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.

Saturday, 18 July 2020

The 1 in 100 year flood


Over the last 2 days we've had torrential rain, thunder and lightning. Luckily where we are we have lots of drainage but in other places I read this morning such as Whangarei, Horeke, Kohukohu etc have had widespread flooding.

Apparently a petrol station in Whangarei was so flooded that customers and workers were trapped inside overnight due to the rising water. I watched a video a few minutes ago showing Haruru Falls in Paihia as a raging torrent of water, similar to the footage above that was filmed 6 years ago.

The amount of rainfall over Northland has been told as a 1 in a 100 year event with over 500 cubic metres of water per second at 10pm last night at the Hatea River. We are looking out on a sunny day today but the rest of the east coast is now copping it.

Some links to read more are here:
Thunderstorms across Northland
Floods trap residents
Watercare worries


Thursday, 16 July 2020

Good luck...maybe?


I was going through some old photos this morning and found this one from 3 years ago when we briefly stopped in Taupo on our way to Ruapehu. It seems I took this photo of this Asian or Indian deity that someone put up on a tree for some reason or another, good luck maybe? I must've taken a photo of it at the time because I found it interesting.

I remember this day as it was 0 degrees celsius at 7am which was the point when we stopped and had a walk around during our journey.  What do you think of the little deity - any ideas?

Linking up with Skywatch Friday.

Tuesday, 14 July 2020

Monument to Hone Heke


Last week we drove out to Kaikohe on one of those very blustery cold winter days and boy was it cold, we basically dodged the hail.  Anyway we decided to stop off at the Monument to Hone Heke (not the Hone Heke who was involved in the treaty of Waitangi - that was his great uncle) who was born in Kaikohe in 1869 and a direct descendant of Rahiri. He was closely affiliated with Ngapuhi and 5 other tribes.


The family and tribal home was also in Kaikohe and he attended Oromahoe and Kawakawa native schools.  After showing early promise his family sent him to St Stephen's in Parnell, Auckland. After leaving school he worked for a while driving a bullock team operating between Kaikohe and Haruru possibly for his father who owned a team of 12 bullocks.


In his youth Hone Heke became aware of the aspirations of Maori for unity and independance, initially expressed by the 1835 Confederation of the United Tribes of New Zealand. These ideas were expanded during the 1880s into the Kotahitanga movement, whose aims included control by Maori over Maori lands and a degree of influence in local government.


At the 2nd session of the Maori parliament in 1893 Hone Heke may have asked permission to speak with the assembly but because of his age he was refused.  Apparently he then addressed the people outside and when 2 of the Maori elders heard him they were impressed by his knowledge so he was asked to address the whole assembly and the whole evening was given to him.


The impact he made lead to his gaining and influential position in the movement. He worked tirelessly, travelling the country to gain support. Te Kotahitanga became the strongest unifying force between Maori and in his early 20s he was elected to the House of Representatives then further elected chairman of the Council of Paramount Chiefs.

He proved himself as a gifted speaker with an ability to state a case clearly and in an orderly fashion. In 1894 he introduced the Native Rights Bill into the house which asked for a constitution for Maori  with protection of their rights under the Treaty of Waitangi.

Throughout his parliamentary career Heke remained an advocate of legislative reform to improve conditions for Maori people and his impact in the house was huge. In 1909 around the age of 40 sadly he passed away from tuberculosis and 2 years later this memorial stone was unveiled on Kaikohe Hill. More information here.

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

Monday, 13 July 2020

Tane Mahuta Mural


Last time I was in Ohaeawai and opposite the hotel is this mural on the back of a shed also masquerading as a corner shop. Named "Tane Mahuta" it was painted by Sean DuffellTane Mahuta is located in the Waipoua Forest, our country's largest Kauri tree. In most nature walks where there are Kauris there are also cleaning stations where people need to stop and disinfect their shoes before walking through to the pathways.

According to Maori mythology Tane is the son of Ranginui the sky father and Papatuanuku the earth mother. Tane was the child who tore his parents parental embrace and once done set about clothing his mother in the forest we have today.  All living creatures of the forest are regarded as Tane's children.

Linking up with Monday Murals.

