Documenting the new west: The Halswell Project 2015

In a city that embodies change, few communities have experienced such a boom in development and growth as Halswell.

In order to create a documentary record of this fast changing community as it stands in 2015, Christchurch City Libraries and the University of Canterbury teamed up to produce The Halswell Project – a contemporary photographic documentary project on the wider Halswell area.

Three talented photography students from the School of Fine Arts, Ellenor Waters, Nicholas Glen and Mitchell Bright, hit the streets with their cameras and over the course of six months amassed hundreds of images and created an intimate portrait of a diverse community.

We’re celebrating the launch of the photographic archive this Thursday 3 December, 6pm at Te Hāpua: Halswell Centre with the opening of the Halswell Project exhibition. 30 prints will be on display along with a digital slideshow of a selection of the images.

The Halswell Project, 2015 – Slideshow from CCL Digital Content on Vimeo.

New Zealand photographer, writer and Senior Lecturer Glenn Busch will also be speaking about documenting a city through the Place in Time project at the University of Canterbury.

Woman waits at bus stop on Dunbars Road by Ellenor Waters CCL-HP2015-EW-DSCF1918
Woman waits at bus stop on Dunbars Road by Ellenor Waters CCL-HP2015-EW-DSCF1918
Chris standing next to his bike by Nicholas Glen CCL-HP2015-NG-IMG-2929
Chris standing next to his bike by Nicholas Glen CCL-HP2015-NG-IMG-2929
Housing development, Caulfield Avenue by Mitchell Bright CCL-HP2015-MB-DSC-0080
Housing development, Caulfield Avenue by Mitchell Bright CCL-HP2015-MB-DSC-0080

Sam Ludemann

Best fiction of the Year and otherwise – fiction selector Philip Tew

Cover of The girl on the trainYou’d think that the only novel published this year was The girl on the train and next year, when Emily Blunt has taken the train into town, it should continue dominating bestseller lists everywhere. There is, however, some murmurings in the publishing trade that “domestic no bliss at all” is starting to slow down.

Otherwise with fiction it was business as usual as Lee Child was way up there, along with all the old faithfuls from James Patterson who has cleverly cornered the adult, YA and children’s markets and must now have a houseful of writers turning his ideas into bestsellers.

Cover of The golden age of murderOne interesting trend is the republishing of old mysteries. It began with the British Library reprinting old Golden Age British mysteries. It would not have worked so well if they hadn’t been so well produced. English writer Martin Edwards provided interesting forewords and, if you are interested in the genre, we have his book The golden age of murder in the collection. Collins have now jumped into the market and are reprinting old mysteries from the likes of Edgar Wallace and Francis Durbridge (once a radio and television favourite).

Best reads of 2015

Widows and orphans Michael Arditti
A man who is trying to be good in a venal world is the main focus of this tale of the editor of a local newspaper in a seaside town and his nemesis, a greedy and coarse developer. Moral issues in a world where they are seen as irrelevant makes for a thoughtful and readable novel.

Cover of the real JustineThe real Justine Stephen Amidon
This American author is pretty good on the how we live now novel and this one combines this with a mystery plot involving a strange girl whose life is all over the place. Good social observation and a gripping plot.

Cover of Two acrossTwo across Jeffrey Bartsch
Two teenagers meet at a spelling bee in this first novel which is a likeable and droll tale about difficult parents, adolescent angst and creating crossword puzzles.

Cover of The year of fallingThe year of falling Janis Freegard
If you have lived in Wellington, you’ll love the atmosphere and background of this excellent novel. The story moves from Wellington to Iceland and the characterisation of two sisters, a child and an elderly neighbour is very well done and makes for an interesting and satisfying read.

Cover of GorskyGorsky Vesna Goldsworthy
The world of the obscenely rich Russian oligarchs in London and the story of a young bookseller who comes into this world when he has to assemble a library for one of them is the theme for this unusual and highly readable novel.

Cover of ChappyChappy Patricia Grace
This is a fascinating and touching novel where a young man learns the story of his Maori grandmother and Chappy, his Japanese grandfather. Beautifully written and my pick for the best New Zealand novel of the year.

Cover of High DiveHigh dive Jonathan Lee
Taking Irish terrorism and mixing it in with the Brighton bombing in the Margaret Thatcher era makes for a historical novel from the very recent past. The careful recreation of the time and place is beautifully handled. Especially good is the portrayal of the hotel staff, ordinary people who become caught up in big events.

Cover of Children of the masterChildren of the master Andrew Marr
The journalist and political commentator with his second satirical slap in the face for British politics. It’s set in 2018 where the Labour Party is in power and there are two candidates for the top job. Machiavellian in the extreme, this is an often funny and way over the top political black comedy. Of course we don’t believe ruthless opponents would use murder to get to the top but it makes for a good story. The Master, incidentally, has to be someone not a mile from Tony Blair.

Cover of The IlluminationsThe illuminations Andrew O’Hagan
Why this one didn’t get on the Man Booker Prize shortlist is a real puzzle. It’s a superb novel about Britain. Part of it is set in Ayrshire with an elderly lady who was once a leading documentary photographer in the 1960s. Her story is intercut with that of her grandson who has returned from a tour of duty in Afghanistan. A strong, forceful and moving book.

