After the disastrous end to their last case, the Intercrime team, a specialist unit created to investigate violent, international crime has been disbanded, their leader forced into early retirement. The six officers have been scattered throughout the country. But when a man is blown up in a high-security prison, a major drugs baron comes under attack and a massacre takes place in a dark suburb, the Intercrime team are urgently reconvened. There is something dangerous approaching Sweden, and they are the only people who can do anything to stop it.” (Adapted from Amazon.co.uk) Long way home / Eva Dolan. “A man is burnt alive in a shed. No witnesses, no fingerprints, only a positive ID of the victim as an immigrant with a long list of enemies. Detectives Zigic and Ferreira are called in from the Hate Crimes Unit to track the killer, and are met with silence in a Fenland community ruled by slum racketeers, people-trafficking gangs and fear. The tension rises as the clock is ticking, but nobody wants to talk.” (Adapted from Amazon.co.uk) Night kills / John Lutz. “Frank Quinn is sure he is hunting for a madman: someone is shooting young women in the heart, defiling their bodies, leaving only torsos to be found. Quinn, a former NYPD detective, is called into the case by an ambitious chief of police and mobilizes his team of brilliant law-enforcement misfits. But in the concrete canyons of New York, this shocking serial murder case is turning into something very different.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary) The G file : a Van Veeteren mystery / Håkan Nesser ; translated from the Swedish by Laurie Thompson. “1987. Verlangan, a former cop turned private detective is hired by a woman to follow her husband Jaan ‘G’ Hennan. A few days later, his client is found dead at the bottom of an empty swimming pool. Maardam police, led by Chief Inspector Van Veeteren, investigate the case. Van Veeteren has encountered Jaan ‘G’ Hennan before and knows only too well the man’s dark capabilities. As more information emerges about G’s shadowy past, the Chief Inspector becomes more desperate than ever to convict him. But G has a solid alibi- and no one else can be found in relation to the crime. 2002. Fifteen years have passed and the G File remains the one case former Chief Inspector Van Veeteren has never been able to solve. But when Verlangan’s daughter reports the private detective missing, Van Veeteren returns to Maardam CID once more. For all Verlangan left behind was a cryptic note; and a telephone message in which he claimed to have finally discovered the proof of G’s murderous past.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary) The murder bag / Tony Parsons. “There’s a serial killer on the loose. The social network sites all love him because he cuts the throats of rich and powerful men and he’s good at it. Twenty years ago seven rich, privileged students became friends at their exclusive private school, Potter’s Field. Now they have started dying in the most violent way imaginable. Enter Detective Max Wolfe, single parent, devoted husband of a brutally departed wife.. Newly arrived in the Homicide division of London’s West End Central, 27 Savile Row, Max follows the bloody trail from the backstreets and bright lights of the city, to the darkest corners of the Internet and all the way to the corridors of power.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary) Supping with the devil : a DCI Paniatowski mystery / Sally Spencer. “DCI Monika Paniatowski recognises her latest assignment as advisor to the Earl of Ridley’s rock festival for what it really is, an attempt by the chief constable to destroy her career. Yet it soon becomes apparent that matters are not as simple as they appear. Why, for instance, did the Earl choose to employ the notorious Devil’s Disciples motorcycle gang to provide the security for the festival? And to what lengths will his mother, the dowager countess, go to destroy it? But it is when the half-naked body of a tabloid journalist is discovered in the middle of Whitebridge that things really start to hot up.” (Adapted from Amazon.com) The devil’s seal / Peter Tremayne. “An Anglo-Saxon deputation arrives in Cashel to debate the new religious rules from Rome with an Irish delegation. The Abbot of Imleach leads the Irish delegation who are hostile to the new rules, and among the Anglo-Saxon delegation is Brother Eadulf’s own younger brother, Egric. There is also an observer appointed from Rome, the Venerable Favorinus. The debate is bad tempered and acrimonious and local Abbess Dar Óma has to step in as a mediator between the two sides. But that evening her body is discovered, she has been bludgeoned to death.The animosity between the two sides is heightened as the Chief Brehon Aillín accuses young Egric of murder. The Venerable Favorinus counter claims that the murderer is Brother Madagan, who is steward to Abbot of Imleach. Suspicions and tempers run high. With the war of words threatening to spill over into bloodshed, Fidelma is compelled to resolve the mystery as she is sure there is something more sinister behind the murder than religious differences.” (Adpated from Amazon.co.uk) Blackbird / Tom Wright. “Blackbird is a detective thriller about a serial killer on the loose in contemporary Texas. Leading the investigations is one Detective Jim Beaudry, formerly known as Biscuit, no stranger to the dark side of life. Wrapping up the case will force Jim into the deepest recesses of his own history, even the parts he’d rather forget.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

    • New Contemporary Fiction for August
      • 21 Aug 2014
      • Wellington City Libraries News Blog
      • New novels from popular writers, Linda Grant, Philip Kerr, and Lynda La Plante feature in this month’s selection of New Contemporary Fiction. All are highly recommended for hours of great reading. Upstairs at the party / Linda Grant. “In the early Seventies a glamorous and androgynous couple known collectively as Evie/Stevie appear out of nowhere on the isolated concrete campus of a new university. To a group of teenagers experimenting with radical ideas they seem blown back from the future, unsettling everything and uncovering covert desires. But the varnished patina of youth and flamboyant self-expression hides deep anxieties and hidden histories. For Adele, with the most to conceal, Evie/Stevie become a lifelong obsession, as she examines what happened on the night of her own twentieth birthday and her friends’ complicity in their fate. A set of school exercise books might reveal everything, but they have been missing for nearly forty years. From summers in Cornwall to London in the twenty-first century, long after they have disappeared, Evie/Stevie go on challenging everyone’s ideas of what their lives should turn out to be” (Adapted from Amazon.co.uk) Elizabeth is missing / Emma Healey. “Maud Horsham, a woman who survived the London Blitz and is now sinking into dementia and her friend Elizabeth is missing. With declining memory and mental powers she has placed herself in the position of detective and Maud is battling the condescension of her caretakers, the police, and her daughter as her faculties fade. There is also another mystery Maud if focusing on the disappearance of her sister, Sukey, after the war.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary) All the Things You Are / Declan Hughes. “Suburban housewife Clare Taylor returns to her Madison, Wisconsin home to find husband Danny Brogan and their daughters gone, and her beloved dog, Mr. Smith, savagely dismembered. By the time Clare brings the police back to her home, her slaughtered pet has vanished, replaced by something even more disquieting: the body of the man she knows only as a childhood friend of Danny’s, Gene Peterson. Stalked by determined killers, shocked by unexpected revelations about her family, Clare will have to unravel a mystery at whose core is Danny’s most closely guarded secret.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary) Research / by Philip Kerr. “If you want to write a murder mystery, you have to do some research. In a luxury flat in Monaco, John Houston’s supermodel wife lies in bed, a bullet in her skull.Houston is the world’s most successful novelist, the playboy head of a literary empire that produces far more books than he could ever actually write. Now the man who has invented hundreds of best-selling killings is wanted for a real murder and on the run from the police, his life transformed into something out of one of his books. And in London, the ghost-writer who is really behind those books has some questions for him too. “ (Adapted from Amazon.co.uk) Her / Harriet Lane. “Two women; two different worlds. Emma is a struggling mother who has put everything on hold. Nina is sophisticated and independent, entirely in control. When the pair meet, Nina generously draws Emma into her life. But this isn’t the first time the women’s paths have crossed. Nina remembers Emma and she remembers what Emma did. But what exactly does Nina want from her? And how far will she go in pursuit of it?” (Adapted from Amazon.co.uk) Twisted / Lynda La Plante. “Marcus and Lena Fulford are the envy of their friends. Wealthy, attractive and successful, the couple, with their strikingly beautiful teenage daughter Amy, seem settled and content. But appearances mask a strained relationship almost at breaking point. Marcus’s latest business venture has failed, draining Lena, the major breadwinner, dry. Putting Amy into weekly boarding school and striving to get her own career back on its feet, Lena remains alone in the luxurious family house as her marriage heads towards as amicable a divorce as she and Marcus can muster, and joint custody of their only child. So when Amy arranges a sleepover with a school friend one weekend, neither parent sees the need to be in touch with her. It is only when Amy is reported missing from school and her friend’s mother reveals that, instead of staying with them, Amy was visiting her father, a fact vehemently denied by Marcus – that Lena contacts the police. As the police intensify their enquiries, their reassurances that Amy will be found safe and well begin to sound increasingly hollow. DI Victor Reid, in charge of the case, fears the worst, abduction or murder.” (Adapted from Amazon.co.uk) How to build a girl / Caitlin Moran. “The 1990s are a bad time to be poor and not-famous,” thinks 14-year-old Johanna Morrigan, who lives with her parents and four siblings on a council estate in Wolverhampton. The gritty British landscape of adolescence, set to a loud ’90s soundtrack of the Stone Roses and the Mondays, is the stage for Johanna’s fabulous reinvention of herself. Adopting the pseudonym Dolly Wilde, Johanna educates herself in eyeliner and contemporary music and begins submitting record reviews to a London weekly. In the process, she grows up, has adventures far beyond the estate walls, and learns to love herself.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary) The lives of others / Neel Mukherjee. “Calcutta, 1967. The ageing patriarch and matriarch of his family, the Ghoshes, preside over their large household, unaware that beneath the barely ruffled surface of their lives the sands are shifting. More than poisonous rivalries among sisters-in-law, destructive secrets, and the implosion of the family business, this is a family unravelling as the society around it fractures. For this is a moment of turbulence, of inevitable and unstoppable change: the chasm between the generations and between those who have and those who have not, is becoming wider.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary) Next life might be kinder / Howard Norman. “Sam Lattimore, has recently lost new wife Elizabeth, who was killed by a deranged bellman at the Nova Scotia hotel where the couple was living after their recent marriage. Although Sam is able to function almost normally, he is psychologically destabilized by this loss and has convinced himself that Elizabeth talks with him each night when he takes his evening walk on the beach.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary) One night in winter : a novel / Simon Sebag Montefiore. “A group of students at Stalin School 101, the alma mater of Stalin’s two children, form a secret club devoted to the poetry of Alexander Pushkin. As teenagers secure in wealth and position, they reenact romantic duels from their favorite poems in fancy dress, oblivious to the suffering and fear building in the postwar Soviet Union. When one of their stunts ends in a fatal shooting, the teens end up in prison. The conspiracy soon engulfs the teens’ siblings, parents, and teachers. Secrets, lies, and accusations multiply in a state where everyone is under suspicion.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

