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Othello as never before!

solothelloOne chance to see “Solothello” a Maori comedy take on Othello!  Join Regan Taylor of the Te Rehia Theatre Company as he plays multiple characters using Maori performance masks.

Where: Fountain Theatre, Ward Street, Dannevirke

When: Friday 7 August 2015, 6.30pm (one show only)

Entry: door sales $10 waged, $5 unwaged. Proceeds go to Te Kura Kaupapa Maori ki Tamaka nui a Rua – Wharekura cultural trip to Fiji.

Proudly supported by Tararua REAP.

Solothello poster PDF


An Ode to Librarians – poetry competition for kids!

The Library and Information Association of New Zealand Aotearoa (LIANZA) and the School for Young Writers invites all young people to express your thoughts and feelings about the people who make reading, learning and entertainment possible: yes, LIBRARIANS!

To celebrate these unsung heroes of literacy, we invite you to write “An Ode to Librarians”.  What’s an ode? It’s a poetic form dating back to ancient Greece. Pindaric Odes (celebrating heroic individuals, nations or abstract ideas) and Homeric Odes (celebrating people, virtues, and aspects of society or nature) have all sorts of rules, so we’ll keep it simple! Nowadays odes are much less formal poems of moderate length, rhymed or unrhymed, and often humorous.

Any NZ citizen or permanent resident within school age groups Year 3 through Year 11, can enter. Prizes will be awarded in three categories:  Years 3–5 * Years 6–8 * Years 9–11

For more information, you can download the odeComp poster or visit the website here

To enter, follow these steps:

1. Download an entry form from:

2. Save entry form to your desktop.

3. Fill in the entry form (you will need a recent version of Adobe Reader in order to fill it in)

4. Save the completed form as a PDF using “Save As”. Key in your name alongside the existing title “Ode Entry Form”.

5. Email your story and the entry form to or you can post it to School for Young Writers, PO Box 21120, Christchurch 8143.  Entries close 11 September 2015.LIANZA logo best


New Harapaki panel at Pahiatua Library

“ KOTAHITANGA” HE MAHI HARAPAKI  –  (A Harapaki panel) Pahiatua 2010 – 2012

Between 2010 and 2012,  a small group of people wanted to learn the art of Harapaki (Tukutuku).  This learning was undertaken through researching, designing, preparing resources, completing the panel, writing the story, organising the blessing and installation in the Tararua Learning Centre building in Sedcole Street, Pahiatua.

Now that the Learning Centre no longer has a venue in Pahiatua, and most of the people who worked on “Kotahitanga” were from or lived in  Pahiatua,  the group thought it would be appropriate for the panel to stay in the Pahiatua community.  An approach was made to the Library to see if “Kotahitanga” could have a long term space there so that its story would still be visible in the community, which was accepted by the District Librarian.

We are grateful that “Kotahitanga” has a wonderful spot to observe all the other stories held in the library.   People can ‘read’  the story of  “Kotahitanga “ through  the stitches that tell the  learning journey of a group of adults over the course of two years.  It talks about their dreams and aspirations, the struggles and challenges they faced,  the commitment to pass on the knowledge and care for the environment, and how they learnt perseverance right through to completion.  

– Pahiatua Library


L to R: Ataneta Paewai, Sylvia Albert, June Kahu and Huatahi Albert

L to R: Ataneta Paewai, Sylvia Albert, June Kahu and Huatahi Albert





Maori language newspapers online!

Dannevirke Library is hosting Stories in Te Reo on Thursday 30 July 2015 at 10am and 4pm.  Free to everyone to come along and listen as part of the 2015 Maori Language Week ‘Whāngaihia te Reo ki ngā Mātua’, ‘Nurture the Language in Parents’  Resources available.

If you have ever wanted to learn Te Reo, there are often local classes through REAP or other organisations, and there are also distance providers.  Check out the Open Wananga for instance. Their He Papa Tikanga (Certificate in Tikanga Maori Level 3) programme is great for beginners.

Of course, the library has a wide selection of books from learning resources for all levels, to stories in Te Reo from picture books through to some novels.  Quick link

maori newspaperYou can also access a collection of historic newspapers that were published specifically for a Maori audience between 1842 and 1932.  They can be found on the Miupepe: Maori Newspapers site here or you can also search Papers Past website, which can be viewed in Maori or English.

