Thursday, November 27, 2014

Sinigang, Filipino soup

Sinigang na Isda sa Kamias

I have a very good friend from Philippines. We have not seen each other for 10 years but we are still good friends. She often post her food on Facebook.

Today, my little student told me about  her soup, Sinigang. Her mum cook it with chicken.

Sinigang na Isda sa Kamias is a type of Filipino sour soup. This soup dish involves fish, tomato, mustard greens, long green peppers, and onion. The souring agent for this sinigang recipe is bilimbi, which is locally known as kamias.

Woman to appeal against 'fun' bum slap ruling

Photo / Thinkstock

Cherie Howie

Cherie Howie is a reporter for the Herald on Sunday.
Woman to appeal against 'fun' bum slap ruling

A boss who slapped his employee's bottom has praised the Employment Relations Authority for not automatically favouring the woman complainant by finding it was not sexual harassment, but a "fun slap".
In a judgment released this week, authority member Anna Fitzgibbon found The Plant Place owner Bruce Sanson did not sexually harass former employee Ella Newman.
This afternoon Newman responded that she was "disappointed ... but feeling strong" and would appeal.
The 23-year-old resigned the day after the December 2013 incident, and then alleged Sanson had previously sexually harassed her during the two years she worked at his Hamilton garden centre.
Fitzgibbon rejected those claims, calling Newman an unreliable witness and questioning why she did not complain earlier.
The December 2013 bottom slap was "inappropriate and should not be repeated" but took place during a joke, Fitzgibbon said.
"Ms Newman was being cheeky about Mr Sanson's floppy hat and he slapped her on the bottom. It was a one-off slap, which I accept was a 'fun slap'."
Mr Sanson told the Herald on Sunday the finding was "groundbreaking".
"I assumed there would be too many precedents before it that would disallow it [being thrown out]. I don't think many [sexual harassment] cases get thrown out .. that was my only worry, that the girl would get more believed than the guy."
The slap was his first and last to a woman.
"It was something that just happened and you wished afterwards it probably shouldn't have happened ... I always thought she was a good friend and the relationship would've handled that."
The slap was "never a real case of sexual harassment".
"Wise counsel should have been brought to bear and good advice given in the earlier part of the year by people that should've known better than to let it go on."
Other incidents alleged by Newman were not true. They "bumped each other" in the small work space, but it wasn't sexual, Sanson said.
"She wasn't my type."
The single dad of adult children had offered Newman her job back.
"I still respect the girl. She's still a very good employee, I think it was just a youthful mistake. I thought she would've managed the garden centre within a year or two ... just because she's made a silly mistake doesn't mean that she's a bad person."
Newman stood by all her complaints and said the Roger Sutton case had convinced her "that I need to fight on".
Sutton, the Christchurch Earthquake Recovery Authority chief executive, was found to have committed serious misconduct after a female staff member complained of unwanted hugs and comments.
Newman said she felt "let down" by the authority. She had not complained about earlier incidents - which she alleged included bottom slapping - because she thought it might have been accidental.
She had glared at Sanson to make her feelings clear and a text sent after her resignation showed he knew what she was talking about, she said.
The "fun slap" was "unprovoked and forceful".
"I had to go to the doctor. I cannot reconcile what a 'fun slap' is, let alone in what ''context" an employer now seems to be able to do it ... I am 23, he is 61. It is simply not appropriate in any context ... I still can't understand how an employer can turn up to court, admit he assaulted me by slapping my bottom, and walk away thinking he has done nothing wrong."
Equal Opportunities Commissioner Jackie Blue said the Sutton affair put such behaviour in the spotlight.
"One of the things I would like to see come out of all of this is that woman should come forward," she said.
But she cautioned that incidents of a sexual nature had to meet a high threshold to be deemed as sexual harassment.
Sexual harassment was usually a repeated incident, and if it was a one-off incident it had to be quite significant and cause harm and detriment.
- additional reporting NZME.

