Category Archives: What I’ve been up to

New NZ Post Outlet at Mobil Karori Works Great

NZ_Post_Mobil_Karori_street_viewEfficient and effective postal services are essential for our home-based book publishing and distribution business. We send and receive packages and letters around New Zealand and overseas. So, we were concerned to learn that the NZ Post shop in Karori was going to close and be replaced by a new outlet at the Mobil service station.

NZ_Post_Mobil_Karori_shop_entryWe needn’t have worried. The new facilities and the customer service at the new Mobil outlet are excellent. NZ Post has helped the transition by providing a trainer form the South Island to get the Mobil staff up to speed. One the first day I had a package to airmail to Vanuatu – this was no problem.

I can drop off prepaid packages and stamped letters. We sometimes have lots of packages that are too big to fit in a post box slot, so being able to leave them at Mobil is important.

NZ_Post_Mobil_Karori_containerOur PO Box is now located in a refurbished container at the back of the Mobil property. Do watch out for vehicles as you walk across the forecourt.


You gain entry by keying in a 4 digit PIN.

NZ_Post_Mobil_Karori_PGPL_box_17160Our box (17160) used to have a door about 6″ square and was on the very bottom row, so was hard to get at. Our new box is bigger and can comfortably fit foolscap size envelopes and packages up about 2″ deep. And as bonus, it is at chest height — no more bending and crouching – Yay!  If a package is too big or needs to be signed for, the staff leave a card and I call at the counter to claim it – just like a real Post Office.

For our business, one week on, the transition to the Mobil outlet has worked well.

Philip Garside

Praise for Earthed in Hope. eBooks now $9.99

The following review by Rev John Meredith appears in the June 2015 issue of Touchstone – the Methodist Church’s monthly newspaper.

 “Alister G. Hendery,
Earthed in Hope.
Dying, Death and Funerals. A Pakeha Anglican Perspective
Wellington: Philip Garside, 2014, 300 pages.

Hendery remarks that over the past four decades funeral practices in New Zealand have undergone sweeping changes. Celebrants who are not clergy conduct well over half Pakeha funerals and offer a highly personalised, life-centred alternative to churches. Although the church is no longer the chief provider of funeral ceremonies, Christian faith has a realistic approach to death and grief that is grounded in undying hope in God. Writing from an Pakeha Anglican perspective, Hendery addresses significant issues of Christian faith and practice and touches on matters relevant to all who exercise funeral ministry.

A funeral marks the ending of a human life and, as Hendery points out, people today have a wide choice in style and content of a funeral service. When a minister of the church is requested to officiate it cannot be taken for granted that the community for this funeral either understands or accepts the Christian story. Listening is a key part of the minister’s preparation. It is also important for a minister to accept that profound feelings of the loss of a physical presence cannot be assuaged by religious formulae.

At several places in the book the author stresses that whatever form the funeral takes, the most effective feature will be the embodiment of compassion by the minister. While those attending the funeral may forget what was said they will probably remember the attitude of the minister.

While a minister of the church is a spokesperson for the gospel, Hendery stresses this does not mean imposing on people. Ministers must be flexible and willing to offer guidance rather than ruling on matters such as choice of music and form of tribute.

Hendery expresses concern about the way euphemistic language may diminish the reality of someone’s death. Too often a person passes away to become the deceased. Instead, the author prefers unambiguous language. His practice of referring to someone who has died as “the dead person” indicates both respect for the person and an acceptance of reality.

The idea of closure, as it is popularly termed, is addressed thoughtfully. Writing of the pastoral care of people who are grieving, Hendery suggests that while, over time, those who have been bereaved may become reconciled to their loss, this does not mean that closure, is an appropriate end to the experience of grief. Those who are left continue to relate to those who have died through memory and abiding influence.

For those concerned with funeral ministry there is much in this book that will repay careful reflection: how God and Christian hope are presented, the avoidance of euphemisms and idealistic eulogies, ritual at and after the funeral, funerals following suicide, funerals of children and children at funerals. Hendery states: We need to be able to look death in the face and be willing to wrestle with the theological, spiritual and emotional demands that this takes. Earthed in Hope offers significant help for those who are serious about doing this.”

eBook editions of Earthed in Hope have now been reduced from NZ$14.99 to NZ$9.99.
Click here to order your PDF, Kindle or ePub edition.


