Friday, November 30, 2007

Wellywood Backpackers ... #191

The distinctive zebra painted building in Tory Street Wellington makes an easily recognisable landmark, and is the home of Wellywood Backpackers.

Wellywood Backpackers is a place to stay when looking for value-for-money accommodation in New Zealand’s cultural and entertainment capital - Wellington.

Theaters, cinemas, public transport, Te Papa Museum, café’s, and of course, Wellington’s vibrant night-life are all within a ten minute walk.
At Wellywood Backpackers, we believe that staying in ‘budget accommodation’ shouldn’t mean having to lose some of those simple pleasures in life.
The backpackers has FREE High-Speed Internet, Spa Pool, TV Lounges, and many other amenities. They also provide a comprehensive fire, and integrated security system, including an all night security manager.

"With the ability to cater to the individual traveller looking to explore Wellington’s many unique attractions, as well as providing spacious rooms for school groups, sports groups, work groups, or just if you’re in town with a group of friends, let us share with you both our ‘home’ and our passion for our beautiful city."

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Oriental Evening ... #190

The eastern end of Oriental Bay looking across the Harbour towards the Hutt Motorway which is below the hills on the horizon. This photo was taken at 7:30pm last night ... people were out walking, running, cycling while we sat in the evening sun and ate our dinner .. fish & chips and hamburgers.

Swimming in the shallow (30cm) water in front of the man reading a book and with his legs resting on the wall, was a stingray... about 1 metre from wingtip to wingtip.

Another magic evening in the capital city of that great little country somewhere in the South Pacific !!

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Compassion ... #189

The Suzanne Aubert Compassion Centre is in Central Wellington, not far from where the first soup kitchen in Buckle Street was established in 1899. From here the Sisters of Compassion are continuing to support the marginalised of our community by:
Providing meals
Friendship and hospitality
Spiritual ministry and fellowship
Being advocates for the disadvantaged
Visiting those in need
Bringing hope and dignity to those who ‘just survive’

Their Mission: To Know and Express the Compassion of Jesus Christ. The work of the Sisters is well supported by the local community. There is much volunteer input, co-operation with local authorities and other help agencies. The Centre has no predictable income, and is reliant on the generosity of those who share its philosophy.

Mother Mary Joseph Aubert, who arrived in New Zealand as a missionary in 1860, is widely recognised as a determined and extraordinarily compassionate woman. A brief quotation from the New Zealand Dictionary of Biography seems apposite:-
“In 1899, in response to requests from medical men, Mother Aubert brought three sisters to Wellington to undertake sick visiting in the slums. By support from many quarters they were able to feed the needy by gifts, mostly in kind, for Wellington took them immediately to its heart. In 1900 they began to take in the most neglected, bedridden cases. Like all her works, this was gratuitous and undenominational. From this time, however, she relied only on benefactions inspired by Providence. “It is my bank and it has never failed me yet.” she said later. (Previously she and her helpers had had some Government aid or had sold produce or medicines.) A soup kitchen for unemployed men was opened, and in 1902 a day nursery, the first in Wellington. In 1907, with about 14 children from Jerusalem, she began at Island Bay a children's home and a residential nursery.”
It is in part thanks to her vision that more than 7,000 infants, children and young people were cared for in their early years by the Sisters of Compassion.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Flying Pieces ... #188

The practice of sending messages by homing pigeon during World War I is being rekindled in order to bring a billboard to Wellington. About 380 intrepid birds have been released gradually during the past fortnight from Omaka Aviation Heritage Centre in Blenheim, each carrying a piece of the billboard message rolled in a cylinder attached to its leg. The last 90 were let loose yesterday in the official ceremony - some by pre-schoolers. The billboard, which promotes the aviation centre, is believed to be the first in the world to be delivered in jigsaw pieces by carrier pigeon.

The puzzle is being put together this week with the last pieces being placed onThursday when Weta Workshop's Richard Taylor and three men dressed in World War I garb assemble the pieces on a billboard site at the corner of Dixon and Victoria streets. The weather today was hot and this guy in a heavy khaki WW1 uniform was sweatimnh it climbing up and down the ladder to place the pieces on the billboard

The heritage centre, whose collection is managed by a Peter Jackson-chaired trust, has one of the largest collections of World War I planes and memorabilia in the world. The Omaka Aviation Heritage Centre promotes aviation history through its world-class collection of World War One fighter planes. Planes are displayed in life-like exhibits created by Weta Workshop. The Centre is widely acknowledged as one of the world’s best World War One aviation experiences.

Chief executive Jane Orphan said homing pigeons were used as a tribute to the vital role they played in wartime communications. More than 100,000 pigeons were used during the war with a 95 per cent success rate.

