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Showing posts from November, 2019

John Barningham: Local stories on stage and screen 1960s - 1980s

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John Barningham was a successful producer-director in the formative years of New Zealand’s television and stage industries. Highly motivated, with enormous creative energy and a touch of irreverence, talented young New Zealanders, like Barningham, embraced the explosion of 1960s youth culture, giving it a local accent.


Born in Te Kuiti in 1943, Barningham grew up and went to school in Avondale where he was active in amateur stage productions. He sang in local boy scout Gang Shows and started the Avondale Theatre, which soon merged with the Mt Eden Community Players.

The first public television broadcast in New Zealand was limited to Auckland in 1960, with broadcasts to Christchurch and Wellington beginning in 1961. In 1962, Barningham began working as floor manager for Auckland’s AKTV2 channel. This was part of the New Zealand Broadcasting Corporation (NZBC). Known to many as “Barney” he rose quickly through the television ranks to produce and direct many successful light entertain…

Stepping back into the shed: Westfield Freezing Works, 1916-1989

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"Westfield workers turned a place which was often physically strenuous, monotonous, hot, cold, bloody and smelly work, into a workplace of whānau, camaraderie and whanaungatanga."
- Ross Webb, “Your Livelihood is on the Line” Freezing workers in Aotearoa New Zealand, 1973-1994. University of Auckland, 2015.

For many workers in the meatworks industry one of the main things they enjoyed is the sense of working as part of a large family. This was very much the case at the four large meatworks in the Westfield area of Auckland, R. & W. Hellaby, AFFCO (Southdown), Auckland City Abattoirs and Westfield Freezing Company. Eunice Te Rangiuaia refers to this in her interview about her time working in the cannery at Westfield Freezing Company.
Eunice Te Rangiuaia – Games and the cannery
Listen to the track here

The ‘Stepping back into the shed’ exhibition celebrates the people, place and community of Westfield. It acknowledges the closure of the Westfield Freezing Company 30 years a…

Toilets for all: a brief history

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November 19 is officially the United Nations World Toilet Day, a day about ‘inspiring action to tackle the global sanitation crisis’. 4.6 billion people worldwide live without access to a safe toilet which has been proven to ‘impact upon public health, living and working conditions, nutrition, education and economic productivity across the world.’

In Auckland today, it can sometimes be a bit of a nuisance to find a public loo, but for the most part we rest easy knowing that if nature made her call, we would be able to find suitable facilities. However, this hasn’t always been the case.

Auckland has been New Zealand’s largest city since 1891. Before this it had seen a steady increase in population since the 1840s and soon became a bustling hub of trade, debate and development. Reports detailing the unsanitary conditions rife in the city streets demonstrated a clear need for the implementation of drainage and sewage systems both by property owners and government to, quite literally, cle…

Albrecht to Zusters: Aotearoa artists’ books exhibition

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For those who draw with words
And write in images


- Inscription from The Visionary

The Albrecht to Zusters Aotearoa artists’ books exhibition displays stunning works of visual and written arts, and explores different materials, bindings and forms – from the traditional Codex form to fold-outs, to an array of items in a box. These factors combine to generate fresh ways to make books, and to experience reading them. The exhibition opens on Saturday 2 November 2019 in the Angela Morton Room art library, Level 1, Takapuna Library and runs till Thursday 30 January 2020.

The exhibition shares a selection of the Angela Morton Collection’s rare books normally only seen by request in order to preserve them. They range from exquisite examples of fine press publishing to more low-tech aesthetics such as a photocopied and stapled pamphlet.


The Wai-te-ata companion to poetry is a cardboard box containing poems translated into objects whose design has been inspired by the written content. There’s a m…