Heritage New Zealand, Ngahuru Autumn 2022

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Issue 164 Ngahuru • Autumn 2022


NZ$9.95 incl. GST

CLIMATE OF CHANGE Heritage and the carbon-zero challenge LIFE IN DEATH Preserving Lawrence’s Chinese heritage IN THE BLOOD Celebrating a century on the family farm


Whanganui’s Durie Hill Elevator

Heritage New Zealand

Ngahuru • Autumn 2022 1


Ngahuru • Autumn 2022 Features

Explore the List

12 A new narrative

8 Dearly departed

Architect Anthony Hoete draws together past, present and future

The Mercer morgue is one of only a handful of such structures to have been built within cemeteries in New Zealand

16 Moving on up The worlds of heritage, public transport and an indie musician are aligning in Whanganui

20 Drawing in

The Lawrence Chinese Graves project is helping to preserve the historical fabric and dignity of the area’s Chinese heritage

Journeys into the past

24 Ground zero

42 Home and away

From climate change to housing affordability – could the adaptive reuse of heritage buildings help solve some of our most substantive challenges?

Stepping into the past at a Canterbury backcountry hut

30 Sweet retreat Repurposing a Rawene church into an artists’ retreat is the latest project for a couple committed to heritage and the arts

36 Furrows through history


10 Claiming a place

A beautiful Thames complex combining old with new has helped attract volunteers to the task of protecting and sharing the area’s heritage

30 20

48 Sign of the times Dublin’s commemorative plaques shine a light on the people associated with some of its most iconic buildings


Columns 3 Editorial 4 Noticeboard

What does it mean to hold a family farm across generations – and for more than a century?

52 Books Venturing into unconventional and uncomfortable spaces

54 Our heritage, my vision Keeping Anzac memories alive at a Southland school

Heritage New Zealand magazine is printed with mineral oil-free, soy-based vegetable inks on New Silk paper. This paper is Forestry Stewardship Council® (FSC®) certified and manufactured from pulp from responsible sources under the ISO 14001 Environmental Management System. Please recycle.

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Members – we’re here to help We want you to get the most from your membership with Heritage New Zealand Pouhere Taonga. Our aim is to connect you to heritage in the real world but also online from the comfort of your sofa. We have a programme of member-only events, tours, articles, webinars and behind-the-scenes digital content. Along with these benefits, there are new ways to pay for membership, simpler renewal options and new member benefits on the way too.

If you have questions about any of this, or think you may be missing out on any of these benefits get in touch with Laurel and Brendon (pictured), the membership team.

Simply phone us during office hours on 0800 802 010 or email us anytime at membership@heritage.org.nz

THANK YOU We are very grateful to all those supporters who have recently made donations. While many are kindly acknowledged below, more have chosen to give anonymously.

Mr Robert and Mrs Susan Geck Dr N C and Mrs R N Lambrechtsen Dr A J Metge Ms Anna Bidwill Mrs Kate and Mr Alan Robinson Mr John and Mrs Jennifer Robinson Ellen McCrae and Graeme Matheson Mrs Rosemary Bell Mr Kevin Tonks Mr Max and Mrs Judith Hunter-Walker Mr George and Mrs Dot Richardson

Miss Edith Tripp Mr Andy and Mrs Sarah Bloomer Ms Liz Walker Mr Don Badman and Rob Taylor Mrs Valerie Roper Mrs Barbara Strange Ms Mihiteria King Mr J B and Mrs Paterson Dr Gill Hood and Mr Dan Ripley Mrs Bernadette Heaphy Mr Paul and Mrs Natalie Hickson

Mr Paul and Mrs Kerry Heath Mr Donald Charleston Mr Peter Lorimer Mr Randall McMullan Mr Peter and Mrs Mary Fennessy Mr Leonard Smith Mr Graeme McDonald Mr Paul and Mrs Isabel White Mr Brian and Mrs Linda Dawkins Mrs Elizabeth and Mr Kevin Andrew Mr Ross Spurdle

Ms Heather Rae and Graham Cook Mr Malcolm Boote Mr Andrew and Mrs Tania Chalton Ms Shirley Vollweiler and Mr Len Cook Mr Alan and Mrs Suzanne Ballinger Mrs Dawn Morgan Mr Adrian and Mrs Amanda Wood Mr Dick and Mrs Eleanor Lane

HE WHAKAARO NĀ TE ĒTITA • EDITORIAL Issue 164 Ngahuru • Autumn 2022


NZ$9.95 incl. GST

CLIMATE OF CHANGE Heritage and the carbon-zero challenge LIFE IN DEATH Preserving Lawrence’s Chinese heritage IN THE BLOOD Celebrating a century on the family farm


Picture perfect

Whanganui’s Durie Hill Elevator

Heritage Issue 164 Ngahuru • Autumn 2022 ISSN 1175-9615 (Print) ISSN 2253-5330 (Online) Cover image: Whanganui’s Durie Hill Elevator by Mike Heydon

Editor Caitlin Sykes, Sugar Bag Publishing Sub-editor Trish Heketa, Sugar Bag Publishing Art director Amanda Trayes, Sugar Bag Publishing Publisher Heritage New Zealand magazine is published quarterly by Heritage New Zealand Pouhere Taonga. The magazine had a circulation of 9,906 as at 30 June 2021. The views expressed in the articles are those of the contributors and do not necessarily reflect the views of Heritage New Zealand Pouhere Taonga. Advertising For advertising enquiries, please contact the Manager Publishing. Phone: (04) 470 8054 Email: advertising@heritage.org.nz Subscriptions/Membership Heritage New Zealand magazine is sent to all members of Heritage New Zealand Pouhere Taonga. Call 0800 802 010 to find out more.

Tell us your views At Heritage New Zealand magazine we enjoy feedback about any of the articles in this issue or heritage-related matters. Email: The Editor at heritagenz@gmail.com Post: The Editor, c/- Heritage New Zealand Pouhere Taonga, PO Box 2629, Wellington 6140 Feature articles: Note that articles are usually commissioned, so please contact the Editor for guidance regarding a story proposal before proceeding. All manuscripts accepted for publication in Heritage New Zealand magazine are subject to editing at the discretion of the Editor and Heritage New Zealand Pouhere Taonga. Online: Subscription and advertising details can be found under the Resources section on the Heritage New Zealand Pouhere Taonga website www.heritage.org.nz.

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When I spoke with photographer Peter Drury about his stay at the historic Stanley Vale Hut, the juxtaposition between his current circumstances and those surrounding the trip was stark. The Waikato-based Heritage New Zealand magazine contributor shares images of his stay at the backcountry hut, which was part of a multi-day tramping trip undertaken in early 2021 in Canterbury’s St James Conservation Area for this issue’s domestic travel story. We loved the way he captured not only the hut’s rustic detail but also the wide open landscape in which it’s situated and the pleasure of being out amongst it. Several months later, however, when we spoke about the story, the avid backcountry skier, walker and tramper was in lockdown due to Covid-19 restrictions. “I feel like a caged cat,” he confessed during our phone conversation in late 2021. Lockdowns and other measures to limit our movements continued to play an important part in our response to the pandemic in 2021, and have undoubtedly been effective in reducing the harm to our communities caused by Covid-19. But Peter’s situation had me musing more on just how important the work of our photographic contributors is in telling our stories – and the lengths they go to, particularly in our changing times, while doing this. Our preference, where practical, is to conduct story interviews face to face, but during the pandemic this hasn’t always been possible. While it’s not always the most comfortable solution for seasoned feature writers who need to capture the ‘colour’ of people and places for their stories, there are always the alternatives of chatting by phone and semi-face-to-face via platforms like Zoom.

But there are no such alternatives for photographers. Being there is everything. During the past two years this has involved a huge amount of flexibility from our team, and particularly our art director Amanda Trayes, and our photographic contributors. For all the date, time and location juggling that’s been accommodated, we are truly grateful. I think the efforts speak for themselves. Even though I’m familiar with each of our stories prior to seeing them laid out on the page – having overseen them from idea, through writing and then editing – I’m constantly amazed at how much further the pictures take a story once they are paired with the writer’s text. There is always more to be learned and a deeper understanding to be gained through the imagery. I also find the imagery beautiful, in and of itself – and I hope you do too. There’s certainly a feast for the eyes in this issue. Alongside Peter’s backcountry landscapes, for example, you’ll find images of the wonderfully unique Durie Hill Elevator in Whanganui, captured by long-time contributor Mike Heydon. Mike, who’s based in Wellington, also travelled to the deep south to capture the two families featured in our story on the Century Farm and Station Award winners. The awards recognise families who have farmed their land for more than 100 years, and I think Mike’s imagery captures these connections – both to the land and across generations – perfectly. We certainly hope the images, and words, in this issue take you to some new places – or perhaps even shine a new light on somewhere you’ve already been. Ngā mihi nui Caitlin Sykes

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... WITH BRENDON VEALE Responding via email One of the things we’re reminded of every time we pick up this magazine is how much things can change over time. When stick-on postage stamps were first used in New Zealand in 1855, the basic rate to send a local letter was two pence; to do the same today, however, costs $1.50 (although I’m sure it’s a little quicker!). I mention this particular example because it has a direct impact on your support as members of Heritage New Zealand Pouhere Taonga. Last year we shifted to a new membership system that now allows us to communicate with members via email rather than letter. Previously our membership renewal process was conducted entirely by post and required us to send up to three letters.

SOCIAL HERITAGE While this was once a cost-effective method, the rising cost of postage, coupled with our many thousand members, means it is no longer the case. Communicating with our members via email is a far more cost-effective solution. And why this is so important is that it allows more of your membership fees to be directed to the core work of Heritage New Zealand Pouhere Taonga: the care and protection of our precious heritage places. We understand that receiving renewal notices from us via email is a change, and one to which some members might struggle to adapt. For that reason we are currently using a hybrid system of email followed by letter to reach those members. Ultimately, however, communicating via email is our most effective solution, so please do keep an eye on your inbox for communication from us. And when responding to our membership renewal requests in this way, know that you are not only saving time and cost but also doing more to protect our heritage in the process.

Brendon Veale Manager Asset Funding 0800 HERITAGE (0800 437482) bveale@heritage.org.nz

Ngā Taonga i tēnei marama Heritage this month – subscribe now Keep up to date by subscribing to our free e-newsletter Ngā Taonga i tēnei marama Heritage this month. Visit www.heritage.org.nz (‘Resources’ section) or email membership@heritage.org.nz to be included in the email list.

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... WITH BEC COLLIE Heritage New Zealand Pouhere Taonga Marketing Advisor Some of our most popular Facebook posts are the ones that look more closely at specific heritage-listed buildings or places, and one that stole the show in late 2021 was Napier’s Six Sisters. The stunning local landmark – comprising six two-storey timber ‘up-and-down’ Victorian villas – is a rare central-city survivor of the 1931 Hawke’s Bay earthquake and the subsequent fires that devastated much of the CBD. We loved the comments on this post, which included a unique request to capture a photo of the sisters without any cars parked in front. So, we challenge you, our readers, to seize the moment if it ever comes and snap a photo. We would love to see it too. If you’re a regular follower of our Heritage New Zealand Pouhere Taonga social media channels, we hope you’ve been enjoying our ‘Become a Time Traveller’ posts. This campaign highlights some of the quirkier aspects of our heritage, and we hope it encourages you to discover more about the heritage places we care for. You may have also seen that we’ve been sharing a great range of heritage travel itineraries to encourage people to explore the heritage on their own doorsteps. So far we’ve profiled Northland, Auckland, Wellington, Otago and Dunedin. A few more itineraries are in the pipeline and we’ll keep adding to them as we go. So let us know: where would you like to visit, or what would you like to see that we could create a travel itinerary for? visitheritage.co.nz

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BEHIND THE STORY WITH NIKI PARTSCH Niki Partsch recently joined Heritage New Zealand Pouhere Taonga as Kaitohutohu Whanake – Kaupapa Māori/Māori Heritage Advisor, and part of her role is providing input to Heritage New Zealand magazine – from story ideas to the incorporation of te reo Māori, to connecting with contacts. Can you tell us about where you’re from? Pūtauaki te maunga Rangitaiki te awa Ngāti Awa te iwi Pahipoto te hapū Ēngari he uri ahau nō Mātaatua, nō Te Arawa, nō Tainui I now live three kilometres from where I was born, on the south coast of Wellington. During my very early childhood we moved to Te Teko, where my dad is from, and where my mum and dad taught at the school, before shifting to Nelson to be with my mum’s family. Then when I was nine, we went off to England. I had young parents, and my mum wanted to go back to England where she had been born, so for my mum and dad this was their OE.

