Wednesday, April 30, 2008

From rock to city... #336

Looking west from Oriental Bay , beyond the fountain to the cityscape ... note the calm harbour waters ! ... another windless day

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Lyall Bay ... #335

Last weekend .... looking south east towards Wellington Heads and to the left is the end of the runway at Wellington Airport ... there were lots of surfies out enjoying the waves rolling in.

Monday, April 28, 2008

A Friend indeed ... #334

Oriental Bay outside Eis Cafe on the corner of Hay Street ... One young lady with a broken ankle, two bags, two crutches and one strong friend

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Freedom of Speech ... #333

Several hundred Chinese people took to the streets of Wellington on Saturday to support their country hosting this year's Olympic Games. As the Olympic torch continues to court controversy, hundreds of Chinese living in New Zealand converged on Wellington's Civic Centre in defence of their homeland.

The group, made up mostly of students from Victoria University, says media organisations have unjustifiably made China the villain in the wake of a recent crackdown in Tibet. "They want to make money (the news media) because people want to see something bad happen in China, that's what people want to see, that's what they are making money out off but we want to change that," Jerry Dai, the rally organiser

The demonstrators say the Beijing Olympics will be a chance for the world to see the real China.

"New Zealand you are being poisoned, you don't know the truth," one protester told TV3. Protesters denied the Chinese government was behind the march. "Oh no, no, this is all student-made," one woman said. "Support China, support Chinese, support Olympics," she chanted.

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Friday, April 25, 2008

ANZAC Day ... #331

A selection of the crowd at the Dawn Service this morning ... returned servicemen, family, young and old, ... a unique Australasian tradition ... repeated all around the world ... and especially at Gallipoli . The image captures the solemn tone of the morning that will replicated in the major cities and many of our smaller country towns throughtout NZ.

There was a good crowd of people down at the Cenotaph by Parliament for the Dawn Ceremony at 5:45am this morning ... a windless clear morning .. and the day is turning out superb ... sunny, warm, somewhat unusual for ANZAC Day but welcome all the same.

Anzac Day occurs on 25 April. It commemorates all New Zealanders killed in war and also honours returned servicemen and women.

The date itself marks the anniversary of the landing of New Zealand and Australian soldiers – the Anzacs – on the Gallipoli Peninsula in 1915. The aim was to capture the Dardanelles, the gateway to the Bosphorus and the Black Sea. At the end of the campaign, Gallipoli was still held by its Turkish defenders.

Thousands lost their lives in the Gallipoli campaign: 87,000 Turks, 44,000 men from France and the British Empire, including 8500 Australians. To this day, Australia also marks the events of 25 April. Among the dead were 2721 New Zealanders, almost one in four of those who served on Gallipoli. It may have led to a military defeat, but for many New Zealanders then and since, the Gallipoli landings meant the beginning of something else – a feeling that New Zealand had a role as a distinct nation, even as it fought on the other side of the world in the name of the British Empire.

Anzac Day was first marked in 1916. The day has gone through many changes since then. The ceremonies that are held at war memorials up and down New Zealand, or in places overseas where New Zealanders gather, remain rich in tradition and ritual befitting a military funeral.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Night Malls... #330

Cuba Street Mall at night ... quaint, quirky, eclectic ... a mix of old and not so old buildings .... food, bars and alternative fashions ... all part of what is called the Cuba Quarter.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Pub Gone... #329

The Feathers Tavern on the corner of Featherston Street and Johnston Street ... is obviously on the move, expiring or just going through a makeover .. this traditional English style pub was more like a bomb site that a drinking establishment.

The Feathers was a traditional English style pub that guaranteed a good time with your mates after work or, if you are adventurous, at lunchtime. There was a big bar with beer on tap, ample bar space and seating, and a huge elevated television screen so no one missed the Friday night football. Popular with the after work crowds who enjoy the straight forward bar meals and snacks. Complimentary nibbles sometimes circulated on a Friday. Full bar service of course with an excellent beer and spirit range. ... BUT NO LONGER

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Autumn Beach... #328

Oriental Bay left to the seagulls and a couple of warmly wrapped walkers ... the morning was cool with a southerly wind ... however the afternnon cam out warm and sunny if you found a sheltered spot.

