Tag Archives: New Zealand

Semester in New Zealand – Don’t Forget Your Snapper Card – by Matthew Breeze. The North Star Reports: Global Citizenship and Digital Literacy, at NorthStarReports.org and facebook.com/NorthStarReports

Semester in New Zealand – Don’t Forget Your Snapper Card – by Matthew Breeze. The North Star Reports: Global Citizenship and Digital Literacy, at NorthStarReports.org and facebook.com/NorthStarReports

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[This is my bus pass, known as a snapper card]

Public transportation is a miracle, and a curse. Coming from northern Minnesota to a relatively large city in New Zealand where I must use public transit has been an interesting transition. Back home it is impractical to use public transport, because, well, there is no public transportation. My home was eighteen miles from my high school and fifteen miles from town. I always had a car to get to school and home from practice or events afterwards. Coming to college in Duluth I brought my car with me. The end result being that I have never used public transit or city buses in my life.

Then I arrived in Wellington. Wellington is the Capital of New Zealand with a population of around 300,000 people. This is a big city to me. My home town is about 15,000 and the Duluth metro area is not much more than 100,000. Not only was this the largest city that I have ever spent an extended period of time in, but I have no car. Luckily for me HECUA, the organization that I am doing study abroad through, has been kind enough to supply each of the students on this trip with unlimited bus passes. These bus passes are called snapper cards and each student must never forget to grab their snapper card on the way out of the door.

Learning to use the bus system here in Wellington took me some time. I did find a wonderfully helpful app, the Metro Transit app, that allows me to simply type in my location and where I want to go and it will give me three possible options of routes and buses to go from point A to point B. This works great when I have wifi, since I was cheap and did not pay for a New Zealand phone plan, but not so great when I am trying to get home from a pub on a Friday evening.

This means that I have become accustomed to deciphering the Wellington public bus schedules posted at each bus stop. I am by no means a master at this. I have missed buses, gotten off at the wrong stop, arrived early and late and everything in between. Luckily for me I have at least figured out how to consistently go to and from my classes and internship to my home stay.

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[This is a bus stop and a sign saying when the next buses will arrive]

I have seen some wonderful and strange things on the buses here. People are the most apathetic when on their way to and from work. Although Kiwis are incredibly friendly in it seems all other situations, they do not seem to wish to talk when on the bus. Each time I try to strike up a conversation with a fellow bus rider they always seem to want to talk as little as possible. I have not yet figured out why this is. That being said I have also seen people be what I think of as incredibly respectful and compassionate. Every time a person with a small child, or a pregnant woman, or an elderly person gets on the bus someone up front will without fail offer up their seat to that person. This everyday kindness is something that I think comes along with being in a small shared space like a city bus. People may not want to talk to each other, but they do want those who appear in need to be able to be just a little bit more comfortable, even if that means they have to give up their soft seat.

I also never realized how much freedom having a personal car was until I started taking the bus. I rely on the buses being on time and I am beholden to their schedule. When we drive ourselves places we have the freedom to go wherever we want whenever we please. This is not so with the buses as I am sure anyone who has taken a city bus will know. The worst thing is when a bus simply does not show up or is running late. This seems to be a rather large problem in Wellington. There have been multiple occasions where my scheduled bus simply failed to arrive or arrived very late. When I complained about this to my coworkers at my internship site they said that this was a relatively common problem. I can now see why some people supported Mussolini for saying that he would make the trains run on time (though of course, no one should support a Fascist leader).

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[The 14 bus to Wilton. Otherwise known as my bus home]

Although the buses may be late sometimes my experience overall has been extremely positive and makes me want to use more public transport when I get back to the U.S. I feel comfortable with taking public transport now. When I first started on the buses I was nervous, but now it is nice and I know that it is much cheaper than using my car to get around. The Duluth city buses may become the next chapter of my public transport adventures. Until then I will keep listening to my host sister’s advice, “Don’t forget your snapper card!”

About Matthew Breeze, NSR editor. I am a junior at the college of St. Scholastica this year and I am majoring in Global, Cultural, and Language studies with a minor in Spanish and a minor in political science. I will be returning to St. Scholastica in December. I am originally from Bemidji, Minnesota, but I have come to consider Duluth as my second home. I have a passion for politics and I hope to someday work for the State Department or the Foreign Service working in international relations in some way shape or form. I have always wanted to go to New Zealand. I have been to Canada and Mexico, but I really haven’t been anywhere different than the United States. The city in Mexico I was in was a tourist trap and Canada looks like my northern Minnesota home. I have a family connection to New Zealand as well as the general desire to visit. My grandfather was in New Zealand for rest and relaxation during World War II. The stories of his time in NZ have been passed down through the family and are one of the biggest reasons that I decided to do a study abroad semester in NZ.


Please contact Professor Liang if you wish to write for The North Star Reports — HLIANG (at) css.edu

See also, our Facebook page with curated news articles at http://www.facebook.com/NorthStarReports

The North Star Reports: Global Citizenship and Digital Literacy (http://NorthStarReports.org) is a student edited and student authored open access publication centered around the themes of global and historical connections. Our abiding philosophy is that those of us who are fortunate enough to receive an education and to travel our planet are ethically bound to share our knowledge with those who cannot afford to do so. Therefore, creating virtual and actual communities of learning between college and K-12 classes are integral to our mission. In three years we have published over 250 articles covering all habitable continents and a variety of topics ranging from history and politics, food and popular culture, to global inequities to complex identities. These articles are read by K-12 and college students. Our student editors and writers come from all parts of the campus, from Nursing to Biology, Physical Therapy to Business, and remarkably, many of our student editors and writers have long graduated from college. We also have writers and editors from other colleges and universities. In addition to our main site, we also curate a Facebook page dedicated to annotated news articles selected by our student editors (http://www.facebook.com/NorthStarReports). This is done by an all volunteer staff. We have a frugal cash budget, and we donate much of our time and talent to this project. The North Star Reports is sponsored and published by Professor Hong-Ming Liang, NSR Student Editors and Writers, The Department of History and Politics of The College of St. Scholastica, and the scholarly Middle Ground Journal. For a brief summary, please see the American Historical Association’s Perspectives on History, at: http://www.historians.org/perspectives/issues/2013/1305/Opening-The-Middle-Ground-Journal.cfm

