We live in a world where natural disasters are unexpected. They creep up on normal people, living everyday lives underneath the cloud of a global economic crises aftermath. While making do, the best way they know how, a natural disaster like a tornado tests the mettle of survival.

Here’s a story that moved me. If we can help, please do. The story is: “On Sunday, a massive tornado plowed through southern Missouri, leaving thousands without homes in the densely occupied city of Joplin. At least 89 are confirmed to be dead.

Kerry Sachetta, principal of Joplin High School, described the physical damage to the Associated Press:

“You see pictures of World War II, the devastation and all that with the bombing. That’s really what it looked like… I couldn’t even make out the side of the building. It was total devastation in my view. I just couldn’t believe what I saw.”

Missouri’s State Emergency Management Agency is encouraging all who can to donate funds or commit to volunteer in the short-term or long-term recovery efforts.

Clearly, Missouri needs a prayer or ten to get them through this disaster. Much love, from NZ being sent to Missouri peeps. Stay strong.

[Photo via the AP]

~Posted by Horiwood.Com, Aotearoa New Zealand, Polynesia Asia-Pacific.



New Zealand has a very distinctive Kiwi-pop sound. Here’s a blast from the past from Don McGlashan in his years in the band The Mutton Birds.

Even the harmonies of the band are performed in angsty Kiwi-pop tones. A classic Kiwi sound.

Enjoy A Thing Well Made. A song about a man working in a sportshop. It demonstrates the Kiwi art of songwriting, while performing at one end of the country (Auckland City) and considering the folks down south in Westland or Canterbury. This is a Kiwi artform all on its own. We call it, Kiwi Bush Telegraph of arts and culture.

Song lyrics follow, after the jump

~Posted by Horiwood.Com, Aotearoa New Zealand, Polynesia Asia-Pacific. 25.5.11~ Read the rest of this entry »



With it’s fair share of drama and entertainment highlights and scandals, the Cannes film festival 2011 announced its winners this week.

The Hollywood Reporter shares that Robert De Niro’s jury planted Terrence Malick’s The Tree of Life in Festival de Cannes history by awarding it the coveted Palme d’Or at a closing ceremony Sunday night.

Danish filmmaker Nicolas Winding Refn was named best director for his automotive thriller Drive.

Kirsten Dunst was named best actress for her performance in Lars von Trier’s Melancholia as a depressed woman whose wedding is overshadowed by the approaching end of the world. The film, which will be released stateside by Magnolia, was in danger of being eclipsed by the controversy that erupted when von Trier jokingly boasted of being a Nazi during a press conference and then was declared persona non grata by the festival.

Von Trier, a past winner of the Palme d’Or was banned from attending the festival for his comment. On accepting her award, Dunst, who begin life on Hollywood’s big screen as a child turned vampire with Brad Pitt said, “Thank you so much. Wow — what a week it’s been,” Dunst said.

“This is an honor that’s once in a lifetime. Thank you to the Cannes Film Festival for allowing the film to still be in Competition.”

French actor Jean Dujardin made himself heard among the jury though he doesn’t speak a word in Michel HazaniviciusThe Artist, earning himself the prize for best actor. The film is about the demise of a silent movie actor’s career crumbling when sound was introduced to film.

A powerful metaphor, for the age of the internet and media being transmitted online more and more, perhaps in our modern times.

[Photograph - Brad Pitt star of the winning film, Tree of Life, is pictured here with Angelina Jolie. Pic via CG].

~Posted by Horiwood.Com, Aotearoa New Zealand, Polynesia Asia-Pacific. 25.5.11~



About two weeks ago, a voyage left Tauranga Port to explore the ocean depths of the Kermadec.

What was discovered was the Zebra Lionfish (Dendrochirus zebra).

Press play for a marine biology lesson.

(The wonders of the world, beneath the sea, aye?!) Amazing.

~Posted by Horiwood.Com, Aotearoa New Zealand, Polynesia Asia-Pacific. 25.5.11~




Though I be a sojourner, I am far more blest than those who sit on thrones… to me remains nor place, nor time. my country is in every climb.”–Charles Haddon Spurgeon‘s, Morning by Morning – March 7th’s reading.

