December 21, 2007

6.8 Earthquake centered in Gisbourne, felt in Hawke's Bay

Gisbourne Earthquake

Just finished watching the Breakfast show showing the damage.

Below is a link with many comments from around New Zealand.
Earthquake felt in Wellington, In Gisbourne, several buildings collapse, felt in cars, damage to property...

In Hawke's Bay felt for some forty plus seconds, We went under the kitchen table, no damage to picture frames or ornaments falling off shelves like the pictures in Gisbourne.

New Zealand Earthquake Report - Dec 20 2007 at 8:55 pm (NZDT)

Magnitude 6.8, Thursday, December 20 2007 at 8:55 pm (NZDT), 50 km south-east of Gisborne.
Quake Details

Information about this earthquake:
Reference Number: 2839343/G
Universal Time: December 20 2007 at 7:55
NZ Daylight Time: Thursday, December 20 2007 at 8:55 pm
Latitude, Longitude: 38.86°S, 178.52°E
Focal Depth: 40 km
Richter magnitude: 6.8
Region: Hikurangi Trough
* 50 km south-east of Gisborne
* 400 km south-east of Auckland

see for some posts from people affected.

Also see:

Gisbourne Earthquake

December 18, 2007

Te Poho, Porangahau, the land the people and their TaongaIn Review

It's been a busy week with many Christmas functions to attend at work. I am looking forward to catching up with my family for a few days.

I enjoyed checking out the new Opera Kitchen with the reference team at the refurbished Hastings Opera House and can recommend the fruitsalad, lemon tarts and peppermint tea. We sat outside in the main foyer with the roof open to the sun. This way we avoided the radio inside, which was too loud to speak over and could talk and enjoy the opera courtyard environment. The inside has a very contempory Hastings feel, with large tables like they've came from the freezing works. Chairs are not wide so just suit an average sized person and a very large person might prefer the option of a bench. However it is great to be in a cafe within the Opera Complex with good colour scheme and design and the food and beverages were up to standard with a good selection of fresh local produce.

Christmas in the Domain, Havelock North was another true highlight, the band and singers were outstanding with good support from sponsers and the community, free sausages and softdrink. There have also been some great school breakups and prizegivings which I have attended.

Te Poho, Porangahau, the land the people and their Taonga.

There is a very good exhibition on at the moment at the Hastings Exhibition Centre called Te Poho, Porangahau, the land the people and their Taonga. Porangahau is a rural coastal village and community in Central Hawke's Bay. It's about an hours drive south of Napier and is thirty miles from its nearest township, Waipukurau. I particularly enjoyed the large wooden carvings (Takitimu canoe prow) plus the flax work, the piupiu and korowai (flax skirts worn around the waist and around the shoulders as cloaks). Photographer Sal Criscillo ( has captured some wonderful photography for the images in TE POHO of local people from Porangahau (Central Hawke's Bay. In their introductory brochure/pamphlet he writes, "The images in TE POHO started almost by accident. Assisting the two writers, Hilary Pedersen and Marina Sciascia in assembling their book " Haikui, Mothers of Porangahau", the Te Poho images grew out of the preparations, research and assembly of their second book "Tuhine, Sisters of Porangahau". However I did notice that there were several to many men photographed as well for example white baiters in the rivers with nets , shearers at work, interestingly some fox hunters plus many people with intricate moko and tatoos, historical photos of people gathered on Marae (Te Poho derives its name from Te Poho o Kahungunu, the meeting house situated on Rongomaraeroa Marae at Porangahau), and even pictures of Peter Sharples and Tariana Turia (MPs) with folk expressing their political support of the Maori Party. Also as I recall social club rugby shields as well as a display of greenstone (Paunamu) patu and mere, gourds decorated with flax and toi toi. At the front door is an very intricately carved oval shaped wooden vessel for holding taonga. I have seen these at Marae when there is a funeral next to the body. Inside are white feathers and tea tree leaves. I am not sure how old it is but I suspect I have seen it before next to a body on a Marae! Or perhaps one just like this.
The exhibition centre is located next to the Hastings Central Library.

