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Women past and present, Kim Worthington

Women Equality Power: Helen Clark: Selected Speeches from a Life of Leadership
Allen and Unwin, $45.00,
ISBN 9781988547053

Women Now: The Legacy of Female Suffrage
Bronwyn Labrum (ed)
Te Papa Press, $35.00,
ISBN 9780994146007

If there was ever a year in which to publish a collection of Helen Clark’s speeches, 2018 was it. This was, after all, the year in which New Zealand celebrated the 125th anniversary of the granting of female suffrage, the first nation in the world to do so. This not only gave women the right to vote, but ultimately led to women being able to enter parliament (although this took a further 30-odd years) – and finally become leaders of the nation. It was also the year in which one of Clark’s Labour Party mentees, Jacinda Ardern, became our third female New Zealand prime minister, gave birth while in office and, after a very short period of maternity leave, resumed her professional role. This is not irrelevant to both books under review – Ardern writes the foreword to Clark’s collected speeches, is mentioned more than once in Clark’s later speeches, and in Women Now. 2018 was also the year in which the #MeToo movement gained its most traction worldwide, something that is referred to several times in both books under review.

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Posted in Essays, Gender, Non-fiction, Review, Sociology

On a human scale, Felicity Barnes

Holding on to Home: New Zealand Stories and Objects of the First World War
Kate Hunter and Kirstie Ross
Te Papa Press, $50.00,
ISBN 9780987668851

One hundred years on, WWI continues to loom large in New Zealand life. With the advent of the centenary, New Zealand’s “Great War” has taken on a literally monumental scale, with new and revitalised memorial structures, including the dedication of a national public war memorial space. Anzac Day saw record attendances across the country: 10,000 turned out in Whangarei, whilst Rotorua’s crowds prompted the mayor to consider holding two services in future years. In Wellington, Te Papa’s exhibition [in conjunction with Weta Workshop and Richard Taylor], “Gallipoli: The Scale of Our War”, is actually larger than life, using oversized models of service people in an attempt to represent the magnitude of New Zealand’s commitment.

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Posted in Non-fiction, Review, War

Picking winners, Mark Stocker

Peter McLeavey: The Life and Times of a New Zealand Art Dealer Jill Trevelyan Te Papa Press, $65.00, ISBN 9780987668844 Landscape Paintings of New Zealand: A Journey from North to South Christopher Johnstone Godwit, $75.00, ISBN 9781775530114 Promoting Prosperity: The

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Posted in Art, History, Memoir, Non-fiction, Review

Vanished world, Dale Williams

Buller’s Birds of New Zealand: The Complete Work of J G Keulemans Geoff Norman Te Papa Press, $150.00, ISBN 9781877385889 Kids in a sweet shop. Nineteenth-century naturalists given a brand new country to play in gobbled up the apparent endless

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Posted in History, Natural History, Non-fiction, Review

Frame by frame, Paul Wolffram

New Zealand Film: An Illustrated History Diane Pivac (ed) with Frank Stark and Lawrence McDonald Te Papa Press, $85.00, ISBN 9781877385667   It is rare to find a non-fiction book that offers such a fascinating and comprehensive view of its

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Posted in Media, Non-fiction, Review

Dress sense and sensibility, Jane Westaway

The Dress Circle: New Zealand Fashion Design Since 1940  Lucy Hammonds, Douglas Lloyd Jenkins and Claire Regnault Godwit, $75.00, ISBN 9781869621810   New Zealand Fashion Design Angela Lassig Te Papa Press, $120.00, ISBN 9781877385377   Fashion can signify everything from

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Posted in Non-fiction, Review

A fair portrait, Max Oettli

Brian Brake: Lens on the World Athol McCredie (ed) Te Papa Press, $99.99, ISBN 9781877385643   This is a remarkable book, beautifully produced and meticulously researched to give a careful and fair portrait of the one landmark international photographer this

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Posted in Biography, Non-fiction, Photography, Review

Unstill life, Linley Boniface

Rita Angus: An Artist’s Life Jill Trevelyan Te Papa Press, $69.99, ISBN 9781877385391 Reading Rita Angus: An Artist’s Life, it’s difficult not to be periodically overcome by frustration at Angus’ exasperating personality. The picture that emerges is of a woman

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Posted in Biography, Non-fiction, Review

The art of display, Paul Thompson

Exhibiting Maori: A History of Colonial Cultures of Display Conal McCarthy Te Papa Press, $69.95, ISBN 9781877385339 Mana taonga mana tangata. Exhibiting Maori is primarily an academic book. Originally published by Berg, an imprint of Oxford International Publishers, its style

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Posted in History, Māori, Non-fiction, Review

All aboard Moa’s Ark, Bob Brockie

Ghosts of Gondwana: The History of Life in New Zealand  George Gibbs Craig Potton Publishing, $49.99, ISBN 1877333484 Extinct Birds of New Zealand  Alan Tennyson and Paul Martinson Te Papa Press, $64.99, ISBN 0909010218 Ghosts of Gondwana is a remarkable

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Posted in Natural History, Non-fiction, Review
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