Tag: Media Release

“The Town Hall story – a Christchurch dream renewed” (University Canterbury Press Media Release)

Christchurch’s proud tradition of public architecture is clear in one of the city’s favourite buildings – the Christchurch Town Hall. The city’s ‘public living room’ for hosting celebrations, concerts and civic events, the Town Hall reopened triumphantly this year after a successful campaign for its restoration.

Through the tortuous beginnings of the original project to the battle to save the complex after the earthquakes of 2010-11, a new book, published by Canterbury University Press, captures an intimate story of the Town Hall. It is fitting that former Associate Professor of Art History at UC Dr Ian Lochhead edited The Christchurch Town Hall 1965–2019: A dream renewed, since he was an early advocate of repairing and restoring the building, expressing his views in a piece titled ‘Let our public living room live again’ published in The Press on 20 March 2012.

When the facility opened to much fanfare and civic interest in 1972, the auditorium in particular was unlike anything seen in New Zealand before, Dr Lochhead explains. While Sir Miles Warren led the creative architectural team (establishing the reputation of Warren & Mahoney nationally), it was Sir Harold Marshall who was responsible for the world-class acoustics that changed the way concert halls around the world were designed from that point on.

The quality of Marshall’s acoustic design attracted performers of the calibre of Leonard Bernstein, Dame Kiri Te Kanawa, Carlos Santana and, just last month, renowned cellist YoYo Ma, and saw Christchurch recognised alongside the great concert halls of Vienna, Boston and Lucerne. The Philharmonie de Paris, which opened in 2015, took its design cues from the Christchurch Town Hall, to the extent that the French employed Marshall Day Acoustics, the practice established by Harold Marshall in 1981.  

Details such as this makes the book a treat for history lovers, architecture buffs and conservation advocates alike. The compelling story of the incredibly challenging restoration is recounted in chapters by Peter Marshall and John Hare and captured in photos by former UC photographer Duncan Shaw-Brown and by Olivia Spencer-Bower.   

UC returned to the Town Hall for its graduation ceremonies this year, one of many key Christchurch organisations to again use this much-loved space for their most important celebrations.

The Christchurch Town Hall 1965–2019: A dream renewed, edited by Dr Ian Lochhead, is available now in hardback edition (248pp, colour and B/W illustrations), RRP $59.99, ISBN: 978-1-98-850310-3.

Further information:

Ian Lochhead, Art History, photographed in his office, 19.2.14

Editor Ian Lochhead taught Art History at the University of Canterbury from 1981 to 2014. He has written extensively on the history of New Zealand architecture from the colonial period to the Christchurch School. His book, A Dream of Spires: Benjamin Mountfort and the Gothic Revival, was published by CUP in 1999. He was an early advocate for the restoration of the Christchurch Town Hall following the 2011 Canterbury earthquakes; his article ‘Let our public living room live again’, was published in The Press on 20 March 2012. The Society of Architectural Historians of Australia and New Zealand made him a life member in 2013.

Dr Lochhead Image: Duncan Shaw Brown

Contributors

John Hare

Sir Harold Marshall

Peter Marshall

Martin Setchell

Sir Miles Warren

Photographers

Duncan Shaw-Brown

Olivia Spencer-Bower

“Kemps gather at Kemp House for 200th anniversary celebration” HNZPT Media Release

Kemps gather at Kemp House for 200th anniversary celebration

Over 40 descendants of missionaries James and Charlotte Kemp gathered at the Kerikeri Mission Station in the weekend to commemorate their family ties to one of New Zealand’s earliest settlements. 

James and Charlotte helped establish the fledgling Christian mission in 1819. The historic Kemp House – originally built for Rev John Butler and his family three years after the mission was established – was named after the missionary couple, who acquired the house in the 1830s. 

“It was a privilege to be able to host some of James and Charlotte’s descendants – and a particular pleasure to meet descendants of Ernest and Dory Kemp, who gifted Kemp House to the nation in 1974,” says Kerikeri Mission Station Property Lead, Liz Bigwood.