Hong-Ming Liang, Ph.D., Editor-in-Chief and Publisher, The North Star Reports; Chief Editor, The Middle Ground Journal; Associate Professor of History and Politics, The College of St. Scholastica. Kathryn Marquis Hirsch, Managing Editor, The North Star Reports.

(c) 2012-present The North Star Reports: Global Citizenship and Digital Literacy http://NorthStarReports.org ISSN: 2377-908X The NSR is sponsored and published by Professor Hong-Ming Liang, NSR Student Editors and Writers, with generous support from The Department of History and Politics of The College of St. Scholastica, and the scholarly Middle Ground Journal. See Masthead for our not-for-profit educational open- access policy. K-12 teachers, if you are using these reports for your classes, please contact editor-in-chief Professor Liang at HLIANG (at) css.edu

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Semester in New Zealand – Picking up Rocks – By Matthew Breeze. The North Star Reports: Global Citizenship and Digital Literacy, at NorthStarReports.org and facebook.com/NorthStarReports

Semester in New Zealand – Picking up Rocks – By Matthew Breeze. The North Star Reports: Global Citizenship and Digital Literacy, at NorthStarReports.org and facebook.com/NorthStarReports

When you walk do you sometimes pick up a rock and look at it? Maybe toss it into a nearby pond or lake. I know that I do. When I was little I would pick up rocks all the time, sometimes I would find a rock that really grabbed my interest. These would be brought home to my Mom or Dad and I bet some of them are still around in some drawer somewhere that hasn’t been cleaned out in ages. Rocks speak to people sometimes. People take pictures of rocks, climb rocks, we even eat rocks! Salt I mean of course. They are under our feed on walking paths, above our heads when we look up at a mountain. They surround us and come in all different shapes and sizes. Some people spend a whole lifetime looking at and studying rocks. Geologists devote their lives to rocks and the stories they can tell us humans.
Where would humans be without rocks? We have used them to build homes and preserve our food, salt once again, to keep safe and to kill each other. They tell stories of the earth’s past and creation that amaze people. The oldest

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[This is the rock from the rock beach that I learned how to do a traditional Maori flax weave on.]

pictures and writings that people ever made are on rocks. There are myths and legends built around rocks, whether they be Greek myths or indigenous peoples legends or religious ceremonies centered on a single rock. Our history as people is tied to rocks no matter where we come from. Rock is a generic term and can be a boring word to describe things that amaze and inspire people, but it is also a wonderful word that has the ability to describe a thousand different pieces of the earth that look and feel so different. Everyone has an image in their minds of what a rock is. Rocks have the ability to connect people to the land, to their place or their homeland. Here in New Zealand I have been picking up rocks almost everywhere I go.

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[This story has to do with using traditional Waka canoes one day on the trip.]

They all tell their own story and remind me of an interesting or cool place that I visited. They provide a great memento that I can look back on when I get home. I have become a child again, bringing rocks home to my parents.

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[This is most of my NZ rock collection so far.]

On the very first week of the trip here in New Zealand our Maori Professor told us all that rocks are the perfect gift to bring home to our families. He then told us to go down to the rock beach below where we were staying and find a rock. A rock that spoke to us, a rock that when you picked it up and held it you would know that it was the rock you wanted. I not only did this for the task that he would have us do later that afternoon with our rocks, but I have kept that in the back of my mind everywhere I have gone while I have been in this far away land.

Sometimes I pick up four or five or even ten rocks and look at them, carry them, and then toss them away before I pick up or see a rock that really speaks to me. I always know it is the right one because I know that I do not want to give it back to the earth. Then I take a picture of the rock, usually with a scenic background of the area where I am, so that I can always go back and look to see where I picked the rock up from if I forget.

I may forget where I picked it up, but I know for certain that I can tell a story about each rock that I have picked up. A story about what it meant to me at the time, or who I was with, or something interesting. I think this is also why I use to do this as a child, so that I could more easily remember something cool that I had done or a cool place I had been. In this way the rocks have become more than just rocks for me.

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[A raging river rushed in the background of this memory rock.]

They have become a symbol of a place and a time that for one reason or another I wanted to remember at the time.
Rocks seem to have a sense of permanence. Maybe this is why great rulers build huge tombs like the pyramids or huge buildings to be remembered. I just want to remember my time in New Zealand and if picking up some rocks and bringing them back home is a way for me to do that then I am happy with that.

Having these small pieces of earth in my possession has not only allowed me to hold on to memories and remember spectacular landscapes or new experiences, it has also given me a connection to place. Looking over the little rock collection I see the places I have been. All of those places are places that I have never even come close to before. I have picked up many rocks on the north shore of Minnesota, but I have been there many a time before. These rocks are from places that are eight thousand miles from my home! Each and every one of them seems so different than rocks back home, even if they may not look that different.

Holding a little chunk of New Zealand in my hands makes me feel more connected to this lovely land that I am visiting. I think that when I go home I will once again pick up rocks when I walk around, and some of them I may even take home with me. Rocks can speak to us if we take the time to look at them, pick them up and hold them. They can be symbols of memories, good luck charms, or really anything we want them to be. Maybe all of us should grab a rock or two when we travel, whether we travel around the world or in the backyard, rocks can speak to us if we give them the time.

