Local Heart, Global Soul

July 18, 2018

Mother Nature Shook Their World…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

New Zealand’s South Island coastal town of Kaikoura got hit very hard by the November 2016 earthquake that measured 7.8 on the Richter scale.

Fortunately the countries strict building code restricted the loss of life to two, one of those being a heart attack as the event occurred.

Each fatality is of course one too many, but it is near impossible to build structures to withstand all variants produced by quakes around the world that differ wildly in size, speed, direction and depth of origin.

The main aim of a strict building code is simply to not have a structure collapse in as large a quake as possible, to safely evacuate and then start again.

Some buildings have been earthquake strengthened, others has minimal damage but quite a few buildings on Kaikoura’s main shopping street are no longer safe to use.

These have been either Red or Yellow Stickered (Red = means demolition and Yellow = repair, entry for essential work only, White = normal use may resume). Special props have been added on the street frontages to ensure public safety from these weakened structures should there be more aftershocks or new quakes. In one of these buildings a display detailing the time-line of the events here has been added to the front window spaces of the empty buildings, and it makes for very interesting reading indeed. This post follows my post of yesterday as I look at the timeline of how a community reacted when Mother Nature shook their world…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Finding a safe way to keep infants who are unsettled by the quake and aftershocks close to your bed at night…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

The quake sheered this pipe through with precision worthy of any modern age technological gadget…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

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(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

The “Four Square Man” is a New Zealand icon…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

July 17, 2018

At Two Minutes After Midnight…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

When a 7.8 earthquake hit Kaikoura, New Zealand in November 2016, it was not just the emergency services that swung into action.

Community groups and volunteers from all parts of the community joined in the job of ensuring that people were safe, damaged areas were cordoned off, messes were cleaned up and that others around them were ok.

The New Zealand Defense Forces, under orders of national Civil Defense initiated evacuation of tourists, the elderly, those with infants and young children and those who had medical needs.

The Maori community Marae with its large meeting hall and kitchen equipped for cooking for very large groups became one of the main centres of the relief effort.

Initially cut off from all road access, many tourists were evacuated by New Zealand, Australian, Canadian and American war ships that by sheer chance happened to be doing joint exercises around Cook Straight when the quake hit. Maori men and women from all around the country made woven basket baby beds so that babies frightened by quake noises and the constant aftershocks could sleep close to their parents safely. Many businesses in the town found their buildings to have structural issues, I didn’t see any red stickered buildings but a white and yellow one explain building status.

In the window of the empty Paper Plus, (relocated) and on wooden sheets of timber protecting the front of the damaged 4-Square supermarket, a time-line of the quake has been displayed. It’s difficult to get photographs through the reflections in the glass, and many pieces in the display have been laminated, a further reflective surface to overcome. It is still more than worth the effort through, so I so my best to show you it here. The display starts with the time this massive quake quake hit:. two minutes after midnight…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

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(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

July 16, 2018

The Houses Of Our Youth…

Filed under: ART,Kaikoura & Region,LIFE,My Reference Library,NEW ZEALAND,PHOTOGRAPHY — kiwidutch @ 1:00 am
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(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Houses in the New Zealand of my childhood consisted of two main varieties. The first were brick, such as the house my grandparents lived in and the second was the wooden weather board home, often in the form of a villa.

There was a semi-standard form to the villa: a veranda at the front, a dining room, living room, on occasion in the larger ones a formal lounge, a long central hallway off which the rooms branched left and right, and a varying amount of bedrooms.

The size of each of the rooms often depended on the age of the villa, then a kitchen located at the rear, a laundry and shower often located off the kitchen.

These buildings were always for some strange reason rather poorly insulated so could be pretty cold in winter, but were cool in summer. In stark contrast with houses in Europe the roof was not tile, but painted corrugated iron.

I shared accommodation with other girls in several houses such as these when I first left home, and villas could be seen set back from the pavement with their surrounding gardens all along the street at the time.

