The Writing of Thane Zander
New Zealand Poetry
The Hawg Series
General Poetry Six
General Poetry Seven
General Poetry Eight
General Poetry Nine
General Poetry Ten
General Poetry Eleven
General Poetry Twelve
General Poetry Thirteen
General Poetry Fourteen
General Poetry Fifteen
General Poetry Sixteen
General Poetry Seventeen
General Poetry Eighteen
General Poetry Nineteen
General Poetry Twenty
General Poetry Twenty One
General Poetry Twenty Two
General Poetry Twenty Three

Most of this poetry is past reflective of my home country, New Zealand.  The Colin McCahon series is surreal poetry aligned to the style of the painter, who is regarded as one of New Zealands best..

Click on the thumbnail for expanded map.
I placed the map here so you can associate some place names

Te Marae o Hine

(translate to from Maori to English as "The Courtyard of Daughter of Peace")

Hine pronounced hee - ney

I go there,
this place in the Square,
a place to contemplate and reflect.

Two maori carvings stand totem-like
depicting some long lost lore,
there's a modern time machine
cemented into grass -
the old with the new
past and future.

Around Hine's courtyard
the remnants of vulcanic orgasm stand mounted
on concrete plinths,
ten spitball boulders
lovingly recreated by sculptors,
to depict their own essence.

Tomorrow I will sit by each,
then write their life story
for generations to come.

The Daughter of Peace is aptly named,
and so too her gathering place.


I wanna be an All Black Flanker

Since I was kid on a school field,
I wanted to be an All Black,
no not some African American,
or unwanted refugee in a slave port,
but a rugby player for my country.

Wanted to be the best there ever was,
fast, furious, and damned famous,
playing rugby with the best,
as the best,
like every kid in New Zealand does.

Realised at an early age I couldn't be one,
but still tried my best,
a condition of life as a Kiwi,
small country with huge ambitions,
a need to succeed
and to put the Kiwi flag in others faces.

Now I support my All Blacks,
those tough young men in black shorts,
jerseys, and socks with white hoops,
the silver fern emblazoned
on a chest that measures pride.

There has never been a black play for them,
mainly whites and browns,
and a mixture of both,
but one day that will happen
in this global melting pot that is sport,

and a world in flux.

I can see newspapers in the US
when our mighty team tours one day,
'All Something-or-others tour',
yes the race issue is a problem still,
too testy to put "Blacks" on sports pages.

Secretly I smile at times like this,
what's in a name, a logo,
interpretation of themes
here in our multicultural society,
everyone is red blooded, the same.

It's embodied in the sports stadia
through this land of ours,
all races yell and cheer their heroes,
side by side, arm in arm,
as their heroes on the field are throughout.


ANZAC Day Dawn

Two countries meet,
each year on 25th April,
to remember those that fought,
whose lives never came to nought.

Every year on that day,
from 6am to midday,
commemorations throughout the land,
old soldiers and children walk,
hand in hand.

Should we not remember
our venerated vets,
three words,
Lest we forget


A Little snippet of life in small town New Zealand

Foxton, jewel of the Horowhenua
shines as a legacy to the Flax trade
long dead, carpets now woven where once
flaxen products made, and exported overseas,
a legacy indeed.

People work, and people don't work
The WINZ office busy
on a frosty Thursday morning,
dogs bark as the poor wend their way
from supermarket to home, no car
no need for pace.

A Windmill project turns in the cool air,
people from the main highway that cuts
through town, flock to see milled flour
and marvel how a small town can have so much
drawing power, why they were drawn
to this edifice of shame.

The Pubs are busy, drunks abound where
no work can keep them out, the casino
a trap for their meagre pennies, keeps them
coming back for more, for glory and jackpots
that never eventuate, and their lives rotate
like the vanes of the windmill.

The policemen are always busy, crack labs,
marijuana and petty crime, burglaries taking
up most of their time, and the thieves and
crack heads steal from friends and family,
it's a small town after all and everybody
knows everyone else, they get caught.

My place in this town, a small observers role
watching how people act and interact,
how they see me as a stranger amongst them,
and the way they treat foreigners in town is
typical to say the least, mistrust, caution,
an air of superiority.

Whatever I see though is tempered with
the knowledge that they see me too,
and I wonder at life in a small town,
and thrill with it.