About Matthew Breeze. I am a junior at the college of St. Scholastica this year and I am majoring in Global, Cultural, and Language studies with a minor in Spanish and a minor in political science. I will be returning to St. Scholastica in December. I am originally from Bemidji, Minnesota, but I have come to consider Duluth as my second home.
I have a passion for politics and I hope to someday work for the State Department or the Foreign Service working in international relations in some way shape or form. I have always wanted to go to New Zealand. I have been to Canada and Mexico, but I really haven’t been anywhere different than the United States. The city in Mexico I was in was a tourist trap and Canada looks like my northern Minnesota home. I have a family connection to New Zealand as well as the general desire to visit. My grandfather was in New Zealand for rest and relaxation during World War II. The stories of his time in NZ have been passed down through the family and are one of the biggest reasons that I decided to do a study abroad semester in NZ.

Please contact Professor Liang if you wish to write for The North Star Reports — HLIANG (at) css.edu

See also, our Facebook page with curated news articles at http://www.facebook.com/NorthStarReports

The North Star Reports: Global Citizenship and Digital Literacy (http://NorthStarReports.org) is a student edited and student authored open access publication centered around the themes of global and historical connections. Our abiding philosophy is that those of us who are fortunate enough to receive an education and to travel our planet are ethically bound to share our knowledge with those who cannot afford to do so. Therefore, creating virtual and actual communities of learning between college and K-12 classes are integral to our mission. In three years we have published over 250 articles covering all habitable continents and a variety of topics ranging from history and politics, food and popular culture, to global inequities to complex identities. These articles are read by K-12 and college students. Our student editors and writers come from all parts of the campus, from Nursing to Biology, Physical Therapy to Business, and remarkably, many of our student editors and writers have long graduated from college. We also have writers and editors from other colleges and universities. In addition to our main site, we also curate a Facebook page dedicated to annotated news articles selected by our student editors (http://www.facebook.com/NorthStarReports). This is done by an all volunteer staff. We have a frugal cash budget, and we donate much of our time and talent to this project. The North Star Reports is sponsored and published by Professor Hong-Ming Liang, NSR Student Editors and Writers, The Department of History and Politics of The College of St. Scholastica, and the scholarly Middle Ground Journal. For a brief summary, please see the American Historical Association’s Perspectives on History, at: http://www.historians.org/perspectives/issues/2013/1305/Opening-The-Middle-Ground-Journal.cfm

Hong-Ming Liang, Ph.D., Editor-in-Chief and Publisher, The North Star Reports; Chief Editor, The Middle Ground Journal; Associate Professor of History and Politics, The College of St. Scholastica. Kathryn Marquis Hirsch, Managing Editor, The North Star Reports.

(c) 2012-present The North Star Reports: Global Citizenship and Digital Literacy http://NorthStarReports.org ISSN: 2377-908X The NSR is sponsored and published by Professor Hong-Ming Liang, NSR Student Editors and Writers, with generous support from The Department of History and Politics of The College of St. Scholastica, and the scholarly Middle Ground Journal. See Masthead for our not-for-profit educational open- access policy. K-12 teachers, if you are using these reports for your classes, please contact editor-in-chief Professor Liang at HLIANG (at) css.edu

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Semester in New Zealand – Spring Break 2.0 – by Matthew Breeze. The North Star Reports: Global Citizenship and Digital Literacy, at NorthStarReports.org and facebook.com/NorthStarReports

Semester in New Zealand – Spring Break 2.0 – by Matthew Breeze. The North Star Reports: Global Citizenship and Digital Literacy, at NorthStarReports.org and facebook.com/NorthStarReports

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[NZ flowers bloom in October]

This is my second spring break of the year, as spring is in full swing here in the southern hemisphere. Time is a complicated concept. Being in a time zone seventeen hours ahead of my home, friends and family has made me realize that time really is relative. When I call home I am talking from the future, something that my mom always thinks is funny and weird. The weather is getting warmer and warmer here, back home it is getting colder and colder. Even the holidays are confusing. The stores in New Zealand are selling Halloween costumes and fake pumpkins. Halloween is the quintessential fall holiday back in the Unites States. Halloween still has all the commercial items from the northern hemisphere here in the southern hemisphere, Starbucks even has pumpkin spice coffee, but this all feels out of place.

As a native of Minnesota I have grown up loving everything about fall. Being away for the fall has been harder than I expected. This only becomes more apparent when I see Halloween costumes and pumpkin flavored food in a place where everything is turning green and new life is blooming everywhere. The leaves should be falling, it is October after all, instead new plants are shooting towards the sun and flowers flash their fantastic colors everywhere. The fiddle heads of the iconic New Zealand ferns are unfurling more everyday to create huge fern trees.

I do not tend to get homesick, even being eight thousand miles and more away from home has not made me feel homesick, but I do miss the Minnesota fall. Sometimes the best way to realize that you love something is to go without it. Fresh green fern fiddleheads are no comparison to the richness of reds, yellows, oranges, and browns that transform the vision of the trees of home. The natural beauty of New Zealand amazes visitors every day, it amazes me everyday as well. The mountains seem to rise up right out of the ocean some days when I look out the car window or out across the bow of the ferry between the north and south islands. That being said I can’t help but imagine the trees turn red and yellow.

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[Huge fern tree about 20 feet tall]

I have never felt more tied to my home and my sense of place until I went very very far away. The landscapes of new and different places may inspire myself and travelers like me, but the familiar environments of home call back to me from across the vast ocean.

