Thursday, December 31, 2009

#942 ... Hole in a mountain

Going through the Homer Tunnel on the road to Milford Sound.

The Homer Tunnel is a road tunnel in the Fiordland region of the South Island of New Zealand, opened in 1954. It links Milford Sound to Te Anau and Queenstown, by piercing the Main Divide at the Homer Saddle. It connects between the valley of the Eglinton and Hollyford Rivers to the east and that of the Cleddau to the west.

The tunnel is straight, and was originally single-lane and gravel-surfaced. The tunnel walls remain unlined granite. The east portal end is at 945 m elevation; the tunnel runs 1270 m at approximately a 1:10 gradient down to the western portal. Until it was sealed and enlarged it was the longest gravel-surfaced tunnel in the world


William H. Homer and George Barber discovered the Homer Saddle on January 27, 1889. Homer suggested that a tunnel through the saddle would provide access to the Milford area.

Government workers began the tunnel in 1935 after lobbying by J. Cockburn of the Southland Progress League. The tunnel and the associated Milford Road were built by relief workers during the Depression, initially just starting with five men using picks and wheelbarrows. The men had to live in tents in a mountainous area where there might be no direct sunlight for half of the year. At least three were killed by avalanches over the coming decades.

Progress was slow, with difficult conditions including fractures in the rock bringing snow flows into the tunnel. Compressors and a powerhouse in the nearby river were eventually built to pump out 40,000 litres of water per hour. Work was also interrupted by World War II (though the actual piercing of the mountain had successfully been achieved in 1940), and an avalanche in 1945 which destroyed the eastern tunnel portal. These problems delayed the tunnel's completion and opening until 1954.

A great historical photo of the tunnel entrance

#941 ... More Boys !!

A mooring bouy ... Milford Sound

#940 ... Moody sky

A moody sky over Queenstown ... and the Remarkable Range

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

#939 ... A Grape View

Mother and daughter cleaning the windows of "Wine Tastes" the central Otago wine experience in Queenstown ... a must visit if your in Queenstown ... a great way to sample a range of local and other wines before you buy ... and at least go for the Felton Road Pinot Noir ... stunning, multi dimensional wine !!!

Monday, December 28, 2009

#938 ... Sunset

The wharf at Queenstown ... looking south into the setting sun ... superb evening ... the magic of just enjoying the day

Sunday, December 27, 2009

#937 ... Queenstown Sojurn

Flying into Queenstown this morning ... looking north into the sun ... it was an awesome flight .. thank you AirNZ .. and YES there will be some more non-Wellington images over the next week ... as we have ventured south for a short break ... and awesome summers day today in Queenstown.

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Friday, December 25, 2009

#935 ... last minute calls

The Santa Christmas telephone box beside the Telecom xmas tree in Frank Kitt's Park ... hope these last calls, last night brought success today ... MERRY CHRISTMAS

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

#933 ... Work Christmas Lunch

Relaxed summer lunch on the waterfront .. a work do with a difference .. fish & chips

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

#932 ... Who is Xmas?

A mime on the waterfront amusing the lunchtime suits ... including me .. mirrored in the frame ... note the day ... awesome Wellington summer ... gentle salty sea breeze ... MAGIC

#931 ... Climate Protest

About 30 to 40 people took part in the noisy, colourful protest, in an attempt to disrupt "the root causes of climate change". The protests came on the last day of a week-long camping conference on climate change, held in the Hutt Valley. Two groups presenting their views marched up either side of the main streets in the CBD ...monitored by a long line of "blue" ... NZ Police.

Mr Darroch said all of the actions had been discussed, supported and decided upon by consensus.

"It was a really positive experience, to see alternative systems of reaching decisions work so effectively," he said.

The activists were heading back out to their campsite for a big party to celebrate the day's action and conclude the week of workshops, networking and discussion, he said.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Sunday, December 20, 2009

#929 ... Costume Cruelty

A young lady collecting donations for the campaign against animal cruelty .. dressed as a dragon on a hot summers day ... cruel ...!!!