One of these villas where I was “flatting” (sharing accommodation) in Colombo Street, Christchurch, New Zealand, the home dated from just after 1900, had belonged to a Doctor who had his practice at the front and his residence at the back. It had enormously high ceilings, large square rooms and a central hallway so wide and long that you could park two station wagons end to end in. It was an amazing space (usually- dance floor) for parties but a serious pig to vacuum.

The pipes in the kitchen threatened to freeze at the faintest hint of chill every winter but the back yard behind it had enough space for us to play volleyball in. Add to that, it was cheap. For two girls in employment and three university students it was perfect.

Five females in one residence was a balancing act when it came to the shower but we worked out a system and a cooking rota and it worked. One of the girls had a brother, who shared a house with three other guys about a half kilometer down Colombo Street from us. They were rather haphazard cooks so our cooking rota got torpedoed rather often when her brother would pop in rather conveniently just before dinnertime, and often several of his flat mates would be with him.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

They could clean out our fridge by standing in front of it with the door open and inhaling.

Many a weeks grocery shopping disappeared shortly after they arrived.

On the upside, they were all working and more cash than we did, so would often turn up with a fish and chip feed for everyone as a sort of Thank You.

Since I hung out with the girl who had the brother the most, we would often both be “shouted” (treated) extra’s like KFC when she and I were out together with them as well.

This girl and I were good friends and after habitual hassles with the students getting behind in rent, eventually went off together to a smaller “flat” nearby, where the fridge continued to be emptied by her brother and his mates, but they would also bring large volumes of ingredients if we would cook them roast dinners, so all in all it was a case of swings and roundabouts. Needless to say, the “boys’ flat was also a weatherboard villa, but one a lot smaller than ours. After more than a decade away from New Zealand I wanted to show my husband the place where I had spent several happy if chaotic years. To my shock, it was completely gone and in it’s place stood set of small modern brick retirement homes.The large parcel of land had obviously been too valuable for some developer to want to keep as a single residence. These weatherboard villas are either being done up to high spec, insulated and modernised inside, or, more often, being torn down.

The row of them in the central city, one of which was my home for several years too, also demolished. I think that only one stands today out of the entire row. In their places are modern concrete block and brick units, I am sure the heating bills are far reduced but so is the character and charm. In Kaikoura I happened upon one of these old villas, and it bought back a zillion memories. This one is in a rather run own state, it’s probably rented for a fairly low rent as the landlord gets the last mileage out of the place. Eventually it will meet the fate of thousands of other villas as the age of the “new build” takes over. In their heyday these were fabulous places, maybe not always the easiest of living but they were the places where thousands of students and kids with first jobs made their first forays away from the parental nests, and as fledglings learned together to make their way in the world. For this reason the villa will always be something special in my heart.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

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(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

July 15, 2018

Hopefully Not Hung Out To Dry…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

On our trip north to Wellington we stopped for lunch at the“Beach House Café”, located on the main road that goes through Kaikoura.

By chance I found a charming little business right next door, called “The Little Laundrymat”.

Kaikoura is a tourist magnet because whales come in very close to the shore, seeking out the plankton rich area created by the Hikurangi Trench.

The town is a popular stop with backpackers, campers, long distance cyclists, as well as other New Zealanders passing through on their way to, or from Picton.

Travelling on the budget, and for longer periods of time it is always nice to find somewhere where you can do your laundry.

This little laundry mat is the perfect solution and is clearly a response to a need.
A an official lover of quirky sights, I love use of the old washing machine as their street-side signpost and the wringer guide as their letter box. (It’s for this reason that I have also added this post to my quirky letterbox collection on this blog). I’m sure that this will be a very handy business to have in the town, so I hope that they lather up an excellent success and do not get hung out to dry.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

July 14, 2018

Heavy Machinery Road Sharing With Public Vehicles…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Following yesterday’s post I continue to document our December 2017 journey from Blenheim to Kaikoura.

