November 2023 Pushing out the margins

The Whitireia Publishing Course has just published Everything I know about books, an anthology on publishing, to mark its 30th anniversary. I’ve really valued my association with this excellent course over a long period of time, and honoured to be asked to contribute to the anthology. I took the opportunity to write about Landing Press, the small Wellington publisher that I’m involved with, and particularly how we work to include generally unheard voices. That’s a big part of our brief, along with publishing poetry that many people can enjoy.

Here’s my chapter from this very good anthology.  Every chapter is worth reading.

Pushing out the margins

September 2023: Writing about a lighthouse

What made me write a novel about a lighthouse and a lighthouse keeper’s family? I have no idea. I do think the head is wonderful at storing up all kinds of bits and pieces, and when you go fossicking in the dark corners of your brain you find surprising stuff. Maybe lighthouses were simply lurking in a corner somewhere. Earlier in 2019 (the year I began to write Light Keeping) I had read Jeanette Winterson’s novel lighthousekeeping but it is vastly different from my own novel

What I do know is that near the end of 2019, some free time opened up for me and I wanted to use it to write a novel about generations of one family, and about storytelling, and I had the bare bones of a story about a lighthouse keeper.

Then of course in 2020 there was the lockdown. I know what a hard time it was for many people, but for me it was a gift. There was all this time when I had no obligations because I couldn’t do anything, and we were living in this quiet house above the beach, walking every day, the sea always in front of us. That time provided a clear space in my head, when a story could expand without having to fight for space in my usual cluttery busy brain. So the bare bones began to take more shape, I discovered more about the characters, and the plot had layers instead of a single thread. I also changed the time periods of the novel. Originally it was set in 1977–85, and 2020, but it became clear very quickly that 2020 was not a good year to set a story in, so the year became 2019.

When I started writing, I knew very little about the automation and de-manning of lighthouses, and how lighthouse keepers were losing not only their jobs, but their way of life. But as I began to read more of this history, I realized that it had dominated the 1970s, even though it had already been going on for decades. The uncertainty that lighthouse keepers lived with, the very poor handling of the process, the sympathy for the keepers – it all worked its way into the heart of the novel, and in fact became a defining part of the family’s history.

And more and more I began to pull in parts of my own family history, in particular the story of my great grandfather, Charles Hayward, a seafaring man who arrived in New Zealand in 1855, and spent his life on or beside the sea before drowning when his own boat capsized in 1887. I’ve never drawn on my family history in this way, and somehow, although the story is entirely fictional (and I’ve been loose in my use of the family history!) it’s made the novel personal as well. It became a challenge – where else could I pull in small snippets of family stories or memories? Late in the piece I added a new chapter, where the grandmother Annie is reclaiming an overgrown garden. I thought, this isn’t any old garden, and I gave it terraces shored up by rock walls full of oxalis – exactly the front garden of my parents’ home in Brooklyn, Wellington, where I grew up.

This story is about consequences: the consequences of tragedy in the lives of children; the consequences of poorly-managed technological change in individuals’ lives; the consequences of determined optimism. I’m an optimist myself, and although there are some tough parts of this novel, I wanted to finish it with hope.

One last thing I learnt while I was writing this novel (well, writing a novel teaches you many things, but this is the last I’m going to write about here); I learnt to use language a little more expansively. I’ve always been quite a spare understated writer. But I love words, and I decided to allow myself – or encourage myself – to use more of them! The only person who will notice that probably is me, but it gave me a lot of pleasure.

We live in a house above Tītahi Bay, north of Wellington. We have a big ocean view, and now, late afternoon, the sky is clear and a very pale yellow-blue, and the sea is unusually calm. In a northerly it’s full of wild white water. At this time of day, flocks of birds stream past, heading towards Mana Island to roost for the night.  The light sky, and the birds, remind me of the cover of Light Keeping. We can’t see Mana Island, but we can see the sharp silhouette of Kāpiti Island, and closer, the rocky point beyond Plimmerton falling into the sea. We are surrounded by beauty, and I just hope I’ve been able to catch some small part of it in this novel.

August 2023: Roll & Break and a wartime invasion

Roll & Break is a collection of poems about Tītahi Bay where I live. I walk on the beach almost every morning, and these poems took shape over those hours of walking. Of course they’re not all literally about Tītahi Bay, but they all have their origins here, in some slice of history, some character I met, or some quirk of imagination that transformed one thing into another. What if North African refugees washed up on this beach instead of in Greece, what if Van Gogh painted our iconic boatsheds, what if my seafaring great-grandfather sailed into this bay?

