Local Heart, Global Soul

December 8, 2018

Brunner Mine, This Stop Deserves More…

Filed under: HISTORY,NEW ZEALAND,PHOTOGRAPHY,West Coast /Westland Province — kiwidutch @ 1:00 am
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I have been having trouble with a group of my computer chips of late, many being fine when I first check them on the computer but refusing to open when I try them again later on I’ve been fighting this problem for weeks now because on occasion some files on a chip will work one day, then not the next, or some files will open and others in the next folder not. After a week of trying I got my photographs for the Brunner mine of yesterday’s reference open…It’s a lovely little historical rest stop that I would have gladly spent more time at had I been well. I love places like these and think that we need to keep history alive at all costs so that heritage is not lost for future generations.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(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)

December 4, 2018

History On The Wall… Part Two.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

This is a continuation of yesterday’s post where I am trying to showcase the detail of a large mural in Greymouth, New Zealand.

The mural is a compilation of many of the “Coasts” biggest events, famous people and “characters”.

The artwork is amazing and I have tried hard not to miss any of the individual pieces.

That said, I only realised after we had left that there were some that I could have done better a few small snippets that got left out (the war memorial part on the top row, mentioned in yesterday’s post.)

It’s a case of having information overload when you are standing looking at such a large, detailed work.

Later back at our accommodation on the computer, came the moment that I could really appreciate the artwork, information and detail of this amazing mural. There is even a tiny inclusion of part of the modern day skyline of the town that includes a miniature depiction of the advertising bucket from a certain well known American fried chicken chain. Product placement, or a small nod to the/one of the sponsor(s) of this mural? Greymouth residents of course have the luxury of being able to visit this mural as many times as they want… and in this case that’s a luxury indeed.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

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(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

I was rather horrified to see an inclusion of someone in blackface in this mural, the gun they are holding becomes a secondary concern. I also have a question as to why the men appear to be named but not the women?

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

December 3, 2018

History On The Wall… Part One.

The mural behind the Greymouth Evening Star car park is far bigger than I first thought.  Upon closer inspection I found that it’s a tapestry of historical events and people of special note (or notoriety) in Greymouth and the West Coast. Some very big events took place here, and there are too many photographs for one post, so I’ll do this in two parts. This part attempts to follow the top row of elements in the mural from left to right…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

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(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(I missed photographing the next one, on the top row, it’s fuzzy because of the distance I took the photograph from (first photo in this post). Even zooming in with “Paint”, all I can make out is the headline of the caption: “Runanga Payroll Robbery” and the rest of the text is blurry. What I don’t understand is why there seems to be a picture of a War Memorial next to this caption (missed getting that photo too) and I’m no too sure how the two are connected.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

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this one above goes below the following photo

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

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(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

There are plenty more of these amazing pictures and their accompanying stories… they will be posted tomorrow.

October 24, 2018

A Most Interesting Piece Of Infrastructure…

Filed under: HISTORY,LIFE,NEW ZEALAND,PHOTOGRAPHY,West Coast /Westland Province — kiwidutch @ 1:00 am
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(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Another thing that the New Zealand province of the West Coast is famous for is the myriad of stream and rivers on this side of the Main Divide (one of the names for the Southern Alps).

I mentioned a few posts ago that my Grandfather told us that the Coaster’s rule for giving way (especially after a visit to the Pub) was “My turn your turn, my turn…”

…and that needless to say there were probably more than a few near misses.

That is nothing however when compared to the close shaves that must have regularly occurred on some of these bridges: Why?

Because the headlights speeding towards you on the other side of the One Way bridge did not belong to a car, but to a train.

Yes, you figured that out correctly, the West Coast has one-way bridges where not only cars in both directions take turns to share a single lane, they also both share with trains going in both directions!