Masticating the Benches of Power

Hold forth your scorn, dear voter

The Prime Minister is above you and beyond,

buried in the mire of her own self importance

and aggrandiosement, t'is the truth.


sullen he sits, number two, Oh Cullen!

you waster of hot air and baggage

couldn't contrive a ministerial plot

to save yourself, or your government.


A piston of penis proportions, Herr Speaker,

sits and pontificates from his regal throne,

and throws out those who question his Order.


English is the chosen language, yet two speak

one from the mouth, and a Mataura-ite from his beak,

He of little party, once big, and Williamsons leaving galore,

only to see that mighty party of Firsts come to the fore,


Yet Helen, gal of action, she bigger than her own

fantastic and demonic PR machine, it groans

anew under the weight of her supremacy

and the tendancy is for autocratic meanderings

towards demigogue status amongst her peers,

yet still the sun shines, and people die, and the mechanisms

of power soldier on, but do they care, I think maybe they do!


Colin McCahon paints the MacKenzie Country

Just a line, there,

yes, the Southern Alps rise

in helter skelter arcs,

a swift blue sunrise paints

hues of green on a snowline square,

Lake Tekapo, deep purple in maori

floats on a windswept vista of grey dust,

The Nor'west arch a mottled brown,

in skies romantic azure.


Stone cottage, ancient by man's terms

opens a rustic door to a time past,

and skeletal remains die where they stand

a brushstroke of rare power, a word or two

skeptics acclaim it's grace placed where it is

amongst statuesque beauty horribly depicted

by a true master of the New Zealand surrealist.


Tama Iti, you are not Ngai Tahu

leave well alone, this is raw

a testament to the deep southern land

rich antiquity boiled with modern paint

and an eye for the future, the dollar,

yes, Colin, you have done it again.


Ngauranga Gorge

A little introduction, a must you see,

to get the feel of my trip of glee,

Herman Thwubblethwaite, racontuer,

The sorriest thing you have met for sure.


Resident poet of Titahi Bay,

decided on a trip one fine Wellington day,

fired up the '64 Black and Gold Mini,

Yes, I fit in, I'm a poet and skinny.


Off I went, gear stick in action

four bald tires and not much traction,

past that megalith down by the sea,

Te Papa, that venerated place of history.


Then past the ferry berths, none in dock

the mini hit the motorway and suffered a shock,

hasn't been past fifty K in two years or more,

so when she hit 80, it was with a roar.


Then I saw it, the left turn quite clear,

the part of the journey that filled me with fear,

but onwards and upwards a path I did forge,

and into the belly that is Ngauranga Gorge.


Watching the needle as the climb took affect,

I suddenly realised I had time to reflect,

as the needle dived back to a sedate 40 K,

I knew this would be the saddest part of my day.


Then it began, that which I feared,

I had to shift down, to a dodgy second gear,

the shaking and rattling were worse than I wished,

an FJ Holden flew by, both occupants pissed.


Then the wind blew hard and swiped me aside

as an eighteen wheeler doing 90 flashed by,

I gripped the wheel hard, held on for dear life,

took a quick peek to the left, Thank God!! no wife.


The revs slowly abated, changed up into first,

if I slowed anymore, don't know what would be worse,

So I checked my feet and running shoes there were,

imagine the site, Mini being pushed by a scruffy cur.


But the trucks were a boon, and created a drag

and I whistled a relief as I saw the car sales flag,

I knew the worst part was about to end,

and there it was, the crest 'round the bend.


I sailed into second, then third then forth,

and patted the old Mini with everything she was worth,

and I ventured on down that golden stretch of road,

was suddenly hit with a sense of forbode?


Why had I come all this way I did think?

Was it because I was going shopping for a brand new sink?

Or could it have been a trip to Wainuiomata?

Hell, the wrong way, God I wish I was smarter.


I raged into despair again, cried for a while,

and the Mini cruised on and ate up the miles,

Until it came to me, of course that was it,

I was off to see mum in Otaki, what a bloody twit!


A Lakes Muse


So huge, immense!

Imagine your size as volcano,

whence you thrust,

shadow of your former self,

nestling calm waters,

spilling your guts

into Waikato umbilicus.


Hell you stink!

