Monday, June 30, 2008

#395 ... Eco Bins

The new eco bins that are sprouting all over the city ... for all those daily cans, bottles and plastic cups ... cleaning up the city "one lunchtime at a time"

Sunday, June 29, 2008

#394 ... Pre-storm Glow

Looking south-east from Ngaio to Wadestown .. the city CBD and the Harbour is behind the "glowing" houses on the horizon .... and the southerly is building up from the South ... cold wet weather coming through !!

Friday, June 27, 2008

#392 ... Busker Boredom

This scene is played out most days and nights along Courtenay Place ... the restaurant, bar and nightlife zone for Wellington. Perhaps the regularity of it all, especially on a normal business day is typified by the disinterested view of the pedestrians walking along the street.

The daily buskers in Courtenay Place are not reknown for the quality of the music .. they probably fall into the "noise" generator category unlike some of those who play in the Wellington Railway station ... where you can hear choral groups, barbers shop quartets, harp renditions, classic guitar etc.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

#391 ... Whole Hole Diggers

Molesworth Street. Wellington under investigation. What "on the surface" appears to be a rather simple, mundane task is frought with all sorts of complexities and bureacracy.

We must keep in context here ... this hole is purely an investigation hole to verify what pipework, cables etc is here so they know exactly where to dig when they come to dig the proper hole later!

As is now usual all manner of approvals are required before you commence the dig ... OKAYs from the City Council, the roading authorities, the OSH (safety) compliance .. there are strict time zones in which the work can be done and all must be back in place before peak hour traffic. You will note on the right hand side of this photo some purple paint .. all the various utilities are maked with different colours depending on who owns them and what they carry ... water, gas, power, telecommunications etc.

This crew were happy in their work digging investigation holes up and down the street. One could be forgiven for thinking that they were slowing moving a hole along the street .... YEAH RIGHT

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

#390 ... Out with the OLD .. in with the NEW

Scraping the old promo imagery off the Glasson's window .. and along Lambton Quay the new promo lettering is going up on Kirkcaldie & Stains windows .. at least it brings out the cool winter boots and the delightful smiles

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

#389 ... Nocturnal Glow

I visited the Legislative Chamber in Parliament to see the portraits (lying in State) of the NZ soldiers killed Viet Nam .. it was a still cool evening and the Parliament Building created a fitting presence for this significant moment in New Zealand's history. The sillouette of the ubiquitous cabbage trees addedto the occasion.

Monday, June 23, 2008

#388 ... Parliament Awakes

Kapa Haka Kura Tuarua-ā-Motu 2008
36 of New Zealand’s top secondary school Kapa Haka teams competed for top honours at the National Secondary School Māori Performing Arts Competition. They presented many high-energy performances! .. just like this impromptu one in front of Parliament .. the sound of the haka chants could be heard hundreds of metres away ... it made the hair stand up on the back of your neck.

“I’m passionate about Kapa Haka, because it’s an opportunity to for rangatahi and to demonstrate their contribution to maintaining te reo Maori. There is certainly a high level of artistic talents in Maori Performing Arts,” Nanaia Mahuta, MP said.
“These young people have practiced for months. It takes dedication, not just for the performers but for their tutors and their whanaau.” Kapa haka combines dance, song, rhythm, and harmony to tell a story. It’s unique and it’s indigenous to our great country. Groups went through regional competition, where the top schools were selected for the national competition. The nationals, which is part of Wellington’s Matariki (Maori New Year) celebrations, and Nanaia Mahuta is impressed with the commitment shown by the representatives of the 14 rohe involved in this year’s event.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

#387 ... An English Omlette

I spotted these outside the New World Supermarket at Chaffers St ... someone must have had one of those "Oh ph**k" moments and the eggs must obviously have been those English ones ... going by the rugby test last night ... the All Blacks beat the English 'eggs' 44-12

GAME REPORT by Marc Hinton
So this is why we now have the Dan Carter Rule. As the All Black first five continues to roll out the virtuoso performances - he scored another 22 points in the second test blitz of England that finished 44-12 - the NZRU's great sabbatical ploy is looking more and more like an inspired piece of thinking.

