Thursday, 6 August 2020

Samuel Marsden Memorial Church


When we first came up to the far north on holiday in April 2018 we drove through Matauri Bay and just before the road to the beach and campground there is this small church with a Maori urupa attached to it.

It's named after Samuel Marsden, the first missionary to New Zealand who came here in 1814 to minister to the Maori people. Accompanying Marsden were missionaries Thomas Kendall, William Hall and John King and their families; John Liddiard Nicholas (author of Narrative of a Voyage to New Zealand”) and Ruatara, Hongi Hika, Korokoro, Te Nganga, Tui and Maui.

The great Ngapuhi war chief, Hongi Hika welcomed Marsden and his colleagues with haka (war dances), inviting them to a feast. They spent the night with Hongi Hika and his people at Putataua Bay before continuing to Rangihoua in the Bay of Islands to establish the first mission station.

The small Anglican church beside the road, some 400 metres before the beach, is the Samuel Marsden Memorial Church, named in honour of the missionary's arrival on these shores. The lettering above the gate to the churchyard and urupa (cemetery) reads Te Tou O Taki”.

Linking up with Skywatch Friday.

Tuesday, 4 August 2020

The Rainbow Warrior Debacle


Yesterday the other half and I decided to travel the 15 minutes to nearby Matauri Bay so we could visit the Rainbow Warrior monument. We entered through the caravan park which had quite a few campers but still relatively quiet over Winter.


Past both sides of the beach around the coastline - the waves were very choppy. We were in 2 minds as to whether to go out on our boat or not but good that we didn't.


Walking up 2 quite steep paths to the top - I'm not the fittest person so I stopped a few times to catch my breath. You are probably wondering what's the story behind the monument. On 10th July 1985 the Greenpeace ship The Rainbow Warrior was moored in Auckland ready to confront French nuclear testing in the Morurua Atoll in the Pacific.


The captain and other crew members are fast asleep but a few others including the photographer were still up chatting with each other. Suddenly the lights went out, glass is broken along with a huge roar of water and 2 explosions heard.  Those who were already on deck managed to leap to safety onto the wharf but the photographer Fernando Pereira had been caught in a wave and drowned.


In an attempt to neutralise the ship ahead of it's planned protest French secret service agents in diving gear had attached 2 packets of plastic wrapped explosives to it, 1 to the propeller and 1 to the outer wall of the engine room. At first the French Government denied all knowledge of it but it soon became obvious that they were involved. Eventually Prime Minister Laurent Fabius appeared on the television and admitted that their secret service agents had sunk the boat and were acting upon orders. Shortly after the Defence Minister of France resigned.



The 2 agents stood trial, Dominique Prieur and Alain Mafart had posed as Swiss tourists pleaded guilty to charges of manslaughter and wilful damage and were given sentences of 10 and 7 years but they were released with 2 years. A UN negotiated settlement meant they were transferred to Hao Atoll a French military base in French Polynesia.


The spy who infiltrated the Greenpeace NZ office ahead of the bombing Christine Cabon evaded arrest in Israel and hasn't been seen since. The whereabouts of the combat frogman with the alias Jean-Michel Berthelot - one of the 2 divers believed to have planted the bomb are unknown.

The Rainbow Warrior was named after a North American Cree Indian prophecy "When the world is sick and dying, the people will rise up like warriors of the rainbow".  On it's bow she carried the dove of peace carrying an olive branch and around the hull was painted the rainbow.

After the bombing the ship was given a resting place here at Matauri Bay where it became a living reef attracting marine life and recreational divers. Greenpeace replaced her with a new vessel and for 22 years the second Rainbow Warrior has campaigned for a safer future.  In 2011 the newest Rainbow Warrior the world's first purpose built environmental campaigning ship readied herself to carry on the original Rainbow Warrior's spirit.

