Chat with a Living Book at Tūranga 4.30pm to 6pm, Thursday 20 October 2022

Christchurch City Libraries invites you to check out a 15-minute lounge chat with a unique and outstanding person from our community; a Living Book. Their interests cover music, art, film, social advocacy, the environment, entrepreneurship and so much more.

King Cass
Book a session with King Cass - 4.30pm, 4.45pm, 5pm, 5.30pm, 5.45pm

King Cass NZ Hip-Hop artist is slowly becoming part of the mainstream industry. He has been travelling around New Zealand spreading awareness through his music for 5 years. He recently completed his first NZ tour, “Yes We Next,” with New Zealand artist Dilz. King Cass is also connecting his music to the next generation through his presentation The Awakening.

His aim is to bring unity and raise awareness around topics at the forefront of the community and to inspire change while building his brand.

King Cass brings a unique and versatile sound of hip-hop as he dives in and shares his deepest stories through his music using a range of styles including trap and a melodic-style hip-hop. King Cass is always looking to evolve as an artist.

He is building his business, King Cass Movement Ltd, making music, sharing his traumas, his story and his journey to help people in dark places where he once was.

His future aim is to take his movement global.

More about King Cass


Kathleen Gallagher
Book a session with Kathleen Gallagher - 4.30pm, 4.45pm, 5pm, 5.30pm, 5.45pm

Kathleen Gallagher is a poet, playwright and filmmaker. She has authored 3 collections of poetry, 17 plays, 9 feature films and 2 novels.

Her radio play Charlie Bloom was a finalist in the NZ Radio Awards 1996. She received the NZ Playwrights Award in 1993 and the Sonja Davies Peace Award in 2004 for the film Tau Te Mauri Breath of Peace.

Her films Earth Whisperers - Papatuanuku and Water Whisperers - Tangaroa, Seven Rivers Walking - Haere Mārire and Rohe Kōreporepo - The Swamp The Sacred Place have played in cinemas and film festivals in Aotearoa New Zealand and around the world.

Her highly acclaimed novel Earthquakes and Butterflies was published in 2015. Her most recent novel Īnangahua Gold in 2018 was shortlisted in the NZ Heritage Book Awards 2019.

More about Kathleen Gallagher

Books by Kathleen Gallagher

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Mrs Reihana 'Doe' Parata, QSM
Book a session with Mrs Reihana 'Doe' Parata, QSM - 4.30pm, 4.45pm, 5pm, 5.30pm, 5.45pm

Born and raised on the Banks Peninsula, Reihana grew up in Rāpaki, a Māori settlement about 5km south west of Lyttelton. Known to many as Aunty Doe, she was one of many children from Rāpaki that attended school at Lyttelton West Primary.

It was during her childhood she developed her love of the arts through sewing and Māori weaving, skills that would later be of great value to her, her whānau and her community. Kapa Haka (Māori performing arts) played a big part of her early years and it was as a member of Whetū Ariki that she met her future husband Te Pura-o-te-Rangi Parata from the small settlement of Puketeraki, in North Otago. However they weren’t to marry until after Aunty Doe returned from a teacher aid position at Whareponga.

Once married the whānau first moved to Te Papaioea | Palmerston North and then Rotorua. It was here that Aunty Doe became great friends with many renowned Māori weavers including Digger Te Kanawa, Emily Schuster and their whānau.

Upon returning to Christchurch, she was appointed Matron of Te Waipounamu Māori Girls’ College in 1978, a position she held until the close of the college in 1989 by the Hāhi Mihinare | Māori Anglican Church. During her time as Matron, Aunty Doe’s sewing and weaving skills were put to good use from designing, producing school travelling uniforms to kapa haka uniforms and even marching uniforms.

Following the close of the school, Aunty Doe and her whānau returned to Rāpaki where she still lives today. It is here that her love of weaving has truly grown, inspired by the environment that surrounds her Aunty Doe embraces innovation of design, pattern and materials which are evident in her work.

“I like to try different materials – some say don’t mix the sea with the land, but I don’t believe that. It’s like a marriage, you’re both different and you come together and it works” laughs Aunty Doe and continues “I like to put pounamu with pāua and pounamu with feathers… I do that a lot on [kapa haka] uniforms because of their beauty and [they reflect the] past – that was our people – in doing this I’m showing the audience that we are keeping alive the traditions of our people.”

Examples of her work are seen in her many projects, from kete muka | finely woven fibre bags to kākahu and korowai | various forms of cloaks, to the vibrant tukutuku | lattice work panels she designed for her Marae at Rāpaki.

But she admits her biggest love is the creation of kapa haka uniforms, noting “creating uniforms comes from within – I’d often go to bed and be thinking about how I can make this uniforms different from others and then wake up in the middle of the night with an idea. In the morning I’m up at first light looking for materials to create the design that had come to me.” Aunty Doe adds “I feel a sense of pride that I am keeping these taonga alive and that [through my mahi I’m] bringing the knowledge and history of our people to life in my work.”

Mrs Reihana ‘Doe’ Parata was awarded the Queens Service Medal in 1990 for Public Services and Ngā Tohu ā Tā Kingi Ihaka in 2003 for recognition of her contribution to strengthening the continuity of Māori culture through her support to ngā toi Māori | Māori Art. She is a member of Te Rōpū Raranga Whatu o Aotearoa – National Collective of Māori Weavers and appointed a member of Te Kāhui Whiritoi – Master Weavers of Aotearoa in 2008.