Monday, April 21, 2008

Thoughful Rest ... #327

A memorial seat along Oriental Bay ... many of the resting places along the bay are like this ... and yesterday was a delightful warm autumn day to pause and reflect on what ever you wished ... another magic day in Wellington.

11-9-51 ... 2-11-06
"Some people come into our lives & quietly leave, others leave footprints in our hearts and we are never ever the same again"

Sunday, April 20, 2008

"Te Papa rocks" ... #326

You can take the title anyway you like ... literally or coloquilly ... Te Papa still continues to be the most popular museum in New Zealand ... this is out the front of the museum ... light, shadows and big boulders

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Getting a lift ...#325

Our skyline is still littered with cranes in all directions ... but they do create interesting patterns and shapes in the world above us.

Friday, April 18, 2008

Political Balance ... #324

The colours and the symmetry of the image appealed ... the yellow Wellington bus with advert, the pohutakawa trees, Parliament in the background ... and even the eclectic nature of the road repairs in the foreground. Have a great weekend.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Lagoon Morning ... #323

Early morning looking east across The Lagoon ...this is where the rowing crews and the dragon boats start from.

To the left is the edge of Frank Kitts park, the Albatross Fountain and the bridge that links the park to the Taranaki St wharf.

The red and cream building is The Boat Shed ... upstairs is the events facilities ( had many a great night there!!) and on the ground floor are all the sports facilities for the rowing club. Behind the BoatShed is the old floating crane the Hikitia and behind that Te Papa ... and in the distance Oriental Bay and Mt Victoria

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Access this way ... #322

A security guard at the entrance to the Beehive ... the parliamentary office wing next to Parliament ... where most of the Cabinet Ministers offices live during the day.

There is sort of a "get past me if you can" stance about this gentleman

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Justice Reinforced ... #321

Work continues on the new Supreme Court at the end of Lambton Quay ... at present it is slowly growing out of the ground with a mass of reinforcing steel, formwork and concrete .

Monday, April 14, 2008

New Shoes ... #320

These young ladies had just been to No1 Shoes to get something more stylish than the jandels they were wearing .. so find a seat, new shoes out of the bag, labels ripped off, and voila! .. they are ready to hit the town ... all decked out in new white strappies and silver suede bows. Photo taken outside Farmers Store in Lambton Quay.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

City under Siege ... #319

Saturday morning ... and all the workmen come out to play .. the refurbishment of the pedestrian areas in Lambton Quay are still under construction and the overhead trolley bus wires require repairs & maintenance .. it all made for a scene of organised chaos in and around the morning shoppers.

Saturday, April 12, 2008

The Terrace Tunnel ... #318

A commuters view of the city heading north.

The Terrace Tunnel takes the Wellington Urban Motorway (SH1) under The Terrace in central Wellington, New Zealand. Opened in 1978, it is 460 metres in length.

The tunnel has three traffic lanes, one southbound and two northbound. The merge towards single southbound lane causes frequent congestion during peak periods rush hour. However flows at the southern end of the tunnel have improved somewhat since the opening of the Wellington Inner City Bypass.
The tunnel is one of the few single-carriageway stretches of motorway in New Zealand. All that separates opposing flows of traffic is a set of double no-overtaking lines.
The tunnel was opened as part of the extension of the Wellington Urban Motorway through Thorndon to Te Aro and was originally envisaged to include a parallel three-lane tunnel exclusively for southbound traffic (with the existing tunnel built for northbound traffic only). The motorway was intended to be extended to Mt Victoria Tunnel which would also have been duplicated.