Here’s a story about one of the poems.

At the north end of the beach there’s a World War II gun emplacement. There were originally three along the beach, but only one remains. Now it’s set into a grass bank, its wide gunner’s slit still facing out to the sea. There’s a new flagpole beside it, and a new plaque remembering local men who died and recalling the 1500 US Marines stationed for a time in Tītahi Bay during the war. Anzac Day Services are held here.

For years I walked past that gun emplacement, not realizing it was there. When I finally did notice it, I thought, how ridiculous. Why protect this tiny bay, and what could a gun or two achieve anyway? With that perspective, I wrote a poem called “Our war”, imagining an invasion of the bay in 1942. Later I learnt that the very tall radio mast on the hill above the bay was a vital link in the country’s communication system, and the guns (and barbed wire along the beach) were to protect it. And those guns, that I had scoffed at, could pack a mighty punch. It was all serious stuff when the threat of a Japanese or German invasion was seen to be very real.

But I had already written the poem, and I decided to leave it as it is.

You can read the poem here.

Our war

Roll & Break is available from Landing Press: the Roll & Break book page.

November 2021: More than a roof, poems about housing

In November 2021, Landing Press (that I’m part of) launched More than a roof, poems about housing. We printed 500 copies. Three weeks later we were ordering a reprint. No surprise to us – our two previous books, More of us and Somewhere a cleaner sold 700-800 copies.

 Landing Press is a not-for-profit publisher that publishes poetry that many people can enjoy, with a social edge, and that gives a voice to groups not generally heard.

 I want to give an overview of this book, and how we went about creating it, and the best way is to include the introduction from the book. So here it is.

About this book.

 Housing – everyone has something to say about it.

Here at Landing Press we know first-hand the effects of the current housing situation. Most of our team are renters and know all about high rent, insecurity of tenure, suddenly being given notice because the landlord decides to sell. Feeling that with house prices increasing rapidly, home ownership is impossible.

Those of us with houses know that by nothing more than an accident of history, we’re on the other side of the inequality divide.

But we all have the view that poetry can capture not just discouragement or rage, but also beauty, memories, small stories, and glimpses of different perspectives, in ways that many people can enjoy.

So we decided to publish a collection of poems about housing. We wanted to cover the whole range – poems about owning a house, renting, having no home, housing as a source of nostalgia and comfort, as a source of stress and fear and anger – the changing landscape of housing in Aotearoa New Zealand.

We sent out a national call for submissions. We wanted to include a diversity of voices, particularly those voices that are not usually heard, so we’ve also been working with the community/social housing sector, running workshops, and writing with and mentoring individuals.

We read nearly 450 poems. We received poems from established writers; poems handwritten and scanned by support workers or neighbours; poems from housing activists; poems from people living in caravans, cars, retirement homes, on boats. There were nostalgic poems, and poems that came with very moving personal stories. There’s so much to say about housing, and this selection is just a small part of the conversation.

There’s a saying on our website, ‘Under every stone there’s a poet.’ We love that saying, and it’s so fitting for this book – because under every iron roof, tiled roof, leaking roof, caravan roof, cardboard roof, tarpaulin, there might be a poet. Here are some of them.

Adrienne Jansen, Joan Begg, Rebecca Chester, Wesley Hollis, Roman Ratcliff
November 2021



May 2020: White privilege and writing about our world

At the end of 2019, Escalator Press, that I am involved with, published a novel called Chosen Boys, by Petra Molloy. It is a novel about sexual abuse in the Catholic church, in a multicultural Catholic community in the 1970s. It’s a beautifully written, compassionate novel. In it, Petra was writing about her own European culture, and also about the Samoan culture, and the novel shifts between various points of view.

Petra was writing from decades of experience, both as a member of the Catholic church, and also as part of a big multicultural community. During the writing of the novel she sought advice from Samoan readers, and the final manuscript was read by a Samoan cultural expert.

Although she was writing about her own, and another culture, she received some sharp criticism for daring to write about another culture at all. One reader described her as a white woman of privilege writing about Samoans and Māori.

So what to make of this? Are we not allowed to write about our own and other cultures? Does ‘white’ equal ‘white privilege’ equal ‘don’t go there’?

