Saturday, August 25, 2012

France in New Zealand: Pompallier Mission House

The Bay of Islands is one of New Zealand’s most historically significant places. It’s the place where Captain Cook first stepped ashore, where the Treaty of Waitangi was signed and home to the country’s first capital.

But most of this history is English. When France is thought of in the Bay of Islands, it’s often in reference to the creation of the Treaty of Waitangi, NZ’s founding document, which was partially prompted by British desire to claim the area before the French. So it’s a bit of a surprise to find a place where French Catholics printed bibles in Te Reo Maori.

Thursday, August 2, 2012

An Ode to Auckland's Wynyard Quarter (on its first birthday)

I wrote my NZ News UK column this week on the projects from New Zealand that are nominated for the World Architecture Festival Awards. I really felt, though, writing the article, that it was a definite case of images going much further than words. And I couldn't really express, in that format, just how grateful I am toward Taylor Cullity Lethlean and Fearon Hay for their beautiful work in the Wynyard Quarter.

Auckland is, of course, built around the water. When you fly into the airport, you fear that you're about to land in the water. Sometimes, people ask "what's your nearest beach?" when enquiring as to where you live. It's more likely somebody catches the ferry to work each morning than the metro. This is all wonderful. Both in tourist brochures and in reality, Auckland is the City of Sails.