Tuesday, February 12, 2019

Turning Point Auckland outlines radical solutions to challenges facing NZ's largest city

Turning Point Auckland: Radical Policy to Prepare Auckland for Two Million People
Owen Gill

Auckland is rapidly approaching a turning point: it could take off and become one of the best cities in the Pacific, or continue to struggle with runaway population growth and living costs, argues public policy advocate Owen Gill in a book out today.

Turning Point Auckland featured in news coverage by Auckland correspondent Todd Niall on Stuff this past weekend:

Todd followed up with this op-ed:

And author Owen Gill took part in a discussion on Auckland's future today on Radio New Zealand National's Nine to Noon show with Catherine Ryan:

Published by Urban Hymns through Oratia Books, Turning Point Auckland provides a pithy analysis of the choice Auckland faces as it reaches the landmark population of two million people. 

The book provides an up-to-the-minute account of how New Zealand’s largest and most complex urban centre, with its dynamic economy and highly diverse population, increasingly resembles powerhouse cities like Melbourne and Vancouver. 

Turning Point Auckland aims to raise the quality of the debate about Auckland’s long-term future, approaching the 10thanniversary of the final report of the Royal Commission into Auckland — which led directly to the Super City in 2010. 

Owen Gill explains how Auckland has entered its second big leap in population, which will take the city to two million people around 2026–28 at current growth. The last time it experienced a big urban leap like this was in the 25 years to 1976, when its population doubled.

 Drawing on his international experience of policy development and city management, Gill believes Auckland is under-prepared for two million people. He says the city faces four main problems:

  •       How to pay for the services that two million people will need, without continuing the steady increase in the cost of running the city that Aucklanders are seeing now
  •       How to raise the $45 billion to build roads, bridges, tunnels and railways for two million people, without shackling households and businesses with the cost
  •       How to ensure Auckland’s spectacular natural environment is preserved as the growing population puts more pressure on space and resources
  •       How Auckland can take direct control of most aspects of its future, with less reliance on central Government and the rest of New Zealand
Turning Point argues Auckland must face these questions with a big-picture view, following policies that would address the four big questions, including:

  •       Reaching a formal contract between Auckland and Government, under which the city would enjoy greater autonomy in exchange for increasing its own investment
  •       Raising a big slice of private capital to pay for Auckland’s roads, bridges and railways, accepting that private funders may demand tolls and fares 
  •       Providing Auckland with its own urban development statute — replacing the Resource Management Act to address Auckland’s special demands in planning, consenting, and building
  •       Providing an innovative form of rate rebate in suburbs that are being built up quickly, so that existing residents feel less imposed upon by densification
  •       Encouraging the big businesses that make Auckland their base — and which draw on its workers, schools, and transport — to take a central role in advancing Auckland’s interests 
Finally, the book proposes a deal with citizens that would inspire a deeper sense of what it means to be an Aucklander. Such a compact would demand more of Aucklanders, but would lead to local government that is better equipped to run the city — and a city that is more ambitious for itself. 

Owen Gill was born in Auckland’s west, and lives there now. He has worked in financial services, urban services, and regulation in New Zealand and Australia. He has an MBA from Macquarie University, Sydney, and a degree in politics and a post-graduate diploma in public policy, both from Victoria University of Wellington.
Turning Point Auckland: Radical Policy to Prepare Auckland for Two Million People
Publication: 12 February 2019  |  ISBN: (print) 978-0-473-46550-6 (ebook)  978-0-473-46551-3
Urban Hymns Publishing, with services by Oratia Books | RRP $29.99  |  Paperback
Paperback, 210 x 148 mm (A5) portrait, 124 pages colour and b&w


Thursday, December 6, 2018

Te Ahi Kā: The Fires of Occupation launches to the world

Te Ahi Kā, Danish photographer Martin Toft’s homage to tangata whenua of the upper Whanganui River, is now on sale after a ceremonial blessing yesterday morning. 

Representatives of Te Whānau o Tieke and Te Whānau o Mangapapapa, led by Tawhero Haitana, travelled from the Whanganui region to Auckland’s North Shore to bless and receive copies of the book, which was published in the UK and craft-printed in Poland. 
Martin's step-daughter Indra-Kaye and partner Callum, travelling from the UK, represented him at the event, which was hosted by the team from Publishers Distribution Ltd and Oratia, which are distributing the book in New Zealand and Australia.

Writing from his home in Jersey, Martin posted:

"Finally Te Ahi Kā has reached the shores of New Zealand and yesterday the books were blessed in a special Māori ceremony in Auckland. Such an honour and privilege to be part of this special journey that began in 1996 when we returned home to the ancestral homeland of Mangapapapa."

