“Christmas Time at Highwic” Heritage New Zealand Media Release (05:12:2017)

December 5


Christmas Time at Highwic

Christmases past will be celebrated at Highwic this year as harpist and entertainer Cathie Harrop presents Christmas Time at Highwic – a series of concerts providing a glimpse into the celebration of Christmas in Victorian times.

The historic mansion in Newmarket, which is cared for by Heritage New Zealand, will be the perfect venue for the concerts which will include storyteller and narrator Illona Rogers, pianist Hadley Ronayne along with musicians Jennie and Dave Khan, and soprano Amanda Kirk.

Christmas Time at Highwic will hark back to the days when there was time to enjoy family gatherings, parties, dances, grand balls, and friends gathered around the piano. The concerts will capture the fun, laughter, nostalgia and homesickness which were a hallmark of Victorian Christmases in New Zealand. Music, stories, songs, parlour games and monologues will be performed on the night bringing these feelings to life.

“The Christmas shows that Cathie and her team have put on in the past have been wonderful, and this year will be no exception,” says the Manager of Highwic, Cheryl Laurie.

“Before the concerts begin people will also be able to explore Highwic’s traditional Christmas gift shop, and after the show enjoy a Victorian style supper in the billiard room with the performers.”

Don’t miss Christmas Time at Highwic, December 17 (6.30pm), December 18 and 19 (7.30pm). Tickets $49 per person (all inclusive). Bookings essential – book viawww.cathieharrop.com or Ph 09-479-2361.

“Christmas Garden Festival coming up at Highwic”: Heritage New Zealand Media Release (2017

November 2


Christmas Garden Festival coming up at Highwic

Highwic’s Christmas Garden Festival (November 18-19) will offer something for everyone – and some great fun for children in particular.

Best of all the Festival is free for everyone this year.

The timeless charm of the annual spring garden extravaganza at Highwic – the historic mansion cared for by Heritage New Zealand in Newmarket – will serve as a backdrop to a number of attractions that will appeal to kids of all ages.

“On the Saturday morning (November 18) we’ll kick off with our ‘Make a Christmas Garden’ competition for children. We’ll supply materials for kids to have a go at making a mini-garden, or if they prefer they can bring one they’ve made at home,” says the Manager of Highwic, Cheryl Laurie.

“Children will also be able to enjoy performances by Cherry the Clown giving parents the perfect opportunity to sneak away and do some Christmas shopping on-site at the Highwic Christmas Shop.”

Other entertainment will include performances by the Albany Ladies Choir on Saturday afternoon, a pipe band and Carols by Ukulele throughout Sunday.

“The annual Highwic Christmas Garden Festival has become a ‘must attend’ for Auckland’s keen gardeners, and as always there will be plenty to interest growers,” says Cheryl.

“This year we have flower arrangements throughout Highwic house and the grounds, as well as plant stalls which are always very popular. Dr Keith Hammett will also lead a series of Garden Tours around the grounds, which have proven to be a regular favourite over the years. At $5 per person the tours are great value, though numbers are limited.”

Highwic has also been working with the For The Love of Bees project, to become Auckland’s first inner city organic park. Festival goers will be able to see the beginnings of a pasture painting by Newmarket school in the orchard. These plantings of bee friendly plants will be food for the two beehives which will be installed in early November.

The Highwic Christmas Garden Festival takes place on November 18-19 (10am-4pm). Admission free. For programme details check the Heritage New Zealand website:  http://www.heritage.org.nz/news-and-events/events/garden-festival

“Celebration of Shoes at Highwic” Heritage New Zealand Media Release

September 19


Celebration of Shoes at Highwic

Discover the heart and sole of the footwear industry with a visit to Highwic’s Heritage Festival exhibition.

To complement the Stepping Back, Stepping out shoe trail around Newmarket, Celebration of Shoes features memorabilia and mementos from Ziera, Overland and Kathryn Walker.

Some well known Auckland based actors and musicians will loan some shoes for a mini display named Treading The Boards. Jennifer Ward Lealand’s contribution, for example, will be the shoes she wore in her show about Marlene Dietrich Falling in Love Again, and Michael Hurst will contribute shoes worn in his show No Holds Bard. Other contributors include Max Cryer, Ilona Rogers and Rachel House.

The private collection of designer shoes and vintage footwear from the past will be on display throughout the 17-roomed Carpenter Gothic house.

Of interest to all ages, children can find the glass slipper hidden throughout the house and go into the draw to win a prize.

Highwic is easily located close to train station and buses in Mortimer Pass, Newmarket. Highwic also has parking on site.

30th September- 15th October, Wednesday – Sunday. www.highwic.co.nz

Adults $8.00, children and Heritage New Zealand members free

Caption: Samantha Keen with some of her collection of shoes on display at Highwic.

