Sorry, I am Not a Bus Stop

As part of the recent much-talked-about changes to the bus system in Wellington, one of the buildings left with an existential crisis is the diminutive Miramar Tram/Bus Stop, in the central island of the Miramar shopping centre on Park Road. I researched the history of this building a number of years ago, when it still…

A Stitch in Time: The Archaeology of Newtown

Wellington archaeologist Mary O’Keeffe has kindly provided a summary of her archaeological investigation on a number of properties recently demolished in Newtown, which provided a rich and highly significant addition to our understanding of the social history of Wellington. The diverse and fascinating artefact assemblage she found gives an insight into the lives and aspirations…

Revising history, for worse, and better

The apology to gay men who were convicted of historic crimes in the era prior to the Homosexual Law Reform Act of 1986 was made this week by MP Amy Adams, as she introduced to parliament a bill to wipe clean the criminal histories of those men so unfairly stigmatised by New Zealand’s anti-gay legislation….

Wellington Cathedral Organ

The enormous organ at Wellington Cathedral, with 3,500 pipes, has been badly damaged in the November 2016 earthquake.  It has been in the cathedral only since 1964,  prior to that it was down the road on Mulgrave Street in Old St Paul’s since 1877. 

On the move

Since setting up my business I have found some great stories about fascinating buildings.  One of my absolute favourites is the twice-moved All Saints Church (Te Hunga Tapu Katoa), now located at Pakowhai Marae in Waituhi, 20 kilometres northwest of Gisborne.

What’s In A Name?

Today, the Queen Elizabeth II Pukeahu Education Centre was officially opened.  This building was once the Home of Compassion Crèche, next to the Basin Reserve. A crèche was established in 1903 by the Sisters of Compassion to care for children whose mothers, often widows or those who had been abandoned by their husbands, needed to work, and did so for…

Heritage News: Risingholme Fire

Christchurch has already lost so much heritage, so the news of the fire at Risingholme is particularly sad.  The house was built in 1864 by the parents of William Pember Reeves (1857-1932), and was his family home as he was growing up.  

Te Aro Salt Water Baths

Talk by the new ‘Better Te Aro Collective’ of its idea to install a new hot saltwater outdoor pool next to Freyberg Pool made me in think of the old Te Aro salt water baths which once enclosed a section of the harbour in the same position. There are a great set of photos of the…

The Jungle Takes Over

This Wellington building had been closed for only 18 months, while it waited for earthquake strengthening, when I took this photo.  Clearly it doesn’t take very long for buildings to be taken back into the jungle. A further reminder to me about the importance of day-to-day maintanence of heritage buildings, and about how small, incremental damage can be done to…

Layers of Meaning

Old St Paul’s church in Wellington is about to reach its 150th anniversary.  The church has been a big part of my career for the last few years – I first wrote social history of the church for its Conservation Plan concentrating of the active life of the church, then started an on-going project to…