~Posted by Horiwood.Com, Aotearoa New Zealand, Polynesia Asia-Pacific. 25.5.11~

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Posted by on May 25, 2011 in Charles Haddon Spurgeon



Cricket sports star, Adam Paraore, achieved a personal goal of climbing Mt Everest, the mountain first climbed by Sir Edmund Hilary and Tenzing Norgay.

Of the adventure, Adam says, “Once you’re over the South Summit it just plays out in front of you. It’s very surreal.”

He adds, “If you get high enough the only thing that matters is breathing. It’s quite a liberating experience. You appreciate what really matters and that the rest is just bullsh*t.”

Mt Everest is the tallest mountain summit in the world. What a good effort!

~Posted by Horiwood.Com, Aotearoa New Zealand, Polynesia Asia-Pacific. 25.5.11~



At the time of writing, the word “New Zealand” is the no.1 voted word driving net traffic to Horiwood.Com today.

On that note, “Kia Ora (hello) America.” :)

The no.1 voted blog post today is: Wikileaks Cables and New Zealand. Why, I don’t know… though it is.

If you would like to visit New Zealand – do so by finding out more here to reintroduce yourself to Aotearoa, New Zealand. There’s no place quite like this paradise nation of rolling green hills and adventure tourism.

Sports Fans/ Football fans; A good time to visit New Zealand is during Rugby World Cup 2011. Plan a 3 week vacation and see the North Island and then the South Island around the rugby football matches of some of the world’s finest sports gladiators on the planet.

Go here to learn more if that sounds like you.

On the blog, we are at blog post no. 13,679 and we’ve reached the 3,346,806 summit together. Nice one! Let’s keep the good life flowing then. Peace!

[Image of palm tree, sunrise from the driveway of the whanau (family) home, this am]

~Posted by Horiwood.Com, Aotearoa New Zealand, Polynesia Asia-Pacific. 25.5.11~



Steven Spielberg, Sir Peter Jackson and “Tin Tin” are doing innovative collaboration to bring kids comic books alive on the big screen.

When not working with Spielberg, Jackson continues work on The Hobbit, a tale of epic proportions that tells of the adventures of Bilbo Baggins, a hobbit of Middle-Earth who he is ‘compelled to go on a quest to find a treasure buried deep in the heart of Lonely Mountain. The film stars Rob Kazinsky amongst the line up of interntional eclectic actors.

On the Spielberg Tin Tin project, Sir Peter shared in a the Facebook post, ‘the film had been a long time coming. “Once the movie is ‘shot’ on the motion-capture stage, it takes another two years to complete. It’s probably been five years since Steven and I started working on it.”

He said the Tintin books by Belgian artist Georges Remi, who wrote under the pen name of Herge, were the first he had read as a child.

“I fell in love with them … I would grab a new Tintin book and happily spend three hours totally lost in the adventure.”

Tintin comics were first published in 1929, and have sold more than 200 million copies worldwide.

Sir Peter said it was a pleasure to witness the “skill and creative instincts” of Spielberg and be involved in the innovative technology on set.

Jamie Bell and Andy Serkis are in front of you wearing motion capture suits, but point the camera at them, and on the monitor you see Tintin and Captain Haddock.

“This is not animation – it’s live action film making in a real-time virtual world. You shoot many takes, just like a normal movie.”

Sir Peter is scheduled to direct the second film in the series.’

The Adventures of Tintin: The Secret of the Unicorn is due to be released in 3D and 2D on Boxing Day.

The movie’s trailer can be viewed here.

To also see some stars of the Kaipara being cast in a Peter Jackson film, go here for a peek.

[Photograph courtesy of Vanity Fair]

~Posted by Horiwood.Com, Aotearoa New Zealand, Polynesia, Asia Pacific. 20.5.11~



First lady of France, Carla Bruni has some news that has captured the world’s attention. The former supermodel is expecting a french made baby. For a cute story go here.