Below are photographs of the piupiu and korowai

Porangahau: At the coastline is an eight mile stretch of sand interrupted only by the outfall of the Porangahau river which has a relatively large inland catchment across CHB farmland. These features, combined with a large estuary at the beach make for an ancient natural resource that has seen many generations of human occupation....
Porangahau (hapu) plus co-exhisting Pakeha rural community) also has a long relationship with Heretaunga, that continues today...
Hope you get to see it and enjoy like I did.

Best, Kia Ora

Of Note: The Parihaka International Peace Festival is coming up after New Year from the 11-13.

Latest Comment: Hello helena, I am Marina Sciascia, we have been wanting to know how to get our exhibition out to the world and found you. So thanks, you have done it.


"hello helena , thanks for your comments on our exhibition . from the gallery's feedback been probably their most attended offering in years . glowing comments all round.your comment about too many male photographs ? the pics grew from the two 'mothers and sisters' books probably 40 or so featured in the publications .. some of these are featured in B/w in the foyer but rather than repeat all ,the exhib photographs were an extension of the families i met and the land and sea scapes of the area.there was never any intention to show only the mothers and sisters for the wider exhibition . hardly a misreading of the exhibition itself but questioning your comment only. glad to see your recommendation to view. closes jan 20th so hopefully lots of holiday makers will also access. mille grazie

Te Poho, Porangahau, the land the people and their Taonga.

Recommended Reading: How To Make a Piupiu by Leilani Rickard.

Also if you ever visit Te Papa in Wellington, there are many beautiful Piupiu to see there.

December 10, 2007

2007 New Recipe Books - popular Christmas gifts or simply for yourself!

Christmas cook books

Cook books are a popular gift choice at this time of year. Please enjoy the selection below. Most are new books first printed in 2007.

Shortcuts to Asian Cooking
Shortcuts to Asian Cooking

Complete Book of Indian Cooking: 350 Recipes from the Regions of India
Complete Book of Indian Cooking: 350 Recipes from the Regions of India

Jamie at Home: Cook Your Way to the Good Life
Jamie at Home: Cook Your Way to the Good Life

Eat Fresh: Cooking Through the Seasons
Eat Fresh: Cooking Through the Seasons

New World Provence: Modern French Cooking for Friends and Family
New World Provence: Modern French Cooking for Friends and Family

The Italian Grill: Fresh Ideas to Fire Up Your Outdoor Cooking
The Italian Grill: Fresh Ideas to Fire Up Your Outdoor Cooking

Nigella Express
Nigella Express

Kia ora, arohanui,
Have a safe and happy summer break.


Christmas cook books

Music Selections, Christmas 2007

One Chance - Puccini, etc / Paul Potts

One Chance - Puccini, etc / Paul Potts

Interesting Feedback on the blog... this thinking reader writes;:
"I have heard that writers have a deep desire to write and can’t not. So I understand your posting various material on your blog. It struck me that a blog is like an advertisement. Except that we are used to people marketing a service, so we might sell our ability to do research. A blog seems like it is more than the selling of a service but also the marketing of oneself. Posting interests, abilities, movies seen, books read, knowledge gleaned, background, as well a profession. It is different – you know."

Thankyou! I agree, the blog allows you to document and share ideas. I've heard some describe it as scrapbooking! But it does develop your IT skills and anything that you do write that is of interest (such as my health and safety/first aid training, or ezine scripts or explanations, of RSS, wikis, google reader and also the nice photos) can be easily shared with others. I can also change the level of my privacy down the track and restrict readers if I choose by changing my settings. I am trying to avoid becoming one big advertisement whilst promoting the occassional affliate product. But I think the nature of short blog posts does allow for a diverse and different range of non demanding yet personalised writing. So it should be a showcase of whats going on somewhere at sometime. But it doesn't have to be a life monument or to encapsulate more than the 10 minutes or so you've devoted to the blog. It should assist with your ability to do research and assist with the marketing of yourself that is true.

