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Published: 20 August 2022

By Andy Ross

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Response to the survey

Each year I ask readers what they would like to see on the blog and how they would like it to develop. 

The blog is now in its fifteenth year and, given that it now comes from the other side of the planet to that in which it was conceived, perhaps it is appropriate that its focus now changes from Shetland to Aotearoa New Zealand. Readers have suggested that this part of the world has a lot to offer, particularly for those who might never get to visit the Southern Hemisphere. In changing from a Eurocentric perspective to one with a Pacific focus it has also been suggested that there might be a chance to shine a light onto events and activity that might not be known about or appreciated by others, especially as New Zealand is so far from lots of familiar places. 

With that change there are new opportunities to explore subjects that are familiar already but that have an uniquely New Zealand/ Australasian/ Pacific flavour. As an example, New Zealand is embracing diversity in its acceptance of sexualities and identities. I am looking forward to being part of those conversations and writing about them on the blog so that we can share ideas and thoughts as our world changes to become more accepting. 

The change will also allow more research to be done on particular topics so that, as in this week for instance, embroidery can be more thoroughly understood in its context in Aotearoa. I believe that this will help to develop a greater understanding of the importance of arts and crafts as tools of discovery, enjoyment and identity as well as utility. 

Of course, I shall continue to sometimes write about other parts of the world too. We do not live in isolation and our histories are so intertwined that it would be remiss not to do so. We have a lot to learn from others and have a lot to offer. Thank you to everyone who wrote in or submitted survey results. Here is to a new chapter in the blog's history and to sharing exciting new discoveries and ideas.