However this proposal was shelved in the early 1970s as the rising cost of building the single tunnel ruled out duplication for the foreseeable future and the extension beyond Willis Street. The cut in funding sees the design of the motorway abruptly reduce from about the Bowen Street overbridge as six lanes are curtailed to three lanes. Appraisal of expected traffic flows also indicated that the second tunnel would not be needed for many years.
A reversible lane (tidal flow) system as used on the Auckland Harbour Bridge has been proposed. Investigation as part of the tunnel link project raised questions about safety of such an option, but it has not been ruled out.

Some of the pillars for the second tunnel approaches are visible in the Clifton Terrace carpark adjacent to the cable car line, as is some of the approach road which currently forms part of the upper deck of the Clifton Terrace carpark. These pillars may also be seen on the left hand (eastern) side of the "Wellington Terrace Motorway, looking south" webcam on the CityLink website ( As you enter the tunnel it is impossible to see the other end, as it curves in the middle.

State Highway Status
When it opened in 1978, the tunnel was the southern end of State Highway 2. Alterations at the Ngauranga SH1/SH2 interchange in 1984 connected SH1 to the motorway (although SH1 continued off the Aotea Quay offramp until 1996), and in the 1996 Transit extended the SH1 status to the entire route from the end of the Wellington Urban Motorway to Wellington International Airport.

Friday, April 11, 2008

Dan at Peoples Coffee ... #317

This is Dan the master barista at Peoples' Coffee in Newtown. Dan previously worked at Moore Wilson's Fresh Food Market but is now demonstrating his art at the other end of the city. He has also branched out and is learning the art of roasting. We buy the single origin Mexican Chipas beans and they make a smooth tasting espresso.

The cafe is the size of a pocket handkerchief and is always busy ... queues meandering out the door ... obviously the locals know where the best coffees are to be had.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Tradition ... #316

A local barber (mens' hairdresser) in Newtown ... I recall being sent to to such a place when I ws at primary school ... except they had the big ornate chairs and of course the latest popular magazines from Australia ... can't recall the price but probably around two shillings ... yes it was before we changed to decimal currency!!

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Midland Park Tattoo ... #315

A couple enjoying the last of the summer sun at lunchtime in Midland Park, Lambton Quay ... listening to music and creating artistic temporary tattoos ... it is great to see the multiple eclectic uses we put our city environment to.

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Houses on Tinakori Road ... #314

Tinakori Road has some of the finest houses in Wellington. The northern Tinakori Road area was home to some of the wealthiest and most influential Wellingtonians, whose names are linked with well-known companies, towns, streets or parks.

This part of Thorndon, though, nearly had an even more distinguished history. In 1865 Parliament authorised the purchase of the area in front of Katherine Mansfield Birthplace as the proposed site of the Governor's residence, General Assembly and government offices. This was part of the preparations for the shift of central government from Auckland to Wellington. Eventually, the site at Molesworth Street was chosen.

Monday, April 7, 2008

"On yr bus" ... #313

A bus ride in one of the "yellows" travelling north along Willis Street

Getting around
The Stagecoach Flyer (tel: 0800 801 700; is a local bus running between the airport, Wellington city and Lower Hutt, calling at major stops.

Wellington has an efficient local bus system. Stagecoach (tel: 0800 801 700;, has frequent services from 07:00 - 23:30 on most routes. Most depart from the Lambton Quay interchange (beside the train station) and from the major bus stop on Courtenay Place at the intersection with Cambridge Terrace.

The City Circular (10:00 - 16:45) is the name given to the distinctive bright yellow buses that take in Wellington's prime inner-city locations, making it handy for travellers wishing to see the major sights. These buses loop the city every 15 minutes. The After Midnight Bus Service (tel: 0800 801 700) has buses departing from the central entertainment district (Courtenay Pl or Cuba St) until 03:00 Saturday and Sunday to a number of outer suburbs.

