June 4, 2015 … Te Upoko o te Ika a Maui

People who choose to  live somewhere are often more fervent in their support than those who were born there.

Northland

From the suburb of Northland looking South

I am a Wellingtonian by choice, and I proudly claim it as my city, my home. I am not referring to the municipality, the political entity, but rather to the geographic location. Maori mythology has it that the North Island is the great fish which the great explorer Maui pulled from the sea while fishing from his great waka or canoe, the South Island.  The North Island is “Te Ika a Maui” , or Maui’s fish. Wellington is “Te Upoko o te Ika a Maui“, or the head of Maui’s fish. If you look at the map, you can see it with the harbour as the mouth of the fish. Around the harbour are steep bush-clad hills, and I love to get to those high places to enjoy the views.

CBD

Central city patterns.

It is fashionable to decry modern architecture as cubes of glass and steel, but as I look down on the central city I see a wonderful array of contrasting shapes, textures and colours. I like cityscapes.

View

If you are looking to build a house with a view this would be a great place to do it

Yesterday I found a residential street very high above the city and there was a unique and possibly short-lived opportunity to enjoy the view. An empty piece of land is for sale, and it has the proverbial million dollar view. I stitched eight shots to create this panorama so please click to enlarge it for best effect.

Avalon

The former Avalon Studios always make me think of a Dalek

I had a parcel to deliver to a friend in the upper valley, so on the way home I found myself in Avalon, a suburb of Lower Hutt. The main feature of Avalon is the tower block which was once the headquarters of TVNZ before they sold their soul and relocated to Auckland. I am never sure why they chose to build it there, as it is obviously out of place in town-planning terms, planted like some great alien invader in the midst of suburbia. But the Autumn colours caught my eye.

That’s all today.

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About wysiwygpurple

I am a family man, a passionate amateur photographer and a retired academic . What's the purpose of this blog? Well in the first instance it provides me with a platform from which to resume writing, an activity I greatly enjoy. What will the blog be about? Anything that takes my fancy but it is likely to arise from things I see and experience, in my family, in my travels, or anything else I feel like. Each daily post will contain one or more images made the previous day. Sometimes the image will illustrate the points made in the prose, and sometimes the prose will attempt to interpret the image. What kind of images will they be? Always safe for work and family. Usually they will be representational, and sometimes they will be impressionistic or experimental.
This entry was posted in Architecture, Avalon, Landscapes, Weather, Wellington. Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to June 4, 2015 … Te Upoko o te Ika a Maui

  1. John Titchener says:

    What has always intrigued me about this story is that this name, “Te-Upoko-o-te-ika-a-Maui”, long pre-dates contact with Europeans. So Maori had been aware of the shape of what we now call the North Island, for hundreds of years; and sufficiently aware, to call this harbour, “The Mouth of the Fish”. Without benefit of maps, or written materials of any kind. Amazing!!!

  2. DennisW says:

    I can very much relate to that feeling. In 1967 my job offered the opportunity to relocate to Texas. I fell in love with the place, warts and all. Friends would ask what is was, specifically, that caused that feeling and I had to fall back on the unsatisfactory, but totally accurate explanation, that “Texas is a state if mind”. In a similar way NZ became, after a short vacation in 1989, my second favorite place on Earth. In 2013, for excellent reasons, we moved to Illinois, which is ok (intentionally not capitalized ), but it’s not Texas…or NZ. 😉

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