Local Heart, Global Soul

October 4, 2018

The Tree-Lined Way To A Special Place…

In January this year Kiwidutch made a trip home to New Zealand, after almost five years. Whilst it feels amazing to catch up with friends and family again, visiting is also tiring,  and we miss just doing as little as possible, not being on a schedule, sitting in the shade, dozing in my case, reading in Himselfs. One of the places we feel most relaxed is Hanmer Springs, so it here that we are headed. Not only are we going to our favourite place, we are also going to our favourite wee bungalow, somewhere we know well and where we feel at home. I currently have a slow-boil obsession with drawing trees so spend a good part of the road trip north photographing the tree lined landscape out of the front passenger seat windows. The thought to do this came about as the last of the city block’s left us, and I spied the “Belfast motorway tree”. This tree has been a feature of the landscape for as many years as I can remember, and marks the first meters of the main highway north. It’s so important that the highway was built either side of it instead of cutting the tree down. Therefore this is a tree-lined journey to a special place…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(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)

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.

August 28, 2018

Painting In The Round, In A Square!

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Cathedral Square in Christchurch has of course the Anglican Christchurch Cathedral as it’s focal point.

With this building in a state of severe damage after the 2010/11 earthquakes, and it’s fate still being hammered out in the courts, the entire area around it remains dangerous and off limits to the public.

As has become a usual state of affairs in Christchurch city, the large area is now ringed with wooden fences to secure the site, and these fences have been amazingly decorated by artist(s).

One of the board explains: “A vast, changing canvas. In the city’s altered centre, art, storytelling and the realms of the imagination claim a vital role. Artists Chris Heaphy and Sara Hughes have unleashed colour, pattern and energy to communicate an active sense of possibility.”

Chris Heaphy’s response to this space comprises themes relating to the cultural flow and exchange of ideas. In focusing on the intersection between nature, culture and history, his ideas invite contemplation.

By laying out diverse symbols, he also creates a meeting place where dialogue and reinvention might flourish. Chris Heaphy is of Ngāi Tahu and European descent.

He is a BFA panting graduate from University of Canterbury School of Fine Arts (1991) and MFA painting from RMIT University, Melbourne (1998). He exhibits his works throughout New Zealand and overseas“.I like that these sort of decorated boards help a recovering city look a little less broken, a bit less like the massive building site that it is, with buildings still to come down, many more still to be repaired, and with so many empty spaces, more to be rebuilt than we can count.

Boards like these deter the ugly, messy sort of graffiti and give an injection of colour into the landscape. Hopefully the sight of many of these murals, be they on wooden board such as these, or on walls, can bring a smile to the passer-by and lighten their mood and day. I also discovered another information board where I (Duh) did not manage to photograph entirely the text and pictures. It appears that the Christchurch Cathedral has suffered at the hands of Mother Nature before, losing the top of it’s spire. I knew this already from newspaper articles directly after the 2010 quakes, or at least the photograph. I hadn’t seen this text before though and it was interesting to read the now quaint wording, the description being: “At two minutes past 4’oclock this morning,  one of the severest shocks of earthquake ever experienced have occurred.” How times have changed, and yet, looking at the Cathedral in it’s current state… not changed at all.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

August 26, 2018

The Cathedral’s Fate Yet Uncertain…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Visiting in the first days of January 2018, The Christchurch Cathedral seems completely unchanged from when we visited five years ago.

The building looks sad in it’s present state, and I know that there have been some court battles over it’s survival because one of the most favoured options by the Anglican church is to pull it down.

However it’s popularity is such that millions has been raised by the public for it’s restoration and even more some consider, is that the Cathedral is the number one icon of the city, the biggest focal point (Cathedral Square), as well as regional and international point of recognition.

In this piece: https://www.radionz.co.nz/news/national/339026/fate-of-christchurch-cathedral-being-decided “Fate of ChristChurch Cathedral being decided”

I read: “The head of the Christchurch Anglican diocese, and Christchurch’s Bishop, Victoria Matthews has strongly stated her support for demolition in the past. The government, city council and heritage groups all back restoring it.

At Synod people backed each of the three options – demolish and rebuild, reinstate, or gift the building to the government.

The option to reinstate came with a $25 million funding pledge from central government and a $10 million pledge from the Christchurch City Council (although this is subject to public consultation).

As part of the discussion, Christchurch mayor Lianne Dalziel said “there was no right or wrong decision, but if the call was made to demolish, it could face significant legal challenges”. National Party Christchurch Rebuild spokesperson Nicky Wagner reaffirmed her support for reinstatement and said she was “cautiously optimistic” that the Synod would choose to rebuild the cathedral.

How does the Synod come to a decision?”The Anglican Synod is a meeting of the Christchurch Diocese, which covers all of Canterbury, the Westland Coast and the Chatham Islands. It consists of three houses: the House of Bishops, the House of Clergy and the House of Laity.

In a similar way to a council meeting or AGM, there were a variety of motions that the Synod debate and vote on.This year, it includes the fate of the ChristChurch cathedral. To come to a decision, a motion has to gain a majority in each of the three houses. If there was no majority, the voting will continue.”

I personally feel tis this building is worth more than money, it’s loss would be like Paris losing the Eiffel Tower, Sydney it’s Opera House or New York the Statue of Liberty. As any Christchurch resident about their first trip up to the top of the tower pre-quakes, they all have a story and happy memory. Also pre-quake I am probably one of tens of thousands who over the years have walked through the Cathedral’s doors for the Christmas Eve Service after the Carols by Candlelight event on the banks of the Avon on balmy summers evenings. I hope this this building is saved and restored, it deserves more than to be just a sad figure of a building in the Square that bares it’s name and a giant birdhouse for the local winged residents.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

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