More classic Ponsonby for removal

Numbers 3 and 5 Blake Street, Ponsonby, are for removal now too. I understand a Hamilton developer is putting an apartment block in their place. Is this really the future of Ponsonby; replacing character buildings with tilt slab construction?


Looking up O'Connell Street

Looking up O'Connell Street from the Fort Street carpark at the beautiful 'Chicago School' style General Building on the left, and the Metropolis building towering above and behind it.

Sad to think that I was sketching from what would have been the basement of the old
Auckland Star building demolished in 1989. That's it below viewed from Shortland Street in 1910.
Even sadder that after 24 years the vacant site used as an open air carpark is about to
be developed into a – surprise – 4 story Carpark!

The Transport blog as a good thread on the subject here.

Auckland Star building, Shortland Street, Auckland. Auckland Star:
Negatives. Ref: 1/1-002917-G. Alexander Turnbull Library, Wellington, New Zealand.


Don't miss the Paraparaumu pit stop

Driving into (or out of) Wellington and getting tired of playing eye spy with a car load of bored children? Or are you just a car nut who likes nothing more than drooling over some of the worlds rarest cars? Well next time you're driving along the Kapiti coast don't just grit your teeth and drive on in determination – do yourself a favour and take a pit stop at the Southward Museum!

It's just over the railway lines from State Highway 1 at Otaihanga (next stop past Waikanae heading south or Paraparaumu heading north) and has a mind boggling collection of cars, bikes, motorbikes and memorabilia. The collection includes New Zealands oldest car, an 1897 Benz, Marlene Dietrich's 1934 Cadillac, an original Indy Stutz (see above), bubble cars, electric cars, armoured cars, dragsters, a gullwing, an Ed 'Big Daddy' Roth creation, a Philippino 'Jeepney', and my favourite - an air cooled 30's Tatra V8 - what a beast!

That's the 1915 Stutz that Norwegian Gil Andersen won the Astor Cup with in 1915 above. He also claimed a 3rd at Indianapolis 1915 and a 2nd in 1919. The car was then imported to New Zealand and won the NZ Motor cup 3 years in a row with R.B. Wilson.


Local character turned early morning takeaways

The villa vacated the neighbourhood this morning! It took them a good 3 hours or so to get
all 3 trailer units off the section in the rain and onto the street. Quite an operation!

Second trailer 2:30am


Ready to roll

The old villa on Jervois Road is looking really sad - it's now cut up into 3 and sitting on trailers ready to be trucked away.

Apparently it's going to Matarangi in the Coromandel. I pity those drivers who will have to follow it over the Kopu - Hikuai road!


Te Whare Karakia o Ōnuku

Onuku is a couple of kilometers along the coast from Akaroa and has one of the prettiest little churches you'll see just about anywhere perched just up the bank from the harbour. Called Te Whare Karakia o Ōnuku it opened in 1878 as the first non-denominational church in New Zealand. Ōnuku is a place of historical significance as the first of the three locations in the South Island where Te Tiriti o Waitangi was signed.


Okains Bay, Banks Peninsular

It felt good to escape the tourists in Akaroa. A cruiseliner had anchored in the bay and swarms of people were gradually being delivered to shore by a couple of bright orange tenders.

We drove the skinny windy road up over the ridge and down to Le Bons bay first for a walk on the beach, then on to Okains Bay. Lots of hardy people (it was only about 12 degrees!) were camping in the camp ground by the beach. Another beach walk. I'd like to have got some tua tuas - the shells on the beach are enormous, but the water was freezing so there was no way I was going in to do the tua tua twostep.

Down by the store locals were competing in some Easter tradition of 'egg and spoon' and 'sack races'. We warmed up with blue cod fish and chips from the Okains Bay General Store and enjoyed watching the races. The store looks like it has been the center of life for the bay for a long time with well used postboxes inside and what looks like an old workshop next door.

Okains Bay Store

Then we checked out the museum. It has got to be one of the best in the country as well as one of the most remote. Quite small and unassuming looking from the road, it started as a family collection that has grown into an incredible collection of Maori (and Chatham Island Moriori) and early colonial artifacts. Also on display an awesome collection of waka, a collection of local old buildings that have been moved to the site including a working smithy and and even an outhouse (we didn't try it find out if it was working) all packed with interesting stuff.

The kids loved the place too — but I knew I only had time to draw one item — what I ended up drawing probably isn't the oldest or most important piece, but as a solid 1 meter square chunk of Totara I was attracted to the solidity and sculptural aspects of it. You could easily spent a few days sketching here!