New Zealand News Bulletin March 25, 2018

“INTRODUCING JOHN ROYAL” – My name is John Maori Royal and I moved to Long Island NY, after marrying New York attorney Cara Morsello in 1993. Like many of us Kiwi kids, I grew up on our 300 acre farm which also includes a half mile of coast line. A small coastal fishing and farming village called Kaiaua, located 50 miles south east of Auckland. It is so rural even today the nearest general store is still 3 miles north and 10 miles south of the farm. As most of you already know, a farm kid’s life begins around 6am with the daily round up of cows for milking. At about 7:30am after my morning chores, I would change my farm clothes and walk a half mile down our private road to the main road to catch the bus at 8am for the 10 mile ride to Kaiaua school.  Before I caught the bus each morning, I would hang my gumboots upside down on a fence post to keep them dry. Most kids went barefoot to school even in winter. My free time was spent playing backyard rugby, tramping in the bush and harvesting or digging clams (pipi & tuatau) mussels, oysters and sea urchin. Fishing for snapper, whitebait and eels on a balmy summer afternoon was the life for a country kid. Those were indeed the happiest of times.

Fast forward to 2018, I have 3 American born kids or A-Maori-Cans as I call them. Franesca is a economics and a Public Policy major at Hunter College in NYC and Nicky is an art student at FIT and Gian is a junior in high school. I am in ground operations (30 years) and the only New Zealander working at any of the New York City Airports. After retiring from club rugby, I got the itch to give back to the game and I started the first youth rugby program on Long Island in 2003. Hundreds of kids have gone through my program and one player made it all the way as an All American player for the USA u16’s team.  My youth rugby team is called the Long Island Colts, open to all kids and ages.

 My latest rugby coaching project is with Long Island University Post. I was attracted to the coaching job because women’s rugby is an official NCAA sport and it shows how much rugby has grown in the USA. As head coach I am responsible for all aspects of the women’s rugby program, including: rugby scholarships and recruitment of qualified student-athletes. My latest prospective recruit is a female rugby player from Southland in 2019, stay tuned…

 John can be contacted at


“CONVERSATION STARTER” Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s royal wedding cake is being baked at the Violet Bakery in East London’s Hackney. The shop is owned by Californian pastry chef Claire Ptak and the head baker is Izaak Adams who hails from Timaru.


ANZAC DAY 2018” – PLEASE NOTE – The dawn service will be held at the Vietnam War Memorial  – 55 Water St, New York, NY 10041 on Wednesday April 25th.  It is also worth noting that the 12th of October 1917 was New Zealand’s darkest day when 846 young New Zealander’s were killed in the Battle of  Passchendaele in Belgium, with many more to die over the coming days from the wounds received on this one day. By the end of the day the total number of casualties, the wounded, the dead and the missing was 2,740. It took two and a half days to clear the battlefield of the dead and injured.

The Passchendaele Society is now proud to announce the release of our Video Documentary of the story of Nga pua mahara – the Passchendaele Centennial Memorial & Garden from conception through to completion and opening on 12th October 2017. Please click on the link below to view the documentary.


“CONGRATULATIONS FELLOW NZer ANDREW BRITT” – Originally from Christchurch Andrew is an assistant coach of New York’s first professional rugby team (Rugby United New York – RUNY) and helped guide them to a convincing win over Boston on Saturday night at Gaelic Park in the Bronx. The team had great crowd support with over 1000 attendees including many fellow NZer’s and their children. Roll on next year when RUNY will be part of the Major League Rugby competition. More information here –


“THE NEW ALLBIRDS SNEAKER…..TREE” – This new sneaker called Tree, which is woven largely out of fibre made from eucalyptus pulp. The ‘Tree’ shoe has laces made from recycled plastic bottles, an insole derived from castor beans, and eyelets based on plant starch. To create the eucalyptus fabric, wood pulp is dissolved in a nontoxic bath that turns it into tufts of downy fibre, called Tencel. For more information, check out this story from the latest New Yorker magazine.


If you have anything you’d like included in upcoming news bulletin’s, please let me know.


Author: GBA

Retired New Zealand/American/British citizen living in New York City.

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