arts, culture, and lifestyle of dunedin and otago, in the south island, new zealand issue two: january - march 2015
n w o
arts and culture :
anthony ritchie, claire beynon, dr. ian griffin, molly devine, some other creature
lifestyle : jinty mactavish, sustainable dunedin city, electric bikes - brct, alison lambert, nick rapley
The horizontal format of Down In Edin Magazine is to enable maximum viewing for all electronic devices. Issuu offers a choice of being able to view the magazine as a double page spread or one page at a time, as well as a choice to view full screen which is the best way to view Down In Edin Magazine. There is also a small checkered icon which pulls up a small viewing box so you can see multiple pages and where they are. You will find these buttons at the bottom right hand corner of the on screen layout. Hyperlinks will either be automatic, or a trio of small icons will appear and the â€œchain linkâ€? icon will link you to the email address or web site. 2
A!s and Culture
I n T h i s Is s u e Lifestyle
Anthony Ritchie ~ Music of The Soul Page 10
Jinty MacTavish - Creating A Sustainable World Page 68
Claire Beynon ~ The Hum of The Parts Page 22
Sustainable Dunedin City ~ The Big Green Challenge Page 80
Dr. Ian Griffin ~ Otago Museum ~ Humanising Science Page 36
Electric Bikes ~ A Positive Alternative Page 84
Molly Devine ~ Planet Glitter Page 54
Alison Lambert ~ The Heart of Delicacy Page 92
Maddy Parkins-Craig ~ Some Other Creature Page 60
Nick Rapley ~ Surfing Otago Page 94
Our Sponsor for this issue - Miles Rapley: Homes In Dunedin Page 98 Please like our FaceBook page
Contact the Magazine and Contributors at:
FaceBook ~ Down In Edin Magazine
All works, stories, articles, photographs cannot be reproduced without permission of authors, artists, and photographers. Please contact the Editor at Down In Edin Magazine for any queries. Copyright Down In Edin Magazine ÂŠ 2014 All rights reserved. 3
Editor ~ Caroline Davies
Contributors ~ Pauline Durning ~ Scott Willis ~ Nick Rapley
Notes from the Editor Kia Ora! Welcome to the second issue of Down In Edin Magazine! Thank you to all who sent wonderful emails responding so positively to our first issue and for helping to get the word out. We managed to reach, at this writing, almost 9,000 people in 21 different countries by your sharing with friends and colleagues and through Issuu’s magazine platform as well as featured on Issuu’s Editor’s Picks for three weeks! We would also like to thank Miles Rapley one of Bayleys’ top real estate agents and a long time business man based in Dunedin for being the first sponsor for Down In Edin Magazine you can check more out about him starting on page 98. Some great news for Otago is UNESCO has awarded Dunedin a “City of Literature” status. Congratulations to the City, to those who worked so diligently on the application to UNESCO, and all the amazing writers that choose to call Dunedin and Otago home. In many ways I am not surprised at all for this international and prestigious recognition. I raved on about the poetic people and landscape
here in the first issue and from the beginning of our move to Dunedin, have been most fortunate to meet some of the great writers who live and work in Otago. This whole area has a soul of inspiration - and this is expressed in many ways - through the lyrics of a song, music, art, murals, heritage architecture, philosophy, the regular poetry readings held all over the city, the long time established novelists, essayists and editors who have all been attracted to this great place. Take a walk on the beautiful beaches, through the forests, or breathe in the fresh southern air, and your imagination too will be moved and stirred to express yourself in this amazing area one way or the other.
Whilst we were out interviewing Anthony at his family bach we took a walk around and snapped some pics to share with you. Purakaunui is a beautiful hamlet just twenty minutes or so north-east of the city.
We have just met our Summer - it took its time in arriving, but is now gifting us with glorious days of blue skies, a touch of refreshing rain, and a soundscape infused with melodic bird song. It’s a wonderful time to visit Dunedin and Otago - the beaches are warm but not too hot, and the surf is calling. Nick Rapley, one of Otago’s fine surfers (and skiers) has contributed a cool introduction to Otago’s excellent coastal waters for surfing. We have a photo essay based around the Purakaunui Inlet area weaving throughout our feature on Anthony Ritchie, one of New Zealand’s exceptional contemporary classical composers.
Summer is also a remarkable time for gazing up into our night skies, and Dr. Ian Griffin, Director of the Otago Museum, is going to inspire you to get out there and look up to the stars. We thank Jinty MacTavish for sharing her story about her travels in search for sustainable cities, The Big Green Challenge, and Scott Willis from Blueskin Bay Resilient Trust for his article on E-Bikes. And a big thanks to our contributor Pauline Durning for meeting with Alison Lambert of Delicacy Cafe for a great place to eat and support!
Dunedin’s internationally renowned fine artist Claire Beynon has added a considerate and thoughtful depth to this issue - words of wisdom and poetry beyond her beautiful paintings. We have interviews with extremely talented young recording artists Molly Devine and Some Other Creature, both of whom are carrying on the great tradition here of writing fabulous lyrics and music reflecting the world class talent New Zealand is home to.
Enjoy our second issue!
P u ra k a u n u i
The boat sheds of Purakaunui at low tide p h o t o g ra p h y ~ c a ro l i n e d a v i e s 7
First light after a rainstorm
Low tide after the rain
“What is not in any doubt is just how engaging and of real worth Ritchie’s music is. By now it should be clear that this is music that appeals to both the head and the heart and speaks using a voice that will touch those who do not normally respond to the traditional Classical Music idiom.” Nick Barnard, Music Web International, 2013
Music of the Soul
Story and photographs by Caroline Davies
Expression Emerging Anthony Ritchie, one of New Zealand’s most prolific and gifted contemporary classical composers, was surrounded by music from the day he was born. His mother was the nationally recognized soprano Anita Ritchie, and Anthony’s father, John Ritchie, Professor Emeritus at Canterbury University, was well known for his classical compositions for choral music, concertos and brass music, as well as being a recipient of the CANZ* Citation for Services to New Zealand Music. That’s a great beginning right there and Anthony feels he has much to thank his parents and family environment for.
Although there were other broad musical influences in his young life, Ritchie loved listening to 20th Century classical pieces like George Gershwin’s “Rhapsody in Blue”, Stravinsky’s “The Right of Spring”, Shostakovich’ Symphonies and Bartok and this was what beckoned him into the world of classical music. These composers conveyed a strength of feeling empowered with fiery imagination throughout their music, and the young Anthony Ritchie would listen to them over and over again. “I started composing when I was quite young, eleven or twelve, just through improvising with the piano - it was more fun making up your own stuff than practicing what you were supposed to be playing.” 11
“Anthony’s music is engaging - energetic, beautifully crafted and imbued with a distinct melodic touch. His clarity of thought informs the idiomatic textures that allow his music to communicate with Mozartian immediacy.” John Van Buskirk, pianist
Then There Was School A few years passed by and in perfect timing, a new scheme in Christchurch was set up called “Composer in Schools”. Anthony had the good fortune of studying with another renowned composer Dorothy Buchanan for a few years “This was very helpful and important. Dorothy organized concerts where I was able to play my own compositions and gained some recognition for doing that.” I asked if there were other stand out teachers those lights that appear in our life and hand us gifts that help us on our course in life. Anthony reflected for a moment...
“In some respects I was little bit of a difficult student in that I was quite single minded in what I wanted and didn’t always learn as much as I should have, but having said that when I think about the teachers I had, I was very lucky. I had quite a variety of teachers with interesting ideas and passions about composition which I very much appreciated. There was another teacher, John Cousins - a fairly radical composer in that he is a sonic artist than more of a composer and so he was very different but we had some interesting conversations and I think some of his attitudes towards creativity and freedom of expression were very important for
me when I was growing up. Another gem of a teacher, Chloe Moon was much more practical and taught me a lot on that level.”
Budapest Calls Anthony completed his Mus.B (Honours) at the University of Canterbury, then completed a Ph.D. on the music of Bartok in 1987, studying at the Bartok Archives in Budapest and also taking lessons in composition with Attila Bozay at the Liszt Academy. “The Ph.D. was the main reason I went to Budapest, but it was also an excuse to travel and see what was happening and have some composition lessons at the Liszt Academy.” Travel will shift one’s perspective. That’s one of the exciting aspects of radical change like that. “I was certainly opened up. I saw a lot of contemporary music of all sorts being performed by very high quality performers and that was the big benefit of going, although I didn’t particularly like a lot of the music I heard. So ultimately, I didn’t pick things up there that I particularly wanted to do, but rather learned what I didn’t want to do.”
Since that time Anthony has composed over 180 compositions, many of which have been published and recorded, and has had works performed in the UK, Europe, Asia and the U.S. along with ten CDs released. “A Bugle Will Do” (Atoll 2011) was named one of the CDs of the year by British reviewer Nick Barnard. Anthony gets the most satisfaction out of composing and conducting a symphony...
“It excites me to think that there is this whole world, or space to fill up. It’s a challenge to write something on a longer time frame for all those instruments and it opens up a whole world of imagination. I love other forms of music too - the opera is very exciting if you can make it work well - I’ve spent my life learning my craft with that, and I like smaller scale works too.
The Creative Process The creative process can vary for everyone and for Anthony Ritchie its mainly finding the time and the space. “I like to try and set aside time and space for inspiration to happen so I find I have to get out of teaching, work, or emailing mode. One of the reasons I come out here (to Purakaunui) is because it’s away from the internet, it clears my mind a bit and will more likely put me in the mood for improvising and doodling. I get most of my ideas from doodling at the keyboard and often through walking where I think about things. You have to make time and allow inspiration to happen. I don’t have to set aside a magic period during the year or anything, I do it all the time but you just have to sort out some space between the everyday aspects of life. I think it’s helpful having a place, an environment that’s yours and away from distractions. I also have a basement area at home that is rather cut off from the rest of the house so I feel like I can go down there and be away from the phone.” continues page 16
I described my own experience of Anthony’s music to be powerful, epic, and complex, he responded with, “my peers would think of it as rather simple to be honest. I think in New Zealand in the Contemporary Classical scene I would be seen as more conservative and certainly not as complex and out there as some composers. There has been a tendency for a lot of contemporary music to get really embroiled in the abstract and the different intellectual ways of structuring music like the order of the notes and stuff where the person listening to the music wouldn’t be able to tell what’s going on - its almost a purely academic thing and people get so wrapped up in that that they forget to express things simply or to make a connection with people who can actually hear the music and understand what’s happening with it.” 15
“I also like to think about a piece before I start it these days. I like to get external ideas before I actually start going in and writing notes, and doing my doodling. I have large pages of manuscripts and a pencil and just jot down little ideas as they come rather than go this is the beginning of the piece and work through it. I’ll just collect a lot of ideas as I would driftwood off the beach and let them percolate for a while before I attempt a draft of the ideas.” I wanted to know about the inner workings, the spirit, and the soul of Anthony Ritchie and his compelling music? “ I enjoy writing music, I like doing it. I think I work at different levels sometimes, it just engages my mind especially when setting texts into songs, I enjoy that. But at a higher level, yes, I do try to create something that might channel us into other areas. I think music can be done at different levels - it can be done at a more mundane level as well. I’m a lapsed Catholic. I stopped following that when I was quite young but having said that it has informed some of my thoughts and approaches. I think there is a close link between music and spirituality or a sense
that there is something other than ourselves, whatever that might be. I think it’s no coincidence that a lot of great music was written in the name of religion because it’s a way of connecting with something outside of yourself, it creates feelings that are hard to put into words, something that is beyond the physical world.”
S h a r i n g
T h e
G i f t
Anthony combines his interest in composition with a passion for teaching and mentoring young composers. He is currently Associate Professor of Composition at Otago University for all levels and is also a conductor for the Dunedin Youth Orchestra. In 2012 he was the Composer Mentor for the Todd Young Composer Awards. “I set students assignments which are usually fairly open ended. The assignments might be with a particular combination of instruments such as a trio, make it two minutes long and sometimes offer them optional titles like A Dream. If they don’t like it, they can do their own thing and occasionally I find a few technical elements that they 16
can aim for. I’m not as prescriptive as some of my colleagues - I prefer to keep it open ended. There are two main things I want to impart with students... One is a sense that their creativity, their mode of expression, is what matters and I’m not going to impose my preferences on them. They’ve got their ideas and it’s a matter of me helping to foster and develop those ideas. I always encourage students to work from their own compositions, so fostering creativity is one aspect. The other aspect is giving them technical skills and the ability to develop new ideas and set up methods of composing so that if you get stuck or not quite sure what to do next, you’ve got resources and things to do to get on track. I enjoy showing students things they may not have seen before and how to use two modes at once in the way that Bartok used to. There are lots of little disciplines in classical music and I think the more skill people can acquire when they are young the easier things are - its quite a bit of hard work.”
You can be coming at things from a popular, jazz or rock style, as well as classical for example, and you can easily do both the classical composition and the songwriting course so you are not necessarily syphoned off into one thing. A lot of people do both and can see the cross overs between the two. I think itâ€™s healthy to have an understanding of other types of music. There is versatility and an eclectic nature to Otago University.