Fraser Boyd featured in Upper Hutt Leader, 25 March 2015

Newspaper Article

Author tackles fiction

Upper Hutt Leader 25 March 2015, pg 12

Upper Hutt Leader article 25 March 2015 150w

First time author: Fraser Boyd undertook a lot of research before writing his first novel. (Upper Hutt Leader, 25 March 2015)

“Upper Hutt’s Fraser Boyd had done a lot of writing in his time before he turned his hand to fiction.

The former technical writer and Air Force photographer has recently had his first novel published.

Never to Return Home tells the story of Boyd’s wife Margaret’s great-grandparents, who emigrated from Ireland to Otago in the 1860s.

Boyd said his interest in their story began when his wife embarked on a family history project. Scant details were available about their lives in New Zealand, so Boyd used his imagination to fill in the gaps.

Boyd, a morning person, would get up bright and early to work on the story.

“It took three years’ spare time,” Boyd said.

“I don’t think I found it too difficult,” he said. “Once it flowed, it really flowed.”

Boyd said he wanted to rewrite the novel about five or six times, often realising he had skipped some years in the story.

Once Boyd had finished his manuscript, he showed it to his family before it went to publisher Philip Garside.

After that, there was a “huge amount” of rework by the editor.

“I write long sentences,” Boyd said. “Some had to be cut in half.”

Boyd said he was amazed how much information is available to help with writing a piece of historical fiction.

“It’s surprising how much you can find when you put some strange words into Google.”

In one instance he had found a complete history of the Port Chalmers Quarry.

Boyd said the whole process had been a big learning experience, but he would recommend it to others who felt they had a story to put to paper.

“Based on my experience, I would say ‘do it’.”

Click to order  eBook or Print book


Dance With Us – A response to hatred

Click to download a PDF of the melody line and guitar chords

Click to download a midi file of the melody

Dance With Us

  1. When you are troubled,
    have no fear, have no fear.
    Christ has a message
    we want to share:

Come and dance with us,
sing with us,
walk along our way.
Help us bring alive God’s kingdom
on earth today.

  1. Leave behind hatred,
    turn away, seek the light.
    Love one another
    no need to fight:
  1. Hear one another,
    loving care, kindness shared.
    Hearts and hands open,
    world in our care:

Words and music:
Philip Garside
10 January 2015

(You may copy and sing this song freely, with acknowledgment.)

“New Book Takes Wings” Review in Touchstone Dec. 2014 of Weaving, Networking & Taking Flight

New Book Takes Wings

By Sophie Parish

Review published in Touchstone Dec 2014

Rev Vai Ngahe uses symbols of nature to layout strategies for ministry in today’s world in his new book, ‘Weaving, Networking and Taking Flight’. The book was launched in Manurewa Methodist Church on Oct 25th. Those on hand for the event included local parishioners, business owners, and MPs.

In his book Vai reflects on 10 years of ministry in Avondale and Manurewa and the evolution of modern-day Methodism in the community. He records his growth as a minister and how each congregation has been transformed.

Reflecting on his work in Avondale, he highlights the importance of weaving together a multi-cultural community to support members within the church and people in the community. He writes about the importance of networking as a way to help transform lives.

Vai uses the symbol of the bird taking flight to write about his ministry in Manurewa. He describes how it has enabled him to see life from a higher and more spiritual perspective, and how the placement of the church is optimal for reaching the community on many levels.

Photos and articles in the book illustrate his journey and the improvements made to the Avondale church building and the outreach events organized at both churches to promote the love of Jesus and John Wesley’s message to go out into the community.

Vai offers concrete examples of how the church can thrive through the challenges of and changes in an increasingly secular society.

Available now in Paperback and Ebook.


Order now eBooks or Print book

See the original review on page 12 of Touchstone Dec. 2014 here: website moving to WordPress

This weekend I’ve been moving the website content from the old FrontPage design into a new WordPress site.

You should find it quicker and easier to get around the site as WordPress  makes it simpler to provide drop down menus and has a whole bunch of other tools and features that I’ll be exploring soon.

The new WordPress site should be available in a few days at the same URL

Cheers, Philip