Yet your legend stirs mystery,

a taniwha washes ashore and builds

a monstrous cityscape,

e'er still, fog swarms

your calm exterior.

Must you be the smell?


You with the long name,

A Urewera jewel

hidden in green abundance

Tuhoe make you home,

with rushes and cottages

of thatch and thrown together materials,

Holidays baches, red.


Nelson Lakes, where are you
pakeha name, maori place

in your face reason for going

bees and mites, sandfly bites,

stuffed stoically amongst green mounts

and trees; Beech, Rata,

and some kid etches his name.


See bare skinned pakeha bathe,

the aquamarine pulses blue/green

from snow melt,

cold waters cooling swimmers and boaters

who use it's unnatural existence,

damn the Dam, thanks.


Lightning strike shaped moment

in inescapable mountains

of grey granite and white tops,

in the zip zap of the mid section,

Queenstown, crusty tourism,

farms and ski slopes batter it's length,

with a cold southerly etching

time into its sides.

Te Anau

Heck, you're big!

Why doesn't anyone live there?

oh yeah, national park on your borders,

bloody governments!


Dead and dying,

no disguising the rot of your surroundings,

raised to accommodate a tunnel,

power to those that don't need it, money

and a lake dies and lives, yeah!

A stump pushes up from the depths

once mighty totara, holes a boat.

The Backyard Swimming Pool.

Party last night.

What is that brown thing floating atop

green and putrid water?


Colin McCahon paints the Desert Road

Atop yon canvas,

"TURANGI" blazened - white.


At base, said same canvas,

"WAIOURU" bold - whitish grey,


shepherds crook of light charcoal

a few horseshoes thrown on

bold white line cuts straight up, bisects

reaches from bottom to top.


left, panorama of grayish brown,

dark peaks

right, vista - paua shell dark green, shrubs

and brown of tundra grasses.


Black and white of waiting police cars.


Colin McCahon paints the Auckland Harbour

Minimalist views

from the peak of Rangitoto, I guess,

looking down the written maori

of the Waitemata Harbour,

sailboats, grey/blue, blue/green

scatter words peacefully askance.


Barbed and number eight

silver wired framework

of the main span, the Bridge!

and the speckle of ruby reds

as tail lights pass over.


A white/grey needle pokes into

a sky green with splotchy cuts,

swarthy strokes of fluffy cotton

thread the eye in the sky,

how fitting, all sown up.


Bullocking browns and blacks

etch a canvass, to the left,

buildings rising from chaos

and pale yellow lines dart hither and yon;

detritus going home.


To the right, a cut across the vista

shards of another life,

blues, greens, reds, houses, the Shore

and sandy coloured stripes of beaches

spilling free of deadwood.


Bent on revenge,

the painter cuts the scene

and pieces them together at random,

yet still, the splodge that is Auckland,

is recognisable.


Paremoremo in passing.

Ambling along the Albany/Parry road,

normal country fare, trees, paddocks,

and stock alongside houses many,

then it's in your face, huge and ugly,

battleship grey of cement walls

and razor wired fences sixteen feet high.


In through the security gates, checked for ID,

back to work, another eight hour shift

with those that the courts deem unable to fit

in societies plans for whatever reason,

down the locked corridors and chained cupboards,

to the real hub, the heartbeat, the cells.


Then it hits, you, every new day, the stench

humanity rotting away over time, a long time

and for some they rot cause they won't conform,

the stink gets into your clothes, your wife smells it too

smells everything you smell and retch at,

like Rotorua, you get used to it, quickly.


March of the racketeers, up the centre line, checking,

eyes peering back, the occassional "gidday boss",

always checking, what they do, what they say,

whatever and whenever, it is checked, and rechecked,

no escape on your beat, none from your block,

and you march on, and on, checking again.


Then, as soon as it began, it's over and you head home,

safe in the knowledge they are still locked away,

safe in the surety your wife is ok, you rang her

before you left, it was routine now,

the rear vision mirror reflects grey splodge,

you know you will see it again tomorrow.


A Landscape Painter paints the Cook Strait

Wide expanse of turgid waters, blue

deep from cut of sub antarctic current,

cutting into seabed rugged from earthquake action

and the terrain above mirrors below.


