It’s a blokes’ race so far


Labour has selected David Shearer to contest the Mount Albert by-election.

The party has often criticised National for not having enough women MPs, but gender obviously wasn’t enough to sway votes in this selection although I think  – and please correct me if I’ve got this wrong – Helen Clark, who held the seat until she resigned last month, was the only woman to hold an Auckland electorate for Labour after last year’s election.

Labour does have Auckland-based female list MPs.

Act selected list MP John Bowscawen yesterday and Green party co-leader Russel Norman is contesting the seat for his party.

National’s selection will take place tomorrow with List MP Melissa Lee and Ravi Musuku, who contested the seat last year, seeking the candidacy.

Baked Beans & Culture


Rob’s Blockhead Blog is joining Keeping Stock, Inquiring Mind and me in the NZ Music Month celebration.

His first two contributions are Baked Beans from Mother Goose  (much more fun to listen to than to eat) and Culture from The Knobz.

Internet opens doors on disability


In 1987 faxes were new and we’d never heard of emails, the internet or blogging.

When we got the diagnosis our son had a degenerative brain disorder we spread the word by phone to family and friends in New Zealand and letter to those abroad.

Two years later when we got a similar diagnosis for our second son technology hadn’t moved much further and communicating with family and friends, and making contact with other parents whose children had similar problems, had to be by old fashioned means.

A couple of decades on, the difference the internet has made was brought home to me by the success of Blogging Against Disabilsm Day .

Hundreds of people posted on various aspects and issues which affect people with disabilities and their families including access, art, education, healthcare, language, parenting and politics.

Diary of a Goldfish has created a wonderful resource which will enable people who are dealing with disabilities to share expereiences and learn from each other.

Blogging Against Disablism Day, May 1st 2007

Dear Dawn




Dear Dawn

How very clever of you to write your memoir as a series of letters to the people who are or have been important to you.

I really liked the way you began with a letter to me, the reader, explaining you were writing a memoir rather than an autobiograhpy so you could concentrate on “those memories that are especially important and vivid to me. The parts of my life I can still remember the taste and feel and smell of.”

It’s a good recipe, it works and you do it well, telling us enough but not too much.

We must be a similar age and although we were brought up at opposite ends of the world, many of your memories struck a chord with me. I didn’t own bright purple suede hot pants or a cheesecloth smock top with stringy lacing down the front but my early 70s’ wardrobe contained a few equally awful items.

I expected humour and wasn’t disappointed and was equally impressed at the way you covered tragic and difficult times too.

I knew you only through television before I read Dear Fatty,  my admiration and appreciation increased page by page.

This is a book I’ll keep to read again and one I have no hesitation in recommending to others.

Thank you & smiles,


Otago flats to move from Facebook & Flickr to book


Dunedin’s population is about 115,000 and around 20,000 of those people are students at Otago University,

Most of them come from other places which creates a campus, unique in New Zealand, based round residential halls and flats centred on the University.

Otago’s student culture usually hits the headlines because of alcohol fuelled stupidity. But between those, relatively few, episodes of anti-social behaviour most of the students attend to their studies, sport and social activities without annoying other people or damaging property.

While doing so they forge friendships which last a lifetime.

I spent my first year at Otago at St Margarets. Our in-take was the first entrusted with front door keys which meant we weren’t under curfew as previous residents had been. We had to sign in and out but no-one questioned where we went and what time we returned. However, it was an all-women hall and there was a very strict rule about no overnight guests of the male persuasion.

The following year I moved into a flat at 109A Dundas Street and my third year was spent in another flat at 359 Leith Street which bordered the St David Street zig-zag. Both are now part of Arana College.

Yesterday’s ODT has a feature on former student and staff member Sarah Gallagher who started taking photos of flats for her master’s degree then set up sites with them on Facebook and Flickr and now plans to publish a book.

The ODT also writes about signs students are in residence , has a slide show of distinctive flats and another entitled I can see my flat here.

E Te Tameiti


Day three of the challenge to match Inventory 2 at Keeping Stock and Adam Smith at Inquiring Mind in posting a song each day as a contribution to New Zealand Music Month.

Since it’s Sunday, I’ve chosen E Te Tameiti, a prayer by John Rowles and the Paki Paki Bilingual Cultural Goup.


Inquiring Mind gives us 31 reasons to love NZ music, a NZ Music bonus  with Blue Smoke and goes Down the Hall on Saturday Night with Peter Cape.

Keeping Stock introduces  Rapture Ruckus

And WhaleOil gives his top 10 Kiwi songs

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