This part of New Zealand is long known for its dramatic coastline, which was intensified and shattered after the massive November 2016 earthquake.

The road, which has been closed for just over a year, was opened for limited daylight hours to the public.

The road is closed again at 20:00 allowing the road crews to work into the long summer day, and then into the night.

At 07:00 in the morning the road reopened to the public and all of the machines are lined up neatly in groups all along the route.

Two of these groups were huge; I took one photograph after another as we kept driving past them.

The line of heavy vehicles seems to go on forever. I

t’s obvious that entire stretches of road spring to life with diggers, graders, cranes, trucks, and heavy vehicles of all road working varieties, which become a hive of industry as soon as the last public vehicle departs.

This “road sharing” pattern is of course in its early stages since the road has been open less than a month, but solves the problem of needing to get the road open as soon as possible and the lack of space and safety issues that would occur if heavy road repair vehicles would attempt to share the road with public traffic. Kaikoura soon appears, first as the familiar peninsular and then closer in, as the first buildings on the outskirts of town. Time for a break…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

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(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

July 13, 2018

Stormy Weather Building On A Beautiful Day…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Travelling south down the Kaikoura coast from Blenheim to Christchurch in the last days of 2017, we saw the sea a lot less tranquil than during our journey north.

A “Southerly” (the main weather front that gives the South Island of New Zealand its rain and cool temperatures) was moving in and we were riding in a good weather window just ahead of it.

The temperature was still a fabulous 28 C (82.4 F) and we were enjoying the excellent New Zealand summer.

After passing through several no stopping zones and having weaved our way around the coast for some distance, I was getting impatient for a stop for some fresh air.

The rest stop that we pulled into was a leveled out area past the road works where people could pull over, get a good look at the coast and take a break.

I didn’t have to walk far, standing near the bonnet of the car with my camera I could already line up some nice shots of the sea and surrounding coast without getting the other pulled over cars in the photographs.

These photos are not just for my blog, I am fascinated about how waves move, roll over, crash against rocks and sprays out, how the spray in some areas produces a sort of misty fog that hugs and envelops the coast. I’m saving these as “inspiration” photos for my arty reference files too. The taste of fresh salty air is wonderful for those of us who have stomachs adverse to long car journeys; having stopped moving for a little while, taken some photographs and enjoyed the view, I was ready for the next stage of the car ride that would take us to Kaikoura.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

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(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

July 12, 2018

Regenerated Before Our Very Eyes…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Yesterday I posted about New Zealand’s newest real-estate: the uplifted land on the Kaikoura coast, gifted by a two minute long earthquake that measured 7.8 on the Richter scale.

It was extremely fortuitous that the quake took place at 2 minutes after midnight on the night of on 14th November 2016 New Zealand time (11:02 on 13 November UTC).

Had the quake happened during the day when the highway and rail link were in full use, there would have been significant loss of life.

Sadly there were two fatalities, one in Kaikoura and the other a little further inland in the settlement of Mount Lyford.

I had more photographs than I could use in one post so todays posts are the “overflow” photos, capturing a landscape that literally being changed before people’s eyes.

In the first instance the changes are by Mother Nature and in the second, by mankind’s cleaning up the mess, making the area manageable again for transportation links, employment, recreational activities and to encourage regeneration of natural habitat and return of wildlife.

Even after a year of the road being closed and it being evident that a lot of hard work is being done, it is also clear that a lot more work is needed to bring this beautiful area back to its former glory.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

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(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

July 11, 2018

Checking Out New Zealand’s Newest Real-Estate…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Driving up to Wellington I did not get as good a view of the rocks here along the post-quake Kaikoura coast so here on the way back I took a heap of photographs for three reasons: firstly because I find the rugged, craggy, and lunar look of them to be beautiful and fascinating.

Secondly, it took just two minutes of an earthquake to raise this sea floor up to six meters from its previous position on the bottom of the Pacific.

Quakes like these happen when tectonic plates slip against one another, pressure great enough to make an occurrence such as with again will probably not build up for another fifty thousand years.

