hope book

Reviews – autumn 2016

The issue that will not go away   Atmosphere of Hope Tim Flannery This book is a fantastic insight into the increasingly hard-to-ignore issue of climate change.  Tim Flannery first…

The issue that will not go away


Atmosphere of Hope

Tim Flannery

This book is a fantastic insight into the increasingly hard-to-ignore issue of climate change.  Tim Flannery first rose to prominence after his book The Weather Makers.  His work has been used extensively and in recognition of his expertise, he was appointed to Australian Climate Commission.  The commission was tasked with making climate change information available to the public.  The introduction of the Abbott coaltion government saw the closure of the Climate Commission, which gave birth to this book.

The book does two things: covers off a sample of the million different data points which show the inevitability of person-made climate change and explores some of the options moving forward.  This book makes a fantastic case for our inability to reverse the effects of climate change, however, we  do have the ability to restrict it to less than a two-degree increase which scientists agree would not be the end of human civilisation.  Flannery shows, using local examples, how the heating of the planet has led to the change in weather patterns, the health of animals and humans.  He advocates for the use of Third Way Technologies which cover both natural and chemical technologies and includes ideas such as using the ocean to plant seaweed farms to absorb large amount of carbon dioxide.  The fact remains that we all need to contribute to this work of emitting less carbon dioxide.

This is why I am proud of NZEI Te Riu Roa for showing leadership in this area.  Last year’s Annual Meeting adopted a climate change policy. There is a role for the education sector and government to show leadership.  This means that NZEI needs to ensure its own house is in order.  The plan is for the Climate Change Project Group to report back to Annual Meeting 2017 with progress towards the goals of our policy.

4/5 stars

Liam Rutherford


Books capture both kaiako and tamariki


Tōku Pepeha – My Pepeha

Nā Alice Patrick i tuhi, Nā Jasmine Bailey nga pikitia

(pic with this book)

This simple but effective pukapuka will capture both the kaiako and tamaiti as you learn about Ripeka and her whakapapa.

Kia mau koe i nga kupu o ou tūpuna.

Ripeka holds fast to her words and teachings of her ancestors as you learn about her whakapapa.

Tōku Pepeha will support all tamariki to understand that they are part of something bigger than themselves, that they have history and this shapes who they are.

Culturally this pukapuka is important for Māori (like myself) to know and be able to share their whakapapa – to know one’s whakapapa is to know one’s identity.

The illustrations leaves a positive feeling in your heart, especially mine growing up in Taranaki and identifying with the landmarks which are a strong feature of this book as we learn more about Ripeka and her whānau.

This is a must have for all teachers to extend and support them with both tātaiako and te reo me ona tikanga.

4/5 stars


No hea enei kararehe

Where are these animals from?

This is a beautiful bilingual book of countries from around the world and a Māori whakataukī (proverbs) that is associated with my own iwi Tainui.  It is a captivating book for both whānau, children and a learning resources for kaiako.

The author clearly makes the point in her book which is to share the gifts of cultural knowledge to new audiences of all ages.

An example of this is I had a four year old at my kindergarten take the book home and share with her whānau and write a review (via her Mum) about what her thoughts are on these resources.

“I like that it is in Māori and in English. I also like that there are little books and big books”

(Isla Brown, 4 years)

The resources that accompany this pack for teachers is an enriching addition and makes clear links to the New Zealand Curriculum. The waiata about the taniwha is a soothing and calming tune that has repetitive words (I found myself signing the song to my tamariki at kindergarten).

It is evident that the author, passes her maia/courage, atawhai/compassion, ngākau tapatahi/ integrity, whakahautanga/self-mastery and whakapono/belief that everyone can learn te reo Māori if it is in a ‘user friendly’ and engaging for all.

Isla Brown (4 years) gives it 5/5 stars.  As Isla’s kaiako i tautoko, I have learnt new kupu hou (words) and shared my own stories with the tamariki about Tainui. 5/5 stars

Na Jo Young