Maori Food

As soon as the introductions were done, our Maori hosts invited us into their home for lunch. Louise served us a delicious banquet including battered fish, roast chicken with cranberry sauce, potato bake, a green salad and fried bread. It was largely a Western-style meal, but the Maori influence was clear, particularly in the fried… Continue reading Maori Food

Maori Religion

The first song of greeting that Bob and Louise, our Maori hosts, chose to sing mentioned a god. I asked whether that was the Christian God or a / the Maori god. It turned out to be the Christian God, which, they told me, didn’t interfere with their Maori culture. Maori lore included creationism and… Continue reading Maori Religion

Maori Greetings

Bob and Louise stopped us as we walked up the beach, waited for our barge to depart, then sang us a Maori welcome. They explained that they’d adapted the rituals used in the tribal gatherings to give structure to the day. On some days they had over thirty visitors, shared amongst the local families, so… Continue reading Maori Greetings

Indoor Bowling Green

The following experience may not be typical for clubs in New Zealand, but it’s different enough to be worth noting. Fiona and I came to NZ for a wedding and are now enjoying travel for its own sake. Tonight we decided to eat in a local club, hoping to see locals in their native habitat.… Continue reading Indoor Bowling Green

Cultural Ritual Protocol

I was dismayed to see that the French rugby team were fined for their response to the Haka at the World Cup Grand Final. Apparently there is a 10 meter exclusion zone for the ‘cultural ritual.’ This isn’t the first time that a team opposing the Kiwis has been challenged for responding inappropriately. I can… Continue reading Cultural Ritual Protocol

Free Health Care in NZ

I’d already decided this would be my last week of snowboarding before the accident. I probably didn’t enjoy it as much as I had in the past because of the lack of snow cover and the flat light that removed all definition from the snow and blended it perfectly with the mist. There was also… Continue reading Free Health Care in NZ

Chalets in Queenstown

I didn’t get much of an impression of Queenstown until I took a day off from snowboarding. The town is full of tourist shops (lots of jetboating, bungy, trekking and snow stores as well as restaurants etc) and even more full of tourists, so I set off along the hill above town and saw that… Continue reading Chalets in Queenstown