In the mid-1990s Martin spent six months living among Ngā Uri O Tamahaki  far up the Whanganui River, learning of their struggles to retain ancestral lands. The whānau cemented the bond by giving him the Māori name Pouma Pokai-whenua. Twenty years later, Toft returned to complete his photo report.

Te Ahi Kā: The Fires of Occupation records that interaction in photos, archival images, interviews and text — summarising the key political, environmental and cultural issues for the iwi.

Images from the book

Produced by Dewi Lewis Publishing and distributed in New Zealand by Oratia, this sumptuous hardback features superb colour and black & white photographs, fold-out pages and alternate female (fern) and male (embers) covers. 

Te Ahi Kā evokes the physical and metaphysical relationship between a river and its ancestors, between Māori and the author. It aims to leave a legacy for future guardians of the Whanganui, and to share the aspirations and desires of this unique community.
Martin Toft
Martin Toft is a photographer, photo book artist and educator who works on commissions and long-term collaborative projects. Born in Denmark in 1970, he has travelled widely and since 2004 has been based in Jersey, where he teaches photography at Hautlieu School. His work has been exhibited and awarded widely around the world.

Publication: 5 December 2018  |  ISBN: 978-1-911306-38-2  |  RRP $65.00
Hardback, female & male editions, 205 x 165 mm portrait, 200 pages colour incl. foldouts


Friday, November 9, 2018

Vanessa Hatley-Owen talks When Dad Came Home to local media

A fine profile of debut author Vanessa Hatley-Owen appeared in the Howick and Pakuranga Times yesterday (also in the Botany and Ormiston Times).

The article explores the genesis of  When Dad Came Home:

Some wounds are not visible. For some returned soldiers the battles continued long after the guns fell silent.
Those were the thoughts that were running in Vanessa Hatley-Owen’s mind as she attended an author talk about the effects of First World War.
For someone who has always been a history buff, it didn’t take long for Vanessa to weave the idea into a children’s picture story book.
So what happens after the soldiers return from war? She postulated and went on to write a gripping book for children at a weekend retreat for writers.

Just how hard it was for men to readjust after life in the trenches hit home to me reading a quote in Oratia's other book that marks the end of the First World War — Christopher Pugsley's tribute to the last major action of the war, Le Quesnoy 1918:

On 3 February 1919 Fred Cody writes from Germany at what is the start of his journey home. 
Been away so long that everything about home is a little blurred, but I suppose a man will settle down in time. 

Some men did settle down in time, as the father in When Dad Came Home finally manages with the love of his family. For others, the war never ended.

Wednesday, November 7, 2018

Bringing Dad home after the war ends

When the First World War ended, not all kids got their fathers back, and among those that did come home were many scarred by mental wounds. 
After the bands stop playing and the street festivities subside, young Rita and Thomas wait to see their Dad again. But the man who eventually comes home doesn’t speak and is frightened by loud noises. 

Struggling to understand, the kids support him as he readjusts to home life, all the while singing his favourite song. 
One day, while they help him fix the deck, Dad starts to join in the song …

When Dad Came Home movingly captures a children’s view of war and the realities of shell shock (what we now know as PTSD). 

Published on Thursday 8 November, in time to mark the centenary of the War’s end on 11 November 1918, this striking debut work is reminder of how the effects went on after the dads came home.

Author Vanessa Hatley-Owen will be on hand to launch the book at Howick Library this Saturday 10 November (see below) — all welcome. 

Vanessa Hatley-Owen (above, left) is a writer who has published with Learning Media and been a New Zealand Society of Authors mentee. A mother of three and teacher support, she lives in Howick, Auckland. 
Rosie Colligan (right) has illustrated for book and commercial clients in New Zealand and internationally, and formerly worked at Weta Digital. She lives in Wellington.

                    Publication: 8 November 2018  |  ISBN: 978-0-947506-50-6  |  RRP $19.99                   
Paperback, 230 x 135 mm, 32 pages colour


Friday, November 2, 2018

Le Quesnoy 1918 in this week's Listener and on Sunday Morning

The battle of Le Quesnoy is the subject of an impressive 7-page feature article by our author Christopher Pugsley in the  3 –9 November edition of the New Zealand Listener.

Drawing heavily on text and imagery from Pugsley's new book, Le Quesnoy 1918: New Zealand's last battle, the feature explores the legacy of the New Zealand Division's contribution on the Western Front and the enduring bonds forged with the people of Le Quesnoy (pronounced Le Ken-wah). 

The Listener's blurb about Christopher Pugsley's article
The article is now live on the Noted website.

Author Christopher Pugsley also featured on Radio New Zealand's Sunday Morning programme on 4 November, in a gripping interview with Wallace Chapman.

Click here to listen in.

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