Hunting Fails

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  • Hilary Stace,

    My ancestor, Richard Davis, a missionary farmer in the Bay of Islands, brought gorse to NZ in the 1820s.
    A grumpy and tired Darwin visited him at Waimate North in 1835 on his way home after four years away, and wrote 'After having passed over so many miles of an uninhabited useless country, the sudden appearance of an English farm-house and its welldressed fields, placed there as if by an enchanter's wand, was exceedingly pleasant'. Gorse fences were among the advances he noted. He also noted that the Norwegian rat had already devastated the local birdlife. But he was not impressed by New Zealand: 'I believe we were all glad to leave New Zealand. It is not a pleasant place'.

    Source: Letters from the Bay of Islands: the story of Marianne Williams ed C Fitzgerald, Penguin, 2004.

    (These letters also reveal the missionaries persuaded the locals to physically punish their children, a previously unknown practice)

    Wgtn • Since Jun 2008 • 3227 posts Report Reply

  • recordari,

    Too early to nominate Niki Caro's The Vintner's Luck?

    Probably. But River Queen?

    AUCKLAND • Since Dec 2009 • 2607 posts Report Reply

  • FletcherB,

    My ancestor, Richard Davis, a missionary farmer in the Bay of Islands, brought gorse to NZ in the 1820s.

    I'm sorry, but that doesn't belong in this thread, afterall it's been enormously successful.
    :(

    West Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 893 posts Report Reply

  • Richard Aston,

    My ancestor, Richard Davis, a missionary farmer in the Bay of Islands, brought gorse to NZ in the 1820s. .... I'm sorry, but that doesn't belong in this thread, afterall it's been enormously successful.

    As have rabbits , another enormously successful failure

    Northland • Since Nov 2006 • 510 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    As have rabbits , another enormously successful failure

    Which was pretty much the brief.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22850 posts Report Reply

  • Te Radar,

    My ancestor, Richard Davis, a missionary farmer in the Bay of Islands, brought gorse to NZ in the 1820s.

    There's no doubt the antics of the Acclimatisation Societies and enthusiastic amateurs certainly created a wealth of problems. I'm looking a little at the Boxthorn problem in Taranaki, which resulted in a great win for kiwi DIY.

    Or what about the Trekka?

    Todd Niall has written a great book about them. They represented us at the Venice Art Biennale. They sure say a lot about the people we were / are?

    And while we are here I'm currently reading Tony Simpson's "Shame and Disgrace: A history of lost scandals in New Zealand". Allow me to thoroughly recommend it, as it makes current shenanigans around the Super City, the RWC, the booze laws, etc etc all too predictable.

    Happy also here to see if anyone else has any other NZ history books they can recommend to people? There are plenty out there, and it's easy for some of the lesser known but good ones to slip past people.

    But River Queen?

    The Micheal Laws biopic? I hadn't realised production had started on that...

    For the most madcap council offering this week try this:

    macrons are political correctness gone mad

    Auckland • Since Apr 2010 • 11 posts Report Reply

  • giovanni tiso,

    Happy also here to see if anyone else has any other NZ history books they can recommend to people? There are plenty out there, and it's easy for some of the lesser known but good ones to slip past people.

    I love this one and its ilk. My interest in it is not for the unwitting humour but I can see how it might give material to a comic.

    Wellington • Since Jun 2007 • 7473 posts Report Reply

  • Kyle Matthews,

    For the most madcap council offering this week try this:

    macrons are political correctness gone mad

    Cue PASers seething at their computer screens: "it's called 'correct spelling' you nitwits!"

    Since Nov 2006 • 6243 posts Report Reply

  • giovanni tiso,

    You don't know how many times in the course of my work I get told by ignorant monocultural English speakers that Italian shouldn't need all those accents.

    Wellington • Since Jun 2007 • 7473 posts Report Reply

  • Martin Lindberg,

    macrons are political correctness gone mad

    too funny!

    It's probably because macrons don't yet have the same street cred as röck döts

    Stockholm • Since Jul 2009 • 802 posts Report Reply

  • Kumara Republic,

    You don't know how many times in the course of my work I get told by ignorant monocultural English speakers that Italian shouldn't need all those accents.

    Some people need to stop marrying their siblings and cousins if they're getting worked up over a few pen strokes.

    The southernmost capital … • Since Nov 2006 • 5443 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    RIGHTO ...

    For purposes of clarity, I should pick a winner today -- and that's Hilary. Having the man who introduced gorse to New Zealand as an ancestor is pretty hard to beat.

    I'll put Radar in touch and she can claim tickets for the forthcoming Wellington shows.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22850 posts Report Reply

  • Joe Wylie,

    For purposes of clarity, I should pick a winner today -- and that's Hilary. Having the man who introduced gorse to New Zealand as an ancestor is pretty hard to beat.