In the first issue the editor declared the intent of the paper:

  • He panuitanga tenei i ta tatou Nupepa ia ‘Te Puke Ki Hikurangi’ ka tukua atu nei kia haere atu ki nga hau e wha o tatau motu e rua, o Aotearoa me te Waipounamu me o raua motu ririki, hei taringa, hei reo, mo tatou e noho nei tatou i roto i te pouritanga o nga mahi nunui a to tatou Kotahitanga, ara te oha a o tatou tipuna a o tatou matua, te Tiriti O Waitangi me nga mahi a to tatou Paremata e tu mai nei i Poneke, me nga rongo korero o te ao e whakarongo noa nei te taringa, e ui noa nei te ngakau, ki a ia ano, a, kowai hoki hei whakautu i te patai. E hoa ma tenei ahau ka tu ake ki runga hei whakautu i tenei patai (December 21, 1897: 1)
  • This is a statement about our newspaper Te Puke Ki Hikurangi which is sent out to the four winds of our two islands – Aotearoa and Te Waipounamu [North and South Islands] with their small outlying islands. It will be ears and voice for us who remain in ignorance of the enormous tasks of Te Kotahitanga in dealing with the Treaty of Waitangi, the gift from our forebears, and matters before our Parliament in Wellington. Then there is the news of the world, which our ears listen forand our minds question in vain amongst ourselves, but who is there to answer our queries? – Friends, I am here to provide the answers.



Hey kids! Do you want to join our Book Club?

Calling all 8 to bookclub12 year olds.  We would like to start a Book Club with you at Dannevirke Community Library.

Next Tuesday 28 July at 4pm, come along to the children’s area of Dannevirke Library.  You can help Nikki choose a name for our Club, decide how often we will meet, and chat about what things we might want to do in Book Club. 

Anything and everything will be considered, so put your thinking caps on.  See you there! 

PS (you can bring your Mum or Dad, and they can relax with a book or go get a coffee while we do our Kids Book Club business)


The prince, the princess and the perfect murder!

‘The Prince, the Princess and the perfect murder’ by Andrew Rose caught my eye because on the cover is a photo of the handsome youthful Prince of Wales who briefly became King Edward VIII and then abdicated so he could be with divorcee Mrs Wallis Simpson.

This book is the hitherto untold story of a major scandal, a murder and a trial in which the main figure is a previous mistress of the young prince. Since, in those days at least, scandal of any kind wasprincess with a gun not to be allowed to tarnish the reputation of the Royal Family, this connection between the prince and the courtesan – a high class woman of easy virtue – was very successfully hushed up. The woman in question was French and was introduced to the 17 year old Prince of Wales just before World War 1. She later married a millionaire Egyptian who, subsequently, she shot to death. Her trial for murder hit the headlines because she belonged to the highest circle of society in both Paris and London and was an associate of many well-placed men over a number of years.

This piece of social history is a fascinating account of the Prince, his early years, the high society he moved in and the scandalous behaviour of this so called Princess with whom he had a love-affair. It paints a detailed portrait of the tawdry episode in the life of a hedonistic ‘royal’, whose later behaviour and character as Duke of Windsor ensured that he had little or no part to play in court-life for the rest of his life.

Edward, or the Duke, is shown to be a shallow young man whose only interest was in chasing women until he finally found Mrs Simpson who was the kind of woman he most admired. This is a well researched and competently written true story of high society, high jinks, and appalling behaviour on the part of those who should have known better.

– Larry Gordon

Scout is all grown up!

“Go set a watchman” is a novel that famous author Harper Lee actually wrote before her Pulitzer Prize-winning masterpiece, “To kill a mockingbird”.  Her editor originally suggested that she re-work the manuscript, presenting the main character Scout as younger. The revisions took two years, but when published, it was an instant classic.

Harper Lee in 2007

Harper Lee in 2007

Harper Lee is now 89 years old, and there is some controversy over whether she really wants this novel to have been published or not. For many years, she was adamant that she would never publish any other books.  In February 2015, the earlier manuscript was “discovered” but there are reports that it had been found back in 2011 by Ms Lee’s literary agent, but was not pursued. (Read the full New York Times article here).  In any case, all the exposure is sure to have increased interest in both of her two novels.

In “Go set a watchman”  Jean Louise ‘Scout’ Finch is now twenty-six-years-old, and returns home to Maycomb, Alabama to visit her ageing father, Atticus.  Set against the backdrop of the civil rights tensions and political turmoil that were transforming the American South, Jean Louise’s homecoming turns bittersweet when she learns disturbing truths about her close-knit family, the town and the people dearest to her. Memories from her childhood flood back to her, and her values and assumptions are thrown into doubt.

I’m dying to read it, and we’d love to hear your opinions too.  Is it as good as ‘Mockingbird’, not as good, or better?

– Natalie

Lazarus is dead!

Richard Beard is an author of whom I had never heard. He has been praised in the British press as one of the most ingenious, resourceful and entertaining novelists in England, and has written four previous novels and three works of nonfiction. His book I came across in Eketahuna is called “Lazarus is dead”.