My own take on white privilege is that it’s a defining concept in the colonisation debate. It’s fundamental to understanding that debate. But real life, and fiction, are a lot messier. For example, I have lived in Porirua for a long time. I never doubt that I am a person of privilege. I am that because I am well-educated, I’m articulate, I know how to use the system, and I’ve had opportunities to use my abilities. But in Porirua there are many white people who have none of those privileges, and there are many non-white people who share those same privileges.

When the notion of white privilege is applied to what we are allowed to write about, (ie a white person can only write about white people) I think it is very unhelpful, in fact seriously constraining. In New Zealand we simply don’t live in that world any more.

There’s been a big generational shift. To use myself as an example again, I’m one of a family of five, and all of us married (yes, married) Pākehā Europeans. The partners of my oldest brother’s five children are Māori, Samoan, German, American and Pākehā.  At the moment, there are four people living in my house, two Pākehā, one Indian and one Vietnamese. Our neighbours have been Indian, Māori, Chinese, Samoan, Pākehā.

That’s our reality. And I think it’s important that contemporary NZ fiction reflects that. I don’t mean that we should write in some glib or careless way. But if we write in a very well-researched, well-informed way, and if we are writing about the life lived – and Petra was doing all of these things – I strongly support that. But then I would – I have a big stake in this discussion in my own writing!

Although ‘white privilege’ has been extremely important for all of us in doing some historical unpacking, I feel very sad if it becomes a major constraint on what we are able to write about, particularly in fiction, and in fact prevents us from reflecting the world we live in. I would like to see us move on from that now. Issues around privilege itself are very important, especially in relation to inequality, and if we take the concept of privilege seriously, not just in terms of race (I’m thinking about Porirua again) we can have some serious debate.

But there’s an ideology at stake here, and ideology often overrides experience. And it’s a complex issue. I’m running the risk of oversimplifying it myself. I’m guessing that the discussion about white privilege will be around for a long time yet, and writers will be criticised for making choices outside of that boundary – but I hope they’ll take the risk!

Petra has written an excellent  essay about this question in The Spinoff.

October 2019: The end of the Whitireia Creative Writing Programme

In 1993 I began the Creative Writing Programme at Whitireia Polytechnic. Twenty six years later it’s been axed. I wrote about the closure of the programme for The New Zealand Author (the publication of the New Zealand Society of Authors) and I’m going to copy that article below.

But a couple of comments first. Some people have asked me, ‘Do you feel as though it’s your baby?’ Not at all. I might have begun it, and I’ve had various roles in it since then, but the programme is a collaboration of hundreds of people. All kinds of people. That’s been its great strength – that it’s involved so many diverse people. And all of them have contributed in various ways.

I feel very lucky to have had this opportunity. I’ve always had a passion to open up education to people who don’t find it easy to take part, or feel excluded in some way. The Writing Programme has done that. The regret of all of us involved in the programme is that now many of those people have nowhere else to go. If a person wants to write seriously, and doesn’t feel comfortable in a university, where do they go? But we want those people as part of our literary landscape (I’m in danger of having a rant here, so I’ll stop).

It’s hard to believe that I’ve been part of this programme for 26 years. What has kept me Involved? Partly I’ve done other things as well. I’ve worked part time in other places, done free lance work, taken a year off here and there – and I think that’s really mattered. It’s a powerful antidote to becoming stale in the job. Also, the people. Of course the people. All the great people I’ve worked with. And also the fact that the Writing Programme has always been doing something new. I love ideas, and there’s always been room for new ideas, trying out new approaches etc.

Everything else is in the article. So here it is.

Does It Matter?

Whitireia Polytechnic has announced the closure of its creative writing programme. From 2020 only a small number of online courses will remain. This is part of widespread and severe cuts across the polytechnic.

Does this axing of the programme matter?


For centuries writers have written fine works, having never set foot in a writing course. In our time, writers as varied as J K Rowling, Arundhati Roy, and Jo Nesbo have never taken a writing course (as far as I can tell). The teaching of creative writing has become an industry, driven by motives ranging from a deep desire to improve the quality of writing, to personal or institutional ambition.  World-wide, it is producing large numbers of PhD graduates with no hope of getting related employment (Australia is a good example of this). It has created a generation of new writers who believe a writing course is a necessity, and are carrying huge student loans as a result.

A critic, or policy advisor, might say all this. And there is some truth in all of it.