With you.


December 03, 2007

This day in History:

As a reference book for world history the latest volume of Chase's Calendar of Events is an articulate read and provides comprehensive coverage of many key events in a succint, compact and illustrative way. The matching website(see extract below)also provides good monthly coverage of then and now; this time in history.

Holidays and Events

Dec 3 2007

150th birth anniversary of Joseph Conrad (1857-1924). (Heart of Darkness et al..)
In 1947, A Streetcar Named Desire opened on Broadway at the Ethel Barrymore Theatre. Tennessee Williams' play starred Marlon Brando and Jessica Tandy.
In 1967, Dr Christiaan Barnard performed the world's first successful heart transplantation at Cape Town, South Africa.

Dec 4 2007

The 50th anniversary of Chase's Calendar of Events....

Dec 7 2007

National Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day

Dec 8 2007

In 1980, John Lennon was shot and killed in New York City by a deranged fan.
In 1991, the Soviet Union was dissolved.

Dec 9 2007

Tanzania: Independence and Republic Day
National Day of the Horse

Dec 10 2007

Human Rights Day
Birth anniversary of American poet Emily Dickinson (1830-1886).
There is no Frigate like a Book

To take us Lands away

Nor any Coursers like a Page

Of prancing Poetry . . .

Dec 11 2007

In 1936, uncoronated King Edward VIII of England abdicated his throne to marry "the woman I love," Wallis Simpson.
In 1946, UNICEF was established.
International Mountain Day

Dec 12 2007

Day of Our Lady of Guadalupe
Birth anniversary of Frank Sinatra (1915-1998)

November 30, 2007


Archives New Zealand's new audio visual website is now online at

The site showcases over 100 film clips sourced from the National Film Unit and is a big step forward in making Archives New Zealand's audio visual collection more accessible and visible to New Zealand and international viewers. Films featured on the site include Weekly Review and Pictorial Parade newsreels as well as one-off documentaries. Historic events covered include Queen Elizabeth's visit to New Zealand in 1953, New Zealanders leaving for Europe at the beginning of World War Two and the opening of the Rimutaka Tunnel.

A wiki feature gives visitors the opportunity to add descriptive detail and share their comments about the films with others.

The Minister responsible for Archives New Zealand, Hon Judith Tizard,launched the new website at a function in the Beehive to mark 50 years since the passing of the Archives Act 1957. You can read her full press release at:


November 20, 2007

Census seminar

I feel lucky to have attended one of the Census seminars and have recorded the updates provided post course below. This was an interesting and well run seminar presentation and "table builder" is a truely powerful tool, allowing a multitude of statistial variables to be created into graphs for ease of understanding and to allow comparison and contrast. I would like to use this much more in the future.
I have attended these seminars in the past annually where there was more of a user focus, with modules for attendees to follow online. This time around we did not use the programme on pcs at the time of the seminar but viewed a powerpoint and listened to four very good speakers, including someone from the call centre, a Maori statistical specialist and another person focusing on a regional update of Napier largely (with some attention to Hastings). The venue was the Napier Council buildings and this was a very good venue for this type of presentation. The libraries have a partnership with statistics New Zealand and we are encouraged to contact the department freely on their freephone for any assistance to work at accessing any statistics.

2006 Census seminars
Regional census seminars were held between 23 October and 9 November in 25 locations throughout New Zealand. These seminars were very successful, with approximately 1,300 people attending. The seminars were an opportunity for Statistics New Zealand to promote the range of information available from the census, how it can be used, and to provide instruction on how to access this information. They were also a chance to meet users of census data face to face, and to respond to users' issues and queries. Thanks to all those who attended the seminars, and for the interesting comments and questions that were raised. We recognise and appreciate your continuing role in promoting and disseminating census information to your local communities.