In recent years she has contributed to collective pieces she created with Morehu Henare including Te Haka a Rūaimoko – a panel created in remembrance of the Christchurch earthquakes, tukutuku | lattice work panels for Environment Canterbury, and more recently Ngā Whāriki Manaaki | woven mats of welcome – as series of 13 creatively designed Māori weaving patterns featured along the river walk of Ōtākaro | Avon River, including the Bridge of Remembrance.

More about Mrs Reihana 'Doe' Parata


Denis O'Connor
Book a session with Denis O'Connor - 4.30pm, 4.45pm, 5pm, 5.30pm, 5.45pm

My name is Denis O’Connor and I would describe myself (at aged 80) actively retired and busy at home with my family, gardening, and household tasks. I have been a lifelong advocate for a variety of causes and issues associated with social justice, and continue to contribute wherever I am able – motivated by my strong belief that all human beings deserve to share equally in the bounties and beauty of our planet.

As a boy I wanted to be a medical doctor caring for the sick, as I had poor health then and our family doctor was very kind. Early in my life I was (and still am) strongly challenged by teachings about social justice in the Bible, despite some of its teachings being backwards and chauvinistic in various ways. I trained to become an Industrial Chaplain, but found myself more and more convinced that working people in this country needed a strong labour union movement more than they needed chaplaincy. I have since learnt, though never enough, about social justice in other religions such as Islam, and continue to be inspired by the writings of activists like Noam Chomsky and John Pilger – all of which continue to challenge me to avoid perpetuating injustices against others.

I have dedicated a lot of my time to pursuing justice for those persecuted or treated unfairly both overseas and in Aotearoa New Zealand. Today I am still moved by, and work in solidarity with, the sufferings and courage of West Papuan and Palestinian citizens being persecuted in their countries. Some of my proudest moments have been leading a successful strike against the CEO of the Department of Labour in the mid-1990s as a union delegate. I am also proud of the work I have helped with Keep Our Assets Canterbury (KOA) to advocate for local and regional government bodies to maintain public control of assets and services. I remain a member of Keep Our Assets, Palestine Solidarity Network Aotearoa, Spreydon Neighbourhood Network, Canterbury Socialist Society, and the local West Papua support group.

The greatest challenge in this work has always been the same – finding likeminded people to recruit and work with, achieving mainstream publicity for our causes, and being able to successfully challenge governments and companies to change the way they are operating. If I was starting over I would hope to sooner realise the importance of local justice and peace groups/movements and join them. I would aim to work with people fighting against institutional neglect and injustice shown towards Māori and Pasifika peoples, and I would be a vocal critic of a great deal of organised religion for ignoring poverty and injustice in Aotearoa New Zealand and Abroad. I would want to belong to a political movement that advocates for democratic socialism as a better way to organise our society.


Frankie MacKay
Book a session with Frankie MacKay - 4.30pm, 4.45pm, 5pm, 5.30pm, 5.45pm

As a child I enjoyed playing any sport I could and ended up representing my country in cricket, the sport that captured my heart.

I have played 60 games across both formats (t20 and one day) for New Zealand in a career that started in 2011. It has been an up and down career, experiencing the highs of travel to countries I never would have travelled to without cricket and playing multiple world cups to the lows of prolonged periods out of the side due to injuries and non selection. In 2022 I was selected and competed in the Women's Cricket World Cup held in Aotearoa/ New Zealand. When I finally took the field on 7 March 2022 it had been 3,307 days since my last One Day World Cup appearance on 15 February 2013. The chance to play in a home world cup was a dream come true and whilst we didn’t win, some of my fondest and proudest memories of my career are from that tournament.

I can vividly remember watching the 2000 Women's World Cricket Cup played in NZ and dreamed of having the chance to do that in my career. To do so was truly special.

Over the last 15 years playing for Canterbury I have seen the sport move from being completely amateur, to televised games, to being semi professional and now for those on New Zealand Z contracts the ability to be fully professional.

I am exceptionally proud to be Canterbury’s captain, to have played over 100 matches for Canterbury in each of the formats and be the holder of domestic records, hopefully I will be able to knock off a couple more before I finish my career.

I have been very lucky to have had some excellent coaches and mentors along the way. Current Blackcaps coach Gary Stead had a huge influence on the early stages of my career. Hopefully, I can have that same influence myself on future players as coaching is something I have been heavily involved in since high school. I am passionate about increasing the visibility of women in sport and encouraging and developing the next generation of cricketers.

Outside of playing cricket myself I am a passionate librarian with Christchurch City Libraries, a television cricket commentator and very recently a radio host. Cricket commentary is something I never dreamed would be possible as a kid so I relish every opportunity to sit in the best seats in the house chatting cricket whilst also trying to smash some glass ceilings for women in sports media.


Wade Blackler
Book a session with Wade Blackler - 4.30pm, 4.45pm, 5pm, 5.30pm, 5.45pm

I was introduced to homebrewing through my mates and from there my interest grew into a passion. My sister and brother-in-law bought some property, planted some English cider apple trees and we decided to have a crack at large scale cider production. What started as a 2000liter batch snowballed to where we are today. Being able to create a unique product that’s both sourced and sold in our local environment is important to me.

The things I love about this enterprise are that I am my own boss and it’s really exciting when people like and buy my product. Being awarded a Bronze at the NZ Cider Award for our Ginger Pippin in the first year of production was pretty special too.

Initially it was hard as in my case I was working two jobs while trying to grow a business in an industry that I was new to. I was highly influenced by Richard Emerson aka “the Hopfather” and pretty much every other small fish in a big sea that accomplishes their goals

I believe in reasons and seasons. Learning as we go and making mistakes along the way is the only way we’ve gained the wisdom and know how to streamline production/ make things better for our business.

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