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We lived in England for two and a half years, and during the school holidays we’d be off around Europe for weeks at a time – driving around in an old campervan, lost half of the time. I think we visited every castle in England; I was over it by the end, but it was really interesting. I’d later see places in magazines, and say, “Oh, I’ve been there”. Then we came back to Wellington, and I’ve pretty much been here ever since, except for a short time in Australia. All my friends did their OE later, but I’d already done mine. What drew you to your role at Heritage New Zealand Pouhere Taonga? That’s easy. It was the opportunity to research, write and share our stories from te ao Māori. I have a master’s in scriptwriting from the International Institute of Modern Letters at Victoria University of Wellington, and I love writing, so for me I can’t believe that I actually get to do this as a job. What’s a heritage place of significance to you? Our two marae at home – Kokohinau Marae in Te Teko and Taurua Marae in Rotoiti – are heritage places that are extremely important to me. Beyond that, if you ask me what my favourite place is one week, it will probably be different the next. I went to Akaroa recently, for example, and just fell madly in love with everything there. For me, the places that resonate are those where you have a sense of the people who came before, their footsteps, ngā tapuwae. We lived in York for a while during the ’70s, and I remember walking down the very old, narrow, cobbled streets of the city and going through the tiny doors of the old buildings. You get a sense of all the many footsteps that have gone before, and that evokes quite an emotional feeling.

Places we visit Rawene, p30

St James Conservation Area, Canterbury, p42

Thames, p20

Mercer, p8 Mōtītī Island, p12

Invercargill, p54

Whanganui, p16

Lumsden, p36

Lawrence, p10

HERITAGE NEW ZEALAND POUHERE TAONGA DIRECTORY National Office PO Box 2629, Wellington 6140 Antrim House 63 Boulcott Street Wellington 6011

wānanga discussion KIA KAHA TE REO MĀORI

(04) 472 4341 information@heritage.org.nz Go to www.heritage.org.nz for details of offices and historic places around New Zealand that are cared for by Heritage New Zealand Pouhere Taonga.

kaupapa topic

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The view from above helps us to visualise the grand scale of redevelopment work at one of New Zealand’s most iconic heritage buildings. The Sarjeant Gallery Te Whare o Rehua Whanganui is undergoing a multi-year project to seismically strengthen and refurbish the Category 1 building in Pukenamu Queen’s Park and develop a new, modern wing. Aerial photographs show the gallery pre-redevelopment (above) and during construction in late 2021 (right). The new wing, bearing the name of Sir Te Atawhai Archie John Taiaroa, will be a home for national and international exhibitions, as well as the nationally significant Sarjeant collection containing more than 8000 works. While the redeveloped building is scheduled to open in late 2023, the public has been able to keep a close eye on progress through extensive documentation of the project.

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For heritage lovers, a video series offers behind-the-scenes insights into everything from the archaeological finds at Pukenamu Queen’s Park to an assessment of the building’s stonework and the process of lifting the gallery’s mataī floorboards for the first time in more than a century. One of the most astounding finds during the project so far has been the discovery of a time capsule deposited in the walls of the gallery by the Clerk of Works, John Cornfoot Brodie, during its original construction in 1918. As well as offering an insight into the times – four years into World War I – through letters, photos and newspapers, the time capsule contains a letter penned by Brodie that again brings into focus the question of the Sarjeant Gallery’s true designer. The competition to design the gallery was won by the office of Edmund Anscombe in Dunedin, with Anscombe credited as the architect on its foundation stone. However, in the letter, Brodie

asserts that the honour should go to Donald Hosie, a talented 21-year-old clerk in Anscombe’s office, who was killed on the battlefield at Passchendaele just weeks after the foundation stone was laid. Jaki Arthur, Relationships Officer at the Sarjeant Gallery Te Whare o Rehua, says while the building’s true architect has been a focus of discussion in recent years, the discovery of the letter shows that it was also an issue at the time of construction.

“All the workers on the redevelopment project were so excited by the discovery of the time capsule, and we were delighted to discover the letter amongst its contents,” says Jaki. “And while it’s still yet not confirmed how, Donald Hosie’s contribution will be celebrated in some way in the new build, and his contribution to the original design recognised.” The redevelopment videos can be viewed at sarjeant.org.nz

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Eyes on the skies


To hear more from Martin, view our video story here: www.youtube.com/ HeritageNewZealand PouhereTaonga

GROWING TOGETHER Welcoming heritage lovers is all in a day’s work for Bertie, the Australian Terrier who accompanies gardener Martin Keay when he goes about his work in the grounds of Highwic. “He’s quite a character, my little dog. He loves meeting and greeting the staff and guests,” says Martin, who has tended the flower garden at the Category 1 property run by Heritage New Zealand Pouhere Taonga in Auckland’s Newmarket for around eight years. “As a self-employed gardener I’m fortunate that I can take my dog to work with me. He loves being outdoors and being part of the day. He’s a very lucky dog.” Martin says the best part of working in the Highwic garden is that it’s in the public eye. “I find it very satisfying that people get to see the garden and appreciate it. We raise a flag for a particular style of gardening that seems appropriate to the house. It’s not minimalistic; it’s very eclectic, colourful and mixed up, which creates a nice soft effect. Older people especially love this style, and younger people – especially those overseas – are also becoming more interested in it.” No matter what the season, there is always activity and something to be appreciated in the garden. In March, Highwic visitors will find late-flowering salvias, the perennial boltonia in full bloom, and chrysanthemums for autumn interest. Then further into autumn, growth will be cut back, compost laid and a major replant undertaken. This includes planting larkspur and cornflowers, and tulip bulbs and sweetpeas that will bloom in spring. While Highwic sits in the heart of Newmarket, its garden is a quiet oasis, says Martin. “It’s one of Auckland’s real hidden treasures. Where else in the city can you be so close to a busy centre like Newmarket and find such a beautiful place to sit and eat a quiet lunch? It really is a wonderful spot.” highwic.co.nz

Heritage New Zealand

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Built in 1936, the Mercer morgue is a rarity – one of only a handful of such structures known to have been built within cemeteries in New Zealand When Kerryn Walker came to live in the north Waikato town of Mercer a few years back, she took her dog Lily for a stroll most days and became intrigued by a lonely concrete building with a rusty roof hidden among vines near the cemetery on Glass Road. She asked local people about it: some said it had been a bus stop; others suggested it was a pumphouse. Kerryn joined the Mercer Community Committee and one of the members, Ray Katipa, told her that it had been the town’s morgue. It had probably last been used for this purpose in the early 1960s; it was something that Ray – and other long-time Mercer residents – had always known about, but its origins had become lost over time.

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Kerryn was further intrigued. “Who finds a morgue while they’re walking the dog?” she says. She delved into the morgue’s unique history, spent hours at her computer trawling old newspapers and records, and compiled a portfolio of information on the little building to which bodies that required examination for a coroner’s inquest had been taken. The Mercer Community Committee subsequently applied to have the former morgue entered on the New Zealand Heritage List/Rārangi Kōrero, and in July 2021 it was listed as a Category 2 historic place. “We are all so excited,” says Kerryn. “Now we want to tidy it up and celebrate its huge heritage.”

The Mercer morgue is a rarity – one of only a handful known to have been built within cemeteries in New Zealand. Most purposebuilt examples in the early and mid 20th century were attached to institutions such as hospitals and sanatoria. Martin Jones, Senior Heritage Assessment Advisor for Heritage New Zealand Pouhere Taonga, who produced the morgue listing report in consultation with Māori Heritage Advisor Tharron Bloomfield, says the Mercer building is an uncommon survivor. “It is still so well preserved so many decades after it was last used for its original purpose.” The morgue’s story began in June 1936, when New Zealand Truth, a colourful and

controversial tabloid newspaper, ran a story denouncing unsanitary rural town morgues that were typically located in hotels – the key community gathering places. Truth illustrated its shockhorror story with a photograph of a morgue that was most likely in the yard of the Mercer Hotel, with a pigsty adjacent to the makeshift premises that held tūpāpaku ahead of a coronial inquiry. Less than a month after the damning article, the Mercer Town Board commissioned and funded a purpose-built morgue for the community, to be located at Mercer Cemetery to the east of the township. The cemetery site was part of an ancestral landscape known

Heritage New Zealand

LOCATION Mercer lies on the east bank of the Waikato River, 70km north of Hamilton and 58km south of Auckland.

traditionally to Māori as Te Paina and later renamed by colonial authorities as Point Russell and then Mercer. It is associated with the whakapapa, tūpuna, kaitiaki and oral traditions of WaikatoTainui and includes the hapū of Ngāti Amaru, Te Uri o Haupa, Ngāti Naho, Ngāti Mahuta, Ngāti Te Aho, Ngāti Haua, Ngāti Hine, Ngāti Pou, Ngāti Tamaoho, Te Ākitai Waiohua, Ngāti Te Ata, Ngāti Tipa, Ngāti Paoa, Ngā Muka Development Trust Marae and the descendants of those people of the Te Pūaha o Waikato and Kei o Te Waka rohe. In the early 1860s the site lay immediately inside the aukati set by the Kiingitanga movement to preserve Māori sovereignty in an area that was invaded by Crown forces in 1863. Te Paina, on the Waikato River, became a supply depot for invading troops. The Crown invasion was followed by raupatu, with lasting effects for iwi and hapū. Mercer

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was later developed as a colonial township and a strong Māori presence remained, notably in the early 20th century when Kiingitanga leader Te Puea Hērangi established a kāinga at nearby Mangatāwhiri. The tiny Mercer morgue is one more element of the town’s rich history and it is regarded as tapu for its association with death and tūpāpaku. Martin Jones says that within a Māori context, structures such as morgues would have been foreign and uncomfortable. They were built at that time according to European concepts that did not accommodate tikanga rituals such as whānau being present with the tūpāpaku. The morgue, used by police, medical personnel and the district coroner, incorporated the latest ideas in hygiene, privacy, ventilation and sturdy construction. It had one window, placed high on the rear wall, and there is evidence that it originally

had a shutter for maximum privacy. A distinctive diamondshaped ceiling vent (pictured left) led to cross-flow ventilation in the attic space, and the whitewashed concrete internal walls and the smooth cement floor would have been simple to clean. Construction was by local builder Frank Hitchcock; his name and the date of the work (September 1936) are inscribed at the base of one wall. Says Martin: “It indicates the extent to which there was community pride in the building that the builder wanted to put his name and date of construction on it.” The morgue served its diverse district for close to three decades. Mercer resident Willie McGrath remembers his late father, Bill McGrath, speaking about the death of a young farmhand in a bulldozer accident on a nearby property in the early 1960s. Willie understands from his father’s story that the man’s body was taken to the morgue, and this may have been the last time it was used. A member of the community committee, Willie is pleased by the morgue’s Category 2 listing. “The building’s always been there. It’s good to preserve some of Mercer’s history.” The Revd Joanna Lee Katipa, an Anglican minister and daughter of Ray Katipa, grew up

in Mercer and remembers running fast past the morgue as a child on her way to school. “It was a scary place, it was eerie. I went in there for a look as a kid, but you never went by yourself. We always went as a group.” In March 2020, after the morgue site had been tidied up by cemetery administrator Waikato District Council, Revd Katipa, who is a great-great-niece of Te Puea Hērangi, blessed the building alongside the Revd Cruz Karauti-Fox. “It was very special to do that, with the people of this community around us,” she says. “The blessing cleared the way for everybody and everything. The building is nice and clear for the future.” Kerryn Walker says the Mercer Community Committee is keen to raise funds for the refurbishment of the now-rundown morgue, which is showing its age and its lack of recent care, and is consulting Waikato District Council and Heritage New Zealand Pouhere Taonga on how best to proceed. “We’ve come this far; we want to finish the job. Give it back its pride and character,” she says. Says Revd Katipa: “It’s been hiding in a corner, but it had a purpose. Now it is going to be known by everyone.”

aukati: boundary hapū: sub-tribe kāinga: village kaitiaki: guardians raupatu: land confiscation rohe: region, territory tapu: sacred tikanga: protocol, procedure tūpāpaku: bodies tūpuna: ancestors whakapapa: genealogy

Ngahuru • Autumn 2022 9



Claiming a place After decades of prejudice, neglect and denial, projects such as those at the Lawrence Chinese Graves Historic Area are preserving the historical fabric and dignity of the area’s Chinese heritage 10 Ngahuru • Autumn 2022

Adrienne Shaw was nine years old when she discovered her Chinese ancestry. That was in the days when local fruiterers sold their produce street to street like Mr Whippy, and children such as Adrienne and her siblings roamed their neighbourhoods making their own fun. “We weren’t thieves,” says Adrienne, but on this particular day, she says, they succumbed to the temptation of a bunch of bananas swinging jauntily from the back of a fruiterer’s van. “He came up the hill, banged on our door, and said, ‘Your little brats of kids have taken my bananas. Where’s my 35 cents?’ “So Mum finds 35 cents, meets us in the kitchen and says, ‘What do you mean by stealing those bananas?’ “And we say, ‘Oh, he’s only a Chinaman, a Ching Chong Chinaman!’ And she says, ‘You can’t say that – you’ve got Chinese in you!’.” Adrienne is a fifth-generation descendant of Chau Chu Taai (also known as Chow Tie) and Grace Kerr, who met, married and lived at the Lawrence Chinese Camp on Tuapeka Flat – boggy land on the outskirts of the town of Lawrence – and whose European residents had excluded Chinese goldminers. Chau ran the slaughterhouse and butchery there; Grace was a barmaid at the Chinese Empire Hotel, the camp’s grandest building and watering hole. In its heyday, the camp, which is now a Category 1 historic place, was home to some 500 Chinese goldminers and supporting businesses. The community operated almost solely on Chinese terms, ostracised as it was by its European neighbours in Lawrence. Adrienne’s father never wanted to talk about his Chinese ancestry, but Adrienne, now a grandmother, is working tirelessly on projects that preserve the historical fabric and dignity of Lawrence’s Chinese heritage.

