Category: What’s on

Family History Month

Join us at the Palmerston North City Library for Family History Month in August! We have a range of activities, from a research help-desk for genealogy queries to talks about DNA, research using library resources, and even a documentary film screening.

You can find the complete programme on the Library website.

Pasifika Fusion and The Dawn Raids

This year it’s the 20th anniversary of the Pasifika Fusion Festival!  

The 2024 secondary school Pasifika Fusion festival takes place on July 3-4 at the Regent. Pasifika Fusion is a celebration of many Pacific cultures and comprises cultural performances, essay writing, wearable arts, poetry and many other cool things! 

The theme this year is Triumphant Pasifika Legacies: A Reflection on the Dawn Raids. Pasifika youth can engage in activities that honour the struggles and resilience of past generations who were impacted by the Dawn Raids while contributing to a positive and inclusive futures for Pasifika peoples in New Zealand and beyond.  

On the 23rd of April the library was delighted to receive a donation of Pasifika Fusion festival DVDs and Pasifika Fusion Founder Tiana Faulolo’s thesis ‘How Pacific Leadership contributes to educational community development in Aotearoa, New Zealand’ for the library archives. These wonderful taonga will add to the history archived for this region.  

For the presentation in the Central Library, Pasifika Fusion committee members were joined by special guests Polynesian Panthers Dr Lupematasila Misatauveve Melani Anae, Rev. Alec Toeafoa and Tigilau Ness.   

For further information about The Dawn Raids check out these books and links to online resources. 

Once a Panther: Our history. Our words. ( 

Six-part podcast series marks the 50th anniversary of the Polynesian Panthers, a movement that sprung up in response to the systemic racism experienced by Pasifika in the 70s. 

Dawn Raids in the Archive ( 

On the 50th anniversary of the Dawn Raids, a look at how the events are represented in the Ngā Taonga Sound and Vision archive.  

Read the Rainbow

Each June the City Library supports the awareness campaigns and amazing mahi of InsideOUT Kōaro, a national charity providing education, resources, consultation and support for anything concerning rainbow and takatāpui communities. 

School’s Pride Week runs from 17-21 June and celebrates rainbow staff, students and whānau across the country. In 2023, a record 300+ schools from around Aotearoa took part, including over 60% of all Secondary Schools.

The Out on the Shelves campaign not only helps to connect rainbow young people with their stories and with each other, but also contributes to  rainbow visibility and inclusion in our schools and communities. Aspiring writers are encouraged to submit to the Rainbow Storytelling Competition and have their voices heard.

This year, the City Library has created an exciting Read the Rainbow Reading Challenge to explore stories by and for the rainbow communities and allies. Join through the online reading platform Beanstack to start earning badges that will enter you into spot prize draws and help you complete the challenge. Open to anyone 13yrs and over, Read the Rainbow is available 17 June – 31 October 2024.

Looking for inspiration? Visit the Out on the Shelves online reading resource or search the library catalogue with the keyword ‘LGBTQIA’

School Holidays July 2024

Heaps of great school holiday activities are planned for July! Here are just some of the things that are happening:

Beanstack Reading Challenge – ‘Palmy Kids Read NZ’s Best 3’ featuring activities connected to the NZ Children and Young Adults book awards finalists.

Alan Dingley visits Central on Thursday 11 July with a session bringing picture books alive.

A storytime session at Central ‘What’s the time Mr Wolf’ on Thursday 18 July.

And the wonderful Canine Friends visit all libraries again. 

Visit the City Library’s What’s On page to keep up to date with all the cool activities!

Writers and Readers Winter Series 2024

A celebration of writers, readers, ideas and all things literature.

Palmerston North City Library is excited to bring you the Writers and Readers Winter Series.

The series is a fantastic showcase of amazing talent from Manawatū, and the best and brightest from throughout Aotearoa.

It promises to deliver a smorgasbord of activities that will spark creativity and passion for literature.

Lovers of literature will be able to enjoy free events featuring a star-studded writers line-up.

Guests include the award-winning Cynric Temple-Camp, Minnie Baragwanath, Sue McCauley and Saige England.

The Manawatu is also home to amazingly talented local writers and creatives, and it is great to be able to celebrate their talent, hear more about their latest work and glean ideas and inspiration for emerging writers.