[Photograph courtesy of Jacques Demarthon for AFP & Getty Images]

~Posted by Horiwood.Com, Aotearoa New Zealand, Polynesia Asia-Pacific. 20.5.11~



Many moons ago (about a million) when I was a kiwi Kid, I grew up reading the books of Margaret Mahy. Recently Mahy won an award for her new book that she was “absolutely astonished” to be awarded, from a judging panel who described her latest creation as an “absolute treasure.”


The story reads like this: ” Acclaimed New Zealand children’s writer Margaret Mahy, 75, has won New Zealand’s premier children’s book award with her book, The Moon and Farmer McPhee.

The book, illustrated by David Elliott, also won the award for the best picture book. It tells the story of Farmer McPhee – a once grumpy farmer who learned to enventually like his farm animals.

Ms Mahy, who wrote her first story when she was 7, has won numerous awards and honours for her contribution to New Zealand and children’s literature.

She has written more than 120 books which have been translated into 15 languages. She has also won many of the world’s premier children’s book awards, including the Carnegie Medal and the prestigious Hans Christian Andersen Award.

Her book A Lion in the Meadow, published in 1969, launched her global career and she became a full time writer in 1980.

Other winners can be read here:

~Posted by Horiwood.Com, Aotearoa New Zealand, Polynesia Asia-Pacific. 20.5.11~



Truely Harding and Francis Kim are two young people who lead in their local high schools, who both have a vision for a youth center in their city.

A center that encourages young people to create their own culture in uplifting fun ways is good to see. Who knows what good ideas and strategies will derive from what these two young leaders can envisage and do.

Nice one.

~Posted by Horiwood.Com, Aotearoa New Zealand, Polynesia Asia-Pacific. 20.5.11~

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Posted by on May 20, 2011 in Leadership, New Zealand, Teenagers



The full moon suspended
above glittering sea
casts shaoling light
from a perfect pearl

Beauty dropped from on high
winking restorative haere mais

You are majesty, the earth's fullness thereof.

Wairua rises on spirit-tide
in womb-immortal, eye abide
cresting forward, 'tween storms you guide
"God defend our freeland"

Karakia surges through arms outstretched
Energy as words inexplicable bubbling forth
Empty clouds with no water, whisped away.

The seas do roar.
How mighty are your works throughout the earth?


~Poem for A. In starting to write poetry again. Thanks for the reminder. :) 18.5.11~
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Posted by on May 18, 2011 in Literary, Poetry



Rise Up for a City Rebuilding a Kiwi Dream says the world’s most sweetest (naturally) supermodel.

RACHEL HUNTER CHRISTCHURCH UPDATE: The New Zealand Herald reports today, “Former supermodel Rachel Hunter has urged everyone to support the Christchurch telethon on Sunday and get some buzz going for the event.

“I just got here and realised there wasn’t the momentum I thought there would be, because back in the day when we did telethon there was all this excitement,” Hunter – who come home for the event – told the Herald yesterday.

“We are all New Zealanders, and this is our country … we all need to be there and pull it together. I just want [the telethon] to have as much success and support that it can.”

Hunter will be one of the celebrities involved in the Rise Up Christchurch – Te Kotahitanga telethon, which will be broadcast on Maori TV from 9am to 9pm this Sunday.

She said it would be difficult to hear first-hand from people about the devastation they and their city suffered, but it was crucial attention was kept on their plight.

“It’s so typical, at first when it happens it’s all over the news. But three months later there’s still so much pain and suffering.”

Organiser Brooke Howard-Smith said the telethon’s momentum was building rapidly, but there was still work to do to ensure people tuned in on Sunday.

“We’ve got this incredible event, but it will all be for nought if no one sees it … we need to make sure that every single punter out there knows that it’s on.” Read the rest of this entry »



Michelle Obama has always not been shy in reminding America of its racist beginnings, or, by being slightly controversial as a talking point of culture. As the first lady of the USA, Michelle Obama refuses to lead a culture, that white-washes its history – concerning her arts preferences.

Her choice of Common as a poet of preference for White House poetry reading was a story that brought a chuckle to the dial a week ago. One week later, I’m still thinking about that story. So, I’ll share it this week with you all.

