Monday, July 11, 2016

We love our volcanoes

The metropolis of Auckland sits on a vast volcanic field, which comprises over 50 separate volcanoes ranging from several hundred to several thousand years old. This network of volcanic cones provides our city with a unique history, landscape, and spectacular views. Volcanic viewshafts – areas which provide unimpeded views of the volcanic cones – were put in place in the 1970s, to protect this distinctive aspect of our cultural and environmental heritage and landscape. 


The metropolis of Auckland sits on a vast volcanic field, which comprises over 50 separate volcanoes ranging from several hundred to several thousand years old. This network of volcanic cones provides our city with a unique history, landscape, and spectacular views. Volcanic viewshafts – areas which provide unimpeded views of the volcanic cones – were put in place in the 1970s, to protect this distinctive aspect of our cultural and environmental heritage and landscape. Auckland has around 87 viewshafts, which currently cannot be blocked by the construction of buildings. However, in a recent opinion piece by the New Zealand Herald’s Brian Rudman, which you can read here, it was revealed that developers, aided by the Auckland Council, are trying to override the importance of these viewshafts and decrease their number, in order to allow construction to occur. 

We think the viewshafts should be worthy of the same protection as the volcanic cones themselves, as they are an integral aspect of our city’s landscape and history. Let us not take Auckland’s volcanoes and their unique contribution to the visual architecture of Auckland for granted!




Shop our Volcanoes Tea-towels here and our Volcanoes Cushion Covers here.

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Worth the trip - Celebrating Wood

Every year, the Auckland Festival of Photography presents fantastic exhibitions that showcase thought-provoking and inspiring work by New Zealand photographers. This year, one exhibition in particular resonated with us at Pauanesia, and we think you should definitely put it on your list of exhibitions to see during the festival. 

The Gus Fisher Gallery presents Celebrating Wood: Back to the Future, photographs by renowned New Zealand photographer Laurence Aberhart. The 42 works shown in Celebrating Wood, taken from a 42 year period (1970 to 2012), present an overview of Aberhart’s subject areas and showcase Aberhart’s interest in, and New Zealand’s rich history with, wood as a material. 


 Wood was a defining feature of nineteenth and twentieth century building and is still a familiar sight as one travels throughout rural New Zealand. Aberhart’s photographs celebrate and record the way wood has been used in building, framing, architecture and carving across the country. His photographed interiors of churches, lodges, and meeting houses capture the detail and texture of wood, and the way it has been crafted with the human touch. Although people are rare in the photographs shown in this exhibition, each photograph captures a human presence: Aberhart showcases how wood is entwined with our daily rituals, culture, history, life and death in New Zealand. 

Aberhart’s images show how wood is entrenched in our culture, history, and experience with this land. He employs a technology that reflects the timelessness of his subjects: the black and white palette, 8 by 10 inch format, and long-exposure photographs capture a by-gone era and imbue the entire exhibition with a sense of nostalgia and reflection. 



Aberhart’s photographs are accompanied by university and museum collection items, displayed in a way akin to scientific exhibits; these enhance the exploration into and history behind wood in Aotearoa. In particular, Celebrating Wood discusses the significance of kauri, and urges us to be more aware of kauri dieback

Kauri is an integral aspect of Aotearoa’s unique ecology, a remnant of Gondwana. Kauri was favoured for carving and waka: huge native trees such as kauri and totara were recognised as representatives of Tāne, the god of the forest, who separated the Sky-father and Earth-mother by standing on his head and pushing them apart. When incorporated into a dwelling or carving, the wood continued to form this link between earth and sky. With the arrival of European settlers, kauri was a prime choice for naval masts and housing. The felling of kauri for its timber and gum, for building and exporting, as well as the clearing of native forest for settlement and farm land, heavily depleted the kauri population. Today, kauri is under threat from pests, climate change, and kauri dieback – a soil-borne pathogen that was introduced in the 1950s and is slowly killing kauri across the country. 


The depletion of kauri has a huge biological and cultural cost, and the inclusion of the kauri story in Celebrating Wood serves as a sober reminder of what has already been lost. As a call to action for more widespread education and conservation to take place, in order to protect and ensure the future of this taonga tree, free Kauri Project posters are available for gallery visitors to take home. The Kauri Project was initiated in 2014, and includes Northland-based artists who have created images in response to the unique tree, its history, and the plight of the kauri dieback disease. The Kauri Project recognises and reflects on the link between kauri and ecology, science, art, culture, and mātauranga maori, and their message resonates throughout Celebrating Wood. Follow the project on facebook here.

