Friday, 30 September 2011

Lyttelton Food??

Looking at the food that surrounds us in restaurants does not entice me to eat anywhere but at home or at a shared pot luck with all the others in Lyttelton (which is pretty much always delicious, diverse and seasonal). With the occasional moment where we all make pumpkin soup because… that is what we have at the time of the year. However, wouldn’t it be great to be able to go out and converse while eating real Lyttelton food? The number one restaurant in the world is Noma in Denmark and they have created the New Nordic Cuisine Manifesto, which can be applied anywhere in the world. In fact, we should apply this Manifesto right here in Lyttelton. Have a look at the aims of the New Nordic Cuisine:

1. To express the purity, freshness, simplicity and ethics we wish to associate with our region.

2. To reflect the changing of the seasons in the meals we make.

3. To base our cooking on ingredients and produce whose characteristics are particularly excellent in our climates, landscapes and waters.

4. To combine the demand for good taste with modern knowledge of health and well-being.

5. To promote Nordic products and the variety of Nordic producers – and to spread the word about their underlying cultures.

6. To promote animal welfare and a sound production process in our seas, on our farmland and in the wild.

7. To develop potentially new applications of traditional Nordic food products.

8. To combine the best in Nordic cookery and culinary traditions with impulses from abroad.

9. To combine local self-sufficiency with regional sharing of high-quality products.

10. To join forces with consumer representatives, other cooking craftsmen, agriculture, the fishing, food , retail and wholesale industries, researchers, teachers, politicians and authorities on this project for the benefit and advantage of everyone in the Nordic countries.

“We’re not against fish, and we like meat – in fact, we’re not in any way sectarian – but plants are the DNA of the Nordic kitchen. And in a world where a billion people are starving, where global resources are under massive pressure and where we will be three billion more people by 2050, it would be great if we could spread the joy of eating vegetables,” Claus Meyer

What is the DNA of our food here?

Let your food thoughts marinate on the following photos...

Posted by Christy Martin

extended film series



Hosted at The Portal (up the driveway between the playgound and the pool off Oxford St.)

6PM: Shared meal. All welcome
7pm: Film screening.

Monday 3rd October: SCHOOLING THE WORLD
"You have an institution that is in place globally that is branding millions and millions of innocent people as failures." - Manish Jain
"these people aren't failed attempts at being us, they are unique answers to the fundamental question: what does it mean to be human and alive." - Wade Davis
A film that challenges our Western education system, especially when introduced into indigenous societies. This film helps us deconstruct our Western world view and challenges our assumptions about the success of our education system.
This film is shot in the same country as The Economics of Happiness and extends many of the themes.

A film that tells the story of a grassroots movement for localisation that is bubbling up from the cracks of a faltering global economy, in every corner of the world.
Check out the trailer here.
Back by popular demand….if you missed out the first time, make sure to catch it this time and see how Lyttelton is part of this worldwide relocalising movement. Open to discussion afterwards.

Everyone very welcome.

Wednesday, 28 September 2011


What is community? I suspect it takes many forms and has no one look about it and yet it seems to me that it must have some form that makes it different than other living things. When I think about the things it means to me, it feels like people knowing each other and having a relationship simply because of something we share – it certainly does not need to be a physical place as we all know about design communities, on-line communities, etc. and in all of these we share some sense of connection. And it is the fabric of what we share collectively that seems important to me.

In Lyttelton, here are some of the things I think we share. I would love to see others to add to my thinking as I would love to see what you think we share and what makes us a community. 
I would love to hear what others think of what makes their community as well.

I think we share a love of this beautiful environment that we live in – the steep sloping hills and the view of the harbour. I also love the fact that this is a working port and that simple fact will not allow this place to get too trendy or ritzy. I am not sure we all share this love. I think we share a love of the essence of what we all think Lyttelton is – and I don’t think we would all agree what that essence is, however, I think many of us would say its ‘gritty honesty’, its eclectic nature and its amazing creativity - in so many forms. I love that we all have different things that we love and though they are different – we are all passionately about them.