And the million-dollar pricetag Toulon are said to be paying for his services for a season more and more a bargain. He's that good. That talented. Just ask England who for the second straight week powerless to stop him weaving his magic all over this match as the All Blacks completed a two-test sweep of an England side that had been under siege in the media all week and spent the better part of 80 minutes last night being swamped by a black wave.

It was one that Carter rode superbly too, the maestro on top of his game, whether as a creator or a finisher. He set up his side's first try in Christchurch, scored the second, and was at the forefront of the buildup for the third. Heavens, his mere presence probably created the fourth too, even if it was a trademark No 8 finish from the back of a scrum. And, to be fair, he was off the field for the fifth at the finish. The All Blacks led 20-0 at halftime. They ran in two first-half tries and - with more than a little help from the tourists - kept the English scoreless for 40 minutes. Coach Rob Andrew will no doubt note vociferously that his down-on-their-luck boys should actually have had two touchdowns themselves through the opening spell.

But it was the All Blacks who were clinical; and the English just comical as they twice spurned easy try-scoring chances.

Then, seven minutes before the break, fullback Mathew Tait had done all the hard work when he raced on to his own kick that bounced perfectly for him, but then spilt the ball like a piece of soap in the shower. Oh dear.

It had been a dream start for one of the two All Black debutants, centre Richard Kahui racing in for the game's opening try after just 11 minutes. With the New Zealanders making a much more effective start at the breakdowns over the opening skirmishes, good ball-retention eventually saw Carter - in princely form once again - slip through Jamie Noon's ineffective tackle and find Kahui beautifully on the cutback. But the All Blacks kept their own score ticking over, Ma'a Nonu, continuing to make every post a winner in the No 12 jersey, grabbing his fifth test try when Carter and Sivivatu combined to carve the opening; and Lauaki strolling over from a scrum to put the issue beyond doubt early in the final quarter.

But it was Carter who was very much the star of the best All Black performance of the new season. His mark was all over everything positive the New Zealanders did all night. And there was plenty of that.

New Zealand 44: Tries: Richard Kahui, Daniel Carter, Ma'a Nonu, Sione Lauaki, Jimmy Cowan. Cons: Carter (4), Stephen Donald. Pens: Carter (3).

England 12: Tries: Danny Care, Tom Varndell. Cons: Olly Barkley.

Saturday, June 21, 2008

#386 .. Only in NZ

One of our city buses all decked out in Paua shell colours ... this could only happen here
... and it is promoting ... "look after our environment"

Paua or pāua is the Māori name given to three species of large edible sea snails, marine gastropod molluscs which belong to the family Haliotidae (genus Haliotis), known in the USA as abalone and in the UK as Ormer shells.
There are three species of New Zealand paua;
Paua - Haliotis iris
Maori and common names: Blackfoot Paua
Queen paua- Haliotis australis
Maori and common names: Silver Paua, Yellow Foot Paua, Hihiwa & Karariwha
Virgin paua - Haliotis virginea
New Zealand's most well known paua species is Haliotis iris. It is also the most common species, growing up to 18cm in length.

Shell description
The shell of the paua is oval and the exterior is often covered with greyish incrustations. In contrast the interior of a Paua is an iridescent swirl of intense green, blue, purple, and sometimes pink colours.

Human use
The paua is iconic in New Zealand: its black muscular foot is considered a delicacy, and the shell is frequently used in jewelry.
To Māori, paua are recognised taonga, or treasure, esteemed both as kai moana (seafood) and as a valued resource for traditional and contemporary arts and crafts. Paua are frequently used to represent the eyes in Māori carvings and traditionally are associated with the stars, or whetu the eyes of ancestors that gaze down from the night sky.
Paua are gathered recreationally and commercially but strict catch limits are set for both - for recreational fishers this is 10 paua per person, per day. The minimum legal size for caught paua is 125mm for Haliotis iris and 80mm for Haliotis australis. Paua can only be caught by free diving. It is illegal to dive for paua using scuba equipment.

Friday, June 20, 2008

#385 ... the Thin Red Line

In preparation for another minor State occasion ... the thin strip of red carpet is positioned up the centre of the steps into Parliament ... the limited colour palette of this shot is entirely "natural" as they say ... "no photoshop has been used in the manufacture of this product!"