So why do we in the Whitireia Writing Programme feel strongly that this axing matters?

First, some history. The programme began in 1993. At the time serious writing courses were in universities; the discussion was that a polytechnic could have a broader reach and include people not comfortable in a university environment. The new writing programme found a natural home at Whitireia Polytechnic, which was a young vital community-based institution, committed to inclusiveness and with a strong focus on the arts. Whitireia launched the first full-time creative writing programme in the country, and the first substantial programme in a polytechnic, although Northland’s polytechnic was going down a similar road.

The programme was founded on certain principles. It strongly encouraged diversity, both cultural and socio-economic. Writers studied a range of genres with a range of tutors: this encouraged writers to be versatile, and ensured that the programme wouldn’t reflect one style of teaching or writing. It had a vocational edge. It had strong links with local iwi Ngāti Toa. The programme acknowledged the two linguistic and literary traditions of this country, English and Māori, and students could submit work in either language.

The programme has always been innovative and has evolved over time. For a start those changes were in response to what people wanted; for example, they wanted a dedicated novel course, so we began one. Increasingly changes were dictated by institutional requirements.

But it has held to most of those original principles, particularly encouraging socio-economic diversity. It has always been prepared to take a chance on some people. Sometimes this has paid off, sometimes it hasn’t, but that’s the nature of risk. It has always maintained a vocational component – sessions with working writers, a module on the publishing process in all its current forms, and a ‘writer’s cv’ exercise which encourages students to phrase the skills they have learnt in vocationally relevant terms.

We’ve also provided support to a lot of mid-career writers who have worked for us as assessors, mentors, etc.

We play the ‘success’ game like everyone else. We list numbers of works published, awards, lists of successful graduates. But we know that the success of a writing programme is greater than that. It can be life changing. For some people, studying something they are passionate about can give them a grounding that leads to success in other areas. If one were to quantify this in economic terms, the benefits to the country might be surprisingly large.

Mark Amery recently described the course as ‘the oldest and one of the most admired of New Zealand’s creative writing courses’. We’re proud of our achievements. We’ve contributed to making New Zealand’s literary landscape more diverse. We’ve made a big difference in many people’s lives. We’ve made writing a real grassroots activity in many ways – the Eat Your Words poetry competition in partnership with 40 Wellington cafes, for example. We never ‘claim’ a writer, but we’ve contributed to the success of a raft of very good writers. The flood of responses to the programme’s closure reiterates this over and over again.

A note about Escalator Press. We founded the press in 2013 – its brief was to publish new and established writers, new voices and perspectives, and to publish books that were both excellent and good-reads. We’ve done that. In addition, once or twice a year we meet with the authors over brunch, we’ve given media training, run a website workshop, provided mentoring – and we’ve paid them! We’ve been a good publisher. But the future of Escalator Press is also under discussion.

None of this is relevant to the programme’s closure. Quality, contribution, success, none of this counts. This is purely a cost-cutting exercise. Every course must now have a ratio of 1 tutor to 20 students. By this formula, every writing course at the IIML at Victoria University would be cut. The international benchmark for staffing of creative writing courses is 1:12.

No one denies that the polytechnic sector needs a major shakeup. But all these cuts were announced before the overall review was made public. The creative writing programme is part of Te Auaha, a visionary initiative which brought together all the polytechnic arts programme under one roof. Te Auaha was opened in March 2018. Eighteen months later, it’s dead. What business would invest in a new multi-million dollar venture, then can it before it’s even had a chance to get established? A business would recognise that a new large venture takes two-three years at least to establish and would plan and budget accordingly.

Many people have asked what they can do about this closure. Write to Chris: Kris Faafoi, Whitireia’s electorate MP, Chris Hipkins, Minister of Education, and Chris Gosling, CEO.

Back to the original question: does the axing of this and other writing programmes matter? If it does, and we think so, it could be the catalyst for a vigorous debate about what we want substantial creative writing courses to look like, how inclusive we want them to be, and how would that happen?

For myself, today I’m going to take a poetry workshop with a group of ESOL students at Mana College in Porirua. They come from Syria, the Philippines, Vietnam, Samoa, they’re learning English, and they’re writing poetry. In the last year, seven students from this class have had work published, they’ve read at four big events in Wellington, and at a poetry conference. By writing poetry they are giving us new insights, and they and their families are becoming part of our community.

It’s life-changing.