Everyone, I imagine, has heard of Lazarus, forever linked with Jesus who miraculously brought him back from the dead according to the Gospel of John, chapters 11 and 12. He appears nowhere else in the New Testament unless Jesus is referring to him in a parable told in Luke chapter 16. The story John tells is of a ‘certain man named Lazarus of Bethany’ who was a bachelor living with his sisters Mary and Martha, and a friend to Jesus. He fell very sick indeed so his sisters to sent messages to Jesus asking him to come. By the time Jesus arrived in Bethany, Lazarus had been dead and in his tomb, four days. On arriving and meeting Mary, he saw her weeping and he wept too. They removed the stone blocking the tomb and Jesus shouted “Lazarus, come forth.” And he emerged. This miracle sealed the fate of Jesus. The Sanhedrin or Council of High Priests now determined to plot His death.

“Lazarus is dead” is a fuller and fictional version of this episode. It is inventive, clever and plausible. He uses all the known facts but imaginatively details a great many more that are not inconsistent with what we know of John’s Gospel.

For those fascinated by the accounts of Jesus Christ given in the New Testament and are not affronted by a careful and sincere attempt to fill out the possibilities, this book will be a thoughtful and well-constructed entertainment. So much is not said and so many speculations may arise from the four Gospels it is no wonder writers are attracted to such stories as that of Lazarus.

This much we know – that Jesus performed the miracle before a number of witnesses, that Lazarus, who died , rose again; that Jesus died and rose again a week later and that Chief Priests plotted to kill Lazarus as well. But he disappears from the story at this point and we can only wonder what became of him. Or you can read this book and find out!

– Larry

Poetry Competition 2015 – how creative are you?

national poetry day 2015 From 1st to 21st August 2015, Tararua District Library is celebrating National Poetry Day with an online Poetry Competition, for adults.

Have your poem published online in our blog, and be in to win a prize!

Need some tips?  Learn about writing poetry here  or call in to your local library to borrow one of our many poetry books.

Please read the rules:

  1. The competition runs from 1st August to 21st August 2015.
  2. Entries close at 5pm, 21st August 2015. No late entries will be accepted.
  3. The winner will be announced on National Poetry Day 28th August 2015, on our blog site.
  4. All entries must be typed, in English, and can be emailed to or handed in at any branch of Tararua District Library.
  5. Multiple entries are acceptable however we may only publish one poem per person online, depending on the volume of entries.
  6. All poems to be an original creation of the person submitting it, and previously unpublished.
  7. Entries to be accompanied by the name, address and contact details of the submitter.
  8. Open to all adult New Zealand residents – aged 18 and over.
  9. Prizes awarded to the best two poems.  Judges decision is final.

PS, if you search poems or poetry in the blog, you’ll find the wonderful entries from last year to get your creative juices flowing.

Fancy a spin?

spinning%20wheelDannevirke Spinning Club are demonstrating the skill of spinning, at Dannevirke Library on Thursday 9 July 2015 between 10am and 2pm. All welcome, children or adults, free.

Learn how natural wool, straight off the sheep, is transformed into spun wool.  Have a go on a spinning wheel.  See what beautiful products can be created! Chat about spinning, weaving, knitting, dyeing, felting and crochet with people who enjoy these crafts.

“The group communicates, educates, promotes and preserves the cultural activities of spinning and weaving and all crafts pertaining to the use of wool and other fibres and encourage the pursuit of excellence” – Dannevirke Spinning & Weaving Club



NZ Children’s Book Awards – 6th Annual Quiz 2015

NZCYA_logo_jpg_largeTararua District Library is once again celebrating the best of New Zealand’s books for young people with our sixth Annual Children’s Book Awards Quiz.  Primary schools from Tararua District are invited to submit team(s) of up to four Year 7 / Year 8 children, who will answer questions based on the finalist books listed below.

A CHANGE to previous years is that for non-fiction books, the questions will be based on the first ten physical pages of the book only (e.g. title page onward).

The quiz is held simultaneously in each town.  South School of Dannevirke are the current District Champions. Can any other Tararua school knock them off their coveted perch?  The Champion Team get possession of a trophy for a year, plus a prize.  The highest scoring team in each town also get a small prize.     Time to get reading – only 5 weeks to go!


Registration:     Entries close Friday 24 July 5pm (entry forms available at library or download Quiz Entry Form Tararua District Library New Zealand Children s Book Awards 2015 )

Location:            Your local library (any change of venue will be advised)

When:                  Thursday 6 August 2015

Time:                   6.30 pm sharp, estimated end time 8.30pm



Each of our libraries have one copy of the finalist books.   They may be available on the shelves, but most likely you will have to reserve them.  Reserves for these items are free, if on a child’s library card.  Each child may only issue the book one time, for a two week period with no renewals. To reserve, you can contact the library, or easily log into the online catalogue and do it yourself. Use this link  We have created a Reading List especially to make them easy to find.