The more technique you have, the more able you are to solve problems within your own style - but at the same time I think you have to be really careful about imposing your own stylistic preferences upon students because it can get them into trouble and it doesnâ€™t help them. I think what Otago University has that is a wee bit special is the open and broad approach to musical style.
The tide beginning to shift from from low to high 17
And Now... “I’ve just had a new C.D. released ‘Stations - Symphony No. 4’, a work I wrote for the Christchurch Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Tom Woods and performed on February 22 (2014), the third anniversary of the major earthquake in Christchurch. It is a piece that was inspired by the earthquakes. Christchurch is my hometown, and I was obviously affected by that event and I have family there, so I wrote a work which is based around the Roman Catholic Basilica, the other big Cathedral in Christchurch that was also destroyed by the earthquake. I was brought up as a Catholic and I used to sing in the Church Choir when I was younger. The Cathedral had some beautiful sculptures made for it some years ago by Llew Summers. There were some lovely photos made of them and published in a book along with poems written by a friend of mine, Bernadette Hall, called the ‘The Ways of the Cross’ so I set some of the text from that cycle of poems to go with the images. Hence the symphony is in fourteen sections, fourteen stations of the cross, some with soprano Jenny Wollerman singing and some just orchestral. The ‘Stations of the Cross’ is a Catholic ceremony where we count the trial and death of Jesus Christ, so it’s partly about the suffering of Him and a reflection of the suffering of the people of Christchurch at the same time, so it works on two levels. “ Stations Symphony No 4 Op. 171 Christchurch Symphony Orchestra, Conducted by Tom Woods, Soprano Jenny Wollerman Produced by Wayne Laird, Engineer Paul McGlashan Available from atoll http://www.atollcd.com/catalog_detail/acd314-stations.htm and Relics Music, 86 St. Andrews St, Dunedin, New Zealand www.relicsmusic.co.nz 18
Ian Dando, writing in The Listener, said of Symphony No 4 premier performed at the Royal Airforce Museum by the Christchurch Symphony Orchestra, February 22, 2014: "Ritchie's unflinching dissonances in the codettas and the unself-conscious abrasiveness in the entire work add assured forcefulness to his style. Such newly-won expressive range unequivocally betokens the omnipresence of truth - that prime ingredient of any artistic magnum opus, which this work certainly is... The evening belonged to Ritchie's symphonically unconventional masterpiece."
Links Anthony Ritchie - Web Site
John Ritchie http://sounz.org.nz/contributor/composer/1083
Anthony Ritchie Recordings http://www.anthonyritchie.co.nz/recordings.html
Dorothy Buchanan http://sounz.org.nz/contributor/composer/1015
Sounz - Centre for New Zealand Music Anthony Ritchie
Awards and Distinctions
In amongst the boat sheds on the inlet shore is a small white cottage from a distant time past that you can rent, a place to find the magic, the inspiration, the great beauty of this wonderful place known as Purakaunui... see page 102
There is a wonderful trail to walk that edges the inlet winding itâ€™s way from Purakaunui to Osborne and back again...
C lai r e B eyn on ~ T H E H UM o f TH E PAR TS painting
p o e tr y
ph il o so ph y
Interview by Caroline Davies
What I deeply appreciate about Dunedin artist Claire Beynon’s works is that there is not just an evocative, moody, atmospheric, painting on your wall - behind those expert brush strokes on broad canvases is a deft hand connected to a warm heart working in harmony with a brilliant mind and sharp eye. Claire’s world is full of vision, consideration, and thought provoking perspectives on life, living, and being in this world. Claire is not just an “artist” but a multi talented creator of many expressions, and recognized internationally for her profuse and profound body of work. Born and educated in South Africa, Claire Beynon immigrated to Dunedin from Cape Town in November 1994. She completed a BAFA at the University of Natal, Pietermaritzburg, graduating In 1982 with a distinction in printmaking and the faculty’s Certificate of Merit. Interested in the Arts as instruments of peace-building, she has established valued collaborative partnerships with scientists, filmmakers,
musicians, fellow artists and writers in her home country and abroad. Claire is the curator of MANY as ONE, a global Arts and Peace hub whose purpose is to bring more light and beauty into the world, bringing people together in the spirit of peace, creativity, unity and community. "We are privileged to live in this remarkable world at such a pivotal period in history. We are also challenged to see the collapse that’s taking place on every conceivable level – ecologically, economically, ideologically, politically and socially – and to take up new positions of responsiveness and responsibility. Gone are the days of solo enterprise; we have entered a period of rich collaborative opportunity in which the whole depends on the ‘hum’ of the parts.” What inspires your expression and style? In answer to this question I’d like to say a little about my South African background; the experiences of our younger years become the enduring themes and preoccupations of our adult lives. 22
Photo Credit: Caroline Davies
“The poem on the opposite page – written whilst in Antarctica in 2005 – speaks of more than the breathholding experience of walking on cymbal-thin ice. It is a summary of the creative process.” Claire Beynon
Step out onto white not as a body bearing any weight but as a feather might Think of ink in a quill drawing a cantata out of light Where There is Ice There is Music II ~ Pastel on Paper ~ Claire Beynon ÂŠ 2014 23
I immigrated to Dunedin from Cape Town in November 1994. My childhood home stood on a hill surrounded by miles of veld and high skies. Temperatures in Johanneseburg could be fickle, the weather changing from dry beating heat to fierce thunderstorm in minutes. As children, my three siblings and I were as at home in that environment as any animal. More often than not we walked barefoot, reading the textures and timbre of the land through our skin, our ears, our six senses. Our vocabulary was made up of words, yes, and too, of our experiences of the earth – of bark and berries, dirt, stone, thorns and scorpions, of birds, moths, spiders and snakes. . . We went to Sunday School, read the bible, learned the intricacies of Christian doctrine and at the same time, the contradictory cruelties and injustices of the Apartheid system. Alongside stories of Rupert Bear and Pooky Rabbit were parables about Jesus and the Good Samaritan. Next to these were stories of witch doctors and sorcery, magic and miracles, ancestors who returned from death to inhabit the bodies of lizards and tortoises; tales of the many powerful deities of Africa. . . Life was defined by
contradictions. It became clear from an early age that uncertainty and notknowing are integral aspects of our human experience and that questions, curiosity and conflict, are often the things that urge us into some or other learning or creative process. Indeed, it is more often than not our ‘not-knowing’ that nudges us forward, encouraging us to step onto the blank page trusting the map will take shape as we do so. (see poem on previous page 23) Some years ago, a friend sent me a copy of Pablo Neruda’s Book of Questions – Is it true that the meteor was a dove of amethyst? Reading Neruda’s 316 unanswerable questions was delicious and somehow comforting, like dipping into a well of possibilities and taking a long, deep, drink. Material for paintings came from places such as these – encounters with people, places, poetry, news items, music. . . How do you weave your considerations for social issues into your art?
In dark times the eye begins to see ... (Theodore Roethke) Who amongst us knows what the future holds? The best - the least – we can do is stand alongside each other and with open eyes and hearts, focus our combined intelligence on finding solutions to the urgent challenges we are facing as a global family. As our world’s clamour, crises and confusion increase, the Arts are being recognized as having a role to play as vital and effective agents for peacebuilding, environmental advocacy, ideological and political exchange. I’m especially interested in forms of nonverbal communication for the ways in which it can dissipate violence, fear and separatism, fostering instead the language of connection, inclusion and right relationship. It feels important to say here that creativity is not the domain of the few; rather it is every man’s home, every woman's forge; it is humanity’s crucible and sanctuary. It is everywhere any one of us gather in like mind and common continues page 27
Cup of Sky (detail) ~ Pastel, Ink and Pencil on Paper ~ Claire Beynon ÂŠ 2014
Photo Credit: Caroline Davies ÂŠ 2014
Claire at work in The Studio ~ feet firmly on the ground with body mind and spirit as a hum of the parts 26
purpose. Creativity is vividly alive when we question with respect and listen with the intent to hear. It is present when we communicate with each other and our natural world with kindness. Creativity is life- and other-affirming. It is gritty and graceful. Living creatively matters. It matters not ‘only’ to dancers, poets and painters, but to every person who longs to effect positive change and to establish the hope of new possibilities. The farmer who has turned the soil and planted the new season’s crops will look back at the neat rows of furrows with the same pride as a painter might after completing a painting and laying down his paintbrushes. The way we stack firewood or hang washing on the line can be infused with the same creativity and attention to detail as a biologist applies to species selection under the lens of a microscope. When I think of the word ‘politics’ I think how often we place it in a kind of ‘government garret’ context, considering it primarily in terms of policies and constitutions, when politics – like creativity - is a dynamic pertinent to
every corner of life. We find politics in a classroom, in our love and family relationships, in parenting, social situations and in the work place. For this and a great many other reasons, it behoves us to enter these spaces with as much awareness, empathy and love as we are able. I appreciated the way Kevin Clements languaged similar themes in his conversation with you in the last issue of Down in Edin. “...How do we develop politics of compassion in environments where the political system is dedicated to privileging and advantaging some while subordinating and disadvantaging others... How do we develop a new narrative? This is where art comes in! All good art has to have humanistic integrity. Artists are always speaking ‘truth to power’ their idiosynchratic yet vital musical, visual, theatrical, literary truths.” Making - and viewing - art that engages with current global realities is what holds most meaning for me these days. My time and energy is primarily focused on two 27
large-scale projects: the first - A Honeycomb Journal (oil and pencil on canvas) – uses the template of the multichambered beehive as a way to document and ‘bring to light’ the happenings of our times. Each recorded disturbance - environmental, political, economic, cultural - is countered and rebalanced by an accompanying image of poise and light. (see next page) The second – The Hum of the Parts – began life between the covers of my Moleskine notebooks; this growing accumulation of private notes and process drawings is asking to be brought out of hiding and developed into a monumental, interactive work on paper. The first phase of this new iteration will be a 10 meter x 50 centimeter ‘concertina’ scroll. Drawing on the tradition of illuminated manuscripts and Carl J. Jung’s recently published ‘The Red Book’, the Hum of the Parts will incorporate transcribed ‘found’ texts with poetry - my own and others’ - drawings, paintings and various borrowed and invented symbolic ‘alphabets’ representative of my personal journey and, too, our collective story.
Each of these projects seeks to identify and celebrate the common ground between our world peoples whilst at the same time honoring our originality and diversity. The canvas and paper act as ‘containers for learning and synthesis’, a drawing board if you will that provides me with a place to engage with others through the articulation of my own questions. To borrow wise words from a dear friend, writer Marylinn Kelly (Pasadena, USA):
“Discord can be measured by how far we tilt away from what is nourishing and mistake the mediocre - or worse - for a prevailing norm. We are intended, I absolutely believe, to be as unjangled as possible in each moment. The firm, gentle banishment of frenzy is to be sought not only in the midst of other people’s aggressive jittberbug competitions, but daily year ‘round. It is a word on which to ponder: harmony. Like any old friend, we will know it at once, no matter how long we’ve been apart.” 28
In his Book of Questions Pablo Neruda suggests that when all else appears to be failing, simple acts of observation, kindness, attention and wonder are not to be underestimaed and can be an answer and bridging agent enough. A Honeycomb Journal and The Hum of the Parts explore notions such as these. Painting Above Left: A Honeycomb Journal (A work in progress) Oil on Canvas Claire Beynon © 2014 Image Above Right: The Hum of the Parts - Working Drawings - Claire Beynon © 2014
LIGHT Reading (detail) ~ Pastel and Ink on Paper ~ ÂŠ Claire Beynon 2014
Antarctica ~ Time on Ice “I’ve been super-fortunate to spend two summer reseach seasons (2005 & 2008) working in Antarctica with US scientists. This is an excerpt from one of my journals... ‘Our remote field camp was in Explorers Cove, New Harbor, a transition zone on the edge of the Taylor Dry Valleys.
what the books tell you, this is a place of many colours - brown, charcoal, coral, rust and lilac to name a few - and there are more tones of blue than could be made to fit into any paint box.
Sails - an eerie length of coastline
between Gneiss Point and
Cape - is eighteen kilometres north of Explorers Cove.
The sea ice,
there is the seductive texture of mill-made, cold-press paper and ranges in colour from translucent sapphire to robin’s egg blue to crazy, crystallized albumen.
it’s the sea ice, that is just a year old, as opposed to the craggy, tenyear old, sediment-laden ice that fronts our camp.
pressure ridges heave and sound like cracking ribs all the way along the Bay of Sails’ shoreline.’
These were the seasons - literally and metaphorically - of constant sunshine. Antarctica coincided with a period of rapid and radical change in my life; despite a series of painful upheavals it was also a time when I felt truly, deeply, uncomplicatedly happy. I will forever be grateful for the nature and timing of this experience. Six years have passed since my last visit;
the place inhabits me as vividly now as it did when I was down there. Stepping into that landscape was like stepping into a series of drawings I’d made long before I thought I might one one day go there: a place deeply and immediately familiar.”