Here’s The Huffington Posts Jason Linkin on his critique of how some of Mrs Obama’s country folk got upset with her choice of poets. We forget that hip hop music is the no.1 selling music across the globe, especially in China and India too.The is that the Obamas and the Bushes are good friends.

HuffPo’s story goes: “Even though it’s 2011, we’re still litigating whether rap music in and of itself is a societal corrosive or an artistic expression that channels raw experience and expurgates emotions in the form of a catharsis. It’s really the old Plato versus Aristotle rap battles over the artistic merits of tragedy — at least we can dance to it, so there’s that.

But the news today is that Michelle Obama is having some poets over to the White House to read some poetry, and that one of those poets is Chicago rapper Common, and OH MY GOD did you know he’s rapped about violence? It’s true, and the Daily Caller is beefing about it.

As always, it’s important to remember how stories like this come together. Some political figure likes some artist. If the artist is worth his or her salt, then chances he or she has probably done something outre or controversial. And, wow, a rapper? That means there’s probably a chance here, to anger up the anger-prone, and manufacture some ire, and suggest that art or music was much more refined and non-controversial back in the 1950s or something. Read the rest of this entry »



Least we forget…

In a story that would make a good HBO war movie, New Zealanders learned that 75 years ago, Germans invaded New Zealand Oceans in WWII.These days war is more economic for a nation like New Zealand that is really a paradise, self-sufficient – yet like many nations is waging economic warfare at this time also – for a number of forces. A war story, unites the nation to think of what’s more important other than money. Appreciating life and the soldiers/ military personel who also fought for our freedom.

Guest commentary from the Northern Advocate on this story (thanks): “A monument commemorating the deaths of five men killed when the minesweeper HMS Puriri sank off Whangarei Heads during World War II has been unveiled at Ocean Beach.

A service on Saturday marked an historic but previously unrecognised wartime tragedy – and the only sinking by enemy action inside New Zealand waters, in wartime.

About 140 people attended the service, including members of both the deceased’s families and survivors. All were pleased to have closure and the chance to begin to assemble a more accurate story of the event.

Read the rest of this entry »

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Posted by on May 17, 2011 in Military, Movie Ideas



Coming up on the global scene, President Barack Obama is getting set to redefine for the world, his policy on the Mid-East scene.

The President’s last speech focused on a Hispanic-American friendly approach when discussing border patrol recently. Said the 44th President of the US, that he envisaged Republicans wanting “moats” and “alligators” next added to their list of border patrol wishes.

Lol! That’s too funny. Press play to view clip.

[Photograph courtesy of Reuters.Com]

~Posted by Horiwood.Com, Aotearoa New Zealand, Polynesia Asia-Pacific. 18.5.11~

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Posted by on May 17, 2011 in Barack Obama, ObamaDrama



The big ‘international’ story today in the New Zealand Herald today has got to be the story of Dominique Strauss-Kahn, France’s MF Chief, who on one hand was instrumental in recommending bailing out two of the P.I.I.G.S nations even further financially.

Yet in his hotel room in NYC, he allegedly (verdict of trial not yet in) raped the hotel maid. Strauss-Kahn is believed to be France’s current President’s closest rival in Presidential stakes of future elections up until this scandal occurred.

Perhaps working in high powered jobs, makes lads a little deluded that high powered blokes are actually not on a date when they see a maid working or that women working hard as maids are not property to abuse either – in a fit of lust, or taking viagra mistakenly, instead of one’s fish oil tablets of the day, like good elderly gentlemen should be aware of taking.

The trial however, has yet to be heard – innocent until proven guilty is the official word on this story. This scandal has however swept the world.

What’s next? The Monica Lewinski dress? DNA test samples perhaps? Some of the world’s most capable men with heavy responsibility, have been tempted to abuse positions of power in the past for some nookie. So, this is a story that will grip Europe for quite a while no doubt.

For the maid’s sake involved. Sad movie.

As it is New York, the maid will most likely get a talk show deal when she makes it through this saga. Poor lassie. Accountability peer-mentor sessions in trusted environs, are needed for people in high powered jobs who lead perhaps. Clearly, some don’t have normal lives.