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The Lawrence Chinese Graves Historic Area covers parts of the Lawrence Cemetery in Gabriel Street, which was established in 1866. Around 170 Chinese men, one European woman and several “half-caste” children were buried in the cemetery’s “Chinese section”, mostly in unmarked graves, and there are a few Chinese graves in the European denominational sections. Some of the deceased were exhumed and transported to China for reburial; many of them were aboard the SS Ventnor when it sank off the Hokianga coast in 1902. In designating the historic area in 2004, Heritage New Zealand Pouhere Taonga stated that the Lawrence Chinese Graves

A family memorial awaits unveiling during Labour Day weekend in 2021.

The first Chinese ANZAC memorial in Australasia was also unveiled.

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“represent the often unwritten and untraceable histories of individual miners who came to New Zealand to seek their fortune in the goldfields. These graves represent the life and death of a community, as well as of its individual members represented by the headstones”. The limestone headstones were crumbling, smashed by vandals and crunched by mowers. Marshalled by the indefatigable Adrienne since 2019, camp descendants have restored existing headstones and added memorials for those whose final resting places are unknown. While she enjoys the peace of the cemetery, Adrienne eschews an emotional reading of her involvement with the place.

“I’m very matter of fact,” she says. “I pick projects that are relevant. I’m a finisher.” The largest project to date has been the restoration of the mausoleum for Sam Chew Lain and his Scottish wife Amelia Newbiggins Chew Lain (née Peacock). The tomb occupies a prominent position in the Presbyterian section of the cemetery. Sam was Hakka Cantonese and arrived in New Zealand as a goldminer aged about 20. He became a hotelier, learnt to speak fluent English, joined the Presbyterian Church, and was even admitted to the Masonic Lodge St George. Contrary to the lone Chinese goldminer stereotype, Sam was one of only a few astute Chinese businessmen who gained respect from European colonials as well as their countrymen. He died in 1903. The tomb (pictured page 10, restored) is the most noticeable gravesite in the cemetery. “It draws your eye as soon as you approach the cemetery,” says Sarah Gallagher, Heritage Assessment Advisor Otago Southland Region for Heritage New Zealand Pouhere Taonga. “That his peers in the Masonic Lodge St George ensured it was built according to his instructions shows the esteem in which he was held, and his ability to cross the cultural divide.” Sam Chew Lain’s tomb was designed by prominent architect JA Burnside in Gothic style and built of plaster-cast concrete with stained-glass windows, a slate roof, corner pinnacles and buttresses, an east-facing entrance and an iron gate. Adrienne believes that as a Gothic mausoleum for a Chinese man and Scottish woman, it is unique. The tomb probably began to deteriorate “fairly quickly” after it was built, due to inherent problems with drainage from the roofs, says Robin Miller of Origin Consultants, who was the expert heritage advisor for the

LOCATION Lawrence is situated 92km southwest of Dunedin on State Highway 8. restoration. In recent decades the slate roof had collapsed, the roof pinnacles had fallen down, the four gables had been left unrestrained and leaning, the windows had been broken and the tomb gate was missing. “There was very little left of the tomb, and we didn’t have many old photographs to use,” says Robin, so detective work was required. For instance, tiny shards of glass found in putty around the windows enabled restorers to deduce the original green, amber and blue colours of the cast-iron-framed lights. In the absence of any depiction of the original, a new gate uses the old fixing points and attachment methods but is a contemporary interpretation. Since the restoration, the nomination of Sam Chew Lain’s tomb as an historic place within the wider Lawrence Chinese Graves Historic Area has been accepted by Heritage New Zealand Pouhere Taonga. This is just the start of a research and consultation process that can take several years. In the meantime, there are plans for another reunion of descendants, following a successful get-together during Labour Day weekend in 2021. After decades of prejudice, neglect and denial, the historical fabric and dignity of the area’s Chinese heritage is finally being recognised and preserved.

Ngahuru • Autumn 2022 11






Past and future are intertwined in the work of architect Anthony Hoete

gārchitecture, wrongcrete, funology – Anthony Hoete loves linguistic playfulness. His conversation is peppered with unique word mashups. “Words drive experimentation and conceptual engagement with a language and culture,” says the University of Auckland professor of architecture. So it’s not surprising to hear that he dropped out of law school to study architecture when he found the regimentation of legalese too confining. That said, a significant career focus, rather than being on designing buildings per se, has been on crafting pathways. One pathway he is involved in will see the repatriation to New Zealand in the not-too-distant future of the carvings of Hinemihi o te Ao Tawhito. The spiritual home of this wharenui (whose identity is expressed as female) lies in the buried village of Te Wairoa, but she has spent much of her life on English soil, where she is located at National Trust property Clandon Park in Surrey. As it was for Anthony, who moved back to New Zealand in 2020 after more than half his lifetime in London, it is time to return. Anthony (Ngāti Awa) grew up in the mill town of Kawerau in an environment he describes as “laid back”. Evidently self-driven, he obtained a Bachelor of Architecture (Honours) from the University of Auckland, then a master’s degree from The Bartlett School of Architecture at University College London (UCL). He remained in the UK for 30 years, conducting research and receiving awards for his innovative architectural practice, WHAT_architecture (London).

12 Ngahuru • Autumn 2022

During this tenure, he received a call from an associate professor of conservation at UCL, telling him about a wharenui in Surrey that needed work done on the roof. He immediately volunteered his services. “I was the only Māori registered architect in the UK,” says Anthony. “I saw this as a way to keep my spiritual and cultural connections to New Zealand.” That call was the start of a 14-year journey that began with fixing a roof but soon morphed into an exploration of the heritage of Hinemihi. In the latter stages of that journey, from 2012 to 2020, Anthony was chair of Te Maru o Hinemihi – one of four project partners in the future developments of Hinemihi and a new marae at Clandon Park, working with Ngā Kohinga Whakairo o Hinemihi, the National Trust and Heritage New Zealand Pouhere Taonga. The history of Hinemihi does not mould readily into the values of tikanga Māori. As Anthony explains: “She was commissioned by rangatira Aporo Te Wharekaniwha as a place to entertain tourists with song, dance and food.” Carved by tohunga whakairo Wero Tāroi with the assistance of Tene Waitere (Ngāti Tarāwhai), Hinemihi was located at Te Wairoa near the famous Pink and White Terraces. In 1886 she gave shelter to people of the local hapū during the eruption of Mount Tarawera. “She survived the trauma of a volcano but, six years later, was sold as a take-home trinket for Lord Onslow, the then governor of New Zealand,” says Anthony. Disassembled into 23 carvings, “shopped and shipped”, Hinemihi was ultimately relocated to the grounds of Clandon Park, where she has been since World War I.

Heritage New Zealand

Working on this wharenui – first to repair the roof, then to restore carvings – exposed Anthony not only to a Māori diaspora (Ngāti Rānana) from multiple iwi but also to the wider Pacific community. “Many Polynesians came to Hinemihi; it was an open and inclusive space.” The next phase of the conservation mission might sound anathema to some, but it seemed natural to Anthony. Staying overnight is an integral part of a visit to a marae, and it was important to Ngāti Rānana. “At one point we suggested a design proposal that installed a toilet inside Hinemihi. Whilst certainly not traditional, the pressures to preserve the surrounding landscape of Clandon Park would not permit the expansion of the whare footprint.” Conservation, then, can mean less about the preservation of material and more about the intention to preserve the way a building was historically used, he argues. “There is no precedent for the whare as an integrated marae building of wharenui, wharekai and wharepaku, but then Hinemihi is sited in unusual circumstances, divorced from her original tūrangawaewae.” In 2017 Anthony shifted tack after hearing a Radio New Zealand interview with Heritage New Zealand Pouhere Taonga Chief Executive Andrew Coleman, in which he expressed his desire to see Hinemihi returned home. The carvings that made up her identity could be exchanged for new carvings. “There was an ongoing desire for Hinemihi to have a sustained legacy at Clandon Park and a chance to foreground Māori culture through an open, consultative process,” he says.

Heritage New Zealand

Ngahuru • Autumn 2022 13

Anthony proposed a three-point pānui that carved a way for new co-designed relationships with whare. The making of replacement carvings throws up some questions. Who should design these when there is no whakapapa in Britain? Who should write the narratives? “It’s a much wider, potentially more inclusive kaupapa and a fantastic opportunity for the ‘kō-design’ [his word] of a pan-tribal whare, the likes of which has not been seen.” Here’s the thing: Anthony cannot talk about heritage divorced from invention. As a professor of architecture at the University of Auckland, he encourages students to look to the past – but project forward. “It is possible to respect the tikanga yet still innovate,” he says. Jim Schuster – Pouarahi Traditional Arts at Heritage New Zealand Pouhere Taonga, Pakeke of Te Maru o Hinemihi and great-great-grandson of Tene Waitere – has worked for many years alongside Anthony on projects related to Hinemihi. But his association with Anthony stretches back much further – to the late 1970s, when Jim was a teacher and Anthony a student at Kawerau Intermediate School. He recalls that Anthony’s ‘out-of-the-box’ thinking was evident at an early age. “I would almost say he had an ‘off-the-wall’ approach to his schooling. He was one of those likeable, often rogue, students in a school of around 250 pupils,” says Jim. “So you can imagine my reaction when the UCL professor Dean Sully brought us together, including [former Te Maru o Hinemihi chair] Alan Gallop, at a little pub in London to discuss restoration work on Hinemihi.” Now Anthony is back in New Zealand, the pair are working together again on Tānewhirinaki – a wharenui that the Māori Built Heritage team at Heritage New Zealand Pouhere Taonga has been involved with over the years, along with its community. Undoubtedly Anthony will bring his innovative thinking to his proposal for the reconstruction of Tānewhirinaki, which was built in the late 1800s by the Whakatōhea hapū Ngāti Ira. No sooner had Anthony returned to New Zealand to take up his post at the university than he received an invitation to travel to the Bay of Plenty to see for himself this building that had been commissioned to restore the mana of a tribe that had lost their land to confiscation. There was a certain sadness in viewing the remnants of this once-magnificent whare tūpuna stacked up in a garage (although, he points out, this was no fault of the hapū, who were providing robust protection). When this project gets off the ground, thanks to the mahi of others such as Jeremy Treadwell, a senior lecturer at the School of Architecture and Planning at the University of Auckland, Anthony’s team will use

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Heritage New Zealand



ahikā: ‘home fires’, a reference to those maintaining continuous occupation of ancestral lands hapū: sub-tribe hapū mātaurangā: hapū knowledge kaupapa: project, initiative or principle kaupapa hapū: hapū project, or initiative mana whenua: those with tribal authority over land or territory by virtue of possession and/or occupation pānui: notice, advertisement pakeke: senior cultural advisor papakāinga: ancestral home pātaka: food storehouse

My father’s house This house was designed and built by my father and me, for my father, a man born and raised on Mōtītī Island – his tūrangawaewae. According to Wikipedia, Mōtītī Island has “18 homes occupied by 27 people”. In reality, it has 60-plus shelters that collectively serve as ahikā for those absent, who whakapapa to its two whare tūpuna: Te Hinga o te Rā and Tamatea ki te Huatahi. This house is organised according to the two means of arrival. Pivoting sea and air doors bookend the plan layout. Living merely occurs between the two, such that this is a one-room house with a table, functioning as a wharekai, suspended from the ceiling by a hooked I-beam. An independent pātaka space stores temporary guests and is accessed by a cliff stair. The house was deconstructed this summer as it was no longer fit for purpose. n

pōwhiri: welcoming ceremony rangatira: chief te ao Māori: the Māori world tekoteko: the carved figure at the front apex of a whare tūpuna tikanga: cultural protocol, tradition tohunga whakairo: master carver tūrangawaewae: a place to stand, the place/s where people trace descent from, where they belong whakapapa: genealogical links wharekai: dining room, dining house wharenui: meeting house/s wharepaku: toilet/s whare tūpuna: ancestral house/s

Heritage New Zealand

mīmiro, a building technique – specifically, a form of post-tensioning – that predates European arrival. The use of the endangered methodology will result in a structure with a greater resilience to earthquakes. It means the rebuilt whare will have an arched form more akin to an upturned boat hull, and Anthony plans to document the process, but only with the hapū in partnership, in written word and on film – the first time it has been recorded other than orally. “We will embrace hapū mātauranga to kō-design and build the whare. This process can kō-create a digital twin – a virtual whare – such that, in some way, hapū, if not others elsewhere in the world, might be able to engage in Tānewhirinaki at Opeke Marae. “The complex issues that te ao Māori is encountering today through the unfolding of contemporary society might yield innovative kaupapa hapū research. Should or could, for example, we consider articulating the custom of pōwhiri digitally?” This manifestation of terrestrial and celestial (digital) te ao Māori is articulated by Anthony, who encourages his students to transfer ancient knowledge respectfully into a contemporary context. This cannot be undertaken without mana whenua input.

