Which of these writers is a Great Kiwi Classic?

Which of the following writers do you think deserves to be considered a Great Kiwi Classic?

Cover of Maurice Gee Life and work Cover of Your unselfish kindness Cover of The plays of Bruce Mason Cover of James K Baxter Complete prose

The answer is all of them, but if you had to pick one which would it be?

Since 2014 the New Zealand Book Council and Auckland Writers Festival,  have been awarding the title “Great Kiwi Classic” to our country’s most revered literary treasures. In 2014, Keri Hulme’s Booker Prize-winning novel The Bone People was selected after a wealth of public nominations, and Owls Do Cry by Janet Frame received the 2015 crown.

And they’re at it again this year with the above shortlist which will be hotly debated a the Auckland Writers Festival event, The Great Kiwi Classic: Face-Off, in which four super fans will each argue on behalf of one writer for the title 2016 Great Kiwi Classic author. A follow-up discussion will attempt to distil the essence of home-grown literary classics, chaired by Rosabel Tan, editor of The Pantograph Punch.

Rachel Barrowman, Mary Paul, John Smythe, John Weir

Literary biographer Rachel Barrowman (shortlisted for the Ockham New Zealand Book Awards) will punt for Maurice Gee; Mary Paul for Robin Hyde; theatre critic John Smythe for Bruce Mason; and John Weir for James K. Baxter.

Which of the four would you nominate as the 2016 Great Kiwi Classic author, and why? Let the New Zealand Book Council know in 400 words or less via email greatkiwiclassic@bookcouncil.org.nz or via a post on their Facebook page by 15 April 2016.

Your contribution could be published on the New Zealand Book Council’s blog Booknotes Unbound, and you’ll automatically be entered into the draw to win a prize pack of classic NZ books!

Welcome Access Video!

ckey923530-AVOD-250wIf you are like me and only have poor person’s TV (not SKY) then you are constantly channel surfing and finding yourself stuck with cooking, renovation and dating shows. Well, surf no more – the library can now connect you to a new eResource – Access Video. It has over 10,000 world-class documentaries, award-winning educational films, and helpful instructional videos on every known subject.

Personally I am in heaven, as though I may not have access to the History Channel I can now watch a number of history documentaries from a variety of sources including the BBC. I have even set up my own account so I can save videos I want to watch in future. Now don’t roll your eyes at the thought of “educational” films as they can be entertaining too. I defy you to open this eResource and not find something that takes your fancy. I had a wee look at a documentary on “Animals in Love” and went all gooey over the Orangutan kissing his partner’s eyes and the capuchin monkeys that throw rocks at the boys to get their attention … is that what I have been doing wrong?

This eResource will be a source of information, entertainment and mirth for all. What else can I say but lights, camera and action!

Access Video

Te Kupu o Te Wiki – Tuhi (draw)

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

Kupu (word)

tuhi
draw

Nāu tēnei i tuhi?
Did you draw this?

Whāngahia te Reo

Race Relations Day: Welcoming Diversity

Race Relations Day – 21 March 2016

New Zealand is one of the most ethnically diverse nations on earth. It is also one of the most peaceful.  Our biggest challenge is how we choose to live our lives and what kind of country we let New Zealand become. This Race Relations Day we are asking all Kiwis to welcome and get to know the people in your community. What you do makes all the difference.

 – Human Rights Commission

The theme for Race Relations Day 2016 is “Welcoming Diversity”.

And what a fun time we’ve had celebrating diversity lately in Christchurch ! There’s been the Night Noodle Market, the Chinese Lantern Festival (27 & 28 February), Holi Day (5 March), Canterbury Japan Day (6 March),  Culture Galore (12 March) and Canterbury Polyfest 2016 – phew !

In New Zealand we are lucky to be able to enjoy and celebrate our diversity, but this is not so in many other parts of the world.  In 1966 the date of March 21 was proclaimed by the General Assembly of the United Nations to be The International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination and the reason this date was chosen is because this was the date of the Sharpeville massacre.

Sharpeville is in South Africa, and on 21 March 1960 police opened fire on a crowd of about 20,000 people who were protesting against the apartheid “pass laws”.  Some 69 people were killed, including children, while around 180 were injured. Apartheid in the Rainbow Nation has since been dismantled, but the fight against racial prejudice and discrimination continues around the world.

Further reading

 As Good as Anybody Martin Luther King Jr. and Abraham Joshua Heschel's Amazing March Toward Freedom  Human Rights and Human Wrongs A Life Confronting Racism  Are We There Yet? The Future of the Treaty of Waitangi The Name of the Game