Sunday, 30 December 2018

Mangungu Mission Church

This historical church is one of the oldest in the Hokianga region and was founded around 1821 as part of the mission house and station. In 1840 this land was where an additional 64 signatures were added to the Treaty of Waitangi and after the deception was discovered at the original signing there was still alot of opposition to this.

After some discussion between one chief and some missionaries they decided it would be good for the Maori people in general. Gifts of tobacco and blankets were given out by Governor Hobson but many people were unhappy with this considering they were trading the rights to their land and asked for their signatures to be removed from the treaty. This was refused  and although there were people who were opposed to this, those who did sign ended up being the most faithful.

It's a pity that such a beautiful spot overlooking the harbour could be part of what is now considered to be a one sided travesty.

Friday, 28 December 2018

Thunderstorm Summer

So far we've had a lot of rain and we are only in the beginning of our Summer season which is normally dry and hot. I took this photo on Christmas day morning when blue skies started to poke through the clouds but more thunderstorms are forecast for this weekend...

Linking up with Skywatch Friday.

Wednesday, 26 December 2018

Christmas day Bougainvillea

Christmas day came and went here in NZ. Christmas eve luckily I didn't have to work and my parents had come up to spend 2 days with us unfortunately we had constant rain - our country got quite a downpour but Christmas day morning the sun came out and shone down on us again.

Some of the goodies we feasted on were typical Kiwi traditions such as Pavlova, Fruit Sponge plus I had mad a Chocolate log with cream and jam in the middle. We also had a pork roast with various vegetables - the other half had barbequed some scallops wrapped on bacon. My mum (in the photo above) cutting the deserts into slices.

Later on after they had left I ventured out for a walk and saw this carpet of purple and red Bougainvillea lining the walkway near our house. How did your day go?

Tuesday, 25 December 2018

Merry Christmas from NZ!

Merry Christmas everyone! We've spent the last 2 days with rain, now outside we have blue skies - hoping for a warm Summer's day.

Sunday, 23 December 2018

Festive shop windows

This week has been hellish for me as I expected. With Christmas time comes people doing their shopping, many leaving it to the last minute. One colleague has left so I've picked up her late night so now I'm doing 2 late nights a week until 10.30pm. Last night on my way home I stopped and took a few photos here and there but I think this is the best one I got of decorations in one of the shop windows along the main street.

I like it - what do you think?

Tuesday, 18 December 2018

Summer at Opito Bay

Opito Bay is the place about 10 minutes from where we live that we drive to with our boat to launch from the ramp. I couldn't resist taking this shot from out on the water of the bay.

Summer is finally here and with the red pohutukawa trees blooming, the hot sun beaming down on us and birds singing we are enjoying every minute of it.

Linking up with Our World Tuesday.

Sunday, 16 December 2018

Motukaraka Church

Overlooking the Hokianga Harbour is this gem with a very high steeple. Motukaraka Church or as it's otherwise known the Church of Our Lady of the Assumption is Catholic based and was designed by Thomas Mahoney but opened in 1910 by Dean Lightfoot one of the Mill Hill Missionaries.

There is a war memorial next to the church dedicated to those who fought in the 2nd world war - names include Private Massey Rameka, Private David Hoani and Private Chris Harris.

The missionaries identified with their mostly Maori congregation and learned their native language. Father John Baptist Becker, also one of the missionaries is buried next to the church and was responsible for translating the bible for his parishioners.

The interior resembles that of a gothic design and has been incredibly well looked after. However upon looking at the mat leading down the centre of the aisle we could see there was some water damage so maybe there was a leak in the roof at some point but it was still immaculate nonetheless.

Saturday, 15 December 2018

The blind harpist

At my work last week we had a special day called the "Christmas Club day". It involves all those who are part of New World's Christmas Club so if you are a part of it you can win prizes and get great deals all day. The entertainment was this very clever blind lady playing the harp - after a few hours it got a bit old and we were wishing for some peace and quiet but nonetheness she was still very talented.

Friday, 14 December 2018

Humid Summer Evenings

We are at that time of year where the nights and early evenings are becoming humid and dry. Christmas is nearly upon us and people are preparing for that one day where shops close. It's amazing how they freak out - I see some astronomically huge trolleys coming through - it makes me wonder how those who don't have money manage financially.  We have huge lines of people waiting to go through checkout, workers monitoring them so people don't push in, people waiting in the carpark before 7am when the shops open, people trying to get in the side doors early and banging on the front doors - crazy!

Do people behave the same way where you are at Christmas?

Linking up with Skywatch Friday.

Wednesday, 12 December 2018

The old Horeke Store Fire

Interesting buildings these ones. The one of the left is still being used as a house but the one on the right was the old Horeke Post Office and General Store. Apparently in 1931 embers from smoke coming out of the house's chimney scattered onto the floor and the flames spread across to the store.