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[Giant fern fiddlehead growing to form a new branch on a large fern]

Maybe this is why so many immigrants to new lands tried to change their new environment to look like the one they came from. This can be seen in the Norwegian immigrants settling on the rocky north shore of Minnesota, or the English settlers changing forested mountains into sheep and cow pasture here in New Zealand. Everyone feels tied to a home environment. Some people moved to places that looked like their home country, some people have drastically changed their new places to look similar to older ones. Some people, like myself, may simply have a greater appreciation and love of their homes natural beauty after seeing the beauty of a faraway place or places.

Spring in October feels wrong right down to my Minnesota core, but I have learned to appreciate fall in a whole new way by being away from it. Learning or acquiring a greater appreciation for the places that we all call home ties us all to the land in a new way. Maybe distance really does make the heart grow fonder. Fall will never feel the same way again. Being gone for hunting season, fall colors, harvesting of vegetable gardens, and so much more will make all those things more valued when I come home to experience them with new enlightened eyes all over again.

Spring break 2.0 2016 in New Zealand has been an eye opening one. Sometimes we have to travel far away from the places and things we love to see the real value in them. Who would have thought that cold nights and dying plants could be so appealing. When one is half a world away things look different.
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[Me being excited about all the greenery]

About Matthew Breeze. I am a junior at the college of St. Scholastica this year and I am majoring in Global, Cultural, and Language studies with a minor in spanish and a minor in political science. I will be returning to St. Scholastica in December. I am originally from Bemidji, Minnesota, but I have come to consider Duluth as my second home. I have a passion for politics and I hope to someday work for the State Department or the Foreign Service working in international relations in some way shape or form. I have always wanted to go to New Zealand. I have been to Canada and Mexico, but I really haven’t been anywhere different than the United States. The city in Mexico I was in was a tourist trap and Canada looks like my northern Minnesota home. I have a family connection to New Zealand as well as the general desire to visit. My grandfather was in New Zealand for rest and relaxation during World War II. The stories of his time in NZ have been passed down through the family and are one of the biggest reasons that I decided to do a study abroad semester in NZ.

Please contact Professor Liang if you wish to write for The North Star Reports — HLIANG (at) css.edu

See also, our Facebook page with curated news articles at http://www.facebook.com/NorthStarReports

The North Star Reports: Global Citizenship and Digital Literacy (http://NorthStarReports.org) is a student edited and student authored open access publication centered around the themes of global and historical connections. Our abiding philosophy is that those of us who are fortunate enough to receive an education and to travel our planet are ethically bound to share our knowledge with those who cannot afford to do so. Therefore, creating virtual and actual communities of learning between college and K-12 classes are integral to our mission. In three years we have published over 250 articles covering all habitable continents and a variety of topics ranging from history and politics, food and popular culture, to global inequities to complex identities. These articles are read by K-12 and college students. Our student editors and writers come from all parts of the campus, from Nursing to Biology, Physical Therapy to Business, and remarkably, many of our student editors and writers have long graduated from college. We also have writers and editors from other colleges and universities. In addition to our main site, we also curate a Facebook page dedicated to annotated news articles selected by our student editors (http://www.facebook.com/NorthStarReports). This is done by an all volunteer staff. We have a frugal cash budget, and we donate much of our time and talent to this project. The North Star Reports is sponsored and published by Professor Hong-Ming Liang, NSR Student Editors and Writers, The Department of History and Politics of The College of St. Scholastica, and the scholarly Middle Ground Journal. For a brief summary, please see the American Historical Association’s Perspectives on History, at: http://www.historians.org/perspectives/issues/2013/1305/Opening-The-Middle-Ground-Journal.cfm

Hong-Ming Liang, Ph.D., Editor-in-Chief and Publisher, The North Star Reports; Chief Editor, The Middle Ground Journal; Associate Professor of History and Politics, The College of St. Scholastica. Kathryn Marquis Hirsch, Managing Editor, The North Star Reports.

(c) 2012-present The North Star Reports: Global Citizenship and Digital Literacy http://NorthStarReports.org ISSN: 2377-908X The NSR is sponsored and published by Professor Hong-Ming Liang, NSR Student Editors and Writers, with generous support from The Department of History and Politics of The College of St. Scholastica, and the scholarly Middle Ground Journal. See Masthead for our not-for-profit educational open- access policy. K-12 teachers, if you are using these reports for your classes, please contact editor-in-chief Professor Liang at HLIANG (at) css.edu

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Semester in New Zealand – Stolen Water – by Matthew Breeze. The North Star Reports: Global Citizenship and Digital Literacy, at NorthStarReports.org and facebook.com/NorthStarReports

Semester in New Zealand – Stolen Water – by Matthew Breeze. The North Star Reports: Global Citizenship and Digital Literacy, at NorthStarReports.org and facebook.com/NorthStarReports

Minnesota is The Land of Ten Thousands Lakes, as our license plates so often remind us. There is water almost everywhere we look. Those of us to live in Duluth or up the North Shore look out at the sun rise over the largest fresh water lake in the world every morning. Many of us grew up on lakes or have family cabins on lakes or rivers. Minnesotan are attached to their water. Lake Superior is more than just a lake, it is our lake, it is part of our identity. The waterways and lakes are part of who we are as people.

Now imagine if that water, that many of us hold near and dear, was taken away from us. Stolen without our consent. Not just a few drops or part of a river, but all of it. Gone. What would we do? How would we feel? What if Duluthians no longer had access to Lake Superior?