New Zealand Author 318, Spring 2019

July 2019: Migrant storytelling – the road to understanding

Recently I was asked to write about why the telling of migrant stories is important, for the Public Libraries of New Zealand newsletter. This is part of that article.

I’ve been writing in the territory of migration, cultural shifts and connections, for three decades now. I believe that an important role for a writer is to be the writer for the person who has the story to tell but not necessarily the ability or opportunity to tell it. In my books Migrant Journeys, I have in my arms both ways, Borany’s Story, and The Crescent Moon, I have been the writer on behalf of many storytellers. More of Us, the collection of poetry published by Landing Press earlier this year, required a different role, as editor, so that the voices of the poets, who had all come to New Zealand as migrants or refugees, were heard directly.

In the larger picture, I strongly believe that the telling of personal stories shifts our minds in a way that facts can’t. If I tell you my personal story, and you tell me yours, we can no longer hold stereotypes of each other. No matter if one of us is wearing a hijab, or a gang patch, or a suit and tie – we become individuals to each other.

Fiction allows us to explore this cultural territory in other ways. Last year I published A Change of Key, an adult novel, which is a sequel to The Score. Alice Tawhai wrote in Landfall, “… it’s completely essential reading for all secondary school English classes. An opportunity to gain empathy and understanding for those who are new to our country wouldn’t go amiss for young people who’ve been here for longer, and others will see themselves or their families reflected in our literature for perhaps the first time.” 

This is the nub of why all these books are important: they allow migrants to see themselves as part of mainstream society, and they allow the mainstream the opportunity for better understanding.

March 2019: A launch under armed guard

On 21 March, Race Relations Day, Landing Press launched More of Us, poems by 46 people from 29 countries who have come to New Zealand as migrants or refugees. They range from Dutch migrants who came in 1960, to high school students who arrived from Syria in 2017. Some are well-established poets, some are ESOL students.

In 2018 our tiny Landing Press had three interns! So we had the resources to do this collection. We sent out a call for submissions throughout the country, both through normal writing channels, but also particularly through organisations involved with migration, or resettlement, or the teaching of English.

But we wanted this book to have a broad range. We wanted it to include people who had arrived recently, students, adult learners grappling with English. So we ran workshops in four high schools with ESOL classes, and also with adult learners at English Language Partners in Porirua.

We spent a great deal of time with many of the writers editing their work. We were all committed to a book with powerful things to say, said in the best possible way. The writers were extraordinarily open to editing suggestions – we felt as though this was indeed a book that deeply belonged to all of us.

In the book, bios written by the writers appear on the same page as their poems. We did this because we see this book as being as much about the writers as their poems.

We always intended to give this book a prestigious launch. A book by a group of migrant writers can be sidelined, and we believed that this book should be launched with considerable mana. So the launch was planned for the National Library, with the book to be launched by the Minister for Ethnic Communities, with several members of the diplomatic corps also present. In December 2018 we made the decision to launch the book on Race Relations Day, 21 March 2019.

Then on 15 March the shocking shootings in Christchurch occurred.

In the following week we felt as though we were in the centre of a storm. But the whole country was in the centre of a storm. We were organising a high-profile event in a well-known public space, with a Minister, an Ambassador, a High Commissioner, and a large ethnically diverse group of invitees. Would the launch go ahead? Could the police guarantee security? (most events were being cancelled) The Library advised us that the decision would be made by MFAT. The day before the launch, we were still not sure it would go ahead.

But it did. The National Library was entirely locked down except for the front entrance, where there were armed police. There was a bag search, everyone had to be identified by a name tag and we had to be able to vouch for everyone who came.

Two hundred people came. We already knew that writers were coming from other parts of the country, but suddenly more were coming. One writer and her family came from Auckland at a day’s notice. Suddenly this launch had become much more than a launch. It was a statement of who we were, or wanted to be.

It was a remarkable event. We had made a powerpoint of photographs of all the writers, so there was a backdrop of all these extraordinarily diverse faces. Twenty-two of the writers were there, and ten read their work. Michael Wood, the Under-Secretary to the Minister for Ethnic Communities, spoke very movingly and perceptively.

By the end of that week, both the distributor Nationwide Books and we had sold out (the book has been reprinted).

More of Us is having a remarkable journey. Apart from media coverage, poems from the book have been read at events around the country. In the May issue of North and South two poems are included, one by a student at Mana College in Porirua. Last week that student received a very generous cheque from a woman in Auckland who had read his poem.

