Hōngongoi / July 2016

Our Hōngongoi update – all items collected in one handy page!

Dyke Diary

Ngā pitopito kōrero, news

Films for women
Outing violence
Local body elections
Auckland Pride Festival volunteers wanted
Museum mosaic, display and trustees
GALS in Auckland and Hamilton
Christchurch’s Femme parties

Films for women

NZIFF Handmaiden2The New Zealand International Film Festival has some treats for queer women in Auckland, Wellington, Christchurch and Dunedin, and a good number of films by and about women.

The Handmaiden, based on Welsh novelist Sarah Waters’ Fingersmith, is described as an “outrageous and lusciously erotic thriller” which has transferred Water’s tale of sex, deception and madness from Victorian England to 1930s Japanese-occupied Korea.

It follows thief Sookee , who is recruited by a con man with plans to seduce a lonely, addled heiress in a creepy manor house. The dialogue is in Japanese and Korean with English subtitles.

It will screen in Auckland, Wellington, Christchurch and Dunedin, although dates for the South Island centres have not been announced. See more about the movie, and see Dyke Diary for dates.

NZIFF quiet passion2A Quiet Passion stars Cynthia Nixon, Jennifer Ehle and Keith Carradine in Terence Davies’ witty and moving dramatisation of the sheltered life of 19th-century US poet Emily Dickinson, who never married and had an intimate relationship with a friend who became her sister-in-law. It screens twice in Auckland and four times in Wellington; see more about the film about the film and Dyke Diary for dates.

NZIFF lovesongThen there’s Lovesong, by So Yong Kim, about the friendship and intimacy between a lonely young mother, Sarah, and her single friend Mindy. During a road-trip, a long-unspoken intimacy emerges between them, before they go back to their lives. Years later, Sarah, with a sense of things unfinished, accepts an invitation to Mindy’s wedding.

For a list of NZIFF films in Auckland by and about women, see www.lesbian.net.nz/nziff16auck; and in Wellington see wellington.lesbian.net.nz/nziff16. And you may want to check out Poi E: The Story of Our Song, Tearepa Kahi’s celebration of the chart-topping mash-up of pop, waiata and bop composed by Dalvanius Prime and Ngoingoi Pēwhairangi. See the Festival website.

Outing violence and the ministries

HTRK logo

Officials from several government ministries supported funding for Rainbow competency training in mainstream anti-violence services at a June seminar in Wellington about the recently-released Hohou Te Rongo Kahukura/Outing Violence report.

Project manager and Wellington-based report writer, Sandra Dickson, who identifies as bisexual, said that other Rainbow sector participants at the seminar “reinforced that it was well and truly time we did something about sexual and partner violence in Rainbow communities.”

The seminar included representatives from many government ministries who have a role in dealing with violence, and Sandra said they saw the event “as really valuable for their planning and strategic work”.

“There were quite a few police there, who were quite sobered by what happens for people from our communities when we seek help from the police. They’re changing their practices around family violence, and they were interested in how they can change their practices towards us.”

The seminar was “a chance to get violence in our communities on the government agenda in a way it never has been before,” Sandra said. “I’ve done lots of community research, and never been invited to present to ministries before. I trust there was an intent to listen to what we’ve found. How limited our help-seeking options are at the moment was definitely felt in the room.”

Sandra was invited to present the report findings at the Hutt Valley Family Violence Network, and at a Police conference, and will also talk at National Council of Women conference in September.

“What we’ve found will demand some creative solutions from communities and it might look different in different parts of the country.”

See the report here, email Sandra or phone her on 022 407 8981.  JR

Local body elections

We want to profile lesbian and queer female local body candidates around the country. If you plan to stand for a local council, district health board or licensing trust, or know of a local lesbian or queer female candidate, please email us on LNAotearoa@gmail.com.

Nominations open on July 15, close on August 12, and voting documents will be delivered in mid-September. Election day is Saturday, October 8. We hope to profile candidates in our August, September and October updates.

Auckland Pride Festival board volunteers wanted

Pride logoThe board of the Auckland Pride Festival is looking for volunteers for board and sub-committee roles, as Phylesha Brown-Acton and Shirley Allan are retiring from the board.

As well as new members, the board seeks people for four sub-committees which will recommend on strategic planning for the future; finance, sponsorship and marketing; people, culture, and volunteer recruitment; developing new and existing events and supporting community initiatives.

The board also seeks two board assistants, to administer minutes and meetings and arrange board attendance at community events.

Apply by emailing chair@aucklandpridefestival.org.nz with a cover letter setting out why you would like to be involved and short CV by July 29, 2016.

Museum mosaic, displays and trustees

Charlotte MagazinesThe only museum of lesbian culture in Aotearoa is waiting to hear from Auckland Council about a lease in a Mt Albert council community venue, which founder Miriam Saphira says would make the museum “much more sustainable, and enable us to employ someone for 20 hours a week. If we don’t get that, we’ll keep hassling the council to find a space for us.”

Volunteer Natasha will run another of the museum’s popular mosaic workshops on Saturday July 2, starting at 10am. It suits women new to the craft, as well as those with a project on the go. Bring tools and mosaic pieces, lunch to share, and a backing for your mosaic, like a flowerpot or piece of wood.

The museum will also provide a cabinet display on Homosexual Law Reform for the New Lynn Library later in July.

The museum is looking for responsible and reliable Auckland-based women to be trustees, which involves attending one meeting a month, a small amount of reading and an interest in the museum’s activities.