This is what has happened to the Ngati Rangi people of New Zealand. They are the tangata whenua, or people of the land. They are the Maori people of Mount Ruapehu. There is a struggle for water, but not just water in the sense that we westerners are accustomed to. For the Maori people of New Zealand water is not only water, it is sacred, it is their old people, their ancestors, their identity, they do not talk of the rivers, but to the rivers. They have a special personal connection to the water and the rivers of their home.

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[This is one of the intakes where water is moved from the river into an underground pipe.]

The water in the rivers of their home is being taken by a series of twenty two concrete dams and collection units for use in a large hydro power plant. The water from the rivers and streams around Mount Ruapehu is damned and then funneled into a series of underground tunnels. Instead of traveling down their natural paths to the ocean like they have done for thousands of years, the waterways running down the mountain have been taken by a hydro power company. A vast network of tunnels and pipes moves the water do a large reservoir behind a huge dam.
This is what the Maori people have come up against. Steel and concrete instead of their ancestral streams and rivers. The image of a dry river bed has become a symbol of lasting colonization. The water was taken without their consent or even input. The government and the power company worked together to generate power.

After many decades of enduring this tragedy the Maori people of Nagti Rangi went to the courts to achieve justice. Years of battles in the courts produced outcomes favorable to the corporations. The money and time spent thus created an outcome that equaled the status quo. From this point the Maori people agreed to initiate talks with the power corporation to see if negotiations could find a better result than going through the courts.

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[This is what the river is suppose to look like in a natural environment.]

Negotiations proved better than battles in the courts. The corporate officials were invited to a Marae (a traditional meeting house where my study abroad group had the honor of staying at also). From here the officials, the Maori leaders and older community members went to the rivers and talked about what they meant to Maori people. That the rivers are sacred and that it is a desecration of their ancestors that the rivers are blocked and diverted in steel pipes from their natural paths.

These visits and the lengthy discussions between Maori leaders and company officials have brought about promising changes. The officials and the CEO came to the conclusion that a change needed to come after seeing what the rivers meant to Maori people, including tears from elders at the sight of their dry rivers. The corporate officials could not look at the rivers and the water the same way after actually seeing it. When people take the time to go out and see the land for themselves rather than simply making decisions from an office a long way away the outcomes can be different, as well as environmentally or culturally conscious.

This change is occurring right now. Water flows are being returned to the rivers, the dams on the rivers are being opened to let some water through.

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[This is my battle buddy Mary standing on the dam. The reservoir of stolen water is visible in the background.]

The Maori and the corporation have come to a number of agreements over this important ancestral water. The four rivers with the most water flow will have water running through them by 2017. This agreement seems to have satisfied both sides. The Maori leaders have said that “Hydro (power) has its place, but so do the rivers.”

The history between Maori people, the Ngati Rangi in this case, has been harsh and unfair toward the Maori. The balance of power as a result of colonization has often been to corporations and the government. Today however people in New Zealand are having conversations with each other and coming to agreements that can please both sides. The Maori once again can see the river run and flow. The rivers are alive once again. This has immense cultural ramifications that will reverberate throughout the community as time goes on. The next year will be a time of continued successes for the Maori as the rest of the agreed upon rivers has their dams opened up. The power company still gets water from these rivers to feed the reservoir that allows the generation of hydro electric power. This story is a story of compromise and communication overcoming decades of struggle and courtroom battles. When people talk to each other the results here were beneficial. Maybe this can be emulated in other parts of New Zealand and other parts of the world as indigenous groups fight for their sacred places to be respected.

About Matthew Breeze, NSR Editor. I am a junior at the college of St. Scholastica this year and I am majoring in Global, Cultural, and Language studies with a minor in spanish and a minor in political science. I will be returning to St. Scholastica in December. I am originally from Bemidji, Minnesota, but I have come to consider Duluth as my second home.

I have a passion for politics and I hope to someday work for the State Department or the Foreign Service working in international relations in some way shape or form.
I have always wanted to go to New Zealand. I have been to Canada and Mexico, but I really haven’t been anywhere different than the United States. The city in Mexico I was in was a tourist trap and Canada looks like my northern Minnesota home. I have a family connection to New Zealand as well as the general desire to visit. My grandfather was in New Zealand for rest and relaxation during World War II. The stories of his time in NZ have been passed down through the family and are one of the biggest reasons that I decided to do a study abroad semester in NZ.

Please contact Professor Liang if you wish to write for The North Star Reports — HLIANG (at) css.edu

See also, our Facebook page with curated news articles at http://www.facebook.com/NorthStarReports

The North Star Reports: Global Citizenship and Digital Literacy (http://NorthStarReports.org) is a student edited and student authored open access publication centered around the themes of global and historical connections. Our abiding philosophy is that those of us who are fortunate enough to receive an education and to travel our planet are ethically bound to share our knowledge with those who cannot afford to do so. Therefore, creating virtual and actual communities of learning between college and K-12 classes are integral to our mission. In three years we have published over 250 articles covering all habitable continents and a variety of topics ranging from history and politics, food and popular culture, to global inequities to complex identities. These articles are read by K-12 and college students. Our student editors and writers come from all parts of the campus, from Nursing to Biology, Physical Therapy to Business, and remarkably, many of our student editors and writers have long graduated from college. We also have writers and editors from other colleges and universities. In addition to our main site, we also curate a Facebook page dedicated to annotated news articles selected by our student editors (http://www.facebook.com/NorthStarReports). This is done by an all volunteer staff. We have a frugal cash budget, and we donate much of our time and talent to this project. The North Star Reports is sponsored and published by Professor Hong-Ming Liang, NSR Student Editors and Writers, The Department of History and Politics of The College of St. Scholastica, and the scholarly Middle Ground Journal. For a brief summary, please see the American Historical Association’s Perspectives on History, at: http://www.historians.org/perspectives/issues/2013/1305/Opening-The-Middle-Ground-Journal.cfm

Hong-Ming Liang, Ph.D., Editor-in-Chief and Publisher, The North Star Reports; Chief Editor, The Middle Ground Journal; Associate Professor of History and Politics, The College of St. Scholastica. Kathryn Marquis Hirsch, Managing Editor, The North Star Reports.

