New Zealand Fashion in Pictures: Our Image Collection

For New Zealand Fashion Week we’re sharing some of our favourite images of New Zealand fashion.

Over the years, Christchurch City Libraries has built up a collection of local images. Many of these are donated from private collections and capture the places and people of Christchurch, and Canterbury’s history. Some of these we’ve grouped into themed image collections, including one on Costume and Fashion.

Our image collection is mostly made up of early 20th century images but is less comprehensive in terms of more recent history. If you’ve got photos that you think we’d be interested in then please contact us.

In the meantime, here are some oldies but goodies in the fashion stakes –

Suits you

Members of the Christchurch Drainage Board and visitors present at the opening of the septic tank, Bromley sewage farm [4 Sept. 1905] CCL PhotoCD 2, IMG0084
Members of the Christchurch Drainage Board and visitors present at the opening of the septic tank, Bromley sewage farm [4 Sept. 1905] CCL PhotoCD 2, IMG0084
A group of Maori women dress reformers [1906] CCL PhotoCD 11, IMG0096
A group of Maori women dress reformers [1906] CCL PhotoCD 11, IMG0096
 Mr E. H. Hughes, Mr R. E. Alexander (Director of the College), and Mr Walter Macfarlane [1909] File reference P7030226
Mr E. H. Hughes, Mr R. E. Alexander (Director of the College), and Mr Walter Macfarlane [1909] Selwyn-P7030226

 The diploma winners of 1913. File reference P3051336
The diploma winners of 1913. Selwyn-P3051336

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Horticultural ‘Grand Designs’ versus ‘Harsh Reality’

Cover of Creative Vegetable GardeningStarted gardening – albeit in a small way – about 4 years ago when I decided that I needed fresh air and to give myself permission to wear a huge floppy hat like Greta Garbo (about the only similarity between us), whilst working on making various parts of my body vigorously protest at the unaccustomed exercise.

In that time I have tried growing all sorts of vegetables and flowers with varying degrees of success. Only this morning I learned a new gardening word  ‘Chitting‘, and, as instructed, have laid my Jersey Benne seed potatoes on newspaper in the garage waiting for them to sprout so that I can plant them in September.

Cover of Grow Your Own PotatoesLast year as Christmas approached, with barely contained childish glee (not called ‘Peter Pan’ in my family for nothing),  I dug deep into my potato sacks, ferreting around for my carbohydrate treasure trove to tumble out onto the patio; the reward for all my hard work.  The end result was pitiful – Nothing; Naada; Nein; Zippo – OK, slight exaggeration but certainly just enough for a plate at most.

Where had I gone wrong? Well, obviously I hadn’t done enough research on the subject… I needed a book devoted entirely to the ‘starchy’  issue and I hadn’t even thought to look in the Children’s section!

Cover of The Artful GardenGardens come in all shapes and sizes and there is an abundance of information via our library resources whether it be non-fiction books, magazines, eMagazines and library website. Personally, my garden area is small so I concentrate on pots, containers, raised beds, trying to get as much as possible – produce-wise – as I can.  I am still working on it, but have now got sidetracked by the necessity of colour in my garden and my search  for minimal, low-cost ideas designs has proved very enlightening.

Check out all the resources available to you with simply a library card and a PIN/password – it promises to be more bountiful than my last crop of potatoes.

Cute and fluffy fruit bats

I love big furry fruit bats. Their fur feels like a cashmere jersey and their wings are like suede.

On a holiday in Singapore I was lucky to get very close to bats at the Night Safari which increased my love of them. My upcoming Australian holiday has bat-searching and visiting a bat-hospital top of the to-do list.

Fruit bats or Megabats as they’re officially known, are essential for the seeding and regeneration of rainforests. They can have a wingspan of up to 1 metre. They feed on fruit, blossoms and nectar. They do not use echolocation to navigate at night but have well-developed eyes and a good sense of smell to help them locate food. They live in social groups in trees in ‘camps’.

Don’t believe that bats can be cute? Then check out this video of baby bats in an Australian bat hospital.

