All posts tagged: New Zealand

Historical costumes at Fernside thedreamstress.com

Frolics at Fernside

Last weekend Fernside, an early 20th century home and gardens an hour away from Wellington in Featherston, held an open day in the gardens as a fundraiser for the local theatre. I’ve always wanted to see the gardens: they are a lovely example of a restored early 20th century garden. You can generally only see them as part of a (long, expensive) Lord of the Rings themed tour, as the gardens were transformed into Lothlorien for the the films. I’m not that keen on LotR (well, mostly I’m not that keen on long expensive tours where you’d just get trotted through the gardens to the most important filming scenes and then back out again, and can’t wander around), so I was really excited to have a chance to explore the grounds at leisure. And obviously, to dress up! We got together a group, and settled on early 20th c clothing, to match the grounds and house (and also, because it was the easiest to get dressed in a cafe bathroom in. We weren’t going to …

Waitangi Day Garden Party thedreamstress.com

The Governor-General’s Waitangi Day Garden Party

Or, an awkward post that combines pretty and serious about an awkward event that combines fun and fraught history Waitangi Day is NZ’s founding holiday, somewhat analogous to the American 4th of July, Canada Day, or France’s Bastille Day. It commemorates the first signing of the Treaty of Waitangi on 6 February 1840. Te Tiriti was signed by representatives of the British Crown, on one side, and Māori Rangitira (chiefs) on the other. The British was drafted by British representatives with the intention of “establishing a British Governor of New Zealand, recognising Māori ownership of their lands, forests and other possessions, and giving Māori the rights of British subjects.” (quote taken directly from Wikipedia, as I don’t want to risk paraphrasing and getting it wrong!) As the major legal agreement whereby non-Maori have the right to be in NZ (making us Tangata Tiriti – ‘people of the Treaty’, and Māori are Tangata Whenua ‘People of the Land’), all aspects of modern NZ law & government are considered based on whether they agree with Te Tiriti. …

How to dress like a New Zealand Suffragist

Today is the 124th anniversary of New Zealand becoming the first country in the world to allow women the right to vote.  September 19th is celebrated as White Camellia Day or New Zealand Suffrage Day, the first name after the emblem of the New Zealand suffrage movement: the white camellia. White Camellia Day is particularly exciting this year, as Saturday is a parliamentary election, early voting is already open, so lots of women I know are planning to vote today, and there is a reasonable chance that New Zealand will elect its third female prime minister.  I’m going to vote on Saturday (Mr D & I have a tradition of walking to the polls together ((d’aww)) and I’ll be voting based on policy, not gender, but I still think it’s fantastic that New Zealand has already had two female prime ministers, and might have another. In honour of the elections and Suffrage Day falling so close together, and since there has been discussion of people going to the polls dressed as suffragettes, I thought I’d …