The Kindness of a Country

Deb & Mark Smith

With the recent birth of Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern’s first child, Aotearoa New Zealand took the opportunity to say “welcome to our world baby Neve Te Aroha”. For the past fifty years or so New Zealand has given gifts of wool to Queen Elizabeth II and the royal family, upon the birth of a new prince or princess. It’s an exciting moment for New Zealanders to celebrate the birth of 'our' first baby.

The Wool Lover took delight in admiring the generosity and skills of scores of New Zealanders, who sent presents and welcome wishes to our Prime Minister and her family. A handmade gift of wool continues to be the medium through which New Zealanders express unique and familial acts of generosity. It isn’t possible to showcase all of the woollen gifts here. However, we’re thrilled to be able to share some of them. Lucky Neve Te Aroha and her parents. Don’t stop with the loving kindness Aotearoa New Zealand.

Mark & Deborah Smith are Irish twins who have been making photographs together since the 1980s. Their work has been seen in galleries, on city walls, on ecostore labels & many more places.

They still work together on commissions for special clients.

Deborah also runs Cloud Workshop- an art initiative to support bereaved young people. Mark runs Photos Inc- a service that provides contemporary New Zealand photography for lease or sale.

They appreciate the deep comfort of wool & still have one of their father’s homespun jerseys (He died in 1981).


Photography: Deb Smith and Mark Smith
Thanks to: Caroline Stone, Barbara Ward and the Ardern - Gayford family.