Phew, I bet that somewhere during the years that made for some scary games of Chicken and some truly hair raising moments! I assume the reason why these exist is just due to economics: you have just a handful of small towns along the entire length of the West Coast, in addition there are a few tiny settlements dotted along the coast but even in total the population is so small that investing in separate road and rail bridges is a massive expense. We come to one such bridge, fortunately sans train, and after waiting our turn cross one of the West Coasts most interesting pieces of infrastructure.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

October 3, 2018

Shining Light On A Valued Contribution…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Many of our Christchurch family and friends have moved house in recent years.

Some, like my father and step-mother, have downsized into a property with a garden the fraction of the size (and upkeep), others got sick of the cracks and myriad of small damage in their old places and opted for something newer, better insulated and doesn’t have a thick file of insurance claims on it.

The more than six thousand homes that have been demolished in the Red Zones have needed to replaced for the occupants elsewhere.

Subdivisions have sprung up in and around the north west corner of the city, Rangiora has doubled in size, so have areas along the Main South Road /State Highway One to the south of the city.

The area around Marshlands towards the old QEII Stadium has also been redeveloped, and whilst visiting friends in this area, we were taken for a tour of the new neighbourhood. One of the things they pointed out had been recently installed and dedicated by the Polish Ambassador: a memorial lamp post in memory of the Polish settlers here. The street nearby is also named “Polish Settlers Street” in honor of the people who worked to drain the land here. Like our friends who moved here and found this, I had no idea that Polish people had been living and working here in Christchurch as early as 1872. It just goes to show that even a brand new subdivision can hold hidden secrets about a city that you think you know well, but really only know a tiny amount about.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)


(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

October 2, 2018

Process And Progress Of Construction…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Himself and continued our January 2018 drive around the Christchurch Red Zone.

In total more than six thousand homes were removed from land that suffered subsidence, liquefaction and other geological damage.

The result for me is eerie, I remember some of the former landmarks, but it’s the street after street of land devoid of buildings, and amongst them places belonging to friends and family that seems strange.

The trees on the former house sections have been left intact, useful because it is the intention to fix this land by redeveloping the soil levels and compacting the ground to even it out and make it stronger against future quakes.

It would then later be ready for future redevelopment back as residential use once more.

To that end we start to see the repair of major roads with the new inclusion of cycle-paths, something that was put very high on the Christchurch residents wish-list when it came to suggestions on the city rebuild. Sometime in the future this landscape will not be so bare, so this is like a diary account so that I can track the process and progress of construction.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

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(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

September 26, 2018

The Value Of Resources Changes With Time…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

The River Avon runs though the enter of Christchurch, the city dubbed the “most English” of New Zealand cities.

Leaving Cathedral Square we go the sort  distance to the river, towards Hagley Park.

There we find yet more reconstruction from after the 2010/11 earthquakes, the bridge has been repaired, river banks repaired and landscaped so that there is now a nicer sitting area here.

I looked for the wheelchair ramp and didn’t see it, had we missed it already? We didn’t serious hunt because I’m actually here to photograph the old Visitor Information building  and Scott’s statue, rather than go sit on the seats under the trees.

Before that though, there is a display with information about Christchurch’s very first settlers, the Maori. It reads:

“Home of the first peoples.
Take yourself back 700 years, when the site of Christchurch was a vast tract of wetlands. Here, where you are standing, early Maori had a settlement, Puari. These first peoples chose to live here because of the rich resources of the wetlands. They built their “whare” (houses/settlements) on the high ground along sandy teraces above the Otakaro River.

Freshwater springs on the northern boundary of the settlement provided clean water even when the river was in flood. This site gave the people easy access to fibre plants for clothing, baskets, fish traps, and cordage. Harakeke, raupō, tî kōuka grew here in abundance.

The waterways and wetlands provided fish, eels, and waterfowl. Towards the west, swamp forest provided further timber for whare and canoes.

Traces of the past. Throughout Christchurch are urupā, the burial places of the Waitaha people. Across the bridge on the site of the former library, is the urupā for Puari. Human remains barely covered by the eroding sand could still be seen here in the 1850’s.Puari, a settlement of about 800 people, was lived in by the Waitaha then by Ngāti Mamoe.”