Monday, November 26, 2007

Prize Giving ... #187

This is the time for the end of year prize giving events for all the main colleges in Wellington. Many of them use the Wellington Town Hall which is a fine example of late Victorian municipal architecture, and is currently and historically an important building for the city of Wellington. The building is a landmark civic building, of which there are few comparable buildings in New Zealand. The night usually lasts about 3 hours with prize giving, speeches, cultural & musical performances. This one was for Wellington East Girls College

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Sunday Bonus ... #186

As a bonus for Sunday ... here is one of some "young" people heading out for their Sunday activities. I met them at Bordeaux Bakery on Thorndon Quay where they had just completed their pre-training activities of coffee and pastries. They were all in the mood for some mid-day exercise with friends. keep it up team.

Political Pigeons ... #185

Political fodder ... and the sentiments of this poem perhaps say more about the transient nature of the political environment than the world of our feathered city dwellers.


They paddle with staccato feet
In powder-pools of sunlight,
Small blue busybodies
Strutting like fat gentlemen
With hands clasped
Under their swallowtail coats;
And, as they stump about,
Their heads like tiny hammers
Tap at imaginary nails
In non-existent walls.
Elusive ghosts of sunshine
Slither down the green gloss
Of their necks in an instant, and are gone.
Summer hangs drugged from sky to earth
In limpid fathoms of silence:
Only warm dark dimples of sound
Slide like slow bubbles
From the contented throats.
Raise a casual hand -
With one quick gust
They fountain into air.

Richard Kell

Friday, November 23, 2007

Garden Island ... #183

The gardens on the traffic islands are going through their summer make over ... the gardners have been working the rotary hoes over the soil in preparation and today they are planting the new flowering varieties.... slowly working their way south along Lambton Quay ... and again we see the guardians of the gardens protected by the "guardians of the city" .. the ubiquitous safey cones.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Arlington ... #182

The Arlington Council flats and apartments in Hopper Street ... at the southern end of the city

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Architectural sTutters ... #181

Light louvres ... sustainable arcitecture ... maintenance nightmare ... timber tower ... wooden wonder

The brief for an aesthetically stunning building using Environmentally Sustainable Design principles (ESD) was set early in 2004 by Wellington Waterfront Ltd for building designers Studio of Pacific Architecture. One of New Zealand’s largest electricity generators, Meridian Energy is a leader in sustainable development , as evidenced by its commitment to only using renewable sources of generation to meet the country’s growing energy demands. In December 2004, Meridian Energy identified the need for a larger premise, and initiated a project to develop office accommodation that met both its immediate and long-term operational needs and which reflected its commitment to renewable energy and sustainability. The Meridian Energy building planners have adopted the ESD principles as a means to ensure the building meets a range of sustainability considerations throughout its entire life cycle. Not only is a comfortable and productive working environment a prerequisite, but waste minimisation and a reduction in energy and water use have also been sought, along with the use of eco-friendly building products.

The four-storey (18 metre high) Meridian building’s L-shaped configuration is specifically intended to create a sheltered northwest facing Kumutoto plaza that will seamlessly connect to the Kumutoto Precinct via an enclosed thoroughfare. The lower floor (5.3 metres high) has been designed as a retail space, and is dominated by glass walls that provide uninterrupted views through the building to the harbour, or back towards the Kumutoto Plaza. The striking saw-tooth roof integrates the overall building with the surrounding structures on the wharf.

The designers’ efforts to optimise energy use and comfort all year round have included extensive use of natural light and ventilation, as well as insulation. Solar gains are controlled by active shading systems which use external louvres and interstitial blinds within glazed facades, while photo sensors control the blinds and motorised louvres. The air supply is sourced entirely from outdoors, meaning the primary ventilation is provided by natural means. These innovative features are integrated into an overall passive design through the thermal mass properties of the building’s concrete shear wall core and other exposed concrete surfaces.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Friendly Attention ... #180

A disturbance of some nature at Frank Kitts Park on the waterfront ...that warrants a "once over" by the Police

Sunday, November 18, 2007

End of the Day ... #179

The yacht marina at the Royal Port Nicholson Yacht Club at dusk on a "calm" Wellington evening.

The Royal Port Nicholson Yacht Club was formed in 1883 and has been closely associated with Wellington yachting for over 100 years.In July 1993 the Club launched the Sailing Academy. As a fulltime professionally run sail training facility, it provides a unique resource to the Wellington region. The Academy operates out of premises 115 Oriental Parade (boat harbour, next to Freyberg Pool, city side) with the two training boats berthed at the door. This offers a step-on, step-off facility to maximise sailing time. The Academy also provides the specialist wet weather clothing for all participants.