~Posted by Horiwood.Com, Aotearoa New Zealand, Polynesia Asia-Pacific. 18.5.11~



Arnold Schwarzenegger not only separated from his wife Maria Shriver recently, the reason of the split was revealed.

The former governor of California has a child to one of the former couple’s staff members, in a moment of weakness. He made a decision not to tell his family until his Governorship was over.

Although Shriver and Arnie have decided to split, Schwarzenneger regrets hurting his family on this issue, however he has always supported his secret love child, who is believed to now be thirteen.

You do have to respect that part of Arnie taking responsibility as a dad in the midst of this tabloid news.

Watch the ladies from The View getting their knickers in a bunch over this issue. Poor Maria Shriver!

Arnie’s son is one very lucky young lad. Wishing him all the best in a life less secret as a kid growing up. That’s got to be healthy for a kid too. Poor Maria Shriver! :(

~Posted by Horiwood.Com. Aotearoa New Zealand, Polynesia Asia Pacific. 18.5.11~



Hollywood loves the great white shark. At Universal City theme park, you can see the original JAWS mechanical shark created by Leonard Compagno in North Hollywood on a guided tour.

The real great white shark has many fans in South Africa. The great whites are also spotted off southern Australia, Japan, New England, Peru, Chile, southern New Zealand and northern California. They only occasionally show themselves in warm shallow water such as in the Caribbean.

What magnifient carnivorous fish. For more, go here.

[Photograph courtesy of Glue Blog Star Blog]

~Posted by Horiwood.Com, Hollywood California USA. 18.5.11~



Cannes Film Festival is all about the people with movies getting attention on their hard earned projects beign showcased in France. Those who want to be a part of thea action for the love of cinema, are also welcome.

Blake Lively and actor Leonardo DiCaprio were snapped aboard a yacht with Steven Spielberg and actor Lukas Haas (not pictured) Tuesday in the French Riviera.

Looks fun. Exactly what a culture of entertainment, should be about. Good yachting reccie in between movies watching. :)

[Photo courtesy of Fame Pictures - Via People Magazine, USA]

~Posted by Horiwood.Com, Aotearoa New Zealand, Polynesia Asia-Pacific. 18.5.11~



Tamariki (or chidlren) are always gifts, as a nation’s future.

Reading the local rag in New Zealand this weekend (one of them) I noticed that Maori babies make up one in 4 of all Kiwi babies being born today. This news is exciting.

I also notice that 4000 or so, teen moms have babies each year in a nation that has more cows (5.9 million) than people (4.5 million). Fancy that! Only in New Zealand.

The news article I was reading, was hard hitting and informed New Zealand readers that half of teen parent moms are Maori. It reminds me of America, where 1 in 4 children in American kindergartens are Latino or Hispanic American. This dynamic educationalist have embraced with a passion for America’s future and the youthful energy of it moving the US forward.

Maintaining a Hollywood blog occasinally (now writing it from New Zealand), I know first hand, that American teen moms are media staples in America. On some days, these young ladies can outdo Angelina Jolie (a mother of six and a big star of US culture worldwide) with their latest magazine cover stories. Teen parents and their struggles are big news in a nation of 308 million people.On a democratic level, teen moms are big big news as voted by the American people.

If teen parents are so important in the world (based on these statistics alone in the science and art of blogging stats rating well), then perhaps we need to GIVE WAY in New Zealand and make room on the media landscapes for such citizens to have a presence that is of them, for them, and even created by teen parents and their enthusiastic, non-judgemental supporters as a nation’s parents too.

[Rachel is pictured above enjoying quality bonding time with her first grandchild, Ezra Hōri. Rachel was once a teen mother herself and today works for Fonterra, marketing New Zealand's finest dairy produce to the world. Her greatest joy is enjoying spending time with her children and this little guy].

Here’s my suggestions towards making a world that actually gives teen parents a voice and their own media to participate in and share their parenting successes.

We need to create a culture of successful parenting being shared, acknowledged and celebrated for such young parents I think. This will help stop child abuse as well as share and celebrate good parenting skills amongst an emerging generation of vital New Zealanders. Some suggestions are:

Regular media profiles of leaders who were once teen parents themselves please.