Seaward Kaikoura's frame a southern vista

dark granite black and white snowed,

the frame stretches west and is smaller

but no less impressive, Marlborough.


Spread around to those rough hills

an area rich in sea life and the likes,

the Sounds, deep water passes and islands

married to each other in time, and useful.


A cut, a way for boats and ferries to ride,

Tory Channel a way inside to this other world,

a whaling station disused, rots away this day

and ever, a reminder of things that once were.


An isle stands sentinel to the western end,

Stephens Island, a lighthouse to light the way,

and across raging tidal cross references, east meets west

boats and whales traverse the gulf that is the Strait.


The northern extremity, bush clad in gorse,

high hills with radar antennae, for planes

not ships, and the aerials for radio and TV

and a propelllor launches many volts, no plane.


Behold, a city, sprawling amongst the roughcast

southern bays of it's spreading monstrosity,

Karori Rock lights a path past nuggety rocks

a nor' west wind roars in and planes weave an approach.


A gut, a vagina of commercial importance,

Wellington Harbour entrance, ferries, fishing boats,

and anything that needs to get in and out,

Wahine missed the point and drowned a few, it's tough.


Pencarrow Light, in the roaring southerly blasts,

she, the lower of two, is covered in swell and wind,

Further round to the east, Baring Head, then Cape Turakurae,

guarding the eastern entrance to Palliser Bay, another province.


There she is, across the vast expanse of fishable bay,

Red and white sentinel, standing for all to take heed,

Cape Palliser Light, warder of night, and Cook Straits

eastern and northern bodyguard, be warned all who enter.


Aha Kamate Maybe

Visionaries see

mistakes once made

trample wet blood on pavements

placards thrown aside.


Back to the marae

to the three bedroom bungalow

parliament listens

breaks new ground for both

the foreshore accesible to none

but drug runners

and Afghan boat people

in the night.


I walk the beach tomorrow:

DoC staff member

Maori Warden

Fisheries Officer

Foreshore Officer

All there to ensure the pipi,

The dotterel, the Moa middens

And most important, the sea

Are not disturbed in my reverie.


I dare not step on any toes!

They might belong to someone.


Young Kids Reverie

Who murdered Coral Burgess?

Eight years old, little girl still,

was it her dad or the drugs he had?

Yeah, he was a dope freak, and a crim,

and mum wasn't innocent, sink or swim.


Who murders our kids, brutality,

the side of life that uses drugs and alcohol

to soothe the troubled soul, kids suffer,

who burns their arms, breaks their legs,

steals their lunch money for a fix?


Yes, who indeed, society makes 'em

and them breaks them, no measures

in place to stop the disgrace, crime pays

and those that are worthless, bring up

worthless kids, who the hell cares?


Helen Clarke signs an original by me.

Bless my lil cottonsocks,

painted a canvas with words

and filled it with cityscapes,

only for Helen to say it was hers,

charitable of her!


Made another, flung grey daubs

all over and beyond the boundaries,

made imprints impressive luminations

a hand from the heavens reached down

"signed by helen".


The auctioneer rung the gambit

held gavel high and the bids flew

both pictures featured in catalogues

yet word of mouth ensured a good price,

hmmmmm, Ms Clarke!


I resigned myself to the impossible,

an original I could call my own

set about the task of painting more

with a flair I never knew I had,

I love me.................... Helen.


Iconic Singers

You know them,

faces on the screen,

early to mid seventies

when tv got colourful.


Stars came to life, real.


Bunny wailed acne from drugs

scarring his performances, rocked

and rolled with Mark Williams

ever boiffant, boy from the north,


makes good in the big smoke!


Space Waltz killed perceptions

of a quiet Kiwi life, Out in the Streets

and the kids danced, and played

Kiwi music in dancehalls, for once.


Tim Finn lended a brand of the different.


Boxing above their weight

guitars rocking, Th' Dudes

filled clubs and bars, and the screen

with a fresh upbeat song list,




Beyond all the riff raff and mishmash

that was the Kiwi sound, the TV

found time to showcase them

stiltingly at first, Grunt Machine

then Radio with Pictures,


Hay!! That was her name. Argh.....


I was there for it, saw it all,

moved to the revolution of the great wheel,

even sat with Dave Dobbin and Jenny Morris

in a pub in Sydney, Smashed on Smoke,

loving the new life.