Karamu St ... #178

Photo taken looking south to the entrance to Karamu Street, Ngaio where I live. The abundance of trees and "green" is clearly evident. Also note that most of the house are timber construction ... and no double glazing !. The city is over to the left of the frame.

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Thoughtful Observation ... #177

An awsome magic Wellington Day ... sun, light breeze ... WOW.
Contemplation and relaxation outside Mac Breweries Bar & Cafe on Taranaki Wharf. The New Zealand Stock Exchange and the post grid is just out of shot to the right.

Friday, November 16, 2007

Swim between the flags ... #176

... or in this case "chat between the posts" .. a couple enjoying each others company, the sun and fresh air on the waterfront .. oblivious to the world around them.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Hikoi ... #175

Following the arrival of the hikoi, about 400 mainly Maori protesters gathered at Parliament before marching down Lambton Quay to the Te Puni Kokiri offices where a haka was performed.
The crowd was calm and peaceful and there was a low-key police presence. The protesters - awash with flags and placards, some reading "stop racism" - then reassembled at Midland Park before returning to Parliament, where fireworks were let off.

A number of MPs spoke at the hikoi including Taito Phillip Field, Pita Sharples, Keith Locke and Labour's Parekura Horomia and Nanaia Mahuta. The two Labour MPs were booed by the crowd while embattled MP Taito Phillip Field was cheered after he told those in attendance he did not believe Tuhoe residents had been treated well.

The hikoi began last week in Ruatoki, Bay of Plenty, where police conducted their raids on "terror" suspects. But the protesters are a day too late to stop the Suppression of Terrorism Amendment Act, which passed its third reading by 108 votes to 13 late yesterday. Labour and National supported the legislation, while the Greens, ACT and the Maori Party opposed it.

The new law extends the power of the United Nations to designate terrorist entities that will also apply in New Zealand. It creates a new offence of committing a terrorist act, which is punishable by life in prison.
It also removes a defence of funding a terrorist entity if the donor was motivated by human rights or democratic concerns. After terrorism charges were rejected by Solicitor-General David Collins last week, the Government said it would ask the Law Commission to review the Arms Act and the Crimes Act as well to consider whether the police should have wider powers of interception to prosecute cases of alleged domestic terrorism, rather than rewrite the Terrorism Suppression Act.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Another Wicked Camper ... #174

Another Wicked Campervan captured at the Blue Bridge Ferry Terminal opposite the Railway Station .. this one is political commentary ... the other interesting one was the Beatle's Campervan

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Christmas ... one branch at a time ... #173

The slow process of building the Christmas Tree in Midland Park ... one branch at a time; one worker; two supervisors .. and a latte in a cafe ... BUT no snow !!

Monday, November 12, 2007

Armistice Day... #172

11 November – marks the anniversary of the Armistice that ended the First World War and commemorates the sacrifice of those who died serving New Zealand in this and all wars and armed conflicts.

Armistice Day Yesterday
These photos were taken at the Tomb of the Unknown Warrior at the National War Memorial in Wellington. As part of these ceremonies, two minutes silence is observed at 11 a.m. on 11 November in memory of those New Zealanders who died while serving their country.

History of Armistice Day
The eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month marks the moment when hostilities ceased on the Western Front in 1918, with the signing of the Armistice.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Fairies (Ferries) at the bottom of the Garden ... #170

... well maybe a cruise ship (not a ferry) at the end of Jervois Quay .. Westpac Stadium on the left and the logs (right & in front of the ship's stern) on the wharf waiting shipment to Japan.

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Heavenly Ride ... #170

This Way Up
The Stairway to Heaven .. starts here !
The Pope Mobile Station
God's Transit Coach Stop
.. or maybe just where buses go after they expire !!

Friday, November 9, 2007

A Politically Correct Hedgerow... #169

A neatly trimmed hedgerow in front of Parliament .. if only some of our politicians could be as straight & true ... or maybe as green !!

And in line with most political debate one should also consider the other alternative viewpoint ... however it should be noted that the second view has an aberrant twig that upsets the "politically correct" perspective ... maybe this is another "natural" comment on the political landscape !!

Thursday, November 8, 2007

Strawberry Fair ! .... #168

This was a fund raising event for the Mary Potter Hospice and the weather could not have been better. $5 for some strawberries, icecream, cream ( if your Doctor allows !!) and some strawberry syrup. Well the Brits can do it at Wimbeldon .. although the price/value equation is somewhat different. The "suits", students, office workers and passersby came out in force to support the event in Midland Park. There was music and a barber's shop quartet to help the digestion.

