Storm aftermath

July 3rd, 2013 at 1:00 pm by David Farrar

Went up Te Ahumairangi (Tinakori) Hill this morning for the first time since the storm. I think there were some signs up saying the tracks were impassable. This wasn’t quite the case, but it did involve a fair amount of climbing, on squeezing under fallen trees.


Fairly easy over that one.


Under that one.


The dog went under that one, and we went over it!


This was very thick to get through.


Under and over these ones coming up.



And the main Northern Walkway route has basically a trail of destruction on it towards the end.

Te Ahumairangi Hill Lookout

March 28th, 2012 at 4:00 pm by David Farrar

Even though I go up Te Ahumairangi Hill (was Tinakori Hill) a lot, I was actually blissfully unaware that in 2010 an official lookout was opened. I tend to be around the Thorndon end, more than the Northland end.

This is the lookout itself. You can get to it from Orangi Kaupapa Road. Either a steep but short walk up from the road, or if really lazy you can drive up to it. Alternatively you can walk along the Ridgeline track and then head down to it. And you can climb up to it from Tinakori Road or Glenmore Street.

A nice view of the city from over the bush.

This is from Stellin Memorial Park, which is a bit below and to the south of the lookout. A nice grass area for a picnic, and a great view.

A close up of the city and harbour.

As I was in Northland, I drove over the back route to Brooklyn and checked out the war memorial which I had been meaning to look at for ages.

Not too bad a view from Brooklyn either.

Why is it there and what is it?

November 14th, 2011 at 3:40 pm by David Farrar

Went for a walk along the ridgeline of Tinakori Hill today. Magnificent views, and very enjoyable on a hot sunny day like today.

Everytime I go up there and I look at the above structure and wonder what the hell was it meant to be, and why is it up there. Sometimes I think it looks like a basketball scoreboard. At other times I think it is the back of a hoarding. Others, maybe it could be a screen for a drive-in movie.

However it is on top of a hill with no vehicle access and stuff all passer-bys. Why would you have it there?

Someone out there I reckon knows what it is, and the history of it. If you do, please leave a comment.

Oh yes, and could the owner please clean the graffiti off it.

UPDATE: Thanks to some smart readers, the mystery has been solved. It is a passive microwave repeater. I would have never guessed that due to the lack of electronics or electricity to it, but of course it doesn’t need any.



May 26th, 2009 at 1:00 pm by David Farrar

I live in Thorndon. Wonderful place to live. I recall a few months ago a glossy brochure from the Council on how they wanted to help protect Thorndon heritage and protect some homes. It all sounded wonderful.

The nice glossy brochure forgot to mention that:

The council’s preferred heritage proposal would prevent Thorndon residents changing the exteriors of their homes without resource consent, including adding items such as skylights, decks or extra windows, which did not previously need consent.

It may even stop you changing your letterbox I am told!

Public law specialist Chen Palmer criticised the council saying:

It gave “insufficient information” about how current rules were working and did not justify why the proposed changes were necessary.

Its heritage planner had been “unwilling or unable” to discuss other options when asked to.

Oral and written consultation misled people about the impact of the changes.

Too bloody right. I don’t still have the glossy pamphlet but did not gain that impression at all.

Thorndon Residents Association spokeswoman Jo Freeman said many residents favoured a compromise. “As long as it doesn’t affect the streetscape you should be allowed to do whatever you want at the back or the side of your house.”

More red tape could lead to residents, already frustrated by stalled resource consents, abandoning the suburb, she said.

“I’ve had a number of people say, `If it comes in, we will move. We can’t live in our houses with our families the way they are now.’ It could result in a sort of a ghetto in Thorndon.”

Architect and Thorndon resident Roger Walker said he expected any heritage area decision to be challenged in court. In Auckland, blanket rules against demolishing pre-1940 houses in suburbs such as Remuera and Ponsonby were relaxed after a challenge by residents.

The Council is proposing actual zones, rather than identifying individual houses of significant heritage. And we see below what a nightmare they can be:

A Thorndon mother, fighting for two years to restore an 1883 home, says it highlights the pitfalls of protection.

She and her husband bought the house five years ago and plan to revamp it. “It won’t be that modern. We want people to walk into the house … to believe it’s always been like that. We’re just trying to drag it into the 21st century.”

The roof leaks, walls are not insulated, water drips from the bathroom to the kitchen, and light switches “sizzle”. Wellington City Council put a heritage listing on the house two years ago, preventing alterations to the outside till heritage planners approved them.

“It’s emotionally draining. We’ve had to compromise … to the point where the pleasure in doing up the house is gone.”

Delays have been frustrating but the council has charged only the initial resource consent fee. There is also a council heritage fund that can pay for some work.

However, the couple say council planners were inconsistent and delays had cost up to $100,000.

“When we tried to revert the windows to their original 1883 look, one heritage adviser said that would be no problem, but then another came along and … insisted that we keep the 1930s windows.”

They wanted to add windows, and were told they must be different from existing ones.

You can only feel sorry for them.