Signs and waves

Signs say a lot about place. When I return to Auckland after a long spell on the island, I’m aware of the insistence of signage. I can’t help myself from reading them and by the time I get to my … Read More

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Living by grace

Micky was hitchhiking from the airport. She told me she hoped to pick up work in bar or restaurant and find a place to live. I dropped her near the church at Medlands (Ōruawharo) and wished her luck. Aotea has … Read More

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A time and place for rāhui

Visitors to the West Coast bays of Aotea may have noticed they have company. Carved figures or pou appeared shortly after the discovery of exotic Caulerpa brachypus seaweed in island waters as symbols of the concern and care of Ngāti … Read More

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Artistic Expression

Port Chalmers-based, Ireland-born writer Majella Cullinane spent nine weeks in a one-room log cabin on Aotea as part of a writing sabbatical funded through an Auckland Museum Research Grant. The cabin belongs to her partner’s family, who acquired land on … Read More

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Passion Projects

I’m sitting on the veranda of what was once the villa homestead on a 400-acre farm running down to the beach at Mulberry Grove, near where the ferry arrives. Derek Bell bought it on a sub-divided acre in 2005, then … Read More

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Beautiful women – the Yoginis of Aotea

“My goodness, what a beautiful group of women,” says Anne Kernohan of the island’s Aotea Yoga Collective. When former island yoga teacher Julie Stansfield offered to sell her practice just over a year ago, six yoginis (female master yoga practitioners) … Read More

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How Barrier surfing became cool

Who was Great Barrier’s first surfer? Tryphena resident and retired island chemist Mike Gardiner can claim that title. He first visited the island in 1957 fresh out of school and camped in a cave near the mouth of Kaitoke River, … Read More

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Moving the middle ground

From the deck of the Aotea Track’s Mt Heale (Matāwhero) Hut the vista at twilight is awe-inspiring. It faces west towards Te Hauturu-o-Toi / Little Barrier Island. To the left is the distant glow of Auckland. Ecologically, Aotea Great Barrier … Read More

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Wonder

Recently I watched a near total eclipse of the moon. I watched it from the bush clearing that surrounds my house. The moon rose above the ridge about 9.30pm. There were faint wispy clouds in the night sky. Through binoculars … Read More

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Aotea Fiction

There’s a climactic scene in Don E McGregor’s latest book where a Barrier guerilla fighter and a wily Japanese soldier stalk each other in the rocky crags around Ruahine above Rosalie Bay. Defiant Great Barrier Islanders have played a crucial … Read More

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