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Why-ring ?!! ... #167

The often hidden face of the electronic age we live in ... and un-numbered cable rack in an un-named office building, somewhere in our wired city .. being sorted by two unknown and puzzled wizards ... I think it all goes to show that we are all inter-connected somewhere somehow ...???????????

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Guy Fawkes ... #166

Yes November the 5th is generally the day for fireworks in New Zealand .. even more so that New Years Eve... Tonight was a very calm delightful evening in Wellington and it seemed like everyone was out to enjoy 15 minutes of fireworks display in the middle of the Harbour. For video got to the DomPost website.

Today is one of those bizzare celebrations from our English heritage .... Guy Fawkes (13 April 1570 – 31 January 1606), was a member of a group of English Roman Catholics who attempted to carry out the Gunpowder Plot, an attempt to blow up the Houses of Parliament and kill King James I of England, to destroy Protestant rule by killing the Protestant aristocracy, on 5 November 1605. Ther is always confusion as to whether the celebration is about the fact that Guy Fawkes tried to blow up Parliament or that he failed!!

Fawkes is notorious for his involvement in the Gunpowder Plot of 1605. He was probably placed in charge of executing the plot because of his military and explosives experience. The plot, masterminded by Robert Catesby, was an attempt by a group of English conspirators to kill King James I of England, his family, and most of the aristocracy by blowing up the House of Lords in the Palace of Westminster during the State Opening of Parliament. Fawkes may have been introduced to Catesby by Hugh Owen, a man who was in the pay of the Spanish Netherlands. Sir William Stanley is also believed to have recommended him, and Fawkes named him under torture, leading to his arrest and imprisonment for a day after the discovery of the plot. It was Stanley who first presented Fawkes to Thomas Winter in 1603 when Winter was in Europe. Stanley was the commander of the English in Flanders at the time. Stanley had handed Deventer and much of its garrison back to the Spanish in 1587, nearly wiping out the gains that the Earl of Leicester had made in the Low Countries. Leicester’s expedition was widely regarded as a disaster, for this reason among others.

Monday, November 5, 2007

The answer lies in the soil .. #165

Again the delightful country aroma wafts through the city ... these are the garden plots in front of the Wellington Railway Station getting ready for the planting of the summer flowers. The soil has been liberally fertilised with "sheep shit" and other good nutrients .. in the background to the right of the trees you can see the Beehive

Sunday, November 4, 2007

"Lagoon"a Beach ! ... #164

The Lagoon ... with the Michael Fowler Centre in the left background .. the City to Sea bridge to the right with white top of the Town Hall showing and the cream City Council building in the centre of the picture.

This part of Wellington is a focal point for much of the city’s recreational activities and waterfront sports. Close to the central business district, it is a small lagoon filled with sea water and connected to Lambton Harbour through a narrow channel. The Boat Shed, Wellington Rowing and Star Boating Club buildings, the old Wellington Free Ambulance building and surrounding board walks create a picturesque setting and easy launching place for club boats.

Whilst it’s hard to imagine it now, this special section of Wellington’s waterfront bears no testament at all to the city’s planners and developers, nor is the Lagoon an act of nature – it is in fact a planning accident. This area of the city saw major reclamations in the 1970s and 80s to make way for things such as a waterfront highway. However, when the highway plan was shelved, the Lagoon was left as a spot with no need for further reclamation.

The area was developed into its current form as the whole Frank Kitts Park precinct took shape to create a more recreation friendly zone. Along with adjacent Taranaki Street Wharf and the entire waterfront area, plans are now in train to develop the area further to give people even more places to stroll, play and enjoy the water’s edge.

Saturday, November 3, 2007

St Paul's Cathedral ... #163

TheWellington Cathedral of St Paul is the parish church for the people of Thorndon, and there has been an Anglican church in this area for nearly 160 years. Many of the regular worshippers though come from the greater Wellington area, drawn by the particular style of worship offered – which includes fine choral music and challenging preaching. As the ‘mother church’ of the Diocese of Wellington St Paul’s is used for special Diocesan occasions, especially ordinations at St Andrew’s tide.

A cathedral takes its name from the ‘cathedra’ or bishop’s seat. It is the central church of a Diocese and has a number of functions and constituencies. The Cathedral also has a civic and national role and is frequently asked to host special focus services. Examples are the memorial service for New Zealand’s Unknown Warrior in November 2004, a service celebrating the 60th anniversary of the end of World War II, an ecumenical service for victims of the tsunami of Boxing Day 2004, and the tragic death of Brother Roger of Taizé in August 2005. The fine acoustic makes it a sought after venue for concerts, both choral and orchestral.