Thursday, June 19, 2008

#384 ... Diplomatic Escort

The Blue Cowboys getting to ready to ride off into the sunset ... escorting a posse of diplomatic Mercedes limos ... the southern gates of Parliament

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Mary Mary Mary ... tri contrary... #383

... How does your garden grow?

Three delightful Wellington City Council gardeners weeding around the native grasses between Kent & Cambridge Terraces at the end of Courtenay Place just over from the Embassey Theatre (LOTR premiere place) .. these dedicated people keep our city looking nice ... and with a SMILE ... THANK YOU

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

School Fix ... #382

A cup of hot chocolate or a cappucino before school ... or maybe just a chance to catch up with school mates before class ... the advantage of a central city college!

Mojos at the Old BNZ Arcade, corner Willis St and Lambton Quay

Monday, June 16, 2008

The Wellington Bra'ss Band... #381

A Lambton Quay 2 for 1 sale at the Bendon Boutique ... so all you delightful ladies ... get along there and support the company that supports you !!! ... YEAH RIGHT

Sunday, June 15, 2008

ARC ... #380

The All Blacks played England at Eden park In Auckland .. so what do Wellingtonians do .. they head to the Loaded Hog on the waterfront and have some alternative commentary and watch the game on the big screen ... a great night.

The Alternative Rugby Commentary is back, on the ball and full of all the clichés, calls and controversy you won't hear in your average rugby commentary. Jed Thian and his team, presents 16 game calls live from Wellington's Loaded Hog for the New Zealand domestic test season and from around the world. Ten games will be called from the Loaded Hog, with the remaining six called 'on the road' from Hong Kong and London.

The Alternative Rugby Commentary is a fresh, frank and funny look at footy. The Alternative Rugby Commentary merciless in its mirth over whatever suckers happen to be playing New Zealand; a no-holds-barred appraisal of the local teams and players – what we really want to know, like who ate all the pies and what a monumental cock-up the All Blacks 'strength and conditioning' regime was. Through the wonders of modern technology the Alternative Rugby Commentary is simulcast on the world wide web at, available for real sports fans all over the world who want sports commentary with real balls.

Jed 'Jedi' Thian is the almighty mouth from the south with more bounce to the ounce when it comes to cutting edge rugby commentary. With growing fame all over the world as the driving force behind Alternative Rugby Commentary, Thian has been in the hot seat since 2005, bringing his unique brand of bombastic bluster and acerbic verbal jousting to the staid world of sport commentary. Australia has Roy & HG to skewer its sports stars; Aotearoa turns to the almighty Jedi to cut through the publicity pap and deliver a truly Kiwi take on the big games.

This is what no-less an authority on world affairs as the BBC had to say about Thian when he blew through the United Kingdom commentating from London's The Clapham Grande at the Rugby World Cup 2007:

"He is the kind-of New Zealand Roy & HG, an absolute cultural icon. Apparently over there… in New Zealand they turn the TV commentary down and go to Jed's website and they listen to him basically abusing everybody right, left and centre."
John Inverdale, September 8th 2007, BBC 5 Live Rugby World Cup Special
The 2008 Alternative Rugby Commentary: All the balls you need.

Saturday, June 14, 2008

#379 ... Pacific Blue

University break & exam time ... so the marketing machine looks to use some available labour ... who are only too willing to earn a few extra dollars.

Getting ready to walk Lambton Quay and promote "fly with Pacific Blue"

Friday, June 13, 2008

#378 ... GR8DOGS

Who is taking who for a walk along the wharf ... or should than be 'whoof'
Taranaki St Wharf ... with Te Papa in the background (upper right)

PS: my classic Rover SD1 has the number plate [GR8DOG] and the car is now owned by Richard an Auckland Uni engineering student.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Misty Morn ... #377

A misty morning .. view from the top of my driveway ... looking east towards Nairnville Park (row of trees in the mist) and Khandallah.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Downunder Downunder ... #376