Media Contact: Cheryl Laurie, Ph 09-524-5729

“Highwic’s organic park the bees knees” Heritage New Zealand Media Release




September 21


Highwic’s organic park the bees knees

One of Auckland’s much-loved historic places is joining the For the Love of Bees project and making plans to become the city’s first urban Organic Park.

The aim will be to create a 1.1 hectare biological sanctuary for Auckland’s precious bee population.

Apiculture New Zealand has declared September ‘Bee Aware Month’ – which couldn’t be better timing for the ambitious project according to Cheryl.

“We’re excited that Newmarket Primary School students will be designing some ‘Pasture Paintings’ for Highwic in time for spring,” she says.

“The geometric organic plantings that transform passive green space into active green space, making them more productive for bees and other wildlife, are part of the For the Love of Bees tool kits that are being used across the city to provide safe food for bees. On September 28 students from Newmarket Primary School will start laying out their planting designs at Highwic.”

The high point will be on October 27 when the bees will be formally welcomed at Highwic, and the students will sow seeds into the shapes they have created in the orchard, eventually providing sustenance for the bees during spring and summer. It will also be good advance prep for Highwic’s Christmas Garden Festival (November 18-19).

“We’re looking forward to being part of the For the Love of Bees Project, and also partnering with the Tree Croppers Association on the orchard restoration project, and the Compost Collective in establishing Highwic as a compost hub,” says Cheryl.

This collaboration is being supported by Parnell Rotary and and Enviroschools, Sustainable Schools and Auckland Council. The drawing together of community groups is a key factor in the For the Love of Bees project.

“As well as supporting our bee population – and improving the overall quality of Highwic’s gardens, soil and orchard – we hope to show that a few key initiatives can have a really positive impact on our natural environment; and that everybody can make a difference.”

Highwic is open Wednesday to Sunday, 10.30am-4.30pm. For more information visit heritage.org.nz

People can learn about other collaborations on their website, www.fortheloveofbees.co.nz


“Digital photo display captures moments in time for Thames” Heritage New Zealand Media Release (26.06.2017)

The lobby of the Brian Boru Hotel as photographed by John Fields.
(Image source Heritage New Zealand)

"A digital display of images taken by one of New Zealand’s foremost photographers detailing Thames life in the 1970s will lead 150th anniversary celebrations at the Thames School of Mines.

"The photographs – a collection of 500 colour and black and white pictures taken by John Fields – will feature as a rolling show of images displayed on a high resolution TV. The exhibition, which will be shown from August 5 to October 6, will include portraits, street panoramas and aerial shots

“The digital display is designed to complement a static exhibition of some of John Fields’ Thames images taken between 1973 and 1975, which will run at the Bella Street Pumphouse during the same time,” says the Manager of the Thames School of Mines, John Isdale.

The photographs – a collection of 500 colour and black and white pictures taken by John Fields – will feature as a rolling show of images displayed on a high resolution TV. The exhibition, which will be shown from August 5 to October 6, will include portraits, street panoramas and aerial shots

The Media Release is as follows: (more…)

Thames “Historic post boxes listed by Heritage New Zealand.” Heritage New Zealand Media Release (09.06.2016)

One of Thames’ three Levinge pillar boxes. This one is located on Pollen Street. (Image sourced HNZ Media Release

"Heritage New Zealand has listed Thames’ historic pillar boxes as a Category 2 historic place.

“One of the pillar boxes in Pollen Street, for example, is the oldest in use in the North Island, and the second oldest in the country. People have used it to post letters for almost as long as the township of Thames has been in existence.”

"Two of Thames’ three pillar boxes, which were designed by New South Wales Post Office clerk Thomas Levinge, were installed in 1869, with the third added in 1878.

The Media Release is as follows: (more…)

“Holiday fun on offer at Highwic” Heritage New Zealand Media Release (04.04.2017)

Highwic coal range volunteers in action…
(Image source HNZ Media Release)

Holiday fun on offer at Highwic

Highwic in Auckland is once again home to a great range of fun activities for children these school holidays.

On 19 April (11am to 4pm) a ‘Fly a kite’ event is planned where paper kites will be made.  Besides the kite making activity (suitable for school-age children over five years), there is an Easter Bunny Treasure Hunt in the house and gardens and other activities for children to do as they look around the house.

Baking Easter Treats will be the focus on April 20 when Highwic’s beautifully restored coal range will be fired up, and kids will be able to make some Easter treats during three different sessions (11am, 12.30pm and 2pm).

‘Semaphore Signals’ will be the theme on 26 April (11am to 3pm), where children can make their own set of semaphore flags, then practice sending messages. Semaphore was used by sailors to communicate from ship to ship before the invention of the radio.

Rounding off the holiday fun on 27 April (11am, 12.30pm and 2pm) will be an opportunity to fire up Highwic’s coal range again for children to make their own ANZAC biscuits – just like their great-grandparents did during the First World War.