The big divide and killer, Sydney


Today I listen to Hip Hop from the suburbs,

and rock from the shore, and Halyley so pure,

and look where we have come

a long way, along the way,


And Bunny still pumps out acne songs for fun.


Picton to Kaikoura, the coast road

Picturesque splendour,

enveloped in green hills and blue waters

Picton, jewel of the sounds

stands alone in simplicity,

small town, big outlook.


I drive on, the ferry behind,

churning whitewater for Wellington

and pass the gap into Marlborough,

into the flat expanse, the Koromiko

cheese factory closed long ago, shame!


Journey on to Blenheim

a small place trying to be big, never!

supporting a rural diversity, wine and crop

cattle and sheep, and fishing too

stop for KFC in case I get hungry.


Now out on the highway, southbound

past farms and houses and people

going about their daily commerce,

down to the Awatere River and that crazed

bridge, one way, rail on top, makes me smile.


Through King Dicks town, and Ward,

little farming places where even the petrol

companies have withdrawn support,

ever onwards to the coast and the lure

of green seas and gulls flying in the breeze.


The loneliness draws in, as do the might

of the Seaward Kaikoura's, imposing

in their might so close to the ocean,

I admire the rockiness, and stony beaches

the raw power of nature not yet whittled.


The road narrows, and trucks inch past at speed

on their daily milk runs to and fro,

unlike me, not cognisant of the seals

and large beds of sea kelp swimming in unison

with the rough waves and ebbing tide.


Offshore, leviathans of the deep roar

in their abundant playground,

diving to depths not measured and for food

never exhausted, Southern Wrights, Sperm,

and Orca all frolic for tourists to admire.


Through tunnels, and past railway lines etched

deep into cliffs and scree escarpments,

little towns that exist for the pleasure

of passing motorists, and life that is simple,

and their it shines, journeys' end, Kaikoura.


I have travelled that road many a time,

and always, I see the same things, but different

somehow, and I know that I will have to travel again,

that stretch of tarmac, gravel and scree, I yearn

for that road, for that pleasure, as do my kids.


The Northerner, September 1975

Hick kid on a full platform,

Palmerston North emblazoned

on a smoked stained sign,

empty cups of tea on seats

where passengers sat,

the cold at 8.30pm evident

as Mum and Dad wave me off,

Mums tears hidden by a warm smile

back to Auckland for me,

young sailor heading back to work.


The sounds of carriages graunch together

as the locomotive takes the slack

and pulls out of the station, slowly

then building as city lights give in to

scattered splatterings of farms, dark

in the night, I sit on hardened worn

leather and wood, sparse, uncomfortable

my bed for the night, and the smell

of diesel fumes waft down the carriage

and starts to drift people off to sleep.


All the carriages are full, young, old

and all those in between, and I am in

a carriage of quiet, not my scene

for the long journey ahead, so I stand

and walk back, back to the rear carriages

the party buses, "gats" out

the songs flowing with amber fluid

and the harder stuff, to fight the cold,

I sit, unfold my prize, 26 ounces

of black gold, Coruba rum, and they strum,


Fielding.... Hunterville....Utuku........


strumming songs from the Maori Hit Parade,

Ten Guitars, Sheryl Moana Marie, and we

are all friends on the journey of night,

cold night and soon the bottle empties

warming my vocals and now freindships,




and a mad dash for all to the Taihape Hotel,

fighting your way through the Ten O'clock melee

of Holden V8's and Black Power boys

crowding the pub with their ever presence,

their place, but we nightly invaders struggle

(always a struggle), to do it in the 14 minutes

those who drank tea took to eat a pie

and down their Railways Cup brew,

but we all seemed to make it, tea and booze

and the rest who spent the time to snooze.




and the cold hits you, as soldiers came and went

round the vast darkness of a mountain asleep

and Ohakune, the compulsory stop

where crews changed, northbound/southbound

and the party went on, liquid fire.


National Park..........