(c) 2012-present The North Star Reports: Global Citizenship and Digital Literacy http://NorthStarReports.org ISSN: 2377-908X The NSR is sponsored and published by Professor Hong-Ming Liang, NSR Student Editors and Writers, with generous support from The Department of History and Politics of The College of St. Scholastica, and the scholarly Middle Ground Journal. See Masthead for our not-for-profit educational open- access policy. K-12 teachers, if you are using these reports for your classes, please contact editor-in-chief Professor Liang at HLIANG (at) css.edu

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New Zealand – Permaculture and the Environment – by Delaney Babich. The North Star Reports: Global Citizenship and Digital Literacy, at NorthStarReports.org and facebook.com/NorthStarReports

New Zealand – Permaculture and the Environment – by Delaney Babich. The North Star Reports: Global Citizenship and Digital Literacy, at NorthStarReports.org and facebook.com/NorthStarReports

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One of the most intriguing lessons I learned while studying abroad was the idea of permaculture, and its impressive success rate on the environment and the lives of the people who practice it. I wanted to share a couple of my favorite aspects, along with examples to further explain the ideas. Here are three of my favorites!

Use and Value Renewable Resources & Services

“Make the best use of nature’s abundance to reduce our consumptive behavior and dependence on non-renewable resources.” This is a photo of the papercrete used at Solscape. At this point in the tour, our guide was talking us through all of the sustainable practices they had and the principles of permaculture that they use. Papercrete is an innovative and splendid way to use the materials you have around you. By taking paper and re-pulping it and then mixing it with clay or cement, you come up with a sturdy, recycled, insulating and cheap building block for any new project. It costs less than regular building materials, teaches you to become a maker of things, lets you create your own design for any building and helps the environment because it doesn’t give off any toxins or emissions in the process of making it. This type of material was a theme throughout the trip, as we met many new age thinkers who were adamant about living sustain-ably. In a book called “The Good Life Lab” talks about living a de-commodified life, the author and her partner used the papercrete technique to build their house, shed and outdoor patio. She says it is so fulfilling to look at a structure and know you made it with your own two hands. That’s how I felt while looking at the two domes that Solscape had built. I tried to put myself in their shoes, and I was proud of what they had accomplished. Making a home out of the earth connects you back to where you come from, helps you appreciate your surroundings and gives you a sense of pride knowing that you are living in a home made from your own two hands.

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Produce No Waste

“By valuing and making use of all the resources that are available to us, nothing goes to waste.” This is the most intriguing and important principle of permaculture to me. The world is coming to a point where we are producing more than we have room to dispose of. This is true especially true in the US. We are home to 4% of the population, but contribute 30% of the worlds waste. What kind of numbers logic is that? Our group visited a non-profit called Extreme waste, a recycle and upcycle facility in Raglan. They are committed to the idea that nothing should go to waste, and that every item we believe is useless, really is not. They employ locals and accept volunteers, and open their doors to anyone who wants to learn more about upcycling. . The only problem is that many people have a stigma about used items. I don’t understand why, since all of the items I bought from Extreme Waste were in great shape and put a smile on my face. I believe we need to shift from being buyers of things, to makers of things. If we refurbish a chair or put two scraps of fabric together to make a shirt, we are happier with the result because of the hard work done, and by spending little to no money! I have so much respect for the owners Rick and Liz, because they saw a problem and they fixed it. They seem like gurus of the permaculture world, because their entire livelihood is based on the permaculture principles. All things have multiple purposes, we just need to get creative and dig into our minds to find out the endless possibilities for every object!

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Creatively Use and Respond to Change

“We can have a positive impact on inevitable change by carefully observing, and then intervening at the right time.” Our visit to the Maungatautari Ecological Reserve is the perfect example for this permaculture principle. The environmentalists in New Zealand saw what negative change the introduced mammals brought to the native forests and put their minds together to come up with an extremely creative fence to regenerate the land and birds. I was impressed with the design; I have not seen anything like that before! They thought of every way a pest could get in and then blocked it. Having vision is not seeing things how they are, but how they will be in the future. The director Tom and his colleagues knew that if they didn’t do something soon, the land and rare birds would be gone forever. I admire their persistence and admiration for the land and their dedication to its preservation. This idea also ties back to what Keith, our host on the Marae, said about looking out for our future generations. The native forest is special and one of a kind in this world, and everyone should have a chance to visit. With practices like this, it is possible!

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Please contact Professor Liang if you wish to write for The North Star Reports — HLIANG (at) css.edu

See also, our Facebook page with curated news articles at http://www.facebook.com/NorthStarReports

The North Star Reports: Global Citizenship and Digital Literacy (http://NorthStarReports.org) is a student edited and student authored open access publication centered around the themes of global and historical connections. Our abiding philosophy is that those of us who are fortunate enough to receive an education and to travel our planet are ethically bound to share our knowledge with those who cannot afford to do so. Therefore, creating virtual and actual communities of learning between college and K-12 classes are integral to our mission. In five semesters we have published 200 articles covering all habitable continents and a variety of topics ranging from history and politics, food and popular culture, to global inequities to complex identities. These articles are read by K-12 and college students. Our student editors and writers come from all parts of the campus, from Nursing to Biology, Physical Therapy to Business, and remarkably, many of our student editors and writers have long graduated from college. We also have writers and editors from other colleges and universities. In addition to our main site, we also curate a Facebook page dedicated to annotated news articles selected by our student editors (http://www.facebook.com/NorthStarReports). This is done by an all volunteer staff. We have a frugal cash budget, and we donate much of our time and talent to this project. We are sponsored by St. Scholastica’s Department of History and Politics and by the scholarly Middle Ground Journal: World History and Global Studies (http://theMiddleGroundJournal.org).

