“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…)

“Free entry to Auckland heritage attractions on Waitangi Day” Heritage New Zealand Media Release

Free entry to Auckland heritage attractions on Waitangi Day

Tourist Auckland heritage attractions, Highwic in Newmarket and Alberton in Mt Albert, will be open free of charge to celebrate Waitangi Day on 6 February – with a special display featuring at Highwic.

The Heritage New Zealand cared-for properties are part of a nationwide celebration of New Zealand’s national day, with 13 other Heritage New Zealand staffed properties opening their doors on the public holiday.

“Visiting both properties would be a great way to spend your Waitangi Day,” says Heritage Destinations General Manager Nick Chin.

“Highwic and Alberton are grand 19th century places that ooze heritage, history, character and charm, and have fantastic stories for the public to enjoy hearing about. (more…)

“Free entry to Auckland properties on Waitangi Day” Alberton ( in Mt Albert) and Highwic (in Newmarket) Heritage New Zealand Media Release

Two of Heritage New Zealand’s staffed Auckland properties - Alberton, in Mt Albert, and Highwic, in Newmarket - will be open free of charge as the country marks its national day, Waitangi Day, on 6 February next year.

“We are delighted to be opening our doors for the public to come and visit a part of their heritage and history at our properties,” says Heritage Destinations General Manager, Nick Chin.

The Media Release is as follows: (more…)

“Melanesian Mission closed for strengthening and revitalisation” Heritage New Zealand Media Release

Melanesian Mission closed for strengthening and revitalisation

One of Auckland’s iconic historic buildings is about to undergo the makeover of its long, illustrious life.

The Melanesian Mission building – a Category 1 historic place cared for by Heritage New Zealand – will be seismically strengthened, ensuring the distinctive 157-year-old stone building will continue to grace one of Auckland’s beautiful water front sites for future generations to enjoy.

The strengthened historic building, together with an exciting new café facility, will open in October 2017.

The Media Release is as follows: (more…)

“Jamming at Alberton for Auckland Heritage Festival” Heritage New Zealand Media Release (07.09.2016)


Lynda Hallinan’s jam session at Alberton (Source HNZ Media Release)

Alberton, the historic mansion in Mt Albert cared for by Heritage New Zealand, will feature in upcoming Auckland Heritage Festival events.

Both events will feature fresh, home-made jam – in differing measures.

“This year we are delighted to welcome gardening guru, columnist and presenter Lynda Hallinan who will present a talk entitled A Jam Session With Lynda Hallinan (Sept 25, 2pm). Here, Lynda will share her experiences making over 500 jars of jam and jelly in 52 weeks using everything from spring strawberries to Autumn quince,” says the Manager of Alberton, Rendell McIntosh.

Devonshire Teas at Alberton:
Sept 24 (10.30am-3pm); Oct 1 (10.30am-3pm); Oct 2 (10.30am-3pm)
Cost: $6 per person; includes two scones with cream and Jam; and tea or coffee. Entry to the house $10; children and Heritage New Zealand members free.

A Jam Session with Lynda Hallinan:
Sept 25, 2pm
Cost: $12 per person, includes afternoon tea and entry to the house
Bookings essential – contact Alberton on Ph 846-7367 or email alberton@heritage.org.nz (more…)