I was a teenager when this happened, I was 14 and remember the huge public outcry of fellow kiwis as the 2 French agents got off their sentences with a slap on the wrist.   The memorial monument itself was the world of kiwi artist Chris Booth and was commissioned by Ngati Kura along with NZ China Clays.

Linking up with Our World Tuesday and My Corner of the World.

Sunday, 2 August 2020

Dan Mills at MOTAT


Last Summer we visited MOTAT - the Museum of transport and technology in Auckland. You might remember previous posts I've written about this interesting place. Anyway one of the many murals  there are these ones. Painted by Dan Mills the above one is a tribute to the blacksmith, an occupation popular in the Victoria era (and older eras) but still around today here and there.


This one is a nod to New Zealand agriculture with a farmer holding a pig and a farmer's wife milking cows.  I can't remember which is where but one is on the back of the vintage tractor shed and the other is on the back of one of the tram sheds.

I hope you're keeping well wherever you are. We have another rainy wet weekend so we will be staying warm and keeping dry. Kia kaha.

Linking up with Mural Monday.

Friday, 31 July 2020

KiwiRail in Tauranga


When we lived in Tauranga we use to see trains all the time mostly carrying forestry logs which travel all over the country.  KiwiRail is owned by Shareholding Ministers of the Crown for over 150 years the railways in NZ have connected our communities, delivered products and people and showed off our amazing scenery. 


According to Wikipedia their main freight routes are:
  • Auckland - Christchurch: domestic general freight, mostly via 10', 20' and 40' containers and curtain-siders or box wagons.
  • Auckland - Tauranga: Containerized and bulk export products
  • Kinleith/Murapara - Mount Maunganui: wood products only
  • Midland Line: Bulk export coal from north of Westport and Reefton, coal containers for Fonterra, dry and wet milk between Westland Dairy plants at Hokitika and Rolleston, export dry milk from Fonterra at Darfield.
  • Edendale - Taieri - Port Chalmers: export milk powder in containers.
  • Wairio - Invercargill: solely coal in containers for Fonterra use.
  • Invercargill - Bluff: run as a 'shunt', sole freight is exports to Southport.

I did find some information on the Tauranga Historical Society blog which says that the first reference for a railway to Tauranga was made in January 1873 when it was suggested that a line from Cambridge to Tauranga be built, but this was not favourably received at the time. 


In March 1879 it was proposed that any railway to be built should be between Tauranga and Rotorua. The Government couldn’t find the money to carry out this work so The Tauranga and Hot Lakes and East Coast District was formed in 1882 to construct the line. A struggle to raise the capital continued until 1887 without result.


By 1905 the railway from Hamilton reached Waihi and interest was shown in a possible route to Tauranga via Waihi. In 1904 a survey was made from Waihi to Katikati and by December 1908 had reached Tauranga. In March 1912 Sir Joseph Ward, the Prime Minister, turned the first sod on the Waihi-Tauranga line. In 1910 the Government decided to use Mount Maunganui as the headquarters for the construction of the East Coast railway. The first sod was turned by the Minister of Public Works 12 April 1910. The first scheduled trains began running from Mount Maunganui to Te Puke on 10 October 1913.

Today only freight trains rumble along the Strand and over the bridge on their way to the port at Mt. Maunganui. The last passenger train to run in Tauranga was at the Jazz festival in 2009.

Linking up with Skywatch Friday.

Wednesday, 29 July 2020

The Wedge - Rawene


Last time we were up in Rawene I took a photo of this unusual building on the corner of 2 streets while I admired the different bright colours.  Apparently it was built in the late 1940s to be used as a 2 storey joinery workshop and it's known as "the wedge" because of it's triangular design.

A few business have occupied different parts over the years including Prime Minister David Lange back when he was a young lawyer early in his career but nowadays it has a real estate at one end and a puzzle shop at the other.


But with a view like this why wouldn't you want to be in there?