The building itself has many interesting aspects to it. Completed finally in 2000 it includes things of historic interest to Wellington and New Zealand such as the Chanuk Bair Memorial, the Flag Room, the Women’s Memorial and a tribute to the business community of Wellington. The Lady Chapel is a piece of kiwi history, having been moved from its original site in Paraparaumu in 1990. The magnificent stained glass windows tell the story of our faith. For teachers looking for interesting things to do in Wellington, a whole day could be spent inside the Cathedral – there is history, religion, art and music.

Friday, November 2, 2007

A moments rest on the way to work ... #162

Most of us doing the daily commute into work and home again think it's a grind ... and we sometimes even pause somewhere for a coffee on the way ... well spare a thought for this crane driver on his way to work on the building site opposite the Wellington Railway Station. He may be able to smell the roasting coffee beans but thats's about all.

Thursday, November 1, 2007

Blue Blue .. my face is blue ... #161

I am a tad confused as to whether the Theme is BLUE or SOMEONE READING so here is a blue face and you may read into it what you wish !!!

Thank You !! Oh Delightful Zombie ... It was challenging finding something unique and blue for the 1 November Theme Day and what did I see on the way to Wellington East Girls College to pick up Sabine ... but a zombie going walk-about for Halloween .. and this was one of the very obliging photogenic type ... now I fully expect Brian in New York to have one of the BMG (Blue Man Group) ... all I have is a blue finger printed programme ... a great memory enhancer.

Theme Day participants
Boston (MA), USA - Cleveland (OH), USA - Philadelphia (PA), USA - Arlington (VA), USA - Cape Town, South Africa - Portland (OR), USA - Sequim (WA), USA - Selma (AL), USA - Arradon, France - Petaling Jaya (Selangor), Malaysia - Stockholm, Sweden - Singapore, Singapore - Wassenaar (ZH), Netherlands - Phoenix (AZ), USA - Seattle (WA), USA - Toulouse, France - The Hague, Netherlands - Moscow, Russia - Fort Lauderdale (FL), USA - Kyoto, Japan - Tokyo, Japan - Saint Paul (MN), USA - Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia - Stayton (OR), USA - Maple Ridge (BC), Canada - Detroit (MI), USA - Crystal Lake (IL), USA - Port Angeles (WA), USA - Cottage Grove (MN), USA - Nelson, New Zealand - Bandung (West Java), Indonesia - Greenville (SC), USA - Hyde, UK - Radonvilliers, France - Albuquerque (NM), USA - Nashville (TN), USA - Manila, Philippines - Port Vila, Vanuatu - Saarbrücken, Germany - New Orleans (LA), USA - Bellefonte (PA), USA - Melbourne, Australia - Hobart (Tasmania), Australia - Forks (WA), USA - Wichita (Ks), USA - Barton (VT), USA - St. Louis (MO), USA - Joplin (MO), USA - Chandler (AZ), USA - Quincy (MA), USA - Setúbal, Portugal - Inverness (IL), USA - Christchurch, New Zealand - Toruń, Poland - North Bay (ON), Canada - Le Guilvinec, France - Chateaubriant, France - London, England - Minneapolis (MN), USA - Naples (FL), USA - Norwich (Norfolk), UK - Sydney, Australia - Austin (TX), USA - Mumbai, India - Boston (MA), USA - Santa Fe (NM), USA - Menton, France - Monte Carlo, Monaco - Paderborn, Germany - Montréal (QC), Canada - Jackson (MS), USA - Stavanger, Norway - Orlando (FL), USA - Grenoble, France - Cheltenham, UK - Forks (WA), USA - Mexico City, Mexico - West Sacramento (CA), USA - Silver Spring (MD), USA - Weston (FL), USA - London, UK - Jefferson City (MO), USA - Ocean Township (NJ), USA - Belgrade, Serbia - Paris, France - Shanghai, China - Montego Bay, Jamaica - Montpellier, France - Saint Louis (MO), USA - Wailea (HI), USA - Rabaul, Papua New Guinea - Auckland, New Zealand - Evry, France - New York City (NY), USA - Nottingham, UK - Las Vegas (NV), USA - Oslo, Norway - Minneapolis (MN), USA - American Fork (UT), USA - Cypress (TX), USA - Haninge, Sweden - Trujillo, Peru - Trujillo, Peru - Melbourne (VIC), Australia - Saint-Petersburg, Russian Federation - Durban, South Africa - Brussels, Belgium - Anderson (SC), USA - Budapest, Hungary - Wellington, New Zealand