An art exhibition to coincide with the 250th anniversary of Cook's first voyage to the Pacific is set to breathe new life into the Dargaville Museum.
The exhibition called Paradise Lost will showcase artworks that commemorate the contribution Swedish botanist Daniel Solander made to New Zealand's history as a result of his journey on-board the Endeavour.
It has also resulted in a new opportunity for the semi-rural museum.
"This is very exciting, as we will now be able to have a revolving exhibition programme, which will add to the static historical displays already here and will also add incentives for visitors to return on a more regular basis," said Dargaville Museum director Maree Saunders.
She said the exhibition has resulted in funding to renovate a section of the museum which will be used to showcase the artworks as well as future exhibitions.
Saunders formerly worked at the Whangārei Art Museum, so is in her element, and said it's great to be developing a new gallery and creating an environment that makes the artwork look their best.
"I am also thrilled that the artworks showcase many media types. The works are by 10 top New Zealand artists and I believe it is important to bring quality contemporary art made by local artists to this district especially for our young, and our more established creatives, to engage with."
The exhibition has been a collaboration between the Embassy of Sweden and the Solander Gallery in Wellington and will be showcased at just a few locations throughout New Zealand.
The tour kicked off at the Russell Museum last month and its next stop is Dargaville before heading to Whangārei and then further afield.
According to a spokesperson from the Solander Gallery in Wellington, the 10 artists selected each bring a unique vision to this historical event and collectively put flesh to many of Solander's facets.
"Not least of which are his scientific credentials in botany, his cross-cultural awareness and his enthusiasm for the preservation of the unique species of the natural world."
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The Honourable Par Ahlberger, the Ambassador of Sweden, to New Zealand and Australia, states in the forward to the Paradise Lost exhibition catalogue: "This exhibition is a unique art collaboration. It is the most extensive Swedish project in New Zealand ever … It will be the first joint art collaboration of our three countries, Sweden, Australia and New Zealand … In his time, Solander's discoveries opened the eyes of Europe to the uncharted wonders of a new botanic world … "
As paper was in short supply in 1760s England, Solander bought printers proof of Milton's book Paradise Lost and it was pages from this work that were used to press and dry the first European collections of New Zealand plants.
Paradise Lost: Daniel Solander's Legacy, goes on display at the Dargaville Museum from June 2 until July 7.
Bees keeping kids bizzy
Harvesting honey, scraping it from the frames, feeding bees and using the wax to make sandwich wraps are just some of the things pupils at Ruawai Primary School are learning to do thanks to grants from the Northland Regional Council and a passionate teacher.
Ruawai Primary School teacher Adele Slatter says she decided to set up the beehives because she wanted the pupils to understand why bees are important to society.
"I applied to the Northern Regional Council through their environmental grants about four years ago. We were very lucky and were successful.
"One of our goals was to demonstrate how important bees and pollination are to the planet. Without bees food production would decline rapidly and many animals would face extinction. The tamariki are learning about the flowers that bees like.
"A beekeeper helped us get started, and advises us on disease control. We have a beehive at school and another at my house."
Pupils, with the help of an adult volunteer, look after the hives. This included harvesting the honey, scraping it off the frames, bottling it and feeding the bees through the winter months.
"We also use the wax to make sandwich wraps," Slatter said.
"The students need to work as a team when working with the harvesting, to be able to rely on their classmates because they have their jobs to do to make everyone safe, how important bees are, researching skills to see how to look after them and what flowers they like, share their experiences with the rest of the school."
The school offers the honey to pupils and their whanau for a koha.
"We usually have a waiting list. The money we receive is used to maintain our bee hives and purchase new equipment, we have real cool children Bee uniforms."
High tea at the movies
Earn some serious brownie points and spoil your mum this Mother's Day with high tea at the movies.
Vern Woods said just get yourself a ticket, online or at the cinema, and we'll provide the complimentary tea and cakes for you to sip and nibble amidst the delicate clink of fine china.
At this year's high tea at the movies, cinema-goers can sit down and relax while they enjoy watching family friendly rom com, Top End Wedding.
The movie is about a couple called Lauren and Ned, they're young, in love and recently engaged. The pair have just 10 days to find Lauren's mother who has gone AWOL somewhere in the Northern Territory, reunite her parents and pull off their dream Top End Wedding.
As the couple travel through the wild beauty of Australia's Northern Territory landscapes they meet unforgettable characters, find fulfilment and Lauren learns why her mother had to leave to find home.
Top End Wedding was met with critical acclaim, earning a 83 per cent approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes and holds a 7.0 / 10 rating on IMDb. To purchase tickets visit: https://www.anzactheatre.co.nz/
Kaipara District Council agrees to sign climate declaration
The Kaipara District Council has passed a resolution to sign the Local Government New Zealand Leaders' Climate Change Declaration.
The declaration, facilitated by Local Government New Zealand, represents an aspirational call to action on behalf of regional and territorial authorities in the face of climate change.
With two harbours and a large coastline, Kaipara has significant exposure to predicted sea level rise, one big climate change risk.
The decision to sign was important for Kaipara District Council Mayor Dr Jason Smith who said: "Because Kaipara people are concerned and council has a responsibility to show leadership here.
"KDC is already engaged actively in climate change work across many areas and this declaration sends a further clear signal that we're taking this seriously. I'm proud Kaipara is standing up here, joining with others declaring climate change to be an issue we're working on."
At the same time as Kaipara District Council made its decision, on the other side of the world the UK Parliament in London, England, declared a Climate Emergency for the United Kingdom.
"We're not alone with our concerns, and the history books will show the timing of Kaipara's aspirational declaration aligns with what's going on in other places," said Smith.
The motion passed, and within a week Smith's signature will join leaders from more than 60 other councils which have already signed the LGNZ Leaders' Climate Change Declaration.
Read more: here
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