I had never seen it , until I drove it one day,

years later on the daylight railcar,

Raurimu Spiral, feat of engineering

and kiwi ingenuity, round and round

and up and down, a splendour once viewed,


Taumaranui........Te Kuiti.........Otorohonga.......


towns that existed due to the very rails

that passed through them, stock towns

heartland New Zealand, but darkened by

the night trains ritual, and sleeping,

yet the party wore on as the grog dies,


Te Awamutu....... Hamilton......... Ngauruawahia.........


and the clickety click of bogeys on the bridge

over the mighty Waikato soon had sleep

burgeoning and the rest of the trip was

one of comfort, booze addled comfort

and to this day I look at those seats, and wonder


Huntly........ Pokeno........... Papakura..........


places I slept through, and never met,

and then the stop, the silence, Auckland

and the early morning bustle of light and

commuter traffic, life again, and work so soon

and I have survived another trip on the train.


The Northerner, may you rest in peace, New Zealand Icon


A New Zealand Islands Anthology

Auckland Islands

Roaring forties,

iced horizontal rain

sweeps across a bleak

and inhospitable terrain,

bushes no taller

than an average man

windswept to the east

as if the beast had rolled

and flattened all.


Peat moss as deep

as a mans thigh

hides deep crevices

untold secrets, and wild boar

vying for space with sea lions

and elephant seals,

Wandering Albatross aplenty

out over dark blue seas

The Islands only neighbour.


Stewart Island.

Gog, Magog, Mt Anglem,

sentinels north and south,

overseeing expanding

National Park

Rough as rough can be

the locals, friendly but locals

nonetheless, wary at best.


Hunters, hairy, rugged

stalkers of Sika,

rustling about in huts and tracks

cut deep, for the pleasure of them

and nature seekers, worldwide,

licked constantly by terse sou'westers

and winters grasp never slackened.


Whale sharks cruise Paterson Inlet

with King Emporer Penguin and blue cod,

and you wonder at the beauty of it all.


Great Barrier Island

Home to many harbours

and retired hippies,

growing and smoking pot

homemade wines, scorching

Tryphena, Port Fitzroy,

and gay Whangaparapara harbours,

usually empty, but for the

summer bustle of Auckland yachties.


A lifestyle Island, backward yet there

repressed but modern,

touched yet untouched

but for the daily grind of human life,

playground of the amateur angler

and whales transitting the coast,

may it remain an isolated beauty

for all to come and see.


Little Barrier Island

Stark desolation, volcanic

dense bush covered sanctuary

to tuatara and native birds,

steep cliffed, unassailable from sea

but for the promontory sou'east,

to land, you must have DOC clearance

a sanctuary of preserved pasts,

and possible futures.


Poor Knights Islands

Deep Pacific Blue surrounds

an offshore group famous

the world over for diving,

steep ragged cliffs give way

to steep smoothed sides

into dive territories to be admired,

no fishing, a restriction abounds

and is abided by with pain of loss

of boat and gear, steer clear,

yet out from that no go zone,

boats ply their trade, marlin, yellowfin

and many varieties of game for tables

and long admired trophy cabinets.


Waiheke Island

UH!! Barren f**king wasteland,

killed, no trees left, no birds

no native nothing, man huh!

It's a suburb of grotesque

ugly Auckland and noone cares,

sooner see the houses bulldosed

humankind vacated, and trees,

lots of trees, planted

and the islands of this country

returned to natures jewels.


Somes Island

So........ok maybe it deserves

to be a quarantine island,

we do need one.


Sunrise to Sunset - The Manawatu Flows

Born of eastern Ruahine origins,

outback Norsewood way,

a trickling brook in warm morning light,

flowing south and east

picking up trout and inunga

to ride your journey down.


Wending past Dannevirke

and Woodville, many country marae,

towards the west now, deeper,

and more forceful, into the fray

cutting through rough hewn rock

centuries, nay millenia old,

your action relentless until

the sunset glows on your expansive back.


Mighty tributary Pohinga joins forces

at Ashurst, a new span over doubled journeys,

and rocky is your path now, from Manawatu Gorge

unto flat plains and farmland, Whakarongo

the listening post, for Rangitane

in flood you cover and replenish,

past sprawling Palmerston North

two bridges, one old, one modern,

and humanity spills over.


Here I stand at the mouth, near Foxton

you're agape pouring into the sea, driftwood

plastic bottles, and tampons disgarded,

I fish the gut that is your belly, whitebait and gurnard

maybe a red cod or two,

seabirds swim and frollick your entity,

as boats roar around,

we all share your east/west unusualness.