I think many people love it because this is where their family hails from for many generations and they grew up fishing off the docks, flying down the steep streets in their homemade racers, and knowing that their families are not far from them at all times. I don’t have those same memories, but they are mine as well because I have heard them so often. I can’t claim them, and I love the images just the same. I think what I love most is that I don’t ever feel alone here – that if I have a need, someone is always there to help me out.

I am a wanderer who has come upon this place and shall stay here now – my wondering has come to an end because I have found my place- my community

written by Sarah van der Burch

Sunday, 25 September 2011

seed magic

Oh Spring, you love to do this to us. Warm us up with clear, still days, lulling us into thinking we have made it through into the warmer months and then, as though unexpectedly, you send us back into wintery temperatures.
But even though it may be cold and blustery outside, we can still dream about our feet in the warm earth, plant seeds and prepare for the hard work ahead.

And if you don't believe in magic, find some seeds to plant.
A morning playing with the different shapes, sizes and colours of seeds will astonish and delight.
Doing this with a child helps.
Just slowing down and looking, we remember how dependent we are on these little bundles of potential.
Their shear abundance will convert you for sure.
Plan to save some seed in the coming season. Beans and peas are easy. Tomatoes are simple too.
Even just let some of your plants go to seed and see what happens around the base of the parent plant.
Share spare seedlings with your neighbours and friends. Always.
Supporting your local seed bank also is a great way to get a little closer to your seed; they will hold less common varieties to experiment with and have seeds better suited to your bioregion.
Check out the southern seed exchange if you are local.
Seed guardianship keeps the seeds where they belong; in the hands of gardeners and farmers or in the earth, feeding families. Corporate laboratories and distribution centres are no place for seeds of life itself and if you're not convinced watch Vandana Shiva talk about the future of food and seed and check out the NZ Food Bill 160-2 .
These will inspire you to keep going.
Whatever you choose to do in particular, choose to do the good work and take the next step.
Begin on your path of seed guardianship.

written by Jacinda Gilligan, also at

Saturday, 24 September 2011

Home Sweet Home

Everyone in Lyttelton has issues with their house after the earthquake. Maybe there are only a few cracks in the interior gib-board walls or a door and window doesn't shut, the floor is uneven and you feel constantely drunk when walking over it. There might be more serious issues with leaking roofs, collapsed foundations and unstable retaining walls. Some people had to leave their houses altogether: to wait for repairs, for destruction or rebuilding or because of rockfall threats.

Our house is still habitable, but will need large sums of money to fix up, and our insurance might well say that it is cheaper to rebuild. This suddenly has made me become more interested in the different kinds of housing that are out there.

I am not the only one. One of the silver linings after a disaster is the outside- of- the- box-thinking that happens in its aftermath. I always have been interested in modular housing, and I want to share the latest of these with you.

Here is the link to an innovative company :

Their pod-houses are either round or oblong and can be combined into different sizes.

There are many advantages to the pods:
  • no structural earthquake/hurricane/flooding damage possible
  • easy and fast to errect by only 2 people.
  • energy efficient.
  • the designs are pre-approved for use anywhere in New Zealand having been tested thoroughly during the NZ Building and Housing certification process. Building consent should be issued within 10 working days.

Even the prizes are very reasonable: $75.000 for a two bedroom house, $10.000 more for each bedroom.

As far as I can see there is one major drawback: the building material is polyethylene,- yes, the stuff we all hate as supermarket plastic bags are made out of it.

