Saturday, 8 May 2021

Belmont street view

 In between Bayswater and Devonport in Auckland is the suburb of Belmont, which means "good view or hill" from a farm estate of the same name  that was subdivided in 1885. It's a popular area to live in due to a well known high school "Takapuna Grammar" being nearby. I snapped this street photo while we were in town briefly on our holiday when B popped into one of the shops in this photo.

This week has been pretty full for me. I've ended up giving notice at the garden centre that I work weekends in. I've been working since I was 16 when I left high school and most of the jobs I've held have required me to work either a Saturday or a Sunday or both so I'd kind of like to see what having weekends off is like. I've decided to instead work 4 days during the week with my support work Tuesday to Friday instead which will mean a bit more money too. But I'm ready for change.

Linking up with The Weekend Roundup and  Weekend Reflections.

Thursday, 6 May 2021

Whakamaharatanga Hoia o Te Arawa

This rather interesting memorial located in one corner of the Government Gardens in Rotorua caught my eye recently.  The original idea for this came from the Ohinemutu Native Patriotic Assocation in 1919. Later the Te Arawa Trust Board took over the project and still cares for the memorial today. The board hired sculptor William Henry Feldon to design it which he did alongside local iwi (tribes).  He then created the memrial with architect Edward La Trobe Hill overseeing the project. The statue of Rangitihi, at the bottom is a replication of the original which was vandalised in 1936 created by Rakei King in 2018.

King George stands on the pedestal, below him is the star Rehua which is said to have guided the Arawa Waka (canoe) to New Zealand. 

Under this section are a tier of panels which depict: King Edward VII, Queen Victoria, King George V, a white marble cross, a navy seaman, a red cross nurse holding a floral wreath, an army soldier in a mirrored stance to the seaman.

Under another tier is a section of panels depicting: Maori weapons, local missionary Reverend Thomas Chapman, governor Hobson signing the Treaty of Waitangi under the watchful gaze of Ngati Whakaue chief Tanira Te Tupara, the God Puhaorangi looking down from the heavens at the beautiful maiden Kuraimmonoa. 

Another panel shows the Maori Regimental Badge which has 2 Maori weapons crossed under a crown, a further 2 panels which list the names of those men from Te Arawa who died during the war. The figure standing on the stone block on the steps is the Te Arawa chief Rangatihi, on the front stone block is an image of the Te Arawa waka (canoe) and lastly the Krupps field gun is thought to have been captured by the Maori Pioneer Battalion at Le Quesnoy, northern France.

Phew so that is alot of information!

Linking up with Skywatch Friday.

Tuesday, 4 May 2021

The energy of Opepe Cemetery


B introduced me to this place, tiny Opepe Cemetery just off the Napier Taupo highway where he said not many people knew about which is maintained by the Ministry for Culture and Heritage. 

Opepe was a settlement in New Zealand, a few miles southwest of Taupo. It was the scene of an attack between European militia and Maori on 7 June 1869 in which nine members of the militia were killed.  The Opepe Maori settlement was at the intersection of two major pre-European walking tracks (Taupo-Napier and Urewera-Tokaanu). It was the birthplace of the Maori leader Te Rangitahau

During Te Kooti's War, in early June 1869 Te Kooti and about 150 of his supporters moved towards Lake Taupo in the center of the North Island. At Opepe, just short of Taupo, they ran into party of fourteen Militia, who were camped in the abandoned village. Nine of the militia were killed with no loss to Te Kooti. One of the men, who was drying his uniform, escaped completely naked across rough country in mid-winter, and was awarded the New Zealand Medal. A military stockade was built at Opepe in 1869 but closed in 1885. The township thrived for several years in the late 19th century. 

We walked through a 10 minute native bush walk before we reached the cemetery and strangely enough we could both feel the strong energy in the air.  At one point as I was rounding a corner a huge fern frond dropped to the ground next to me and nearly made me jump.

There are 2 tracks that lead off from the main entrance, one that is about 90 minutes long and the one we took. Two of the graves hold the bodies of the nine members of the Bay of Plenty Cavalry who were killed on 7 June 1869 by Te Kooti's advance guard: Alex McKillop, Charles Potier, Hector Ross, Michael Slattery, Ernest Lawson and Charles Johnson.

The other three are the graves of later settlers: Edward Andrehen, Henry G. Leslie and W. Turner.  The totara headboards are the original ones, which have been repainted several times over the years. However, they were showing the effects of time, and it is suspected that water ingress was causing the paint to peel and crack. This process has been completed and the headboards were re-installed in the little cemetery at Opepe by Department of Conservation staff on Christmas Eve 2010.

Monday, 3 May 2021

Made in Italy Mural

 On a recent stop in South Auckland, Bombay to be exact just off the motorway is a group of shops. This whole area has come a long way lately, it use to be only a farming area but now has a number of fast food outlets including this clothing shop named Made in Italy - Sallie Clough where this wee mural on the side is of 2 well dressed women, I'm guessing it's advertising her business and attempts to find out the artist have come back empty. 

The Bombay Hills are between Auckland and Waikato close to Pukekohe. The region is named after the ship "Bombay" which first landed here bringing settlers originally called "Williamson's Clearing" in 1863. The ship itself was named after the Indian city of Bombay, now "Mumbai".

Linking up with Mural Monday.

Saturday, 1 May 2021

Fast moving Aratiatia Dam

On one of the drizzly rainy days we spent in Taupo recently we thought it would be a bit different to visit Aratiatia Dam  to see the gates open where water would flow through to the river below. At the top normally this boat and it's owner take people out for jetboating experiences, I've done that before in Queenstown and it's really not my thing.

The huge gates had opening times of 10am, 12pm or 2pm, we chose the morning one. You can either stand on either side of this bridge and look over or walk down a designated track next to one end which is what I did.

This shot was taken while standing on the bridge facing both the gates.  The name "Aratiatia" means "Stairway of Tia" after the legendary Maori explorer Tia who first arrived at the rapids and was fascinated by the tiered form. 

This memorial stone says "This Kohatu is dedicated to the people of Ngati Tahu-Ngati Whaoa. Near the Aratiatia Rapids was the settlement 'Atahaka' one of the many Maori settlements. Atahaka had cultivations, cherry trees, burial places and a river crossing place nearby".

There were 2 tracks, this one took 10 minutes to walk down to and the other took about 30 minutes as it leads further up for a higher view.

We heard 3 loud sirens, starting at 15 minutes 5 minutes apart and then the gates slowly opened letting water through which falls 20 metres in the space of 1 kilometre. The rapids have been harnessed to produce environmentally sustainable hydro-electric power and the station was first built in 1964.

 So apart from not being allowed to swim there for obvious reasons this place was part of a memorable scene from the movie "The Hobbit - The desolation of Smaug" when the dwarves are escaping from the captivity of the elves by hiding in barrels which were thrown down stream.

Here is a video I found on youtube someone else uploaded - you'll be able to hear the siren going off at the final warning and the water rushing through the river.

Linking up with The Weekend Roundup and  Weekend Reflections.

Belmont street view

 In between Bayswater and Devonport in Auckland is the suburb of Belmont , which means "good view or hill" from a farm estate of t...