All posts tagged: New Zealand

A suffragist shirtwaist

A Suffragist Shirtwaist

In 2019 the New Zealand government bought the Kate Sheppard House to turn into a museum to tell the story of the suffrage movement in New Zealand. The new museum, in turn, asked me if I could make a garment to represent Sheppard and the suffrage movement!

Historical costumes at Fernside

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

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 Treaty 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. …