“Make these holidays a unique or different experience for your children by visiting Highwic,” says Property Manager Cheryl Laurie.

“As well as being just a lot of fun, they are also educational.  It’s a great way for children to spend some time with other friends or they can make new ones during the day.”

For more details on these events – including cost and booking details – contact Highwic on (09) 524 5729 or email highwiceducation@heritage.org.nz.Holiday

“Explore Auckland’s oldest cemetery” – A HNZ Heritage Tip.

Symonds St Graveyard. (Image: HNZ Media Release)

Explore Auckland’s oldest cemetery

According to Heritage New Zealand’s Mid Northern Regional Archaeologist, Bev Parslow:

“People looking for green space, some fascinating history and a pleasant walk will enjoy exploring a historic burial ground like Auckland’s Symonds Street Cemetery,” says Bev.

“As well as providing an oasis of calm away from the bustle of everyday life, the cemetery also enables people to reconnect with our shared history through a fascinating lens.”

Symonds Street Cemetery is a recorded archaeological site and is one of our oldest urban cemeteries – possibly the earliest established under direct colonial government control.

“The cemetery is one of Auckland’s most important archaeological sites due, in part, to the nature, scale and variety of its physical remains and as a the earliest surviving establishment yet recognised in the colonial capital of Auckland,” says Bev.

“It is essentially the same age as Auckland itself – and that’s reflected in its layout, and the people who are buried there.”

The location and layout of the Symonds Street Cemetery differed from earlier graveyards in New Zealand at that time, which followed the traditional British model of burial in churchyards. The Symonds Street Cemetery reflected greater egalitarian sentiments by the establishment of the initial burial ground as a General Cemetery – for the burial of all inhabitants irrespective of religious denomination.

While physical separation from the main population centre was partly a response to prevailing concerns about the effects of burial grounds on public health, it also reflected the influence of broader Enlightenment ideas on the new colony, which stressed the separation between church and state.

It wasn’t long, however, before the cemetery became split into different areas based on religious or denominational break-down – including Anglican, Catholic, Methodist and Jewish sectors.

“This religious diversity makes for a really interesting walk,” says Bev.

The Anglican sector, for example, is characterised by traditional English trees like oaks which symbolise Englishness and stoutness of resolve. The meandering footpaths also make for a picturesque backdrop.

“The Catholic part of the cemetery by contrast has an ordered, linear layout possibly reflecting the influence of French Marist missionaries in Auckland who would have been influenced by the reformation of French cemeteries in 1808,” says Bev.

The mortuary monument and markers, in-ground remains such as graves and burials; visible landscape features such as walls, paths, earthworks; and stand-alone structures like the Centennial Memorial Chapel and Mortuary Building, historical plantings and botanical remnants form part of the archaeological landscape of the cemetery.

All of these elements are inter-connected both physically and in their ability to demonstrate the historical evolution of the cemetery.

“Systematic archaeological recording of these features provide information about issues as diverse as religious observance, funery practice, ethnic and other origins, trade and technology, public health and attitudes toward commemoration and death,” says Bev.

“The Symonds Street Cemetery tells us a lot – and also reflects changes in society over time.”

Besides the diversity of its layout, walkers can seek out the final resting places of some key figures in New Zealand history – including Governor William Hobson, who oversaw the signing of the Treaty of Waitangi, and Baron Charles De Thierry who had extensive land claims in Northland and hoped to establish himself as ‘sovereign chief’.

“Ironically his grand designs were ultimately thwarted by the signing of Hobson’s Treaty at Waitangi in 1840,” says Bev.

“These figures were key personalities in the formation of early New Zealand, and it’s quite interesting to think that they’re buried close to each other.”

Besides famous people in history, the cemetery is also the final resting place for many of Auckland’s earliest settler families.

“Symonds Street Cemetery is an important archaeological site in its own right – it is scheduled  A in the Auckland Council District Plan and listed with Heritage New Zealand as a category 1 Historic Place,” says Bev.

“It has great significance for Aucklanders, and is well worth exploring.”

Other historic cemeteries in Auckland include Waikumete and Purewa.

For more information on the Symonds Street Cemetery - http://www.heritage.org.nz/the-list/details/7753


“Melanesian Mission building to go under wraps” HNZ Media Release (17.03.2017




March 17

Melanesian Mission building to go under wraps

Auckland’s Melanesian Mission building will soon find itself under wraps.

From next week, the 157-year old Category 1 historic building will be shrouded in plastic wrap as the heritage icon undergoes a vital part of an ongoing programme of seismic strengthening.

“The next phase of work will see the shingle roof of the Melanesian Mission building removed, and the rafters and purlins of the original mission building secured to the structural plywood base which has been installed in the roof space,” says Heritage New Zealand’s General Manager Heritage Destinations, Nick Chin. (more…)