Archive for the ‘New Zealand’ Category
One of my wife’s shots from Auckland, New Zealand. On the corner of two great streets in Auckland, Queen Street (the main street of Auckland) and Victoria Street.
Whitcoulls is a type of book store, a bit like WH Smiths here in the UK, In fact I think WH Smiths now own them.
The Arms of Sir Edmund Hillary.
My wife shot this in a church in Auckland, a truly great man.
Sir Edmund Percival Hillary KG ONZ KBE (20 July 1919 – 11 January 2008) was a New Zealand mountaineer, explorer and philanthropist. On 29 May 1953, Hillary and Nepalese Sherpa mountaineer Tenzing Norgay became the first climbersconfirmed as having reached the summit of Mount Everest. They were part of the ninth British expedition to Everest, led by John Hunt. Hillary was named by Time magazine as one of the 100 most influential people of the 20th century.
Hillary became interested in mountaineering while in secondary school, making his first major climb in 1939, reaching the summit of Mount Ollivier. He served in the Royal New Zealand Air Force as a navigator during World War II. Prior to the 1953 Everest expedition, Hillary had been part of the British reconnaissance expedition to the mountain in 1951, as well as an unsuccessful attempt to climb Cho Oyu in 1952. As part of the Commonwealth Trans-Antarctic Expedition he reached theSouth Pole overland in 1958. Subsequently, he also travelled to the North Pole.
Following his ascent of Everest, Hillary devoted most of his life to helping the Sherpa people of Nepal through the Himalayan Trust, which he founded. Through his efforts, many schools and hospitals were built in Nepal.
Has anyone seen a 2 Billion pixel photo of Mt Everest, click here make sure you zoom in and out, check out the base camp and also an upper camp and even people ascending Everest.
While my wife was in NZ she spent a bit of time at her Uncle and Aunts, they live in a suburb of Auckland call Remuera, it’s on the east side of town overlooking Waitemata Harbour and Mission Bay, it’s a beautiful part of town, but saying that most of Auckland’s costal area is pretty nice.
This is the view to have coffee and croissants to, on the right in the distance is the perfectly formed volcanic island of Rangitoto.
Of course a lot of houses have nice views, but if you compare it to the view out our window back in London, you can see why I like this one so much.
Just in case you were wondering! Aotearoa is the Maori name for New Zealand meaning “Land of the long White Cloud”
Hotunui or Meeting House.
Interior view of Hotunui, a carved meeting house built in 1878 for the Ngāti Maru people, Thames, New Zealand, by carvers from the Ngāti Awa tribe of Whakatane, as a wedding present when Mereana Mokomoko, a Ngāti Awa woman, married Wīrope Hōterene Taipari, a Ngāti Maru leader. The house has been in the Auckland War Memorial Museum since about 1920.
The walls are decorated by poupou (wall posts) depicting ancestors. The carvings are flanked by decorative tukutuku panels. The rafters are decorated in swirling white, red, and black kōwhaiwhai designs.
This is a Pataka, basically a fridge, larder/pantry all rolled into one, food was kept in pataka, The building is raised off the ground to be free from rats and damp-ness.
A large pataka was the sign of abundance of food and their fore a wealthy chief.
The Pohutukawa tree (Metrosideros excelsa) with its crimson flower has become an established part of the New Zealand Christmas tradition. This iconic Kiwi Christmas tree, which often features on greeting cards and in poems and songs, has become an important symbol for New Zealanders at home and abroad.
A gnarled, twisted Pohutukawa on the windswept cliff top at Cape Reinga,(Not the one pictured) the northern tip of New Zealand, has become of great significance to many New Zealanders. For Maori this small, venerated Pohutukawa is known as ‘the place of leaping’. It is from here that the spirits of the dead begin their journey to their traditional homeland of Hawaiiki. From this point the spirits leap off the headland and climb down the roots of the 800-year-old tree, descending into the underworld on their return journey.
Here is a close-up of the flower.
Some shots from my wife’s visit to NZ, I’ve met a lot of people in my travels but some of the nicest people I have ever met have been Maori, kind and pleasant folk.
In some respects, carving is the written record of a people who, until the nineteenth century, knew nothing of writing. Carvings preserve much of the history and culture of Māori.
Though Māori carving differs substantially from other Pacific carving it seems certain that the basic patterns were brought to New Zealand by the Māori from their ancestral homeland of Hawaiki. The distinctive style of Māori carvings is partly due to the isolation of the Māori from the rest of Polynesia. An abundance of timber such as tōtara and kauri provided a perfect medium for carving, as did an ample supply of pounamu (greenstone or jade). My wife brought me back a stunning piece of Pounamu which I now wear every day.
The highly competitive iwi (tribal) system in New Zealand which existed at the end of the eighteenth century probably acted as a spur to the production of superior houses, canoes, ornaments and weapons as a matter of prestige. However, the greatest advance for the art of the carver came with the introduction of steel tools in the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries.
Carvings cannot be ‘read’ in the European sense. They are a record of tribal affairs and pay deep respect to ancestors, history and the people for whom they are prepared. The protruding tongue, as used in the haka (war dance), is intended as a symbol of defiance, determination and strength.
Well my wife is back from NZ, had a great time seeing family and friends.
Before she left I set her up with my Nex-5, showed her the ropes, what all the buttons do, how to turn it on, basically everything I know about photography.
So here are some of her results.
This is Sky Tower at 328 metres, it is the tallest man-made structure in New Zealand and offers breathtaking views for up to 80 kilometres in every direction.
Out for lunch with family.
And even some time in the park.
I’m only kidding, she took a lot of great photo’s and i’ll share them over the next week or so.