Good evening folks, just wanted to advise that if you’re in NYC in February you may be interested in attending the movie My Year With Helen, which will be screened at 6pm in the Held Auditorium at Barnard College in NYC on February 23rd.

My Year With Helen is a feature length documentary by esteemed NZ director Gaylene Preston, who spent a year observing former Prime Minister Helen Clark’s bid for UN Secretary-General.

While we all know the eventual outcome, the film goes deep behind the scenes to reveal gender politics in the United Nations and is proving to be a galvanizing influence for women as well as a source of pride for New Zealanders. It also has moments of typically appealing kiwi humour, like the scenes with Helen looking after her father by putting 90 meals in his freezer.

The film has been selected for the Athena Film Festival, a prestigious festival of women’s films held annually at Barnard College.

Helen Clark and Gaylene Preston will be in attendance and will have a Q&A session after the screening. The Q&As at other places have proven lively, inspiring and stimulating events, with Helen saying things like “now that I’m free, I’m a dangerous woman”, revealing her inspirational and funny side.

More information can be found on the Facebook page

With reviews, images, and news stories on the website:
Tickets are available here



Good morning folks, and happy new year.

Wondering if anyone can help with suggestions or ideas for the daughter and son in law of Des O’Brien. I’ve known Des since 1983 and he has been a great supporter of things New Zealand over the years, and now I’d like to help his daughter Charlotte and son in law Lee.

Charlotte (originally from Connecticut) and her husband Lee McNeish (originally from Edinburgh) are moving to Wellington in February after being accepted to Victoria University.

Charlotte will study in the expedited graduate program and Lee is planning to begin doctoral research in the following year with Maori science fiction writers and artists as the genre pertains to future-orientated political and national projects.

Charlotte attended Edinburgh University and has lived there for the last six years. While there she received her Master of Arts and Master of Science by Research in social anthropology.

She specialized in political and legal anthropology with focuses on migration and human rights and through her studies, in particular while researching her MSc dissertation, developed an interest in the political process and a desire to engage with policy making that has driven her decision to study law at the graduate level.

The decision to study in New Zealand was motivated in part by her anthropological interests; as she says…..”New Zealand has a unique legal system and culture, and I believe many of its particular institutions and questions resonate beyond its borders. I hope in the coming year to undertake an internship with the Waitangi Tribunal and, further down the line, work with the Maori Land Courts before continuing studies in international law. I also believe that the Land Courts hold broader applications for similar legal circumstances in other countries, and I am confident this experience would be beneficial in an international context.”

This is a major move for both these young people and I was wondering if anyone has suggestions or ideas for grants/scholarships and introductions to academics in the Wellington area. If so, please reply directly to Charlotte at

Thanks and regards