I wrote to the Reporter .

Dear Cherie,

Thank you for your article. I am the writer of "Cry the Oppressed Women", women suffer from FUN slaps, women suffer from smite remarks.

35 years ago, fresh from university, in my first job, a manager was a feely touchy type. Once he gave me a Fun Slap on my bottom, I was very upset and couldn't concentrate on my work. Eventually, I went to his office and told him never to do it again.

If it had happened today, I would have sued him for sexual harassment.

Sunday, November 16, 2014

school fair: Kapa Haka

Junior and senior Kapa Haka groups. Awesome performance. Congrats to Ngarimo. So proud of my students. Multi racial group performing New Zealand Maori song and dance.

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Brunei Times


Tuesday, October 15, 2013
APTBILITY Trading Company held a press conference at Ximply Chriz Cafe in Regent Square, Kiulap yesterday to promote the books of Ann Snow Chin, a Sarawak-born, New Zealand-based writer.
Chin is currently on a tour of Sarawak and Brunei to promote her new books.
Her book, “From China to Borneo and Beyond”, is a journal that traces the movement of her late ancestors, the Chans and the Kongs, fromKwong Zhou, China to the jungle of Borneo back in 1907.
The story weaves in details of the Opium war, virgin tropical jungle, the Japanese occupation, and fighting with the communists as some of the difficulties the family went through.
The journal also records the families’ second wave of movement to England, Canada, Japan, Singapore, Australia, the USA and New Zealand.
Her second book, “Diary of a Bereaved Mother”, shares her own story of losing her son to a rare disease, and her journey to overcome her own grief while inspiring other bereaved mothers to do the same.
Her third book, “Mail Order Bride” studies darker social issues that affect today’s society.
Chin is a member of Sands Manuk in New Zealand, an organisation set up to support parents and families in the Manukau region who have experienced the death of a baby during pregnancy, at birth, or up to a year following a full-term birth.
Those who are interested in reading Chin’s books may contact the director of Aptbility Trading Company, Wong Nqie Sek at 7112823 to place an order.

auckland council libraries

Auckland Libraries

Mail order bride / Ann Kit Suet Chin-Chan.

Authors:Ann Kit Suet Chin
Publish info:Auckland : Ann Kit Suet Chin, 2013.
Description:viii, 265 pages ; 21 cm.
Subject:FictionMail order brides21st centuryNew ZealandAuckland (N.Z.)New Zealand fiction
Summary:This book is about the embodiment of the darker side of today's society. Auckland city is chosen because of her cosmopolitan features, as well as the presence of immigrants, new and old. Social issues are weaved with the coming of a Filipino mail order bride.
Url for this record:|library/marc/supercity-iii|b2941293

Location/mapCall numberVolumeStatusMessage
Central City fictionCHIN NZAVAILABLE---
Mt Albert fictionCHIN NZDUE 05-12-14---
Takapuna fictionCHIN NZDUE 25-11-14---

Temuka pottery and Cure kids

 Temuka pottery was very popular in the 80s, when I went overseas, my friends asked me to buy some and take them to them.

From the township of Temuka, on the South Canterbury plains, since 1931,
New Zealand Insulators has proudly designed and produced Temuka Pottery.
Our brand is pure New Zealand heritage – and thousands of kiwi households use
Temuka Pottery on a daily basis. It lasts and lasts.
Many New Zealanders know Temuka Pottery as the curvy
brown Riverstone series designed by the late Jack Laird
of Nelson. Launched in 1971, the beautiful Riverstone
sold millions of pieces. Since then Temuka Pottery has
developed and changed – our pottery reflects modern
New Zealand, with clean designs created with bright
and colourful glazes.

Cure Kids

Cure Kids_Doing our bit_RGB_Stacked
 On Saturday the 4th of October, Cure Kids $10 Queenstown
 Challenge stopped briefly in Temuka.

