Saturday, 22 October 2016


At present I live on Kawau Island,

a small island of 5,000 acres just off the east coast of New Zealand’s North Island. Resident population is about 60 of us scattered along the coastline. There are no roads to speak of and therefore we have to walk or travel by boat to visit with each other. We have no shops but we do have an all-year restaurant attached to The Beach House Hotel. In the summer season we do have the facilities of a boating club and also a cafĂ© in the grounds of an historic house for the many hundreds of visiting tourists and boating people.

I am also a member of the Kawau Island Bookworms group and for the past five years have been involved with, and along with the other members have contributed to, four book publications, with the fourth one due for release in late November 2016. Each book has a theme and is centred around our experiences of living semi-isolated on an Island.

AN ISLAND SUMMER. Our first book was a progressive mystery novel – where one person wrote a chapter and then passed it along to another person to add their chapter. The only condition to being a contributor was keeping quiet about what had been written previously. That was a lot of fun, the ending a total surprise and the book sold so amazingly well, we decided to write another.

ISLAND VOICES. For the next book we were to contribute a story, poem or photograph with an Island theme. Quite a few wrote of their often unusual experiences of how they actually ending up living on this island. A lot of them arrived here to this unusual way of living “just by chance.”

ISLAND FLAVOURS. This is our third book and centred around providing food whether for family or entertaining, when all our food, other than fish or something grown in our own garden, has to be pre-ordered and brought in by boat.  There is a great variety of recipes supplied along with the stories and photographs. Again it sold extremely well, with two reprints having to be done - and to date there are only 8 spare copies available at $NZ$20 plus postage. Email enquiries to Lin Pardey at



There are natural-born hoarders.

Their scavenging eyes can see
the possibilities in the worn-out,
the cast-off, the inherent wealth
that takes some time to retrieve.

An abandoned dinghy or bath,
the drifts of pine-cones or needles
a twist of wire left on the road,
old timber from a demolition,
bark peeling off a fallen tree,
fruit left to rot on the ground.

She admits to being one of these,
there’s a charm in the abandoned
and overlooked – last week she
carried home a prize of seaweed;
yesterday made a bright red jelly
from an overladen guava tree.

Today she’s out on the wharf
with a line in her hand;
she casts again and again
until she lands a Parore – ignored
as a “shit-fish,” but she knows
to immediately fillet it whole
and not damage the gut.

It’ll be as sweet as gurnard.

Place skinned fillets in a Pyrex dish.
Salt, a light touch of minced garlic,
rings of tomato, then pile on buttered
breadcrumbs and quickly bake
until the juices bubble and run.

Onto a warm plate, a squeeze of lemon
and tonight she'll dine like a queen.

copyright lois. e hunter

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