Just like Bazza Crump

Mountain hut, backwater Urewera

hunters haven and a few trekkers

sitting round a cuppa billy tea

out of the bush-


"Fucks me, grand central station:"

and Crumpy roars in, pig on back.

"hey Crumpy" trampers wave,

trekkers suddenly aware who he is,

"Fucking arsehole pig, took me ages

to run it down, lost the dogs,

still in there somewhere.


Joins the crowd, whips out an old

chipped enamel mug and plies the brew,

sucks back, sits down, out with the rollies

and sets about making himself comfy,

"bita sign out the west ridge, boys."


"Hey Crumpy got a yarn?"

"yeah, of course mate, had a think out there

and the old lady and the kids

popped into mind, not seen them in months,

so writing a story for them, help them out


he managed a rare grin and related.

"that was fucking awesome Mate"

roared the throng, when the telling was done,

"and if you arseholes want another,

too fucking bad, mate,

done me dash for the night, buggered

from lugging that Captain Cooker around."


Not a day in his life was wasted

always getting up to something,

a good keen man, but an arsehole too,

tho' a legend in his own time,

a legend for the future,

I guess a lot wanna be,

just like Bazza Crumpy


One Land - A Waitangi Day thought

It stretches from 35 to 47 south,

mostly verdant green

and seen from satellites

fills a small part of a vast ocean.


Yet it's in continual motion,

volcanic upheaval,

trees sprouting and falling,

wind and sea shaping,

But from that same view,

waka and barques come

eat a plenty, strip and rape,

all who come stand agape.


Brown, yellow, black or white,

everyone in Aotearoa is the same at night,

yet this small land that all can share,

is a place that could be bare.


From the safety of lonely Space,

New Zealand is growing

yet still the same place,

all who live there should be one.


Yet some plead ancestry,

own this place,

I'd say volcanos and trees

have the most grace.


Days will come, and days will go,

people will be there

'til heaven knows,

and still this land will be a jewel.


So how is it that some are cruel,

want it all, yet plenty for most,

raise your glass and place a toast,

to the best little secret in the world.


One land, one place,

one human disgrace,

one time,

one day,

may it all go away,

one people,

one life,

Man - husband,

Land - wife,

one volcanic eruption,

gets rid of senseless strife.


Follow Thy Leaders

In the venerable House

these past tumultuous days,

the leaders of the nation

seem in a foggy haze.


They lead us well it seems,

show us how to behave,

call each other Fatty,

and one that needs to shave.


Spend minutes in the chamber

some of them are yellers,

just occassionally it appears

we can call them Black Fella's.


Not to be outdone, folks,

the ladies are earning their cash,

it seems it's alright in this country,

to call the others White Trash.


Makes you think as a Kiwi,

where will all this end?

Which part of New Zealand

do we ask God to defend?


I scratch my head in frustration

at the way we seem to be lead,

Maybe we should follow children

in the way they behave instead.


My Blood Runs Kiwi

Brash, stands guard,

his cauldron of rash statements brewing,

a clerk takes dictation

and another Clark ponders political insanity,

call a spade a spade

but don't call kiwiness into question time

in a parliament that seems to have lost focus.


Tai Tokerau, hosts of the lower marae

sack the kaumatua, the council of chiefs

devisive of how to tackle Pakeha guests,

mokopuna throw shit cakes

at suits shining black in a white sun,

Harawira rules anarchaic whare,

cast reverse aspersions on a brash whitey.


And the tangata whenua o Ao tea roa,

bask in their whare with TV and DVD,

some choose to ignore,

choose to live in the future,

choose to put down a hangi with all their mates,

Raj the grocer, Hasim the butcher, Mike the publican,

and to share his whakapapa with his pakeha wife

and his children of the new tangata whenua.


A river runs deep through all lands,

washes rubbish from the banks in flood,

touches all who feel it, see it, smell it,

that river is ever changing, yet the same,

and the blood sometimes runs blue, sometimes brown

but always, it runs a river, from it's birth

to it's journey's end at the sea,

where it becomes one, neither blue nor brown.


I walk the streets of this land,

a lost soul knowing who I am,

neither maori, pakeha, white or black,

when my blood runs in a syringe,

it runs the same colour as my neighbours,

and when my heart pumps,

it pumps to the same beat as everyone else,

and when my mind thinks,

it thinks with the blood of my heart.