Photograph above: Rare Sounds Abound in These Places Where Wind is Dressed in White © Claire Beynon 2005 30
‘If we are to be properly humble in our use of the world, we need places that we do not use at all. We need the experience of leaving something alone. We need places that we forbear to change, or influence by our presence, or impose on even by our understanding; places that we accept as influences upon us, not the other way around, that we enter with the sense, the pleasure, of having nothing to do there; places that we must enter in a kind of cultural nakedness, without comfort or tools, to submit to rather than to conquer. We need what other ages would have called sacred groves - groves, anyhow, that we would treat as if they were sacred, in order, perhaps, to preserve their sanctity.’ Wendell Berry, The Unsettling of America Glissando ~ Oil On Canvas ~ Claire Beynon © 2014
“Environmental lawyer Polly Higgins speaks in terms of the damage we are doing to our environment as the fifth Crime against Peace. She advocates we practice ‘a duty of care’. Before she died, evolutionary biologist Lynn Margulis evoked the same sense of invitation. She wrote...” ...”Our destiny is joined to that of other species. When our lives touch those of different kingdoms - flowering and fruiting plants, recycling and sometimes hallucinogenic fungi, livestock and pet animals, healthful and weather-changing microbes - we most feel what it means to be alive. Survival seems always to require more networking, more interaction with members of other species, which integrates us further into global physiology... At every level, from microbe to planet, organic beings use air and water or other organic beings to build their reproducing selves. Local ecology becomes global ecology. As a corollary, and in spite of English grammar, life does not exist on Earth’s surface so much as it is Earth’s surface. ...Earth, in a very real sense, is alive. This is no vague philosophical claim but rather a physiological truth of our lives.” “If, as Margulis posits, it is teamwork that enabled life to Ascend Descend ~ Oil on Paper ~ Claire Beynon © 2012
spread on Earth then surely it follows that teamwork is what is required to sustain it?”
“Light, water, weather, threshold spaces and vessels of various descriptions - specifically, waterborne boats, vases and the vessels of the body - are recurring motifs in my work and make frequent appearances in both solo and collaborative projects. One of the things I do ongoingly is make text-impregnated flotillas of flat-bottomed boats (in 2008, a bamboo flotilla was set adrift 80 feet under the sea ice of Antarctica’s Southern Ocean): these boats are then incorporated in installations focusing on global peace and healing. Paper-folding, like most repetitive practices, is meditative and calming - this is especially helpful when I feel 'whelmed by the dilemma and weight of world events. Whilst traveling, I like to hunt out small dictionaries and thesauruses in secondhand bookshops. Not only is it fun to fold the local language into 'rondawels' that can then be left on tables in cafes and airports for others to find and take home, these circular paper 'dwellings' reinforce the notion that regardless of who we are and the language we speak, we are essentially one family living in a global village.” Claire Beynon, Dunedin, 2014 Boat Constellation - Night (process) ~ Oil on Paper ~ Claire Beynon © 2012
Personal Website: www.clairebeynon.com MANY as ONE: A Global Arts & Peace Hub www.manyaosonemao.com Tuesday Poem: Global Poetry Collective www.tuesdaypoem.blogspot.co.nz 33
The Dumbbell Nebula ~ M27 http://hubblesite.org/newscenter/archive/releases/2003/06/image/a/ Image Credit: NASA and The Hubble Heritage Team (STScI/AURA) 34
A Perfect Storm of Turbulent Gases in the Omega/Swan Nebula (M17) http://hubblesite.org/newscenter/archive/releases/2003/13/image/a/ Credit: NASA, ESA and J. Hester (ASU)
Photo Credit: Caroline Davies ÂŠ 2014
Story ~ Caroline Davies
Although Dr. Ian Griffin has settled nicely into his role as Director of the Otago Museum, there is still a flurry of activity as new posts are filled by experts from around the world enabling the massive collection in the Museum to prevail and be shared with visitors in new ways. Dr. Ian Griffin who is also an Astronomer of note, an honorary research fellow in Otago Universityâ€™s Department of Physics, and serves on the Advisory Board for Otago Universityâ€™s Centre for Science Communication is on a mission and more. Before we get to that though, in a nutshell of probable galactic proportions Dr. Griffin obtained his PhD in Astronomy from the University College London in 1991, became the Director of the Armagh Planetarium in Northern Island, was then appointed the
Director of Beverard Community College Planetarium in Cocoa, Florida USA, then the CEO of The Auckland Observatory in New Zealand for two years, followed with the position as Head of the Office of Public Outreach for The Space Telescope Science Institute in Baltimore Maryland US, then back to England as Director of The Museum of Science and Industry in Manchester, and before arriving in Dunedin, served as CEO of The Oxford Trust in Oxford, UK until 2013. Dr. Griffin has over thirty papers published in professional journals, written articles for newspapers, and wrote a regular astronomy column in the New Zealand Herald. He has been a guest on National Public Radio in the US as well as Radio New Zealand amongst others. His public talks have been on subjects ranging from spaceflight, the Hubble Telescope, Hunting for Asteroids, and Cosmic Collisions, just to mention a few.
Dr. Ian Griffin Photo Credit ~ Caroline Davies
D r. I a n G r i f f i n ~ H u m a n i s i n g S c i e n c e Otago Museum and Our Great Southern Night Skies 37
In service, Dr. Griffin helped found the Manchester Science Festival, was one of the second cohort of 19 Noyce Fellows, served on the Senate of Oxford Brookes University, was a Board member of VentreFest, Oxford (showcasing Oxford’s science and technology cluster in the U.K.), served as Chair of the U.K. Association of Science and Discovery Centres and has been in a position to name asteroids, including one after Bruce Springsteen (his rock n roll hero), the list is too long to mention every single asteroid here. There’s more by and about Dr. Griffin, but you can go search the details starting from Dr. Griffin’s blog site where you will find even more posts - it will take you a long time to read everything. In the beginning: Dr. Ian Griffin’s inspiration to become an astronomer was sparked directly from a visit to the London Science Museum one Sunday afternoon with his father. This casual exploration was rather a defining moment in Ian Griffin’s young life. The clear memory along with the enthusiasm from this initial visit have stayed with Dr. Griffin his entire life, and it is this enduring memory that gives him one of the most important qualifications of a Museum Director - that is, the understanding and heart to inspire visitors to
appreciate this amazing and mysterious world we live in. There is a connection between the head and the heart for Dr. Griffin with his drive and excitement for science and the Otago Museum. It was this natural enthusiasm that charged the young Ian Griffin to take on an ever changing scientific discipline - study for many years, and still be able to feel that connection and joy from childhood. Now, this in turn is passed on to visitors to the Museum. A Director and staff with the vision that museums can and should be places where visitors experience a feeling of awe and excitement by collections from the past and present as well as possibilities for the future, can create a place of learning and inspiration in a wonderful environment, where visitors can learn about the lives of other people and discover the potential we all have inside us to do amazing things. The mission to inspire is traced back to that defining moment at the Science Museum by Dr Griffin: “I grew up in an environment where people were walking on the moon and helped people like me raise their aspirations. My own father and mother were relatively humble. My dad was a bus driver and my mum worked in a supermarket on the tills and both of them left school when they were 38
fourteen. They ended up with a five year old son who was mad keen on space. Back in those days all the museums in London were free on a Sunday so Dad took me up to the Science Museum in London one Sunday afternoon. We spent a fantastic afternoon there and I put that visit down to sparking my own imagination further. I can trace my whole career from staying on at school to getting a qualification to go to university, and to doing a PhD to that spark experienced from that first visit to the museum. When I finished my PhD and thought about what I wanted to do with my life, I realized that their weren’t that many people like me in science. Today we talk about the fact that there are few women in science and that’s absolutely true, although improving, but in the U.K. there is also a real class issue in science as well - very few working class kids end up doing research. I think part of the problem is they don’t see people like themselves doing it. So after my Phd I wanted to try and get more people into science, I really wanted to inspire them and have tried to shape my career around that.” continued page 40
Pillars of Creation: http://hubblesite.org/gallery/album/pr1995044a/ Credit: NASA, ESA, STScI, J. Hester and P. Scowen (Arizona State University)
The Spirograph Nebulae: http://hubblesite.org/gallery/album/pr2000028a/ Credit: NASA and The Hubble Heritage Team (STScI/AURA)
Dr. Griffin on “Humanising Science” there are amazing images on many scales from every field of science such as biology, chemistry and more...
“When working at Hubble, I was always amazed at the emotional responses inspired by the images produced by the telescope; Who can forget “pillars of creation” or the awesome “spirograph” nebulae. These images are not only aesthetically beautiful, but they have hidden beauty, and many astronomers will devote their careers to discovering the processes which gave rise to these astonishing pictures. And of course it is not just astronomy where beauty can be found,
To me, scientists sometimes seem reticent to vocalize the fact that they too see beauty, and have an emotional response to this beauty. I think it is a shame that this is the case; if more scientists were to speak about the emotions their work can effect I am sure dialogue between scientists and “the public” would be improved. And that would be a good thing!” 39
“So really I’ve spent my whole career trying to get people excited about their environment, their community, their culture, and I think I have had opportunities to develop a set of tools that are relatively unique in this regard. I’ve seen patterns that repeat in all the different cultures I have lived in. People out there on the street are interested in their community, they are interested in where they live, they are interested in their world, but generally they don’t want to be lectured at, they would prefer to have a conversation around these topics... Fireside chats are great for these kinds of exchanges. continuing from page 38
the absolute authority. You need to understand that there is a hell of a lot of knowledge out there and for you to have a meaningful existence as an institution
Otago Museum: “I guess that is a long way of saying that where I am now, certainly as the Director of the Otago Museum, is that I want Otago Museum to be one of the great museums of the world. I want it to be recognized as a place where you can come and share your knowledge. So hopefully when you come to the Museum, you will learn something about the fantastic culture and environment of Otago, and you can also share what you know with the world. We are hoping to capture the community’s knowledge and fold that into the treasure trove of information and understanding we have here of our environment.
As an astronomer you go out and sit in the middle of a field in the dark of night and look at wonderful things, and if you are doing that with friends and colleagues you’ll be sitting around a fire casually asking these deep questions about the universe such as where do we come from? And where do stars come from? In those situations you are having conversations, they are not lectures. What those informal discourses have taught me is if you are running an institution you can’t set yourself up as
you need to enter into discussions and dialogue with people rather than one way presentational information. “
One of the reasons I wanted to come and live in Otago is that we have a fabulous Museum with a brilliant collection. We’ve got two million objects with an astounding collection, amassed over a time period of almost 150 years.” Left: Moai from Rapa Nui Carved Statue from Easter Island.
http://otagomuseum.nz/a-moai-from-rapa-nui/ Photo credit: Caroline Davies
“The Museum has a broad spectrum from Natural History through fantastic Maori Tonga right the way through to artifacts from every civilization on earth more or less. We are a mini British Museum here - we also have Cuneiform Tablets, Egyptian Mummies, material from The America’s, Africa’s and Europe’s Indigenous populations as well as fantastic collections relating to Otago. We can put those collections into context because of the other collections we have from around the world. As we have a world class collection, we need to interpret the collection in a world class way, and that’s what we are working very hard on here at the moment. It’s fascinating how we can take this wonderful collection, share it with our visitors and give them meaningful experiences when they cross the threshold of the museum. We can tell the story not just of civilization here in NZ, but we can put it in context on a global level as well. For example, when the first Maori wakas arrived in the 1100’s, we can show the kinds of things that were brought on their voyages, we can tell the story of NZ from their arrival
- we can then put that in a context illustrating what was going on in Europe in 1100, and what was going on in Africa as well as in the Americas. Demonstrating context is a critically important part of what a Museum does. A wise museum director once said “the museum shared the wonders of his community with the world, but also shared the world with his community” and I think that is a very interesting way of thinking about it and if you do have a museum that has a very wide collection like we do it enables you to do things that are really fascinating. At the moment we are going through a period of evaluating what it is the museum should be doing and that is another one of the reasons it is an exciting time to be working here. About eighty to ninety per cent of the material we have stored in the museum has never been seen by the public and over the next few years we are exploring ways of changing that by perhaps opening up a collection store and letting people go in and see what’s not normally on display, bringing more material out to display a n d o p e n i n g u p m o re a re a s o f t h e 41
museum for collections. Museums play a number of roles - as a repository for some extraordinary objects, we can also give insight into the history of this part of the world by continuing to study these objects, and we can interpret the history of this part of the world by creating exhibitions and programs born out of our collections. All of those roles are terribly important and I think my job as a Director here is to assemble a team of people who are extraordinarily talented in research, interpretation and education. Those positions in the museum are very important and all equally important. Obviously, looking after a collection is critical but the collection itself is of no value unless you hear the stories they have to tell and to tell those stories you need researchers, teachers, graphic artists and writers, all of whom can take the stories of the collection and free them share them with the visitor, and then with visitors sharing their stories, it becomes a very interesting and interactive medium for exploring our culture.
