very Aotearoa New Zealand…

Tomorrow is Waitangi Day here in NZ, commemorating the signing in the 1840s of a foundational treaty between the British government and a large number of Maori chiefs. We thought it was time for a shout out for that outstanding work of NZ history The Treaty of Waitangi by Claudia Orange (Bridget Williams Books).


First published in 1987 to great acclaim and approval both critical and popular, a new edition came out in 2011, with new chapters bringing this masterly examination of the Treaty/Te Tiriti in NZ’s history up to 2010. As Orange says: “Today the Treaty of Waitangi has come to signify what both joins and divides the people of New Zealand. It had different meanings also for those present at the 1840 signings – over 500 Maori chiefs and representatives of the British Crown. That these distinct meanings were conveyed in two languages only added to the complexities now woven around this crucial agreementToday, Maori and Pakeha are all affected by the terms of the Treaty, and few can be unaware of its significance.” There are a number of good books out there on the Treaty, written from all sorts of perspectives, especially on the last 30 years of the Treaty’s life and times, but this is one of the best and most useful for getting an understanding of its history, purpose and meaning since the 1840s.

Original Treaty of WaitangiYou can see more about the Treaty documents at the Archives NZ site

We are very fond of the clever, witty and slightly naughty children’s books from  NZ publishers, writers and illustrators Dreamboat Books


baaThe kids love Baa Baa Smart Sheep: Little Baa Baa is bored. When Quirky Turkey arrives on the scene, the opportunity to make some mischief proves too hard to resist. Can Baa Baa get Quirky to smarten up by eating his smarty tablets? even though they are suspiciously brown, smelly and pellet like. In the latest book I Love Lemonade, Quirky has baa3jpegdecided it is pay back time – but has Quirky got what it talkes to pull the wool over the tricksy sheep’s eyes? These are really charming and original – even on the 437th reading aloud…

Wonder where they get their inspiration? Have a look at this short film on their site – yes, all publishers/writers/illustrators in Aotearoa New Zealand spend their days like this, it is why they create such amazing books!

Kia ra pai tenei mou / Have a wonderful day!



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