As an honorary research scholar at UCL, Anthony specialises in ‘future heritage’, so he thinks about this stuff – a lot. “At the moment, we are speculating on the future of whare – how Māori continuously adapt to work with the tools of the time and within dynamic social and environmental constructs,” he says. “This kaupapa should then inform Māori housing, especially papakāinga.” His prediction is that vertical papakāinga are coming – intergenerational apartments designed to be more responsive to Māori values but built at hitherto unseen densities. To complement more relaxed planning rules around intensive housing development, he says, we might speculate about urban-rooftop marae. “Even though some tikanga say that no building should be higher than the tekoteko on the top of the whare, through conversation and kō-design we need to understand and discuss the underpinning traditions – and thus the scope for change.” Anthony might just be on the cusp of the formation of yet another new word: ‘sky marae’ – an elevated built form anchored in solid ground but reaching for higher purpose.

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Heritage New Zealand



The worlds of heritage, public transport and an indie musician are aligning in Whanganui

New Zealand’s only underground elevator – once a symbol of Whanganui’s golden age of public transport – is offering hope that a similar era will rise again. And indie musician and public transport advocate Anthonie Tonnon is one of Whanganui’s most hopeful residents. The Dunedin-raised musician moved from Auckland to Whanganui five years ago with fashion stylist Karlya Smith. In 2016 the couple married in Whanganui on a whim, unexpectedly falling in love with the river city and later relocating to the Whanganui suburb of Gonville. Today, the pair (and three others) balance their day jobs with operating the Durie Hill Elevator, a Category 1-listed public lift built in 1919, on contract to the Whanganui District Council. “I love the fact that the elevator was built by planners and developers committed

Heritage New Zealand

to making towns liveable for as many people as possible,” says Anthonie, as he walks the 213-metre tunnel to the lift’s subterranean entrance. According to council records, architect Samuel Hurst Seager saw the lift as a vital accessway to and from New Zealand’s first modern garden suburb on Durie Hill. At the time, cars weren’t commonplace and a steep staircase of 191 stairs and a long, winding road were the only ways up. I’ve come to Whanganui from Wellington on a Tuesday afternoon to interview Anthonie and experience the 102-year-old elevator first-hand. The elevator was “once an integral part of the city’s multimodal transport network”, also featuring tram and bus services, Anthonie explains, before pressing a button to call the wooden elevator down to meet us and begin his shift.

Yet, unlike the city’s trams and buses, the elevator somehow survived decades of major economic and social change. “It escaped the removal of trams, because it didn’t take up space coveted by cars. It even survived the local government reorganisation of the late ’80s, which prevented cities from running or directly subsidising buses,” says Anthonie. As such, it’s one of the most frequent, enduring and convenient examples of public transport around today, he says. According to council figures, more than 35,000 people use the elevator to move between Durie Hill and the city every year. Data shows that users are roughly 60 percent tourists and 40 percent locals. Adults pay $2 each way. Kids travel half price. Pets and bikes are free. As we take the 55-second journey up to the lift’s exit on Durie Hill, Anthonie says that

the continued use of the elevator bodes well for the city’s renewed enthusiasm for public transport. In November, Horizons Regional Councillor Nicola Patrick led a nationwide call for increased government investment in bus services. The move followed the declaration of a climate emergency by the Whanganui District Council in 2020, which also emphasised the need to boost public transport in Whanganui. Whanganui District Council Heritage Advisor Scott Flutey says the popularity of the Durie 1

The Durie Hill Elevator entrance on Blyth Street.

2 Elevator ticket stubs from

the past. 3 Operator Anthonie Tonnon

is happy to talk with users about the elevator’s fascinating history.

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Hill Elevator in part reflects the special place it occupies in the hearts of Whanganui residents and the tourists who visit it. In 2021 the Whanganui Regional Heritage Trust raised more than $240,000 to replace and modernise the elevator’s riverside entrance on Anzac Parade. The council undertakes monthly checks of the elevator, as well as a full-day inspection once a year. More recently the council sent the lift shaft to Auckland for a months-long programme of significant repair and maintenance work. This past summer, the elevator was a key stop-off on local heritage tours. It often

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“I love the fact that the elevator was built by planners and developers committed to making towns liveable for as many people as possible” features in media stories and public talks about Whanganui. In October it will star in Whanganui Heritage Month, an annual event that promotes the district. Laura Kellaway, Conservation Architect at Heritage New Zealand Pouhere Taonga, says the elevator acts as both a portal to the past and a window into the future. “Look around – we’re still seeking liveable, human-scale

places where you can walk to work and town from home. “What could be more special than making that journey in a beautiful wood-panelled elevator that’s one of only two in the world and where you travel, seemingly through space, through the centre of a hill?” Says Scott: “For many people in Whanganui, our heritage is a tangible, living thing. It’s something a lot of us feel connected to.”


The Durie Hill Elevator tunnel, lined with reinforced concrete, leads to the elevator’s groundlevel entrance.

2 Anthonie Tonnon has been interest-

ed in the rise and fall of New Zealand’s public transport system for years. 3 The heritage-listed Durie Hill

War Memorial Tower opened in 1925. 4 River and city views from the

Durie Hill Elevator lookout tower on Blyth Street.

Heritage New Zealand

Durie Hill, for example, was once a strategic pā site in a network of early pā sites of significance to Whanganui iwi. Following European colonisation of the district, and after World War I, it became one of New Zealand’s first modern suburbs and the site of the Durie Hill Elevator and Category 2-listed Durie Hill War Memorial Tower, which is still standing today. In the 1950s a polio hospital was erected on Durie Hill; it has since been demolished. In 1976 a wooden entranceway by noted Whanganui carver Austin Brasell and called ‘Poutama Nui Awa’ was installed at the base of the hill; it is now heritage protected. “With such rich cultural heritage at sites like Durie Hill comes the opportunity to share the range of stories often hidden within our communities,” says Scott, who launched the council’s 10-year draft heritage strategy in December. And while the story of the Durie Hill Elevator is pretty well told, says Scott, there’s

always a chance to connect it to other elements of Whanganui’s heritage and to add more context and interest. Helen Craig, Whanganui District Councillor and Chair of the council’s Property and Community Services Committee, couldn’t agree more. Last year the council contracted Anthonie’s firm, Whanganui Connection, to run the elevator for 12 months, with the right of renewal. Prior to that, the Mabbot family ran the elevator for several generations and did a great job, she says. “But we’re delighted Anthonie – a performer and trained historian with an obvious passion for heritage – is championing the site,” she tells me via Zoom. “He knows a lot about Whanganui history, and his passion for public transport is obvious. He and his team are experimenting with different ways of telling the site’s story, which is generating a great buzz.” Today, the elevator even has its own Instagram page, she says. Standing on the elevator lookout tower, taking in the scene


Heritage New Zealand

of the river and township below, Anthonie is quick to point out key sites of interest. Gesturing towards the Whanganui Regional Museum, he points out the War Memorial Centre just below it, before the conversation turns to the site of Whanganui’s now demolished railway station and the main route of the township’s long-defunct tram network. “When it comes to communicating the story of the Durie Hill Elevator,” he says, “I’m not so interested in nostalgia or creating a fun ride. I’m more interested in emphasising the different aspects of the commute: the fact the elevator rattles and clunks, for example; the fact the commute gives you time to reflect or bump into someone you haven’t seen for a while and have that incidental conversation. “I’m also interested in connecting the elevator to those periods in our history when we got from A to B using an incredible bus, rail or tram network.” Public transport is an enduring theme tackled in much of Anthonie’s work. It’s a hallmark

of his songwriting. In 2018 his Rail Land tour saw each live music performance bookended by a rail journey. “I like to think that the era of the liveable provincial town will come again. More and more of us are moving away from big cities. “But why forgo the practical pleasures that go with urban life? We just have to be reminded of those times in New Zealand’s past when living well in smaller centres was possible; when, in fact, really great infrastructure meant it was the norm.”

To learn more about the Durie Hill Elevator, view our video story here: www.youtube.com/ HeritageNewZealand PouhereTaonga


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The beauty of a Thames building has helped to attract a swathe of volunteers to the task of protecting and sharing the area’s rich heritage

There’s a beautiful old building on Queen Street in Thames as you pass KFC and head for the Thames Coast Road. It sits regally alongside a contemporary, architecturally designed addition. The two linked buildings – the Category 2-listed former Carnegie Public Library and a modern, temperature-controlled archive, an award-winning structure in its own right – are known as The Treasury Research Centre and Archive (‘The Treasury’) and are operated by The Coromandel Heritage Trust. The complex shows what a group of determined volunteers who are passionate about heritage can achieve when they put their minds to it. Volunteers worked for more than two decades, firstly to find a home for the research centre, then to


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Heritage New Zealand

fundraise $1.1 million to build the archive. Now a team of around 50 volunteers runs The Treasury, maintaining and cataloguing the collections of heritage books and documents it has been gifted over decades. “A lot of people’s hearts are invested in The Treasury. They are an ardent group and with that brings great things,” says acting manager Lucy Gable-Thom. The trust moved into the Carnegie Public Library in 2009, after Thames-Coromandel District Council carried out earthquake strengthening and refurbished the building. It acquired the property next door and in 2013 the modern heat-, light- and dust-controlled archive was built. Lucy says the trust has been so successful in attracting volunteers in part because of the beauty of the heritage building, first constructed in 1905 and paid for by American steel magnate Andrew Carnegie. Completed at a cost of £1964, the original library was one of more than 2500 ‘free’ libraries built worldwide and funded by the philanthropist in the early 20th century. “People who love heritage and believe in the importance of protecting historical records are drawn to The Treasury, and they also want to give back and be part of it,” says Lucy.

The archive holds heritage records, photos and documents from people, families and businesses that formed the Coromandel Peninsula, Ohinemuri, Te Aroha and the Hauraki Plains region, Te Tara-oTe-Ika a Maui. It includes collections from families who forged some of New Zealand’s foremost heavy industries – from A&G Price and its steam engines to Phoenix Breweries, famous for its German-style beer and for eventually becoming part of New Zealand Breweries and later Lion. Volunteer Lise Cook says she was drawn to The Treasury by an advertisement on the Volunteering Waikato website in 2020 as she looked to move her film business out of Auckland after the Covid-19 lockdowns. Lise (Ngāti Porou, Ngāi Te Rangi, Ngāi Tahu and Ngāti Tūwharetoa) says she was immediately taken not only with the building but also with the collections it cares for. “I saw the archive and the collections and was intrigued. They have such a huge collection of books and people’s family records,” she says. Lise saw volunteering as an opportunity to broaden her knowledge and experience base, and she also wanted to see what Māori heritage she might be able to help the trust uncover.


Architectural firm Architectus designed the modern, temperature-controlled archive (left) linking to the historic Carnegie Public Library (right). The project won an award in the heritage category of the 2015 New Zealand Architecture Awards.

2 L-R: Volunteers Marg

Sewell, Lise Cook and Sandy Lautenbach were drawn to give their time to The Treasury through their interest in protecting the area’s rich heritage and sharing it with future generations.