The seminars also provided a useful opportunity to highlight the planning underway for the 2011 Census....

The presentation content has been posted on the Statistics NZ website, and can be accessed here:

You can access the location specific content from all 25 seminars from the above link. A demonstration of how to use Table Builder will also be available on the web by the end of the month.

Due to technical difficulties, interactive QuickStats About a Place web pages are not available at present. PDF documents covering the full range of information are available on the Statistics NZ website.

Who responded as New Zealander?
During the seminars a number of questions were raised about the review of the measurement of ethnicity and the New Zealander output category. For more information on the review and for the report, Profile of New Zealander Responses, Ethnicity Question: 2006 Census go to:

We also plan to publish shortly a set of guidelines for the use of 2006 census ethnicity data. These update and expand on guidelines included in the current ethnicity standard, and seek to establish a consistent and robust approach to comparing census ethnicity statistics with those derived from other sources. They include guidelines for the production of time series and have been developed in consultation with expert users and producers of ethnicity data.

Census Update - 13-12-12

QuickStats About Unpaid Work
The eighth QuickStats About a Subject from the 2006 Census – QuickStats About Unpaid Work –is now available. This QuickStats looks at unpaid work within households, unpaid work outside households, and voluntary work. It also provides information about a range of related factors, including age, sex and ethnic group.

Table Builder –Incomes
The Incomes Table Builder module is now available. This module includes information on total personal income, family income, and sources of income.Three new tables providing information about hours worked per week have been added to the incomes module today.

2006 Census seminars follow up...

1. Table Builder videos
A series of four videoclips with audio commentary are now available to assist with the use of Table Builder. These videoclips provide instruction on how to access and use Table Builder using 2006 Population Census information. The videoclips are aimed towards new and intermediate users of Table Builder.

2. Geographic hierarchy
Information about the geographic hierarchy used by Statistics New Zealand, including information about meshblocks.

3. Programme of Official Social Statistics (POSS)
POSS has been established to provide a coherent system of official social statistics across the government sector. Key elements are consolidating existing surveys, introducing new surveys to fill information gaps, exploiting other sources of data, and improving analytical capability, dissemination of information and access to data.

Information about this programme is available at:

4. Guidelines for Using Ethnicity Data: 2006 Census This paper provides good practice guidelines for users of ethnicity data from the 2006 Census following implementation of the 2005 ethnicity standard. Census 2006 used the 2005 ethnicity statistical standard which enables, among other things, the separate classification of New Zealander responses.

To view this paper go to:

5. Survey of Dynamics and Motivations for Migration in New Zealand (DMM)
This survey investigates reasons for internal migration and provides insights into demographic characteristics of people who have moved or not moved, as well as satisfaction ratings for living conditions.

6. Standards development
A number of standards are being developed or reviewed for use in Statistics NZ surveys and collections across government. These reviews cover the topics of: dwelling type, tenure, income, usual residence, qualifications and household and family. The reviews have a range of completion dates through 2008 and 2009.
The purpose of standards is to define variables in a consistent way. This enables comparison between surveys and makes it possible to integrate data from different surveys.

For more information about classifications and related statistical
standards, go to:

October 22, 2007

Comedy Cake Walk - 1903

My PBWiki contains more resources.

October 10, 2007

Personal Privacy

Personal Privacy

Ten tips on Personal Privacy

1) Think before you give out personal information, and ask what it will be used for.

2) You can ask to see any personal information held about you. If it's wrong you can
ask for it to be corrected.

3) Don't like people trying to sell you things by mail or over the phone? Contact the
Marketing Association (0800 222 332) to ask about its Name Removal Service.

4) Help keep your kids safe online by encouraging them to talk to you about what
they're doing.