Saturday, December 19, 2009

#928 ... History

Two actors out on the streets of Wellington promoting the "Discover what life was like in Pompeii" before rock and ash from Mt Vesuvius engulfed the bustling Roman city. A Day in Pompeii features more than 250 priceless artefacts. View these and experience the cataclysmic eruption of Vesuvius in a spectacular immersive 3D theatre.
Don’t miss this opportunity to step back in time to ancient Pompeii.

Friday, December 18, 2009

#927 ... Party Party

These two delightful ladies were on their way to the AMP Call Centre christmas party ... even adults can have fun ...YEAH RIGHT

#926 ... Tired

40 winks on the bench, in the sun at Midland Park ... oblivious to the two young ladies, on the corner promoting Vodafone deals.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

#925 ... NZ Christmas Tree

The NZ Christmas tree ... the Pohutukawa is coming out in delightful red flowers ... these trees are spotted all over the city ... and it looks great ... these ones in Featherston St.

#924 ... Graduation Parade

Victoria University graduates parade down Lambton Quay .. part of the celebrations going on this week .. and it was a glorious hot day to wear black heavy capes !!!

Monday, December 14, 2009

#923 ... Brass Carols

Members of the Wellington Brass Band send the sound of christmas carols around the streets of Ngaio .. an annual fundraiser .. and the sound is much more delightful that the cyclical repeats at the local shopping malls !!!

Sunday, December 13, 2009

#922 ... Dusk Dramatics

The southern sky on dusk from the Plimmerton hill tops ... Wootton residence .. thanks for the hospitality !!

Saturday, December 12, 2009

#921 ... The Real Spirit

The workers, volunteers, sponsors ... all do a great job for the Wellington City Mission .. with the annual Pack the Bus and now this Christmas Tree in Midland Park, Central Wellington ... donate and place a can on the tree .. a worthy cause.

Friday, December 11, 2009

#920 ... The Lovely Bones

Getting the red carpet treatment ... Monday 14 December 2009 ... Embassey Theatre, Wellington, New Zealand ... and then coming to a cinema near you ... dressing up the Mercedes cars for the event ...

Thursday, December 10, 2009

#919 ... Devil in the Detail

Julian Knap loses himself in the detail of his world .. for upto two years!!!

"A Trek thru Wellington" is one of his well known creations that paints the many iconic images of Wellington onto one canvas.

Exhibition Galleries sponsored Julian as he spent 6 weeks in London getting all the source mateiral for his latest work which he expects to complete in 2011. A delightful artist who brings the magic of a city to life.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

#918 ... High Noon Drama

Much of Wellington's central business district was been cordoned off and offices evacuated over a bomb scare this afternoon.
The emergency began after a teller at the National Bank on Featherston St was handed a note shortly before 3pm suggesting there was a bomb in the building, a central police communications spokesman told NZPA.

"We're using a police specialist search group to check the premises, and the building has been evacuated," he said.

This is at the eastern corner of the Intercontinenetal Hotel. The National Bank is the white building on the right corner of the next block... behind the Intercontinental Hotel. And as you can see "nothing stops you getting a cup of afternoon coffee !!"

A bomb scare at a Wellington bank that brought the central business district to a virtual standstill this afternoon appears to have been a hoax.

Cordons were put up around much of the CBD after a teller at the National Bank on Featherston St was handed a note shortly before 3pm suggesting there was bomb in the building that would go off at 3pm, central police communications team leader Chris Turner told NZPA.

The building was evacuated and surrounding streets cordoned off until shortly after 6.30pm, causing severe disruptions to traffic in the city.

Police said a search of the bank found no sign of a bomb, but the building remained cordoned off tonight as a scene examination was continued.

Police were still trying to identify the person who delivered the note, Mr Turner said.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

#917 ... End of the Year

YES it's that time again ... the annual round of college prize giving ceremonies .. this one was for Wellington Girls College and was held in the Wellington Town Hall .. 3 hours of awards, performances, speeches and announcement of the new student leaders (prefects, Head Girl etc) for 2010.