    Richly deserved, and beats being tarred & feathered. I'm sure I read somewhere about someone being awarded a prize by a 19th c. NZ acclimatisation society for a magnificent potted specimen of gorse.

    Around 20 years ago there was a little terrace house near the Paddington town hall in Sydney with a pair of miserable little potted gorse bushes flanking the front entrance. I was reliably informed that Scots lived there, and cultivated the stuff for sentimental purposes.

    flat earth • Since Jan 2007 • 4593 posts Report Reply

  • Hilary Stace,

    Thanks Russell, that was a nice surprise. (By the way Darwin's report on NZ, Christmas 1835, is a great read.)

    Wgtn • Since Jun 2008 • 3227 posts Report Reply

  • Daveosaurus,

    The competition might be over but these might still be of interest:

    Catastrophic failure: Flying Pig. (Although it was probably just as well for my own finances that they went under...)

    Absolute character: Bruce Simpson (he of home-made cruise missile fame).

    Book: "Ghost Towns of New Zealand" (David McGill). There's some absolute characters in those pages... possibly the most amusing failure being one John Cathcart Wason, who tried to set himself up as Lord of the Manor at Barrhill, near Methven. That project was about as successful as one could imagine...

    Somewhere out there • Since Apr 2010 • 7 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha,

    And yet this

    the missionaries persuaded the locals to physically punish their children

    probably had the largest bad impact, one we're still paying for

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19745 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha,

    the Boxthorn problem in Taranaki, which resulted in a great win for kiwi DIY

    Ae, those "trimmers" sure are awesome beasts

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19745 posts Report Reply

  • Just thinking,

    I believe it was a Kiwi who introduced Cain Toads to the Sugar Plantations of Queensland.

    Putaringamotu • Since Apr 2009 • 1158 posts Report Reply

  • giovanni tiso,

    And they proceeded to kill all the Abel Toads, right?

    Wellington • Since Jun 2007 • 7473 posts Report Reply

  • Joe Wylie,

    flat earth • Since Jan 2007 • 4593 posts Report Reply

  • Steve Barnes,

    And they proceeded to kill all the Abel Toads, right?

    Hence the propensity for religious types to wear open toad sandals then?.

    Peria • Since Dec 2006 • 5521 posts Report Reply

  • Te Radar,

    Re Winner,

    Thanks Russell, good choice, and I nominated Sam F for his knowledge of the Semple Tank as the Auckland recipient.

    Hilary, rest assured I won't get you to stand up and make yourself known in the show, and issue a retrospective apology on behalf of your ancestors.

    There are some great to-ings and fro-ings about the need and appropriateness of apologies in the news today though, in regards to whether Tuhoe should receive both an apology from the Crown and those tribes who assisted in the pursuit of Te Kooit and Co and the campaign against Tuhoe in general.

    There's a great story in all of that long pursuit, featuring the wonderfully colourful Gilbert Mair, who for a while i believe was the only Pakeha involved in the actual pursuit as the govt simply allowed Te Arawa to do the hunting. The kupapa vs mercenary vs settling tribal scores debate is a fascinating and touchy topic. Mair's involvement with the Arawa Flying Column, regardless of the ethics, is the stuff of frontier legend.

    I still find it a little galling that as a child I knew more about Davy Crockett and Daniel Boone or Geronimo (no matter how fictionalised the accounts) than the likes of Mair and Te Kooti.

    Auckland • Since Apr 2010 • 11 posts Report Reply

  • Te Radar,

    Oh, there is a great Gilbert Mair book out for those interested, entitled "Gilbert Mair, Te Kooti's nemesis" by Ron Crosby.

    And i really must finish Judith Binney's "Redemption Song, A life of Te Kooti", but it's quite heavy going. That seems to be the way with history book occasionally.

    Auckland • Since Apr 2010 • 11 posts Report Reply

  • Sam F,

    Many thanks for the tickets Radar - 'twas a great night out. The closing tale was particularly good and the boxthorn machinery impressed...

    You may well be interested in this, out today [Craig Ranapia advisory: link to Penguin Books...].

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 1611 posts Report Reply

  • Hilary Stace,

    Hilary, rest assured I won't get you to stand up and make yourself known in the show, and issue a retrospective apology on behalf of your ancestors.

    Thanks because I am very shy. Besides there are thousands of descendants so there is collective responsibility.

    But are you still collecting examples? How about the INCIS police computer?

    There is also a wealth of material in our medical history eg Institutionalisation, lobotomies, unanaesthetised ECT (all well described in Janet Frame's works), Templeton, Kimberley and Lake Alice - all monuments to wierd ideas about how humans were supposed to be or not. Eugenics, which was popular in NZ in the early decades of the 20th century, and the linking of mental illness or disability with moral depravity. The idea that the 'race' was in danger if certain people were allowed to breed. The trepanning which was tried on prisoners in the 1950s etc etc

    Wgtn • Since Jun 2008 • 3227 posts Report Reply

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