Maori cultural show 2
There was a rather large crowd gathered in front of the truck to see the teenage group's performance, including many support students from their own school, which was about 100 kms. That to them is a very long way, and Maori and Paheka (whites) alike were obviously very honoured to have the group at their Waitangi day celebrations. Local member of parliament for the area was also present, and spoke and welcomed the group.
Sculpture in the park
I actually stumbled unwittingly upon this bronze in the seaside park though I have to admit I did suspect it had some significance.
Now considered one of New Zealand's national treasures, the statue was erected in 1954 to commemorate the Maori legend of the sea maiden who captured the heart of the chief's son but the sea people kept calling her and she kept resisting until one day she swam out to sea to meet them. They surrounded her and drew her down, never to return.
She was transformed into the reef beyond the Napier breakwater.
In 2005, Pania was mysteriously stolen overnight, but was recovered a week later and restored to her rightful place.
this is basically a place where production of sheepskins is carried out. the sheep are sheared, the skins are washed, processed, graded and then turned into many different useful items like clothing, boots and decoratives. each visitor gets a patch of sheepskin for a souvenir at the end and you can choose the colour of it. you could also buy the souvenirs at a cheap price for relatives and friends. this is an ideal place to travel to if travelling with little children and kids because they can see for themselves how sheepskins are made into some of the items they see on the shelf in shops.
Dame Edna Everidge may well welcome them but they have been a living catastrophe in New Zealand. What works in Australia has been a disaster over here. With no natural predators to keep the population down other than the ever-proliferating Australasian Harrier Hawk, possums have become the greatest introduced problem in New Zealand so, if you see a shop selling products from what might seem a potentially cuddly animal, buy some. Do the environment a favour.
With over an estimated 10,000,000 of them they manage to chomp their way through an estimated 21,000 tonnes of vegetation every night. Frightening when you think about it.
The Opossum Shop manages to stand out even on the oh-so-interesting Marine Parade and not only sells items but has an interesting display inside as well on how they live and breed.
I bought three pairs of sox.
Napier, Art Deco architecture capital of the world
Some new pages will be shortly added, after our 2nd visit to Napier in November 2009 (not too many new photos, as the weather was a bit grey).
What can I say about Napier?
It's a marvellous city, born from the ashes in the 1930's, so to speak.
On February 3,1931, an earthquake measuring 7.8 on the Richter Scale hit central Napier and devastatated its central business district, as well as causing widespread damage in Hastings.
In Napier, the fires which broke out soon after the quake destroyed most of the buildings which had managed to survive the tremors.
162 people in Napier also perished.
By early 1933, in the amazingly short space of time of just 2 years, the town had been rebuilt, making it the world’s newest and most modern city of that time.
The town was faithfully and lovingly rebuilt in 1930’s style art deco, and what makes it even more amazing, is that the re-building took place during the Great Depression.
Nowhere else in the world (apart from nearby Hastings) is there a a town or city built entirely in the styles of the 1930’s.
The town even today still has that well loved and well cared for feeling. The streets are clean and attractive, and people seem to take such pride in their city.
It is perhaps as I heard in one comment from a survivor on video at the Earthquake Museum: that the tragedy and adversity made the town stronger.
You won't notice any brick houses or buildings in Napier, or in the whole region really, and that is directly because of the earthquake risk too (not as I earlier thought, that they just preferred weatherboard houses).
It has been shown that stone and wood are far more able to flex should an earthquake occur, so for safety these are the materials used.
On our first visit, February 2004, we arrived in Napier late in the afternoon on a public holiday, Waitangi Day, were lucky to get the chance to share in the town's festivities, which we only found out about when we went for a 5 min walk from our accommodation which we'd just checked into.
We heard the loud speakers and decided to go in and have a closer look at what was going on. It was a huge celebration day, and Napier had NZ's only fireworks for the event, which we were lucky to catch!
Pania of the reef, from an old Maori sea legend. You can find her statue near the brilliant blue fountain on the waterfront, not far along from the Tourist Info centre. I'll give more about her later, as I've known the legend for years now and have a replica of this statue in my home.
Waitangi Day fireworks, Napier