Heritage New Zealand

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“Māori heritage is more than documents and objects, but I didn’t see a lot of that coming to the fore. Heritage is our connection to our whenua and taiao. My hope in becoming a volunteer is that I can help to start drawing out some of that local heritage too,” says Lise. She is careful to point out that she doesn’t speak for any local iwi and her role is only to provide advice on how The Treasury might best find those stories or go about identifying records housed in the archive that have yet to be catalogued. Lise is a firm believer that heritage helps people to open their worlds and find their places within them. “There is a whakataukī that says ‘Ka mua, ka muri’ – ‘walking backwards into the future’. It’s the idea that you need to look to the past to inform the future. It’s helping me to gain that knowledge of the people who were here before me,” she says. Lise has produced a video tour of the Carnegie Public Library building in te reo, covering what The Treasury is and does. On Tuesdays you can find her working through the tangata whenua shelf in the archive’s reading room, cataloguing items. “We were looking through the drawers the other day and lifted up a sheet of paper and there were all these beautiful drawings of Māori. There are all these taonga in there that people have handed in over the years and we don’t always know where they have come from or who they are, so part of the job is helping to work that out.”

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Since becoming a volunteer, she has also joined The Treasury’s board. “There aren’t often people with the skills in or knowledge of tikanga in these organisations run by volunteers. I thought if I walked onto the bridge maybe they would meet me halfway and we could see where we went from there.” Lucy says The Treasury has attracted volunteers with a wide skill base. Advertisements on the Volunteering Waikato website and posters pasted around Thames have piqued people’s interest and connected them to organisations working in the GLAM sector – the galleries, libraries, archives and museums space. “I think reaching into organisations and advertising where those interests already exist is a large part of the success.” Marg Sewell says she started volunteering at The Treasury after volunteering on the front desk at Thames Museum. She moved to Thames from the Kāpiti Coast to be closer to her family in Auckland. “Thames is unique. A lot of New Zealand’s first European descendants started in Thames. There is a huge amount of heritage here and it’s the first time I have lived in a place that has that kind of base.” She spotted a poster in town looking for volunteers at The Treasury and couldn’t resist the chance to work in the beautiful building. Now she spends one or two days a week helping to catalogue documents in the archive, recording each one in a new digital system that will see some of the collection made available online.

taiao: environment tangata whenua: the ‘people of the land’, the local Māori community who trace descent from ancestors who settled in or occupied the area tikanga: tradition, protocol whakataukī: proverb whenua: land

Heritage New Zealand

“I really love it. It’s interesting to work your way through the treasures and it’s very hard to resist a bit of an extra flick here or an extra look there. It’s all adding to the depth of my knowledge of the area.” Thames by its nature seems to attract people who are interested in heritage, says Lucy, and they are all very willing to get involved. The trust also receives support from ThamesCoromandel District Council and Hauraki District Council, contributing to a paid manager and part-time administrative assistant. It has also been successful in a series of recent funding rounds from the New Zealand Lottery Grants Board and the Ministry for Culture and Heritage’s Museum Hardship Fund. Lucy says the volunteers are involved in almost all aspects of The Treasury, from cataloguing and helping to manage the collection to manning the reception desk and helping visitors. There are also volunteers like Sandy Lautenbach. Her family was one of the pioneering families in the district, originally arriving from Scotland. Sandy was raised by two aunts and an uncle on her father’s side. Her aunt Ailsa Lamb was one of the first financial supporters of The Treasury. A photo of Ailsa sits in The Treasury’s reading room. “So many people have supported The Treasury. I think people just realise heritage is something we need to preserve, and Thames has so much of it,” says Sandy. Sandy’s primary role is building relationships and looking after booksellers that sell The Treasury’s True Tales series of books. Six books have been published to date, with a seventh on its way.


The books are a collection of stories and tales of events, characters and heritage places that shaped the region, and are sold in bookshops between Katikati and Thames. “I do it because I love it and I love the stories and I’m proud. I just love heritage,” says Sandy. “I’m also passionate about the younger generations getting an understanding of what has gone before them and I think that is what The Treasury is here for and is helping to do. To view the video tour of the Carnegie Library building in te reo Māori, visit www.facebook.com/ TheTreasuryThames/videos/1229997074092811


Lise Cook firmly believes that heritage helps to open people’s worlds.

2 Sandy Lautenbach’s an-

cestors were among the pioneering families in Thames. 3 Marg Sewell says after

moving to Thames from the Kāpiti Coast she was struck by the huge amount of heritage in the town.


Heritage New Zealand

Ngahuru • Autumn 2022 23




Meeting our 2050 net-zero-carbon aspirations and addressing New Zealand’s housing crisis are among the most substantive challenges of our time. Retaining and retrofitting heritage buildings can be part of the solutions to both

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Heritage New Zealand

“The greenest building,” noted Carl Elefante, former president of the American Institute of Architects, “is one that is already built.” With a goal to have net zero carbon emissions by 2050, sectors across New Zealand are putting their shoulders to the wheel to meet the challenge. And in the building sector there’s a growing body of research adding weight to Elefante’s maxim, which demonstrates that by adapting and retrofitting existing buildings – including heritage buildings – instead of demolishing them and building new ones, significant reductions in carbon emissions can be made. Globally, the building and construction sector is responsible for an estimated 38 percent of CO₂ emissions, 10 percent being from the production and supply of building materials and construction. According to the New Zealand Green Building Council, in Aotearoa New Zealand the built environment makes up 20 percent of our carbon footprint. With current growth, this is likely to rise. As an indicator, emissions from the construction industry increased by 66 percent between 2007 and 2017. The Government’s Building for Climate Change web page states: “If New Zealand is to achieve its climate change goals, including net zero carbon by 2050, the building and construction sector must play its part”. But how? And how can heritage help? Rachel Paschoalin is a PhD candidate at Victoria University of Wellington and her research addresses these questions. “After the Paris Agreement, it became clear that globally we had to find ways to reduce emissions,” she says. “The question for me is ‘how can heritage contribute?’” Rachel is researching the retention and retrofitting of heritage buildings. In the decision-making process around heritage buildings and sustainability, she says, the whole life cycle of a building, from construction through a 90-year lifespan should be considered. Several studies, including Rachel’s, have been done in this area and the

Heritage New Zealand

results have underpinned a best practice database and guidelines for what is known as sympathetic upgrades of heritage buildings. “Early research shows that sympathetically upgrading and reusing existing buildings, rather than demolishing and building new, could dramatically improve a building’s energy efficiency and would make substantial energy savings because the CO₂ emissions already embodied within existing buildings would not be lost through demolition,” states the Historic England Heritage Counts report from 2020. Adaptive reuse – the repurposing of a heritage building – is an effective way to meet pressing commercial and residential building needs without demolition. Robin Byron, Senior Conservation Architect for Heritage New Zealand Pouhere Taonga, cites Auckland’s Britomart Precinct, centred on the busy train station (itself adapted from the former Chief Post Office building) as one of the most outstanding examples of adaptive reuse in New Zealand. Apihai Te Kawau, a chief of Ngāti Whātua, the iwi that holds mana whenua of the area, gifted 3000 acres (1214 hectares) of land in the vicinity to Governor Hobson for the construction of a new capital after the signing of Te Tiriti o Waitangi. The existing, predominantly warehouse buildings were largely built in the late 1800s and early 1900s. A vibrant business district for decades, by the 1990s many of the buildings were shuttered and slated for demolition. Long-term investment, regeneration and management have seen a dramatic transformation of the area, with the heritage buildings restored and repurposed in a multipurpose commercial precinct with a public square at its heart. It has catalysed similar adaptive reuse projects around the motu, such as The Tannery in Christchurch. The precinct has also been futureproofed for longevity and sustainability. “This example of adaptive reuse has been very forward thinking,” Robin says.

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In 2015, at COP21, New Zealand signed the Paris Agreement, a legally binding international treaty of carbon neutrality by 2050, which aims to mitigate the worst effects of climate change

26 Ngahuru • Autumn 2022

“The buildings have been regenerated – planned, strengthened, upgraded and conserved – in such a way that any subsequent changes in functions and use can be achieved relatively easily. Because of this foresight and flexibility, these buildings can continue to adapt and change into the future.” In many cases, unused heritage buildings present excellent opportunities to align heritage conservation, environmental responsibility and the needs of the community. Jamie Jacobs, Director Central Region for Heritage New Zealand Pouhere Taonga, cites the Gordon Wilson Flats and the adjacent McLean Flats in Wellington as examples. “The buildings have outstanding heritage significance for their associations with the state housing programme and its Modernist architectural evolution after World War II,” he says. “The retention and sensitive adaptation of these heritage buildings for current residential needs would both acknowledge their history and contribute muchneeded high-density housing to central Wellington. “And by opting to reuse rather than demolish and redevelop the site, the embodied energy of a massive reinforced-concrete building is not lost, and the remains irresponsibly dumped in the tip.” There are many more good examples of adaptive reuse in action around New Zealand, such as the Old Bank Arcade and the T&G Mutual Life Assurance Society building on Lambton Quay in Wellington. In Dunedin, a former bus depot has been incorporated into the Toitū Otago Settlers Museum, while the Hocken Collections research library is housed in a former cheese factory. In Oamaru, Casa Nova, an early stately home and Category 1 building, has been converted into boutique accommodation and a restaurant. However, it is critical to note that while retaining an existing heritage building helps to reduce emissions, it may not be enough. Rachel’s research shows that the most dramatic reduction in carbon emissions comes from improving the health and energy efficiency of a retained heritage building through retrofit. There are challenges to doing this in New Zealand, not least of which is a need for guidelines. While a bestpractice database and well-established guidelines for retention and retrofitting of heritage buildings exist in Europe and the US*, there is no such thing here.



“The guides contain broad frameworks as well as specific technical advice,” says Rachel. “For example, for improving insulation, how to deal with windows and so on, based on research and practice.” Rachel’s project over the past three years has been to investigate from both policy and a practice perspectives how to adapt and tailor those existing international guidelines for New Zealand, allowing for unique environmental factors such as seismic strengthening and building materials. Perhaps the most significant barrier in practice, though, is the cost of labour and materials. A carbonreducing retrofit comes with a big price ticket in New Zealand, as Wellington architect James Solari notes. “We have a limited availability of good skillsets aligned to older, more traditional construction techniques, so they become fairly specialist skillsets,” he says. “Material costs are also perceived to be reasonably high here compared with overseas markets; this being a factor for our lack of scale relative to the international construction market, as well as very high freight costs.”

Heritage New Zealand


mana whenua: those with tribal authority over land or territory by virtue of possession and/or occupation motu: island; country


2 3

Auckland’s Britomart Precinct, centred on the busy train station, is one of the outstanding examples of adaptive reuse in New Zealand. IMAGERY: SHUTTERSTOCK.COM 4 A former bus depot is

incorporated into the Toitū Otago Settlers Museum. IMAGERY: TONY HISGETT, WIKIMEDIA COMMONS

Heritage New Zealand

CoreLogic data backs this perception, showing steadily rising costs in the sector over the past decade, with an increase in the cost of building materials in 2021 of 5.5 percent. The Commerce Commission is currently investigating the market for residential building materials, looking at potential competition issues. Despite these challenges, James is enthusiastic about the possibilities of adaptive reuse. He says awareness of the issue is growing and cites Anne Lacaton and Jean-Philippe Vassal, who won the prestigious Pritzker Architecture Prize in 2021 as an example. The duo’s “rallying cry”, as the Guardian puts it, is: “Never demolish, never remove – always add, transform and reuse”. James’s Wellington-based company, Solari Architects, is at work on a project converting a 1970s office space into apartments, demonstrating how reuse and retrofitting projects can also offer more climatefriendly solutions to our housing crisis. Initially, the firm considered demolishing the former Works Depot on George Street in Thorndon. “But once we understood the opportunities the building had, the good bones of architecture and the scope for repurposing,” explains James, “a more exciting solution emerged.” The unique profile of the roof is a particular feature in the design for the 45 new apartments. “It’s turning something forgotten into something useful. It’s retaining and capturing something in time,” he comments. Another project converting a 1930s office building into apartments is almost complete, and the repurposing and retrofitting of a former surf shop in Lyall Bay has turned it into a warm, well-insulated, energy-efficient home for its owners. A building’s longevity – its ability to become ‘future heritage’ – is another important concern for Solari Architects. “We need to encourage well-designed solutions that will stand the test of time and make long-term contributions,” says James.


