Local Heart, Global Soul

October 5, 2018

The Hurunui Hotel, Closure Hopefully Temporary…

The Hurunui Hotel, where we have previously on other trips enjoyed lunch, had been damaged by the Christchurch 2010 and 2011 earthquakes, but not at all seriously. The Kaikoura quakes of November 2016 however have been an entirely different story, and to our dismay the building is now not even safe to enter. The hotel is therefore closed for business and we didn’t know anyone who knew what it’s future would be. As a heritage building I hope that the owners get help as soon as possible from the Hurunui District Council or Government to bring it back to its former glory. I hope to bring better news about this wonderful building at some future date.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

July 26, 2018

…Will Never Know Normal Ever Again.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Our journey south continues, It’s strange for us to not be taking the turnoff after Kaikoura onto the “Inland Route” that comes out on State Highway 7 leading to the West Coast and Nelson.

The road to Hanmer Springs is a small detour from that road, and our favourite little house just a short walk from the Hot Pools.

The house was already booked for Christmas / New Year, so we are booked to get in instead on the 2nd of January 2018, and take the opportunity to visit more friends and family in Christchurch before (literally) heading for the hills.

The road is busy at times but we are taking our time, pacing ourselves and in no hurry.

I first thought that what I was seeing along the coast was mist thrown up by the fairly stormy waves, but it can’t be co-incidence that this “mist” is particularly massive around the big landslips, so probably I am wrong and this might be dust from the slip, even over a year after the 7.8 quake that hit in November 2016. It can’t be dust being generated by work crews either because they are sleeping during the part of the day the road is open to public vehicles, and will be working only later during the closed hours and during the night.

As we drive we are slowing heading away from the worst of the earthquake destruction so the long lengths of traffic cones become fewer, as do random work crew sites and heavy machinery waiting for the night shift to mend everything from small bridges, culverts, road edges and barriers: cracks of all sizes in the road and height differences the quake generated have long since been filled in, evened out and paved over. The vista of a less scarred landscape takes over and projects a feeling of normal to an area that will never really know normal ever again.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

The white structure is the outside of a train tunnel: the blue signs on the side say ” Thank you for your support”…

(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)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

July 22, 2018

Kaikoura Heading South…

A Photographic post today. It was the end of December 2017, Kaikoura heading south…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Photographs of the sea whilst in the queue waiting our turn on one of the single lane stretches…

(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)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

July 21, 2018

Fed, Watered And Ready For The Road…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Visiting Kaikoura in the last days of 2017, and seeing how the town is recovering from the earthquake that shut down State Highway One to both the north and south, it hit home that when things are easy and we only have the “little stuff” to worry about, we should be grateful indeed.

There has been financial hardship, some people have left for good, there is still a way to go with the rebuilding process.

For all of the negative things that have happened here though, the overwhelming feeling I got during our visit is one of positivity, a strong sense of community and a resilience that even a 7.8 earthquake could not keep down.

The tourists are flooding back and speaking to family and friends they all intend to take rest stops here when they travel so that visitor money goes back into small businesses and the Kaikoura community.

We have appointments in Christchurch so can’t stay longer, our route out of town was via the (for me) familiar tree lined waterfront road along the bay.

We go over the hill that links the peninsular to the mainland and head towards the airport.

This tiny aerodrome has good memories for Himself and I regarding a trip here when we had Mark’s mother with us:

Whooo Whooo …catching a train, and dolphin (with a car and a helicopter!) https://kiwidutch.wordpress.com/2010/04/03/new-post-testing-links/

When we passed here in 2017, things were busy, lots of planes and a few helicopters on the strip. It’s good to see. Now we are fed and watered and ready for the road…

(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)

July 20, 2018

Acknowledging The Friendly Wave…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

One thing that I miss when I leave New Zealand is their level of friendliness.

It’s customary to give a quick wave of acknowledgement when passing other vehicles on country roads, to road workers as you go pass them in speed restricted areas, to waiting vehicles when you have had priority on one lane bridges, to someone in the city who lets you into a busy stream of traffic from a smaller side street, the list goes on.

It was therefore interesting to see that all of the Kaikoura workers on the newly reopened road were also acknowledging the drivers as they went by.

In some places it was hard to photograph, others like here easier, but all gave us a wave and a grin.

We remarked that this was only the first three weeks the road had been open, and wondered about the heavy summer holiday traffic and if they would be adhering to this unwritten “code of acknowledgement” in three months’ time, or longer.

What’s lovely about the situation in these photographs is that the road worker not only gave each of us on his side of the road a friendly wave once his “Stop” sign changed to “Go”, but in the meantime also gave a friendly wave to each vehicle passing in the opposite direction. (it’s a bit hard to see in the photographs because he is waving with his left hand, but this is a proper wave, not just raising his hand in a stiff manner.) We saw by the smile he gave us when we passed by that this is a genuine friendliness too, there are subtle ways of telling when people are just “going through the motions” and when they are not.

If we crawl past a road worker with a sign in the Netherlands, and I lift a hand in acknowledgement, both my kids will let out an exasperated “Mammm, No one does that here!”, or “ ew… stop that, it’s embarrassing!” and more often than not the road worker will give me a puzzled stare. Old habits are hard to break though, and if anything I think that anything that gives a touch of friendliness to strangers sharing our roads, city life and public spaces should be encouraged rather than rejected as a waste of time. Make someone smile, start a trend, whenever the moment is right, why not just acknowledge someone with a friendly wave?

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

July 19, 2018

Showing Local Businesses Some Love…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

I neglected to mention that before Family Kiwidutch visited the main shopping area in Kaikoura, New Zealand, we had already had lunch on the main road a bit further out.

Kiwi Daughter had given us one wish (read ultimatum): to go back to “Beach House Café”… “Kiwi Daughter Finds Food Heavenhttps://kiwidutch.wordpress.com/2018/04/14/new-2830/… so that she could get another one of their amazing Caesar salads that she had discovered and loved so much.

We made a short stop before that though so that I could get a pie from the Kaikoura Bakery.

I know that the town has had a rough time, the road to the north has been closed for more than a year, the one south was only recently cleared, so access to the town has been via two smaller inland roads, the second of which was a gravel road until about a decade ago.

I also know that it wasn’t only our family who expressed a wish to specifically stop in Kaikoura in order to spend some money whilst having a rest stop from our journey, and at the same time do our bit to help a struggling community and many businesses on the financial brink.

I don’t know if it was this kind of wish that brought so many people to the bakery, or if it was just extra busy with the New Year’s public holiday imminent, but the bakery was almost beyond packed.

The shop is decently large and people patiently waiting were packed in right to the doors. Inside was what might be called “organized chaos”: staff rattling off orders, filling bags and ringing up final figures for purchases at the cash register, then calling “Next please!” for the next customer.

With at least half a dozen people working behind the counter, it was noisy and the closer I got to the counter the more people came in behind me. This was the New Year rush; it was people showing some love for a local business too. I had no hope at all to take photographs inside, but can attest that my meat pie was delicious and I think that the lolly cake and sandwich I got for Little Mr. passed his fussy inspection.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

New Zealand’s native “Pohutakawa” tree flowers with distinctive blossoms in December, earning it the nickname: “New Zealand’s Christmas Tree”, it’s included in the painted festive decorations for the bakery window…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

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)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

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(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)

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)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

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(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)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

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(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

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