Te Paranihi, the 17-metre waka on display in the Tﾄ］gata Whenua Gallery at the Otago Museum Photo: Courtesy Otago Museum http://otagomuseum.nz/te-paranihi/
There is an evolution to knowledge as well. As time changes, our perspective and understanding also changes. Sometimes that adjustment in comprehension and understanding of an object or an ancient culture is an easy learning curve, and sometimes its a massive paradigm shift. “I think the artifacts in museums around the world are helping us understand that element of history, and perhaps even rewrite history. It is staggering, certainly from my perspective as an astronomer when you realize the navigation skills some of the Polynesian navigators had knowing about the zenith and particular islands, knowing which stars are where at what time of year that would help guide them to particular places on earth. It was a very sophisticated knowledge and not to be discarded - thats one of the most exciting things that’s come out of our increasing knowledge of Polynesian culture.” Museums are playing increasingly important roles in society as more and more habitats for other life forms shrink, ancient remnants of mysterious civilizations crumble and decay before our eyes from the rapid change in our atmosphere as well as age, and indigenous’ people’s homes and culture sadly disappear.
“I think the cultural knowledge of tribes around the world is fascinating. Most civilizations had a language that was born out of the stars. For example the Maori have Matariki and the Romans have the Pleiades. It’s interesting to me to learn the star lore of different cultures because it gives you some understanding of that particular culture... You will also see there is a commonality to cultures as with the Pleiades, whether Maori, Greek, or Roman, reflecting we are all different, but we are also the same. Humans like to see patterns in the stars, tell stories, and draw pictures based on those patterns. Having a little bit of knowledge about the sky and living in different cultures gives you insight to the world we live in.”
A view of the aurora australis as taken by the Imager for Magnetopauseto-Aurora Global Exploration (IMAGE) spacecraft on Jan. 7. Credit: NASA.
The Outrageously Beautiful Night Skies of The South Dr. Griffin was intending to give up astronomy thinking his role as the Director for Otago Museum would not give him enough time for it, and had sold his equipment before he left England. Then... “One evening, shortly after I arrived, my son and I went for a walk on a Friday evening on the beach. I looked out to sea and saw this green light and realized it was the Aurora Australis - so I went out and bought a new camera. I saw another aurora the next week and I’ve refallen in love with the night sky. So after having decided I wouldn’t have time to do astronomy and photography, I’ve gotten right back into it.” With gusto I might add. “The Southern sky here is magnificent, it is world class, and when you couple an amazingly dark sky with regular displays of the aurora, stargazers here have opportunities to see some extraordinary things! What amazes me is that in the last year I have probably seen 20 or 25 displays of the aurora. I’ll go ask people the next day if they’d seen the aurora and nobody had.” continues page 45
...continuing from page 43...
Opposite or previous Page 44 “There’s a cycle with astronomy and astrophotography where you live your life by the rhythm of the moon. I’ve been exploring the Otago Peninsula during the dark phases of the moon, spots like Hoopers and Papanui Inlets which are extraordinary places. They are absolutely desolate at night. I’m sure I’m the only human being around for miles watching the stars and taking pictures. It’s a very peaceful and tranquil thing to do. One of the boat-sheds at Hoopers Inlet is aligned due south which is very nice if there is an aurora as you can see the Southern Lights arching over the boat-shed its a lovely sight to behold. It is a really fascinating place and I’ve become really addicted to taking pictures of the southern sky, and it is a wonderful sky indeed.”
“We had a beautiful visible lunar eclipse recently that I observed and photographed from Aramoana and in the middle of the eclipse when the night sky had become really dark, and the full moon to the north had become blood red, I turned around and there was an aurora in the southern sky. So in the middle of the eclipse there was a display of the aurora australis and when you think about it how many people on the earth can say they have seen an aurora in the middle of a lunar eclipse - our skies are inspirational! I think we live in an age where people have forgotten. I think back in the days, whether Maori or Pakeha, people lived their life by the stars - they planted their crops by the stars, they knew summer was coming, when winter was coming - the night sky played a critical role. Nowadays very few people actually look up.” Oh for the dimming of the street lights where I live... We at least have darkness behind us, but the street side is reminiscent of only a slightly subdued Las Vegas suburb. “In the age of big cities and lots of lights
around people have become afraid of the dark. I’m Photo Credit: Dr. Ian Griffin©2014
not scared of the dark and quite proud I’ve got three kids who are not scared of the dark either. We’ll go and just sit in the darkness of night and look up at the sky. To my mind its just one of the fundamental human pleasures. Just looking up at the sky and wondering what’s out there and your place in the grand scheme of things - it gives you a sense of perspective and that to me is something that more people should take advantage of because Dunedin is a very special place - it’s a beautiful city, it’s a small city, and it’s brilliantly located. Literally ten minutes drive from the centre of the city you can get skies as dark as most places on earth and you can get views of the sky that are unparalleled. Where else on earth can you have a really fine meal, take a short drive south of the city and see an aurora - its pretty darn fine if you ask me. There are some beautiful things to behold here. There are some Nebulae and Galaxies which are extraordinarily beautiful. There’s a couple of Southern Hemisphere objects that Northern Hemisphere astronomers would gauge their eyes out to see. The Magellanic Clouds are particularly beautiful, two satellite galaxies 170,000 light years from earth. You can see those on every clear night and there are wonderful objects like the Carina Nebula which looks like” continues on page 48...
Aurora Australis ~ Dunedin New Zealand ~ Photo Credit: Dr. Ian Griffin © 2014
“Moving to the Southern Hemisphere has reignited my passion for exploring the night sky, and now I have a new small telescope and camera and rediscovered the enthusiasm for astronomy that I had when I was five to ten years old and it’s all because there is a whole new sky out there to be explored and thanks to the wonders of technology available now, I can take quite nice pictures through my telescope which shows some extraordinarily beautiful things in the sky. I can take a picture in thirty seconds that shows the milky way above my head, or I’m currently working on a series of pictures of nebulae in the southern sky. Most clear nights I’m out photographing them and it’s a real blatant love.” 46
The Milky Way ~ Brighton, Dunedin ~ Photo Credit Dr. Ian Griffin © 2014
“In New Zealand during the middle of winter, the milky way passes directly overhead - it is an unbelievable sight - you can see the bulge of the galaxy. It is one of the great sights to behold! Once you are out of Dunedin’s night light pollution, places as close by as Strath Taieri, or south of Brighton, you get some astonishingly dark skies, amongst the darkest in the world that are probably as good as any at a big observatory. You get beautiful skies that are unparalleled.”
continued from page 45
“a glowing billow of dust and cloud extraordinarily beautiful in photographs.
I know there are issues here as there are everywhere, but perhaps as a newcomer I can go ‘by golly, I can drive down the Peninsula and think by God, aren’t I lucky...’ The sunsets and the southern winter light we get here are extraordinary. The colours here are unbelievably beautiful, the road along the Otago Peninsula is one of the great bicycle rides of the world, and one night when the inner harbour was misty and cloudy I drove over the top of Highcliffe (one of the great drives on planet earth I might add), went through the cloud layer, drove down toward Sandfly Bay - and as I was driving down the clouds cleared and the arch of the aurora was above the Bay. It looked like you were dropping into a cosmic hole with a great green band over your head. It was just incredible, and what was astounding about that was there were probably a hundred thousand people asleep in the city, and I was out there seeing this and thinking by golly this is amazing and more people should be woken up to see it - the auroras in particular we get here are unbelievable...”
Image Above Right: Aurora Australis, Dunedin Photo Credit Dr. Ian Griffin © 2014
Image Opposite: Dr. Ian Griffin observing the Milky Way Photo Courtesy Dr. Ian Griffin © 2014 48
“If you’ve got a single lens reflex camera, with up to a thirty second exposure and a b stop, a good sturdy tripod and use a high iso rating 1600 or 3200, and have a nice wide angle lens just point the camera up to the sky, focus on infinity, and you will get astounding pictures. Any longer than 30 seconds the stars will start to trail. I have a camera tracking mount now and all that kind of stuff but you can still take beautiful pictures with very basic equipment.”
Image Right: Aurora Australis from Hoopers Inlet Photo Credit Dr. Ian Griffin © 2014
“The Aurorae are created when particles from the sun interact with the densest regions of the earth’s magnetic field, which means they occur in a circular region around the Earth’s magnetic poles. If something really major happens on the sun, the Aurorae Borealis (Northern lights) can be seen as far south as the tropics, but this is incredibly rare.”
Image Right: Aurora Australis from International Space Station “Astronauts on the International Space Station (ISS) used a digital camera to capture several hundred photographs of the aurora australis, or “southern lights,” while passing over the Indian Ocean on September 17, 2011. “ http://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/IOTD/view.php?id=52287 49
Messier-8 Nebuline ~ Photography Dr. Ian Griffin ÂŠ 2014
N ew Exhibitio n s at The O t a g o M use um , D u n e d i n 419 Great King Street, Dunedin 9106
Ph: +64 3 474 7474 Open 10 - 5 Closed Christmas Day
Bugs: the Mega World of Minibeasts Delve Into the World of Bugs “Bugs – or, as the exhibition defines them, arthropods including
Ice Lab: New Architecture and Science in Antarctica
insects, arachnids, terrestrial crustaceans and myriapods -- have
Touring Exhibition Looks at Architecture and Science of Building in Antarctica
developed extraordinary adaptive skills and some peculiar behaviours over the millennia, like navigating by the stars, superstrength and near-perfect camouflage. These incredible abilities
“Antarctica is vital to scientific research in a number of fields, from
underpin the exhibition. Otago Museum Curator, Natural Science
astronomy and geology to climate change,” says Museum Director
Emma Burns hopes that by presenting a more complete picture of
Dr Ian Griffin. “Ice Lab looks at the incredible advances in
bugs as the talented and valuable animals they are, the exhibition
architecture that are allowing scientists not only to continue their
will encourage bug appreciation. Bugs are vital to our environment
work, but to expand on it in one of the world’s most extreme
and economy, without bugs, there are no humans.”
Open Through to 10 May 2015 Free Otago Museum
Open Through to 1 March 2015 Free Otago Museum
Hubble Panoramic View of Orion Nebula Reveals Thousands of Stars Credit: NASA,ESA, M. Robberto (Space Telescope Science Institute/ESA) and the Hubble Space Telescope Orion Treasury Project Team http://hubblesite.org/newscenter/archive/releases/2006/01/image/a/ 52
Crab Nebula, M1, NGC 1952 ~ Credits: NASA/HST/ASU/CXC J. Hester et al http://hubblesite.org/newscenter/archive/releases/2002/24/image/a/ 53
Final Bell An invisible fist full of paper Knocked him off his feet In a bout he couldn’t win Though he thought he could compete There’s leathered feet at eye line From the wages of their sin His empty cup points to heaven But no ones taken in The best he’d dreamed is over now There’s nothing left to sell For every winner there’s a loser At the final bell His mind wanders back to the sucker punch That buckled all his hopes There’s no dishonor in a fixed fight It’s a just a fantasy watched through ropes
The best he’d dreamed is over now
Story and Photographs by Caroline Davies
Amongst the cheap red wine smell
Molly Devine (and she is) doesn’t quite remember when she started to pursue music, but thinks her happy life track might have had something to do with singing Disney songs to hibiscus trees in Bermuda where she spent the first six years of her life after moving from Sydney with her family as a baby. Molly’s family tells her that she’s always been a bit obsessed with performing and telling stories. “Mum remembers when I was about 2 years old whilst wearing my favorite Cinderella dress that I told her I was going to be a singer.” So Molly reckons her decision was made early on.