Grandchildren of Ernest and Dory Kemp, and descendants of missionaries James and Charlotte Kemp at the Stone Store. Ernest Kemp gifted Kemp House to the nation in 1974. (l-r): Roy Collett, Nigel Robson, Raey Fulton, John Robson, Brian Robson and Jim Kemp. 

“We loved hearing stories from Ernest and Dory’s grandchildren who remember Kemp House as ‘Granny and Grand-dad’s house’ when they were children.”

Jim Kemp presents Kerikeri Mission Station Manager, Liz Bigwood, with a facsimile of a page from the Kemp family Bible. 

The descendants of Charlotte and James enjoyed tours of the house and historic Stone Store over the weekend tying in with the Tūhono Kerikeri bicentennial celebrations. 

“Butler descendants visit Kerikeri” HNZPT Media Release

(Left to right) Douglas Barton, Rev Dr Kirsten Griffiths and Tim Ritchie at St James Church. 

Butler descendants visit Kerikeri

Descendants of Rev John Gare Butler – New Zealand’s first resident ordained missionary who served as the founding Superintendent of the Kerikeri Mission – paid a visit to Kerikeri recently to celebrate the bicentenary of the Butler family’s arrival in New Zealand on 12 August 1819. 

Two Great, Great, Great Grandsons of Rev Butler – Tim Ritchie and Douglas Barton – reflected on their ancestor at a service held at St James Church in Kerikeri, a brief walk from Kemp House and the Stone Store, now cared for by Heritage New Zealand Pouhere Taonga. 

“It is very humbling to be here in this church which William Hall and John Gare Butler originally marked out on October 6, 1819,” Tim said.  

“Given the perils they faced together in their calling to missionary work, both John Butler and his wife Hannah clearly had a cooperative and loving relationship totally interdependent on each other.” 

While in New Zealand, the Butlers had a significant impact on agriculture according to Tim. 

“Rev John Butler clearly identified the potential for agriculture here – he recorded in his journal: ‘…there is no nation upon earth, perhaps, more favourable for the operations of agriculture than New Zealand’ which he said would ‘enable us to provide the first necessities of life’, and run schools that could not otherwise function ‘without the means of victualling the children’,” said Tim. 

“On May 3 1820, he recorded the first ever use of the agricultural plough in New Zealand and noted his thoughts in his journal: ‘I trust that this auspicious day will be remembered with gratitude, and its anniversary kept by ages yet unborn. Every heart seemed to rejoice on the occasion – I hope it will continue to increase, and in a short time produce an Abundant Harvest.’”

A year later, a report sent to the Church Missionary Society in London recorded what he and his team of Maori co-workers had achieved – seven acres of wheat, six acres of barley and oats, a variety of vegetables, fruit trees and ‘an excellent bed of hops’ – along with a potato house, fowl house and a goat house. He also noted in his report the building of a working house for his ‘working natives’ to live in and a small school house. 

“Many Butler descendants have agriculture, horticulture and viticulture in their DNA, farming through much of New Zealand – particularly the Wairarapa and Canterbury,” said Tim. 

“We can be very thankful of that pioneering Butler agricultural / horticultural gene.”

Rev Butler – who had worked as an accountant for a shipping company in London before coming to New Zealand – fell out with missionary chief Rev Samuel Marsden after he expressed concern to Marsden about financial issues relating to the mission. He was dismissed shortly after. 

According to Douglas Barton, Butler was respected by Maori who came from a distance of up to 30 miles to see him when news of the family’s departure became known in November 1823. 

“They anxiously enquired ‘what have we done to you?, pray tell us’. He could not tell them why, and appealed to their parental feelings by telling them that they needed to go to Port Jackson for the sake of little daughter Hannah’s health,” he said. 

New Zealand had not seen the last of Rev Butler however. The Butlers returned to New Zealand in 1840 with Rev Butler engaged by the New Zealand Company as a Native Guardian and Interpreter. 

The Arakite Trust: “Public Archaeology award for iwi-led trust” HNZPT Media Release

Public Archaeology award for iwi-led trust

A Northland iwi-led charitable trust has won this year’s New Zealand Archaeological Association (NZAA) Public Archaeology award. 