He points out that in the necessary rush to meet our existing and future housing needs, the question of building longevity might easily fall through the cracks. He believes New Zealand is lacking a good framework and decision-making tools for intensification. “While some of our processes are not useful, where we need them they are lacking,” he says. “The process frameworks we work under lack proper qualitative controls. The experiential aspects of good design overlaid with quality construction create longevity. Good design needs to be a much higher priority.” A case in point is the proposed three-storey, threehouse infill plan. Through removing the consent application process, considerations such as a building’s longevity, as well as environmental factors such as light, warmth and ventilation, could go largely unchecked. The holistic approach required when tackling the enormous challenge of our net-zero-carbon goal is something of which both James and Rachel are acutely aware. “Reducing emissions is also about putting people in the right places,” says James, as one example. “Encouraging higher density living in places with good community centres and public transport links is key.” Rachel’s approach emphasises the need for multiple perspectives, with many stakeholders contributing to the decision-making process on the retention and retrofit of heritage buildings, including professionals in heritage, architecture, the building industry and policy. “The concept of sustainability is not only focused on environmental issues,” she says. “We have to think about economic, social and cultural aspects. In the same way, when we are thinking about retrofitting a building, we also have to think about all the different benefits we can gain. Not just protecting the building.” Rachel’s paper can be read online at www.mdpi.com/ 2571-9408/4/4/203/htm *The guidelines referred to in the article are known as En 16883:2017 (European) and Guideline 34-2019 (United States).

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Heritage New Zealand


Out on a limb While visiting the Milton area in Otago for a Heritage New Zealand magazine shoot, I discovered Lovells Flat Presbyterian Church down a straight and dusty gravel road. I stopped the car when I recognised the big old tree out the front – a ‘monkey puzzle’ tree (Araucaria araucana). Our crib in Naseby has one too, although unfortunately its condition isn’t as good as the tree visible at the top of this photo. Many of these trees were planted in the 1880s, but sadly quite a few of them are slowly dying now. New Zealand is full of fantastic old churches, many with new leases of life as people find innovative and interesting uses for them. They’re often great to photograph too. TECHNICAL DATA Camera: Nikon D850 Lens: 24-70mm f2.8 ED @29mm Exposure: f4.5 1/400th sec

Heritage New Zealand

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The restoration and repurposing of a Rawene church into an artists’ retreat has been the latest project for a couple committed to giving new and productive lives to historic buildings while supporting the arts

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Heritage New Zealand

Heritage New Zealand

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For Lynn Lawton and Linda Blincko, a belief in the capacity of the arts to invigorate us all has underpinned their track record of creating spaces and initiatives that nurture and support the creative arts. And their latest project – restoring a kauri-clad former Methodist church in Rawene and repurposing it as an artists’ retreat – is also adding to the wider story of heritage revival during the past decade in the historic Hokianga town. For more than 26 years, in the Auckland seaside suburb of Devonport, the couple ran the Depot Artspace (‘the Depot’) – a former council works depot that they restored and opened as a community art space. They also bought, renovated and established Satellite Gallery in Newton, which supported talented emerging artists in a more commercial environment. One creative initiative often leads to another, and through relationships developed at the Depot, Lynn and Linda began working with Village Arts – a non-profit, charitable organisation supporting the development of an arts community in Kohukohu and Hokianga – on a 2009 exhibition in Kohukohu that included works by Ralph Hotere.

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“We didn’t want to compromise the integrity of the church itself, which has been maintained as it originally was”

Working with Village Arts meant spending a lot of time in Rawene and Kohukohu, and on their visits their attention was often drawn to the Ferry House in the centre of Rawene, which was closed and in a dilapidated state. Lynn recalls waiting for the ferry and he and Linda turning to each other and saying, “We have to buy it and do something with it that will support the community.” In 2013 the couple bought the Category 2 historic place, which they restored and converted into a gallery and café named ‘No. 1 Parnell’, after its address on Parnell Street. It opened in 2014. Then when the former Methodist church – a simple Gothic Revival structure that has stood in the town centre since it was built in 1876 – came on the market in 2017, they couldn’t resist. “It’s such a beautiful, iconic building,” says Linda. “We really wanted to make sure it stayed with the community, and we thought it would be a beautiful building for an artists’ residence.” The church’s previous owner had obtained consents to convert it into a private residence, but Lynn and Linda wanted to restore and preserve it in its original state.

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“The first time I walked into the church I felt a significant spiritual presence,” recalls Linda. “It stands on the crest of a hill so it’s very exposed to the south, east and west, and there are only single kauri weatherboards between the inside and outside. But even in the middle of winter it had an abiding silence, which embraced you, like a korowai.” The church was constructed at the time that Rawene became the main administrative centre for Hokianga Harbour, and is listed as a Category 2 historic place on the New Zealand Heritage List/ Rārangi Kōrero. It was constructed by notable builder William Cook at a cost of £160. The opening service was conducted in te reo, reflecting the strong connection the Wesleyan mission had with local Māori in what became the Hokianga circuit for delivering services. Early parishioners were clearly committed: they brought their own cushions to sit on until fundraising efforts eventually allowed for the commissioning of pews. Prior to World War I, it was the only

purpose-built church in Rawene, and was used by Protestants of many persuasions, reinforcing its religious and social significance to the town. The church has been restored as closely to the original as possible, while the annex, which was added in 1922, has been converted into a modest artists’ residence. It includes a mezzanine floor as a sleeping area, and a small bathroom and kitchen on the ground floor. “We didn’t want to compromise the integrity of the church itself, which has been maintained as it originally was,” says Linda. She and Lynn envision that resident artists will use the original church area as a studio, exhibition or possibly performance space. The restoration work – which was partially funded through the National Heritage Preservation Incentive Fund, administered by Heritage New Zealand Pouhere Taonga – was led by James Land, head of JD Builders Northland. James grew up and lives in Whirinaki and has worked on buildings in Hokianga since he was 15 years old, initially with his father’s building company.


The kauri-clad former Methodist church in Rawene is being restored and repurposed as an artists’ retreat.

2 An old newspaper

was found during the restoration. 3

4 The annex has been converted into an artists’ residence, with a mezzanine floor sleeping area and a small bathroom and kitchen.

5 Lynn and Linda relax

inside the partially restored retreat.


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No. 1 Parnell gallery and café, owned by Lynn and Linda.

2 Inside the

gallery at No. 1 Parnell. 3 Rawene

township. 4 The waterfront

and the Boatshed Café.


He remembers crawling under historic buildings with his father from the age of seven to assess the state of their piles. James is passionate about preserving the area’s old buildings. His team recently completed the restoration of the church in Omanaia, which was built in 1884 and is thought to be the second-oldest standing church building in Hokianga. “It’s similar to the church in Rawene,” he says, “but simpler and smaller.” His experience with historic buildings has been in demand. “I’m really interested in figuring out how they built these historic buildings with hand tools – remember, these buildings were built long before we had building codes,” he says. The Rawene church was in reasonably good condition, he says, although when removing the lead paint from the building they identified rot in the cladding close to the ground. While the rot had affected only the lower metre of the church, the builders had to remove more to conform to the structure of the building, with kauri timber sourced from a Northland mill. But as builders and architects are all too aware, good wood has been hard to find since the Covid-19 pandemic began, and every piece is worth preserving. “It’s not like we can ring up and say, ‘We’ll have another packet of kauri please’. Well, you can, but it won’t be New Zealand kauri, and it won’t be heart kauri, so any timber that comes off a building is valuable,” says James. “So we took all the old kauri back to the workshop, chopped out the rot, and got the rest machined down to size, which we used to

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laminate onto the plywood kitchen – the kitchen bench top, the drawers, the doors, the splashback and so on. So we were able to use the timber that came off the church, and put it back into it.” There were challenges, of course – particularly replacing the roof, which has a pitch of 53 degrees. This involved James and his team doing what could be described as abseiling, carrying sheets of corrugated iron. “You have to have complete trust in your team and gear,” says James. “So you get up there, and remind

Heritage New Zealand

yourself ‘this system is going to hold me’, get yourself mentally comfortable, and then do the work. We had two on the ground, one at the top of the roof and one at the bottom of the roof, and passed each sheet up one by one. It worked like clockwork.” James also collaborated with Aranne Donald, a trained architect and designer and heritage advisor. Aranne moved from Auckland to Rawene in 2011 after buying one of six migrants’ cottages in Rawene, all built in the same year as the church. Aranne helped Linda and Lynn apply for heritage funding for the project and designed the fit-out of the artists’ residence in the annex. She also advised on the church’s spouting so it wouldn’t detract from the original aesthetic. Most churches built in the area and era didn’t have spouting, so Aranne looked at how other heritage-listed churches in Northland had dealt with the issue. “As one example we looked at St James [Anglican Church] in Kerikeri and, working closely with James, we problem-solved our way through it.” The project also included restoring impressive turned-wood finials, each more than a metre long. Aranne and James also worked on restoring and repairing the belfry on the west end of the building, which had rotted away. They identified the design of the original bell tower, at the building’s east end, which had either fallen off or been removed. They examined digital images of Rawene captured by Northland photographer Charlie Dawes, who ran a photographic studio in Kohukohu circa 1892-1925. The photographs were part of a large collection of Dawes’ work recently made available through Auckland Libraries. “Apparently the bell in the belfry was too loud, so they created a bell tower at the back and put the bell there. But there was very little left of the bell tower, so with Dawes’ photographs we could get a clearer idea of what it looked like, which allowed James to recreate it.” The hope now is that the missing bell will be found. Aranne bought her cottage in Rawene in 2003, when “everything was for sale”. The town has since changed – in a good way. “Lynn and Linda restored No. 1 Parnell Street as a gallery, and two friends – Gaynor Revill and David Truscott, who coincidentally live down the road from Linda and Lynn in Devonport – bought and restored The Wedge on the corner of Clendon Esplanade and Parnell Street and made it available for tenancy for local businesses. “That, in turn, encouraged other building owners to paint their buildings,” says Aranne. At the time of writing, Gaynor and David were restoring the Masonic Hotel at No. 8 Parnell Street. “So Rawene is going through a bit of a renaissance. With new galleries in Rawene and Kohukohu and in Opononi, it has created a kind of mini art trail.” Auckland was in lockdown for much of the church restoration, so Lynn and Linda were unable to view the progress of the restoration in person.

Heritage New Zealand



“Rawene is going through a bit of a renaissance. With new galleries in Rawene and Kohukohu and in Opononi, it has created a kind of mini art trail” They had complete trust in both Aranne and James, however, who kept them abreast of developments and were as committed to the restoration, and to Rawene’s heritage, as they are. “I grew up with a respect for and awareness of the value of small family businesses, and how they can help create a sense of community,” says Lynn. “I love running and developing businesses that serve a community, and also creating opportunities that help build creative infrastructure. “The restoration of the church is an extension of that.”

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Heritage New Zealand


Families who have farmed their land continuously for more than 100 years are recognised and celebrated through a unique awards programme – the New Zealand Century Farm and Station Awards

Heritage New Zealand

The bank manager has just visited when Heritage New Zealand magazine calls Craig and Hannah Drummond at Cromel Valley Station. That’s life on a family farm – as is hard slog and the dictates of fickle weather. A tractor engine is running in the background and Craig says he can’t talk for long. “I’m chasing my tail today – I’ve got trucks putting crop in and it’s about to rain.” Over the course of 105 years, four generations of Drummonds have dealt with the highs and lows of working this patch of earth at Five Rivers, near Lumsden, Southland. The ‘originals’, Peter and Selina, moved from Canterbury, disregarding warnings that the place would break them. The previous owners’ tenure had ended in a mortgagee sale after rabbits decimated the place. During the Drummonds’ early years on what was then known as ‘Five Rivers Run’, rabbits continued to ravage the property: after one poisoning operation in the 1930s, 7800 were counted, followed by another massive kill two weeks later. The second generation had to deal with World War I, with Peter and Selina’s son Harrison showing excellent foresight by buying in more than 50,000 litres of fuel to keep the Lanz Bulldog tractors moving and the farm progressing. That theme of heavy machinery and ongoing development runs like a straight furrow through the farm’s history. Riverbeds were reclaimed, roads built and manukacovered land transformed. In the 1960s Craig’s father Wallace imported a DUTRA tractor from Hungary and with his brother Ivan established Drummond Industries, designing a cattle head bail that’s still used on some farms today. Craig has inherited the love of machinery, as well as the passion for continuous improvement of what is now a 1416-hectare sheep and beef farm (with a little dairy grazing over the winter).

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“We’ve done a lot of development, cleared scrub and turned it into productive paddocks,” he says, adding that every generation has done what they feel is necessary to add value. “It’s about keeping it in the family while doing what we think is best to move it forward.” Does he feel any pressure from all that history? “There’s certainly pressure not to be the one who stuffs it up!” he laughs. When he’s gone, Hannah offers her take. “He’s very proud of it, and passionate about retaining the home block – as long as it doesn’t break us,” she says. “I struggle to get him off the farm – he works all day and every day – because for him it’s not a job, it’s his life and his passion.” Soon after they met, Craig invited her to pay a visit, muttering something about his parents living in a “big old place”. The first thing she saw was the Category 1 Five Rivers Station homestead, the oldest lived-in brick home in Southland and Otago and, with 16 rooms, among the largest (the homestead and its associated buildings date to the 1860s, when Five Rivers was established as Southland’s first inland pastoral station).