Saturday, 11 July 2020

Just buzzing around


I love seeing these guys busily buzzing around the flowers at work - we need to encourage them in our gardens. I caught this guy feeding off some yellow Grevillea plants at my work. They convert flower nectary into honey and raw honey is a stable that we have in our pantry, mostly because it's a natural anti-septic - it's great mixed in with warm water and some lemon juice.

Other things I like to do during the day is to have a parsley or mint drink. I cut a short sprig or leaf and add it to semi-boiled water, it's very refreshing.  Other than that I have some daisies, a newly potted up rose plant and various native plants in my garden. What plants have you got in yours for the bees?

Thursday, 9 July 2020

The Kauri Ohaeawai Hotel


2 days ago I drove through to Kaikohe and stopped in at Ohaeawai, about 20 minutes away from us. Luckily I was able to dodge the rain and hail to take a few photos around the area.

Built in 1895 the Ohaeawai (also known as Taiamai) Hotel was originally made of Kauri and is situated on the corner of the main state highway 12 and state highway 1. It has 2 bars, one currently being run as a cafe, a gaming room, large dining room, commercial kitchen, cool store, cellar and office.  It is on the Heritage NZ list as a category 2 building and the land plus building is up for sale at the moment.

I would imagine a hotel like this in a small town, like many others would find it hard to do a regular trade and if it were me I would run it as a hotel and backpackers for tourists. What would you do with it?

Linking up with Skywatch Friday.

Tuesday, 7 July 2020

It's citrus time


When you live or travel in the country you might see these dotted around. Us Kiwis have alot of independant stalls around where various orchards might sell their produce. At the moment winter for us means citrus time, not only is my lemon tree full but it looks like these guys have a nice surplus of oranges, grapefruit, mandarins and avocados to sell.  This week I"m going to start making my yearly supply of lemon honey. What are some of your favourite lemon recipes?

Linking up with Our World Tuesday, Wordless Wednesday and My corner of the World.

Sunday, 5 July 2020

A school of fish in Okaihau



So this week for something to do I visited Okaihau, another local town about 25 minutes away.  Okaihau was originally the place of a Maori village when the settlers arrived on the ridge which stands between Lake Omapere and the Hokianga Harbour.  The name means "feast of the winds" referring to the location of the town on a ridge over 200m above sea level.  As of 2018 there were approx 1236 people living there including on the outskirts.


I spotted this very fishy mural on the outside of the local cafe and despite me searching there is no sign of the artist but I do like the colours.

I hope you're staying safe wherever you are. We are hibernating hard out here and facing another rainy weekend with wind warnings.  Tomorrow I have a box of clothes to drop off at one of our local op shops but apart from that it's going to be a quiet Monday. Kia kaha.

Linking up with Monday Murals.

Thursday, 2 July 2020

The Waimate North Lych Gate


I was out again at the Waimate North Mission Station yesterday as it's one of my favourite historical spots in the far north.  It was a very dreary Winter's day so I spent most of the time trying to dodge the raindrops while the sun was poking it's head out hence the overcast clouds in the photo above. There is a missionary house not far off on the other side of the driveway but for this post I'd like to focus on this entranceway to the church and cemetery.


According to my research the church itself was built in 1831 but this gate was built just under 100 years later in 1929 to mark the centenary of the settlement. A tablet was also placed inside the church in commemoration of the early missionaries to the area.  Inside on the walls of the gate are plaques in honour of fallen soldiers from the area who fought in the Battle of Ohaeawai in 1845. A church service and communion were held in the open air, the unveiling in the afternoon and a Maori powhiri (welcome) afterwards. In amongst the invited guests was Bishop Bennett (the first Maori Bishop) along with 26 clergy (17 of them Maori).


There were 2 speakers on the day, Mr E.A. Ransom (Minister of Public Works) who said "the time has come for the government to recognize a greater responsibility to the Maori people in regard to the occupation of their lands. And the honourable Joseph Coates who was the prime minister from 1925 to 1928 said "there should not be differentiation between the two races. The Maori should be given the same chances as the European people" and how his father had impressed upon him that he and his fellow settlers would have starved in the early days if it had not been for the generosity of the Maori people.

To me those words should still be considered today.  Hope you're staying safe where you are. Kia kaha.

Linking up with Skywatch Friday.