Yet why can't people of this land with agendas

listen with their hearts, their blood,

before it is spilt unnecessarily on the feet of the future,

why do they need to divide, to conquer

for one and all, when one and all are not divided,

yes there are inequities, and there is the treaty,

but if the men and women of this country

tracing their roots back to the great migrations,

ever thought that things would improve,

and found they hadn't, then they'd know

their time here was wasted.


Dare we waste ours? I am a Kiwi,

I am not a New Zealander of European extraction,

nor Pakeha, but full blooded Kiwi,

I do the Haka, I sing hare krishna, I dance to reggae

and the songs of the Dutch and Chinese,

I speak passable Te Reo, know some Samoan,

have walked tall with Tongan and Nuiean,

I am a microcosm of the new New Zealand

the Ao tea roa of my blood is pride.


Yet some out there don't want me,

they don't want to be a Kiwi,

quite happy to watch Coro and talk

about the latest soccer scores,

quite happy to pray to Allah,

guard customary rights,

too many who don't want to lose their identity

by becoming like me, like us,

like people of the land,

Tangata Whenua of New Zealand,

and to me, they wear their shame

like a long white cloud.


A observation or two on human nature

Just spent the past three days

ducking high tides and fast flowing waters,

seeing farms now caked in mud

and certain misery for most,

marvel at the human spirit

in the face of tough times.


Caught snippets on the radio,

fast flowing reports of "don't go here"

or "stay away from Fielding"

"roads closed all over" and at times

people phoning in saying we made it, just!


Then you see the two minute segment

on the News and cringe at how when

Auckland has a windy day they get five

minutes of glory, and the country is

supposed to go, wow, poor people.


I sat and listened to an empty State Highway One

last night, the deathly quiet a sign

that this region is traumatised, or will be,

and Helen generously gave twenty thousand

to help, gee, that might pay for a few blankets.


But the crack up this morning was a phone call,

from the good spirited commercially minded

arsehole who owns the Warehouse in Fielding,

"we might open this morning if we can get water

for the staff coffees, and sell essentials to poor people

who suffered";

ever heard of giving?


I have been near the danger zone,

yet the danger is nothing from what I have seen

at "", photo's of others lucky

escapes, and not so fortunate tangles

with floodwaters that have engulfed lives.


This was a 1 in a 100 year event, massive

and I only talk about the Manawatu region,

Whanganui, Hawkes Bay, Wairarapa, Wellington,

and Picton now, yet nowhere on the news do

you see Aucklanders starting a relief fund,

no this isn't Bangladesh, but it may as well be.


Mountain Rail

Tucked into my tuna salad,

peered from the wide window vista

onto a northwest wind whipped landscape

of the North Cantebury Plains,

spied snowcapped peaks in the distance.


Listened to the sonata of the clickety clack

of steel wheels on a steel track, a lullaby

time flew by, soon the wide reaches

of the Waimakariri passed underneath

and rata trees and beech greened the view.


Craned my neck, left and right,

tall mountains of the Southern Divide

made this ride pale into insignificance, soon,

the little settlement of Arthurs Pass

my old hometown, way back when.


Twenty minute stop, walked a round a little,

visited the old school, the ranger station,

and the house at number two Sunrise Place,

skipped stones across a once dammed creek,

gawked at the sight in the little chapel, magic.


All aboard, and through that long long tunnel,

slept a little, lulled by the dark, and the wheelsong,

jumped alert at the other side, bright western light,

the ghost town of Otira now rotting away,

the occassional lifestyler, and hermit walking.


Across the broad green water enriched reach

of the West Coast plains, beech forrested mountains

slipping behind, and the train rolled into Greymouth,

coastal city, flooding river, flooded beer halls,

and a population born hard to be hard, secluded.


Colin McCahon paints the Fiordland Coast

This painting



from a storm-tossed



easel tilting

to manic brushstrokes


deep verdant green mountains

mottled white

of snow capped peaks


wandering albatross

black and white



a frigate grey sea


bruised black-grey clouds

skirt through


drizzle falls


splashes a picture


All material this page Copyright of Thane Zander.  Any requests for reproduction to be emailed to me at