Tragically and by extraordinary timing, it has become a book for the times. Our small team at Landing Press are very proud of it, and we’re doing everything we possibly can to make sure it is read as widely as possible.


November 2018: Armistice Day, World War 1 and Syria

Armistice Day, 11 November. The National Library auditorium. Part of Wellington’s literary festival Litcrawl. A line-up of excellent and experienced speakers speaking about World War 1. And in the middle of them, two high school students, Yazan and Mohammad El Fares, reading their poems. They’ve been in New Zealand for two years, and here they are reading their own work – about Syria, and Lebanon, before their family came to New Zealand as refugees. About their experiences here. About their hopes. They remind us that war is both history and a constantly present thing.

One evening when I was at the El Fares home, their father showed me a video he had just been sent of his home village being bombed. Here they were, sitting in a house in Titahi Bay, watching their village being bombed. I can’t imagine it.

It reminded me of a time when I was teaching an English language class, for adults who wanted to be able to talk about current affairs in New Zealand. Each week we would watch a news item on TV, then talk about it, looking for the words we needed to ask questions and express our opinions. One night we watched an Anzac Day parade. In the middle of the discussion that followed, I realized that I was the only person in that room who hadn’t lived through a war.

The next year, we took our kids to the ANZAC Day dawn service at the Cenotaph in Wellington. Standing in the middle of that large crowd who were totally silent, I realized how lucky we were that we could gather in that place with no fear of violence or attack.

It’s good to be reminded how lucky we are, so that we never take it for granted.

At the end of their presentation, Mohammad El fares read a poem by his sister Razan:

I can’t do anything

But if I can do something

I want all the people in Syria

to have a new life.

Syria will become a safe place.

People will meet and smile again,

and trust each other.

All the children will go to school

and achieve their goals.


People will not be scared of each other.

They will help and look after each other.

They will buy everything cheap like the past.

They will go to the mosque to pray

and in Ramadan they will make the breakfast

and invite friends and talk and eat

and have a fine time.

As in the past.

To finish, Yazan read a small statement. It’s like his manifesto. I’ll leave the last word to him:


I would like New Zealanders to understand that we are all the same but with different cultures, colours and beliefs, and differences shouldn’t be an issue.

I also would like New Zealanders to be aware that we came here because of the war in our country and we came here to be safe and to study. We lived through a war and now we want to live in peace.

So we ask for your support and respect.



October 2018: Landings

Last week I visited The Landing, in the Catlins area on the Otago coast. It’s the place Landing Press is named after – the small poetry press that three of us established two years ago. It’s also the place where my great-grandfather (the original settler) set up his home. I thought that maybe there would be no trace of The Landing any more, but there it was, commemorated in a memorial to the people who had settled there.

The Landing is several hundred metres up the Owaka River from the sea. It’s where cargo boats used to come and unload or load up. It’s beautiful. But there’s a bar across the Owaka harbour/river. Boats coming up the river had to navigate the bar, which was dangerous and the cause of shipwrecks.

So our tiny Landing Press is named after a place both beautiful and dangerous! I love that.

My great-grandfather, Captain Charles Hayward, was the harbourmaster there for 15 years. Eventually he was drowned in a shipwreck himself, and the story of his drowning is a big family story.

It’s become a cliché to say we’re a country of immigrants. I don’t feel like an immigrant. I feel deeply rooted in this country, and I get annoyed with people who says there’s no New Zealand identity. I feel as though I have a strong New Zealand identity, and it’s shaped by all the elements of this country – Māori, Pākehā, Pasifika, and our environment and history. But last week I did think a lot about my great-grandfather. He had it easier than a lot of migrants. He came here by choice, not driven by war or some other turmoil. He was able to pursue his chosen profession of sailor here – unlike many professional migrants today. He came to a part of the country that was relatively stable and settled, in a time of turbulence in the other parts of the country.

Maybe that’s why he was able to establish a strong family who went onto to contribute so much to the city of Dunedin.

So maybe there’s an immigrant lesson in this after all. If migrants enjoy security and safety, and are given the opportunity to use their existing skills, or develop their potential, they can become big contributors to this country.

Now I’ve ended up on a moralistic little lesson. I didn’t mean to go there. I’d rather just think about my great-grandfather steering his cutter Bessie up the river towards The Landing, with our tiny Landing Press sailing bravely after it!