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“I was blown away to realise how old the place was and how much work had been put into it by Wallace,” she says. It was Wallace who brought her up to speed on the farm’s past. “He told me all the stories,” she says, citing one tale about Harrison rigging up a tripwire gun to scare deer from foraging in the homestead’s vege patch and, by a fluke, killing a huge stag. That family lore is now part of her, but the farm’s a different matter. “Even though I’ve married Craig and had his children, to me the farm still belongs to my husband and our children. I feel a sense of pride, but if something were to happen, I’d be looking after it for the children.” Will there be a fifth generation farming Cromel Valley Station? Too early to say. “But I’d love it if they wanted to have a turn,” she says. “So many family farms have been gobbled up by corporate farming, and I think it’s such an honour to still have it in our family and to be able to pass it on if that’s what our children want.” For now though, says Craig, “It’s our turn to carry it.”


Hannah, Craig, Briar and Luke Drummond on the woolshed board.

2 Craig surveys the

window glass in which an inscription was made by the station’s third manager using his wife’s diamond ring. It reads: “H Hill, March 1st 1864”. 3 The old wool table is still

used today. 4 Hannah, Craig and Briar in

the sheepyards. 5 Craig, family dog Beau,

Briar, Luke and Hannah in front of the historic station homestead.

Heritage New Zealand

CELEBRATING RURAL LONGEVITY Established in 2005, the New Zealand Century Farm and Station Awards honour families who have farmed their land for more than 100 years. So far, more than 500 families have been recognised, with a further 40 to be welcomed into the club at a formal dinner in May in Lawrence, Otago. The little town in the Clutha District has hosted the annual event since 2006, after Lawrence local Russell Brown and a small voluntary team initiated the

awards as a way of capturing and preserving an important aspect of New Zealand’s agricultural rural history. Eligible families submit narratives of the farms’ histories along with supporting photographs and documents, all of which are archived at the Alexander Turnbull Library in Wellington. Initially, recipients were mostly from Otago and Southland, but there’s now a fairly even split

between the South and North Islands. In May, however, all roads lead to Lawrence, where local businesses, clubs and residents have embraced the weekendlong event. In 2021 Heritage New Zealand Pouhere Taonga signed on as a principal sponsor of the New Zealand Century Farm and Station Awards, known locally as ‘Century Farms’. It’s a good fit: many of the farms involved are home to buildings and other features recognised on the New Zealand Heritage List/Rārangi Kōrero. “This partnership is a fantastic way for us to engage with rural heritage and support the

important work of Century Farms,” says Sheila Watson, Director Southern Region at Heritage New Zealand Pouhere Taonga. “Like Century Farms, Heritage New Zealand Pouhere Taonga values the stories associated with people and places that bring the history of New Zealand alive. In a country as young as ours, to have a continuous association with a place for more than a century is really something special.”


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Lovells Flat, Otago (1915)

On any farm that’s been worked by the same family for a century, it’s more than anecdotes and faded photographs that get passed down from generation to generation; a bone-deep understanding of the property is also transmitted. For the Clark family, who have farmed at Lovells Flat near Balclutha for 107 years, flooding is a big part of that institutional knowledge. Should a non-Clark ever take over, says Lyn Clark, “there would be a lot they’d have to find out the hard way”. Lyn’s husband Bryce is the fourth generation to work this piece of land since 1915, after taking over from his late father Norman. But various branches of the family have been farming in the district since the 1860s, and the Clark name is well known. “There’s a stoic quality that has come through the generations, as well as a caring about community,” says Lyn. “You can pick it in the family: ‘Oh, you’re such a Clark!’” They live surrounded by family heritage, and with relics of a wider history. The farmhouse, for instance, which they share with their children Sam, Thomas and Lucy, was built by Bryce’s grandfather, Kinder, in 1929. There’s a landmark early settler’s sod cottage on the property, and the original Lovells Flat store, built in 1867, is located between two of their paddocks. Bryce has inherited paddock names from his ancestors that carry particular meanings, and some of the landforms and features at Lovells Flat refer to historic characters. The Cockburn block, for example, was named after a railway worker who leased it from Bryce’s great-grandfather, Jasper. The family members have become educated on the finer historic details by Bryce’s first cousin, Vanessa Clark, whose father, John, worked the place in partnership with Bryce’s dad, Norman, in the 1970s, before the brothers split the farm down the railway line.


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Heritage New Zealand


Sam Clark, Molly the Labrador and Thomas Clark.

2 Lyn and Bryce

Clark in front of Lovells Flat’s early sod cottage. 3 Bryce, Sam (11),

Thomas (9) and Lyn Clark on the farm, with Ruby the Labrador.


As part of her Master of Archaeological Practice at the University of Otago, Vanessa has just completed a heritage assessment of the sod cottage. She’s also mapped the lost buildings and infrastructure of the village that once existed at Lovells Flat: a school, a blacksmith’s shop, railway houses, goods sheds, a community hall – all long gone. Recently the whole family took a long and heritageattuned walk around the property, Vanessa filling them in on historical detail. Towards the south, Bryce found some pottery shards protruding from a bank, which Vanessa’s research suggested was evidence of a house owned by pioneering landowner Allan Marshall, whose property was later purchased by the Clarks and whose name lives on in the area as ‘Allandale’. “There are remnants of those original settlers in the landscape too. You can see fruit trees from orchards; daffodils and other flowers that pop up,” she says. In one sense, the way Bryce is farming Lovells Flat is turning the clock back on that landscape. His father and uncle broke in a heap of swamp ground. Conversely, Bryce, in partnership with the Department of Conservation Te Papa Atawhai, has planted the riparian zone either side of the farm creek heavily in natives. Birdlife is returning and the creek is in robust health. “I feel a sense of responsibility to look after this land,” he says. “They broke it in, and now we just keep improving it and farming it as best we can.”

Heritage New Zealand


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A modest backcountry hut in Canterbury provides its visitors with not only respite from the elements but also a feeling of stepping into the past

Built of timber, mud and horsehair, the Stanley Vale Hut has been providing shelter to Canterbury backcountry dwellers for more than a century. Last summer, one of those was Waikato-based Heritage New Zealand magazine contributor Peter Drury, who spent a night in the two-room Department of Conservation Te Papa Atawhai hut – a late19th-century hut associated with the Stanley Vale homestead – during a tramping trip.

“We were away for 10 days and started out in the Lewis Pass area but got rained out,” he explains. “In search of a drier climate, we went further east to the St James Conservation Area, where we spent three days. “We walked along the Fowlers Pass track to Stanley Vale Hut, where these photos were taken. After staying the night there, we continued up to Lake Guyon, before walking back the way we came and on to Hanmer Springs.”

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The hut is located near the site of the Stanley Vale homestead, which is marked by a pile of stones. However, its origins and use aren’t well understood, according to a conservation plan prepared by Chris Cochran for the building. “It is possible that the hut was built at the time of the amalgamation of Stanley Vale into the St James Station as a shepherd’s or musterer’s hut; this was circa 1892. A hut would certainly have been needed at this time, unless the homestead itself was in good condition and could have been used for such purposes,” notes the plan.

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Peter travels to the South Island each summer for tramping, with his next trip planned for the Nelson Lakes, and ski tours there in winter. He’s also a regular tramper in Tongariro National Park and a day walker closer to home around Pirongia and Coromandel. “I just have a real enjoyment of getting into the mountains. I love being out there.”

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Heritage New Zealand


hen we first saw the hut, it was a very welcome sight. There was this very brooding sky with storm clouds brewing, but we made it to the hut just before it absolutely hosed down. The sound of the rain on the tin roof was quite deafening. We managed to stay dry – so the hut did its job – and the next morning we emerged to a lovely day.

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Ngahuru • Autumn 2022 45



lthough we had the hut to ourselves, we initially thought there might have been someone living there. The interior has all these bits and pieces around the place, which give it a cosy, welcoming feeling. And you definitely felt like you were stepping into the past, into an historic place.

46 Ngahuru • Autumn 2022

We had been camping in tents up on Lewis Pass at the tops, so it was quite nice to have a mattress to sleep on. Any night on a mattress rather than on an inflatable camp mat is a good night’s sleep.

I’d love to have more camera gear with me on these trips – I really miss having a long lens at times for some of the birds that I see – but when you’re going tramping for 10 days you have to be careful about how much you carry. About 15 kilograms is as much as I want.

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fter our night in the hut, we walked to Lake Guyon. It’s a beautiful lake surrounded by mountains, so it was a lovely destination. We carry a trout rod and were looking forward to some fresh trout from the lake, but unfortunately the trout weren’t co-operative so we had to settle for freeze-dried food again.

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Ngahuru • Autumn 2022 47




THE TIMES Dublin’s commemorative plaques shine a light on the stories of the people associated with some of its most iconic buildings



48 Ngahuru • Autumn 2022

nyone can get one – as long as you’ve been dead for 20 years or it’s been 100 years since your birth and you’ve done something truly outstanding for Dublin. In different colours, shapes and styles, they appear on buildings all over Ireland’s capital – a profusion of plaques commemorating the great and the good who lived at one time in the city’s most iconic buildings. There’s one on the former home of Patrick Kavanagh, around the corner from Raglan Road, the setting for his well-known poem about unrequited love. Across the canal is Joseph Plunkett’s childhood home. He’d grow up to become one of the leaders of the 1916 Easter Rising and die by firing squad. A great 19th-century Dublin medic, Dr Samuel Little Hardy, once scurried in and out of his house alongside Merrion Park. On the other side of the park a life-sized statue of Oscar Wilde reclines in a children’s playground, gazing at the building in which he grew up across the street. Among the collection of old plaques is a sprinkling of shiny new discs. Three white castles against a flash of bright blue – the symbol and colour


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of Dublin – sit underneath bold black text in Irish and English. A select few – the 1916 plaques – are green for Ireland instead of blue. The nation is commemorating the ‘Decade of Centenaries’, a programme of events from 2012 to 2023 that recognises its bloody road to independence through uprisings, wars and division. Dublin City Council established its Commemorations & Naming Committee to cope with demand. Around 40 plaques have been approved so far, and most private owners have been happy to have plaques erected on their buildings, says Brendan Teeling, the council’s deputy city librarian and one of the officials who assess applications. There was a problem with a plaque that was to go up on one of the council’s own properties. Thomas Bryan, one of the ‘Forgotten 10’ (a group of IRA members executed during the Irish War of Independence), lived in a Georgian building that is now the Tenement Museum. The Commemorations & Naming Committee agreed to a plaque, but it was later opposed by the council’s senior executive architectural conservation officer, its heritage officer, and Brendan. They were all concerned that a plaque might trigger a deluge of applications because a large number of historical figures are associated with the house. They claimed multiple plaques could detract from the heritage character of a building that had undergone extensive conservation work. Committee members argued that a plaque to Bryan would enhance the heritage value of the museum and that other applications could be denied if they weren’t appropriate. There’s no shortage of plaque candidates from Ireland’s most tumultuous decade, which included the 1913 Lockout, World War I, the 1916 Easter Rising, the Irish War of Independence and the Irish Civil War. But Brendan wants to see a broader range of people recognised. “Overall we would like to see diversity: more plaques to women, plaques not just to do with the Decade of Centenaries or the revolutionary period.” In 2018 the country’s president, Michael D Higgins, unveiled a plaque on Dublin Castle commemorating Irish suffragette Hanna Sheehy-Skeffington. In 1912 Skeffington and seven other women were arrested and jailed for smashing the windows of the then Government buildings. A more recent plaque commemorates the 1845 visit to Dublin by Frederick Douglass, an escaped slave who became an anti-slavery campaigner. He spoke at the old Quaker Meeting House, now the Irish Film Institute.

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“We would like to see diversity: more plaques to women, plaques not just to do with the Decade of Centenaries or the Back in 1947 George Bernard Shaw was very much alive when he received a letter from a local bin man. Patrick O’Reilly had raised enough money to erect a plaque on the house where the playwright had been born and suggested the words: “He gave his services to his country, unlimited, unstinted and without price”. “Dear Pat,” Shaw wrote. “Your inscription is a blazing lie. I left Dublin before I was twenty and I have devoted the remainder of my life to Labour and International Socialism and for all you know I may be hanged yet.” Shaw preferred: “Bernard Shaw, Author of many plays was born in this house, 26 July 1856,” and that inscription can still be seen today. Unlike the ad-hoc schemes of the past, Brendan sees the council’s programme as more similar to the London blue plaques scheme, the world’s oldest. In the House of Commons in 1863, British MP William Ewart asked whether “it may be practicable to have inscribed on those houses in London which have been inhabited by celebrated persons, the names of such persons”. Four years later the Royal Society of Arts erected London’s first two plaques, commemorating Lord


A plaque erected on the former Dublin home of physician and obstetrician Samuel Little Hardy in 2016.