I knew that there were Pa (village) sites around outer areas of Christchurch but even as an ex-local I didn’t know that Maori also settled directly in what is now the central city of Christchurch. Knowing that it had been swampland I assumed that it would be too boggy, and now find that this boggy area was a valuable resource instead of a hinderance. I suppose it’s a case of my thinking in modern day terms and labelling the swampy landscape as a disadvantage, rather than seeing the landscape full of advantages as it would have been in those times.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

The area where the Puari lived…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(Below): looking towards Hagley Park, the Arts Centre and Museum…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

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(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

September 2, 2018

Evolving With The Times…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

The next of the information panels set in the center of Cathedral Square talks about the structural changes that have gone on here over the history of the Square.

This central area has had to make changes to keep up with technology, be that the early trolley busses or the later cars and busses.

I vaguely remember hearing that there were issues with the Cathedral due to the rumbling of vehicles in front of it, the vibrations they caused and also pollution problems. I’m not sure where I picked up this snippet of information or how valid it is but if correct it might explain quite a few things.

I also do not know at what stage the network of “One way streets” was introduced around the perimeter of the central city but this may have been an answer to the knock on effect that city traffic was having.

There are four One Way corridors running North/South and East/West, forming a box-like shape around the central city. Each of these One Way streets has a counterpart One Way street over that runs in the opposite direction so you get a box-within-a-box effect.The traffic lights on the One Way streets are synchronized so it is possible to get to the other side of the city reasonably quickly no matter which side of the city you start out on.Traffic lights on One Way streets get priority above surrounding streets, unless it’s an intersection with another One Way street.

The beautiful grid-pattern that the city planners in England provided for Christchurch quickly became a nightmare to negotiate as soon as cars became plentiful, earning the city the reputation of “city of a million traffic lights”, ergo the need for constant traffic redesigns. It seems that Christchurch has spent it’s entire history …evolving with the times.

The information board reads:

‘Evolving with the times.’ ‘ From when it was first laid out in 1850, Cathedral Square – the heart of the Central City, has undergone many changes. Its look, feel, and function have evolved from a muddy thoroughfare in the early days to a more formal, pedestrian-orientated place for hosting civic and social gatherings.’

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

‘Early layouts focused on defining the extent of the Cathedral site and the Godley Plot while allowing traffic along Colombo Street to pass in front of the projecting Cathedral frontage.’

‘In the late 1900’s, redesign was focused on increasing the size of the pedestrian areas and reducing the presence of vehicular traffic. Recommendations for new activities and attractions included the Four Ships Court, feature lighting and new planting to compliment the re-paved area and it generally “furnish” the space.”

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

‘The early 1970’s design, finished in time for the Commonwealth Games being hosted in Christchurch, introduced pedestrianised areas in front of the Cathedral by closing off the direct Colombo Street connection and south-western parts of the Square to traffic. Bus stops and taxi stands were confined to the outer edges.’

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

September 1, 2018

Heritage Is Now History…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Another information board in the Square details many of the historic buildings that used to stand here which were lost in the 2010 earthquake, damaged beyond repair.

Not so long ago” “Prior to the earthquakes in 2010/11, Cathedral Square was ringed by buildings of various styles and ages.

These included offices, hotels and banks, as well as entertainment venues such as an aquarium, cafes and bars, the information centre and a cinema”

“The Press building was designed by Armson, Collins and Harman and opened in 1909”

The Press building was a particular favourite of mine (The Regent Theatre, The Press Building and old Post Office being my “top three”).

I’ve included a link to the Wikipedia site for it. I went there twice in my late teens to place adverts in the Saturday newspaper to sell the copious amounts of walnuts the tree at my parents house used to produce.

Yes, in the days when you went to place a “for sale” advert at the office, in person! You also paid per word so my Father was very strict on how efficiently he could word it.

He would say: “after all, we have to sell (“x”) amount of walnuts first just to cover the cost of the advertisement!”. I remember that building was beautiful inside, and that impressed me.