Charlotte MosaicThe museum’s current exhibition will run through July, and includes early 70s and 80s feminist art by women-loving-women includes work that began dialogues about lesbians in society. It features Sharon Alston’s ground-breaking menstruation tree; a 1977 drawing by Allie Eagle; a Kanya Stewart drawing of two women; an 80s photograph of a group of lesbians and their dogs by Jane Zusters; two oils by Nic Moon; an abstract by Judith Morgan; a seascape painting by Jill Levestre; and a self-portrait by Sally Smith.

The museum is currently planning a talk about the 60s closet for the Heritage Festival in October. Another volunteer is planning a postcard exhibition, as well as archiving, and staffing the museum on Wednesday afternoons. On Sundays, volunteers catalogue videos, archive VCRs, and enjoy hot soup and bread for Sunday lunch.

The museum has sufficient funding for another year, Miriam says, including $12,500 from the Trusts Charitable Foundation towards the rent of the current commercial premises in New Lynn until the end of this year, and $15,000 for operating costs from Foundation North. An Auckland Council grant of $9,000 for capacity development will pay a staff member, and they received $7,500 from Lotteries for a director. “That was really disappointing”, Miriam said; “you can’t get a director for that”.

The museum also received $2,000 from the Rule Foundation for its series of winter dinner discussions (see Dyke Diary), and $2,000 from the GABA Charitable Trust, which contributed to the badge-making machine. “We’ve had two badge-making workshops which are fun”. They also received funding from Foundation North for a turntable with a memory stick “so we can record early LPs”.

As well as the museum’s Facebook page, Sabion has started a new FB page for discussion, called Charlotte Muse.


GALS in Auckland and Hamilton

GALS Parson James

Auckland’s Rainbow choir GALS will sing at an Auckland Council event on Saturday July 9 to celebrate 30 years of Homosexual Law Reform. The invitation-only event will be held upstairs at the Auckland Town Hall.

GALS has also been invited to back openly gay US singer Parson James in his July 12 concert in St Mary’s Cathedral in Parnell. James asked for a LGBT choir and SONY Music contacted GALS. Sony are giving away 10 free tickets – email tyler.hislop@sonymusic.com by Wednesday 6 with your full name and write ‘PARSON JAMES PLEASE’ in the subject line; if you win, they’ll be in touch.

Parson was brought up in the Christian church in South Carolina, the son of a White woman and a Black man, which exposed him to lots of racism during his childhood. He left home at 17 for New York, where he met lots of Kiwis – he shared a manager with Lorde – but this will be his first visit. His songs are influenced by soul and gospel; he is best known for his single ‘Stole the show’ with Kygo.

GALS fans will be able to hear whether the choir’s new musical director, Nicholas Forbes, has made a difference to the GALS sound. Choir co-chair Heather McDowell says “he was recommended to us by Karen Grylls; he’s family, a skilled singer, conductor, pianist and organist, and was guest conductor at the GALS camp last year.” When GALS’s former musical director Stephen Bowness, resigned after 15 successful years, Forbes applied and was appointed. The open, unauditioned choir is now up to 60 members.

GALS in Hamilton

GALS Hamilton concertFor the first time, GALS will perform in Hamilton on August 6, with local LGBT choir the GLOW singers. Says Heather: “GLOW have sung brackets in our Auckland concerts, and were part of the Out & Loud Choral Festival in February, so this is our way of returning the support.”

“Last year we were invited to Coromandel and we had a great time; maybe this coming summer we might perform on Waiheke; we’re certainly considering visits to other centres.”

The concert title is ‘The full catastrophe’, which has caused a few laughs for Nicholas and the choir, as this will be his first full concert as musical director. “The songs are about life catastrophes and natural disasters, and how we respond to these,” says Heather.

GALS will also perform ‘The full catastrophe’ in Auckland on Saturday August 13, at a new venue, the Michael Park School Auditorium in Ellerslie. “One of the women in the choir teaches there,” says Heather, “and we’ve heard great things about the acoustics.” However, the venue is more expensive, so GALS has raised its ticket price for the first time in several years.GALS Auckland concert

The Freemans Bay Community Centre, where GALS performed in its most recent concerts, “is not really a great performance venue,” says Heather. “We had to hire lighting, sound and scaffolding to put it up. We’re excited about Michael Park; the principal and everyone involved has been very supportive of GALS having a concert there.”

The 11-voice acapella group, The Project, will be the guests for the Auckland concert. “Some members are also members of GALS and the group has been going for four years,” says Heather. It is led by Wendy Moore, a performer and conductor who has run workshops and done some arrangements for GALS.

Tickets are available from choir members, the Women’s Bookshop for the Auckland concerts, or Dashtickets, with separate web pages for the Auckland matinee, the Auckland evening performance, and the Hamilton show.

See Dyke Diary for details. JR

Christchurch’s Femme parties

Femme2016The popular Femme party returns on Saturday July 9 at the Sugarhorse Bar & Eatery, although organiser Sharvelle Charlotte, above, now lives in Wellington.

The event will be a mailbox party, which she says is “one of our most popular events. You get a number at the door, stick it on yourself and during the night you write a message to someone you might want to talk with on message pads around the bar. You can retrieve messages from the mail filing system during the night.” The event also features life music from Sharvelle and Inlimbo, burlesque by Mythical Haze and a DJ.