This is Sitanun Taveebhol, an international student from Bangkok, Thailand receiving her achievement award ... WELL DONE

Monday, December 7, 2009

#916 ... Sunny Day

Hard working college students chilling out after the stress of the end of year examinations ... YEAH RIGHT

Sunday, December 6, 2009

#915 .. The Big Cheese

95kg of cheese being prepared for cutin ad sampling. The Head Cheese man arfuly removig groove of wax coating in readiness for slicing of a quarter of the hes round. Moore Wilson's Fresh store, Tory Street

Saturday, December 5, 2009

#914 ... National Jandal Day

This young surf lifesaver and her mum were collecting outside Arizona on Featherston Street. Note the Jandal uniform !!!

About National Jandal Day
Support your local Surf Lifeguards by wearing your jandals on Friday 4th December and pledge a donation to support safer summers on our beaches. Surf Lifeguards rescue 1,500 people each year and prevent a further 350,000 from getting into difficulty, but alarmingly New Zealand still has one of the worst rates of drowning in the developed world. They need your help! Surf Life Saving New Zealand is one of New Zealand’s most respected charities and this is reflected in their fundraising.

Friday, December 4, 2009

#913 ... Shave a lid

Getting a summer haircut will take on a whole new meaning this week

Some incredible brave people getting their hair all shaved off to raise funds for the Child Cancer Foundation .. this is an annual event and this Wellington contribution is in Midland Park, Lambton Quay

Funrazor, the Child Cancer Foundation’s nationwide fundraising event, encourages members of the public to shave their hair in support of brave kids with cancer.

For those not keen on a new hairdo, there will be a chance to get a photo with the actors and entertainment activities at the shave station. Money raised at the event will help provide emotional and practical support for children suffering from cancer and their families.

I am proud to have been a founding member of the Wellington Branch of CCF and was instrumental along with other fine people to getting it established in the Capital c 1985. It is pleasing to see the support of people from many walks of life ... helping out those families facing traumatic events dealing with children with cancer.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

#912 ... The Station Bride

Wedding party photographs at the entrance to Wellington Railway Station ... seems to be the season for RED

#911 ... Bum Italian

A sexy piece of F430 Italian backside ... outside the Intercontinental Hotel.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

#910 ... short & LONG

A chance meeting at the Wellington Railway Station allowed for a quick side by side comparison ... I know which car I would rather use around the city !!! ... "better red than limo long stop"

#909 ... Monday Muso

Keepa Tuirirangi ... "Burning Embers" ... out on the streets of Wellington selling his bands CDs to raise funds for the next one ... his old man, Kemp, was the owner of the Blerta bus ... a unique episode in New Zealand's music history ... obviously the great musical genes ( and jeans) were passed down thru some rocking DNA. Good Luck with the new album.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

#908 ... Walking my baby home

A local jazz musician .. walking his pride and joy to a gig ... some musical instruments are a tad more challenging to get around with than a mouth harp ... but the ingenuity of the skate board is to be admired!!

Saturday, November 28, 2009

#907 ... World Aids Day

The guys resplendent in RED ... out collecting for World Aids Day ... and handing out red ribbons ... Midland Park, Wellington CBD

Friday, November 27, 2009

#906 ... Art by Design

Some interesting free art on one of the old buildings behind the Massey University Design School in Buckle Street

#905 ... A Ballanced Thursday

In front of Parliament, the statue of John Ballance the prime minister of New Zealand (1891–93) who unified the Liberal Party, which held power for 20 years; he also played a major role in the enactment of social welfare legislation.H e was born March 27, 1839, Glenavy, County Antrim, N.Ire. died April 27, 1893, Wellington, N.Z.

After working as an ironmonger in Birmingham, Eng., the self-educated Ballance emigrated to Wanganui, N.Z., in 1865. There he was editor of the Wanganui Herald and fought against the native Maoris. Entering Parliament in 1875, he advocated abolition of provincial governments. As colonial treasurer in 1878, he introduced a land tax to raise revenue more equitably. As minister of lands, defense, and native affairs in 1884–87, he tried to shift landownership from monopolists to small farmers and to retain crown land while preventing abuses in the sale of Maori land.