Wikipedia ( ) says about polyethylene:

'The political environment has a divided approach towards the use of plastic. As plastics are mainly based on oil or natural gas, there is a general trend, as well as political pressure, towards increased use of renewable sources...
...Other elements go in favor of increased use of plastics. The low weight reduces energy use and cost related to transportation compared to goods made from wood or paper ... In this respect, plastics are considered to have a favorable environmental profile. However, there is no clear consensus whether or not increased use of plastics reduces CO2 emissions.'
The Breezepod website says that their houses are 100% recyclable, as the whole pod, including roof is all out of the same material.
Me, I've always been a wood-person - old villas and log houses and maybe straw bale houses. I never considered living in a house made of plastic.
Look at the website and let me know what you think!

written by Bettina Evans

Wednesday, 21 September 2011

NZ Food Bill 160-2

If you live in Aotearoa and enjoy buying food at your local Farmers' Market or have a favourite roadside stall you like to frequent or if you like to swap seeds with friends at your local community garden, or, in fact if you are at all interested in the food you eat then you need to check out NZ Food Bill 160-2. 
Be prepared to be enraged. 
Below is taken from the Nexus website
What are the problems with the Food Bill?

- It turns a human right (to grow food and share it) into a government-authorised privilege that can be revoked by the Governor-General.

- It makes it illegal to distribute "food" without authorisation, and it defines "food" in such a way that it includes nutrients, seeds, natural medicines, essential minerals and drinks (including water).
- It will push up mainstream food prices by subjecting producers to red tape and registration costs. Food prices are already rising due to increased energy costs and commodity speculation, while effective disposable incomes are falling.
- Growing food for distribution must be authorised, even for "cottage industries", and such authorisation can be denied.

- Under the Food Bill, Food Safety Officers can enter premises without a warrant using all equipment they deem necessary, including guns (Clause 265 - 1). Police can be Food Safety Officers, and so can members of the private sector, as at Clause 243. So Monsanto employees can raid premises like houses or marae without a warrant, backed up by armed police.
- The Government has created this bill to keep in line with its World Trade Organisation obligations under an international scheme called Codex Alimentarius ("Food Book"). So it has to pass this bill in one form or another.
- There are problems with Codex also. Codex will place severe restrictions on the content of vitamins, minerals and therapeutic compounds in food, drinks and supplements etc. The Food Bill means that non-complying producers can be shut down easily - thus it paves the way for the legal enforcement of Codex food regulations.

What are the implications for Food Security in NZ?
- The bill would undermine the efforts of many people to become more self-sufficient within their local communities.
- Seed banks and seed-sharing networks could be shut down if they could not obtain authorisation. Loss of seed variety would make it more difficult to grow one's own food.
- Home-grown food and some or all seed could not be bartered on a scale or frequency necessary to feed people in communities where commercially available food has become unaffordable or unavailable (for example due to economic collapse).
- Restrictions on the trade of food and seed would quickly lead to the permanent loss of heirloom strains, as well as a general lowering of plant diversity in agriculture.
- Organic producers of heirloom foods could lose market share to big-money agribusiness outfits, leading to an increase in the consumption of nutrient-poor and GE foods.

If you want more, check it out herehere and here
Join with the world's poor who are also fighting similar laws in their own countries.
Sign the petition, write to your MP and generally make a racket.

Posted by Jacinda Gilligan, also at

Thursday, 15 September 2011


 The art of distillation goes back quite some time… hundreds of years. I use a hand-crafted copper distiller.

If you can imagine walking through a rose garden in full bloom or a forest of eucalyptus or peeling an orange, those beautiful scents that you inhale are similar to what it is like to distill as the "essential oil" is the essence of that plant. It is a beautiful thing to work with plants in this way. The resulting distillate is the full make-up of the plant, rather than just the essential oil, you get the fullness of the plant that you are distilling, all of it’s properties.

A few of the plants that I have distilled in the past for different purposes have been thyme, eucalyptus, rose geranium, lemon verbena, and Echinacea. Each one delicious and healing in it’s own way.

Just the other day I went for a walk and cut some fresh branches from a eucalyptus tree as you use the leaves and twigs. I went home and distilled. The result was a beautiful eucalyptus hydrosol. There are over 300 varieties of eucalyptus trees. I distilled Eucalyptus leucoxylon,    the one with the red blossoms. The following is a good resource for the various uses of eucalyptus. 