2 A plaque commem-

orating republican and labour activist Constance Markievicz on the house in Rathmines, Dublin, where she once lived. 3 Hanna Sheehy-Skeff-

ington smashed windows at Dublin Castle in the campaign for women’s suffrage. IMAGERY: PADDY CAHILL

Ngahuru • Autumn 2022 49

HAERENGA I TE AO • INTERNATIONAL Byron’s birthplace and the residence of Napoleon III. Today there are more than 900 plaques in London and many countries around the world run similar schemes. A New Zealand architectural designer living in Britain was so inspired by the London scheme that he set out to replicate it after he returned to New Zealand in 2015 and became the deputy chair of Historic Places Mid Canterbury. In Nigel Gilkison’s scheme, a plaque honours a building rather than a person who lived in it. And it’s the ‘second tier’ of listed heritage buildings (either with Heritage New Zealand Pouhere Taonga or with a local council) that he’s most interested in. “Category 1 buildings are well known and may already have plaques. It’s the ones that are one step down that the public probably don’t realise are listed. They may not even know the stories behind them,” he says. Non-listed buildings can still be considered for plaques, says Nigel, especially if it helps to get them listed. “They’re quite big and bold, these plaques, and purposefully so – they shout, ‘This is a heritage building and it’s of value to the community!’” The big discs come with a big price tag. The $1500 cost has to be covered by local fundraising, the building’s owner or a combination of both. Then the local heritage group has to grapple with the all-important inscription – in no more than 40 words. The first New Zealand blue plaque was unveiled in 2017 to mark the centenary of a railway footbridge in Ashburton. Once the scheme was backed by the national



50 Ngahuru • Autumn 2022


Heritage New Zealand

body Historic Places Aotearoa, it spread further around Canterbury and into Otago. Christchurch, still reeling from the loss of many historic buildings during and after the earthquakes, got its first blue plaque in early 2021, on a former printing shop within the historic Duncan’s Buildings on High Street. “The heritage buildings that are left are much more valued, particularly by the owners who have restored them and strengthened them,” says Nigel. He enjoys the feel-good factor in the creation of a plaque. It’s not the typical heritage story that makes the news because two parties are locked in a bitter fight over an impending demolition. “We get really good feedback from everyone because this is adding to the heritage story and it’s educational.” Close to Oscar Wilde’s childhood home in Dublin is the National Maternity Hospital, so big that it takes up a whole block. Near the archway over the front door is an old circular brown plaque put up by the now defunct Dublin Tourism that reads: “John Robert Godley. Founder of Province of Canterbury, N.Z. Born at this site in 1814.” And now, half a world away – in the same part of New Zealand for which Godley will always be remembered – a fledgling blue plaque scheme is growing. Nigel would like the scheme to extend nationwide eventually. “My hope is that within about 25 years there will be a good quantum of plaques around the country. At that stage it might become the statutory default for heritage plaques, but that’s something that will grow organically.”


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Ashburton Mayor Neil Brown (right) and Ashburton Licensing Trust Board Chair Chris Robertson unveiling the Bank of New South Wales plaque on the current Speight’s Ale House. IMAGE: NIGEL GILKISON

2 The Hakatere Station plaque on Ashburton Gorge Road. IMAGE: ASHBURTON DISTRICT COUNCIL 3 The 1895 Sexton’s Building in Ashburton Cemetery received a blue plaque in 2020. IMAGE: NIGEL GILKISON 4 A Dublin Tourism plaque on Oscar Wilde’s former home in the

centre of Dublin. 5

6 The founder of Canterbury Province, John Robert Godley, was born at the site on which Dublin’s National Maternity Hospital was later built. IMAGERY: LYDIA MONIN


Ngahuru • Autumn 2022 51



Challenging environments Venturing into some unconventional and uncomfortable spaces Sometimes life presents you with events or situations so different from your own everyday experiences that you have to learn as you go. Each book in this column shows examples of those unexpected challenges. For example, in John McCrystal’s accurately titled Worse Things Happen at Sea: Tales of Nautical Mishap, Misery and Mystery from New Zealand and Around the World (Bateman Books, $34.99), the stories are both gripping and calculated to make you feel, by comparison, far more positive about any trifling issues throughout your day. The effectiveness of John’s writing comes from its clarity and the interesting details he provides that show readers how many factors combined to cause maritime disasters. Whether it’s

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a captain’s desire to show off, combined with the dangers of a rocky coast, the cause is seldom due to one thing. John shows us how a mix of events and human weaknesses came together as causal factors in the marine disasters he writes about. An interesting, refreshing, cautionary and even therapeutic read.

A book that presents a very different environment, but one that also supplies stories of mishap, misery and mystery, is Activism, Feminism, Politics and Parliament. Written by Margaret Wilson (Bridget Williams Books, $39.99), it covers her own experience of politics as a Labour Party president and minister in the Helen Clark-led government of 1999–2008, with responsibilities as demanding as

Attorney-General and Speaker of the House. This book has been written with the utmost clarity. Margaret shows us her thought processes, the different sides of arguments, and the everyday surprises and disappointments that are part of political life. She is very clear about how taxing the Speaker’s role can be, and her courage and determination are impressive. Nevertheless, this book may be an antidote for anyone who fancies a life in politics; unless you are as brave and principled as Margaret, you may end up feeling you have achieved very little and possibly somewhat disappointed in yourself.

An environment that is challenging in a completely different way is featured in A Bunk for the Night: A Guide to New Zealand’s Best Backcountry Huts, by Shaun Barnett, Rob Brown and Geoff Spearpoint (potton & burton, $49.99). Most trampers have had the experience of arriving at a hut that is far from idyllic, whether it’s because of mess, resident rats or a lack of cooking facilities. This book saves readers from these types of experience by enabling them to plan their trips

around staying at some of the more luxurious huts sited on some of New Zealand’s most attractive walks. This would be a thoughtful gift for any of your tramping friends.

Places that are ordinary and mundane can often feel magical and mysterious after dark as they take on completely different characters. In After Dark: Walking into the Nights of Aotearoa (potton & burton, $39.99), Annette Lees explores the different stages and the distinctive character of the nocturnal world. She is almost poetic in her ability to characterise the qualities of the time from dusk to dawn. She reminds us of the kinds of things that seem possible when we look at the stars, feel the night’s breath and hear its sounds.

The History of a Riot, by Jared Davidson (BWB Texts, $14.99), gives a surprising insight into a class conflict that took place in 1840s New Zealand. The surprise is caused by the strange but persistent conviction that this country boasted a classless society, while Jared points out that Edward Gibbon Wakefield’s

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GIVEAWAY We have one copy of A Bunk for the Night: A Guide to New Zealand’s Best Backcountry Huts to give away.

plan for colonisation actually featured a “class-based colony of land-owning settlers (those with capital) and hard-working labourers” (page 7). The notion behind the plan was that labourers would be able to work their way up the class ladder over time. However, in 1843 Nelson’s emigrant labourers and their wives were not willing to endure the hardship of their circumstances while they waited for future progress. They rebelled against their poor working conditions with petitions, strikes and violence. Because it is centred on a story of class conflict, this small but powerful book completely destroys the pastel-tinted and genteel settler history of New Zealand described in so many other books, instead exposing clear, factual information about participants and events. Jared depicts the labourers and their wives as real people seeking fairness and a future rather than exploitation, terrible working conditions and a lack of even basic sustenance.

Reawakened: Traditional Navigators of Te Moananui-a-Kiwa, by Jeff Evans (Massey University Press,

Heritage New Zealand

$39.99), explores a challenging environment of another kind. This environment is one in which the participants have chosen to put themselves into situations of danger and uncertainty by journeying across the Pacific using traditional navigation methods, rather than modern seafaring equipment. This book details the experiences of 10 people as they navigate their small crafts, and gives readers insights into the challenges and responsibilities they face. Each navigator uses only the moon, sun and stars and the swell of the sea to obtain the information they need. Learning to become a navigator is a complex process of attaching yourself to a skilled, experienced navigator and learning by example. As a navigator you have a responsibility to teach others, as there is always the concern that the ability to navigate by the stars may be lost, and with that loss the closeness to one’s forebears and the understanding of ancestral values and where you have come from might vanish. As Jeff explains, “Many of the individuals interviewed for this book have experienced what could be described as

a spiritual awakening while voyaging at sea. For some it is as if their ancestors are at their side protecting them during their journey, while for others it is a sense that their ancestors are guiding them as they make critical navigational decisions” (page 108). As with the other books featured in this column, this book takes you to a place in which you feel the excitement and the dangers of each environment described and wonder how you might have responded in each situation.

Similarly, it is interesting to gain insights into the experiences of New Zealanders during times of war. Voices of World War ll: New Zealanders Share Their Stories, by Renée Hollis (Exisle Publishing, $69.99), gathers photos and words showing how New Zealanders living just before and during the war faced those times. The inside front and back covers of the book provide useful lists of events from 1939 to 1947, with brief descriptions of each. The narrative includes information on various aspects of life during the war through quotations, descriptions of

To enter the draw, send your name and address on the back of an envelope to Book Giveaways, Heritage New Zealand Pouhere Taonga, PO Box 2629, Wellington 6140, before 30 March 2022. The winner of last issue’s book giveaway (The Takapuna Tram) was Grant Gillon, Auckland.

wartime sport, newspaper reports, accounts from prisoners of war, memories of entertainment offered by the Kiwi Concert Party, and accounts of the lives of women at home. This book makes it easy to dip into different aspects of the war by offering a wide choice of material while leaving you to your own reflections. Books are chosen for review in Heritage New Zealand magazine at the discretion of the Books Editor. Due to the volume of books received, we cannot guarantee the timing of any reviews that appear and we are unable to return any copies submitted for review. Ngā mihi.

Ngahuru • Autumn 2022 53


Hear more from Lynley Dear on our video: www.youtube.com/ HeritageNewZealand PouhereTaonga


Writer and archivist Lynley Dear commemorates the former Southland Boys’ High School students who were killed in service during World War I 54 Ngahuru • Autumn 2022

I remember the first time I stood in front of the Southland Boys’ High School war memorial reading the list of names. Who were these young men? What were they interested in? As a mother of two boys myself, I thought: “My gosh, if my boys were killed in war, how would I want them remembered? How would I want to honour them?” That’s what inspired me to find out more about each soldier and come up with the Southland Boys’ Anzac Day ceremony. The school, open

since 1881, was hugely affected by both world wars. In 1914 it had a roll of 164 students. By 1918 the school had lost 103 boys on the battlefield. Can you imagine? That’s almost the whole school dying in combat. Among the dead were eight sets of brothers, including four brothers from the one Christopher family. As the school’s archivist, I set up Southland Boys’ Museum. My husband and I did the bulk of the installation work funded by the Old Boys’ Association.

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The museum is housed in an historic tractor shed purposebuilt in 1914 to store petrol. Later it was a band practice room and inevitably, because of its out-ofthe-way location, it became the secret meeting place for boys who smoked. Today it displays everything from former schoolbooks to a century-old school desk. Step inside and you’ll see the original school bell. You’ll also see two war memorials and information about every former student killed in service.

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Next month 25 boys will take part in our annual Anzac Day ceremony held in the school hall. Each boy will represent a student who died in war. Each boy will select the soldier they most identify with, drawing on information displayed in the museum. We call them our ‘Poppy Boys’. During the ceremony, the Rector will read the names of our fallen soldiers as Elgar’s Nimrod plays. Upon hearing the name of his soldier, a Poppy Boy will slowly make his way towards the stage

holding a poppy and a bio and photo of his chosen soldier. It’s the most popular event in the school calendar; it’s just so moving. Last year the pandemic prevented the usual crowds from attending, so it was just the Rector, our Poppy Boys, some of the Old Boys and me. It was special, even so. A student remarked afterwards: “Mrs Dear, my soldier was with us today. I could just feel it.” Lynley Dear is a writer, archivist and retired high school teacher.

In 2010 she published a book called Poppy Boys based on the lives of former Southland Boys’ High School students who died in war. In 2016 Lynley received the Queen’s Service Medal for services as an author and to historical research. Southland Boys’ High School – Pearce Block is a Category 2-listed historic place. To listen to Elgar’s Nimrod, visit: https://open.spotify.com/ track/5t9UkwkrumEmOpnz 3SRdbm?si=64d9867ddba04b31

Ngahuru • Autumn 2022 55


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WOULD YOU LIKE TO KNOW MORE? Contact Brendon Veale for further details.

0800 802 010 • bveale@heritage.org.nz PO Box 2629, Wellington, 6140 • www.heritage.org.nz

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