Category Archives: Literature and Culture

Curator’s Statement: 60 Makers Of Modern New Zealand: 1930-1990.

60 Makers of New Zealand: 1930-1990:  is at the New Zealand Portrait Gallery from 24 November 2011 to 12 February 2012. It was curated by Brian Easton. Keywords: Literature and Culture; Political Economy & History; This exhibition is an experiment to see whether a history of New Zealand can be represented by a series of…
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The Canterbury Public Library and Me

In March 2011 we were invited by the Editor of the Christchurch City Libraries’ Digital Library Web Team, Richard Liddicoat, to write something for the Canterbury Earthquake for the Christchurch Public Library. Keywords: Literature and Culture; Dear Richard, I could not write to anyone in the Christchurch Public Library about what is happening after the…
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The Party Is over

The Great Gatsby recognises the essential role of the economy in human experience. Listener: 8 January 2011 Keywords: Business & Finance; Literature and Culture; Political Economy & History; On occasions, Auckland has outbreaks of Great Gatsby parties. This name alludes to the classic F Scott Fitzgerald novel, narrated by Nick Carraway who lives on New…
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Waiting for Roger

We should be so Lucky. Listener: 25 December, 2010. Keywords: Literature and Culture; Political Economy & History; A country road. A tree. Evening. JOHN: Charming spot. Inspiring prospects. Let’s go. BILL: We can’t. JOHN: Why not? BILL: We’re waiting for economic growth. JOHN: (despairingly). Ah! (Pause.) You’re sure it was these policies? BILL: Which? JOHN:…
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Watch out for Weasels

Children’s classic The Wind in the Willows is also a fable for adults. Listener: 9 January, 2010. Keywords: Literature and Culture; Macroeconomics & Money; The “Poop-poop” rang with a brazen shout in their ears, they had a moment’s glimpse of an interior of glittering plate-glass and rich morocco and the magnificent motor-car, immense, breath-snatching, passionate,…
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Is There a Place for New Zealand in a Globalising World?

A Spirited Conversation: 7 April 2008.   Keywords: Globalisation & Trade; Literature and Culture; Political Economy & History;   When I began the study which led to my book, Globalisation and the Wealth of Nations, I assumed that ultimately globalisation would destroy nations. I knew that globalisation had created the modern nation-state, which hardly existed…
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Cultivating Auckland

Why Doesn’t Our Biggest City Have A More Thriving Cultural Life?    Listener: 8 September, 2007.    Keywords: Globalisation & Trade; Literature and Culture;    Asked the difference between Auckland and yoghurt, Wellingtonians are likely to say that the culture is alive in yoghurt. Saying that Wellington has more classical music, more professional theatre and,…
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Sound Investment

On Friday, November 17, 2006 the NZSO celebrates Shostakovich’s 100th anniversary in the Wellington Town Hall. Who cares?    Listener: 18 November, 2006.    I love a live symphony orchestra: the electricity of the concert hall sound; my eye identifying key instruments for my untutored ear; those inelegant sawings, bangings and puffings (harpists aside) that…
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Janice Gill: Artist Of the Narrative and the Marginalised

Keywords: Literature and Culture;

The first paintings I saw by Janice Gill were at an exhibition at the Gallerie Legard on Kelburn’s Upland Road. I was particularly taken by one based on her previous opening. It looked from across the street through the gallery window at the guests sipping wine, talking to one another, but not looking at the paintings. The exception is the gallery director – presumably the much-loved Kay Roberts, for you can only see her back – looking at the wall with Gill’s paintings across them. Someone is walking through the door: a friend says it was John Drawbridge, although Janice tells me she did not have anyone specifically in mind. Anyway, let’s say it is a fellow artist, who is looking at the street in front, where one of the bag ladies – a painting of another is a part of the exhibition – walks along the pavement. She is oblivious to the ‘beautiful people’ inside, they oblivious to her, or to the painting about her.

Ethnicity and the Census: Statistics New Zealand Asks ”’whaddarya?”

Listener: 25 February, 2006

Keywords: Literature and Culture; Statistics;

March 7 is Census Day, the day on which Statistics New Zealand (like Foreskin) asks “Whaddarya?” The Census may not cover all the questions you think important, but a good quality Census response makes the surveys that ask such questions cheaper and you are surveyed less often.

Reason for Treason to Be Forgot

A response to a comment by Rosalie Sugrue in Broadsheet: The Newsletter of the Churches’ Agency on Social Issues, December 2005 (Issue 105).

Keywords: Literature and Culture;

In my youth, Guy Fawkes was more explicit on the Fifth of November than today, often with a dummy of the guy being pushed round in a wheelbarrow. We sung jingles like “Please remember/The Fifth of November/With gunpowder treason and plot/I see no reason/Why gunpowder treason/Should ever be forgot’.