Femme has a different vibe to Lick parties, she says. “I’m not after the full-on club situation; I wanted a safe environment, where women of any age and any sexuality – femme, butch, lipstick lesbians, bisexual and queer women and dykes – would feel comfortable, can chat with friends, dance and hear local talent. I like looking after women and treating the community with love.”

Femme logoSharvelle organised Femme events every two or three months in Christchurch for five years. Originally she and Denise Dearborn started with She in 2010, and then Sharvelle ran the first Femme, “because I wanted it at different venues, to have drag queens and kings, burlesque and cabaret and pole dancers”. She named the event on the spur of the moment when she saw the word one day.

Femme parties always have live performances, and have included traffic light nights, “where red indicates that you’re taken, orange means ‘try me’, and green indicates single. We’ve also had glow or UV nights, and themed nights about xmas or the beach.”

“We get a lot of people aged 30 to 60 earlier in the night, and many leave after the performances; women aged 18 to 35 tend to arrive just before the shows and stay till the end. We definitely get a good mix of identities.” The largest Femme attracted nearly 300 women and the smallest around 70; she expects more than 100 in July.

Sharvelle has sung professionally for eight years, has a “soul voice” and loves pop, jazz and cabaret music. She performs at bars, clubs and private parties, including a lot of gigs in Christchurch, and works during day as a youth co-ordinator.

Despite being in Wellington since 2013, she hopes to continue organising Femme in Christchurch because “everything started in Christchurch for me; that’s where I learnt about myself”. Plus she says she “gets a lot of messages from people that they miss it and want another one”. Sharvelle says she “originally thought I was 100 percent gay, but things change”, and at 26 she now identifies as bisexual.

The venue is at 100 Moorhouse Ave, Christchurch and Femme starts at 9pm. See the Facebook page for Femme Christchurch and Wellington, and Sharvelle’s own Facebook page.

Jenny Rankine

Nga wāhine, people

The dignity of women
A darts fan story

Me aro koe ki te hā o Hine-ahu-one

Sharon Hawke of Ngāti Whātua o Orakei introduced her talk to the May meeting of the Auckland Lesbian Business Association (ALBA) with this traditional whakataukī (proverb). It is usually translated as ‘pay heed to the dignity of women’; in Māori creation stories Hine-ahu-one is the first woman.

Sharon Ngati Whatua KaingaSharon described the history of Ngāti Whātua to the 30 women who attended, starting with the 1700s. Ngāti Whātua chiefs signed Te Tiriti o Waitangi on March 20, 1840, but within five years the iwi had lost three-quarters of their Auckland land. In 1951, to prepare for the Queen’s visit, their remaining papakainga houses at Okahu Bay, above, were burnt down by the council. “After that, we lost 30 kaumatua in two weeks – they died of a broken heart,” she said.

Remaining iwi members were moved into small state houses up the hill from their former village, where they were charged rent for living on their own land.

Sharon was 16 during the historic occupation of Takaparawha (Bastion Point), the last remaining Ngāti Whātua land on the coast of eastern Auckland in 1977-78, and spent a lot of time with her whānau on the promontory during the occupation. She has since become a keen waka ama (outrigger canoe) paddler.

Sharon Hawke1After Waitangi Tribunal hearings about the Ngāti Whātua claim, Sharon’s father Joe Hawke and Hugh (later Sir Hugh) Kawharu negotiated a deal with the government for 27 hectares of downtown land that included the railway station. The iwi leased it to a developer for 15 years, and since 2014 has been the sole owner of a strip of properties on both sides of Beach Rd, including the Vector Arena. The income pays for iwi social and health services. After a long period as a camerawoman, producer and media worker, Sharon now works for her people – the Ngāti Whātua Ōrākei Trust.

The iwi signed their Treaty settlement with the government in 2012; “800 people signed that document, some were kids. We weren’t going to say they couldn’t sign it – it was for them.”

NWoO_LogoOne of the things she has learnt is that “my decisions matter 11 generations later, like my tupuna’s decisions. And if you’re not at the table you can’t argue with those across the table.”

“We as women have a relationship with Papatuanuku, the earth,” Sharon said. “Our spiritual fortitude comes from our women” and she illustrated this with a staunch photo of five of her aunts.

Sharon has an 11-year-old daughter who is fluent in te reo and who is shared between two households of mothers. She has been out to her iwi since her teens, and knows of at least four other lesbians in her whānau. The parents of those coming out often come to her for advice.

NWoO planting daysAs a major Auckland iwi, Ngāti Whātua kaumatua and kuia are “sought after by the council, businesses and other ethnic groups for powhiri and blessings. But we’re not here for rent-a-blessing”, she said. “It’s the first step to a relationship of mutual respect. We hongi and then we discuss where to from here.”

“We are the hosts. If you need help, come to us. Relationships are important.” As the mana whenua of a large part of our largest city, she summarised: “Our prosperity is your prosperity”.

Ngāti Whātua is discussing the future of the seafront with Ports of Auckland and of 350 state houses in Orakei with Housing New Zealand, who Sharon says “keep changing the rules and sending us second-tier managers”. The iwi is also active in reclamation and restoration of the environment around Takaparawha and the coastline.

They have planted 60,000 trees, restored a wetland and are working on restoring the creek on the flat by their papakainga. Sewerage discharges into the harbour are a concern for all the iwi involved, she says, and the Waitemata, Manukau and Kaipara harbours are all the subject of other claims. “Watch this space!”

Black and white photo from Sir George Grey Special Collections, Auckland Libraries, 4-4429.

