Robust was the word used for my contribution to the NZ Pavilion panel on tradition and landscape in NZ lit with Witi Ihimaera and Cathie Dunsford (with spontaneous contribution from Maori members of pavilion staff). Reading ‘Ancestors’ by Brian Turner and a piece from ‘Beak of the Moon’, I asserted pakeha place in the landscape and reminded Witi that it’s possible his skill in writing may well have come from his Irish ancestor. Judging by audience comments afterwards, my ‘robustness’ was appreciated. One needed to be vocally robust also because of the visual and aural display in the pavilion that continued behind us, with the occasional splash that signaled another visitor falling in the water.
If I can be taken here for a friendly German who knows the way to everywhere, Diane twice yesterday was deemed to be Maori, first by Hinemoa Baker and later by one of the kapahaka whanau. Diane has decided to follow this up and then, as Witi suggested, she can put in a claim.
NB On sighting Minister of Culture Chris Finlayson, he accosted me as that ‘leftie stirrer’. Nice to know Iget through . The deputy PM William English attended a book launch – any guesses – yes, the German version of the Lord of the Rings guidebook to NZ Middle Earth. Go NZ lit.