    • Artist in Residence Art Auction Event
      • 20 Aug 2014
      • Scots College
      • Artist Kelcy Taratoa completed his residency at Scots College with a special Art Auction and floor talk event held at the Museum Art Hotel last Sunday 17 August 2014. read more

    • CPAS Update: drawing from observation
      • 20 Aug 2014
      • Scots College
      • Do you like drawing and would like to enhance your skills in this area and learn some of the techniques needed to produce realistic looking work? Maybe you would like to present someone with a special gift for Christmas. read more

    • Foundation Scholarship Fund Campaign
      • 20 Aug 2014
      • Scots College
      • The Foundation Scholarship Fund Campaign was launched on Wednesday 20 August 2014 during Scots annual Foundation Dinner at Shed 6, attended by guests representing the broader Scots College community. The Foundation Scholarship Fund has been established for the sole purpose of guaranteeing the availability of scholarships to the College now, and for generations to come. read more

    • World Justice Project 2014 rankings for New Zealand released
      • 21 Aug 2014
      • Rainey Collins lawyers
      • Partner Alan Knowsley was again one of the 2500 experts around the world consulted by the World Justice Project to rank 99 countries on the issues of Constraints on Government Powers, Absence of Corruption, Open Government, Fundamental Rights, Order and Security, Regulatory Environment, Civil Justice and Criminal Justice. New Zealand ranked in the top 12 countries in all categories ranging from 2nd for Open Government and 3rd for Absence of Corruption to 12th for Criminal Justice. Anyone interested in further details can email Alan on aknowsley@raineycollins.co.nz

    • New Graphic Novels for August
      • 21 Aug 2014
      • Wellington City Libraries News Blog
      • From apocalyptic to dystopian, historical to everyday life, along with plenty of science fiction, all represented in this month’s selection of new graphic novels. With four new series also included there is a great choice of reading for all comic fans. Thanos rising / writer, Jason Aaron ; artist, Simone Bianchi with Riccardo Pieruccini. “Discover the hidden truth, as Thanos rises as the unrivalled rogue of wretchedness in this gripping tale of tragedy, deceit and destiny. Where did this demi-god of destruction come from, and more importantly, what does he want from the universe?” (Adapted from Amazon.co.uk) Suicide risk. Volume one, Grudge war / created and written by Mike Carey; art by Elena Casagrande. “Heroes are dying, and cops are dying twofold. Humanity is underpowered in the face of their onslaught, and people are suffering untold casualties trying to stem the flow. After barely surviving a super-powered bank heist gone horribly wrong, beat cop Leo Winters vowed to try and find a way to stop them. Following a lead, he discovered two lowlifes who seemed to be able to grant a person powers, for the right price. The problem is: you don’t get to choose which power.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary) Sheltered : a pre-apocalyptic tale [1] / co-created and illustrated by Johnnie Christmas ; co-created, written and lettered by Ed Brisson. “The adults of Safe Haven stockpile guns, food, and supplies, prepared for any disaster, whether natural or man-made. But the real threat comes from within, as their own children turn on them. Lucas leads the teenage killers, claiming a disaster is coming and sacrifices are necessary, but outsider Victoria and her friend Hailey doubt his motives and must try to survive long enough to escape.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary) Room for love / Andrea Meyer.Room for Love “Jacquie Stuart has just turned 32 and she wants to do a major rewrite on her life. Needing moonlighting money, she gets the idea of investigating a new dating trend; looking for Mr. But can the key to her happiness lie right under her very own roof?” (Adapted from Syndetics summary) Zero. Vol. 1, An emergency / written by Ales Kot ; illustrated by Michael Walsh [and 4 others]. “Kot (Wild Children) crafts a thriller about war, technology, and the human condition through the eyes of trained spy Edward Zero and his life of merciless killings. Each of the five issues collected here is illustrated by a different artist and encapsulates a specific time in Zero’s life. What does it mean that children are washed of emotion and trained to murder without ever questioning the sanctity of life? Should we care if the schooled assassins might be clones?” (Adapted from Syndetics summary) UXB / by Colin Lorimer. “In a shattered future London, experimental lifesuits are grafted to the bodies of three brothers, affording the boys great power, and great license. As the siblings settle into the abandoned Buckingham Palace, the problems of the world fade from sight in a whirlpool of old movies, violent video games and porn.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary) The Hartlepool monkey / story, Wilfrid Lupano ; art, Jérômie Moreau. “A yarn from the Napoleonic Wars tells of a French ship wrecked off the British coast, the single survivor a chimpanzee, the captain’s pet. The ignorant and bloodthirsty British villagers mistook the hapless simian for an enemy seaman and hanged the creature. Lupano expands this story with zest and inventiveness, working in a cabin boy, a young Charles Darwin, and the nascent naturalist’s doctor father.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary) FBP : Federal Bureau of Physics. Volume 1, The paradigm shift / Simon Oliver, writer ; Robbi Rodriguez, artist. “The Federal Bureau of Physics is a new series set in a world where earth’s physics have gone haywire. Adam Hardy, a new agent on the FBP’s payroll, is tasked with closing a troublesome Bubbleverse. Although it should have been a standard operation, Hardy’s trip is made more complicated by his partner’s hidden agenda. Hardy must escape the Bubbleverse, confront his partner, and solve the mystery of his famous physicist father’s death; all while trying to keep both feet in earth’s gravitational pull.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary) Aâma. 1, The smell of warm dust / Frederick Peeters. “At the start of the first volume of this French SF thriller trilogy, set in the distant-future Verloc Nim wakes in a molten crater, his eyes filled with tears over his lost daughter, and his memories a blur. Moments later, he’s approached by a robot gorilla named Churchill who’s thrilled to see him and hands him his journal. The journal reveals how Verloc’s younger brother, Conrad, cajoled Verloc into accompanying him and Churchill to an isolated experimental colony at the edge of the cosmos. Upon their arrival, the true purpose of Conrad’s visit is revealed, as is Verloc’s role in it.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary) The park / Oscar Zarate. “On a beautiful Sunday afternoon, an incident takes place in a North London park. Chris is accidentally bitten by an excited dog, and aims a defensive kick at it. The owner, well-known polemicist Ivan Grubb, takes to his blog to express his outrage, spinning the story to sit happily within his own narrative. When Ivan and Chris relate the event to their children, they are surprised and confused by the strength of feeling their reactions have provoked. The Park is a delicate examination of how anger, repression and powerlessness can overwhelm even the most logical and well-intentioned person in a confusing modern world.” (Adapted from Amazon.co.uk)

