Native Rights Act


The Natives Rights Act was passed on this day in 1865.

The Act deemed all Maori to be natural-born subjects of the Crown, confirming in law the Treaty promise that Maori were to be accorded the same rights and privileges as other British subjects.

Under Article Three of the Treaty of Waitangi Maori gained ‘all the Rights and Privileges of British Subjects’. When the position of Maori was challenged because of their ‘non-British’ (communal) form of land tenure, their status as British subjects was confirmed by the Native Rights Act 1865.

The name may seem patronising today and not everything that happened subsequently kept to the letter and the spirit of the Act. But it was enlightened legislation for the times.



Since it’s T.S. Eliot’s birthday, and we went to Cats last night:

Spicy Apple Cake


The bananas were over ripe – just right for baking but there weren’t quite enough for a Banana Cake

I did have some stewed apple though so used that to top up the banana.

The result tasted as the usual banana cake does but was a bit lighter and moister in texture.

That got me wondering if I could substitue stewed apple for all the banana.

I added cinnmon and mixed spice as well, and it was delicious.

Spicy Apple Cake

125 g butter                     1 Cup sugar

2 large eggs                      1 generous cup stewed apple

2 cups flour                       1 teaspoon baking powder

1 teaspoon baking soda      1 teaspoon mixed spice

1 teaspoon cinnamon


Cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. 

Add mashed egg and mashed bananas & beat well. (don’t worry if mixture curdles). 

Fold in sifted flour, baking powder, baking soda, spice & cinnamon. 

Cook in 20cm greased tin 130 degrees for 45 to 60 minutes. 

When cool ice with cinnamon icing.

 frost 001

Unexpected art


 The Countrytime Hotel at Omarama was built about 30 years ago.

It’s often used as a central place for meetings for people from Southland, various parts of Otago and Canterbury.

The building’s a bit tired but the staff are pleasant and it boasts a wonderful display of murals by Colin Wheeler.

My photography doesn’t do them justice:

 frost 006                                                                              frost 003

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frost 007



Cats had opened not long before I was in London in 1982 and tickets were booked out months in advance.

The only way to get a ticket at short notice was to queue for returns.

I decided to do it once, do it well and turned up at mid day for an 8pm show. there were already three others waiting.

It was an entertaining afternoon as the queue grew. At about 6.30 the first people arrived with returned tickets and I got a front row seat.

It was worth the wait and I’ve enjoyed the show three more times since then – in Christchurch in 1995, Dunedin last year and Oamaru last night.

A friend pointed out that London, Christchurch, Dunedin, Oamaru could be seen as a regression and I admit I wondered if I’d be disappointed by last night’s show.

I wasn’t it.

It was an Oamaru Operatic Society production and I am in awe that a group of amateurs could give such a polished performance. The singing, dancing, costumes, set, music were all of a very high standard and the performers earned the sustained applause they received.

dairy 10009

Brrrr #4


We had about 30 mm of rain yesterday which was very welcome.

But the temperature dropped, which wasn’t.

Friends who have a sheep stud nearby are in the middle of lambing. Wet and cold – a high of seven degrees – doesn’t give new born stock a good start.

It’s not the sort of weather that makes starting daylight saving a good idea either.

Mutter, mumble. Have I mentioned it would be a good idea to delay the start by three or four weeks?

Post card from New York


TV3 have recevied a video postcard from John Key in New York.

It’s worth a look if you want a giggle.

Going to bed with wool


Coco Chanel is credited with saying that the only thing you should wear to bed is perfume.

That’s all very well on a warm Paris night. People in cooler climes might need a little more covering and AgResearch scientists have come up with something for them to wear which they reckon will make going to bed more enjoyable:

They’ve made a breakthrough in textiles which has resulted in a lightweight natural product which they say:

. . . has no chemical treatment, helps sleeping, maintains and regulates temperature and looks and feels fantastic.

“Easy Care Wool Sleepwear works in both summer and winter and we believe makes excellent nightwear and loungewear with its outstanding comfort properties,” said Dr Surinder Tandon, Senior Scientist, Textile Science & Technology.

The Sleepwear products targeted for the development include men’s and women’s nightwear and loungewear. These were developed using innovative combinations of merino wool and other natural fibres such as bamboo and silk, yarn structures, fabric weaves and knits, and finishing procedures.

The Easy Care bit is important because it’s not that long ago that wool was anything but. However, developments with merino by companies like Icebreaker which has brought us fashionable, itch-free, lightweight, machine washable clothes has helped wool products compete with synthetics.

AgResearch took their stab and fire resistant wool vest to the catwalk at Air New Zealand Fashion Week last year. It is going to invite well known designers to come up with garments made from Easy Care Wool in the hope they will be able to show them at next year’s fashion week.”

“They will look great, function well and be very comfortable,” said Dr Tandon.

The new sleepwear fabrics are being manufactured by South Canterbury Textiles, “This cutting edge textile is exciting from our point of view- it’s new, it’s got real advantages over other fabrics used for sleepwear and it creates opportunities for us once it is available,” said Andrew Miller CEO.

This sleepwear fabric development programme was supported by Textiles NZ under their industry scheme Transform, South Canterbury Textiles and Locus Research.

If this product can be commercially viable it will provide a much needed boost for the wool industry which has been faced with low prices for far too many years.

It will also provide something a bit warmer, and not necessarily any less alluring, for those who prefer to wear something a little more substantial than perfume in bed.

September 26 in history


On September 26:

1580 Sir Francis Drake completed his circumnavigation of the world.

1590 or later Marcus Gheeraerts, Sir Francis Drake Buckland Abbey, Devon.jpg

1888 US poet & playwright T.S. (Thomas Stearns) Eliot was born.

Drawing of Eliot by Simon Fieldhouse

1898 composer George Gershwin was born.

 1907 Elnglish art historian & Soviet spy Anthony Blunt was born.

1907 Sir Joseph Ward proclaimed New Zealand’s dominion status.

1932 Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh was born.

 1933 Donna Douglas, US actress who played Ely May Clampet in the Beverly Hillbillies, was born.

1936 South African activist Winnie Madikizela-Mandela was born.

1945 English singer Bryan Ferry was born.

1947 US country singer Lynn Anderson was born.

1948 English-born Australian singer Olivia Newton John was born.

1949 US novelist Jane Smiley was born.

1949 English crime writer Minette Walters was born.


1962 The Yemen Arab Republic was proclaimed.
Flag Coat of arms
1964 English singer Nicki French was born.


1973 Concorde made its first Trans Atlantic flight in record time.

1981 US tennis player Serena Williams was born.
Serena Williams at the 2008 WTA Tour Championships2.jpg

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