For more bat facts

Te Kupu o Te Wiki – Tangi (cry)

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

Kiwaha (idiom)

Ki hori
Step aside

Kupu (word)


Kaua e tangi, e te tau.
Don’t cry, my darling

Whāngahia te Reo


3D printing parts – Hover board lifts off


Luka is a Year 7 student from Cobham Intermediate. Luka has entered his home built “Hover board” which utilises Maglev (Magnetic Levitation) technology into a school science fair. He was encountering some issues with one of the housings holding the magnets. He 3D modelled himself a new design using Google SketchUp and contacted us to see if we could 3D print the parts for him.

We jumped at the chance to help. Luka’s project is amazing; we are glad that we are able to assist as this is why we embraced 3D printing in the first place. It allows our customers access to technology that they may not normally be able to utilise.

At this stage there is not a specific system or pricing structure in place for customer 3D printing, but with enquiries ramping up, we will be working on it. Watch this space.

If you want to see something really inspiring, here is a clip of Luka’s hover board in action:

Danny McNeil
South Learning Centre

Parenting Week 2015

Children and parentsWhen it comes to raising children, sometimes you need some help and support.

This year, Neighbourhood Trust will be running Parenting Week from 24 to 30 August at various locations around Christchurch. A week of guest speakers, workshops, seminars and activities: there is bound to be something for you.

The programme includes sessions on:

  • healthy eating, with suggestions for healthy lunch boxes;
  • How to respond to children’s emotions and get them to do what they are told‘ with counsellor, family therapist, speaker and author Diane Levy;
  • brain development from infancy through adolescence with Director of Training for the Brainwave Trust Nathan Wallis;
  • strategies to deal with post-quake anxieties;
  • parenting teenagers by Toughlove;
  • how to stay on top of family finances, and how to improve relationships between couples.

Children are not left out. On Wednesday, 26 August, our wonderful Families Outreach Librarian Lynette Griffiths will be at the Richmond Mothers and Bubs Group. On Thursday, 27 August, parents and children can learn to weave at Te Pauwaitanga Ki Otautahi Trust or visit the Migrants Parenting Expo. There will also be a special Young Parents Expo.

The week concludes with The First Ever Parenting Week Dinner. Enjoy dinner while listening to guest speaker John Cowan, from The Parenting Place in Auckland, and host of Newstalk ZB’s programme ‘Real Life’, speak on ‘The tricky bits of parenting: Parenting styles that help build resilience in difficult times.’

Parenting resources

For more information about events for families and services for parents available at our libraries, check our Parenting Week page.

An exciting new book from the author of Holes

Louis Sachar is an exciting author. He’s not prolific but when he does publish a book it’s always something to shout about. My first Louis Sachar book (and probably his most popular) was Holes, the story of Stanley Yelnats and Camp Green Lake. It totally grabbed me and is still one of my favourite books. His last, The Cardturner, was a fascinating tale of bridge and family secrets.  It’s been 5 years since his last outing, so I was very excited to hear about Louis Sachar’s new book, Fuzzy Mud.  After reading his previous books and having high expectations I wasn’t disappointed.

Cover of Fuzzy mudTamaya is on a scholarship to the prestigious Woodridge Academy and every day she and seventh-grader Marshall walk to school together. They never go through the woods. And when they arrive at school they stop talking to each other – because Marshall can’t be seen to be friends with a little kid like Tamaya. Especially not with Chad around. Chad-the-bully, who makes Marshall’s life utterly miserable. But today, hoping to avoid Chad, Marshall and Tamaya decide to go through the woods … And what is waiting there for them is strange, sinister and entirely unexpected. The next day, Chad doesn’t turn up at school – no one knows where he is, not even his family. And Tamaya’s arm is covered in a horribly, burning, itchy wound. As two unlikely heroes set out to rescue their bully, the town is about to be turned upside down by the mysterious Fuzzy Mud.

Fuzzy Mud is a weird, thrilling, suspenseful story about friendship, bullies and an experiment gone wrong.  Louis Sachar keeps you on the edge of your seat as the suspense builds right to the end. It’s slightly creepy and I wasn’t quite sure how it was going to end.