    • Samuel Marsden Collegiate Information Session at Amesbury School
      • 21 Aug 2014
      • Amesbury Drive School Establishment Board of Trustees
      • If you would like to find out more about what Samuel Marsden can offer your daughter for year 7, your family is cordially invited to attend an information session to be held at Amesbury School on Tuesday 2 September at 5:30pm. 0 0 1 77 439 Amesbury School 3 1 515 14.0 Normal 0 false false false EN-NZ JA X-NONE /* Style Definitions */ table.MsoNormalTable {mso-style-name:"Table Normal"; mso-tstyle-rowband-size:0; mso-tstyle-colband-size:0; mso-style-noshow:yes; mso-style-priority:99; mso-style-parent:""; mso-padding-alt:0cm 5.4pt 0cm 5.4pt; mso-para-margin-top:0cm; mso-para-margin-right:0cm; mso-para-margin-bottom:8.0pt; mso-para-margin-left:0cm; line-height:107%; mso-pagination:widow-orphan; font-size:11.0pt; font-family:Calibri; mso-ascii-font-family:Calibri; mso-ascii-theme-font:minor-latin; mso-hansi-font-family:Calibri; mso-hansi-theme-font:minor-latin; mso-ansi-language:EN-NZ;} If you are interested but unable to attend on that day, please email Fiona Hannaway at fiona.hannaway@marsden.school.nz or call her on 476 8707 extn 831.  Fiona will be happy to arrange a tour for you and/or a meeting with myself. SAMUEL MARSDEN COLLEGIATE SCHOOL Phone +64 4 476 8707  Fax +64 4 939 8934  Marsden Avenue, Karori www.marsden.school.nz

    • Too big to read on the bus – literature picks for August
      • 21 Aug 2014
      • Wellington City Libraries News Blog
      • A magesterial magnum opus opens this month’s selection – a new study of the English novel which covers its history over seven hundred years. It is too big to read on the bus or pop in your handbag – you will need a stout table to accommodate this big beast of a book! There have been many histories of English literature but nothing of this type or on this scale has been attempted before. Michael Schmidt, a Mexican-born poet who currently lectures in English literature at Glasgow University, has integrated writers and writers who read one another’s work in order to produce an impressionistic landscape of the subject. He is giving a lecture at Te Papa in September as part of the “Writers on Mondays” programme. Read about it at the Victoria Modern Letters website The novel : a biography / Michael Schmidt. “The 700-year history of the novel in English defies straightforward telling. Encompassing a range of genres, it is geographically and culturally boundless and influenced by great novelists working in other languages. Michael Schmidt, choosing as his travel companions not critics or theorists but other novelists, does full justice to its complexity” (Global Books summary). Handling the truth : on the writing of memoir / Beth Kephart. “National Book Award finalist Kephart, who has written several memoirs and teaches a college course on the subject, offers an exploration of the genre that is informative and enjoyable. Drawing on the work of dozens of great authors (Annie Dillard, Mary Karr, Jeanette Winterson) as well as student comments, Kephart dives deeply into all that memoir can offer writers while acknowledging the pitfalls of oversharing and naming high-profile memoir abusers. Her insights are thoughtful and erudite. Real writers, she says, do not write to trump or abolish. They write . . . to rumble or howl”. (Booklist) Bradbury speaks : too soon from the cave, too far from the stars / Ray Bradbury. “He is an American treasure, a clear-eyed fantasist without peer, and a literary icon who has created wonder for the better part of seven decades. On subjects as diverse as fiction, the future, film, famous personalities, and more, Ray Bradbury has much to say, as only he can say it.Collected between these covers are memories, ruminations, opinions, prophecies, and philosophies from one of the most influential and admired writers of our time. As unique, unabashed, and irrepressible as the artist himself. (Global Books summary). Home is the hunter / Helen MacInnes. “After years of war, Ulysses finally returns to Ithaca. Rather than the joyous welcome he had hoped for, he finds his palace full of suitors, all scheming to possess his wife, and Penelope is wondering why it has taken him seven years to get home.” (Wellington City Libraries catalogue note). “Books that changed the world : the 50 most influential books in human history / Andrew Taylor. Contains profiles of fifty of history’s most important and influential books, as selected by journalist and author Andrew Taylor, each with a summary of the contents, and a discussion of its historical context and legacy.” (Wellington City Libraries catalogue note). The last days of Troy / Simon Armitage.“imon Armitage is rightly celebrated as one of the country’s most original and engaging poets; but he is also an adaptor and translator of some of our most important epics, such as Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, The Death of King Arthur and Homer’s Odyssey. The latter, originally a commission for BBC Radio, rendered the classical tale with all the flare, wit and engagement that we have come to expect from this most distinctive of contemporary authors, and in so doing brought Odysseus’s return from the Trojan War memorably to life” (Global Books summary) About writing / Cathy Glass. “Drawing on years of experience and thousands of readers comments and reviews of her writing, Cathy Glass provides a clear and concise, practical guide on writing and the best ways to get published” (Global Books summary) Beckett remembering, remembering Beckett : a celebration / edited by James and Elizabeth Knowlson. “This book collects a series of interviews that offer insight into the playwright’s beliefs about life, his work, friends and colleagues, and includes essays by contemporaries whom Beckett influenced.” (Wellington City Libraries catalogue note). Introducing Barthes / Philip Thody & Piero. “Roland Barthes’ stated aim set down in the 1950s was to destroy the idea that signs are natural. The study of signs, semiology, is introduced there, and analyzes the way in which humans communicate their social values through their appearance, visual imanges, literature and culture.” (Global Books summary). And a good one from another part of the library… The Bloomsbury cookbook : recipes for life, love and art / Jans Onddatje Rolls. “Part cookbook, part social and cultural history, this book will delight both Bloomsbury group aficionados and those new to the subject, with over 170 recipes from members of the group, including Frances Partridge, Helen Anrep and David and Angelica Garnett, accompanied by hundreds of paintings, photographs and quotations” (Publisher’s website)

    • Scots Rugby at an all-time high
      • 21 Aug 2014
      • Scots College
      • The College is celebrating a successful 2014 rugby season with outstanding performances across the whole College. Our 1st XV took the Premier Championship title - a first for Scots -  winning 21-18 in a closely fought match against St Pats Silverstream last week at Porirua Park. As regional winners this qualifies them to compete against Gisborne Boys High School this Saturday in the semi-final of the Hurricanes Regionals held in Gisborne. We wish the boys the best of luck. read more

    • New Mysteries for August
      • 21 Aug 2014
      • Wellington City Libraries News Blog
      • From Texas to New York, London’s West End to the Dark Ages in Ireland and of course Sweden, murder is everywhere. This month’s selection of new Mystery novels includes some old favorites, such as Arne Dahl, Hakan Nesser and Peter Tremayne, plus some a few new ones for your reading enjoyment. The reckoning / Rennie Airth. “In 1947, someone shoots Oswald Gibson, a retired bank manager, in the head while he’s fishing in a stream near Lewes, Sussex. Before his death, a visit from a stranger prompted Gibson to compose a letter to Scotland Yard asking about Madden’s whereabouts. Long retired from Scotland Yard, Madden is sure he never met the man. A month earlier, someone shot Dr. Wallace Drummond in his surgery in Ballater, Scotland, “in exactly the same manner.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary) The corpse bridge / Stephen Booth. “The old Corpse Bridge is the route taken for centuries by mourners to a burial aground across the River Dove in Derbyshire. But Earl Manby, the landowner, announces plans to deconsecrate the burial ground and turn it into a carpark for his holiday cottages. Once again bodies appear on the road to the Corpse Bridge. Is there a connection with the development? Or is there a serial killer at work?” (Adapted from Syndetics summary) To the top of the mountain / Arne Dahl ; translated from the Swedish by Alice Menzies. “After the disastrous end to their last case, the Intercrime team, a specialist unit created to investigate violent, international crime has been disbanded, their leader forced into early retirement. The six officers have been scattered throughout the country. But when a man is blown up in a high-security prison, a major drugs baron comes under attack and a massacre takes place in a dark suburb, the Intercrime team are urgently reconvened. There is something dangerous approaching Sweden, and they are the only people who can do anything to stop it.” (Adapted from Amazon.co.uk) Long way home / Eva Dolan. “A man is burnt alive in a shed. No witnesses, no fingerprints, only a positive ID of the victim as an immigrant with a long list of enemies. Detectives Zigic and Ferreira are called in from the Hate Crimes Unit to track the killer, and are met with silence in a Fenland community ruled by slum racketeers, people-trafficking gangs and fear. The tension rises as the clock is ticking, but nobody wants to talk.” (Adapted from Amazon.co.uk) Night kills / John Lutz. “Frank Quinn is sure he is hunting for a madman: someone is shooting young women in the heart, defiling their bodies, leaving only torsos to be found. Quinn, a former NYPD detective, is called into the case by an ambitious chief of police and mobilizes his team of brilliant law-enforcement misfits. But in the concrete canyons of New York, this shocking serial murder case is turning into something very different.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary) The G file : a Van Veeteren mystery / Håkan Nesser ; translated from the Swedish by Laurie Thompson. “1987. Verlangan, a former cop turned private detective is hired by a woman to follow her husband Jaan ‘G’ Hennan. A few days later, his client is found dead at the bottom of an empty swimming pool. Maardam police, led by Chief Inspector Van Veeteren, investigate the case. Van Veeteren has encountered Jaan ‘G’ Hennan before and knows only too well the man’s dark capabilities. As more information emerges about G’s shadowy past, the Chief Inspector becomes more desperate than ever to convict him. But G has a solid alibi- and no one else can be found in relation to the crime. 2002. Fifteen years have passed and the G File remains the one case former Chief Inspector Van Veeteren has never been able to solve. But when Verlangan’s daughter reports the private detective missing, Van Veeteren returns to Maardam CID once more. For all Verlangan left behind was a cryptic note; and a telephone message in which he claimed to have finally discovered the proof of G’s murderous past.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary) The murder bag / Tony Parsons. “There’s a serial killer on the loose. The social network sites all love him because he cuts the throats of rich and powerful men and he’s good at it. Twenty years ago seven rich, privileged students became friends at their exclusive private school, Potter’s Field. Now they have started dying in the most violent way imaginable. Enter Detective Max Wolfe, single parent, devoted husband of a brutally departed wife.. Newly arrived in the Homicide division of London’s West End Central, 27 Savile Row, Max follows the bloody trail from the backstreets and bright lights of the city, to the darkest corners of the Internet and all the way to the corridors of power.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary) Supping with the devil : a DCI Paniatowski mystery / Sally Spencer. “DCI Monika Paniatowski recognises her latest assignment as advisor to the Earl of Ridley’s rock festival for what it really is, an attempt by the chief constable to destroy her career. Yet it soon becomes apparent that matters are not as simple as they appear. Why, for instance, did the Earl choose to employ the notorious Devil’s Disciples motorcycle gang to provide the security for the festival? And to what lengths will his mother, the dowager countess, go to destroy it? But it is when the half-naked body of a tabloid journalist is discovered in the middle of Whitebridge that things really start to hot up.” (Adapted from Amazon.com) The devil’s seal / Peter Tremayne. “An Anglo-Saxon deputation arrives in Cashel to debate the new religious rules from Rome with an Irish delegation. The Abbot of Imleach leads the Irish delegation who are hostile to the new rules, and among the Anglo-Saxon delegation is Brother Eadulf’s own younger brother, Egric. There is also an observer appointed from Rome, the Venerable Favorinus. The debate is bad tempered and acrimonious and local Abbess Dar Óma has to step in as a mediator between the two sides. But that evening her body is discovered, she has been bludgeoned to death.The animosity between the two sides is heightened as the Chief Brehon Aillín accuses young Egric of murder. The Venerable Favorinus counter claims that the murderer is Brother Madagan, who is steward to Abbot of Imleach. Suspicions and tempers run high. With the war of words threatening to spill over into bloodshed, Fidelma is compelled to resolve the mystery as she is sure there is something more sinister behind the murder than religious differences.” (Adpated from Amazon.co.uk) Blackbird / Tom Wright. “Blackbird is a detective thriller about a serial killer on the loose in contemporary Texas. Leading the investigations is one Detective Jim Beaudry, formerly known as Biscuit, no stranger to the dark side of life. Wrapping up the case will force Jim into the deepest recesses of his own history, even the parts he’d rather forget.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