The face of under water hockey ... I was down at Kilbirnie Aquatic Centre on Sunday morning to pick up my daughter Anna (she used to play for Wellington Girls College)who was watching the Regional UWH Championship The players become very very enthusiastic and passionate about this somewhat unusual sport. Six players in each team in the pool tyring to get a leaden puck along the pool bottom into the goal at the other end. They use small sticks to push the puck. Now being on the bottom of the pool they must dive down under water to move the puck .. hence the snorkels, mouthguards, goggles, flippers etc. Watching the game from above the pool is a bit like watching trout feed ... however some of our pools have glass viewing windows below the water surface and you are able to see what happens underwater. For most of the major tournaments it is usual to have an underwater camerman and the action is relayed to a large video screen for the crowds of supporters to follow the action. See some action here

What is UWH - The Game
All you need to play this game is a mask, snorkel, flippers, protective glove, a small stick and a puck (a lead disc). Equipped with these six objects, you're ready for action! The stick is used to push or flick the puck along the bottom of the pool. At each end of the pool is a goal. The object of the game is to flick the puck into the opposition team's goal. Sounds easy, doesn't it? The pool is 1.5 - 2.5 metres deep, and the court area itself is 20-25 by 10-15 metres, so there's lots of room to swim about in. There are twelve players in the pool at any one time (six players per team) with four subs each waiting at the side. A game is 30 minutes long with 3 minutes at half time for a breather

History of UWH - History
Although Underwater Hockey is a relatively new sport, it is actually older than you think. It started in Britain, and independently started in South Africa. The first mention in New Zealand was in 1963. As Brian Stewart tells, it gained popularity in the 1970s. There are currently about 750 registered players in New Zealand, with a similar number of unregistered players. Approximately 25% of players are of school age. The younger players are evenly split by sex, but the older players have a higher proportion of males. The sport is a self-managing branch of the New Zealand Underwater Association (NZU). Through NZU it has ties to mini-dippers (a kiwisport) for young players, and to approximately 20000 adult divers

Monday, June 9, 2008

A liitle snow... #375

A light sprinkling of snow on top of the Orongorongos on the eastern side of the Harbour behind Eastbourne ... just to prove that it was cold for the rRugby Test on Saturday night. Sometimes we get a bit more snow but nothing like Christchurch or Dunedin.

This photo is looking across Kilbirnie Park, St patrick's College in the middle of the picture and the Zephrometer is just out of frame to the left. The houses on the hill in the background ar in the sunburbs of Miramar and Strathmore and the Wellington Airport is to the right just below these houses.

Sunday, June 8, 2008

A Black Night ... #374

New Zealand may well be considered 'green' by some but last night it was 'all black' ... no pun intended ... YEAH RIGHT.

The All Blacks, NZ's Rugby Team played Ireland at Westpac Stadium .. it was a cold wet night but being a test match between two proud rugby nations it had all the drama and hype. My work colleague Pat Higgins, who has an eclectic and wry sense of humour, sang the Irish National Anthem (lower left image), the All Blacks performed the traditional haka before the match (lower right image), some of the crowd wore green for Ireland but mostly it was a sea of black ... but even the fireworks didn't seem to warm up the cold temperature ... however it was great rugby occasion and the clubs, pubs and bars in Courtenay Place did a great trade after the game !!!

