Zealandia is a sanctuary with a difference: it has a vision for 500 years – its goal, to restore this Wellington valley to its pre- human state. It’s twenty years into the plan!
Only minutes from the centre of New Zealand’s capital, and parliament buildings, it’s a great place to spend a few hours, a day or, take an evening guided walk to check out New Zealand wildlife flora and fauna. I spent a couple of hours there 2 days ago and here just a few of the many photos I took. (search in this blog for other Zealandia posts I’ve written)
Christchurch in particular is proud that local woman, Kate Sheppard, was the leader and figurehead of the suffrage movement that resulted in a petition that ensured all New Zealand woman were able to vote from 1893.
New Zealand is the first country in the world to give women the vote: married, single, migrant, indigenous, poor, rich, with or without land, working or not – all women were able to vote with the passing of the 1893 Electoral Bill.
Notice we kiwi did not use the word ‘suffragettes’ as we’d the vote some twenty years before that term was coined!
Born to Scottish parents, Kate came to New Zealand in 1868 with her widowed mother, and New Zealand honours her by having her image on our ten-dollar note.
Every Suffrage Day, 19th September, a few women gather at the Christchurch memorial panel to pay tribute to all those wonderful women by placing white camellias and purple balloons on this inner city sculpture. Note this is at the corner of Worcester Boulevard & Cambridge Terrace – although with post-quake (2010/11) plans it may be moved.
A punk rock musical about her struggles with the Prime Minister (Seddon) has recently been performed at the Christchurch Festival .. called That Bloody Woman, it had good reviews so I look forward to seeing it soon – apparently some were initially ‘shocked at the opening scenes’ when her sexual behaviour was exposed but ‘this quickly abated as the story developed’ I was told.
The memorial was unveiled in 1993, the 100th anniversary of this historic event. It has six women on it with Kate Sheppard holding the petition in a wheelbarrow which is how the petition was delivered to the steps of Parliament in Wellington. The side panels show women in typical everyday (1893) settings – gathering shellfish, teaching, factory sewing, farming, caring for families and nursing. These are flanked by bronze panels telling the New Zealand suffrage story.
Here are more pictures about one of our favourite kiwi women.
Wellington Writers Walkway . . . spread along the Wellington waterfront, a stroll along it is a great artistic, historical, and literary way to spend an enjoyable couple of hours in New Zealand’s capital city.
Brochures that lead you around them are available at the local iSite in Civic Square – the link above has a map and here’s link to the Writers Walkway FaceBook Page
With ‘quotations from 23 authors, past and contemporary, including poets, novelists, and playwrights the walk celebrates the place of Wellington in these writers’ lives’. and their place in the life of Wellington. It also introduces New Zealand literature to a wider public, and in particular, tourists and visitors. I heard cruise ship passengers discussing buying a NZ book and I’m sure without this great addition to our public art they would not have known about the author whose quote they were photographing.
Shaolin Monks from the home of the popular (in the West) Zen Buddhism in China, were recently in Wellington New Zealand for the World of Wearable Art (WOW) and gave some public displays. I attended this one on the Wellington waterfront.
For much of my time in the city it’ been covered with scaffolding and red material – making it very easy to spot my place when I flew in or out of Wellington Airport. Restored and quake-proofed, that has now been removed and by April 25th 2015 (ANZAC day) a new park will spread out in front of it – completing the dreams of the earlier designers.
Pukeahu National War Memorial Park will soon be built on the Mt Cook Hill (Pukeahu) where a ‘cut and cover trench’ has been created and it’s on top of this ‘tunnel’ that the green space and parade ground will be created.See more photos here
A historical area of Wellington, the hill was a major military space and the Army Reserves, and the Navy still have a presence here: many 1800 artefacts were found during the excavation.
Arras Tunnel opened 5 weeks ahead of schedule (29th Sept. 2015) and I attended the official opening and, along with many other Wellingtonians, walked through its 130 metres.
The name comes from the 1916 wartime work of some 300 New Zealand miners in the French town of the same name. Some 4,300 metres of tunnels were dug, but it wasn’t until the 1990s that the tunnels were rediscovered.
A museum, La Carriere Wellington, providing access to the tunnels opened in Arras in 2008. So Wellington New Zealand and Arras, France are really connected by tunnels!
Local children wait to cut the ribbon
Facts and figures
273 poppies line the walls
A Maori blessing (Ormsby) before the speeches
I check out the progress during the year
An old gun pit is uncovered
Carillion is all wrapped up
1880s 8-inch retractable Armstrong gun pit
Wellingtonians explore the tunnel. Brick building is an old Navy base ( bricks made from an old quarry that’s now my carpark)
Not long before grass will grow here .. a nice park for me to use