Jenny R

A fan story

Janet Riem, below right, describes how she came to be hooked on darts.

Janet darts4It was almost five years ago.  I was in temporary accommodation; a tiny, basic, bedsit flat, and a friend came to stay.  This made for some interesting sleeping arrangements and some difficulties in maintaining privacy when it came to dressing and bathing.  This morning, as my guest bathed, I turned on the telly.  Not much on at that hour of the morning, but then I saw darts.

“What was this”, I thought.  “How does it score?  Who are the players?”  And then I realised, “wow, this is getting exciting”.  The lead was going back and forward.  He was now ahead by three, but the other one was coming back.  Then it was my turn in the shower. My guest was now watching and shouting the score out to me.

We had planned to go out to brunch but instead I cooked bacon and eggs while keeping an eye on the darts. The more we watched, the more we wanted to watch. So that’s how it started; I’m now hooked on the darts.

Janet darts2.jpgIn June I was back at Waitakere Stadium for the second year of the Professional Darts Corporation (PDC) New Zealand Masters.  The top eight players in the world come to compete against Kiwis, with a few Aussies to make up the numbers.

To the uninitiated it is just blokes throwing little arrows at a board.  But to the rest of us it is a great night out.  There are some amazing matches and it is a chance to get dressed up in zany costumes and drink beer from plastic cups. With the walk-on music, the strange nick-names, the crowd singing, the handmade signs, the dancing at the tables – it is such an entertaining, crazy, fun night out.

Now you notice I have only talked about blokes.  Women play darts as well.  There are two world championship competitions, a professional women’s circuit overseas, and New Zealanders Sha Hohipa and Tina Osborne are ranked 13th and 15th respectively in the World Darts Federation’s women’s rankings.

Janet Trina left & Sue's weddingThe reigning British Darts Organisation women’s world champion is Englishwoman Trina Gulliver, MBE. She has won 10 world titles – an amazing effort in any code – and is nicknamed Golden Girl.  In 2010, she married her partner Sue Biddle, now Gulliver, on the right, also a professional darts player.

Their company, TEG Dart Promotions, provides dart evenings for social clubs and corporate events, suppling other famous dart players, MCs and stage setups.

But there is a big discrepancy in prize money between male and female players. For example, Trina won the BDO Women’s World Championship, which carried a prize of £12,000, while Scott Waite’s prize for the BDO men’s event was £100,000 pounds. Gary Anderson’s prize was £300,000 pounds for winning the PDC world championship in January.

I will be back amongst the thousands for the fun next year.  Maybe you would like to join me.  We could dress up in rainbow colours and go as Dykes at Darts – DADS!!!  Or maybe not …

Te ao pāpāho, media

Pot Luck reviewed
Fruitful residency for Scots pair

Pot Lucky indeed

Pot Luck 1The last time I graced the pages of this publication it was to review NZ web series Auckward love, about which I had very mixed feelings indeed. At the end of this tortured, borderline neurotic review I mentioned the contrasting, uncomplicated joy of watching Pot Luck.

This Wellingtonbased project was then searching for funding to emerge as New Zealand’s first ever lesbian web series. I’m happy to report that said funding was secured and the first four episodes are now online, with the final two scheduled to appear over the next fortnight.

I’m even happier to report that although the storyline of Pot Luck becomes more complicated over the course of these newer episodes, the simple joy of watching it only increases.

Episode one, The pact, sees three friends coming together (not in a sexually euphemistic sense) for a pot luck dinner in which they lay down a challenge each to the other. Shy and celibate butch Debs (Anji Creft, centre) must find someone to actually have sex with; womanising Mel (Nikki Si’ulepa, left) must remain uncharacteristically chaste until Debs scores her goal, as it were; while Beth (Tess Jamieson-Karaha) must finally come out to her ageing mother. The first episode has been remastered and certainly has a slicker, visually upgraded look. But although it is somewhat prettier to the eye the true strength of Pot Luck still lies in the clever, textured writing and the charming believability the actors breath into their characters.

Pot Luck crewOne of the greatest challenges for any web series is building compelling characters and story in a very abbreviated time frame. Pot Luck is remarkably successful. Each episode is satisfying in itself, but the through narrative is superb. For one of several instances of this, Beth has a scene with her mother in episode two which lasts for little more than a minute but made me laugh out loud. When she has a similar scene with her mother in episode four, again for but a minute, I was shocked by a character development I could have, but didn’t, see coming. Pot Luck comes up with more shocks and twists than would seem possible in the 35 minutes of its first four episodes.

Because the main characters are all lesbians and all in their forties, I couldn’t help but wonder if I found these characters so thoroughly relatable simply because they were so close to my own realm of experience. However, a gay male friend watched the series on my recommendation and reported laughing and occasionally cringing in recognition of these characters’ lives.

Nor is the younger generation neglected in Pot Luck. Intergenerational differences and miscommunication make for some splendid moments of humour, and provided the only context in which I have found a ‘dick pic’ even vaguely amusing.

I eagerly anticipate the final two episodes of this series and will be first in line for the crowd funding portion of the second season.

Barbara Bennett

Download the series from the website.

Fruitful residency for Scots writers

Welsh & StrachanAward-winning Scots writers Zoë Strachan, left, and  Louise Welsh say they’ve had “a very warm welcome” during their residency at the Pah Homestead in Auckland, organised by the University of Otago. “Our event at the Women’s Bookshop was a highlight, of course!”