Celebrating Wood engages with your senses, emotions, and memory: this is enhanced with the addition of Phil Dadson’s video work Kauri Rites, the soundtrack of which adds to the ambience of the gallery. This work documents an eco-performance by the Kauri Choir in two kauri forest locations. Concerned with kauri dieback and reflecting on the significance of kauri for our unique culture and heritage, Kauri Rites ties the exhibition together. 

Celebrating Wood is on until the 2nd of July. Put it on your must-see list for this weekend! 

The Gus Fisher Gallery, 74 Shortland St, Auckland city. Gallery hours: Tuesday - Friday 10am - 5pm, Saturday 12pm - 4pm. 


Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Matariki

Matariki is the Māori name for the small cluster of stars also known as the Pleiades or the Seven Sisters, in the Taurus constellation. Coming into view in the mid-winter dawn sky - usually late May or early June – the rising of Matariki and the sighting of the next new moon heralds the Māori New Year. 





Matariki means the ‘eyes of god’ (mata ariki) or ‘little eyes’ (mata riki). There are different stories surrounding the stars’ origin and significance; some say Matariki is the mother surrounded by her six daughters, Tupu-ā-nuku, Tupu-ā-rangi, Waitī, Waitā, Waipuna-ā-rangi and Ururangi, who appear to assist the sun, Te Rā, whose winter journey has left him weakened. 

Stars were once relied on to determine time, seasons, and navigation; they were a marker of continuity and reliability in a changeable world. Matariki is marker of transition, from one year to the next. Traditionally, Matariki was a time to mourn and reflect, harvest crops and plant for the coming year, as well as celebrate new beginnings. A special feature of Matariki celebrations is the flying of kites (pākau), which were thought to get close to the stars. 


Our print that celebrates Matariki. Find the tea towel here.


Today, Matariki offers an opportunity to revel and give respect to our unique country, landscape, and culture. This year, Matariki began on the 6th of June. The stars of Matariki can be found between 5:30am and 6:30am, low on the horizon in the north-east. Visit the Te Ara website to see a great beginners guide to finding Matariki. 

The rising of the Matariki star cluster heralds in a month of celebration across Aotearoa. This year, there are more than 100 events across Auckland. The 2016 Matariki Festival runs from the 18 June – 17 July. Visit the festival website to see what’s on in your area. 

Matariki celebrations were prevalent before the arrival of Europeans in New Zealand, but dwindled in popularity into the 20th century. At the beginning of the 21st century, Matariki festivals and celebrations were revived, and have become increasingly popular each year. Matariki is something we at Pauanesia take pride in, and love to support and celebrate. 

Happy New Year from Pauanesia! 

Sunday, May 8, 2016

Pauanesia and Kiwis for Kiwi


The kiwi is synonymous with our national identity. A rare and unique bird, kiwi are still facing a precarious future in Aotearoa. Predators such as dogs, rats, and stoats threaten the naturally flightless birds’ habitat, eggs, and young. Threat of extinction is real, and here at Pauanesia that is a future we do not want to see!

That is why we are supporting the independent charity Kiwis for Kiwi. Officially launched in 2012, Kiwis for Kiwi provides funding and support for conservation organisations and community groups dedicated to increasing kiwi numbers, protecting kiwi populations from predators, and restoring the kiwi’s natural habitat.


The newest addition to our kiwi bird crew are our Surfer Dudes and Bikini Chicks, complete with one-of-a-kind hand stitched bikinis by Auckland artist Rosie Coker. $10 from every sale goes to the Kiwis for Kiwi charity, so they can continue their amazing work.







Kiwis for Kiwi are on a mission: they want kiwis to survive and thrive. We at Pauanesia are equally passionate about ensuring kiwi flourish forever, and we are proud to be supporting Kiwis for Kiwi with their aim. Like Kiwis for Kiwi, we can’t imagine an Aotearoa without this beautiful bird. If you would like to purchase one of our kiwis and, by doing so, help Kiwis for Kiwi, pop into our High Street store or onto our website. But you’ll have to be quick – these snazzy birds are quickly surfing out the door!






Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Kaharoa Kōkako Trust

Each year the team at Pauanesia donate a percentage of our sales to local charities. Last year our $500 donation to the Kaharoa Kōkako Trust enabled them to purchase 3 new stoat traps which have already been put to good use! We also made donations to Kākāpō Recovery.