The news story below illustrates what happened:
BIG BLAZE - Northern Advocate 1931
HOREKE STORE AND P.O. TWO DWELLINGS SAVED. START IN TIN CHIMNEY. A disastrous fire devastated the business block of Horeke on Saturday last, about 12.30 p.m. Two dwellings, the store and post office stand - together on a platform supported by piles over the river. It is believed that the outbreak was caused by the wind blowing down the tin chimney of the smaller house and scattering embers on the floor. It was lunch time, and although the outbreak was quickly detected, efforts to prevent the spread of flames to the store were unsuccessful. Fortunately the tide was in, and a bucket brigade worked like trojans to save, 'the buildings. The outbreak in the smaller house was got in" hand, but not before over £IOO damage had been done. The store was completely gutted. Mr (H. Rose, who owned the; whole block of buildings, was carrying stock valued at £2500, which he had insured for ■£17.30.
The post office also is a complete, ruin, but most of the records were saved. ‘
Three boats were moored to the piles and forgotten in the excitement. Two of these, a pleasure launch and a goods carrier, wore'burnt and sunk. The homestead was separated from the store by two’ water tanks. ’ logs were chopped in them by the Madrid and the deluging outflow to save the residence. Mr Rose was" returning from a visit to Auckland, and had just arrived to spend a 'few minutes with Mr and Mrs Jim Sloane, Mata, when he heard of the calamity which had befallen him. Rebuilding has commenced already. Mr G,' Kimber, of Whangarei, who was at Horeke, helped in ’the firefighting operations. He was burned about the forehead and arms.

Sunday, 9 December 2018


This morning the other half and I drove about an hour and a half to the Scottish founded town of Waipu to look at a boat he had his eye on.

This is the baby we ended up buying - perfect for those long Summer days fishing out on the water. Fresh fish anyone?

Friday, 7 December 2018

Whangaroa's boat ramp

After a week of thunderstorms and rain we finally have blue skies again. December 1st is the first day of Summer for us kiwis but it certainly hasn't felt like it. We are off to look at a boat to possibly buy on Sunday morning for fishing and this boat ramp in Whangaroa's harbour is one place we can easily launch off. Here's to more Summer days!

Linking up with Skywatch Friday.

Wednesday, 5 December 2018

Fundraising for Hospice

In the foyer of my work this week are 2 Christmas trees and hanging on them are cards people have filled out in remembrance of their loved ones who are no longer here. Hospice NZ are here fundraising for their organization and many people are taking advantage of it by donating to them.

These wonderful people help others who are living with a life threatening condition such as heart failure, motor neurone disease, cancer etc so I think it's fitting that they continue.

Monday, 3 December 2018

Christmas at Countdown

Here in NZ we have different names of Supermarkets. We have Countdown (above which is Australian owned), New World (where I work), Pak n Save, Four Square and Fresh Choice (which are NZ owned). 

We were doing our weekly food shopping this morning and I took this shot to show what the average supermarket here looks like. This is the fruit and vege department with the liquor department on the right and seafood department at the end. This is only a small portion in this building with more aisles and checkout lines. As you can see there are Christmas decorations here and there along with the typical chocolates etc on sale. And the Christmas music started 2-3 weeks ago, on Saturday I think I heard 3 different versions of Jingle Bells and it's kinda sad that working in retail and being constantly around everything festive has sort of taken a grinch approach on me.

One plus is that NZ has banned single use plastic bags to be gone from Supermarkets by the end of the year. Countdown has already gotten rid of them and people now use reusable bags. My work will be banning them by 1st January 2019 and it's amazing how many people are not good with the positive change. So many have and complain weekly, sometimes daily about how they won't be able to get their free rubbish bags anymore and how they're stockpiling the plastic bags for when they are gone. It's quite sad that people are so selfish about their needs vs the environment. The other half and I have been using our reusable bags for about a year now and we prefer them because they are stronger and you can get more in them - we are trying to make a positive effort for our earth.

What's your country's policy on this issue?

Linking up with Our World Tuesday.

Saturday, 1 December 2018

Rawene's Boatshed Cafe

Along the Esplanade in Rawene near the Ferry wharf is the Boatshed Cafe and apparently they make and sell very delicious food such as a Salmon Cream Cheese gourmet pizza. But they also sell arts, crafts and the best fish and chips in the Hokianga Harbour.

Us kiwis love our pizza and there are all sorts of weird and wonderful varieties here. My favourite one ever is from the Waipu Pizza Barn and it has avocado, shrimp and sour cream on it, another one is a Vegetarian pizza from Dominoes. What's your favourite pizza?

Stock car racing

We spotted this stock car in Murchison last time we were there about a year and a half ago. Looks a bit beat up and well used but I do enjoy...