South Island, Upcoming Documentary & Moana Nui Fishing Club Inaugural Season

Spring is here and we’ve just got back from a week’s trip to the South Island. Having not been there for eight years you forget how magnificent it is. Crossing Arthurs Pass, staying in Hokitika (bringing back some great memories of the Wild Foods Festivals), checking out Fox and Franz Joseph Glaciers, staying at Haast and having a whitebait fritter, driving through what must be one of the most stunning drives in New Zealand (from Haast through to Wanaka), catching up with family and friends in Central Otago, Lucy delivering a lamb whose mother was poorly, and then onto Queenstown and then Wanaka for the great Brendon Vercoe and Kirsty Martin wedding! A stunning Wanaka day and what an event guys, which even involved you arriving in a helicopter at the reception venue! A great mix of people from Otago to Oxford to Valencia to all the places you have travelled –  we look forward to some adventures over summer with you!

A Flame Flickers in the Darkness

Now a few words about the book, A Flame Flickers in the Darkness by Winston Cowie, New Zealand’s historical fiction epic novel, based during the 1860s New Zealand Land Wars or New Zealand Wars or Maori Wars. Of the initial 500 First Edition copies that were printed, there are circa 150 left between Whitcoulls stores, the Independent bookstores listed at the end of this blog and between the Fishpond and Publishme websites. So grab one of the remaining First Editions of A Flame Flickers in the Darkness. Planning is already underway for the second edition which will be different from the first.

First Editions become collectors items.

Mystery at Midge Bay Documentary

Please also keep an eye out in the upcoming month for details on the premiere of the feature documentary on New Zealand’s earliest shipwreck, entitled:

Mystery at Midge Bay –

The Discovery of New Zealand’s earliest Shipwreck

Directed by David Sims and written and Co-produced by Winston Cowie and David Sims, it takes you on a voyage of discovery into the unchartered waters of early New Zealand exploration and discovery. Move over Abel Tasman (1642) and James Cook (1769)? We shall see. ;)

Keep an eye out for details of the premiere.

Moana Nui Fishing Club

Now, a spot of fishing. Those Kiwi blokes and lasses out there currently travelling the world will know what I mean when I mention a good Kiwi fishing day.  It hurts when you are overseas and you hear about them because you know what good fun they are.

The sun is shining, the weather is clear, the fish are biting, you catch a few Snapper, if you’re lucky a Kingfish; somebody has been for a dive and gathered a few scallops and hunted out a few crays. It makes for a great day and the afternoon of filleting while having a few beers and then the feast that follows is just top notch. The kids take it all in and want to get involved. A good cycle.

Enter the genesis of the Moana Nui Fishing Club. A couple of really keen fishos who have recently returned  from overseas got together at about the time of the Rugby World Cup and over a couple of brews, worked out some loose rules around a fishing club.

They were pretty simple – it involved mates going fishing together over summer (with our families), with a prize going to the person at the end of the Summer who was judged to have caught the biggest Snapper or Kingfish. Now, there is a big sustainability aspect here – with the larger fish the goal is catch and release, recognising that with Snapper, the larger the fish the more important it is to the breeding population. Similarly with Kingfish.

The inaugural season saw some great fish caught – the winner by a scale was big brother Richard Cowie with a magnificent 22lb Snapper. Runner Up was yours truly with a 53lb Kingfish with some good fish being caught by David Brodie, Tim Scott, Elliot Donaldson and Old Iron Mike Cowie.

A lot of fun was had with some great days out on the water. And the pics are slowly convincing a lot of those still overseas to come back to Aotearoa, enjoy the playground and be responsible kaitiaki of te taonga o Tangaroa, the treasures of Tangaroa.

Availability of A Flame Flickers in the Darkness

‘A Flame Flickers in the Darkness’, an epic  New Zealand book or New Zealand historical novel, based during the New Zealand  Land Wars or New Zealand Wars or  Maori Wars of the 1860s, is available at:

Whitcoulls Auckland

  • Albany Westfield
  • Botany Downs
  • Downtown
  • Henderson
  • Manukau
  • New Lynn
  • Newmarket
  • Pakuranga
  • Papakura
  • Queens Street – The Corner
  • Royal Oak
  • St Lukes
  • Sylvia Park

Whitcoulls North Shore

  • Browns Bay
  • Glenfield
  • Milford
  • Takapuna Galleria
  • Whangaparaoa

Whitcoulls Palmerston North

  • Palmerston North Plaza
  • Bennetts on Broadway

Whitcoulls Hamilton

  • Centreplace
  • Te Rapa

Whitcoulls Taranaki

  • New Plymouth

Phone your local Whitcoulls store for availability – if it is not available in your location (South Island), they will order it in from another store.

Independent Bookstores

  • The Village Bookshop, Matakana;
  • Benny’s Books, New Plymouth; and
  • Prices Bookstore, Taupo.

• Fishpond New Zealand (Online);
• PublishMe Online Bookstore (Online).

Ka Kite and bring on the Kiwi Summer!



Winston Cowie

Author; ‘A Flame Flickers in the Darkness’

Genre: “New Zealand Land Wars or New Zealand Wars or Maori Wars; New Zealand Historical Fiction Novel or New Zealand Historical Book; 1860s; Author Winston Cowie & Winnie Cowie; and A Flame Flickers in the Darkness.”

Blog Topics: New Zealand, Marine Science and Policy, Fishing, Spearfishing, Surfing, Seafood Recipes, Diving, Rugby, Underwater Heritage, Tramping, Skiing and Snowboarding, Tuatara the mullet boat, Winston Cowie.