    • New Contemporary Fiction for August
      • 21 Aug 2014
      • Wellington City Libraries News Blog
      • New novels from popular writers, Linda Grant, Philip Kerr, and Lynda La Plante feature in this month’s selection of New Contemporary Fiction. All are highly recommended for hours of great reading. Upstairs at the party / Linda Grant. “In the early Seventies a glamorous and androgynous couple known collectively as Evie/Stevie appear out of nowhere on the isolated concrete campus of a new university. To a group of teenagers experimenting with radical ideas they seem blown back from the future, unsettling everything and uncovering covert desires. But the varnished patina of youth and flamboyant self-expression hides deep anxieties and hidden histories. For Adele, with the most to conceal, Evie/Stevie become a lifelong obsession, as she examines what happened on the night of her own twentieth birthday and her friends’ complicity in their fate. A set of school exercise books might reveal everything, but they have been missing for nearly forty years. From summers in Cornwall to London in the twenty-first century, long after they have disappeared, Evie/Stevie go on challenging everyone’s ideas of what their lives should turn out to be” (Adapted from Amazon.co.uk) Elizabeth is missing / Emma Healey. “Maud Horsham, a woman who survived the London Blitz and is now sinking into dementia and her friend Elizabeth is missing. With declining memory and mental powers she has placed herself in the position of detective and Maud is battling the condescension of her caretakers, the police, and her daughter as her faculties fade. There is also another mystery Maud if focusing on the disappearance of her sister, Sukey, after the war.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary) All the Things You Are / Declan Hughes. “Suburban housewife Clare Taylor returns to her Madison, Wisconsin home to find husband Danny Brogan and their daughters gone, and her beloved dog, Mr. Smith, savagely dismembered. By the time Clare brings the police back to her home, her slaughtered pet has vanished, replaced by something even more disquieting: the body of the man she knows only as a childhood friend of Danny’s, Gene Peterson. Stalked by determined killers, shocked by unexpected revelations about her family, Clare will have to unravel a mystery at whose core is Danny’s most closely guarded secret.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary) Research / by Philip Kerr. “If you want to write a murder mystery, you have to do some research. In a luxury flat in Monaco, John Houston’s supermodel wife lies in bed, a bullet in her skull.Houston is the world’s most successful novelist, the playboy head of a literary empire that produces far more books than he could ever actually write. Now the man who has invented hundreds of best-selling killings is wanted for a real murder and on the run from the police, his life transformed into something out of one of his books. And in London, the ghost-writer who is really behind those books has some questions for him too. “ (Adapted from Amazon.co.uk) Her / Harriet Lane. “Two women; two different worlds. Emma is a struggling mother who has put everything on hold. Nina is sophisticated and independent, entirely in control. When the pair meet, Nina generously draws Emma into her life. But this isn’t the first time the women’s paths have crossed. Nina remembers Emma and she remembers what Emma did. But what exactly does Nina want from her? And how far will she go in pursuit of it?” (Adapted from Amazon.co.uk) Twisted / Lynda La Plante. “Marcus and Lena Fulford are the envy of their friends. Wealthy, attractive and successful, the couple, with their strikingly beautiful teenage daughter Amy, seem settled and content. But appearances mask a strained relationship almost at breaking point. Marcus’s latest business venture has failed, draining Lena, the major breadwinner, dry. Putting Amy into weekly boarding school and striving to get her own career back on its feet, Lena remains alone in the luxurious family house as her marriage heads towards as amicable a divorce as she and Marcus can muster, and joint custody of their only child. So when Amy arranges a sleepover with a school friend one weekend, neither parent sees the need to be in touch with her. It is only when Amy is reported missing from school and her friend’s mother reveals that, instead of staying with them, Amy was visiting her father, a fact vehemently denied by Marcus – that Lena contacts the police. As the police intensify their enquiries, their reassurances that Amy will be found safe and well begin to sound increasingly hollow. DI Victor Reid, in charge of the case, fears the worst, abduction or murder.” (Adapted from Amazon.co.uk) How to build a girl / Caitlin Moran. “The 1990s are a bad time to be poor and not-famous,” thinks 14-year-old Johanna Morrigan, who lives with her parents and four siblings on a council estate in Wolverhampton. The gritty British landscape of adolescence, set to a loud ’90s soundtrack of the Stone Roses and the Mondays, is the stage for Johanna’s fabulous reinvention of herself. Adopting the pseudonym Dolly Wilde, Johanna educates herself in eyeliner and contemporary music and begins submitting record reviews to a London weekly. In the process, she grows up, has adventures far beyond the estate walls, and learns to love herself.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary) The lives of others / Neel Mukherjee. “Calcutta, 1967. The ageing patriarch and matriarch of his family, the Ghoshes, preside over their large household, unaware that beneath the barely ruffled surface of their lives the sands are shifting. More than poisonous rivalries among sisters-in-law, destructive secrets, and the implosion of the family business, this is a family unravelling as the society around it fractures. For this is a moment of turbulence, of inevitable and unstoppable change: the chasm between the generations and between those who have and those who have not, is becoming wider.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary) Next life might be kinder / Howard Norman. “Sam Lattimore, has recently lost new wife Elizabeth, who was killed by a deranged bellman at the Nova Scotia hotel where the couple was living after their recent marriage. Although Sam is able to function almost normally, he is psychologically destabilized by this loss and has convinced himself that Elizabeth talks with him each night when he takes his evening walk on the beach.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary) One night in winter : a novel / Simon Sebag Montefiore. “A group of students at Stalin School 101, the alma mater of Stalin’s two children, form a secret club devoted to the poetry of Alexander Pushkin. As teenagers secure in wealth and position, they reenact romantic duels from their favorite poems in fancy dress, oblivious to the suffering and fear building in the postwar Soviet Union. When one of their stunts ends in a fatal shooting, the teens end up in prison. The conspiracy soon engulfs the teens’ siblings, parents, and teachers. Secrets, lies, and accusations multiply in a state where everyone is under suspicion.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