Louise told the crowd at the bookshop in June that she wanted to take home tuis, persimmons – and the bookshop. “We don’t have one in Glasgow, but we do have a wonderful Women’s Library.”

Louise has written six novels; her first three The cutting room, The bullet trick, and Naming the bones gave her a reputation as a crime writer, whose male characters spoke in the first person, what she called her “literary transvestism”. However, the books also gave women’s perspectives on issues like female sex-trafficking.

Welsh Girl Stairs“There are a lot of ethical things you have to think about when you write crime; often a naked, tortured, female body is just a plot device.” She doesn’t want to do that in her books. “And in a lot of crime and horror, if you find the ‘other’ – the disabled or queer person – you find your murderer.” She moved to historical fiction in 2004 with Tamburlaine must die, about Elizabethan playwright Christopher Marlowe. Her 2012 novel, The girl on the stairs, has a pregnant lesbian protagonist living in Berlin, increasingly uneasy about the woman next door.

“My books are becoming increasingly speculative,” she said. “I’m interested in cross-genre fiction.” A lovely way to burn, published in 2014, was the first in her Plague Times trilogy, about a near-future pandemic. It was inspired by movies, television, and growing up near the Trident submarine – “we thought we were close to nuclear disaster”. She almost finished the last of the three during her stint in Auckland.

Zoë has written three novels and Carole Beu described the first two as “very lesbian and feminist”. However, her third, Ever Fallen in love, about a relationship between two men, was “oddly more autobiographical”, Zoë says. It’s a tale about an obsession with someone dangerous; she found writing this misogynist character “was tremendous fun”.

Both of these authors also write a raft of other genres, including radio and stage plays, short stories, essays, feature journalism, reviews and librettos for opera. Louise’s libretto for a 15-minute opera featured two elderly serial killers. “The criticism I got early on was that the writing was too poetic; you had to be very plain,” she said. “And I couldn’t call a character Hugh, because you can’t sing that, so he had to have a different name.”

Welsh Strach out thereLouise also worked on a project of events and poetry exploring Scotland’s involvement with the North Atlantic Slave, and has presented several BBC radio series, including Welsh’s Scottish journey, and How to commit a murder. Zoë has taught for 12 years on a creative writing course, which has mostly gay staff, at Glasgow University. Her anthology of LGBT writing from Scotland, Out there, was published in 2014.

With their residency running out, LNA couldn’t arrange a phone interview, so we asked the pair some questions and they wrote this dialogue.

LNA – How and when did you meet?
Louise: We met at university where we were both studying for a creative writing postgraduate. [Louise graduated in 2000, so they’ve been together for more than 15 years.]
Zoë: I’d been in Louise’s second-hand bookshop before, but didn’t know her at all. My friend knew she was applying for the same course as me though, and I hoped we’d be friends. Little did I know!

How does it go, two writers working in the same house? How much influence do you have on each other’s writing?
L:  We work in different rooms . . .
Z: . . . about as far away as we can get from each other . . .
L: . . . and then we meet in the kitchen for a cup of tea. We’re respectful of one another’s working space and although we’re the first reader for each other, we try to protect one another’s creative time.
Z: I really value Louise’s opinion on my work. Sometimes you’re just too close to make a sound judgement yourself.
L: I value your opinion as well!

Welsh Strachan panic patternsWhat do you collaborate on, how does that work, and what future collaborations do you have planned?
Z: We wrote a play together, Panic patterns, for the Glasgay Festival and the Citizen’s Theatre, and we’ve also written two short stories together.
L: A Christmas ghost story for a newspaper, and a story for Glasgow Women’s Library’s 21 Revolutions publication inspired by their collection.
Z: For the play we thought we might take a character each, but in fact we sat down together and wrote it line by line.
L: We didn’t work at home on that. We used a room at Playwright’s Studio Scotland.
Z: It can be too easy to get distracted at home.

How do you juggle all your different forms of writing? Is it the idea, the opportunity, the funding or other factors that influence what you work on?
Z: The idea comes first, and sometimes it takes a while to decide what form it will find. An idea for a novel has to be big enough to sustain a lot of words and pages, but you can take more risks with an idea for a short story.
L: I agree. And we both collaborate with other people as well – for example composers, in which case the idea has to be owned by both collaborators.

How did you find the residency and what were you working on?
Z: It’s been a real privilege to stay somewhere as beautiful as the Pah Homestead and we’re very grateful to the University of Otago and the Wallace Arts Trust for making it happen. And the weather has been quite a nice change from Glasgow too! I’ve been finishing a novel which is a kind of family saga set in Scotland between 1935 and 1965. And I can’t help wishing we had another couple of weeks here – we’ve been getting on so well!

Jenny R

Rātaka takatāpui, Dyke Diary

Northland/Tai Tokerau
Auckland/Tamaki Makaurau
Waikato/Central North Island
Wellington/Te Whanganui-a-Tara
Nelson area/Whakatū


Last CircleFriday 15 Final pub night of the Whangarei Queer Women’s Circle as the group is winding up. From 5.30pm, Bank St Social Club, 69 Bank St, Whangarei. The Circle is providing refreshments and a bar tab. All former participants welcome – ‘be there and be queer’.

Auckland / Tamaki Makaurau

Saturday 2 The popular Charlotte Museum mosaic class returns, run by Natasha Norton for those who have never tried it, as well as those with projects on the go. Bring a backing for your mosaic and any tools. 10am, Charlotte Museum,  8a Bentinck St, New Lynn. See the Facebook page.