 The teams were all made honorary pottery decorators for
 the stop over, and had to decorate plates which are to be
 auctioned off, with all money going to Cure Kids.

 See the teams at work, and their resulting decorated
 plates here.

 And check out Cure Kids website here
Our fab $10 Queenstown Challenge teams tried their hands at pottery painting at Temuka Pottery en-route to Queenstown. Temuka Pottery is now auctioning their art on Trade Me, with all proceeds donated to Cure Kids.

Thank you to the teams and Temuka Pottery for your creativity and generosity! Check out their creations and get bidding here: #helpcurekids #TenDollarChallenge14
Photo: Our fab $10 Queenstown Challenge teams tried their hands at pottery painting at Temuka Pottery en-route to Queenstown. Temuka Pottery is now auctioning their art on Trade Me, with all proceeds donated to Cure Kids.  

Thank you to the teams and Temuka Pottery for your creativity and generosity! Check out their creations and get bidding here: #helpcurekids #TenDollarChallenge14

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Art in the Dark

Volcanoes are a conspicuous feature of the Auckland city landscape. In some cases their form is emphasised by their preservation as reserves and parks, while in others they have been quarried to meet the city’s demand for building materials. Within a radius of about 20km centred on Auckland city there are 49 discrete volcanoes; this is the area referred to as the Auckland volcanic field, Here New Zealand sculptor John Radford made three of these realistic remnants of Auckland buildings and depicted the after maths of an earthquarke in Western Park in Ponsonby.

Christine and Connie worked in this art institution.


Art in the Dark

Western Park, 5 - 7 Ponsonby Rd, Auckland
Thursday 13 November 2014 – Monday 17 November 2014 8:00pm – 12:00am
Art in the Dark
Celebrating its fifth year and now widely regarded as an arts-institution within Auckland, Art In the Dark 2014 returns to illuminate every nook and cranny of Ponsonby’s Western Park from the 13th – 16th of November.
This free event has transformed the park into a brightly lit hub of installations and sculptures, both interactive and traditional. The 2014 event boasts a prolific number of works from participants across New Zealand, utilising sustainable materials and energy to bring both their works and their abilities to light.
Art in the Dark 2014 is being supported by Auckland Tourism, Events and Economic Development (ATEED) on behalf of Auckland Council, as part of its Major Events Portfolio.
Brett O’Riley, ATEED Chief Executive, says: “Art in the Dark is an important cultural event for Auckland. It is a great opportunity for Aucklanders and visitors to our region to engage with art in an environment that is accessible and compelling. We look forward to partnering with this event.”
Registrants for the 2014 event were briefed that their works should adhere to the non-linear theme “Out Of Nothing”, giving them carte blanche to create interesting and out-of-the-box ideas which once again demonstrates the sheer innovation Art in the Dark thrives upon. “We are absolutely thrilled with the artists that are taking over the park in 2014.” says Art in the Dark director Celia Harrison. "’Out of Nothing’ gives artists the opportunity to be truly free with their ideas because from nothing, great things can happen.”
“Something small or insignificant can become monumental - like a tree growing from seed. What we see is not always what we get,” she continues, “and this theme celebrates that. There's a little bit of playfulness in ideas around appearing and disappearing. With ‘Out of Nothing‘, artworks will emerge from the darkness of the trees and reveal themselves to the audience, who will see Western Park, and art, in a new light.”
Craig Neilson and Reza Fuard present Square, a cubic window to a world of seemingly infinite proportions weightless over a tall thing tower where it rotates. Visualising an infinitely recursive void existing inside one cubic meter of artwork suspended in thin air, when Square is viewed from any angle at all, it will display an illusion of immense and impossible scale – the space appears to have been conjured “out of nothing.”
Tane Lives, by artist and designer Johnson Witeria, is steeped in traditional Maori form and pattern, with ideas from graphic design and Western arts practice. With an animation projected onto one of the largest trees in Western Park depicting Tanemahuta, god of forests who pushed his parents apart, the installation flows across the tree and becomes a fountain of light, with pulsating rivers of kowhaiwhai and figurative hei tiki shown through the trunk of the tree.
It’s not just artists that will dazzle audiences this year – the science community are also proud to light up the night sky. Microbiologist and bioluminescence enthusiast Dr Siouxsie Wiles collaborates with Rebecca Klee to create The Living Light – an interactive installation that lets audiences influence when and how intensely bacteria glow, and despite its playful appearance references how these beautiful bugs help scientists battle infectious diseases.
“This delightful event, which came out of nowhere three years ago, turns art viewing into an adventure sport in the otherwise under-used park.” - Janet Mcalister, NZ Herald, 17 Nov 2012

