Jeremy Baker

End of a long saga in Kiribati

It has been a very long year for my partner, Judge Bill Hastings, as a serious constitutional crisis has unfolded in the Pacific island state of Kiribati.

I am extremely proud of the work he did in Kiribati before and during this crisis, and of the integrity and measured judicial approach he has demonstrated throughout.

It is deeply sad that what started as a wonderful opportunity to help the further development of an independent and increasingly indigenous judiciary in Kiribati has ended the way it has.

The article below provides a good account of this week’s developments:

New Zealand judge resigns from top-ranking Kiribati judicial position

A Wikipedia article provides the full background to the constitutional crisis:

2022 Kiribati Constitutional Crisis

Flowers of Kirikiriroa

baskets of flowers in an alleyway abundance of flowers in pots and planters

Kirikiriroa and the mighty Waikato awa (river).

View of a full and wide river through lush subtropical foliageview of a full dark green river with lush trees and a boardwalk along the nearby riverbo

Not a bad day.

view of a marina on sunny day, still blue water, houses on hills behind

Auckland train and bus to the airport

Auckland airport from Britomart station by train and bus transfer at Puhinui station - transfers every 10 minutes. Total cost $8 - compared to $70+ via taxi or rideshare. Similar travel time.

(Normal trip cost is $5.40; the $8 included a new AT Hop card. It was also Santa Parade day and central Auckland was gridlocked. Uber was quoting $122 to get to the airport - and it would have taken 1.5 hours....)

Britomart train station Train arrivingTrain interiorPurple lights on escalator Brand new futuristic Puhinui stationAirport transfer electronic timetable - every 10 minutes

Rufus Du Sol

Went to the Rüfüs Du Sol concert in Tāmaki Makaurau last night. It was pure joy and wonderment.

A concert crowd seemingly stretching to the horizon, under a blizzard of white paper confetti

The crowd at the Vector Arena seemingly stretching to infinity under a blizzard of white confetti.

Man dancing in swirling white paper confetti

Sam surrounded by confetti.

Two women smiling and dancing

Rusty and Melissa - who we met at the show - enjoying the vibe.

My sister at the concert!

Turns out my sister was at the same concert - neither of us knew till we saw each other in the crowd!

Singer thanking the crowd at the emd of the show

 Rüfüs Du Sol member and singer Tyrone Lindqvist thanking the crowd.

Watching sheep quietly graze the green pastoral landscape in Aotearoa New Zealand is remarkably soothing. This one is a Pitt Island sheep - a rare breed from an island in the Rekohu / Chathams group.

First summer irises at Hōkio beach.

Irises with mauve inner petals, bright yellow stamen, and white outer petals.

The promise of Feijoas!

bright red multi-stamen flowers in a dark green bush

Plants and rocks at Pukeahu National War Memorial Park. Pōneke.

lush trees and bushes Tī Kouka flowercarved rockcarving on rock

The aluminium window frames of many modern buildings in Aotearoa have terrible thermal efficiency. But I think our heritage cast iron frames are even worse! #mbnov

Loft apartment iron window frames. View of similar apartment block across courtyard.

Reasons to get out of the office in Pōneke today ….

#Pōneke #harbour #Wellington #YCBWOAGD #sun #summer #raumati

Captivated and transported by Red Leap’s interpretation of Janet Frame’s “Owls Do Cry” this afternoon. It is now 65 years since the book was published; this performance gave it fresh relevance.

#writer #book #modernist #novel #autobiography #JanetFrame #Aotearoa #OwlsDoCry

Programme for theatre performance.

After the rain #wellington #pōneke #water #boats #pier

Boats at the end of a pier on still calm water. Clouds and blue sky in the distance.

In Aotearoa NZ today, a “Minister” is a member of the governing Cabinet, with responsibility for oversight of one or more portfolios and Ministries or Departments. The religious use of the term is very much secondary; nearly half of all Kiwis now profess “no religion”. #mbnov

I’m pretty certain that this is one of the best days in Pōneke this spring.

#pōneke #wellington #aotearoa #YCBWOAGD #mbnov

Bright blue sky, trees in a park. Beach and boardwalk in sun.

Courtney Place, Pōneke, in fine form.

#pōneke #wellington #aotearoa #YCBWOAGD

Sunny streetscape with heritage buildings, trees, and bollards

Kapuka (Griselinia littoralis)

Profusion of glossy green leaves of the Kapuka bush

Hōkio - inside & out. #hōkio #hokiobeach #horowhenua #aotearoa #batch #beach #sun

Mōrena Pōneke. #morning #pōneke #wellington #aotearoa

An oasis in the city. Gardens, seats, trees, and the Bucket Fountain. Cuba Street, Pōneke, Aotearoa. Well done, WCC.

To be fair to Pōneke, after this morning’s downpour she’s turned on a lovely day!

The weather in Pōneke (Wellington), Aotearoa is utterly foul today, and I’m still in recovery mode - so I’m taking it as a licence to stay home and rest properly. #mbnov

Te Papa Tongarewa | NZ National Museum - early morning July 2022

Matariki and the European Bronze Age

Aotearoa NZ is about to celebrate Matariki - the appearance of a constellation of stars that herald the Māori new year. New Zealand will have its first public holiday for Matariki this Friday 24 June.

Many cultures around the world and across history have used the Pleiades star cluster as calendrical markers.

As the recent book "The World of Stonehenge" (p145) notes, the Nebra Sky Disc (from Bronze-Age eastern Germany c1600BC) features this symbolism:

"There is a distinctive rosette of seven stars clustered between the full and the crescent moons. These are identified as the Pleiades or Seven Sisters (fig. 3.22), recognised by many world cultures as calendar stars, since they are last seen in the night sky in March and only reappear again in October."

"The Greek poet Hesiod, writing in c. 700 BC, noted that 'when the Pleiades rise it is the time to use the sickle, but the plough when they are setting'. Their disappearance and appearance has been seen historically a marker of the beginning and end of the farming year in Europe, and the Skidi Pawnee people of North America used these celestial markers as a sign to prepare rituals and ceremonies connected to the agricultural cycle. In the region of eastern Germany where the disc was found, the Pleiades is last seen in the sky on 10 March, alongside the young, crescent moon. The full moon accompanies the reappearance of the constellation on 17 October. On the disc, the Pleiades is tellingly placed between the crescent and full moons, suggesting an awareness of this celestial rhythm."

Nebra sky disc

This is a fascinating connection between a prehistoric Bronze-Age world, and the resurgence of te ao Māori in contemporary Aotearoa.