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A fifth-generation New Zealander, Christine Cole Catley has forebears from England and Scotland and a Swedish great-grandfather. Most of them were sheep farmers and she grew up on a North Island sheep farm not far from the small town named after another of her great-grandfathers, James Bull. It is 'the only place where you can get milk from Bulls'. She went to university in the South Island, spent most of her working life in Wellington as a journalist, advertising copywriter (it was she who came up with the name kiwiberry), television critic, broadcaster and teacher of journalism, then went south again. Now based in Auckland she writes, runs writers' workshops, reads, works as a book publisher, gardens, and goes out on the water whenever she can - that's when she's not travelling. Her three children all live overseas, and she is on her fifth passport. Simon Nicholson grew up in Rotorua, where a good deal of his early life was occupied with providing instruction on the art of riding Rotorua's famous 'luge'. He also became expert at constructing ad hoc travel itineraries for tourists eager to see as much of New Zealand as possible inside 10 days. At present on his Overseas Experience completing doctoral work in Washington, D.C., he spends his free time fielding questions about The Lord of the Rings, and searching for bars that screen rugby matches.
'Brilliant work which shows great insight into the beliefs and fables of New Zealanders in both a contemporary and historical context, in a humorous way which reflects the Kiwi ability to laugh at themselves I am sure there isn't a New Zealander around who couldn't recognize the traits portrayed in either themselves or people they know. I also have no doubt that in time the guide will be seen as an important historical resource - where else can you find accurate and pertinent data spanning generations of New Zealanders in just 63 pages! The authors are to be congratulated for truly encapsulating the Kiwi trait of being able to laugh at themselves. The most hilarious book I have read in ages.' -- Reviewer from New Zealand 'Nostalgia and Laughs! As a critical Kiwi I thought this was a fantastic book, a real treasure. I had no idea there was so many mannerisms and thoughts I have that are so particular to the Kiwi way of life. Felt very nostalgic at times and felt homesick, but laughed just as much. Could not put it down, will make sure my English friends and family read it so they understand me better!' -- Review from 'a London Kiwi' 'I bought this as a humorous overview for my American girlfriend to read to perhaps explain some of my passions and idiosyncrasies as well as prepare her for a visit to NZ. I'm not disappointed by anything written in the book and hardly find anything in it terribly critical - if anything it underplays our OCD with beating Australia in Rugby & Cricket, and the national distaste for politicians, try-hards and wannabes. Buy this confident that it will raise some smiles and deliver some real, informal insight into our national psyche.' -- Review from 'a San Francisco Kiwi' 'As a Kiwi I found this look on the Kiwi culture brilliant. It's been a while since I lived there and I think it captured the Kiwi pioneering spirit superbly. A good read for Kiwis and for those wanting to understand the Kiwi culture.' -- Review from 'debsm'