A reality TV series (like the US has) for teen parents celebrating their triumphs, struggles and achievements as parents raising children and educating themselves too. A name like Pepi Pai Street would do. Read the rest of this entry »



The story goes: “Child protective services have been called on Mariah Carey who is still in the hospital with her twins. But, not to worry, mother and babies are fine. This is just the work of a money-hungry, heartless soul scheming to get pictures of the newborns.

Nick Cannon explained the mishap on CNN, saying a social worker came to the hospital and greeted him in the hallway claiming to investigate a complaint that she was abusing the babies by consuming alcohol and drugs while breastfeeding.

He says, “Child Protective Services actually came to me while I was in the hallway and said that they were here to see me because there had been allegations that there was drug and alcohol use during the stay in the hospital. I was like, ‘Well, how would that even be possible? How could the hospital even allow that?’ But allegedly the story was taken from a nurse, just in passing – this is a common thing – said, ‘You know, if you drink some Guinness, a beer, the yeast in there actually helps with the breastfeeding.’

And that was told to my wife. And I guess someone maybe overheard that and is like, ‘This is a good way to make a quick buck or call the tabloids.’ It’s kinda sad that people think, ‘We’ll make money off of these newborns.’

Cannon even revealed: “We’ve had people posing as workers in the hospital with cameras trying to get pictures.”

Gosh… Nick really knows a lot as a first time parent.

[Photo courtesy of

~Posted by Horiwood.Com, Aotearoa New Zealand, Polynesia Asia-Pacific. 16.5.11~

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Posted by on May 16, 2011 in Mariah Carey, Nick Cannon, Parenting



New Zealand living treasure, Rachel Hunter arrived in New Zealand from LAX this week to participate in Maori Television‘s Telethon event for Christchurch City’s rebuilding effort.

The supermodel and cultural ambassador of Kiwi culture arrived with her children.

To find out what Hunter last said for the good folks of Christchurch, go here. Hunter joins her peer, Sir Peter Jackson in loaning their Kiwi-Hollywood star power to the event on Maori TV. When we give to those in need, we know abundance and ongoing prospeirty. This is the story of all humanitarians and the ongoing story of Aotearoa New Zealand too in Asia-Pacific. Nice one Kiwis.

The people of Christchurch are a hardy, down-to-earth lovable bunch we are all cheering on in their rebuilding efforts as a city. They’re quite special people. The telethon takes place on Maori Television this Sunday (or if in America, Saturday).  Let’s support it. Thanks. :)

~Posted by Horiwood.Com, Hollywood California USA. 16.4.11~



[Nelsen Mandela gives a message of including others fairly and avoiding apartheid systems developing in our societies. For the record, in case we developed amnesia (it does happen) apartheid systems have been prone to marginalize people of color in the world]

The Story – In a story of real estate, Nelson Mandela‘s press team give the world a reminder of apartheid, and remembering to avoid it, in times of global economc crises. Mandela is believed to be the world’s greatest living person by many.

Here’s the start of the story: “A suburban house thought to have been built over the spot where Nelson Mandela buried the first weapon of the African National Congress’s armed resistance will go up for auction on Thursday amid fears that bounty hunters could buy it and unearth the gun to sell abroad.

The sale of 5 George Avenue in Rivonia, northern Johannesburg, has attracted attention from around the world which is expected to send the three-bedroom property’s original asking price of 3 million rand (£435,000) spiralling.

The Makarov pistol thought to lie underneath it was given to Mr Mandela by an Ethiopian colonel training him for the military campaign the ANC were to launch against the apartheid government.”

It’s astounding to think that a man known for Peace was forced into a position to use a gun to defend his people (Africa’s indigenous people) from oppression. Yet this was his story once.

For more, go here to The UK Telegraph.

What can we all do to be more aware not furthering apartheid narratives in law, in society, in our communities? That’s a bit of homework for the world today, by perhaps the most famous Nobel Peace Prize winner of all.

[ - The Day Nelson Mandela walked from prison. What a moment].

~Posted by Horiwood.Com, Aotearoa New Zealand, Polynesia Asia Pacific. 16.5.11~



Young Ashton Kutcher will step into the shoes of Charlie Sheen‘s comedic TV legacy as Sheen’s replacement on the TV show, Two and a Half Men.