The All Blacks say Saturday's 21-11 victory over Ireland in freezing, driving rain was the coldest weather they have ever played in.
With a chilly wind whipping through the Westpac Stadium, the conditions were worse than when they played in hail against the British and Irish Lions in Christchurch three years ago, according to All Blacks captain Richie McCaw.
"I've never really got cold out on the field but after half-time I was shivering," he said.
Ireland captain Brian O'Driscoll was still shaking, even after a hot shower, when he fronted for the post-match press conference nearly an hour after the final whistle.
In an even match, the score was tied 11-11 with 20 minutes remaining when All Blacks flyhalf Dan Carter swung the result New Zealand's way with a penalty and then a telling break that resulted in a try to Ma'a Nonu.
Carter's cut through the Irish line to set up Nonu's try was "a moment of genius", according to Ireland coach Michael Bradley as he saw an end to Irish hopes for an historic first win against New Zealand in 103 years.
"In the first couple of minutes we possibly would have been over the line twice but for the bounce of the ball, and that maybe would have been enough to carry us for the entire match on the basis of the conditions," Bradley said.
"But to their credit the All Blacks stuck at it as well, and they were patient and it probably took one moment of genius to create the critical line break in the second half.
"We have a very disappointed dressing room because we thought we had a really good chance to beat New Zealand."
With the All Blacks looking to start a new era in their first Test since last year's failed World Cup campaign, they knew success against Ireland would depend on gaining parity against the vastly experienced, Munster-based pack.
"We realised it was probably going to be nasty weather so we adapted pretty well. The forwards took charge of the set piece, we won most of our lineout ball, our drive was right there and we got some go forward," McCaw said.
"Even when we were 11-11 early in the second half there was no panic, there was composure there and belief in what we were doing."
But if the forwards, doing most of the hard work up front, were feeling the cold then life was much worse for the outside backs.
"It got to the point where you couldn't feel your hands or anything really," said All Blacks centre Conrad Smith.
"There was one point there are the end when one of the Irishmen went down that both teams were running around in circles doing their own thing (to keep warm). I just looked around and thought 'this is stupid'."
His opposite, O'Driscoll, agreed.
"They were horrible conditions to play a Test match but sometimes you get them and it's disappointing to push it as hard as we did, with the intensity we had, and to slip up once at that line break and be punished."
Tries to All Blacks wing Sitiveni Sivivatu and Ireland's inside centre Paddy Wallace plus a penalty apiece by Carter and Ronan O'Gara saw the scores level at 8-8 at half-time.
Four minutes after the turn is was 11-11 after O'Gara and Carter traded further penalties and the match became a dour struggle of kicking for territory, ruck and counter-ruck, until Carter broke the deadlock.
All Blacks coach Graham Henry said that while pleased with the outcome of his new-look side's first outing, little could be read into the game because of the weather.
"I think that game was just a one-off, it is very difficult to judge that game compared to most of the other games you play," he said.
"It was a one-off for tactics, a one-off for putting up with those conditions out there and getting through them."
The All Blacks meanwhile have added Canterbury Crusaders prop Ben Franks to their squad ahead of the two-Test series against England which begins in Auckland next week.
Franks replaces front rower John Afoa who injured his right knee in the Test and is expected to be out of rugby for a month.

Saturday, June 7, 2008

Vespa Lounge ... #373

Music plays a large part in the atmosphere of the Vespa Lounge with some of Wellington's top DJs playing during the evenings making it a popular place to meet before going to one of Wellington's many nightclubs or to unwind afterwards. We have DJ's playing 42 hours per week. The main musical style being deep/jazzy house at a level which still allows easy conversation. The Vespa Lounge also has a pool table.

Friday, June 6, 2008

Take Another Look ... #372

Suspended animation in your own lunchtime ...

As part of world environment day , yesterday, there was a mass "freeze" at 12.45pm sharp on corner of Lambton/Featherston and Hunter streets - near the green moving 'Protoplasm' sculpture ....

Something cool to have a look at or even join in! More info here:

They're basically replicating this video on you tube: .... bit of an attention seeker to raise awareness for World Environment Day.

The guy with the trombone started the even with some musical notes and then STOPPED .. just like those in the background on either side. SOme very innovative statues were created .. two guys doing a high five, ladies putting on lipstick and searching through handbags ... it was all very well staged.

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Sunstrike Season ... #371

YES it is that time of the year when the sun rises a bit later ... just when most of us head to work .. so take care with sunstrike when driving.

The bottom end of the Ngauranga Gorge ... turn left and you are on State Highway 1 as it climbs up from the harbour edge to the hills on the northern side of Wellington. Keep on this road for another 8 hours and you will get to Auckland. This photo was taken looking east towards Petone as the the sun was rising and streaking through the motorway flyover.

Ngauranga is a suburb of New Zealand's capital city, Wellington, in the lower North Island. Situated on the western bank of Wellington Harbour, it lies to the north of the centre of the city. It is a Maori name meaning "the landing place", and the original spelling was "Nga-Uranga". The Ngauranga Railway Station was known as "Ngahauranga" when it opened in 1874.
It is lightly populated, and for statistical purposes is divided into Ngauranga East and Ngauranga West by Statistics New Zealand.