Cover of The Party LineThe party line Sue Orr
The author of some very good short stories made her novel debut with this story, set in the Hauraki Plains, where the arrival of a sharemilker and his outspoken (for this community) daughter question the assumptions of the place. The title is a clever one as it is the chief means of communication and also the way the community thinks.

Cover of I saw a manI saw a man Owen Sheers
A reporter whose wife has been killed returns to London and befriends the people next door. Through a misunderstanding something terrible happens, Moving from the affluent lives of the upper middle class to what happens when a tragedy occurs, this is a timely and gripping novel.

Cover of Mobile LibraryMobile library David Whitehouse
This excellent and underrated British author is remembered for Bed, his story of an obese man. The new novel is about a woman who cleans the mobile library and what happens when she takes to the road with her disabled daughter and a lonely boy. It is a bit far fetched but quite engaging.

Cover of My sunshine awayMy sunshine away M.O. Walsh
Down the Deep South tale in which a thirtyish man remembers his younger days and the whole suburban network of secrets and lies around the rape of a teenage girl. It’s a convincing portrait of a time and place and a very promising debut novel.

Visit our Best Reads 2015 page for more picks, and the chance to have your say.

Never too old to learn

Cover of The Mature Student's handbookDo you envy those with a bit of paper from university? Do you think “If I had the chance I could do that”?

Did you try university when you were younger and wonder if you could give it another try?

Are you are over 55 years of age and have not studied for the last five years? If you are you can apply for the Deans Award which will pay half of your fees.

Stepping Stones A Guide for Mature-aged Students at University Book coverHave you always had an interest in Greek myths or Medieval Europe, or wished you had learnt Māori or French at school? Do you want to read the great works of English or find out about Picasso? Do you want to explore what makes science good bad or bogus or discuss god and human freedom determinism then the University of Canterbury have the course for you.

If you want you can study for as little as one semester and take on subject or you could study for a year and get a Certificate of Proficiency in that course or courses. If you want to take a few courses and study part-time without studying for a degree you can get a Certificate in Arts. There are further options of a Certificate in Languages or Te Pourua Reo: Diploma in Languages (Te Reo Māori) for those who do not wish to complete a full degree or if you decide you can complete a Bachelor of Arts. You can even select your own programme of study with the help of a Student advisor.

If you need to speak to somebody who studied at University as an older student then I have the chap for you. Dr. Jefferey Paparoa Holman from UC Arts Lifelong Learning would be happy to talk to you about his experiences of starting out late in life on a university degree.

Mature students their life experience to their course of study bringing a whole new perspective to classes. Mature students are motivated and know how to work and apply themselves they give their experience to society. University life now has much more support for students than in the past and you do not have to buy as many books as much is available online.

How to study again book cover

Have I perked your interest? Have a look at our library resources on how to study again and studying in New Zealand as a mature student.

Are you or have you studied as a mature student? Share your story with us.

Te Kupu o Te Wiki – Hokomaha (supermarket)

Kia ora. To encourage the use of Te Reo Māori we are publishing weekly kupu (words) and phrases that can be used with children.

Kīwaha (idiom)

Tēnā kimikimi, āe
You don’t know!

Kupu (word)

Hokomaha
Supermarket

Kei te haere au ki te hokomaha.
I’m going to the supermarket

Whāngahia te Reo

This week in Christchurch history (30 November to 6 December)

1 December 1863
Opening of the Ferrymead to Moorhouse Avenue railway, New Zealand’s first public steam railway. (The gauge was 5ft 3ins.)

1 December 1949
Sidney G. (later Sir Sidney) Holland (Fendalton) becomes Prime Minister.

1 December 1950
Kerrs Reach cutting on the Avon River completed.

1 December 1975
Rolleston satellite town project scrapped.

2 December 1866
Moa bones discovered at Glenmark. The international sale and exchange of these helped Haast, the Canterbury Museum’s first Director, to finance the new museum.

2 December 1960
Rehua meeting house opens, the first new meeting house in the South Island for over 100 years.

Rehua Marae, St Albans, Christchurch. Saturday 28 June 2014
Rehua Marae, St Albans, Christchurch. Saturday 28 June 2014, Flickr, 2014-06-28-IMG_0501

3 December 1867
Canterbury Museum (New Zealand’s first) opened to public in an upstairs room in the Canterbury Provincial Government Buildings. The collection had been assembled by Julius (later Sir Julius) Von Haast.

Canterbury Museum and Rolleston statue [ca. 1900]
Canterbury Museum and Rolleston statue [ca. 1900], CCL PhotoCD 14 IMG0042
3 December 1924
Children’s Library opens in Hereford Street.

5 December 1881
Earthquake damages Cathedral spire.

6 December 1983
16 year old Christchurch student David Tan completes B.Sc Honours degree at Canterbury University to become New Zealand’s youngest ever university graduate.

More November and December events in the Christchurch chronology: a timeline of Christchurch events in chronological order from pre-European times to 1989.