“New Land” was produced in exactly the same way in Wellington in the mid-19th Century, the road and railway line to the Hutt Valley today built on the strip of uplifted land that was created.

The uplift was so great the Hutt River went from being deep enough to sail large sea-going ships a considerable distance upstream, after the quake the river became so shallow that this inland harbouring point completely disappeared.

In all likelihood the uplifted land here in Kaikoura’s coast is here to stay for millennia to come, but just in case Mother Nature decides to take back what is hers, I am documenting it here.

Thirdly, due to the knowledge gained from the Wellington (and actually Napier too) uplifts of land, the road will be relocated in various spots to this new uplifted land. The main reason, is to create a bigger barrier between the road and railway and the unstable hillsides directly above them. Once all of the road workings have been completed, who knows what parts of this new landscape will disappear under asphalt and railway sleepers? I am therefore recording them to compare many years into the future. Who knows, hopefully I will still be blogging then too. There is a saying in property developing circles that goes something like: “Buying land is a good investment, after all there isn’t any new dirt in the world”. New Zealand has an increasing number of places that defy this idea, the Kaikoura coastline has grown rather substantially, the “real-estate” a bonus for Kiwi transportation links and wildlife.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

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(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

July 10, 2018

Pre- And Post-Quake Kekerengu…

Filed under: Kaikoura & Region,Marlborough Province,NEW ZEALAND,PHOTOGRAPHY — kiwidutch @ 1:00 am
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(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Family Kiwidutch continue our journey through the New Zealand province of Marlborough.

Going “home” for the first time in four and a half years we have been busy visiting friends and family.

It is almost New Year and since many businesses shut down between Christmas and New Year, many people have already gone on holiday and are enjoying the summer sun.

Traffic is lighter than we expected, the newly opened road to Kaikoura still has restricted hours, single lanes, speed restrictions and the entire road is subject to possible closures on a day-to day basis for safety reasons.

We therefore assume that many people are being cautious, continuing to use the longer inland route to be certain that the road is open and they will be on time, especially if they have ferries to catch in Picton. After winding our way through the hills we pop out at the familiar beach section close to Kekerengu.

We stopped there for lunch years earlier (Stopping for lunch, “The Store” (and not much else) at Kekerengu. https://kiwidutch.wordpress.com/2010/04/02/new-post-55/) and by chance I have a “pre-quake” photograph of the large hill that can be seen from the car park. Now I also have a “post-quake” photograph of the same hill.

There are scars on the landscape, and no doubt also for the locals here to, not just due to the quake and aftershocks, but also because being cut off from the outside world for a little over a year is not exactly great for business. I was pleased to see visitors cars in the car park, hopefully things are getting back to normal at last.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

The quake damaged hill…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

The hill as it was before… (This photograph was taken in either 2008 or 2009).

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Dog enjoying some fresh air …nice for the dog, but not very safe for the poor beast, being unsecured in case of an accident.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

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(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

July 9, 2018

Ugly Or Beautiful?

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Following yesterday’s post: the first part of our trip south from Blenheim, New Zealand at the end of December 2017 was generally smooth.

Large scale on-going road works after the massive quake here back in November 2016 of course in many places necessitating waiting our turn in single lane sections and driving slowly past repairs of all varieties.

The Marlbourgh vineyards are all around us in this area so bare hills for grazing mix with patches of vines.

We pass by the historic bridge, and yet again tell each other that one day we will stop and find out what makes it special.

Needless to say we haven’t actually done it so far. Traffic is light and we like to take our time.

I have fond memories of bare golden tussock-covered hills just like these from Otago, so for me these hills are amazingly beautiful, and not “ew ugly” as my children so kindly expressed their opinions.

Our appreciation of the landscape may differ but for me at least, hills like these with glimpses of the towering Southern Alps behind them, are a true sign that I am “home”.

Ugly Or Beautiful? You decide.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

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(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

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