As long as the government continues to see farmers as polluters instead of producers, there will be no solution. –Samuel Dutschmann

Thanks to our June speaker Mike Styles

Mike Styles – Dyslexia – why we should all care.

On a cold night in July Mike gave an excellent, well-illustrated talk to 27 people on this major mental health issue.

Dyslexics have problems with reading, writing and spelling which holds back often highly intelligent and talented people. 10% of the population inherit these challenges. There is a long list of outstanding people who have had triumphed with dyslexia from Leonard da Vinci, Einstein and Churchill to Picasso, Agatha Christie and Richard Taylor. Where people can get help and support they do well, but sadly most don’t get that assistance.

Most dyslexics go undiagnosed and over the years in New Zealand hundreds of thousands of people have never achieved anywhere near their potential. Not surprisingly 50% of prison inmates have dyslexia. Many schools, businesses and trade organization do a great job supporting dyslexics, but how about at the national level? The reality is there is no legislative framework that covers dyslexia!

It is seems inevitable that physical health gets much more attention than mental health and neurological issues. In the New Zealand work force there are possibly 350,000 who are dyslexic, and unfortunately it is largely an invisible and unacknowledged condition, and the social and economic costs are huge. As researcher Olivia Williamson observes: “People don’t care about what they cannot see.” If 500,000 Kiwis had Monkeypox that would be big news. How about half a million New Zealanders with dyslexia?

If you wish to get Mike’s book, which I thoroughly recommend, here are the bank details:

M and L Styles : 38-9000-0094634-01 : The price is $40 + $7 packaging and post.

E-mail your name and address to

The Speaker for August 9: John Robinson on Kohimarama 1860

An introduction from John. “The decades following the 1840 Treaty of Waitangi were a time of cultural transformation for Maori, from warring tribes to become part of a unified nation with a new rule of law.  It was a time of challenge for the British Governors, the incoming settlers and the missionaries who were introducing humanitarian colonisation, to increase the freedom and security of Maori without undue force.

The success of those efforts was to bring problems, as when the slaves who were set free by Waikato to return to Taranaki were angry that the land had been sold in their absence.  The peace also allowed others like Te Atiawa, to move from Waikanae to their former lands in Taranaki.

The hesitant nature of colonisation, refusing to force a completely new culture on Maori, also had unintended consequences.  Many Maori in Taranaki and the Waikato wanted more British involvement, to bring the law.  The king movement in the Waikato began with the aim of setting up a Maori local government, but then changed to an aggressive separatist threat to the new nation.

In 1860, conflict had begun in Taranaki with the support of Waikato warriors, despite the peaceful wishes of the “king”, Te Wherowhero. Rebellion was threatened.

It was then that a great meeting of chiefs, from across the country, was held at Kohimarama (actually Mission Bay in Auckland).  We can read thewords, of those who were living through those times of change.  They recognised the handing over of sovereignty to Britain and celebrated the coming of Christianity, and voiced their deep concern that war might come to their country.  There was no support for the rebels, and a wish to find a way to peace.

There is much to learn here of the experiences and thoughts of the time, to correct the current stories of wrongs of colonisation, and to recognise how all New Zealanders were coming to work together.

  • Tuesday 9 August, starting at 7.30pm sharp.
  • Kapiti Uniting Church, 10 Weka Road, Raumati Beach
  • In the hall beyond the main door and up a small set of steps.
  • A koha would be appreciated.

The September 27 talk

Roger Childs on Enlightenment or indoctrination? What will Year 1- 10 school kids be learning about NZ History in 2023?

The concept of having New Zealand History taught to all students was greeted with enthusiasm in late 2019. However when a very selective list of possible topics was released, concerns were expressed. Auckland University’s Professor Paul Moon summed up the feelings of many: Of course there are risks that, if done poorly, compulsory history in our schools could veer into the realm of indoctrination.  

The programme for the last three months of 2022

October 11 – Larry Keim – Serving with the UN in Western Sahara (To be confirmed.)

November 8 – Mark Dickson – The changing Kapiti Coastline 

December 13 – David Hadfield – Barry Hadfield – first mayor of the Kapiti District 

If you have any suggestions for speakers let one of us know. We are following up a suggestion for next year made by Josette.

Hope to see you on Tuesday. It would be great to get a good crowd.

Best wishes

Roger Childs, Gordon Dickson and Larry Keim