Like each of Louis’ books there are several strands to the story. What at first seems like just a school story about fitting in and bullies making life hell, soon becomes a quite different story with far worse problems. The tale of Tamaya and Marshall is interspersed by extracts from an inquiry into a place called SunRay Farm, a research facility not far from their school, that was creating an organism that would be used to make a bio-fuel to help save the planet. These extracts show you that their experiments didn’t quite go as planned. When Tamaya discovers the fuzzy mud in the forest when she is helping Marshall escape the school bully, the consequences are disastrous. Could an organism that was designed to help people actually harm or even kill them instead?

The book has got one of the coolest covers I’ve seen recently and it is sure to grab the attention of kids. The design of the book is very clever too. I wasn’t quite sure what all the dots at the top of the chapter headings were to start off with but this became clear as I kept reading. I think it’s kind of quirky and a nice touch.

Fuzzy Mud would be a great read-aloud for kids aged 10 and up. Not only is it a thrilling story that will keep kids entertained, but it’s also thought-provoking. What would you do if you found a weird substance in the forest? How would you react if the kid who was bullying you suddenly disappeared?

If you love Louis Sachar or just want a book that will keep you on the edge of your seat, place a hold on Fuzzy Mud.

Te Kupu o Te Wiki – Au (to be sound)

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

Kiwaha (idiom)

Ehara i te tī
You only live once

Kupu (word)

sound (of sleep)

I au tō moe, e te tau?
Did you have a good sleep, my darling?

Whāngahia te Reo


Every Story Tells a Picture – Teen artists put a new spin on books

The winners of the Every Story Tells A Picture competition have been announced, and they’ve been awarded some pretty tasty prizes.  The judges and organisers were highly impressed with the quality of the works entered, and would like to thank all the entrants for their hard work.

The Every Story Tells a Picture exhibition is on at Upper Riccarton Library from Monday 17th August. All are eligible for the People’s Choice award (a $50 Westfield voucher) – if you go and have a look, why not cast a vote. The winner will be announced on Monday 24 August.

Here’s a few of the winners and highly commended entries that caught my eye:

Junior 2D

Highly commended: Georgina Baddeley, Christchurch Girls’ High School
Based on the book Coraline by Neil Gaiman

Coraline by Georgina Baddeley

Highly commended: Tarryn Wilson, Mairehau High School
Based on the book Alice In Wonderland by Lewis Carroll

Tarryn Wilson - Alice in Wonderland

 Senior 2-D

Highly commended: Lilian Farrell, Papanui High School
Based on the book Neon Genesis Evangelion by Fumino Hayashi

Neon Genesis Evangelion by Lilian Farrell

Highly commended: Sebastina Paustin, Burnside High School
Based on the book Howl’s Moving Castle by Diana Wynne Jones

Howl's Moving Castle by Sebastina Paustin


New Zealand Book Awards for Children and Young Adults 2015

Last night was one of the most important dates on the New Zealand children’s literature calendar: the night when the winners of the New Zealand Book Awards for Children and Young Adults for 2015 were announced and celebrated.

We are thrilled to join in congratulating these great authors and their fantastic books:

Margaret Mahy Book of the Year and Young Adult Book Award

Singing home the whale by Mandy Hager

Picture Book Award

Jim’s letters by Glyn Harper and Jenny Cooper

Junior Fiction Award

Monkey boy by Donovan Bixley

Non-fiction Award

Mōtītī Blue and the oil spill by Debbie McCauley

Best First Book

Māori art for kids by Julie Noanoa and Norm Heke

Maori Language Award

Ngā kī Sacha Cotter and Joshua Morgan, translated by Kawata Teepa

Cover of Singing Home The Whale Cover of Jim's Letters Cover of Monkey Boy Cover of Motiti Blue and the Oil Spill Cover of Maori Art for Kids Cover of Nga Ki

Children’s Choice Award Winners

This year children were given the opportunity to choose the finalists as well as casting the vote for the winners.  Nearly 16,000 votes were cast and these are the winners:

Picture Book

The Anzac puppy by Peter Millett & Trish Bowles

Junior Fiction

The island of lost horses by Stacy Gregg


The letterbox cat & other poems by Paula Green & Myles Lawford

Young Adult Fiction

Night vision by Ella West

Cover of The Anzac Puppy Cover of The Island of Lost Horses Cover of The letterbox cat & Other Poems Cover of Night Vision

Have you read any of these books? Do you agree with the judges’ choices?