For a brief summary, please see the American Historical Association’s Perspectives on History, at: http://www.historians.org/perspectives/issues/2013/1305/Opening-The-Middle-Ground-Journal.cfm

Hong-Ming Liang, Ph.D., Editor-in-Chief and Publisher, The North Star Reports; Chief Editor, The Middle Ground Journal; Associate Professor of History and Politics, The College of St. Scholastica.

Kathryn Marquis Hirsch, Managing Editor, The North Star Reports.

(c) 2012-present The North Star Reports: Global Citizenship and Digital Literacy http://NorthStarReports.org ISSN: 2377-908X The NSR is sponsored and published by Professor Hong-Ming Liang, NSR Student Editors and Writers, The Department of History and Politics of The College of St. Scholastica, and the scholarly Middle Ground Journal. See Masthead for our not-for-profit educational open- access policy. K-12 teachers, if you are using these reports for your classes, please contact editor-in-chief Professor Liang at HLIANG (at) css.edu

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New Zealand – Maori Culture & Spirituality – by Delaney Babich. The North Star Reports: Global Citizenship and Digital Literacy, at NorthStarReports.org and facebook.com/NorthStarReports

New Zealand – Maori Culture & Spirituality – by Delaney Babich. The North Star Reports: Global Citizenship and Digital Literacy, at NorthStarReports.org and facebook.com/NorthStarReports

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[This is a piece of Greenstone, which holds mana, and its mana increases as it is passed down through generations. This rock belongs to Nga, who was our native guide during the trip. It is six generations old.]

One of the crucial parts to socialization requires understanding the perspectives of other people and their cultures. I was able to immerse myself in Maori culture while studying abroad in New Zealand. I gained a wealth of compassion & knowledge of people other than those I grew up with, as did everyone else in my group. We spent a weekend on a Marae, which is a native land where official tribal business, family functions and special events occur. Here we were introduced to a few traditional customs as well as spiritual practices. One example of a custom that intrigued me was a housekeeping rule at the marae. If anyone brought cups or bowls into the bathroom they are to be thrown away because the energy in the bathroom is not the same as the energy in the kitchen, and it upsets the natural balance of tapu. Tapu is a term describing certain restrictions in everyone’s life, and it was used as a way to control how people behaved towards each other and the environment. Everything also has a thing called Mana. Mana influenced the way in which people and groups conducted themselves, acting as a reference point for the achievements and successes in one s life. Similarly, is mana was attached to natural resources and inanimate objects could affect the behaviors of individuals and group. These are the two fundamental concepts that governed the infrastructure of traditional Maori society, and are interchangeable. They link each person to creation, and the history of ancestors. The aspect of history is detrimental to Maori culture. We were taught that knowledge and stories, all come from someone before us, and will pass through us onto someone else one day. Whether it be about food preparation, child rearing or specific spiritual practices, the Maori have kept their history alive via oral practices, rather than written ones. The leader of the Marae, Keith, taught us that every bit, every feeling, every word is important, and that it must be kept for those later to hear as well.

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A crucial characteristic to his teaching while we were there included the importance of spiritual knowledge. He says that spiritual concerns apply to all things. They are never obliterated and must be given full status and recognition. This concept is manifested out of their bond with nature, although it is much more than a bond. The Maori join all beings together; everything is connected into one independent whole, which relies on each of its parts to be healthy in order to keep thriving. It was eye opening to see an opposite way of thinking about life and the things in it, and to be welcomed into a community that desires to have their stories spread in order to keep a culture alive.

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Please contact Professor Liang if you wish to write for The North Star Reports — HLIANG (at) css.edu

See also, our Facebook page with curated news articles at http://www.facebook.com/NorthStarReports

The North Star Reports: Global Citizenship and Digital Literacy (http://NorthStarReports.org) is a student edited and student authored open access publication centered around the themes of global and historical connections. Our abiding philosophy is that those of us who are fortunate enough to receive an education and to travel our planet are ethically bound to share our knowledge with those who cannot afford to do so. Therefore, creating virtual and actual communities of learning between college and K-12 classes are integral to our mission. In five semesters we have published 200 articles covering all habitable continents and a variety of topics ranging from history and politics, food and popular culture, to global inequities to complex identities. These articles are read by K-12 and college students. Our student editors and writers come from all parts of the campus, from Nursing to Biology, Physical Therapy to Business, and remarkably, many of our student editors and writers have long graduated from college. We also have writers and editors from other colleges and universities. In addition to our main site, we also curate a Facebook page dedicated to annotated news articles selected by our student editors (http://www.facebook.com/NorthStarReports). This is done by an all volunteer staff. We have a frugal cash budget, and we donate much of our time and talent to this project. We are sponsored by St. Scholastica’s Department of History and Politics and by the scholarly Middle Ground Journal: World History and Global Studies (http://theMiddleGroundJournal.org).

For a brief summary, please see the American Historical Association’s Perspectives on History, at: http://www.historians.org/perspectives/issues/2013/1305/Opening-The-Middle-Ground-Journal.cfm

Hong-Ming Liang, Ph.D., Editor-in-Chief and Publisher, The North Star Reports; Chief Editor, The Middle Ground Journal; Associate Professor of History and Politics, The College of St. Scholastica.