I like to use it as a house spray, for steam inhalation, to add to a footbath, creams or to washing. 

 If you are interested in distilling please let me know and we can stay in touch.

Written by: Christy Martin

Monday, 12 September 2011

whakaraupo carving school

The Whakaraupo Carving School opened just over a year ago here in Lyttelton/
This week there is the awesome opportunity to enrol in a carving evening class.
Check the clip below to be inspired.
Awesome opportunity.
Ka pai boys.

Wood Carving Night Classes
Come along and learn traditional Māori wood carving at Whakaraupo Carving Centre.
Participants will learn how to carve a koruru/ traditional mask using totara and learn how to decorate them with a range of patterns.
Each carver will learn how to use a range of tools and learn about the qualities of various types of native timbers.
Along the way participants will learn about the history of whakairo rākau-wood carving, and learn some of the stories behind the patterns used and the pieces that are made.
In keeping with Māori tradition this course is only available to men

When: Thursday nights- start date is 15/09/2011
Time: 7.30-9.00pm
Cost: $20
Clothing & Footwear: suitable for wood carving! And dress to keep warm.
Participants must be 16 years or older. Places are limited.
If you would like to sign up or if you have any questions please email
or phone Caine:

posted by Jacinda, also at

Saturday, 10 September 2011

a whole new world series

I am sharing, along with others, some of what I am learning as a result of living in this community - this as part of a series, “A Whole New World”. Maybe you want to listen in? Here is the letter from Rose Diamond who is organising it all. My interview is 19 September at 11.00am (NZ)


A Whole New World is launching an inspiring series of interviews with spiritual teachers, authors and community leaders, starting here in Aotearoa New Zealand, Land of the Awakening Dawn, to explore what it means to be awake at this time and how we can unfold our process of awakening into our full creative power.
Go here for a short audio introducing the New Zealand speakers: (wait a few seconds for the audio to appear)

For more information and to register go here:    When you register I will send you details of how to access the calls and an introductory context setting interview with me and colleague Joey Walters, exploring the opportunities in crisis and transition, the transformational power of the Soul Journey and more, is all ready to send to you.   
The series is FREE and you can access the live calls by phone or via the internet. Recordings of the calls will also be available for 3 days following each broadcast. The series starts this Sunday 11th September at 11am here in NZ,  7pm ET on Saturday, or for times elsewhere go to:   The interviews will be live every other day over two weeks.

This is the first leg of a sacred journey across the world, later I will be talking with speakers from USA and UK about how we can bring our visions down to earth. Please join us to create an intentional energy field as we awaken as whole new humans who can co-create a new story, a new culture and a whole new world together.

Please feel free to forward this email to others in your networks.


Rose Diamond

A Whole New World is a resource for the transition to a more peaceful, soulful world.   

Tuesday, 6 September 2011

The FBR (First Big Rumble) Anniversary, 4th September 2011

I like celebrations. Any reason is good enough for me. Especially in earthquake country, more laughter, more food and more fun is always welcome.

But how do you celebrate an earthquake? It took only a few seconds to come up with the tried and true idea of 'more stitching'. It felt right to shift on from the hearts, healing and powerful as they were in the weeks after the Febuary earthquake. 

We all have moved on, we are in a different state of heart and soul than we were in Febuary. So we decided to stitch wooly medals, to celebrate that we are still here, to celebrate our community, to celebrate life.

The obvious spot for that was the Petanque Club, situated on the old 'Ground Delicatessen' site in Lyttelton.
So on Sunday, dozens of people turned up at lunchtime. We stitched and ate and made music and listened to music. We talked and laughed. Played petanque.
I usually like to waffle on, use language and words to make sense of the world around me and through this share my impressions with others.

But I can't say a lot about this Sunday. We were there. People, strangers, friends. Breathing together. Picking up pink, blue, green felt, a gold button, a ribbon and creating symbols of love and survival. All our hearts beating in unison.