We gather diverse and exciting local writers including Carole Brungar, Miriam Sharland and Bing Turkby.

The series showcases the library as a hub of creativity, delivering high quality, free programmes for and with the community.

Some sessions have limited numbers so check the website for registration details.

Check out the full programme online here.

Matariki | Puanga 2024

On Friday June 28, the public holiday for Matariki | Puanga is observed. While we celebrate Matariki | Puanga on one day, it is actually a period of days in the lunar month of Pipiri. Matariki | Puanga signifies ‘Te Mātahi o te Tau’ or the ‘Māori New Year’. Nationally, the holiday is generally referred to as Matariki, but Rangitāne o Manawatū traditionally give prominence to Puanga, an important star near the Matariki cluster that can be easier to see in this part of the motu. Matariki | Puanga is a time to remember those who have passed, celebrate the present and plan for the future. Check out our Kaupapa Māori webpage for a great list of resources, information and activities!

Pink Shirt Day

Pink Shirt Day is the day Aotearoa comes together to take a stand against bullying. The Mental Health Foundation of New Zealand (MHFNZ) has run the campaign since 2012, inspiring tangata to Kōrero Mai, Kōrero Atu, Mauri Tū, Mauri Ora – Speak Up, Stand Together, Stop Bullying!

It’s about creating a community where all people feel safe, valued and respected, regardless of gender identity, sexual orientation, age, ability, religion or cultural background. For more information, visit the Pink Shirt Day website. The City Library has many of the titles reviewed and recommended.

Vanya Insull (VJ Cooks) – Q&A

VJ Cooks is coming to the City Library!

Vanya Insull lives in Taupō, New Zealand. She is a passionate foodie who loves cooking, baking, sharing recipes and of course – eating! In November 2016, Vanya founded the VJ cooks Facebook page which quickly amassed a large following. From there, Vanya set up her own website which now has over 500 recipes (and counting!) with average daily views of over 25,000 from visitors across the globe.

On Friday May 24, Vanya will be conversing with the City Library’s own resident cooking enthusiast Alex Johnston.

We’re thrilled to have Vanya be our second participant in the soon-to-be-huge Questions & Authors series. Here are her Qs and As:

Q. What’s your favourite book right now?

A. I just read The Women by Kristen Hannah. It was so good, 5 stars from me.

Q. And what about when you were a child?

A. I love Alison Holst’s cookbooks. 

Q. What’s your earliest writing memory?

A. I don’t really consider myself a writer, but I started writing recipes down in a notebook about 7 years ago. 

Q. Do you have a favourite font for writing in? And revising? (Or do you write by hand?)

A. I just scribble the recipes by hand then type them up for my website or cookbook later on. 

Q. Top tip(s) for aspiring authors?

A. Content is king when it comes to sharing recipes so just keep sharing them on social media. 

Q. If you had the opportunity to travel to any country in the world to research food and drink, where would you go and why?

A. I would love to go to Thailand and do some cooking classes there, I love Thai food. 

Q. What is your favourite back-pocket recipe for an instant dinner?

A. What’s in the fridge pasta. I can make a tasty meal with just a few ingredients.

Q. Who would your dream dinner guest be and what would you cook them?

A. I would love to cook for my late grandparents and show them my success and how far I had come from being a plain and picky eater when I was a kid. 

Q. What is your most treasured food memory?

A. The cooking class I did when I was in Greece last year was very special. 

Q. Who are your food heroes/greatest influences and why?

A. I love to follow what other cooks create on Instagram. My faves are Gaby Dalkin, Donal Skehan and Half Baked Harvest. 

Q. What are the ingredients and flavours you could not live without?

A. My favourite flavour combos are: Garlic and Rosemary. Raspberries and Chocolate. Pasta and cream haha. 

Miriam Sharland – Q&A

Miriam Sharland’s eco-memoir Heart Stood Still launches at Central Library on May 9 at 6pm.

Heart Stood Still is a record of Sharland’s journey towards finding healing in the world’s natural beauty, a beauty that we must fight to protect in the current climate crisis. It is both a memoir and a lyrical portrait of Manawatū.

Miriam Sharland is a writer and editor focusing on creative non-fiction, travel, biography/memoir and natural history. Based in England and Aotearoa New Zealand, her essays, reviews and features have appeared in numerous books, journals, magazines and newspapers, and online. Heart Stood Still is her first book.