Kathryn Marquis Hirsch, Managing Editor, The North Star Reports.

(c) 2012-present The North Star Reports: Global Citizenship and Digital Literacy http://NorthStarReports.org ISSN: 2377-908X The NSR is sponsored and published by Professor Hong-Ming Liang, NSR Student Editors and Writers, The Department of History and Politics of The College of St. Scholastica, and the scholarly Middle Ground Journal. See Masthead for our not-for-profit educational open- access policy. K-12 teachers, if you are using these reports for your classes, please contact editor-in-chief Professor Liang at HLIANG (at) css.edu

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New Zealand – Harbor Care: The Waikato Catchment’s Clean Little Secret — The North Star Reports – by Delaney Babich. Sponsored by The College of St. Scholastica and The Middle Ground Journal

New Zealand – Harbor Care: The Waikato Catchment’s Clean Little Secret — The North Star Reports – by Delaney Babich. Sponsored by The College of St. Scholastica and The Middle Ground Journal

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[All photos courtesy of Whaingaroa Harbour Care.]

The Whaingaroa catchment on the west coast of New Zealand’s north island covers approximately 445 square kilometers of land. All of the water that flows through the streams, rivers, and ground end up in the Raglan harbor and eventually flow into the Tasman Sea. Twenty years ago, the harbor was contaminated to the point where people weren’t able to fish in, swim in, or drink the water. It took roughly 18 hours to catch one fish, and even then one knew better than to eat it.

Two nutrients affecting the water quality have human causes. The main source of nitrogen in New Zealand’s waterways is urine from farm animals. Once the paddocks of a farm become waterlogged, the nitrogen can wash straight through the soil before plants can use it. The weight that the animals put on the soil compacts it to the point where water and urine eventually run straight into waterways. Less directly, phosphorous from manure and fertilizer is carried into waterways by sticking to soil particles. It tends to accumulate in waterways where land has been cleared, in places where rainfall is high, and where slopes are steep and prone to erosion. This runoff results in increasing nitrate and ammonia toxicity and the unwanted growth of plants and algae. Too much nitrogen is also toxic to humans and animals. You can see why a group of locals may want to take the initiative to clean their waterways.

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Whaingaroa Harbour Care is an organization that was started by two ingenious people with a simple dream: a desire to have clean water in the Raglan area. They came up with the idea that riparian planting, fencing, and sacrificed land could easily fix the issue. They encouraged 40 farmers in the area to give up grazing land near streams, wetlands, rivers and bogs and to fence off these areas a few kilometers out from the water. The HC group then planted thousands of native and non-native trees along the waterways and wetlands. This helped soak up fecal matter, nitrogen, phosphorous, and sediment that usually found its way into the harbor. They have planted 1.2 million trees since the project started in 1995, and have a 95 percent success rate with the plantings.

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In the 18 years since the management has started, there has been a dramatic improvement to the water quality and recreational fishing catches have improved. Mudflats previously barren of life are now teeming with crabs, shellfish, and wading birds. In addition to making a major difference in the water quality in the harbor, there are numerous benefits for farmers including:

• Reduced stock loss in wet areas
• Reduced veterinary bills
• Reduced soil loss
• Reduced need for weed control
• Improved stock health
• Increased productivity
• Increased pasture quality
• Increased stocking rates
• Improved fertilizer control
• Improved shade and shelter for stock

Overall, this innovative idea has improved the quality of life for the people, wildlife, and flora in the area while the quality of farms and water in the catchment have also benefited. It is important to continue this project, and they are currently reaching out to other catchments along the west coast who have the same need for improvement. It is not rocket science, and hopefully the rest of New Zealand takes up the practice in order to save their water.

Please contact Professor Liang if you wish to write for The North Star Reports — HLIANG (at) css.edu

See also, our Facebook page with curated news articles at http://www.facebook.com/NorthStarReports

The North Star Reports: Global Citizenship and Digital Literacy, The College of St. Scholastica and the scholarly Middle Ground Journal’s online learning community and outreach program with undergraduate and K-12 classes around the world. For a brief summary, please see the American Historical Association’s Perspectives on History, at:

http://www.historians.org/perspectives/issues/2013/1305/Opening-The-Middle-Ground-Journal.cfm

The North Star Reports publishes edited essays from our students, particularly from those who are currently stationed, or will soon be stationed abroad. Students have reported from Mongolia, Southern China, Shanghai, Colombia, Norway, northeastern China, Nicaragua, Micronesia, The Netherlands, Tanzania, Ireland, El Salvador, England, Finland, Russia, Cyprus, and Haiti. We also publish student reviews of books, documentaries, and films, and analysis of current events from around the world. We will post their dispatches, and report on their interactions with the North Star Reports students and teachers. We thank The Department of History and Politics and the School of Arts and Letters of The College of St. Scholastica for their generous financial support for The North Star Reports and The Middle Ground Journal.

Hong-Ming Liang, Ph.D., Editor-in-Chief and Publisher, The North Star Reports; Chief Editor, The Middle Ground Journal; Associate Professor of History and Politics, The College of St. Scholastica.

Kathryn Marquis Hirsch, Managing Editor, The North Star Reports.

(c) 2012-present The North Star Reports: Global Citizenship and Digital Literacy http://NorthStarReports.org ISSN: 2377-908X The NSR is sponsored by The College of St. Scholastica and the scholarly Middle Ground Journal. See Masthead for our not-for-profit educational open- access policy. K-12 teachers, if you are using these reports for your classes, please contact editor-in-chief Professor Liang at HLIANG (at) css.edu

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Filed under Delaney Babich, North Star Student Editors, Professor Hong-Ming Liang