How can words express all of that?

written by Bettina Evans

Monday, 5 September 2011

An attitude of gratitude

I happened to be awake with my toddler in the small hours yesterday morning. A significant day for people in Christchurch - 4 September. I found myself reflecting on what has been going on in our lives during this journey around the sun, and where we were this time last year. On that cold morning back then, I remember sitting in the dark listening to Radio New Zealand, my then 1- year-old-son playing with a torch as we rode out those first few hours of rockin' and rollin'. A story in today's newspaper entitled, 'A Lone Voice In The Dark' describes the experience of the Radio NZ presenter who happened to be working that day.

But even with no power or landline phone, we did not feel alone. Texts flew among our Lyttelton-adopted whanau, making sure everyone was ok. Neighbours went out on the street in the minutes following that first quake and checked on each other. At dawn our friends arrived to have breakfast cooked on the log burner, cold from being in a house with no working heating. Later in the morning, the Lyttelon Farmers Market got going, a chance to lay eyes on friends and faces from the street and check in. And while that first day was not as 'big' as events that followed, it set the tone for how we responded: taking care of each other.

In the last year I have become acutely aware of things to be grateful for. The rhythm of our lives these days is driven by things that keep us grounded and firmly connected to each other: Wednesdays at the community garden... wandering the farmer's market;...craft groups among friends where there is often not much actual craft going on but plenty of love as we share a cup of tea...walking through town and realising I know many more people by name than a year ago, with real heart connections abundant...Friday afternoons at the Top Club... trading on the Time Bank..random hugs from a friend bumped into on the street who really means it when they ask how you are...going for walks through the town and admiring the view...enjoying wood fired pizza at the new Brewery ...listening to songs from our town on the Harbour Union...checking out theatre on London St, relocated from the damaged Loons to the ruins of the Lava Bar...being together. 

It hasn't all been fun, this last year, but the bonds between us are stronger than before, we know each other better and we know all about what resilience means. Have a listen to this great story on Radio NZ.

Yesterday morning I was happy to snuggle back in bed to snooze and think about the many things to be grateful for.

Written by Jodi Rees

Sunday, 4 September 2011

community resilience workshop coming to town

Kotare Trust invites you to a workshop on:

Building Resilience:

Community Organising now in Otautahi/Christchurch

Saturday 17th September - 9.30am- 4.30pm
Sunday 18th September - 9.30am – 3pm

The earthquakes in Otautahi-Christchurch have highlighted the need for communities to build their own strengths. Excellent community leadership has been shown in responding to the quakes and ensuring community needs are met. This workshop is a place to gather the learnings from the last 12 months and strategise for the immediate future.

The aims for this workshop are:
•To share learnings from participants experience of community building in the context of the quakes
•To envision rebuilding Otautahi-Christchurch in ways that are sustainable, enable community participation, and grow stronger communities.
•To share ideas about how these visions can be brought to fruition and plan collaborative next steps
•To learn and share ideas about community organising principles and practice

Kotare is a research and education centre for social change. We are a national organisation, based in Hoteo North near Wellsford, that supports social movements through the provision of workshops ( Kotare acknowledges that we are not on the ground in Otautahi/Christchurch. We are working with local people on the organising and design of this workshop. We hope facilitating and hosting this gathering will enable those directly impacted and working within Christchurch communities to share learnings with one another and that this workshop will usefully support your important and inspiring work.

Who For:
This workshop is for people engaged in community organising and community building in Otautahi/Christchurch and the surrounding area. Suggestions of people to invite are very welcome. Numbers are limited, so get in quick!
Venue: To be confirmed. The venue will be in Christchurch.
Cost: $0-$150 sliding scale for each workshop. Please self-assess your payment and consider your means when deciding what to pay.
Registration: Registration is required. Please register as soon as possible and no later than Monday the 12th of September.
Facilitation team: Tim Howard and Tanya Newman
For more information and to register, please contact Tanya Newman at or phone 02102769112.