The Arakite Trust – which headed a two-week archaeological excavation at Mangahawea Bay in the Bay of Islands in January, and more recently a three day wānanga on traditional voyaging and navigation – took out the national award at this year’s recent NZAA conference held on Stewart Island.

The excavation and wānanga was funded by the Lottery Tuia – Encounters 250 Programme, and was supported by Heritage New Zealand Pouhere Taonga, the Department of Conservation, the University of Otago and Te Rawhiti Marae.

“The Public Archaeology Award is an acknowledgement of Arakite Trust’s commitment to engage with the public in a way that increases understanding and appreciation of New Zealand’s rich archaeological heritage,” says Heritage New Zealand’s Northland Regional Archaeologist, Dr James Robinson, who together with Department of Conservation Ranger Andrew Blanshard, accepted the award on behalf of the Trust. 

The Arakite Trust organised a public open day during the 2019 excavation, as well as the recent wānanga and a historic cruise of the Bay of Islands which was open to the public – all part of the wider Mangahawea project. 

“In terms of fostering engagement with the public and archaeology the project has been a major success, quite apart from the archaeological significance of the work that was undertaken, which would never have happened without the Trust’s commitment to this kaupapa,” says James.

“Archaeology, traditional history and the hard sciences are different data bases, but when combined together can create something bigger than the sum of their individual parts.” 

According to the President of the NZAA Council, Katharine Watson, the Mangahawea Bay excavation project ticked all the boxes. 

“Criteria for winning the award includes making a contribution towards the identification, protection and preservation of archaeological sites; the enhancement of public awareness, enjoyment of and education about archaeology; and the strengthening of the relationship between Maori and the archaeological community,” she says. 

“The programme led by the Arakite Trust engaged the interest of hundreds of people who visited the site over the two-week excavation, as well as thousands of New Zealanders who learned about the excavation through extensive media coverage, which included national radio, television and press. 

“Historic Williams Shed a drawcard for visitors” HNZPT Media Release.

Image: HNZPT

Historic Williams Shed a drawcard for visitors

An unassuming stone shed dating back to the 1880s is proving to be a drawcard for visitors to Paihia. 

The Williams Shed, which sits within the historic Williams Homestead precinct, is making a name for itself as one of the country’s smallest – and perhaps most unlikely – museums.

“The shed is Paihia’s oldest surviving building, and had been languishing for years. It’s now a fully functioning part of the Williams House reserve in the heart of Paihia,” says Marg Civil, who is a Friends of the Williams House committee member.

“The shed has gone from being a bit of an eye-sore to being an attraction in its own right.”

Built from locally sourced brown rock – not known for its durability – the shed survived for over a hundred years thanks to an exceptionally good plastering job. 

After vandals damaged the historic shed in 2004, the Friends of the Williams House began a project to conserve and restore this original feature of the property that was settled by Church Missionary Society missionaries, Henry and Marianne Williams. The project was completed at the end of 2006. 

“More recently, the Friends commissioned Workshop E to design and construct a display facility within the stone shed to showcase its various uses over the years,” she says. 

The result has been the development of an innovative conservation and display solution for a number of artefacts related to the Williams family at Paihia. 

“You really couldn’t come up with a bigger challenge than displaying historic artefacts in a shed made from porous stone,” says Heritage New Zealand’s Northland Manager, Bill Edwards. 

“It’s cold and damp for a start – all the things you don’t want in an environment where artefacts are stored.” 

The solution developed by the Friends and Workshop E, however, is “nothing short of brilliant” according to Bill. 

“The large display cabinet in the middle of the shed is independently climate controlled and provides a secure way to display the artefacts in a way that is attractive and accessible,” he says. 

Kate Sheppard House Purchased By The N.Z. Govt.

Kate Sheppard House (Source HNZPT List)

"This Christchurch home was where Kate Sheppard and suffragist supporters spent much time working towards New Zealand becoming the first self-governing country in the world to grant women the vote.  It was here that the 270-metre petition was pasted together before being presented to Parliament."