Sunday, April 6, 2008

Any Saturday ... #312

In Wellington the traffic is usually worse on a Saturday morning .. as everyone travels back and forth across the city to their sports games. This is a local club soccer game at Newtown Park below the Wellington Zoo. My son Josh was playing and as you can see the drought has really eased .. it rained most of Saturday and I suppose that is what you should expect for winter sports. Obviously this sports ground had been receiving water through the summer as the pitch looks to be in good condition, unlike some of the rural farm land. maybe it raises a question about our priorities with water. Josh's team won 1-0 so that was a good result for the first club game of the season.

Saturday, April 5, 2008

My Favourite Cafe... #311

Caffe L'Affare in College Street ... here you can get a feel for the eclectic coffee environment that's always buzzing ... our two cheeky customers are Jojo and Inka who were staying with us for a few days on their way back up the North Island . They have been in NZ since October last year working and travelling before starting University back home in Germany later this year.

Friday, April 4, 2008

Paul Dibble ... #310

Paul Dibble is New Zealand’s foremost contemporary sculptor. Having studied sculpture at the Elam School of Fine Arts, University of Auckland, he set up his own bronze-casting foundry. This particular sculpture is outside the apartment building next to the marina, the Overseas passenger terminal and Waitangi Park

Paul Dibble is an artist of considerable vision and drive. A contemporary sculptor working in bronze, he can be located within a twentieth-century European sculptural tradition. Ideas which begin as beautiful fluid line drawings are worked and reworked to a point of perfect balance before being modelled and cast.

Dibble's work has been included in numerous exhibitions since the early 1970s, and in 2001 the Manawatu Art Gallery in Palmerston North held a major survey exhibition including around sixty works. Dibble also exhibits frequently as part of public outdoor sculpture events including Sculpture on the Gulf (Waiheke Island) and Sculpture by the Sea, Bondi Beach, Sydney in 2000.

In 2007 Dibble’s memorial sculpture in London’s Hyde Park was unveiled. This commission was awarded by the Ministry of Culture & Heritage and commemorates the relationship between the two countries and those loyal New Zealand servicemen who fought in armed conflict alongside Britain.

From a foundry in Palmerston North, Dibble casts all his own work with the help of a small team of highly skilled assistants. These sculptures vary in size from 350 millimetre high marquettes to large works over 5.5 metres in height. The casting in bronze of one's own work is virtually unheard of in New Zealand, particularly on such a large scale, and is in itself a technical feat requiring considerable skill and experience.

In mood, Dibble’s work alternates between a lightness of spirit that is at times impulsive and frivolous to more grounded pieces, which while they remain vital, also have a monumental presence.

As a young artist one of his aims was to create sculpture "of a size and nature to be effective outside, away from the protected gallery environment" (A.K.C.Petersen, in Paul Dibble, Bateman, 2001, p.64) and hence his concentration on large-scale works in bronze. Many of these larger works however are also cast as small marquettes, allowing the works an intimacy that they would not otherwise have.

The NZ Memorial in London

Thursday, April 3, 2008

More elevated cleaning ... #309

Another window cleaning method ... it is interesting how we tend to design our buildings with what appears to be little or no thought to the daily maintenance ... window cleaning always seems to be the downside of lovely views and light through glass facades ... Oh well I suppose it is all part of the economy and making the money go around. This is the State Services Commission building in Molesworth Street ... just up the street from Parliament.

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

A NZ Police Car ... #308

This is what a "marked" Police car looks like. Have a look at he posting on the Police advertising campaign. This photo was taken in Courtenay Place.

Patrol cars in New Zealand are mainly Ford Falcons or Holden Commodores, painted in a distinctive colour scheme of white with blue and orange markings.

If you wish to colour in a NZ Police car look here

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Finally some Water ... #307

We have been having exceptionally dry weather for months ... many of the rural areas in the central North Island and South Island are very brown with little or no grass for the livestock. Farmers have already been feeding out winter feed... so to see the rain over the last few days ... at least 50mm in the lower North Island and a bit more in other parts of the country has been a welcome relief.

This image is of a puddle of water at Ngaio Railway Station this morning .. an odd sight given the long dry summer. The reflection shows the overhead electricity wires for the train

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Liquor Fee Zone ... #307