Sunday 3 Dyke Hike Piha/Whites Beach. We explore the North Piha area going up the Laird Thompson then the Rose Track takes us down to Whites Beach. Beach, bush, steep hills and wonderful views. Meet at the Les Waygood Park on North Piha Road, the carpark with the toilet block. 3.5 – 4 hours. Grade: Moderate (boots recommended, expect a few hills). Email hike@lesbian.co.nz, visit www.lesbian.co.nz or the Facebook page.

Saturday 9 Afternoon tea to celebrate Cissy Rock, recent recipient of the NZ Order of Merit. Bring a plate to share for afternoon tea; tea and coffee for sale, proceeds to the Living Wage Campaign. All welcome, RSVPs to celebratecissy@gmail.com would be appreciated. 2.30-4.30pm, Grey Lynn Community Centre, 510 Richmond Rd, Grey Lynn. Organised by Auckland Lesbian Business Association.

Saturday 9 Celebration of 30 years of Homosexual Law Reform with Ahakoa Te Aha kapa haka group; former MP Fran Wilde, Deputy Mayor Penny Hulse, HLR Task Force members, other MPs, and GALS. Invitation only. 6-8.30pm, Auckland Town Hall, organised by the Council Rainbow Community Advisory Panel.

Rainbow GalaSaturday 9 Rainbow Gala celebrating 30 years of Homosexual Law Reform, with the Topp Twins, Annie Crummer, Dust Palace, Dynamotion, Mika Foundation, MCs Alison Mau and Colin Mathura-Jeffree and former MP Fran Wilde. Dancing to DJ duo Sweet Mix Kids. 9pm, NZ Room, Level 5, Skycity Convention Centre, $125 from iTicket, tickets bought from iTicket before June 30 go into a draw for a double pass. Organised by Rainbow Auckland (formerly GABA) and Skycity; see Facebook event page.

Tuesday 12 GALS back Parson James, in an invitation-only concert raising money for the families of the victims of the Orlando shootings. Details on GALS website.

Wednesday 13 Lesbian creative arts therapists Abi Raymond and Anaia Treefoot speak with Ellie Lim of the Auckland Women’s Centre about using arts and movement therapies with people of all ages. 6pm, Garnet Station, 85 Garnet Rd, Westmere. $10 or free for aLBa members. Contact alba@alba.org.nz

Friday 15 Lovesong A film about the close friendship between a young mother and her single friend, part of the NZ International Film Festival, 1.45pm, SkyCity Theatre. See the website.

Friday 15 The Handmaiden A Korean adaptation of Sarah Waters’ lesbian novel Fingersmith screens as part of the NZ International Film Festival, 9.15pm, Civic Theatre. See the website.

Sunday 17 Coffee & Stroll 10am, meet for coffee at Mojo cafe, level 1, Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tāmaki; 10.30am, a pleasant 40-minute or so stroll in Albert Park. Or the Art Gallery, depending on weather and mood. (Note, the International Film Festival will be on, so you may want to be in town anyway.)

Sunday 17 Fifth Season Garden Group AGM 2pm, St John’s Training Centre, 171 Manukau Rd (Newmarket end). Afternoon tea nibbles, fruits and cheese with a cup of tea, coffee or glass of wine provided. New committee members welcome, one hour or less once a month or less, with good company and afternoon tea. Phone Wendy Wilson 09 525 2666 or email wendyirenewilson@gmail.com.

Sunday July 17 Lovesong A film about the close friendship between a young mother and her single friend, part of the NZ International Film Festival, 5.45pm, SkyCity Theatre. See the website.

Monday 18 The Handmaiden A Korean adaptation of Sarah Waters’ lesbian novel Fingersmith screens as part of the NZ International Film Festival, 3.15pm, Civic Theatre. See the website.

OUTLineTrainingSaturday 23, Sunday 24, Saturday 30, Sunday 31 LGBTI Telephone Helpline Volunteer training. OUTLine’s intensive 4-day training course is free of charge to LGBTI identifying people who commit to at least one 3-hour shift a month AND attending a monthly upskilling/clinical supervision forum. Contact OUTLine: 0800 OUTLINE, info@outline.org.nz to book your place.

DykesOnMikesSunday 24 Dykes on Mikes: new blood special 7-9.30pm, Garnet Station, 85 Garnet Rd, Westmere: We need new performers – new to the stage, new to Dykes on Mics, back after a break – if you have been thinking about it – now is the time to step forward. See Facebook event page for details.

Sunday 24 Auckland Zine Fest Market with works from 60+ zine makers and artists, with lots of lesbian and queer zines. Entry is free but bring cash as no eftpos or cash-out is available. 11am-4pm, Auckland Art Gallery, Lorne St, city. See the Facebook page.

Sunday 24 A Quiet Passion about the sheltered life of 19th-century US poet Emily Dickinson screens as part of the NZ International Film Festival, 1.30pm, Civic Theatre. See the website.

Wednesday 27 A Quiet Passion about the sheltered life of 19th-century US poet Emily Dickinson screens as part of the NZ International Film Festival, 10.30am, Civic Theatre. See the website.

RYRainbowRibbonWednesday 27 Ribbon making night, Rainbow Youth 4.30-6.30pm, 11 Edinburgh St, end of Abbey St, central Auckland. Come over to our place for a fun night of ribbon making! We’ll put on a movie, pull out the bean bags and keep the kettle hot! If you’ve ever wanted to volunteer or hang out with us but haven’t gotten around to it, this is for you! Open to all ages, all members, friends and whānau. Visit Facebook event page.