It includes the Ngauranga Gorge, through which State Highway 1 passes on its route out of Wellington to Porirua and the west coast. To the east, State Highway 2 runs wedged between hills and Wellington Harbour on its route from Wellington to the Hutt Valley, Wairarapa, and beyond. Alongside State Highway 2 is the Hutt Valley Line portion of the Wairarapa Line railway, which includes a station in Ngauranga served by frequent commuter trains. The North Island Main Trunk Railway also passes through Ngauranga, via two tunnels of the Tawa Flat deviation, with a bridge between them crossing the Ngauranga Gorge.

The small amount of usable land in Ngauranga is primarily used for commercial and industrial activity, though there are some houses on the hill overlooking the motorway

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Barrister Tim ... #370

Tim McGurk ... another of our city's friendly and very competent baristas. Tim is moving up the alphabet having started his working life as a builder and now for the last couple of years a barista.

Tim was a "home birth" baby born in Wellington but spent the first 3 years of his life with his missionary parents in Singapore and Hong Kong ... and then some alternative living on Waiheke Island in the Hauraki Gulf, Auckland.

Tim is a talented artist as well as an eclectic wearer of hats ... and always has a friendly word for the customers.

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Blackrock House ... #369

Sequential progress ... The Blackrock Road house ... slow construction over the past year ... look at an early iteration and then the next and this is where we are now

Monday, June 2, 2008

Acknowledged 4 decades later ... #368

The Tribute08 ceremony acknowledging the NZ Vietnam Veterans was an emotional and poignent event .. the photographs of the 37 soldiers killed in the conflict were taken one by one from the easels (shown in the WDP a couple of days ago)and carried by family members up the steps into parliament to lie in State in the Legislative Chamber. This Queen's Birthday weekend has been a welcoming home for all the NZ military who served in Vietnam .. some 40 years ago.

The Defence Force has continued with the apologies to Vietnam veterans, admitting that it let the soldiers down and did not do enough to help them and their families after the war.
Some of the 1000 veterans and family members were moved to tears when chief Lieutenant General Jerry Mateparae delivered a heartfelt speech at the Basin Reserve yesterday.
It followed an apology from the Crown last week which was formally accepted by veterans yesterday.
"I would simply ask for your forgiveness for our shortcomings in the past. I apologise for the impact these shortcomings have had on you and your families," General Mateparae said.
"You served loyally, you served with honour and I pledge my determination to correct the failings of the past.
"I know it is long overdue, but to our New Zealand Vietnam veterans - welcome home."
He said the armed forces were like a family, bound together by a common set of values and a culture that reflected the national heritage and character.
"It is clear that many Vietnam veterans believe that the [Defence Force] has not lived up to these ideals."
General Mateparae invited the Vietnam veterans back into the family, but he said he understood if there was hesitation to accept such an embrace.
"There can be little doubt that you were let down after you returned from the war, and across subsequent decades. I am unequivocal in saying the Defence Force did not do enough to assist you.
"Having been placed in harm's way, you arrived back to unwarranted derision. Most people cannot start to imagine how you must have felt."
The ceremony also included a tri-service guard of honour, a 37-gun salute, performances by the New Zealand army and air force bands as well as a flypast by the air force.
On Saturday, an honour parade was held through central Wellington.
The veterans and their families marched from Civic Square to Parliament where they were greeted by Prime Minister Helen Clark.

Sunday, June 1, 2008

Local Health ... #367

The local Ngaio Pharmacy ... why is this no-descript little shop, unique in my world .. well for one this Pharmacy has been at the heart of the local community's health and well being ... for at least 60 years if not more. Unfortunately my resident historian Alan (graduated 1964), was not working yesterday ... so we will have to wait for the more detailed facts about the life and history of this gem.

Richard (graduated 1972) was working on Saturday and too busy to walk outside for a photo ( but we will get one of our two pharmacists !!) The other interesting fact about Ngaio Pharmacy is that it has been a source of employment for many many college kids .. either working in the shop or doing medical deliveries to people in the community who are unable to get to the pharmacy. My daughter Anna worked in the shop and my son Joshua has the the delivery stuff. Our next door neighbour Julian (similar age to me) was a delivery boy when he was at college.

Also each year the shop has a new intern as they do their one years experience following their university degree ... so we meet some delightful young ladies as they commence their pharmaceutical careers.

.. so we have here another little shop that could !!!!

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