Saturday, 9 September 2017


THE DREAM IS  NOW UNDERWAY for the coming summer and the search is on
for the perfect place to make that dream come true. Kawau Island homes are once again starting to appear for sale. I have just chosen 5 of them here as examples of what is available.

Each bay has different extra advantages depending on the person's needs, but one of the biggest pluses here is that we are situated close to the city of Auckland -  with a good 7 day ferry service, telephone and internet reception and prompt medical back-up also making the Island ideal to both escape to just for the weekend, or maybe even work from your Kawau home either part-time ( as many do now) or full time.

For those who are older and wish to retire full time, they may wish for a more modest home with a couple of out sheds,  prefer flat land, be able to be partly self-sufficient with some fruit trees and a decent sized vegetable garden and also will be looking for a place sheltered from seasonal extremes of weather, plus a good fireplace and be close to their boat down at the  all-tide, all-weather wharf to go fishing. See Real Estate - 1

Some just want a small, comfortable but quirky real bach. ( cottage)  See Real Estate 2

For those with more money and wish to live in more luxury, right on the waterfront and look forward to regularly entertaining family and friends then see Real Estate 3

Or 3a.

But for those who are artists? - they often like to have a more quiet and private lifestyle and they tend to choose a place tucked away amongst the birds and bush. See the video from my neighbour who is also one of New Zealand's top commercial photographers. See Real Estate 4


Friday, 1 September 2017


IT'S HARD TO BELIEVE SOMETIMES that not only do I live on an Island but for months of the year I often have the  D O C park and the beach to myself  when I am out walking.

But now it is September. The Island wakes and people will be walking the paths again  for now is
the time when the ferry starts arriving with contractors and weekenders loaded up with their building materials to get the holiday homes organised for the coming summer.

The spring flowers continue to appear, most of them are small and will go unnoticed amongst all the green, or fade into being a subtle carpet of pastel, except to those who are are waiting for them to open. The Pururi  tree flowers are only seen when they fall to the ground. The exception is the flamboyant orange flowers of  the native shrub, Tecoma which can be trained into a coastal resistant hedge. Kids know to pull off each flower and suck the sweet nectar from it.

Pururi Tree Flower

They call this a weed.

Kawakawa flower

London's Pride

carpet of London's pride

Sunday, 13 August 2017


BEING EVERGREEN ANY CHANGES IN SEASONAL COLOUR  are usually textural and/or subtle with the occasional exception mostly from plants that have escaped early colonial gardens and flourished in its new climate. One such plant is the Arum lily. An elegant stately flower and a rare fortune to buy in Germany I was told by a German tourist, and then only for funerals. The Island’s early women settlers used to supplement their income by gathering armfuls, I heard, and were sent over to the Auckland flower markets. On the Island, as elsewhere in Northland, it is considered a weed and now another excuse to bring out the weed spay {{{{shudder}}}. The vase of them pictured, is mixed together with our native Kawakawa which is gathered in Northland to make a beer, or is used for various ailments including both constipation and the opposite. Then there are the colours from the gardens I pass on my walks - including someone's fish flag blown into a tree. 


Saturday, 5 August 2017


THIS WEEK, LET'S TALK ABOUT CATS. For quite a few months now  there has been a strong activist movement in New Zealand for local councils to make a law that people have to keep their pet cats inside at night so they won’t kill our native birds. What amazes me is how little they know, or even care to know, about the behaviour and roles of cats.  

When it comes to anything harming birds it seems to raise an obsessive rage in some people’s breasts. People like Gareth Morgan, who started up the original onslaught against cats. I would have thought they would have done some study of their actual facts beforehand. Passionate emotion is good,  but surely it would be preferable if they actually connected these emotions together with their thinking brain.

Anyone who has owned a cat knows: - Cat’s only chase to catch moving things – a twist of paper on a string, a leaf blowing across a deck, a bird hopping across a lawn or fluttering in a tree.  

Birds go to sleep at night. They don’t move.

But rats, mice and stoats move. They move at night and they are out running around and climbing trees to eat the eggs of native birds, baby chicks and anything else edible they can find to eat. Only our native owl, the Morepork, and the cats can see them moving and they are out to stalk and kill these vermin. Unfortunately they can’t also kill the opossums and hedgehogs which are also out to dine on our native birds.

Cat’s tend to bring home their kill to show off to their owners and it will be mice and rats that is found on the doorstep in the mornings, never a bird.

Not enough credit is being given either, to the high intelligence of birds. They soon learn how to avoid a cat and only their weak, old and the runts are caught by a cat, which, by the way,  ensures only the strongest and healthiest of birds breed and multiply.

I apologise though because I do keep my cat in at night. Just to ensure she won’t be hit by a car or have the possibility of being killed if investigating a set opossum trap.

See the poem over on FACEBOOK - Lois E Hunter about just one of the the roles a cat plays in our lives