    • Artist in Residence Art Auction Event
      • 20 Aug 2014
      • Scots College
      • Artist Kelcy Taratoa completed his residency at Scots College with a special Art Auction and floor talk event held at the Museum Art Hotel last Sunday 17 August 2014. read more

    • CPAS Update: drawing from observation
      • 20 Aug 2014
      • Scots College
      • Do you like drawing and would like to enhance your skills in this area and learn some of the techniques needed to produce realistic looking work? Maybe you would like to present someone with a special gift for Christmas. read more

    • Foundation Scholarship Fund Campaign
      • 20 Aug 2014
      • Scots College
      • The Foundation Scholarship Fund Campaign was launched on Wednesday 20 August 2014 during Scots annual Foundation Dinner at Shed 6, attended by guests representing the broader Scots College community. The Foundation Scholarship Fund has been established for the sole purpose of guaranteeing the availability of scholarships to the College now, and for generations to come. read more

    • Scots Sailing for Term 4 2014
      • 20 Aug 2014
      • Scots College
      •   Registrations are now open to Scots students for sailing with TRIYA. The fee is $60, with sailing at Evans Bay on Fridays at 4.00pm-7.00pm read more

    • Bloggergate – The Public, Pigs and Spin
      • 20 Aug 2014
      • Keith Johnson
      • HARLOTS WEBS Let’s start by noting that our Dominion Post newspaper here in Wellington has carried little lurid about the revelations, allegations and innuendos made in Nicky Hager’s new book Dirty Politics [see my previous article] - this despite the fact that the Dom’s well-regarded political commentator Tracey Watkins was on to the story 6 weeks ago. One can only assume that the Editor Bernadette Courtney and Fairfax CEO Greg Hyland have decided to keep their heads below the parapet as the group continues to suffer severe financial challenges in running the Wellington-based newspaper. The group as a whole continues to spend around $100 million per year on redundancies, saw a 24 percent decline in print revenues in 2013/14 and has had to forego independent printing in New Zealand (shifting print runs rival APN's Auckland plant). The way things are going Fairfax may need all the political friends on the Right that it can ring in. So it remains for the other serious newspaper in the North Island the NZ Herald to pick up the baton – with which it has galloped off with abandon. See for example: http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=11310001 Some of the revelations are sordid to say the least and I do not for a minute believe that our Prime Minister John Key is just a nice regular guy who is unjustly plagued by left wing conspiracy theorists. But perhaps I should perhaps explain in more detail why I haven’t been prepared to allocate all the moral high ground to the Left Coalition in its Crusade against the Dastardly Government of John Key. First, Hager was surely dissimulating when he denied he had a political agenda in releasing the book so close to the election. Mounting an ethical high horse Hager tilts: "That's what the job is - to tell people before the election." And even though he could have taken more time with the book, he ‘worked like a dog because I believe that people have a total right to know this before the election’. "So have I hurried it out before the election - totally. Is it politically motivated? It's motivated by the public interest that I think people have in knowing what's going on." To me this is spin. And if Hager sounds like a spin doctor, then he probably is a spin doctor. While few who watch politics in New Zealand will doubt Hager’s statement that John Key ‘has cultivated a very respectable image of being friendly and relaxed’, even less I suspect will subscribe, on the other side of the coin, to having been unaware of the ‘unseen side of Mr Key's political management’. Key is an excellent politician with all that description implies. He is multi-facetted, artful in dodging and two-faced - but that does not mean that he is the only ‘good’ politician of this type in New Zealand or that none aspire to this mantle among the politicos of the Left Coalition. In fact one of the things that distress me most looking across the political spectrum is a general slide away from principle and policies towards muck, spin and commitments to win at all costs. And I am especially hurt when the Green Party [to which Hager is allied] covers itself in slurry of this type. Secondly, one of the big issues raised by Hager relates to the supposed ‘hacking’ of the NZ Labour Party’s computer files. He claims that Prime Ministerial Adviser Jason Ede and Whale Oil blogger Cameron Slater conspired over information relating to Labour Party membership details, including credit card records, after a security flaw was discovered on the Labour website in 2011. Now I am not at all surprised to learn that NZ Labour’s computer files were a shambles in 2011. In 2010 I stood as a candidate for Labour in Wellington’s Southern Ward Local Elections. I could not, try as I might, get access to the voter contact records held by the Party – though I always thought it rather strange that my fellow Labour candidate had perfect access through the Victoria University Student ‘Geek’ who ran the system. Getting back to Hager he apparently reports on an email between Jason Ede and Cameron Slater in which the former boasts of evading detection: ‘It had been a close shave. The next day, June 14, Ede and Slater exchanged several emails expressing their relief that Labour had not discovered Ede's role [going inside the Labour Party computer]. Ede wrote: "An interesting sidebar ... is that they're chasing us by matching IP neighbourhoods and the types of computer we use. You stand out like dogs balls because of your damn Mac!!!!!" ‘He continued, "In my case, I wish to offer a hearty sigh of relief and celebrate dynamic IP addresses." He meant his computer regularly changed its IP address, which ensured he could not be identified by its IP address. If Ede had had a static IP address like Slater, the Labour Party might have been able to prove he had been inside their computer system. Ede titled his email, "Thank You for dynamic IP addresses". The problem with this from an ethical viewpoint is that the emails in question were hacked early in 2014 by someone with similar skills but a Left-Leaning political philosophy - who then delivered them to Hager. ‘Thank G’, Hager must have thought, ‘Now I have a book to sell.’ What we have a right to know now is the name of the hacker. Without that, Hager + X is down one to Slater + Ede as far as I am concerned. Third, we have a situation where Hager’s book is being slopped into the ethical quagmire in which Kim Dotcom wallows. Rather endearingly Slater has averred: ''if you wrestle with pigs ... two things are certain - one is that you will get dirty and the second is that the pig, me, enjoys it''. Here he has a lot in common with convicted criminal and ‘Wanted List’ Kim Dotcom who appears to be totally immune to questions of ethics and is, as they would say where I come from in Northern England as ‘happy as a pig in shit’ to suborn and subvert the coming NZ General Election. As far as I am concerned, Dotcom and Internet-Mana have absolutely no standing on issues of political propriety and internet freedom. After all this was the man who gave an anonymous donation to ACT’s John Banks and who, after this flirtation with the Right failed, proceeds to debauch Lefty Pro Laila Harré (on the wet patch without changing the sheets). And this man now has the cheek to withhold information from the NZ Public until such time as he calculates that it can do maximum damage to informed debate. In July, he promised to reveal new information about Prime Minister, John Key, and the Government Communications Security Bureau, five days before the general election in September. "I don't think he would resign, I think he is going to put a spin on it as he usually does and I have no expectation of him doing the honourable thing." The honourable thing Mr Dotcom is for you to put the information forward into the public arena as soon as possible so that it can be validated, assessed and debated. CLEANING OUT THE COBWEBS AND SWILLING THE STYS Can any good come of all this? Possibly it can as the national council public relations body PRINZ meets on Monday to reconsider its Code of Ethics in the light of the aggressive, threatening and potentially corrupt actions of some of the members of the Royal College of Spin Doctors.  PRINZ President Bruce Fraser admits "It's true that (allegations in Hager’s book) are not a good look for public relations" and that they "reinforce all the negative views have about what we do." You can read about it here – and wish them luck: http://www.nzherald.co.nz/business/news/article.cfm?c_id=3&objectid=11311647 As for the politicians, there is no Code of Ethics – no real surprise there! But Ross Robertson (Labour MP for Manukau East) has been promoting a Private Member’s Bill in the ballot that addresses MP ethics and behaviour for some years. You can read about it here – and insist that your MP abides by the Code and votes for its enactment: http://www.parliament.nz/resource/en-nz/50HOH_MEMBILL009_1/7681792bbbc76fa88e0322c21b6799dbc6111e93  

    • DOWNLOADING AND INSTALLING PROGRAMS WORKSHOP, Thursday 28 August, 10.00 to 11.45 am
      • 20 Aug 2014
      • SeniorNet Wellington Inc
      • When: Thursday 28 August, 10.00 to 11.45 am Where: Anvil House, Level 1, Meeting Room 2. What: Download and install programs safely; how to uninstall; what are "Apps"?; how to deal with them and more!  The pitfalls and how to, hopefully, avoid them. Register with David Boyes, davyambrose@gmail.com. The investment is $5.00 please, at the door.  Correct money will be  welcomed!

    • Workshop - Windows 8 and upgrades in 20 minutes - Tuesday 26 August, 10.00 am - 12.00 pm
      • 20 Aug 2014
      • SeniorNet Wellington Inc
      • When: Tuesday 26 August, 10.00 am - 12.00 pm Where: Anvil House, Level 1, Room 2 What: Make yourself comfortable and competent with Windows 8 and its updates and upgrades in about 20 minutes. Find out how to make it look and work like XP, Vista and Windows 7. Learn how to use the great search tools, keyboard short cuts, tiles and other new tools. Alan Royal will facilitate. Register with Alan Royal at  a.royal@paradise.net.nz. Numbers are limited. Investment of $5 payable at the door. Correct change would be appreciated.