For every winner there’s a loser At the final bell The cold sets in at five o’clock Then the night shift claims the dark Clawing feet, Snaking tails, Around Zuccotti Park As a snowflake hits the pavement He’s left out under the stars The subway rumbles the last train home While they shutter up the bars The best he’d dreamed is over now As he knows full well For every winner there’s a loser At the final bell Lyrics ~ Molly Devine © 2014
Every so often you come across a young performer where their attitude to learning, obvious commitment, talent, zeal and abilities indicate that their lives have to be in the arts, and you would
Planet Glitter 55
never doubt that they will succeed. Molly is like this. And with her impressive new record in the works and from what I’ve heard “Planet Glitter” already succeeds! “ I don’t remember a time when I wasn’t writing and performing. I’ve always loved telling stories whether it’s painting the story, performing the story, or singing the story. I’ve never really written stories in a linear fashion with a beginning middle end, I’m much more interested in creating little portraits of characters or worlds. This is why I think I was so attracted to lyric writing, because there’s limited time to create a full narrative so you can just focus on the details like how the character stands and where they are. If the song is in first person (which it rarely seems to be for me) you can go in to detail about thought processes and feelings, but if it’s not, even just a description of the character or their surroundings has the ability to create a powerful statement. Every song I write is a little vignette of something I’ve seen or thought about painted in words and sounds, yet somehow they are so visual to me. I started performing in bands when I was
about 11 years old and that’s when I really started to develop my craft. I never said no to any performance opportunity and I was often in multiple bands and stage productions simultaneously - I wouldn’t have dreamt of doing anything else. The Contemporary Music course pulled Molly to Otago University. “I was particularly attracted to the Contemporary Performance paper that puts students into bands and then lets them write original music and then get assessed for it! It was what I was already doing outside of Uni but now it could be marked, and I’d have support from some of New Zealand’s top musicians and scholars on the subject, which I found very exciting. I feel this way about my whole degree actually, when people ask me what I do at Uni I’m like, ‘well I write, record, and perform music … so nothing I don’t feel a compulsion to do even if I wasn’t there.’ I think I’m very fortunate to find something I’m so obsessed with and to be able to share it and develop it with students and lecturers who are equally obsessed.” Molly has just finished her fourth year and is still going! 56
“In my undergraduate year I specialized in everything that I could. I did songwriting, performance and music technology among many other things. I even studied psychology and english but I was quickly sidetracked by my music obsession. In my Honours year I majored in both Composition, which was supervised by Dr. Graeme Downes, and Studio Production, which was supervised by John Egenes and Michael Holland. My Honours year has been my favourite (maybe of my whole life). I got to write and record an album. I feel I’ve grown so much as a musician and been supported so wonderfully by the whole community. Next year I plan on doing a Masters in performance!” This experience at University has given Molly more depth, strength, resolve, and a large palette of colours to choose from as an artist to add to her own personal musical canvas... University might not be for everyone, each to his own, but clearly this has been a perfect path for Molly to take and life and music have been good here. “I auditioned for a television program a few years back and when I told them I studied at University one of them said
you seem calculated and inauthentic and then suddenly all the judges were saying things along the same lines. I got comments such as none of us have University degrees, you just need to get out there and start doing it! One of them said, I’m just not feeling it. and as I walked off stage they shouted, Tear up the books! I was broken by this experience for a long time. Hearing that your instrument isn’t communicating is possibly the hardest thing to hear as a musician. They had totally missed the point of what University is about for me! Never once has a lecturer at Otago University told me how to sound, or what to sing about, or what to say, they are there to give me even more ideas on what I’m already saying and help me develop further what I’ve already been crafting. To me the thought of not studying seems inauthentic. How can you give to the world without knowledge? That’s why I’m so grateful that I had the opportunity to further study music and I feel that all my years of study have culminated into the album I’ve
produced this year ‘Planet Glitter’. How could an institution that is manufacturing inauthentic musicians allow an artist to come through with a universe encrusted album called Planet Glitter? University of Otago has been so good for my craft, hence why I’m still hear and still chugging on!” “I think my thirst for a deeper connection with my music comes from the fact that I have experienced how powerful music can be. Like when you listen to a performer and the music isn’t necessarily sad but you find yourself covered in goose bumps with tears in your eyes. I’ve never really understood how this works because sometimes you can listen to a song and your body just goes through the motions of interpreting the sounds and that’s it, but you listen to the same recording the next day and you feel that funny tickly feeling behind your eyes and you feel like every word is being sung directly to you. I think it’s a strange thing to comprehend that organized sounds can make people feel such a wealth of 57
“I meditate every day. I want to make sure that I am as grounded and satisfied in myself as I can be, because then maybe I can be of use to others. I’m about to go on a spiritual pilgrimage in India for a month, which I’m very excited about for my creative journey!”
emotions! But it does! And that’s why I
think it’s important as an artist to not just make music to fill a gap or to make some money or so you are desirable to more people. Yes, all those things are vital to being an artist because otherwise you’ll be performing your music to your belly button (which totally defeats the purpose of everything) but I believe musicians can be so useful to our world and I just want to be a part of it.”
that will never get old for me. Other artists I really love are Sade, Tracy Chapman, Beyonce, Bruno Mars, Elton John, Randy Newman, Led Zeppelin, Arctic Monkees, Foals, Pharrell, Joe Cocker, and I love chanting tapes. I have a chanting tape going 24/7 in my room.
Molly’s love for life and music was also reflected when I asked who her favorite bands, performers, writers, and singers are, she responded with some reticence in case the list would be too long. ”Number one at the moment is Lorde. I saw her live in concert at the Town Hall here in Dunedin and it was such an incredible experience for me. She is a genius! Everything from her lyrics to her hair flicks is already iconic in my eyes. Then there is Radiohead. I also saw Radiohead live at the Vector Arena in Auckland. I love their music particularly the King of Limbs album. I see it as a concept album narrating the path to liberation, which I think is so cosmically fabulous! My favourite album ever is Tattoo You by the Rolling Stones. It’s one of those things
Other people that I admire are Russell Brand, Emma Watson, and Jose Mujica. I love how they see the world.” Living in the ‘now’: Molly’s ambition is very clear and I needn’t have asked, but when I did, what I could appreciate very much with her is that she is also living her dream life right now... the experience and the process the quality of the journey - is as important as the destination. “I think I’m already in a dream scenario. I’ve written an album of songs that I’m really happy with and getting really positive feedback. I think to make it a little bit more dream like I’d like it if more people could listen to them! This is something I’m going to be working on in the next phase of my journey. I haven’t officially released the album yet because I’m working up a few more tracks and making sure I’m really happy with the production side, but as soon as I do I’m going to start working on how it’s all going to look an stage and fun things like distribution and video clips. I think music is in a very exciting place in the world at the moment and I’m very excited to be a part of it no matter where I slot in.”
‘Planet Glitter’, recorded at Albany Street Studios in Dunedin, will be released next year - and it’s definitely one to look forward to having as a favourite in your record collection!
“I had an unreal team of friends and colleagues that contributed to my album. The musicians included James Butler and my boyfriend Joseph Hoskin on guitar who was an absolute angel throughout the whole process in the midst of recording his own album. Tom Lord did an incredible job on the piano and keyboard parts, my brother Jack Devine played bass and my friend Micah O’Loughlin played drums. They were my base band and every one of them brought so much originality and depth to the project. Then I had the pleasure of working with the amazing Helen Webby, a renowned New Zealand harpist, for one of the tracks, called Birds. Helen is one of the nicest most talented people I’ve ever met and I was so thrilled to have her play on the song. Josh Romero a wonderful classical pianist also played on Birds and he was also such a pleasure to work with.
Dr Graeme Downes was a wonderful support for the composition of all the songs. We worked really hard on every track to make sure the lyrics were communicating well and the music was supporting the story of the song. It was such a wonderful process and I’m so grateful that I got to work with him this year. Danny Buchanan was an all round lifesaver in the process. He is one of the engineers at Albany street studio, and he was around for whenever I was stuck on technical things. He helped me with everything from how to get sound to come through the microphones to making sure I wasn’t beating myself up over how my tracks were sounding. Every question I asked him throughout the process he could answer and he always answered in a way that made it so clear that I didn’t have to ask again no matter how complex it was. He took no shortcuts, he wouldn’t just say ‘push this button’ he’s say ‘push this button, because…’ or ‘you can push this button but you can also try all these other buttons!’ He made the whole process really relevant and useful for my career. 48
Hanging out with story and photography - caroline davies
Some Other Creature, (also known as Maddy Parkins-Craig ) has just released her debut E.P. self titled, “Some Other Creature”. The E.P. is a collection of five new songs - they are original, poetic, driven and played with passion (not the romantic kind). You can find ‘Some Other Creature’ on iTunes (Alternative Rock), Google Play (Alternative/Indie) and you can buy the C.D. from Dunedin’s Relics Records, so no matter where you are in the world you can find it, and it is worth finding - it’s brilliant. Maddy is about to complete her Doctorate in Musical Arts, a DMA - the equivalent of a PhD but instead of writing a full on thesis is creating three full on albums...
Some Other Creature 61
How did you end up in Dunedin from Australia? Both my parents are Professors and both got jobs at Otago University, so my whole family moved over here. At the time my mum came over for the interview I didn’t even know there was more than one island as we didn’t pay too much attention to New Zealand in Australia at that time. I’ve been here for ten years now, it definitely feels like home, although you get that strange feeling of not quite belonging to either culture - when I travel back to Australia I get this weird feeling of home, and when I come back here after travelling elsewhere I get that feeling of “home” here too. When did your connection with music emerge? Pretty young actually. My parents had a friend who was a good recorder player, so I started with recorder even before the other kids at school and I liked that, even though anybody else listening probably didn’t, then I played flute from about 16 or 17. My grandmother used to tell me that even when I was five I was always wanting to play the drums but I was never allowed to, and so naturally, the flute is very 62
much like drums (haha)... I didn’t want to move to New Zealand and I was very unhappy about it at the time (now I know it was great). My pay off was if we move to New Zealand I would get a drum kit. So we moved here, I got a drum kit, I started playing and getting lessons and was allowed to give up flute once I passed my Grade A exam .. You play drums, percussion, guitar, you are a songwriter, a singer, and a composer. Where does the producing come in - that must give you a much wider palette of creative and empowered choices in making a record and life? I started to do a bit of it during my undergrad degree and I liked the idea of being able to do all the extra stuff you hear on a recording. If you write a song and you perform it - that is great, but songs can have a whole different kind of expression in the studio and I see it as an opportunity to create an idealized performance. I hear a lot of other things in my head while I play songs, so this enables me to get all those parts down, and also have a live performance option.
Have you produced other people? I fell into production almost by accident. I finished my first degree and I got a call from someone who was working with Far South - a new label being set up. They had a new artist and were looking for a producer to do some local sessions. I think it was Graeme (Downes) that said ‘why don’t you ask Maddy’. I’d just finished my degree and I was ‘yeah - I’ll do it, I’ll do anything’, and so that led to some more opportunities. I got to go to Thailand and work in a studio there and that was just wicked! I haven’t done a lot yet, but I’m enjoying it.
The steps along the way - growing, expanding, living and learning... I was not happy with the album I made in fourth year and even now when I hear the songs I think it is still terrible. Then I did an EP with my former band Hunting Bears. I was the primary songwriter for that. We would write the music collectively and then I would respond to it lyrically which I loved at the time but I’ve subsequently realized that I really love the music, but not so convinced about the lyrics.
I produced This Other Creature the other way - I wrote the lyrics and did the music afterwards. Did you write the lyrics as poetry or with a song in mind? Sometimes it was a bit of both. I wrote the lyrics for some tracks where there was no music involved at all and I would go through them with Graeme (Downes), sometimes rewriting up to ten times. Then I would take those and do the same thing with the music. The one song on the record which I think is the most successful, Familiar Strangers, was written twice. The first version was not quite working with the music, the setting was completely wrong for the song, so I spent days re-writing and completely changed the musical style.
What inspired your name “Some Other Creature”? My name just doesn’t work for stage. Maddy Parkins-Craig is awkward and no one ever gets it right. I’ll get Maddy with an ie, or Parkinson Craig, or Maddy Craig because people think that Parkinson is a middle name. I also wanted to leave room if the project turns into a band, and this way people can easily come and go. Do you have a visual for creature? No not really, it just comes from my general social awkwardness. I just feel odd in my setting most of the time. I guess I was trying to avoid at having to define myself at all. What is that feeling of not being able to quite fit in - I know you like performing and you have to spend a lot of time alone putting all this work together - do you get anxiety before you go on stage? Yeah, I do. Then that anxiety gets mixed in with my overall anxiety, I’m a bit of a wreck before I start playing. I’m still mastering the way I can stand properly and not have my knees shake and hope it’s not so obvious that some crazy vibrato is going on or my breath is too
much, but I do settle down after a couple of songs into a set. I would add that it is not uncommon for performers to feel anxiety before and whilst on stage. A performance can become mighty powerful when this extra energy is utilized and positively channeled into a concert, perhaps that’s the gift of this particular form of “anxiety”, and why it doesn’t really go away, but once recognized for what it might be, the performer can learn to work with it, and let it out as a focused gift to the audience... emotion can be looked at as “energy in motion”, and that, in its own way, is what can move an audience coupled with talent and great music. What is the 4/5 Course, and which courses have you taken? The 4/5 is a performance paper as well as being put in a random band where you create your own music and perform it. There is also the 4/6 which is a Professional Practice Course which is about training people to be studio musicians. For example you are given a module with perhaps four country songs with four weeks to learn
and practice, and then be assessed for it. What I did was work with the random bands and then paired it with songwriting, and then later that turned into a writing and composition course. In my first year doing the songwriting course with Graeme Downes and Ian Chapman, my ‘tiny little’ mind was blown away. I came out of high school having hated it, and then I came to University and suddenly I was getting to do these courses on how you write good songs, listen to really good songs, talk about them, write your own bad songs and then get better. It completely changed my life just doing those courses and going ‘whoa’ that’s how you do it in ways I’d never thought of. I really like that I got to make mistakes privately effectively. It’s like learning a trade and if you are lucky you get time to craft your own thing, but at the same time you have a skill set that you can call on for other projects. I know some people don’t like writing to specific briefs, but I really like learning different techniques on how to do things like this. So now I try to do as much by myself as I can, but I also like to ask other people 64
for their opinions. I’m still learning, so when other people came into play instruments I could play on Some Other Creature I wanted to make sure I wasn’t just going ‘here is your part and play it well’, but rather wanting to make sure the part felt natural to them as well. What do you envision coming up for you or is that a hard call to make - you’ve got another semester so we know you will be here for the near future, but then will life be calling you away from this city for life, adventures, expansion, opportunities? I’m going to be sticking around for a while - we have a house in Sawyers Bay so I don’t want to go away from that too fast but at the same time I don’ think I could live here the rest of my life - yet - or if I could, I would have to go away first - I still have that thing about you finish your degree and you go right ‘I am ready to go out and do the life thing’ which is not to say I don’t not love what I am doing here with great people to work with, but I’m going to have to get a job at some point and get a job that I really want to do - I mean I’ll do almost anything, but it would be great to get a job in the field that I have effectively
trained in - so the answer is I have no idea what I am going to do with my life... There is a hub of very talented people here, and also what I liked about working overseas was meeting complete strangers in a completely foreign environment who were like minded and much much more experienced than me but approaching everything in the same way and just there to make some good music for The Ministry of Thailand. It was really weird how we were all there at that point and wondered how our lives overlapped like that ... Do you have any thoughts to share about the state of music as industry or what’s going on in the contemporary world of popular music? I shouldn’t say - I have no idea what’s going on in the popular world even though I have to write about popular music, but I think its about what you want to get out of it - I think I’m not looking to get out of music what the popular world is offering - I’m looking for something else so this record has headed in a different direction as opposed to the mainstream where you can put on a great pop song and you can
love it and you can dance around but from what I’ve heard and after doing some research on the top ten pop songs over the past few years, they are not doing a lot for me but I think its just because I am not looking for what they are offering ... What is your soul looking for? I want to write interesting songs and try new ideas! I just get very frustrated when there is no point to what people are saying, if you write a song then say something that is worth saying - there is enough terrible music out there - if you are going to create something make it good or at least try, and try to progress the field if you can. In ‘saying something’ - what interests you? I like human interaction, which is very broad, and I love Joni Mitchell’s character songs - I think they are mind blowing - they are just so good you think you might know these people, even if they don’t exist - I just like looking at the way people interact perhaps that’s because I don’t see myself doing a lot of interacting in the future. I just want to be a good songwriter. 65
Do you have a couple of Joni Mitchell songs that come to mind? I particularly like “The Last Time I Saw Richard” (Miles of Aisles). I love everything on “Hejira” - I can’t fault it at any point - its amazing!