Wednesday 27 Rainbow Women’s Social Night Games night, 7-9.30pm, Auckland Women’s Centre, 4 Warnock St, Westmere. Phone Ellie Lim 376 3227 or email womensservices@womenz.org.nz.

WinterAtTheMuseumWednesday 27 Winter at the Museum dinner and discussion series: “Does our community honour the Treaty?” Charlotte Museum, 8 Bentink St, New Lynn: 6.30pm arrival; 7pm dinner, discussion and dessert (vegetarian meal). Suggested koha $15; wine available, cash only.
Bookings: cissy007@gmail.com, 021 964884.

Waikato/Central North Island

Sunday 17 Lesbian Social Group walk and brunch Meet at 9.30am outside Hayes Common Cafe, Jellicoe Dr, Hamilton East for a walk along the river. Brunch from 10.30am at the cafe.

PFLAGPalmerstonNorthMonday 25 PFLAG (Parents & Friends of Lesbians & Gays) Palmerston North Queer meeting 7pm, Malgra club rooms, Square Edge building, the Square, room 203. Open to all LGBTI+ community – come along and bring a friend – lots of good conversations and support. Light supper provided. This is all about building and support one another and maybe making some new friends. Visit Facebook event page.

Friday 29 DecoDivas monthly drinks 6.30pm, Loading Ramp, Havelock North. Email Sky on decodiva2010@gmail.com.CharlotteYates2016

Saturday 30 Singer-songwriter Charlotte Yates in solo performance, 8pm, Joseph St Kitchen, 7.30–10pm, 55 Joseph St, Palmerston North, $15 door/$12 pre-sales. Tickets from Eventfinda. Photo by Emma Robinson.

Wellington/ Te Whanganui-a-Tara

Anytime Self-guided LGBTTI walking tour of 24 historic rainbow locations around Wellington’s waterfront in one hour, free. Start at the former site of Carmen’s Balcony on the corner of Harris and Victoria Sts, now the City Library, walk through Civic Square, onto the waterfront, down to Bats Theatre and then back to the Michael Fowler Centre via Courtenay Place. Hear short eyewitness accounts at each location with your smart device using the interactive Google Map, or download the mp3 audio before you set off. See the website.
Sunday 3 DANSS same-sex dance classes for lesbian, gay and Rainbow people and friends, no partner necessary. 7pm, Beginners Waltz, 8pm, Intermediate Cha Cha Cha, upstairs, Thistle Hall, corner Cuba & Arthur Sts. Koha/donation. See the website, email DANSSNZ@outlook.com or join the Facebook page.

Wednesday 6 La Casa Azul – Inspired by the writings of Frida Kahlo theatre inspired by FridaKahloKahlo’s intimate diary. Circa Theatre, 3 Taranaki St, central Wellington. Special group to celebrate Frida Kahlo’s birthday, $10 discount available: visit Facebook event page for details, and Circa Theatre for information about the production.

Thin End of the WedgeSaturday 9 Thin Edge of the Wedge: NZ Homosexual Law Reform 1985-86 Programme includes footage from television news bulletins and the Auckland Women’s Community Video Collective. 4.30–5.45pm, Nga Taonga Sound & Vision, 84 Taranaki St, Te Aro, Wellington central. $10/$8, tickets from Eventfinda.

Sunday 10 Lesbian Overlanders and Coffee Club walk along Korokoro Stream to Korokoro Dam, at the southern end of Belmont Regional Park, west of Petone. Meet at the Cornish St park entrance at 10.30am; see the map here. Contact Ellen 027 209 4004 or ellenf@paradise.net.nz.

Sunday 10 DANSS same-sex dance classes for lesbian, gay and Rainbow people and friends, no partner necessary. 7pm, Beginners revision, 8pm, Intermediate revision, upstairs, Thistle Hall, corner Cuba & Arthur Sts. Koha/donation. See the website or email DANSSNZ@outlook.com or join the Facebook page.

Friday 15 Kapiti lesbian drinks and dinner Finn’s pub, Paekakariki. Phone Finns on 04 292 8081 and add your name to Sally’s table if you intend staying for dinner.

Sunday 17 DANSS same-sex dance classes for lesbian, gay and Rainbow people and friends, no partner necessary. 7pm, Beginners Quickstep, 8pm, Intermediate Rumba, upstairs, Thistle Hall, corner Cuba & Arthur Sts. Koha/donation. See the website or email DANSSNZ@outlook.com or join the Facebook page.

RainbowReelsWednesday 20 Rainbow Reels, LGBT films from Myanmar 6-7.30pm, The Film School, 86 Vivian St. Three films about LGBT life in Myanmar will be shown at this special event hosted by one of our young leaders from Myanmar. Khin Zarchi Latt, an aspiring film maker, will present her debut documentary Open, which explores what it means for a young person in Myanmar to discover he is gay and how this fits with his family. Shown with 2 more short films about LGBT life in Myanmar. All have screened at international festivals and attracted controversy in Myanmar. RSVP to michael@unionaid.org.nz; tickets $20, include a drink and Myanmar noodles beforehand. Total showing time: 48 minutes. Visit the Facebook event page.

Friday 22 Lovesong A film about the close friendship between a young mother and her single friend, part of the NZ International Film Festival, 2.30pm, Paramount. See the website.