    • Apple Mac Special Interest Group, Monday 25 August, 2014, 10 am -11.45 am.
      • 20 Aug 2014
      • SeniorNet Wellington Inc
      • When: Monday 25 August,  2014, 10 am -11.45 am. Where:  Anvil House, Level 1, Meeting Room  2 What: As Keith Smith is away, at this meeting, David Dobson will demonstrate the System Preferences for the Apple Mac. System Preferences allows  you to set up your computer in a way that suits your needs. This is an opportunity to learn and share as part of this Special Learning Group. Everyone is welcome, especially new SeniorNet members. Don’t be shy. Free to all members who are interested in Apple Mac.

    • No photographers in Revell Street?
      • 20 Aug 2014
      • Te Papa's blog
      • The novel The Luminaries is set in Hokitika in 1866 with most of the story taking place amongst a selection of businesses in Revell Street. The mystery is relayed, distorted and formed through different conservations and social interactions between the characters. However missing from the numerous businesses portrayed in the book is a photographic studio, and... Read more »

    • World Justice Project 2014 Rankings for New Zealand Released
      • 20 Aug 2014
      • Rainey Collins lawyers
      • Partner Alan Knowsley was again one of the 2500 experts around the world consulted by the World Justice Project to rank 99 countries on the issues of Constraints on Government Powers, Absence of Corruption, Open Government, Fundamental Rights, Order and Security, Regulatory Environment, Civil Justice and Criminal Justice. New Zealand ranked in the top 12 countries in all categories ranging from 2nd for Open Government and 3rd for Absence of Corruption to 12th for Criminal Justice. Anyone interested in further details can email Alan on aknowsley@raineycollins.co.nz

    • Dunajtschik’s dangling dingleberries
      • 19 Aug 2014
      • Eye of the Fish
      • Ancient Wellington property developer Mark Dunajtschik’s dilemma over the Harcourts building is in its final stages of legal action. I’d maintain that, while this is a tedious re-examination of all the evidence that has gone before, it is also one of the most important (in an architectural sense) cases that New Zealand faces, and will have important ramifications for the future of NZ’s past. And with the announcement today of his proposed sweetener / bribe / incredibly nice goodwill offer, then it makes the stakes even higher. For those of you that haven’t heard, Dunajtschik is apparently now offering to donate $10million to help restore two iconic Wellington landmarks – $5m each to St Mary of the Angels and to St Gerard’s Monastry. That’s an offer of incredible generosity, and one that can’t be sneered at, despite what you may think of the Catholic church and their quagmire of worldwide pedophilia, and a knee jerk reaction by many is that the Catholic church have much money and they should simply spend it themselves. But is this a real offer, or is it just grandstanding, and does it even have a place to be debated in the Harcourts debate? To me, Dunajtschik is simply barking up the wrong tree. The issue is, of course, incredibly complex, and yet at its heart it is quite simple: demolish the Harcourts building or restrengthen and restore? Mr D keeps saying that it is too expensive, too much in the too hard basket, and yet he has bought it all on himself. He has been a greedy, pushy, and fiscally imprudent developer – he developed the building next door, he put the cursed lift and stair core smack bang in the middle of the light well of the old Harcourts building, and he is the one who has caused it to be unlettable. He has proposed that the old building could be demolished, and then re-created in polystyrene overcoat in a facsimile of the original, although crucially, what he says he might do is not not part of the proposal. And to me, that is where his argument comes undone and falls to the ground like a pair of rumpled trousers. Sorry, horrid visual there. Moving on… Quite simply: D says the choice is that he must be allowed to demolish, or that he will leave the building there to rot for eternity, or until it falls down and kills people in the next big earthquake. Actually, I think that he is 100% wrong, and that legally, he should be thrown out on his skinny white arse. Dunajtschik needs to stop offering dingleberries such as St Gerards or St Mary’s for the city to suck on, and man up to the fact that he is not offering a valid replacement for Harcourts. His current Resource Consent application is for the demolition of Harcourts, and it is this that he has spent millions debating, hiring local bulldogs to savage the legs of the Council’s expert witnesses. What he needs to do is to put in a Resource Consent application for what he is proposing to replace the Harcourts building with. It’s that simple. They will never want to say Yes to someone who simply wants to replace a heritage listed building with an empty section in the middle of the town, and a promise that he may build something on that site in the future. What is a completely different story, is to say: what do you propose for the future? What is this future building, of which you speak? What heritage lookalike is it that you want, and how good or bad is the details of this polystyrene wall? Yes, the existing building has been an important part of Wellington’s heritage for the last almost hundred years, especially in shaping the city by virtue of its bulk and dominance on the street, but it has been hopelessly compromised by the insertion of MFAT’s stairwell in the light well and – well, I for one, would like to see what a 25storey tower would do to the city if the MFAT extension was built on as Dunajtschik obviously plans. This problem has been completely brought about by the developer himself, and he has the power to resolve it as well. Let’s change the question from Demolish or nothing, to a different one: if so, then what?

    • Bloggergate in the Pineapple Chunk Republic
      • 19 Aug 2014
      • Keith Johnson
      • DEMOCRACY RATS ARSED The New Zealand newspapers and social media are full of Russian Doll revelations of political skulduggery, featuring ever diminishing claims of moral superiority by Left or Right coalitions in the lead up to our General Election in September. The Dollies in question relate to the content of a recently published book ‘Dirty Politics’ by Nicky Hager. I have to say that I am left severely underwhelmed and unimpressed by shucking exposure of the implicated politicos and their parasitic spin doctors [including to some degree Hager]. As I commented in article on the 4th July: http://kjohnsonnz.blogspot.co.nz/2014/07/blogging-and-blagging_3.html ‘Then there the Baddy Bloggers [in my book at least] - who want to conserve or change the world to a template set down by their own prejudices or those of their political or corporate masters. They are often current or ex-political journalists who are well accustomed to the dark arts of spin, nudge, misinformation, innuendo, and smear. ‘Now it would be nice if the all Bloggers were committed to higher standards than those of the Old Media, such that the depth of their investigative journalism, the breadth of their understanding, and the clarity and crispness of their presentations broached a new era in informing the citizenry and fostering participatory democracy. ‘Sadly, this is not the way things are going. It seems that instead the reality is all about manipulation. ‘I have a lot of respect for Tracy Watkins who writes in the Dominion Post and she recently published an article which noted a number of new factors that will affect the forthcoming September NZ General Election. These include: ‘an increasingly 24/7 news and comment milieu where blogging, texting and tweeting is becoming incessant; and the growing tendency towards political ‘smears’ whereby innuendo and false attribution can be used to push politicians off the news boards at vital moments and carefully sown rumours can cast doubts and reinforce prejudices’. ‘And blubber smearing has raised a spat between Watkins and Cameron Slater concerning the actions of the NZ Prime Minister John Key in supplying photographs to Cameron Slater through a certain Jason Ede who works for the PM. Jason’s job description apparently includes ‘feeding blogs’. ‘All this goes back to the 2008 US Presidential Election where it was perceived that ‘Barack Obama famously won by turning out the non-vote through social media platforms’, while Fox News’ Bill O’Reilly claimed that the New Media deliberately misinformed while his organization appraised its audience of the facts. ‘Since then the Political Right in the USA and the other Anglophone Countries has been running scared of Social Media - and looking for new opportunities to counter online participation by clouding perceptions and sowing doubts. What better than to break out the hacks? ‘That such approaches can succeed is a tribute to the Einstellung or Confirmation Effect [the persistent tendency of people to seek evidence that confirms their ideas and to ignore anything that contradicts them] and Thinking Aversion [the persistent tendency for most people to avoid serious thinking and the concentration, loneliness and commitment that it requires]'. Much of what Hager has tried to do is about tit-for-tat or redressing the balance. Only OK if you believe that Two Wrongs Make a Right. As for dissolving Confirmation Effects and dissipating Thinking Aversion among voters, the effect is likely to be very limited. The whole shamboozle will largey confirm to NZ's citizenry that politics is the perqusite of a bunch of sleazy in-crowd blow-hards who play to a narrow audience composed of the Beltway Chattering Classes. More to the point, as veteran NZ political reporter Gordon Campbell comments: ‘In short, many people (may) stop participating in politics. If politicians cannot be trusted, if politics looks like a petty or ugly game, and if no one seems to be talking about the things that matter, then what’s the point of bothering to participate? Just leave them to it’. FOR MORE SEE [FOR EXAMPLE] http://dimpost.wordpress.com/2014/08/13/dirty-politics-summary/ http://gordoncampbell.scoop.co.nz/2014/08/14/gordon-campbell-on-nicky-hagers-new-book/ http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=11308353  