I really like Blue as well - but they are very different records and I listen to them for very different reasons. I find Hejira really interesting because at points I can find it to be the saddest thing I’ve ever heard, but I don’t feel sad listening to it - there is this amazing balance where she seems to be able to just call things perfectly as they are - and not as’I need your pity”, but this is how I felt and it was a real thing and now I feel differently and this is just the way it goes - its amazing - I love that record to the point of obsession. Who else do you like? I really like Radiohead - I was completely obsessed with them for many years and you will hear a lot of Radiohead in my previous band but I don’t know if there is as strong an influence in this record. I love the Beatles, the Kinks, and I love Tori Amos because she is just powerful, Fiona Apple is awesome as is Laura Marling... I listen to a lot of older stuff.
Any thoughts to share with younger people? Not really - oh smoking is gross but other than that ... With uni you have to find out if you really want to study music. There are a lot of people I went through the course with who perhaps realized that they love music and love writing music but they didn’t want to study it. Either is valid. I just get very nerdy about it all and I even love the theory papers. No one likes those - I mean I still want the hours back of my life when we had to do counterpoint harmony in first year, and I don’t need to know anything about figured bass, but at the same time a lot of that has become the basis for what I use all the time and just makes things faster - if you know what you want to do, and you know how the parts work then you put the piece together much more quickly. So if you want to study it then study it and if you don’t want to then don’t - which sounds like terrible advice. I just love learning, and I love learning all sorts of different things! 66
https://play.google.com/store/music/album/ Some_Other_Creature_Some_Other_Creature? id=Bdfrvp7hsyt4erjmz3kozqbmo5m&hl=en
Dunedin City Councilor Jinty MacTavish
Photo Credit: Emily Hlavac Green
Creating A Sustainable World:
Dunedin City Councilor Jinty MacTavish Takes a Tour
photography ~ jinty mactavish Interview by Caroline Davies
Every so often a city, state, or country, is fortunate to have one or more outstanding representatives of the people. Those who seem like they have a heart-based calling to serve, who are imbued with vision, courage, and a talent to articulate their constituentâ€™s and their own concerns, with an ability to seek solutions that will hopefully serve not only the present, but also have positive effects for future generations. Meet Dunedin City Councilor, Jinty MacTavish, who, along with some others serving the City presently, give me hope that we may be able to create as a community, a healthy, abundant, resilient and sustainable world.
All rights reserved Photography Jinty MacTavish 2014
Heritage and Urban Renewal, Leipzig, Germany
One of my favorite subjects is how we can solve current issues in the world that are having a negative effect of not only the planet’s atmosphere and life support systems, but also communities small and large. It is clear to me we do have positive solutions, but it will take the combined willingness of communities and government bodies on all levels to make some shifts, utilize vision, and dig deep for the positive will power needed to implement alternative systems, and to do that quickly. During the southern hemisphere’s winter, the northern summer, Cr. Jinty MacTavish took an eight week tour through Europe and the U.K. to take a look at what other cities and communities are doing to address resilience, climate change, and think about urban design in different ways. She shares with us her background, and what she discovered on this fact finding mission. life before politics
If you’ve been to Moeraki you will know how beautiful the landscape is where Jinty MacTaish was raised. If you are planning to visit New Zealand, it’s one of those magical places you need to experience along the eastern coastline just north of Dunedin in Otago.
Jinty studied German, art,and biology as well as the core subjects and was challenged to decide between the arts and science (although I would add that the integration of a mind for science and a heart for art can be a powerful combination). Jinty recounts: “I was curious about all sorts of things; always fascinated by the natural world, the ocean that our house was perched beside, languages and cultures (probably because my parents had both travelled pretty extensively), and I devoured novels. I filled my afternoons up with dance classes and netball training.” My questions explored further: What were the influences in your life to help bring you to an awareness that we, individually and as a society, need to take a different direction in how we create our cities and communities in a sustainable way? “My parents are tireless in their efforts to strengthen their community, and have always emphasised the merit of collective endeavour. They're strong advocates for environmental protection, good science, social equity and long-term, holistic decisionmaking. I feel very lucky to have grown up with those influences and continue to draw inspiration from them. 70
When I finished university, I was fortunate enough to be drawn into a network of young people from around Aotearoa, working to bring about positive social and environmental change. I've learnt much - and continue to learn much - from this very inspiring group of people, who are all doing really great stuff around NZ. At a more abstract level, my thinking is informed by the global leadership of people like Bill McKibben of 350.org, and organisations like ICLEI (the global local governments for sustainability network), who convene conversations on these themes all the time.” life in politics
What inspired you or brought you into the world of politics? “I was working for Enviroschools, working with young people. The role involved supporting them to develop visions for their school and their community, and to enact projects to bring about the change they wanted to see. They were coming up with these incredible, sensible ideas, but it seemed that they were constantly running up against governments (national and local), that didn’t share
...their ambitions and/or didn't have an interest in supporting the enactment of those ambitions. It was very frustrating. Based on these experiences I joked a bit about running for council...but I don't think I would actually have done it if Dave (Dunedin Mayor Dave Cull) and Kate (Cr. Kate Wilson) hadn't heard about it on the grapevine, taken me out for coffee, and encouraged me to do so!” moving forward What inspired you to take the time to visit the cities you’ve researched to investigate how other communities are making positive changes? “In 2012 I was lucky enough to participate in ICLEI's global pilot programme for young municipal leaders interested in sustainability. Through this, I learnt how much progress is being made in cities around the world, and the extent of the 'catching up' we have to do here in New Zealand before we are reaping the environmental and social benefits that cities elsewhere are benefiting from.
There is SO MUCH to be gained from putting principles around environmental sustainability and social resilience at the heart of civic decision-making...and there is no point in reinventing the wheel, when other cities can pass on what they have learnt from their own efforts. Cities in Europe are at the forefront of much of this work, and share similarities with Dunedin. I decided to head over to experience first-hand some of those efforts and meet with the people behind them, so I could contribute as much of their thinking as possible to our own decisions here in Dunedin, over my second Council term. Thanks to friends and acquaintances in strategic locations, plus a generous grant from the NZFGW, I was able to afford it!” Councilor MacTavish travelled to Berlin, Bonn, rural Bavaria, Leipzig, and Freiberg in Germany, on to Paris and Montpellier in France, then London, Bristol and Cardiff in the U.K. gaining much knowledge in a relatively short time frame. 71
Above: Solar Panels, Bonn, Germany
Above: Regeneration -Templehof, Berlin
The following is a brief summary of the impressions made by each location: Berlin, Germany “Tempelhof is a neat example of a public space being co-developed by an engaged community, complete with efforts to re-wild an urban landscape.” Bonn, Germany (ICLEI's Resilient Cities conference) “Inspiring first day focused on city-region food systems - lots of examples of cities and organisations actively seeking to relocalise and decarbonise their food systems, and understand/monitor the social, economic and environmental benefits that flow from that approach. Some interesting dialogue about approaches to climate change adaptation, focused on blue/green infrastructure and the interface between adaptation and mitigation. Bonn is a great little city from a cycling perspective.” Image Above: Confluence of Creative and Urban Renewal Spinnerei, Leipzig
Rural Bavaria, Germany “Enormously impressed by the roll-out of solar PV throughout rural Germany - it's on every second barn roof in the South, thanks to an enlightened, future-focused statutory framework. Landowners are farming sunshine.” Leipzig, Germany “Here I learnt a lot about urban regeneration through art and culture; integration of cycleways and parks and reserves/green space; multifunctional urban spaces providing for multiple urban needs.” Freiburg, Germany “So much in Freiburg. Number one was the integrated low carbon transport system - so simple to navigate, so quick and easy, so enjoyable. Number two was Vauban, an entire suburb designed around ecological principles.”
Image Above: Freiburg Urban Ag in Front of City Theatre
Paris and Montpellier, France “This was the least work-focused part of my trip - but I was struck in France by the strong focus on providence; the celebration of what is local, the strong connection between people and place, and the richness that comes from that.” London, UK “This is where I visited Locality - an organisation that supports community development projects around the country. I learnt much from them about the benefits of keeping procurement local by default.” Bristol, UK “Bristol is Europe’s Green Capital for 2015. Many similarities to Dunedin, apart from its size. I loved their rich community development approach initiatives like their Bike Cafe, Bristol Pound, Good Food project.”
Image Above: Cafe in Bristol ~ England
Cardiff, UK “I spent a week with Prof. Kevin Morgan at the University of Cardiff, learning about city food policy councils, and talking to various players involved in Cardiff's FPC. Very helpful insights.” What were the most impressive things you saw... this can perhaps be the most outstanding city in its forward thinking and pro action for shifting to renewable energy, building systems, and city planning for future generations in mind? “Can I answer this with a suburb? Vauban, in Freiburg, Germany, was a really incredible experience. Vauban is home to over 5000 people. It was collaboratively designed and built by its residents (working in conjunction with the local Council) over the past 20 years. It's remarkable not only for the participatory nature of its development, but because the principles of sustainability and social justice were built into plans right from the beginning. Here (amongst other things), kids play on the streets without 73
Image Above: Bristol Pound ~ Local Currency in Bristol
Image Above: The Ubiquitous German PV, Bavaria
Image Above: Vauban, Freiburg
Image Above: Cycleways, Bonn
Image Above: Vauban, Freiburg
continuing from Page 73
“any worries about traffic (households that do have cars keep them in garages at the edge of the suburb); locally produced food can be purchased from a market in the village square; homes are built to maximise energy efficiency and energy production and minimise cost for the householder (some are energy positive, meaning they produce more than they consume); schools and kindies are integrated such that they're all within walking distance; there are fantastic public transport links and cycleways that head straight to the heart of the suburb, and there are 600 jobs in a range of different enterprises within the suburb itself. All of these are really simple interventions which, put together, make life not only much more sustainable, but much easier and more enjoyable. The residents I met had chosen Vauban as home simply because they thought it was a much more pleasant place to live. For me, it raised some really big questions about the way we currently design our residential areas, particularly large new developments, in New Zealand.”
What things did you see that you felt were not workable and or not good ideas? “Hmmm. Interesting question. There was little that I saw that I thought fundamentally couldn't work in New Zealand. I guess I saw a lot that I thought would be challenging to implement because of differences in culture and legislative framework. In Germany, people are more accepting of regulation for the public good, than we are here in Aotearoa. Possibly because they've a longer history and there are more of them trying to coexist, but they've got a reasonably enlightened view around things like regulation for public health, and protection of the commons. Local government is empowered to make stricter rules around things like building standards, than we are here in New Zealand. There's also the temporal challenge. Places like Freiburg have been taking a sustainable development approach for nigh on forty years. They're now reaping the rewards of that sense and foresight their transport network is so impressive, and it's definitely not the sort of thing that can be implemented in a city overnight, unless a city has a lot of money to burn. Not the case in Dunedin!” 75
What things did you see that you felt were very applicable to Dunedin and Otago? What I saw in Bristol and Cardiff reinforced my view that there is real merit in Dunedin taking a more coordinated approach to food strategy. We've got a rich and productive hinterland, but very little of what we produce locally is consumed locally, and vice versa. This is nuts. It means - even if I'm framing it positively, without mentioning things like burgeoning obesity rates - that we're missing out on sustainable local jobs, food security for our people, health benefits, great marketing potential...and we're racking up untold unnecessary food miles. Acknowledging the similar situation that they find themselves in, Bristol and Cardiff have both taken the step of establishing formal food policy councils to try to relocalise their food system, and ensure it's done in a coordinated way. This involves representatives from all the different parts of the food system committing to regular meetings and dialogue, adopting a vision for the local food system, and all bringing resource to the table to make it happen.”