5) Protect yourself from identity theft by ripping up your personal letters and
bills, and putting bits in different rubbish bins. Even better - use a shredder.

6) Limit your risk when buying online. Have a seperate, low - limit credit card.

7) Posting personal information on the internet? Use a nickname if you can.

8) Check security procedures in internet cafes and make sure you log out before you

9) Get a free copy of your credit record once a year to check that nobody is applying
for credit in your name. Visit or for

10)Make sure you've got up-to-date software on your computer, especially if you're
doing banking online.

Personal Privacy

September 26, 2007

Kia Ora Helena and todays kupu is Kia Mau te wehi, its a ki waha or everday talk meaning grab onto that which is strong, Ka pai e hoa for showing me how to blog

September 14, 2007

Wikis in Plain English

Wikis in Plain English

This video again is excellent and well worth watching. It gives a quick concise introduction to Wiki's.

Wiki providers:

Personally I am using pbwiki.

This video it but one in a serious of videos about "web 2.0" applications all "in plain (united states) English. The visual aspect of teaching is well done. There are further videos about Twitter, social networking, blogging, RSS, pods etc. You can search the related videos by viewing the other video posts by Le Le Fever.

With best wishes, Heli.

Wikis in Plain English

August 27, 2007

New Zealand Writer's Handbook

New Zealand Writer's Handbook

New Zealand Writer's Handbook

Dear All,

This is a book I have recently purchased. It is described at "an indispensable guide to getting published in New Zealand" and is great value with chapters covering:
Getting Started
Research in New Zealand
Photography and Illustrations
Writing for a Market
Writing for Children
Writing for an Overseas Market
New Zealand Copyright and Defamation
New Zealand Taxation
Publish Yourself
Metropolitan and Daily Newspapers
Other Newspapers
Magazines and Periodicals
Book Publishers
Awards, Competitions and Financial Assistance
Courses for New Zealand Writers
Common Style Problems
Marking Up.

Great Value. This link links in to a New Zealand based
company which pays a small affliate fee per referral. (Our Amazon!)The prices are competitive (with the addition option to purchase a book second hand for less if necessary).
This is one book I do
believe is a great all round handbook for writers with the up to date and revelant contacts needed to get ahead and publish your writing. Also when you have clicked on the image of the book you have the possibility to purchase online any other book from this reputable firm with New Zealand and Australian content as well as general international fiction and non-fiction, DVDs New York Bestsellers etc. For eg. At the right of the Home Page you can browse the following categories...

Top 10 Authors

Fishpond Picks 2007

NZ Bestsellers

NZ Post Finalists

Hot Book Pre-orders

Preschool Classics

Matariki (Maori New Year)...



New Zealand Writer's Handbook

August 17, 2007

Video: RSS in Plain English

RSS demonstration video, how to subscribe, google reader recommended

I hope you benefit from learning about RSS from this U-tube video. I have feed buttons at the right of my blog. Please sign up for the feed when you sign up for google reader if you wish.

Now with the benefit of practise, I was able to sign up to my blog quickly and easily through google reader (, click on subcribe icon at the left and then type in either my exact url: and then ok/enter or type in keywords, "Helena's blog" and then you get a range of blogs; identify mine hit ok/enter and you've subscribed. I then searched for a few of my favourites. Great exercise, I recommend you try google reader to get the benefit of understanding how you can use and utilise feeds. It has some benefits in further customising your google home page, (Google reader remains customised on your google home page) and it allows you to know when your favourite blog/s and news sites are updated. Anything that allows you to sift, customise limit or expand - to basically control your online reading is welcome in an environment of text saturation. The help page and FAQ page on the google reader site is easy to follow and worth a quick look.

Regards, Heli

RSS demonstration video, how to subscribe, google reader recommended
I came, I saw, I commented!

Veni, vidi, vici.

I came, I saw, I conquered.

Caesar, 47 B.C

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