Craig, if you stop eating Lego bricks then the terrorists win!
Capital stuff! it's always a delight to see an argument presented concisely and clearly yet with plenty of reference to the law. The layman's routine experience of boilerplate contracts (seemingly sold by weight, like dung), coupled with the drizzle of sensational cases like that Moz linked all corrodes faith that law can be a tool for justice, or even bring clarity to a complex dispute. And of course quality legal blogs have been instrumental in bringing this perspective to T. C. Mits...
The merest of proof-reading nits: "by forbidding not merely those involved in its processed", last word should obviously be "processes" (typos sale passed spiel chuck)
Berlin can be almost exaggeratedly international and multicultural, to the extent that I've heard other Germans half-jokingly expect a car with a "B" license plate to be driven so "differently" that a cop will wave them down, only to hear "But that's how we always drive in Berlin!" and then the cop will shrug and let them go. So in a smaller city you'll have a more Whitcoullian experience (and a German who spent only a few minutes in Whitcoulls might reel out wondering "do they read anything beyond sporting memoirs?")
Some of the cultural importation is simply due to scale - 100 million native German vs 350+ million native English speakers. Another root may have been national shame - until the 2006 world cup it was notably rare for private citizens to show a flag, it smacked too much of nationalism and a slippery slope. Nice educated types
diluted the beast within with transfusions of foreign culture. And perhaps this also lends itself to rose-tinted views of other countries: after a good self-lash & abnegation over Prussian belligerence and the Holocaust it seems that no other history can contain such horrors, hence the NZ Wars can be airily dismissed? (or that was just the author's PR speaking - keep NZ history a simple happy fairy tale for an audience who've come for simple happy tales)
For another good humbling do have a leaf through the weekly "Die Zeit" newspaper - a great slab of quality journalism, long articles on a broad range of topics, even notably good illustrations and graphic design (for a paper). The picture is the front page they ran for Darwin's 150th birthday - sadly for most papers doing a 6 page Darwin + evolution feature would be either too worthy or too "confrontational". Makes the Saturday Herald ("the big paper that lasts all weekend" as the tagline was) look very pale - with Die Zeit most readers probably don't find enough time to read it all in the whole damn week.
Sadly for the Cause of Knowledge (but most happily for me) I haven't met with any of these books so can only make wild conjectures. But from what I know of German romances and the amazon.de details it's a fair bet that it's more high-grade Mills & Boon than Aotearoa anthro 101: many yearning looks across surely unbreachable lines of privilege and class, tracts of scenery description that seem more like "Lord of the Rings" stage directions than anything you'd find in Maurice Shadbolt, and horses, lots of horses. She's shooting for a wide-open goal - NZ is perennially popular, most everybody says they want to travel there and one often sees signs advertising NZ travelogue talks (quaintly retrograde practice: people pay to attend a public lecture that at core is "what I did on my holiday" - but generally the speakers are good photographers and took notably long and wide-ranging holidays)
As an outsider I shouldn't generalise, but the idealism in popular depictions of foreign lands is remarkable. On ZDF (literally TV2) there's a stream of lush romances set in Cornwall (over 100 so far) where upper-middle class types meet in country houses and grand hotels and you won't see a glimpse of a caravan park, let alone a clash between surly dispossessed local youth and second-home London lawyers. And many Germans fondly believe in the UK as a kind of Edwardian idyll of high teas and patched elbows, a frozen land of P.G. Wodehouse. I had the joy of seeing a group of Germans on a train that paused for a while on the elevated tracks above Deptford: they fell silent for a while looking out over the scruffy council estates and semi-derelict industrial sites and once the buzz of cognitive dissonance subsided one remarked thoughtfully "This is worse than what the Russians built after the war".
But if Sarah Lark did sneak in some interesting history and culture then you can expect a wagonload of better-briefed tourists in the future: her books evidently all go into the best-seller lists. Plenty of them too, churned out briskly and weighing in around the 600-900 page mark:
Im Land der weißen Wolke. 2007
Das Lied der Maori. 2008
Der Ruf des Kiwis. 2009
Das Gold der Maori. 2010
Im Schatten des Kauribaums. 2011
Die Tränen der Maori-Göttin. 2012