Bloggreen: November 2004

Tuesday, November 30, 2004

I'm going home...

I have just had the most amazing weekend of my life! I spent the weekend in Hamilton at the Riff Raff statue unveiling. For those who have still not managed to catch up on the news, Richard O'Brien, the creator of the cult film Rocky Horror Picture Show spent his youth in Hamilton. And it was hours sitting in the (now demolished) Embassy Theatre watching movies that inspired this cult flic. Former McGillicuddy Serious Party Leader and Manager of Free Lunch (amongst other things) Mark Servian, was the genius behind the idea to get Hamilton's most famous yet unable to acknowledge it ex-pat immortalised in bronze. I first heard of the project a few years ago. It was put to me as an idea in response to the Bob Jones funded farming family statue at the other end of Victoria Street (those who've spent time in Hamilton will know a) how much that statue sucks and b) how much Hamilton is in need of a better identity than that!). It was also a way of Hamilton acknowledging it's cultural heritage. I also remember Mark telling me that it was a great way for Hamilton to become a 'real city'. After all, every city has to have a great man statue and until last weekend Hamilton didn't. The statue is on the very spot where the Embassy theatre used to be, across the road from the old barber shop where O'Brien worked. So four years, $100k from the Perry's, a fierce debate at Council and a bit (ok a lot) of help from Weta, later, the statue has been born. And what a birth! The main street was closed down, the freaks came out and we partied all night long. I managed to get into the official after party which was nice, away from the riff raff so to speak ;o) and it was most groovy. Unfortunately I can't share the juicy stories, but it was great to see all the people who've been involved at different levels getting together and celebrating. For those news junkies, you can read the coverage here: Riff Raff's here and Hamilton rocks City celebration rocks its staid old reputation Return of the bodgie Watch kept on Riff Raff The highlight for me was definitely the next day. I was cruising around with some friends and suggested we pay a visit to the statue and see it in the glistening sunshine. So we cruised into town and pulled up alongside the statue. We jumped out and ooh'd and aah'd for a bit and then lo and behold, along came the man himself. So yeah, without too much name dropping I got to stand nonchalantly next to the guy and I just couldn't help myself. I turned to him and said: "hey Richard, I must thank you" "what for?" "helping us fuck with Hamilton's head" to which he grinned and replied "my pleasure" All in all, a brilliant weekend. I was so proud of Hamilton, it was a damn good show and Hamiltonians never have to be ashamed of their freakiness again. As an ex-pat Hamiltonian myself I want to say thanks. Thanks to Mark for being such an inspirational genius. Thanks to Richard for what is one of my favourite films of all time. Thanks to Richard Taylor and the team at Weta for seeing the importance beind the project and making such a gorgeous piece of public art. Thanks to the Perry Foundation for paying for it. And last but not least, the last term of the Hamilton City Council. If anyone ever says you didn't achieve anything during that term, you've got one thing you can be proud of (albeit reluctantly for some of you). Hamilton - It's More Than You Expect

Monday, November 29, 2004


The Human Rights Foundation are hosting a public meeting for people to discuss the Ahmed Zaoui case and to hear the latest developments. The meeting will take place, Wednesday 8 December, 6pm, at St John's church hall, cnr Willis and Dixon Sts, Wellington. Speakers, which include, Amnesty International, lawyer Deborah Manning, cartoonist Tom Scott, commentator Frank Haden, Presbyterian Minister Margaret Mayman, a speaker from the Muslim community, and others will talk about Mr Zaoui and the significance of his case to New Zealand. This meeting takes place the day before the Supreme Court's first bail hearing for Mr Zaoui. Mr Zaoui has also written 24 verses, one for each month he has been imprisoned in New Zealand without charge, which will be read at this meeting. We are asking people to bring a flower as it is Mr Zaoui's birthday, and to acknowledge that Mr Zaoui has not been outdoors since his arrival in our country. Public Meeting Ahmed Zaoui - latest developments 6pm, Wednesday 8 December St John's church hall, cnr Willis and Dixon Sts, Wellington. For further information please contact Melanie Hamilton Email: Phone: 021 711 191

Sunday, November 21, 2004

La la la

Well I go away for a few days to try and convince myself that the world doesn't totally suck. And I come back to discover that some ******* ******** has hacked into my blogger account and deleted my blog. Hmmm. Other than the anoyance of losing archives (a lot of which I had backed up), links and everyone's wonderful comments, I am not that bothered. So to whoever it is out there trying to get at me at the moment (this is not an isolated incident), it's not working. And a short warning, I know my shit a hell of a lot better than you buddy. Watch your back. And to the rest of you, apologies for the brief loss of transmission. Service will return as normal shortly. I hope to replicate the link list in its entirety but if I miss you out, drop me an email. Arohanui