Notes:  Parents, caregivers and teachers may attend the quiz to observe only. Smartphones or tablets are not allowed. Children may bring their own water bottle to the event.  Photographs of the winning team will appear on our Facebook page (not tagged), this blog and possibly the Bush Telegraph newspaper.


NZ Children’s Book Awards FINALISTS – Each book will have one round of questions based on it:


Picture Books

by Sally Sutton and Brian Lovelock
Walker Books Australia
I Am Not a Worm
by Scott Tulloch
Scholastic New Zealand
Jim’s Letters
by Glyn Harper and Jenny Cooper
Penguin Random House
by Sacha Cotter and Joshua Morgan
Huia Publishers
Little Red Riding Hood . . . Not Quite
by Yvonne Morrison and Donovan Bixley
Scholastic New Zealand
Ghoulish Get-Ups: How to Create Your Own Freaky Costumes
by Fifi Colston
Scholastic New Zealand
Māori Art for Kids
by Julie Noanoa and Norm Heke
Craig Potton Publishing
Mōtītī Blue and the Oil Spill
by Debbie McCauley
Mauao Publishing
The Book of Hat
by Harriet Rowland
Makaro Press/Submarine
Under the Ocean: explore & discover New Zealand’s sea life
by Gillian Candler and Ned Barraud
Craig Potton Publishing
Junior Fiction
Conrad Cooper’s Last Stand
by Leonie Agnew
Penguin Random House/Puffin
Dragon Knight: Fire!
by Kyle Mewburn and Donovan Bixley
Scholastic New Zealand
Monkey Boy
by Donovan Bixley
Scholastic New Zealand
The Island of Lost Horses
by Stacy Gregg
The Pirates and the Nightmaker
by James Norcliffe
Penguin Random House/Longacre Child


The girl with a clock for a heart…

clock heartThe main job of the writer of a thriller is to hook the reader and draw one tautly through the pages until one is caught because one’s life depends on knowing the outcome. Therefore author Peter Swanson is a success. Other reviews have called him formulaic, but I disagree: the hero is the anti- kind and the protagonist is also unusual, which saves the story from the usual dreck some other writers churn out.

George fell in love with a girl, Audrey, in college. Absolute textbook romance – but wait, it’s still not formulaic, I promise. Over the Christmas break, she commits suicide. Bereft, George goes to grieve with her parents…but the photo on their mantelpiece is not Audrey. What?! Is there a chance she’s still alive? George hopes and waits and hopes, never really committing to another woman. After 20 years of thinking he’s glimpsed his lost love, studying elements of strange women’s faces and gait, Liana is lying in wait for him at his favourite bar. She’s in deep doodee and George is the only one who can help her. Will he? Read it and find out!

4/5 stars.

– Tamara


Cheaper DVDs!

dvd movieMost of our DVD collection has now reduced to $2.00/week from today, 1 July 2015, the beginning of our financial year. Yay!  The newer releases are still $3.50.

We hope you enjoy the cheaper DVDs and can afford to enjoy more movies now.

Interloans have increased very slightly from $4.10 to $4.50,  and printing from our free public computers is now 20 cents per side (double sided = 40c) to help cover the costs there.

No other changes – new release books and magazines are still free, and of course, library membership is free.

Local schoolgirl heading for stardom?

Congratulations to Dannevirke High School student, fifteen-year-old Lauren Carr who has won the 2015 Smokefree Rockquest Wairarapa Regional Title in the Solo Section, and the APRA Lyric Award.  Well done Lauren!  She features in an article in the Manawatu Standard 23 June 2015, where she states that Adele is a big influence on her and she “wants to light a fire and let it happen!” Lauren is now preparing for the Smokefree Rockquest National Finals.


Ryan Lock – my new hero!

I’ve found a new author! Ever vigilant to a new read, I’ve started following author Sean Black and his hero Ryan Lock.  I have managed to read all  four of his books in just sean blackover a week, so let’s hope Mr Black is a prolific writer!

Ryan Lock is an  ex-military personal protection officer who, with his co-worker Ty, find themselves in various tricky situations. The writing I have to say isn’t always slick although you can see an improvement through the series even though the third book feels like it was written first, due to the fact that it’s a bit rough, but the storylines are original and the characters likeable. There is also a touch of humour and a great back story with several plot twists even I didn’t see coming!

Mr Black isn’t Lee Child or Robert Crais but in all honesty some of their early work doesn’t hold up too close to inspection either. As with all writers, I think, time improves their art and with judicious editing and a good team behind them any author will improve as Mr Black seems to have done.  If you want an action thriller with good plots, a lead character who isn’t perfect and support cast who are interesting and likeable then have a look. If nothing else it will tide you over until the new Lee Child and Robert Crais books come out towards the end of 2015.

Until next time




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