Sadly in those days film was expensive and so were the developing costs so we used our little rolls of 24 shots sparingly.

I never photographs the inside. Hindsight is a wonderful thing.

Kids these days could not imagine having to “ration” a roll of 24 photographs, or how happy you would be if you got 25 or (gasp) 26 photographs off a roll!

“The Press Building, Christchurch”  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Press_Building,_Christchurch

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Many of the Square’s well-known heritage buildings were demolished, including Warner’s Hotel, The Press Building, The Regent Building, and the former Lyttlelton Times Building”.

“ The former Government Building was designed by J.C. Maddison. Completed in 1913 it was converted to the Heritage Hotel in the mid-1990’s”.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

The Regent Building (above) was designed by the Luttrell Brothers and constructed in 1904-5. The Former Chief Post Office was designed by W.H. Clayton and opened in 1879”.

Glamour of the Cinema” “During the heyday of the cinema in the mid 1930’s, eight picture theatres on or very close to, Cathedral Square competed for business. Many had elaborate architectural fascades, reflecting popular modern styles of the day.”

“Savoy Theatre, circa 1958, north-east corner Cathedral Square. In 1953 the Liberty Theatre was redesigned by H. Francis Willis and became the Savoy Theatre until it closed in 1993. “ “Paul Pascoe. Sketch of the exterior of the Tivoli Theatre in the 1930’s. Formerly “Everybody’s Theatre”, the Tivoli later became the Westend.”

(Photographs taken by) “ Robert Percy Moore (1881-1948), Christchurch New Zealand 1923. No.1 (view of Christchurch city from the cathedral tower), 1923.”

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

August 29, 2018

Ngāi Tahu And Their Little Known Conversion…

There are quite a few information boards in Christchurch’s Cathedral Square and they make very informative reading. even though I grew up in Christchurch and know a lot about the city and it’s history, there is still so much to discover, so much to learn. One of these boards informs me:

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Ngāi Tahu in the Anglican City”. “Christchurch Cathedral and Cathedral Square are iconic symbols of Ōtautahi / Christchurch and important reminders of its Church of England roots. Few people realise that the first Anglican church in greater Christchurch was a Ngāi Tahu “whare karakia” (church) and that several early Anglican churches in the Province were built by and for Ngāi Tahu communities.”

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(Above)“Ngai Tahu were early converts to the Anglican faith in Ōtautahi in a period when politics and religion were integrally tied. Hakopa Te Ata o Tū (3rd from left) and Pita Te Hori (3rd from right) were Ngāi Tahu Rangatira, members of the Anglican Church and key players in the early relationships between Ngāi Tahu and the leaders of the burgeoning colonial city.”

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

“Holy Trinity Church at Wairewa Pa, Little River was the realisation of a dream for Irai Tihau who did much to secure its construction. Builot in 1870, the church stood on a small spur above the pa. Holy Trinity Church was destroyed by fire in 1969“

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

“When the foundation stone for the Te Whare Tipene / St Stephen’s, Tuahiwi was laid by Sir George Grey, Governor of New Zealand in 1867, Ngāi Tahu took the opportunity to express their concerns over land sales to the crown. While many Ngāi Tahu remained committed to the Church through the turbulent colonial period, others became disillusioned, regarding it as complicit in the injustices wrought by the government in the loss of their lands and resources.”

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

“The original raupō and slab whare karakai (church) built at Puari in Koukourārata / Port Levy in 1844 was the first Anglican church in what was to become the Canterbury province. It was replaced in 1864 by the more substantial wooden building pictured here. A memorial marks the site today.”

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Ngāi Tahu” is pronounced “nigh-tar-hu” means the ‘people of Tahu’, linking back to ancestor Tahu Pōtiki. Within the iwi (tribes) there are five primary hapū (groups) being Kāti Kurī, Ngāti Irakehu, Kāti Huirapa, Ngāi Tūāhuriri and Ngāi Te Ruahikihiki.

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