The Library holds many culturally important taonga that inform our identity as Cantabrians. This is not one of them, but it is the coolest thing I’ve seen in Store since an old edition of The Wonderful Wizard of Oz:

Dr Who and the Daleks omnibus


Doctor Who and the Daleks omnibus is a 1976 TV tie-in. It includes two novel-length stories and vital information on Dalek anatomy:


The Fourth Doctor (Tom Baker) was the Doctor du jour when this was published, and he (and his scarf) feature prominently:

Tom Baker and Daleks


Levity aside, never forget that “beyond the beyond of beyond at the dark endless edge of eternal space, exists a life force that has neither form nor substance.”


Look to the skies…

Dalek saying goodbye

Paul Diamond: WORD Christchurch Writers and Readers Festival

WORD Christchurch Writers and Readers Festival kicks off on 27 August. We’ve asked three quick questions of festival guests:

Cover of Arms RaceWhat (or who) are you most looking forward to at WORD Christchurch?

I’m inspired by the whole programme, but am looking forward to hearing Nic Low, as I enjoyed reading his new book Arms Race, and his poignant essay about Christchurch written for The Griffith Review, and available on his website.

What do you think about libraries?

I think a lot about libraries. I regularly use five of the ones based where I live; I work in one (the Alexander Turnbull Library); and I visit them when I travel away from Wellington. Most recently, the marvellous OBA (Openbare Bibliotheek Amsterdam), the Amsterdam Public Library.

Share a surprising fact about yourself.

I started my career as a fraud accountant, and I can’t click my fingers.

Cover of How we remember Cover of Makereti Cover of A fire in your belly

Te Kupu o te Wiki – The Word of the Week

Kia ora. To celebrate Te Reo Māori  we are publishing kupu (words) every week.

Kīwaha (colloquialism)

Taiea ana
You got swag (skux)

Kupu (word)


Nāu te waea harihari nei?
Does this cell phone belong to you?


Browse our Te Reo Māori resources.

This week in Christchurch history (25 – 31 August)

25 August 1920
First flight over Cook Strait (Christchurch to Trentham) by Captain Euan Dickson in a Canterbury Aviation Company plane.

26 August 1939
Official opening of City Council’s pensioner housing project in Barnett Avenue, Sydenham; the first local body pensioner housing in New Zealand.

28 August 1890
“Great maritime strike” (the first of New Zealand’s 3 major waterfront strikes) spreads to Lyttelton.

31 August 1959
Princess Margaret Hospital opens.

Cashmere (later Princess Margaret) Hospital, shown under construction
[1956] CCL PhotoCD 17, IMG0099, Christchurch City Libraries
The land for the hospital had been bought from the Cracroft Wilson estate by the North Canterbury Hospital Board in the 1930s. Construction began in May 1952 and the hospital was opened 31 Aug. 1959 by the Governor-General, the Viscount Cobham (1909-1977) and officially named The Princess Margaret Hospital. At one stage it was assumed that it would become Christchurch’s main hospital but it was too far from the town centre.
31 August 1974
Death of Prime Minister Norman Kirk, M.P. for Sydenham. He had earlier been M.P. for Lyttelton, and Mayor of Kaiapoi.
Search our catalogue for Norman Kirk.
View the DigitalNZ set The life and death of Norman Kirk.

View image of Norman Kirk's coffin
Alongside the coffin of the late Prime Minister Norman Kirk at Parliament House, Wellington. Negatives of the Evening Post newspaper. Ref: 1/4-021782-F. Alexander Turnbull Library, Wellington, New Zealand. http://natlib.govt.nz/records/22870322
Christchurch chronology
A timeline of Christchurch events in chronological order from pre-European times to 1989.

More August events in the Chronology.