    • Highly sensitive – 19th August 175 years ago
      • 19 Aug 2014
      • Te Papa's blog
      • At 3pm on the 19th August 1839, a joint meeting of the Academie des Sciences and the Academie des Beaux-Arts, heard from the politician and scientist, François Arago, about the details of a process that produced unbelievably fine detail and extraordinarily subtle tonality. Louis Daguerre, who had been working on a light-sensitive process for about... Read more »

    • Māori at Gallipoli – TedX talk “Forgotten grandfathers: Maori men of WW1″
      • 19 Aug 2014
      • Te Papa's blog
      • Kia ora koutou Last month I gave a talk at a TedX conference in Tauranga where I discussed some of the research I’ve undertaken as part of our exhibition development project here for an exhibition about Gallipoli (due to open April next year at Te Papa). I’ve been very busy assembling potential Māori content for that... Read more »

    • Delving into the household accounts of James Hector
      • 19 Aug 2014
      • Te Papa's blog
      • Dr Simon Nathan is an Honorary Research Associate at Te Papa. During his research towards a biography on James Hector, the founder of the Colonial Museum, he has delved into the household accounts of the Hector family, which are held in Te Papa’s Archive. In this guest blog post, he shares some of his findings on the the lifestyle of a... Read more »

    • An evening with Sir Hew Strachan, Britain’s leading First World War historian
      • 18 Aug 2014
      • Te Papa's blog
      • Monday, 25 August, 6-7pm, Soundings Theatre, Te Papa In New Zealand, as elsewhere in the world, the debate is hotting up about how communities, and most specifically governments, should commemorate the 100th anniversary of the First World War. With millions being spent world-wide, the question is certainly being debated by many, with votes being passionately... Read more »

    • Rainey Collins Partner Interviewed for TV3 News
      • 18 Aug 2014
      • Rainey Collins lawyers
      • Partner Alan Knowsley was interviewed by TV3 News reporter Emma Jolliff in relation to the legal issues involved in the revelations of email hacking, database searching etc arising from the Nicky Hager book launch.  Alan explained the differences in searching a publicly open website compared to breaking into a secure website or someone’s home.  He also explained why serious allegations made in the book may not result in legal proceedings for defamation due to the need to avoid further publicity.  

    • An Interview with Yvonne Todd
      • 18 Aug 2014
      • Salient
      • Initially trained in commercial photography, Yvonne Todd deploys the visual language of female representation to disrupt and unsettle. Todd has exhibited internationally and was the recipient of the 2002 Walter’s Prize. At the end of this month, her work will be shown alongside pieces from Barbara Kruger, Sherrie Levine and Ava Seymour at the Peter McLeavey Popup gallery. I recently emailed her to find out more about her relationship with Peter McLeavey, and the role of politics in her work. 1) Could you tell me what work of yours we can expect to see in the show? There will be three images of mine in the show; Pipe Study, 2008, a large photograph of an anonymous female figure in a beaded evening gown, flanked by outsized plastic plumbing pipes; Pipe Face Prototype, also 2008, a close up of the model from Pipe Study’s face, with digitally collaged protruding teeth and starburst eyes; and Sand Forms, 2014, a new still life image of a sand-encrusted sphere, cone, and cylinder, placed in a manufactured studio environment. These familiar, quasi-mathematical forms are rendered enigmatic and obscure, their inexplicable nature amplified by a language of slick product photography that insists that they are significant. However, this insistence is impotent—nothing is revealed. Sand Forms is my first attempt at shooting on an 8×10 camera, which means the quality of the image is (hopefully) extremely sharp and detailed. I haven’t yet seen the final print, but it should go to plan. 2) How were these particular works chosen, and how do they interact to the other artists featured in the show? The works were chosen by Olivia and Peter McLeavey, to be viewed alongside three other female artists work; Sherrie Levine, Barbara Kruger, and Ava Seymour. As for how they interact, I guess that will be revealed when the show opens on August 26. 3) Can you discuss your artistic training, how and why you decided to be an artist, who are some of your major influences? I studied photography for three years, hoping to be an editorial/advertising photographer at the culmination of my training. It became apparent that I had no aptitude for this. Realising other people’s dreams and visions wasn’t really working out for me. I began exhibiting in artist-run spaces in Auckland and things fell into place from there. During my formative years as a photography student I was a big fan of Diane Arbus, Mary Ellen Mark, Inez van Lamsweerde, Richard Avedon, and Robert Mapplethorpe. I have also always enjoyed social documentary photography, probably because it’s not something I do myself. And studio portraiture from the Victorian era. Mainly because of the clothes. Another favourite is Mike Disfarmer, a little-known American photographer who ran a portrait studio in a small rural community in Arkansas in the 1940’s. His portraits have a hardscrabble austerity that really appeals to me. I also love the work of August Sander and Bernd and Hilla Becher. And Irving Penn’s hard, chic still life photographs. I also enjoy commercial photography and advertising imagery, no matter how bad. Especially if it’s bad, actually. 4) In 2002, Peter McLeavey described you, along with Andrew McLeod, Brendon Wilkinson, Lis Maw and Ava Seymour, as ‘Our art Datsuns … I do feel that the tectonic plates are shifting here and a younger (hungrier and gifted) group are now claiming their birthright.’ How did you first meet McLeavey? My connection with Peter came about after he purchased one of my photographs in 2000 and contacted me soon afterwards by formal, typed letter to enquire about a possible meeting. Fortunately I was rather naïve and had no idea of his importance and stature, so I didn’t try too hard at the meeting and blow it by being desperate and needy. We didn’t really talk about art or photography at all. It was like catching up with someone I’ve always known for a casual chat. About a year afterwards, I had my first exhibition at the McLeavey Gallery. 5) The press release for the show frames I Like Girls as an overtly political exercise. What is the role of politics in your work? My work usually stems from something that resonates in my memory or imagination. Often it’s vague and fragmentary. It isn’t specifically driven by politics, but there are by-products of it pervading my images. My 2009 series The Wall of Man, for example, speaks to corporate culture and identity, the senior male, rendered infallible, and why this may be problematic. I’ve recently photographed a series of portraits of vegans, which is more politically centred, especially as New Zealand’s economy is entrenched in animal protein and live animal exports. I’m asking the viewer to consider another perspective when looking at the work. Why are vegans regarded as fringe weirdos? Why is the consumption of animal flesh and cow’s milk normalised? I would also like to photograph Fonterra executives but that’s probably never going to happen. I Like Girls opens at the Peter McLeavey Popup (cnr Webb St/Torrens Tce) 26 August. Related: Ava Seymour interview

    • Berry Cover Boys
      • 18 Aug 2014
      • Te Papa's blog
      •  Gerald Gower (left) and Alfred Featherston Gower (right) are the two brothers who grace rather strikingly the cover of Berry Boys: Portraits of First World War Soldiers and Families by Michael Fitzgerald and Claire Regnault. The studio paraphernalia you see in the image above would have been cropped out in prints made from the original... Read more »

    • Second Hand Chromebook Going Cheap
      • 18 Aug 2014
      • Amesbury Drive School Establishment Board of Trustees
      • Hello folks, Gillian, Jonny and family are heading back to the UK pretty soon and want to know if anyone is keen to pick up Jonny's Chromebook. It's a white, Acer C720P touchscreen Chromebook in great condition, and going cheap! Please contact Gillian Raine at gillian.raine1@btinternet.com for more information. Be in quick before it gets snaffled up!

    • Keith Johnson's Australasian Bestiary - the Pūkeko and the Kiwi
      • 18 Aug 2014
      • Keith Johnson
      • RED NOSED STICKY BEAKS AND QUIET ACHIEVERS   Pūkeko: You wouldn’t come down from the tree To grub the forest free Like the good Kiwi. Quirky- perky; gawky-jerky, Clumsy-lurky; swampie-turkey  Pūkeko: Now a stubborn mean old marshy Poking a red flash nosey How would you be?  Quirky- perky; gawky-jerky, Clumsy-lurky; swampie-turkey  ...  Kiwi: Once aloft flight-borne and feathery Adorned in coloured finery Nought left to see.  Quaintly-quietly; darkly-shyly Dimly-dainty; delving-nightly   Kiwi: Brave one, flying down from the tree To grub the forest free Loved by Tāne. Quaintly-quietly; darkly-shyly Dimly-dainty; delving-nightly.   THE MAORI LEGEND  One day, Tane Mahuta [The God of the Forest] was walking through his realm. He looked up at his children reaching for the sky and he noticed that they were starting to sicken, as bugs were eating them. He talked to his brother, Tane Hokahoka, who called all of his children, the birds of the air together. Tane Mahuta spoke to them. "Something is eating my children, the trees. I need one of you to come down from the forest roof and live on the floor, so that my children can be saved, and your home can be saved. Who will come?"  All was quiet, and not a bird spoke. Tane Hokahoka turned to Pukeko. "Pukeko, will you come down from the forest roof?" Pukeko looked down at the forest floor and saw the cold, damp earth and shuddered. "Kao, Tane Hokahoka, for it is too damp and I do not want to get my feet wet." .... "E kiwi, will you come down from the forest roof?"  Kiwi looked up at the trees and saw the sun filtering through the leaves. Kiwi looked around and saw his family. Kiwi looked at the cold damp earth. Looking around once more, he turned to Tane Hokahoka and said, "I will." Great was the joy in the hearts of Tane Hokahoka and Tane Mahuta, for this little bird was giving them hope. But Tane Mahuta felt that he should warn kiwi of what would happen. "E kiwi, do you realise that if you do this, you will have to grow thick, strong legs so that you can rip apart the logs on the ground and you will loose your beautiful coloured feathers and wings so that you will never be able to return to the forest roof. You will never see the light on day again." All was quiet, and not a bird spoke. "E kiwi, will you come down from the forest roof?"  Kiwi took one last look at the sun filtering through the trees and said a silent goodbye. Kiwi took one last look at the other birds, their wings and their coloured feathers and said a silent goodbye. Looking around once more, he turned to Tane Hokahoka and said, "I will." Then Tane Hokahoka turned and said, Pukeko, because you did not want to get your feet wet, you will live forever in the swamp. But you Kiwi, because of your great sacrifice, you will become the most well known and most loved bird of them all."   