Speaking of colour I've been out in the garden here again, I had ordered some little plants online which ended up being way less expensive than I would buy in a nursery. Because we have mostly native plants here I stuck with the theme and ordered some Hebes, some Cuphea and some Brachycome which are mostly low growing but will fill up some bare spots. When I'm out walking sometimes I pick some cuttings out of public gardens to taken home and root so when it rains I will put those out too.

We did get the go ahead from our landlord to remove a noxious plants that had self seeded everywhere, one of which is called Bear's Breeches which can grow up to 2 metres wide and high in the right places and with our garden being quite small it was taking over our lemon tree and flaxes. After digging half a dozen out there were 2 left that were stuck in corners I couldn't get to so I will wait for the other half to help when he has time.

Linking up with My Corner of the World and Wordless Wednesday.

Monday, 27 July 2020

Kaeo Spice Grill Mural


I was out at Kaeo a couple of weeks ago taking photos of some historical places and saw this mural on the side of the Spice Grill Indian Takeaways Restaurant. I've tried finding out who the artist is but all I can make out on the bottom left looks something like "Firka"?!? but it accurately says "we all have our own packets to bear" which I took to mean "burdens".

We were out in the boat today but we weren't too successful in catching anything worthy, the other half caught loads of baby snapper which he threw back and I caught what looked like a 1 metre shark which also got let go. Normally Winter is quiet with not many other boaties out there but today it looked like we weren't the only ones not having much luck.

Linking up with Mural Monday and Our World Tuesday.

Saturday, 25 July 2020

A mixed bag

So it's been kind of mixed bag-ish week here. I finally managed to order some plants for the garden and pots on the deck online, I saw some bargains that I couldn't pass up which were cheaper than what I would buy them for in garden centres including where I work.

Since I only work 2 days a week usually Saturday and Sunday I make it a mission to get out for a minor road trip at least once a week. A few days ago I was up in Totara North and before I drove home I stopped along the Purerua Peninsula to admire the views in the distance of the coastline around the Bay of Islands. I had planned to find one of the many local Maraes but in the end had no luck so once I got home I checked the address on google maps and found I had driven past the road it is on so I will try and find it next week.

We have decided our next holiday away in 2021 will be in Napier in the Hawkes Bay of NZ. My grandmother and her family came from there and many of them are buried in some of the cemeteries so apart from taking photos of many of the art deco buildings there I will be paying my respects to them. In case you didn't know Napier was the place of a major earthquake in 1931 measuring 7.8 on the richter scale. My grandmother told me when she was alive that she was at school when it happened, she had to hide under a desk with the other students.  Must've been quite a scary experience. '

Hope your week has been good. Kia kaha. 

Thursday, 23 July 2020

Move the boat


I was out at Totara North this morning doing a spot of historical research and stopped off at the wharf where I saw this truck getting ready to move a boat out of the water.


Who knows where they were moving it to but the group of 3 people watching the goings on seemed a bit concerned that it was all going to plan. Oh well, at least the sun was out - first time in about 2 weeks.

Linking up with Skywatch Friday.

Tuesday, 21 July 2020

The Little Chapel


On our last trip through Dargaville we stopped at "The Little Chapel" located in Aratapu on the outskirts of the town. Known as "New Zealand's Smallest Church it was opened in 2010 and is 2.2 metres squared.


With an angel looking after the property in amongst the sculpture garden the church was built from ancient swamp Kauri (sometimes found within the Kaipara) carbon dated 38,000 years old.


Owned by locals Warren Suckling and his wife Mavis who decided to build the 9 seat chapel on their land to give others comfort and solace. Kaumatua Jim Te Tuhi iniated the ceremony with a mihi (thanks) followed by speeches from various churches in town.


A photo arrangement inside that shows the various people who came together to make this church possible. 2 Kauri crosses that sit on the roof of the church interestingly came from an old gumdiggers store that use to be in the town, the stained glass windows came from artist Mandy Wood, the pews were gifted from the Aratapu Hall Committee and the Dargaville Garden Club created the surrounding garden (below).





Linking up with Our World Tuesday and My Corner of the World.