The following is the media Release by Heritage New Zealand Pouhere Taonga announcing the purchase.

Kate Sheppard House purchase delights

19/09/2019

Heritage New Zealand Pouhere Taonga and the University of Canterbury (UC) are delighted with the Government purchase of theCategory 1 listed Kate Sheppard House in Christchurch, as announced by Greater Christchurch Regeneration Minister Megan Woods today.

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“Revamped digital library of archaeological reports launched” HNZTP Media Release

" ....The revamp of the library has made it more accessible, speedy, modern, and user-friendly. Perhaps the biggest change is that users can now download the reports themselves instead of emailing to request the reports they wanted. ..."

" ... The online library will be accessible to anybody who has access to the internet around New Zealand and the world, and the information will be available 24/7 – potentially a valuable tool in protecting archaeological sites.

Users of the digital library can search reports by keyword – including geographical location – as well as other filters like report date, author, iwi, year published and territorial local authority. ..."

Media Release as follows:

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Bishop’s decision to demolish the Basilica, the Cathedral of the Blessed Sacrament, Christchurch- Historic Places Canterbury Media Release

Historic Places Canterbury Media Release: 

5thAugust  2019

Bishop’s decision to demolish the Basilica, the Cathedral of the Blessed Sacrament, Christchurch-

Mark Gerrard Chair of Historic Places Canterbury:

“Historic Places Canterbury is very disappointed to hear that Bishop Martin has chosen to demolish one of our finest neo-Classical Buildings.”

“The Basilica is one of New Zealand’s most iconic and beautiful neo-classical buildings.”

“George Bernard Shaw preferred the Cathedral of the Blessed Sacrament, Christchurch to our Christ Church Cathedral.”

“Historic Places Canterbury is surprised the Bishop appears to have lost faith in the cost of restoration of this unique beautiful heritage building”

“The Cathedral of the Blessed Sacrament, Christchurch has for many generations been a beacon of faith and inspiration. Today we are left with the impression that cost and location are more important considerations.”

"Christchurch has lost many special heritage buildings under the CERA Section 38. CERA’s legacy still lives as it is being used to demolish a heritage building and bypass the RMA. "

Mark Gerrard
Chair Historic Places Canterbury

“Hon. Marian Hobbs appointed Heritage New Zealand Board Chair” HNZPT Media Release

18/07/2019

Hon. Marian Hobbs
(Image HNZPT)

Heritage New Zealand Pouhere Taonga welcomes the appointment of the Hon. Marian Hobbs as its Board chair, for a three year term that ends on 30 June 2022.

Associate Minister for Arts, Culture and Heritage, Hon Grant Robertson, announced the appointment recently on behalf of the Minister for Arts, Culture and Heritage, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern.

Marian replaces the Rt Hon. Wyatt Creech who has stepped down after just over five years as Board Chair.

"This very welcome appointment as Chair of Heritage New Zealand Pouhere Taonga continues a lifelong celebration of all that is and has been Aotearoa New Zealand," Marian says.

"I always taught New Zealand literature to my students: I ensured that at least 25 percent of music played on New Zealand radio stations was New Zealand music.

"Like Wyatt, I believe that we know ourselves if we know and understand where we have come from."

Marian was a list member of Parliament from 1996 to 1999 and Member for Wellington Central from 1999 to 2008 before retiring from politics.  Prior to this she had an extensive career in education, including seven years as principal of Avonside Girls’ High School in Christchurch.  In 1993 she was awarded the New Zealand Suffrage Centennial Medal.  Today, Marian is based in Dunedin.

Heritage New Zealand Pouhere Taonga Chief Executive, Andrew Coleman, says the new appointment reflects an appreciation of the importance of heritage in the well-being of all New Zealanders and telling the story of who we are.

"Marian’s appointment will further strengthen and advance the experience, guidance and stewardship that Wyatt provided our organisation.  These are exciting times for heritage with strong Government support.  Marian brings not only a wealth of knowledge to this position but also a genuine passion for heritage and the arts."