    • Goblins in the gallery
      • 18 Aug 2014
      • Te Papa's blog
      • We have been busy installing Season 3 of Ngā Toi | Arts Te Papa on Level 5 of Te Papa, which will open to the public on August 23rd. But the exhibitions team haven’t been alone during the installation…there are also goblins in the gallery. Luckily, these mischievous goblins haven’t been running through the galleries... Read more »

    • Salient Exclusive: Labour’s Tertiary Education Policy
      • 17 Aug 2014
      • Salient
      • The News section of Salient looks a little different this week. Salient is exclusively releasing the Labour Party’s tertiary-education policy, ahead of its official announcement later today (Monday 18 August). Tertiary-education policy is all too often sidelined or turned into a lolly scramble. Over the past six years, this National government has made wide-ranging changes to the way our tertiary institutions function, most notably to university governance, student support and student membership. It is to be hoped that recent dirty politics won’t distract the politicians from meaningful engagement with tertiary-education issues this election. BIG CHANGES FOR UNIVERSITIES WILL CHANGE VSM: Will be repealed. STUDENT ALLOWANCES: Postgraduate students will get their Allowances back. UNI COUNCILS: Will stay as they are now with requirements for student, staff and Māori representation. TARGETED FUNDING: University funding will be targeted towards “courses where New Zealand can create wealth.” WILL REVIEW TEC: Will review the way funding to universities is decided. PBRF: Will review criteria by which PBRF allocates funding to research. ENROLMENTS: Will review enrolment caps in times of low employment. STUDENT ALLOWANCES: The student-support system will be reviewed fully, focussing on Allowance eligibility. NO CHANGE FEES: Universities will still be able to increase fees by 4 per cent every year, though they’ll have to justify changes of over 2 per cent. CORES: Will continue to get funding. Funding to universities Labour says it will review the structure and operation of the Tertiary Education Commission (TEC). This will be done to “develop a more collaborative approach to tertiary education in New Zealand by reviewing and re-invigorating the network-of-provision approach to funding.” The TEC advises the Government on how to fund tertiary institutions, including universities. The Government spends around $3 billion a year on tertiary education, $2 billion of which is allocated to universities through Student Achievement Component (SAC) funding. SAC funding is based both on the number of students enrolled in courses and the types of courses they are enrolled in. Universities are therefore in competition to attract students and the funding that comes with them. Earlier this year, the TEC chair John Spencer said universities should be run like businesses, and universities should specialise as New Zealand is small. Labour also promised to review the cap on university enrolments, particularly in times of high unemployment, and re-establish the Tripartite Forum, which was first established in 2005 and had representatives from universities, government and university staff. Labour also said they would invest some of the $1 billion they are allocating to health, education and other public services to tertiary institutions. How much money this would be is unclear. Governance If elected, Labour would require institutions to ensure staff, student and Māori representation on university councils. Councils will stay the current size – between 12 and 20, depending on the institution. The National Government has tried to remove representation requirements from university councils, along with downsizing councils, with the Education Amendment Bill. The Education Amendment Bill has been strongly opposed by Labour, the Greens and NZUSA. Minister for Tertiary Education Steven Joyce said he thought universities should be trusted to make “the right calls for their institutions.” The Bill is currently awaiting its second reading in Parliament, although Labour would ditch it entirely. Grant Robertson told Salient the Bill was “a solution in search of a problem. There is actually nothing wrong with the governance of NZ universities.” Fees The annual Fee Maxima (the amount the University can increase its fees every year) would stay at 4 per cent under Labour. Labour would introduce requirements for institutions to provide written justifications for any fee increases which exceed 2 per cent. Universities have raised their fees by the full 4 per cent Fee Maxima every year since it was introduced (by Labour, after National transferred responsibility for setting fees to university councils). In October 2013, Steven Joyce said the Government would look at reducing maximum fee increases. Institutions Labour want to review the criteria of the PBRF “to ensure a broad range of research success is recognised.” The Performance Based Research Fund (PBRF) allocates research funding. In 2012, the Government committed to investing an additional $100 million in the PBRF over four years. This will result in the Fund reaching $300 million in 2016/17. Earlier this year, the Government proposed increasing the proportion of PBRF income allocated based on external research income, from 15 per cent to 20 per cent of the Fund. Labour would continue to fund COREs and research funds. Alongside its TEC review, Labour says it will “support and foster a collaborative university system, where each of our universities is enabled to focus on its areas of research and teaching strength.” Labour says it will target government funding “towards courses where New Zealand can create wealth and lessen investment into job areas where surplus expertise already exists”, but also that they will “maintain a university system that offers broad-based programmes, including acknowledging the importance of the humanities.” In Budget 2013, National increased funding to STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) subjects by $85 million, with $68 million more for science. In July, the Green Party pledged $50 million a year to fund 1000 places for STEM students. At the time, Steven Joyce said it was “good to see the Greens playing catch-up.” Student support Labour would reinstate Student Allowances for postgraduate students and students in recognised Long Programmes. Long Programmes fall into two categories: progression in a subject, such as a Bachelor’s/Master’s/PhD; and individual qualifications requiring extended study, often with a prerequisite requirement, for example a Bachelor of Medicine or a Bachelor of Chiropractic. Postgraduate allowances were cut in the 2012 Budget, in a move which was opposed by Labour, the Greens, NZUSA and many other groups. Steven Joyce said these cuts would save $33 million over four years. Labour would remove the seven-year EFTS limit on borrowing for medical and dental students. Labour also promises a “full review of the student-support system”. The review would particularly look at broadening eligibility for Allowances (including parental and age thresholds), making support from living costs and Student Allowances more consistent and “closing loopholes which create unfairness in the system.” Grant Robertson, Labour’s Wellington Central MP and Associate Spokesperson for Tertiary Education, told Salient last week that Labour would set up a formal working group, with students on the panel, to review the system. Student Associations + VSM Labour would repeal the controversial Education (Freedom of Association) Amendment Act 2011 which introduced voluntary student membership (VSM). VSM would be replaced with “enduring legislation that will secure the critical role student associations play, based on the amendments Labour put forward during the debate in 2011.” At the time, Labour talked in the House about opt-out measures whereby students could decide not to be a part of students’ associations, as well as financial-accountability measures. Grant Robertson told Salient last week that Labour would repeal the law and replace it with something more stable. “If need be, you could work on some kind of opt-out provision. It kind of contradicts what I believe about the Government, but if that’s what is going to make it more stable, then it is easier to opt out.” Institutions of Technology and Polytechnics Labour will increase focus on regional polytechs, in some cases providing “additional support” for institutions which do not have sufficient enrolments to self-fund. Labour will also establish Centres of Vocational Excellence to encourage vocational research and innovation, at a cost of $40 million over four years. Adult and Community Education As previously announced, Labour would increase funding to adult and community education by $13 million for the 2016 calendar year. $54 million of ACE funding was cut by the Government in 2009. The cuts saw nationwide enrolments in ACE drop from 225,000 in 2009 to just 35,000 in 2012, after removal of subsidies made the courses unaffordable. National has dismissed ACE as hobby courses – “twilight golf, radio singalong, pet homeopathy, Moroccan cooking and concrete mosaics” – but proponents say they enable people to upskill in areas such as computer courses, first-aid and antenatal classes. Refugee and migrant study Labour says it will “ensure adequate and appropriate funding so that refugees and migrants are supported to study” and, as previously announced, increase ESOL funding by $1 million a year, additional to the general increases in ACE. Private training establishments Labour would work to develop “more rigorous quality-assurance measures, particularly in relation to courses targeted at international students.” Teacher education Prospective teachers would have a higher standard of entry with a “vigorous process for pre-screening” under Labour.

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