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Stop seismic testing

Been teaching my students about the beaching of the biggest group of pilot whales last Wednesday at Whakatane. My students were curious why it happened. Seimic testing may well be one of the reasons. No body knows.

Bunny McDiarmid, GREENPEACE

We still need your help. The whales in New Zealand are in trouble.

Donate now to help stop seismic testing and save the whales!
A couple of weeks ago I wrote to you asking for your help. Because this summer Norwegian oil giant, Statoil, begin their onslaught of seismic mapping – the first step of oil drilling - in the deep seas off the coast of Northland, New Zealand.

This will threaten whales and dolphins in ways that we are only just beginning to understand.

From a ship on the surface, they will blast the ocean with massive sound waves to determine if oil might be under the seabed. The air blasts are so loud they create an equivalent noise impact as blasting dynamite in rock underwater.

And this will happen every minute for months on end.

Because whales and dolphins depend on sounds to navigate and feed they are incredibly vulnerable to these loud noises. It could mean that they can’t hear one another or find food and in extreme cases, it could lead to strandings and death.

There has been no published research on the effects of seismic mapping on marine mammals in New Zealand. But without clear evidence, why is our Government allowing this potential nightmare to happen in our backyard?

So we’re going to work with Otago University to figure out the extent of these dangers. This type of independent research work, as far as my understanding goes, has never been done before.

I’m hoping that you can help fund the crucial research to find out what this could mean for the whales in our waters. Because this research is exactly the sort of thing that could make all the difference in whale protection. And it’s your help that makes this possible. Are you able to chip in?


We’ve already been very busy. I wanted to say a huge thank you to all of those who have already donated because it’s thanks to this support that achieved so much! Last month over 1,000 people marched up Queen Street, and in one clear voice, we said “Statoil Go Home, Leave our Seas Alone.”

That same week Greenpeace activists breached security at the ‘Petroleum Summit’ conference to deliver the message again and 26 oil-covered people stood in silent vigil at the oil industry dinner in the Auckland Domain.

Now I’m hoping you can join in too, because only together can we keep the pressure on. Let’s make sure Statoil know that they’re not welcome in our waters and that we’re not going to put our whales at risk. Please donate now.

Thank you.

Bunny McDiarmid
Executive Director
Greenpeace New Zealand

Facebook Must Block Illicit Images and Videos of Children

An old school mate sent me this.  I not only signed the petition, I am blogging about this. In my book, I wrote about the bad things about pornography.


Ray Sison has invited you to sign the petition:

“Your voice will make a difference. Please sign the petition.”