Kutcher will play a new character (obviously), while working with Charlies remaining castmates. Sheen will concentrate on his $100 million law suit with Warner Bros (a big Hollywood news story, all on its own).

Kutcher now has the Tigerblood humor title to further for the US. Gaging by twitter rants (that favorite American past time) Kutcher looks up for the challenge.

[Photo 1 - Horiwood.Com. Photo 2 - Steven Lovekin, Getty Images, Horiwood.Com, For the full story, jet here]

~Posted by, Hollywood



Two Kiwi lads have invented a new trail bike that is so lite, a teen could lift it over a farm fence. In an era of Taylor Lautner ranking in the top 20 box office stars of Hollywood, except this new invention to fly off the racks.

FX Bikes founder and chief executive Mike Hodgkinson of Christchurch in 2002, has designed and developed a 57kg dirt trail bike. It’s claim to fame is that it’s the world’s lightest. The motorcycle is powered by a 125cc, 4-stroke Honda-Jialing auto-clutch engine. The bike’s maker says it can do 100km/h on the flat and easily climb a 45-degree slope. It’s a perfect motorcycle for scarfies (students) getting to lectures on time in Dunedin, or for students attending UCLA in California as well.

Hodgkinson says that by 2016 FX bikes will be selling 25,000 a year, which will pull in revenues of around US$80 million. He has Honda on his horizon, to market the company to for onselling.

“Acquisition doesn’t mean it all gets handed over,” he said. “We can still do the R&D and the marketing, we’ll just be owned by another company.”

Inventors often need angel investors to realize their dreams as inventors (a gift to grow economies). Hodgkinson is thankful of his Kiwi biz supports, who have angel invested $650,000 into the project so far. $2 million worth of ‘sweat equity’ has gone into the company to date.

Another US$500,000 ($628,000) funding round was open to fund the soft launch of the bikes, which Hodgkinson said would take place this year. The aim of FX is to have the bikes made in Milan, where motorcycle manufacturing infrastructure finds a good fit for company growth and expansion.

[In Milan] “You’ve got a frame maker around the corner and you’ve got a shock supplier around the other corner,” Hodgkinson said. US$5 million is needed to fully launch this innovative company’s market presence well.

Former Honda chief designer Francesco Santillo (pictured with Mike, above right) and former Harley-Davidson chief engineer Michael Hillman have been working on this project too. Japan-based Santillo, who was in Auckland this week, is now FX Bikes’ chief designer. American “extreme sports guys” and commuters are the companies invisaged market of consumers to target. The mass market model will sell for $5000, roughly equivalent to the price of a Vespa scooter.

The “super premium” model – with a stainless steel and titanium frame – will sell for $30,000.

Think of all the petrol (gasoline) saved, if more people traded in their cars for one of these. Smart inventing. On that note… Let’s go Christchurch City!

[Reporting - Christopher Adams. Photography Greg Bowker].



Making Parenting Fun – Raising Adventurous Kids

Parenting is an important full time job. With creative flair, parenting can become fun for parents and their children.

One Kiwi is making parenting fun by creating their own children’s visual super hero book for their child.

Heard of The Adventures of Superbaby Yet? Keaphotography combine blogging, parenting, crafts, photoshop skills and a sense of adventurous fun to depict the potential in New Zealand’s children.

Love it! Check it, right here.

~Posted by, Aotearoa New Zealand, Polynesia Asia Pacific. 16.5.11~



Today I notice that this zero-budget blog has reached the 3.3 million summit.

Let’s share this moment with the chutzpah of Christchurch then…. NEIL GRAHAM BUYS CHRISTCHURCH CITY’S FIRST ASTON MARTIN ONE-77 WAKA.

Again, many thanks! :)



Rugby league football player, Elijah Taylor, finally gets the call up for The Warriors NFL football team.

Nice one! :)

[ - Mikos Tepania of the Cronulla NYC about to be tackled by Elijah Taylor of the Warriors NYC]

~Posted by Horiwood.Com, Hollywood California USA. 14.5.11~