What can be done right now in Dunedin, what are the obstacles slowing progress, and what can we start to do that takes a process but we need to get going with as soon as possible? “I think there's some real momentum starting to build around the food system question here in Dunedin. We're very lucky in that the Otago Farmers' Market has pioneered work in this area and has shown the multiple benefits that a focus on providence and local producers can bring. Andy Barratt and the Our Food Network team have a rapidly expanding mailing list underway and just hosted the third Local Food Forum.” Image Above: Green Space As Corridors, Leipzig
There are social sector agencies trialling pathways for urban youth interested in working in the rural sector, and others connecting urban fruit growers' abundant crops with needy families. FoodShare is doing some truly remarkable work redirecting perfectly good food 'waste' to people in need, preventing it from heading to landfill. Recent years have seen community gardens and orchards popping up everywhere. And there's some really interesting research on local food systems underway too. So there is much happening in this area, and with the Council on the cusp of employing
Image Above: City Sanctioned Apiaries in City Parks, Leipzig
a fixed term resource to identify how this community effort could be further supported and developed, I'm hopeful that we'll see some of the benefits of action in this area accruing rapidly! That's just food. There's so much that's doable. We're currently developing our second generation District Plan - if the community so desires it, this could draw on international best practice and ensure the rules and regulations that guide landuse and city form over the coming decade are as enlightened as those I saw overseas. We're about to finalise our Energy Plan for consultation. We're commencing work around an Environment Strategy. We're rolling our cycling infrastructure, and with the Government announcing additional funds for this particular area of spend, there is hope we can roll it out faster than previously anticipated. Sometimes progress feels slow, but I think we're at the foot of a positive curve in terms of Dunedin's development, and if Freiburg's anything to go by, we'll be celebrating accrued benefits in no time!”
Was there anything that you learned about you had not realized before hand and thought what a brilliant idea? “I did fall in love with the Bristol Pound. It's a local currency, designed to lock in local spend and help Bristol people support fellow Bristol people. Two years on from the formal launch there are a bunch of beautiful notes with designs crowd-sourced from the community; hundreds of thousands of £B in circulation; over 700 businesses receiving and trading in £B; the Mayor takes his salary in £B, local businesses can pay their rates in £B, and as a tourist in Bristol, I managed to pay for everything (including my bus fare) in £B. There's still a long way to go before this is the currency of choice for all local residents. But as local currencies go, it's a hugely impressive first 2 years.” The most innovative thing about the £B is that they've set up TXT2PAY and a rad little app, which means it's entirely possible to trade in £B without needing physical notes - ease of trading for individuals and businesses alike.
As a visitor, the £B contributed a lot to my Bristol experience. The first thing I did was pick up some £B and one of the newly launched £B Tourist Guides which basically list all the £B traders in the CBD, along with a handy map. I jumped from one awesome independent local business to the next, and had a much more interesting experience because of it. And like a bunch of other visitors, I took some notes home with me, leaving real pounds (which back every £B 1:1) in the £B bank account. Genius!” What is your heart based personal vision for Dunedin? “Oh goodness, I find this one nigh on impossible to answer. There is already so much about Dunedin that is good - returning home, I have no doubt I'm very lucky to live here. That being said, I'd love us to become increasingly connected as a community - people to people, and people to place. I'd also love us to be thinking collectively about how we can make the biggest, boldest contribution as global citizens, rather than just thinking about feathering our own nest. Precisely how that connection
and global citizenship manifests itself will change over time, but right now I think the challenge is to find the smartest, fastest ways to reduce our reliance on the fossil fuels that are destroying hope of a safe climate future for our kids. Places like Freiburg, Bristol - these guys are showing us the way.” How can we as a community, both as individuals and community at large, do our bit? “Individually, we all need to be identifying as active, engaged citizens, willing to stand up and be heard in decision-making forums, for the future we want for ourselves and our kids. Unless decision-makers hear those visions articulated, they're not going to have the courage to make the changes that we know need to be made. Collectively, we need to be pooling our resources for the common good. We need to be thinking long-term, supporting each other to make decisions and take actions that will build strong communities and ensure our environment and our planet retain their life-supporting capacity.”
Image Above: Commuter Routes Dedicated for Cycling, Freiberg
Above Image: Cr. Jinty MacTavish, Bonn
Much gratitude for our own walk/cycle way West Harbour, Dunedin, Photo:Caroline Davies © 2014
Our Children’s Future: Image Caroline Davies © 2014
DUNEDIN’S BIG GREEN CHALLENGE
Otago Harbour: Image Caroline Davies © 2014
What’s not to love about the feeling of exhilaration when you breathe in fresh unadulterated air - energizing happy making oxygen provided by earth’s ancient atmosphere, or the sight of a clear blue sky that goes on forever without a smog haze in sight. What’s not to love about drinking in pure fresh water, or surfing in an ocean void of petroleum byproducts and islands of plastic floating in radioactive waste, or what’s not to love when the food you and your family ingests is fresh and clean void of a salad dressing laced with synthetic chemicals... Sounds like paradise to me, and as intelligent humans, we have the ability as well as the ways and means to steward this beautiful world gifted to us as our home planet into a far more balanced place to live. As Claire Beynon describes in “The Hum of the Parts” (page 22), as individuals we can make a positive difference to the whole - a creative process of collaboration and co-operation. We are at a threshold, and the door is open, welcoming us wholeheartedly.
THE BIG GREEN CHALLENGE Once a year 10 grants for $500 are given to individuals or organizations in the Dunedin area for projects that will contribute to the community in light of climate change, energy use, and resilience. Like “The Hum of the Parts” it enables those with good ideas to bring them into life for the community - a part of the whole, to restore wholeness. A generous donation gifted by Nora Calvert in 2010 inspired the idea of Sustainable Dunedin City’s the Big Green Challenge and continuing donations have since sustained these grants. Sustainable Dunedin City Society came about after a small group of concerned citizens called a meeting to discuss climate change and energy issues in 2006. Dugald MacTavish was the coordinator and the society was constituted as Sustainable Dunedin City Inc. in March of 2007, and became a registered charity in 2010.
John Cocks, who is Co-Chairperson (with Mark Jackson) of Sustainable Dunedin City gives a brief summary of how the organization began, evolved, and contributes to the advancement for sustainability and resilience in the Dunedin area. The Society started with public meetings with key note speakers on subjects related to the risk of society from fossil-fuel energy supply shortages and climate change, and with submissions on Dunedin City Council and Otago Regional Council plans. It grew with the activities of enthusiastic younger members, who organized events for school students. The Vodafone Foundation provided generous grants, which enabled the Society to employ young people who ran activities that created awareness of energy and climate changes issues, and the need for community resilience in the face of these.
In 2011, with support from the Dunedin City Council, the Society ran a Resilience Summit which brought together representatives of business, education, iwi, local government, community groups and health services. Those at the Summit discussed such future scenarios as energy price rises, the downside of reliance on coal, the effects of climate change and declining energy supply on transport and food supply, sea-level rise, and ideas for creating self-
sufficient communities. The Summit was a great success. The Society has a fortnightly newsletter, which continues to be well received. Since the Society started, community awareness of fossil fuel energy supply and climate change issues has grown hugely, and the Society believes its activities have contributed to this awareness. ‘Sustainable Dunedin City Society’ is made
up of persons who are interested in the issues of climate change, declining energy security and sustainability, as they affect Dunedin City. The Society is not affiliated with any political party and aims to facilitate a positive, secure and sustainable future for Dunedin City. Our vision aims to facilitate a positive, secure and sustainable future for Dunedin City in the face of challenges posed by climate change and unsustainable resource use.
Otago Harbour ~ Caroline Davies © 2014
http://www.sustainabledunedincity.org.nz/ https://www.facebook.com/pages/Dunedins-Big-Green-Challenge/114259821956265 82
Toward Dunedin: Image Caroline Davies ÂŠ 2014
ELECTRIC BIKES: A POSITIVE ALTERNATIVE Story by Scott Willis
Electric Bike Image: Courtesy Kashi - Bike Otago, Dunedin
Composite Image - Caroline Davies
Down In Edin Magazine’s Facebook page shared a story posted by The Blueskin Resilient Communities Trust a few months ago about a local workshop held in Waitati on electric bikes. We had a mass of emails from readers who were both sorry that that they missed out on the event (from our local friends), and others from further afield who are wanting to know more about electric bikes. So I called Scott Willis at BRCT to find out more and pass this information onto our readers: The following contribution by Scott is a great introduction to BRCT’s exploration of E-Bikes as well as what this fabulous organization is doing on a local level in response to the call for community resilience and energy awareness.
The Blueskin Resilient Communities Trust (BRCT) was formed in 2008, to rise to the challenges of climate change, resource depletion and increasing economic volatility. BRCT’s mission is to strengthen our communities in the immediate, mid and long-term future, with emphasis on energy, food, water and community resilience. We look for opportunity in a changing world, and that’s why we are excited about E-Bikes! The idea for a workshop on Electric Bikes had been brewing for some time in
Blueskin. It was Waitati local Jenni Rodgers who got the wheel spinning however, and corralled E-Bike enthusiast and Otago Polytechnic Energy Consultant Neville Auton to be our technical expert for the day, confirmed Bike Otago’s attendance, and we booked out the Waitati Hall on the 18th of October, and then invited along all those who wanted to show off their E-Bikes to come along.
Even more than that, the ‘Climate Change Adaptation Plan for Waitati’ report, published earlier this year, uncovered a desire among Blueskin residents to establish greater transport links between Blueskin settlements, and not only between each settlement and the city, and what better way to get between settlements and appreciate our fantastic environment, than by foot, ordinary bike, or E-Bike?
Blueskin settlements (Long Beach, Purakaunui and Osborne, Waitati, Doctor’s Point, Evansdale, Warrington, Seacliff and Karitane) and their residents, have a lot to do with one another. Clearly, transport, without a commuter rail link, is a key issue for residents, as for others in Dunedin. With something like 1000 households and a population over 2000, there is a need for diverse transport options. Already there are plenty of EBikes in Blueskin, which is not surprising in such an energy literate community. But it is still fairly new technology in NZ, and there was a definite need to de-mystify the technology, and also explore all the emerging options and provide an opportunity to make good decisions.
A specific transport challenge faced by Blueskin (and Dunedin) residents is our hilly environment. Another is the relatively low population base and wide service area, which means that public transport is both limited and costly. This is where E-Bikes come in. As we are discovering, with the advent of internet connectivity and concern about climate change, more and more people are rediscovering the delight of low carbon transport systems, with an extra ‘charge’.
E-Bikes (Electric bikes) are low carbon transport with low entry cost. And E-Bike technology has arrived in Dunedin in time to catch those in mid-life who remember with fondness their cycling
Image Courtesy BRCT and Belle, Libby and Blueskin E-Bike ÂŠ 2014 86
youth, but whose muscles are no longer as taut and responsive as they once were. “I was not fit at all when I started and was recovering from a back issue. After three months I was much fitter and I noticed that I was often the only cyclist on rainy/pooy days as other cyclists are put off by the high winds or general bad weather” reported Sue from West Harbour. E-Bikes certainly make it simple to keep on a bike and keep the wind in your sails: “E-Bikes are absolutely good for health, it is a wonderful way of connecting with nature, and being fast but very close to the environment. Good for physical and mental health” says Inge Doesburg, a passionate E-Biker living in town. A quiet electric revolution is taking place all around the world in fact. As relatively new as it is to Dunedin, we know that the Chinese, for example, understand the value of cheap, efficient transport by EBike. In Dunedin, E-Bikes are actually already being normalised, and are not only something for greenies. Those on a suspended license value the cheap, fast transport an electric bike provides (often
on-selling once they get their licenses back) and many others are investing in an electric bike for the myriad of benefits they provide. As Sue Voice explained, “An E-bike allows you to comfortably get around town in all weather (some exceptions on days >130k/hr winds!) you just need a good rain/wet weather kit on.” In fact, when you’re on the look out for the different bike models, it is amazing how many E-Bikes are already out there. Kashi from Bike Otago has reported that sales of E-Bikes are rising fast, with costs for a complete E-Bike ranging from under $2000 to well over $3000. Build your own kits can be found for much less, and the proposed trial BRCT is working on will potentially involve Ebikes at wholesale price (see below), but without the guarantees or support of a retailer. So what about the E-Bike, models, etc? We looked closely at this at the workshop. Electric bikes models can have very different aesthetics, but the one big difference is where the motor is 87
positioned. Centre drive motors power the cranks. The big advantage with these E-Bikes is that the motor is not affected by the speed and this means it is better for climbing steep hills. The disadvantage is more wear and tear on the drive-chain, meaning more maintenance costs. Hub motors are the other cheaper alternative and the most popular system currently, despite the hills of our city. An advantage of the hub motor is that it is simple and requires almost no maintenance. However, the consensus from the workshop seemed to be that centre-drive is the best solution for Dunedin, for all that the market is showing. The biggest innovation happening right now with electric bikes is however in the batteries, as Neville Auton explained. Batteries are getting lighter and able to store more capacity now. The key here is to ensure bikes are upgradable, so when new technology comes out we are able to just replace parts, rather then the entire bike. This is the question to ask, by the way, when looking for an E-Bike. Those who are building kit E-Bikes are well versed in the practice of upgrading.
