A Good Deed: Picturing Canterbury

Photograph of a carved meeting house
A Good Deed. Kete Christchurch. A_Good_Deed_5133408218_o. Entry in the 2010 Christchurch City Libraries Photo Hunt. CC-BY-NA-SA-3.0 NZ.

My great grandfather and his wife arrived in New Zealand November 1859 on the Zealandia. Parents told me John Hepworth did a good deed for a Māori chief and was presented with a Huia feather. The feather was in the possession of my father’s older brother .. in about 1940 … [but]  the  … family can no longer find the feather. I believe but am unable to confirm that the European man with the hat on in the photo is my G[reat] Grandfather.” – John Hepworth, Christchurch, 2010.

Date unknown but probably late nineteenth century.

Kete Christchurch is a collection of photographs and stories about Christchurch and Canterbury, past and present. Anyone can join and contribute.

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Cool new stuff from the Selectors

Cover of Girls standing on lawnsGirls Standing on Lawns

Our selector noticed that this interesting and rather odd little book kept getting good reviews so she decided it was worth purchasing. Once she read it cover to cover (which only took less than 5 minutes) she agreed that this was quite a delightful wee book after all.

It is exactly what the title says, photos and paintings of girls standing on lawns with the author pondering and reflecting on the moment caught…

Marae: Te Tatau Pounamu: A Journey around New Zealands Meeting Houses

Bishop Muru Walters is a very well known Anglican minister. He is also a master carver, poet, broadcaster and former Māori All Black. His son Robin is a photographer and filmmaker who is director at Curious Films. Sam Walters, Robin’s wife, is a photographer.

Cover of MaraeTogether the Walters spent three years visiting some of this country’s major meeting houses as well as many of the more humble ones – houses that serve smaller hapū and iwi – to bring together a beautiful photographic book on the meeting house. They are intensively photographed, with detailed shots of their carvings, kōwhaiwhai panels, tukutuku panels and much more. Many are photographed during an event, the images conveying a rich sense of life and activity.

From north to south, from the east coast to the west, and from ancient wharenui to bold new designs, this handsome book, with its engaging personal text, captures the huge variety of New Zealand’s original architecture. It’s a book for all New Zealanders to treasure.

When Books Went to War

Learning that the US government, along with librarians and publishers, decided to dispatch millions of books to American GIs, sailors, and fliers in the Second World War is sure to warm any book reader’s heart.  For many soldiers this was the first time they had come in contact with literature; some were so moved they wrote to the authors!  These books helped ease boredom, alleviated stress and gave a sense of purpose. By the number of starred reviews it has received, this book of books should be a good read.

Cover of The Wellness SyndromeThe Wellness Syndrome

Feeling like you don’t exercise enough, or eat the right foods? You are not alone! The Wellness Syndrome follows people who go to extremes to find the perfect diet, corporate athletes who start the day with a dance party, and the self-trackers who monitor everything, including their own toilet habits.

This is a world where feeling good has become indistinguishable from being good. Visions of social change have been reduced to dreams of individual transformation, political debate has been replaced by insipid moralising, and scientific evidence has been traded for new-age delusions. A lively and humorous diagnosis of the cult of wellness, this book is an indispensable guide for everyone suspicious of our relentless quest to be happier and healthier.