A petition from the campaign to

Facebook Must Block Illicit Images and Videos of Children



Sign the Petition to

Mark Zuckerberg, CEO, Facebook

As a Facebook user, I was appalled to recently learn of the extent of child pornography on Facebook. I was even more disturbed to learn that Facebook does not currently have a comprehensive or effective strategy to prevent or address crimes against children on the site.
Keeping children safe from sexual abuse should be of primary concern for Facebook as a responsible, ethical, publicly traded, and law-abiding company. Therefore, I ask Facebook to take the following steps:
- Devote sufficient financial, technological, and personnel resources technology necessary to prevent these images, videos, and profiles from being posted, at no less than 0.05% of annual profits;
- Establish a Facebook-initiated user reporting system for child abuse material within the existing abuse reporting system, with an option to directly contact law enforcement and a transparent strategy to investigate those reports;
- Develop and maintain an open channel of communication with INTERPOL, the FBI, and the International Center for Missing and Exploited Children, including designated Facebook liaisons to all entities;
- Remove files of identified child pornography from Facebook servers, so that those those images are no longer accessible via direct linking or cached web browsers; and
- Designate a Facebook staff member whose sole duties are oversight of Facebook's child pornography reduction efforts, including technology and software acquisition, collaboration with law enforcement and NGOs, and prevention efforts.
As a Facebook user, I strongly encourage you to take these steps. By refusing to take action to address child pornography on Facebook, the company will be implicated in the facilitation of this heinous crime, and thus alienate millions of users.
Heroes Rising

How this will help

Facebook is a household name for millions of people around the world who use it to make friends, share pictures, and discuss common interests. But increasingly, those people include pedophiles who...

Monday, November 10, 2014

Puha, a New Zealand vegetable that grows wild.

Puha grows by itself. It looks like dandelion. Puha is a Maori vegetable.
According to Jo, the puha flower grows from a stalk, where as the dandelion's from grow from the leaves. Both are edible.
Jo :-)
my magic garden blog at or my other two blogs at: and
The commonly eaten puha was found to have more than three times the antioxidant level of blueberries. 

Sonchus kirkii

Puha, Coastal Puha, New Zealand Sowthistle

Sonchus kirkii, is a edible herb. The Maori name is Puha.

It is easily distinguished from all the other introduced sowthistles species by its very large, non-spinose, glaucous leaves.

It is very fast growing. with yellow daisy-like flowers.

It is an endangered species, the main threat seems to be from competition by faster growing weed species.

  • Edible coastal herb 1 - 1.5m H x .5 W
  • Full sun
  • Tolerates dry, windy conditions
  • Flowers over Summer

Banana peels as fertilisers

I am making a compost with my worms. I was encouraged by the students.

This Room 16 in Pt Chevalier School under their teacher Keren and Sophie carried out an experiment using banana peels to fertilise their garden.

It encouraged the kids to save up their peels and learn that waste can be good for the world and the environment. You can judge at the bountiful harvest of tomatoes and zuchinnis.

Banana peels are a form of "green" compost that can be used in a vegetable garden. They will break down and provide added potassium to the soil and help in plant growth by providing needed nutrients.

Bananas are rich in both phosphorus and potassium which are important macro-nutrients plants need. Rose bushes in particular benefit from added potassium; however, all potassium fertilizers are extremely expensive. Banana peels are a natural source of the phosphorus and potassium found in expensive fertilizers, but why buy when making your own banana fertilizer is as easy as tossing the skins?

Was the experiment a success? You judge for yourself.

What do you think?

Read more: How to Use Bananas as Fertilizer |

Read more: Can I Put Banana Peels in the Vegetable Garden? | Garden Guides

Composting is not new, I used to chop up banana peels and other fruit peels.

The banana eaten by the kids were supplied by All Good Bananas.

Our Fairtrade bananas are good for the growers, good for the land and good for you that's why we call them All Good.
All Good is all about healthy eating with a healthy conscience

Founded on the principle that food that’s good for you should taste good and be good for the people who grow it.

Our mission is to find and promote great tasting ethical and organic food from New Zealand, The Pacific and all over the world.
Company Overview
We’re a company dedicated to only trading in the good stuff. Being the first to ever bring Fairtrade bananas to New Zealand is the start of something massive for everyone.

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Tripadvisor and tiritiri matangi

a success in conservation”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed 5 November 2014 NEW
If you are interested in the conservation, see native birds, this is the place to go. Take the boat and see pest-free habitat for a number of rare and endangered species. Volunteers and guided tour. Good for school trips. A cheap day's outing. only $5.

Stay mellow with yellow!