The Kaharoa Kōkako Trust was formed in 1997 by a group of local residents who wanted to save and support the few kōkako that remained in their area. Their focus has been reducing the number of possums and ship rats in the Kaharoa Conservation Area and their hard work has enabled kōkako numbers to grow. There are now 173 territorial kōkako, comprising 77 pairs and 19 single territory holders. The work is labour-intensive and is carried out by groups of dedicated volunteers.

The increasing number of kōkako at Kaharoa is living proof of how the community can play a vital role in enhancing the environment. We are so thankful for their work.



A little about the kōkako.
The North Island kōkako, identified by their blue wattle, slate grey plumage and black mask, are only found in New Zealand. Sadly our South Island kōkako, with their distinctive orange wattle, are presumed to be extinct.

Kōkako have a beautiful, clear, organ-like song, which you can listen to on the Trust's website, here. Their song can carry for kilometres and different populations in different parts of the North Island have distinctly different songs. Breeding pairs sing together in a bell-like duet for up to an hour in the early morning.

The kōkako are poor fliers and they seldom fly for more than 100 metres. The bird prefers to hop and leap from branch to branch on its powerful legs or glide longer distances. Māori legend has it that the kōkako's long, lean legs were a gift from Maui after the bird filled its wattles with water to quench Maui's thirst as he fought the sun.

You can keep up to date with the Trust via their facebook page here or find out how you can support their mission too, here.


Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Window shopping

Here's a little peak at our window this week!

We've packed it with all the goodies discounted in our sale. Find all the specials here.








 

Sunday, March 20, 2016

Great Barrier Island


Kia Ora! Archie the Kiwi here, writing to tell you about my recent trip to the beautiful Aotea, or Great Barrier Island.

Great Barrier Island is a short 30 minute flight away from Auckland, but a world away from the frantic city bustle. You can also take a stunning four-hour ferry journey across the Hauraki Gulf to Tryphena Harbour. Stock up on your food supplies in Tryphena at the Stonewall Store, or visit Claris Texas Café – I recommend their coffee and homemade pies! Angsana Thai Restaurant also has a tasty Thai buffet, perfect for refueling after a busy day exploring.






There’s no public transport on the island, but you can take your car on the ferry, hire a car when you get there, or do as I did and have a friendly local show you around! Steve from Go Great Barrier Island was the best host – he shared the island’s stories, pointed out the highlights, and fascinated me with facts about the history of Great Barrier Island – did you know that the island broke off the tip of the Coromandel Peninsula, which is about 12 km south? Steve’s insight certainly made the island come alive. You can find Steve’s website here.

As I wandered around Whangaparapara Harbour, I could hear the Kōtare’s (Kingfisher) welcoming song. Great Barrier Island has beautiful beaches, harbours, and estuaries, perfect for relaxing and exploring. Swimming, surfing, fishing, diving and snorkeling opportunities abound in and around the island’s isolated surroundings. Hooked on Barrier’s fishing, diving and sightseeing charters are one way to explore the island’s breathtaking views and pristine waters – check out their website here.

The island is also home to native birds we don’t see in mainland Auckland – my friends the Kākā, Pāteke (brown teal), Kākāriki and Taiko (black petrel) are all Great Barrier residents. There is even an Australian Spoonbill who has wandered off course but keeps the company of the native shags, obviously enjoying his island stay too much to leave!







Great Barrier Island is free from nasty pests like possum, stoats, and weasels – as such, the island is a haven for native birds and plant life. Kānuka and Mānuka dominate, with Mānuka honey and natural Mānuka remedies thriving as local businesses. One to check out is Sven’s Island – you can access their website here.

Puriri, Kauri and Tairere are also beginning to re-emerge after being plundered over 150 years ago – the “boom and bust” industries of logging, mining and whaling, now long gone, have left a trace still visible on the island. Over time, more and more of the island has been placed under the auspices of the Department of Conservation, which further protects our native flora and fauna.

Great Barrier Island also has great walking tracks that meander through the bush and cater for all ages and fitness levels – Mount Hobson has the best views, but alas my wee legs were too small to scale this hike! I heard one walk on the island has a hot pool you can soak your feet in before wandering back – bliss!

Aren’t us Aucklanders lucky to have a paradise like Great Barrier Island in our backyard!

Until next time,
Archie

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