Image Courtesy BRCT and Jenn Shulzitski with son Odin ÂŠ 2014
Back-up support for E-Bikes is going to be increasingly important, and already we have Bike Otago in Dunedin providing good support for E-Bikes, as well as a considerable amount of knowledge in the E-Bike community, and this looks like a rapidly expanding space, if the interest at the workshop is any indication. Back to our environment, and practicality however. When I asked Inge about the ‘sexy raincoat’ side of E-Bikes, she poopooed the ‘wet Dunedin’ idea. “I use my bike most days, and I do wear my raincoat and trousers when it is raining, but it is very rare that I use my car. But then I’ve only got a short distance to go to work”. Inge lives in Wakari and works in town, so has two significant hill climbs each day. In Blueskin meanwhile, Nathan Parker regularly commutes from Warrington to the Orokonui Ecosantuary, which involves a significant hill climb, or takes his grand-daughter over to backbeach. It is hard to wipe the smile off his face when talking about his E-Bike: “Its like beginning biking all over again. You know that love you have when you have your first bike? And it’s yay!”
We heard a lot about the ease of E-Bikes – the power assist means that you get a workout while getting from place to place. “I have an E-Bike because I still want the exercise. Where it took me 50 minutes to go home on my normal bike, now it takes 20 and I don’t require a shower afterwards”, Inge told me. The natural advantage of an ordinary bike of moving efficiently through traffic is also enhanced in the E-Bike with greater start off speed, general speed, and power over distance. With the growth in bike lanes, you can get around the city fast on an EBike. And if you’ve replaced your car commute with an electric bike, you instantly notice the ease of parking, the ‘free’ aspect of transport, and the positive responses from others, particularly other cyclists. Healthwise, we know cycling is good for us. But knowing it and doing it are two different things. Those who have embraced E-Bikes no longer make excuses, they just get on their bikes and get going – keeping active without pain. For Inge, her E-Bike opened up positive options: “I wouldn’t have continued cycling without an E-bike, because 89
cycling up hill without a motor you get lung-fulls of car fumes, but cycling on an E-bike, you don’t work so hard, so you can hold your breath when a stinky car goes past”. Possibly most importantly, the lifestyle we value in Blueskin and in Dunedin is related to our landscape and the relatively low-key pace of life. The electric revolution is enhancing these values. At the BRCT office (located on Waitati School grounds) we regularly see Jenn Shulzitski arriving on an impressive E-Bike with her son Odin in the bike seat. I caught her last week for a photo, as she left school to head into town for shopping with Odin in his seat (he’s preschool). E-Bikes are just as well designed for serious commuting as for getting around town, and Jenn is the living, cycling proof! If E-Bikes take the hill out of a commute, there’s still much more we could do to ensure E-Bike friendly infrastructure, like simpler bike stands with locks provided, more cycle lanes and education (its hard to turn right from the existing cycle lanes). That’s sure to come, with all the interest and growing number of E-Bikes.
From the workshop Firstly, we’re working with Cr. Staynes on a potential E-Bike trial in the wider city, including Blueskin, and we began collecting names of people keen to participate in the potential trial, with 21 people down on the list already. Of course, we got to see and hear about all the E-Bikes people came on, and take them out for a spin. A good lot of networking happened as well, and with all the E-Bike enthusiasts coming out of the woodwork, it looks as if there’ll be a significant support group for all the new E-Bikers out there, and wider technical expertise. We also got to compare different models and different batteries,
from the old lead acid to the Lithium-ion and look into the future. So now it looks as if the E-Bike community, while small, in city terms, is vibrant, and positive and bursting with energy! Certainly from that workshop, rarely can I recall meeting so many positive, life-affirming people with so much smile on the dial. The future is bright, and talk ended with E-Bikes participating in the Christmas Parade early December. Meanwhile, if you have an interest in EBikes and want to hear more about the trial or follow what’s happening, contact us at email@example.com or 03 4822048 and we’ll put you in touch with E-Bike
action. Be careful if you get our projects coordinator Niki on the phone however, as she’s suffering from an extreme case of E-Bike envy at present (her partner has an E-Bike). “It kinda sucks because I now can’t keep up with him, and I used to be able to beat him!” she said ruefully, and then with even more passion, “Oh my god to be able to cycle up Blueskin Road after work on an electric bike would be just so amazing, oh my god”. I think we’ll soon have an E-Bike parked outside the office, charging from the solar panels. As Inge says, “E-Bikes are the best thing since the invention of wheels!”. http://www.brct.org.nz/
BRCT E-Bike Workshop, 2014 © Bike Otago, Anzac Ave, Dunedin ©
Jenn Shultzitski and children ©
Overlooking Blueskin Bay Area ~ Osborne, Purakaunui Inlet, Northward Photo Credit: Caroline Davies ÂŠ 2014
Alison Lambert the heart of
Story and Photographs by Pauline Durning Balancing the range of responsibilities we choose to warrant as essential to living a meaningful life, often requires delicacy and finesse. I met Alison Lambert recently at her cozy café in Highgate. Its called “Delicacy” and it aptly embodies the light tasteful way she manages a life lived with passion and determination in pursuit of a most worthy and meaningful mission. Alison’s life story is a journey to learn and understand the importance of our relationship with food. Her mission is to empower us to have more control over what we take into our bodies. She is determined to grow people’s awareness of food as essential to our personal wellbeing and that of the wider community.
Since settling with her family in Dunedin she has spread herself thinly to marry what she’s learnt through her extensive travel with what’s going on locally. You’ll see her most Saturdays at the Farmers market, doing cooking demonstrations using local readily-available produce. She is an inspiration to the elderly, students and children motivating them with her abundant enthusiasm to cook, create and enjoy a lifelong relationship with what they consume. Alison is the chief chef at ‘Delicacy’ café. Her husband works at a separate site developing their own breads, salamis and preserves. Everything is made from scratch. The food fresh, organic, tasty and beautifully present but it has an extra quality. You can feel the energy oozing out of every carefully considered item. Alison looks at food holistically.
She has carefully selected every ingredient and plans her menus looking at the whole picture. Recent decades have radically changed what we eat and divorced us from nurturing our relationship with our food. Alison wants to know where it all comes from, and understand its source. She thinks its vitally important that we understand that the origin and history of all our food impacts on how we feel as consumers at the end of that process. As with all busy motivated people, to
achieve what she does Alison needs to delicately balance business, family, and community. She knows her mission cannot be accomplished alone. She believes in cooperation, collaboration, and the need for us all to share information, our skills and our resources. Alisons CV would stretch the length of the Otago Harbour but her passion is not about building on her career, its about supporting you and I and our community to know food and grow
our health as a consequence. As her students we can take the baton and
pass it on carrying with it her passion her energy and securing our city and our peoples future. Check out her web site and blogs and the recipes in the local newspaper or pop into the café. Alison will be there behind the counter- little time for idle chat she’s active in her mission to contribute daily to the health of anyone interested in taking responsibility for their own wellbeing through caring for and valuing that essential relationship – the one we each have with food.
Delicacy Café 595 Highgate, Maori Hill, Dunedin 9010 03 464 0700 http://www.delicacy.co.nz/ 93
The Catlins Coastline, Southern Otago, New Zealand. Nick Rapley ÂŠ 2014
Surfing Otago Photography and text ~ 94
Above Left and Right: Driving to Cape Saunders, Otago Peninsula ©2014
Below left: Aramoana Beach, Dunedin New Zealand © 2014
Below: Nick Rapley
Purakaunui Bay in the Catlins, Southern Otago, New Zealand © 2014
I love the ocean because of its raw power and size. It makes you feel so small and insignificant when you are sitting out in these wild places waiting for the next wave to come through. I love the adventure side to surfing and trying to find that wave you have been dreaming of. No wave is the same - there are many different types of waves and they all break differently depending on the contours of the land, whether it be a sand or reef bottom wave, a point break or a wedge. This is what makes surfing so addictive for me because itʼs based on an unexpected rewards system and you never know what youʼre going to find around the next headland. 96
Purakaunui Bay in the Catlins, Southern Otago, New Zealand ÂŠ 2014
My favorite type of wave would definitely be a super hollow beach break or a river mouth. I love getting tubed, I pretty much spend every minute of my spare time driving around lower South Island hunting barrels because there is no better feeling than riding through and unpredictable tunnel of water and making it out again. 97
View of Brighton Beach looking northward from a property sold by Miles - Image - Courtesy Miles Rapley
Miles Rapley - Homes In Dunedin Sponsoring the second issue of Down In Edin Magazine 98
Dunedinâ€™s coastline looking northward from Brighton Beach - Image - Courtesy Miles Rapley
MILES RAPLEY M 027 201 0567
O 03 467 7207
I have a keen interest in real estate and architecture. I love looking at and appreciating houses in Dunedin. Some of that has to do with the old world charm of our city’s earlier architecture from the late 1800’s to early 1940’s. The design and material details - from the use of beautiful New Zealand timbers, now very rare to find and costly to buy, to lead light and stained glass windows, intricate plaster work on the ceilings, to the porches laced with antique iron work, along with enough space to create a very beautiful edible garden appeal strongly to my sense of whimsy and old world charm. These homes are in an ideal state to contemporise with double glazed windows, wool insulation, and solar panels, and indeed, many of them have been during recent renovations as property owners become more aware of energy use and the value of conservation. There are of course, beautiful modern homes as well with their clean lines, open living spaces, and beautiful vistas of the ocean, harbour, or countryside. Miles loves this city too, and being a realtor in Dunedin is a not a job for him, but a vocation worked with commitment and care.
Down In Edin Magazine is delighted to feature Miles Rapley of Bayleys as our very first sponsor in our second issue. Miles was also the first realtor my husband and I met the day after our move to Dunedin from Golden Bay on the South Island of Aotearoa a few years ago. We had been looking at property remotely from the north west coast and Miles represented one of our favorite properties, and even though we didn’t buy it at the time, I still think of it often. The house was full of character and whimsy with a fabulous view of the Otago Harbour between Port Chalmers and Careys Bay nestled snuggly high up on the hillside with a robust organic garden including an orchard of well established fruit trees of all kinds. We barely had time to view the house between our arrival and the closing date for offers, but Miles accommodated our timing with grace and consideration. I wonder who bought that charming property, whoever it is, I think they lucked out. Had our timing been slightly different, we may well have purchased that lovely home in its bucolic setting only fifteen minutes from Dunedin’s city centre.
Miles Rapley BAYLEYS (Real Estate)
M 027 201 0567 O 03 467 7207 firstname.lastname@example.org
Miles Rapley: “I feel privileged to be involved in transacting real estate of all types, value, and architecture within such a stunning local environment and meeting fabulous people from all walks of life, often from far off places-matching them to the property of their dreams.”
with an extensive network of contacts through business, social and sports activities. A tireless problem solver, he enjoys dealing immediately with the challenges as they arise during the sale process and is a consummate negotiator.
Born and bred in the Dunedin region, Miles has a long history of over 50 years here - primary school, high school, university, freezing works, sporting associations, water-sports shop, ski shop, rugby protective gear and sports apparel distribution
This together with a proven ability to think laterally and act with utmost honesty and integrity are key to Miles success for his clients.
Overlooking Dunedin from the city’s greenbelt in Roslyn - Image Courtesy Miles Rapley 101
For a wonderful place to stay in Purakaunui: â€œAs You Like Itâ€? Barbara or Christopher 03 482 1046 or 0272 215 589 This Historic Fisherman's Cottage is on the water's edge of the sheltered Purakaunui inlet 25 min drive from Dunedin. It has been restored and renovated with modern comforts. The panorama varies from sandy beach to a boating paradise. http://www.holidayhouses.co.nz/properties/25717.asp?action=enquiry#enquiry-form
Rainbow after a summerâ€™s rain, Hereweka and the Otago Peninsula, Dunedin, New Zealand ~ Caroline Davies ÂŠ 2014
" You are never too old to set another goal or to dream a new dream."
Published on Jan 1, 2015
Kia Ora, Welcome to the second issue of Down In Edin Magazine - a quarterly, visually driven, on-line magazine celebrating the brilliant...