Thanks to Miriam for being the first author to submit to our “Questions & Authors” segment! Here are her answers to some burning questions:

Q. What’s your favourite book right now? And what about when you were a child?

A. My favourite book is Robert Macfarlane’s The Old Ways. It’s a lovely combination of nature writing and travelogue that explores the connection between landscape and the heart. I especially like the sections about the English South Downs, close to where I come from, and Macfarlane’s exploration of the life of Edward Thomas, poet and WW1 soldier. Last year I followed the footsteps of my WW2 airman uncle around England and this book was influential on my writing that story.

As a child I loved Alice in Wonderland, and still do. We had a vinyl recording of it that we used to listen to as a family in the living room of my childhood home. Alice always takes me back to my childhood.

Q. What’s your earliest writing memory? Either something you wrote, or when you met an established author, etc.

A. My earliest writing memory is writing stories in English class at junior school in England. Specifically, feeling disappointed for getting a lower grade when I attempted to write comedy. I learnt my lesson, I think!

Q. Do you have a favourite font for writing in? And revising? (Or do you write by hand?)

A. I like Calibri – it’s nice and clean. I do sometimes scribble in a notebook but I find a keyboard a lot easier.

Q. Top tip(s) for aspiring authors?

A. I didn’t really start writing properly until I did my Master of Creative Writing at Massey. I learnt that writing is a craft that has to be worked at. I also had deadlines which were great because I tend to procrastinate. And, persevere – the first publisher I sent Heart Stood Still to turned it down.

Q. Heart Stood Still follows the seasons, do you have a favourite season?

A. I like all the seasons but my favourites are spring in Aotearoa, and summer in England.

Q. As a cyclist what is your destination of choice?

A. Girona – I visited last year for the first time and fell in love with it. Smooth wide roads, courteous drivers, masses of cyclists, beautiful scenery, fabulous history, great bike shops. It’s home to a lot of professional cyclists and is cycling heaven.

I also love Copenhagen. 98% of locals get around by bike – and the pastries are to die for.

Q. During Covid you explored places you had never been to or seen properly. What were some of the highlights?

A. Discovering fungi foraging sites was exciting! I became obsessed with mushrooms. The calming effect of sitting in a little bamboo grove by the Turitea Stream was another.

Mysterious Manawatū – Ngaio Marsh Awards author talk

The Ngaio Marsh Awards, in association with the Palmerston North City Library, invites booklovers to a thrilling free event featuring four talented local authors.

2023 Ngaios finalist Riley Chance is joined by past Acorn Prize for Fiction shortlistee Gigi Fenster, and fellow 2024 Ngaio Marsh Awards entrants GB Ralph and Bing Turkby, for a criminally good conversation about the art of storytelling, how to craft memorable characters, the importance of setting and weaving in real-life issues, and what drew each of them to mystery and thriller writing.

WHEN: Friday 3 May 2024
WHERE: Central Library, Ground Floor
WHEN: 6pm for a 6.15pm panel

FREE entry, refreshments provided.

GB Ralph is an engineering consultant in Palmerston North and author of cosy mysteries and gay romcoms. The second novel in his Milverton Mysteries series, POISON AT PENSHAW HALL, was an #1 Audible category bestseller, and was nominated for Best Overall Mystery/Thriller in the 2023 Queer Indie Awards. GB Ralph’s books on the Library catalogue.

Bing Turkby is a Manawatū writer, librarian, and musician. He is the author of the ‘Guitar Store Mysteries’ series of cosy crime novels, set in a fictionalized version of Palmerston North. Bing writes stories with a 95% chance of guitars and a 45% chance of cats. Bing Turkby’s books on the Library catalogue.

Gigi Fenster is an award-winning novelist, short story writer, and Massey University academic who has taught law and creative writing. Her latest novel, the psychological thriller A GOOD WINTER, won the 2021 Michael Gifkins Award, and was shortlisted for the Acorn Prize for Fiction at the 2022 Ockham NZ Book Awards. Gigi Fenster’s books on the Library catalogue.

Riley Chance is an author and management consultant who’s been a Senior Lecturer at Massey University. He writes a near-future series of thrillers featuring journalist Grace Marks. His latest thriller THE DEMOCRACY GAME explores the growing threat of alt-right groups. Riley Chance’s books on the Library catalogue.