During his term as prime minister, Ballance imposed progressive land and income taxes and gained for the government the right to repurchase private land for development. He combatted the lingering depression by limiting government borrowing and won reduction of life membership in the upper house to a seven-year term, curtailing the power of his opponents. His cabinet was noted for its distinguished ministers, including William Pember Reeves, who sponsored pioneering labour-protection legislation; John McKenzie, who fought against land monopolies; and Ballance’s successor, Richard John Seddon.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

#904 ... Kaiwharawhara

Looking east down on Kaiwharawhara from Barnard St, Wadestown.The yellow building is Animates (the pet store); left of that is the BMW & Mini dealership; white building (right) with blue stripe is Spotlight (materials, crafts, fabrics etc). Ngaio Gorge Road runs left up past the red roof building on the left ...from the red car in front of Spotlight. Wainuiomata and Eastbourne in the distance on the other side of the harbour.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

#903 ... Fuzzy Logic

Kayaks playing follow the leader tonight at Evans Bay ... on the way to the airport and all I had was a dirty lens iPhone ... beautiful evening ... no wind ... still waters .. you get the idea.

Monday, November 23, 2009

#902 ... Night Trains

A view south towards the city ... from the Westpac Stadium concourse ... looking across the Wellington Railway Station
IMAGE by Josh Blandford

#901 ... Yesterday's News

A local rubbish transfer stattion down the bottom of Ngaio Gorge. My son Josh was using the place as the subject for a photographic essay ... as part of the Digital Photography summer school course he is doing.
IMAGE by Josh Blandford

Saturday, November 21, 2009

#900 ... SFAD

These lucky guys are the result of auctioning themselves as "slaves for a day" to raise money ... and they're all dressed up for the christmas tree !!!

Friday, November 20, 2009

#898 ... Station Exit

Station Exit ... looking north to the train platforms ... across the main lobby of the Wellington Railway Station
Image by Josh Blandford

Thursday, November 19, 2009

#897 ... Monique Gemmell "Restriction & Release"

Another of the amazing creative talents from the Massey University, School of Design. This collection has been developed by Monique, after closely looking at the restrictions placed on the body from lingeie and corsetry. The marks, textures, lines and altered sillouettes created through the restriction and the temporary marks left behind on the skin after being released were explored as a point of particular interest.

Dye techniques shibori and batik were used as methods of recording the restriction and release directly to the fabric. Stitching and elastic were used as methods of manipulating the surface creating puckered, wrinkled, gathered areas and contrasting textures emulating those explored during on the skin through the research that Monique carried out.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

#896 ... Night Shell

The local Shell service station at Crofton Downs is getting it's forecourt refurbished. The petrol station has been closed for two days and tonight was full on as the canopy was fixed in place ... lights, camera, action

Monday, November 16, 2009

#895 ... Emily George "COIL"

Crochet is a process that has the ability to create textile structures that have an organic quality, visually and structurally. Drawing inspiration from skeletal structures such as rib cages, spines and snake skeletons, Emily gas developed a unique crochet technique using braided yarn and cut leather.

By wrapping an object with yarn and using crochet like a spine to hold it together a skeletal structure is left when the object is removed. ... and thanks to Emily for these words as well. The show that you guys put on was creatively awesome.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

#894 ... We are through

The Fallon name became indelibly linked to New Zealand's World Cup history when Rory headed the All Whites' winner against Bahrain to send them to the finals 27 years after his father Kevin helped oversee the first appearance by the Kiwi footballing heroes.

The 27-year-old striker got up to head a Leo Bertos corner into the back of the net in the 45th minute of a pulsating qualifier in Wellington.

Fallon wasn't alone with his heroics of this 1-nil win. Kiwi keeper Mark Paston saved a second half penalty as the All Whites desperately held on to win the dramatic match and claim a place in next year's World Cup finals in South Africa.

Three minutes before his goal Fallon had another header denied by a wonderful reflex save by Sayed Mohamed Jaffar. But the Bahrain goalkeeper had no chance off the corner as the big Plymouth Argyle forward rose high to claim his second goal in just three games for New Zealand.

PHOTO: taken by Photosport for