Friday 22 The Handmaiden A Korean adaptation of Sarah Waters’ lesbian novel Fingersmith screens as part of the NZ International Film Festival, 10pm, Embassy Theatre. See the website.

Saturday 23 Lovesong A film about the close friendship between a young mother and her single friend, part of the NZ International Film Festival, 8.15pm, Paramount. See the website.

Sunday 24 DANSS same-sex dance classes for lesbian, gay and Rainbow people and friends, no partner necessary. 7pm, Beginners Cha Cha Cha, 8pm, Intermediate Evening 3 Step, upstairs, Thistle Hall, corner Cuba & Arthur Sts. Koha/donation. See the websit, email DANSSNZ@outlook.com or join the Facebook page.

NZIFFEmily1Tuesday 26 A Quiet Passion about the sheltered life of 19th-century US poet Emily Dickinson screens as part of the NZ International Film Festival, 6.15pm, Embassy Theatre. See the website.

Thursday 28 A Quiet Passion about the sheltered life of 19th-century US poet Emily Dickinson screens as part of the NZ International Film Festival, 10.30am, Embassy Theatre. See the website.

Sunday 31 A Quiet Passion about the sheltered life of 19th-century US poet Emily Dickinson screens as part of the NZ International Film Festival, 5.30pm, Penthouse Cinema. See the website.

NZIFF handmaidenSunday 31 The Handmaiden A Korean adaptation of Sarah Waters’ lesbian novel Fingersmith screens as part of the NZ International Film Festival, 6pm, Embassy Theatre. See the website.

Sunday 31 DANSS same-sex dance classes for lesbian, gay and Rainbow people and friends, no partner necessary. 7pm, Beginners Waltz, 8pm, Intermediate Jive, upstairs, Thistle Hall, corner Cuba & Arthur Sts. Koha/donation. See the website or email DANSSNZ@outlook.com or join the Facebook page.

Nelson area/Whakatū

The Lesbian Connection (TLC) sends a monthly email of events in the area, Nelson and Motueka in particular. Contact them at tlconnection.link@gmail.com to go on the mailing list or for more details of any events.

Wednesday 6 Nelson Games night, from 5.30pm, Prince Albert Hotel, 113 Nile St, Nelson.

Wednesday 13 Nelson Pool night, from 5.30pm, Shark Club, 132 Bridge St, Nelson.

Saturday 16 Nelson brunch/lunch, 11am, YazaCafe, 117 Hardy St.

Wednesday 20 Nelson Games night, from 5.30pm, Prince Albert Hotel, 113 Nile St, Nelson.

Sunday 24 Motueka brunch/lunch, 11am, Muses Cafe, 136 High St.

Wednesday 27 Nelson Pool night, from 5.30pm, Shark Club, 132 Bridge St, Nelson.


The Christchurch Women’s Centre keeps a diary of events in Christchurch and elsewhere on their Lesbian Support page. Check events on the  Christchurch LGBT social events page.

Saturday 9 Femme mailbox party Receive a number at the door and post mail to your friends or secret crush during the event. Live music by Sharvelle Charlotte and Inlimbo and burlesque by Mythical Haze, with DJ Shannon Moss, photographer and giveaways. 9pm-2am, Sugarhorse Bar and venue, 100 Moorhouse Ave, Christchurch. $10 at the door, $15 from 11pm. See the event Facebook page.

Thursday 14 ThursGay Drinks Elopement Celebration. Be part of the send-off for Aussie couple Angela and Jo, who have flown the ditch to get married. Nibbles provided and drink vouchers for the brightest dressed (think glitter and fairy lights). 7.30-11.30pm, Pegasus Arms, 14 Oxford Tce. See the Facebook page.


Friday 22 LGBT Latin and Ballroom group dance class No partner needed, beginners and all ages welcome, organised by Dance to be Free. 6-7pm, White Elephant, 442 Tuam St (entrance off Phillips St), $5/$2 (under 20, unwaged). See event Facebook page.

Thursday 28 The Songs and Words of Patti Smith: A Women’s Centre fundraiser R18. Doors open 7pm, show 8-11pm, Blue Smoke, 3 Garlands Rd, Woolston. Tickets from Under the radar, $20 + booking fee. Some of Christchurch’s foremost songwriters, singers and poets gather together to help fundraise and keep The Women’s Centre open. Visit the Facebook event page.

Thursday 28-Sunday 14 August NZ International Film Festival Look out for The Handmaiden, a Korean adaptation of Sarah Waters’ lesbian novel Fingersmith.

Chch-HLR30Friday 29 6pm Homosexual Law Reform 30 dinner and dance, R18, dress formal and fabulous, Rydges Hotel, Latimer Square, Christchurch city.  Includes a glass of bubbles on arrival, a two-course meal and dancing from 9pm-3am. Tickets for dance only, $20 until July 20, $30 afterwards; two-course dinner and dance, $900 for table of 10; two-course dinner and dance, $95 single until July 20; tickets available for cash from NZAF, 185 Peterborough St and Fusion Hair, 6 Opawa Rd, Christchurch.


Wednesday 20 Space seminar with Lisa Wilkinson, owner of RASA Dance speaking to queer, questioning and queer-friendly students, staff and community members. 2pm, Rm 5, 1st floor, OUSA Clubs and Societies Centre, University of Otago campus. Contact Hahna Briggs, q.support@ousa.org.nz, phone 03 479 5445.

News, pix and profiles about lesbians and queer women in Aotearoa/New Zealand

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