Auckland - West

Mainly West of Queen Street - seen through my lens

Month: October 2010 (page 1 of 4)

Waitakere City — R.I.P.

Location Signs: Waitakere City

Location Signs: Waitakere City

This sign indicates where you reached Waitakere City, entering New Lynn as you come from Avondale along Great North Road, at the intersection with Portage Road. As befits the brick and clay heritage of New Lynn and other western suburbs, the letters are affixed to a modest brick wall. If you look carefully, it appears that there are marks of earlier different lettering, maybe it once said “Waitemata City”, an administrative entity formed in 1974 and making way in 1989 to another major reorganization of local bodies, when Waitakere City came into existence.

Now the hours are numbered for this great Eco-City, being amalgamated with 6 more cities and districts to form a new AUCKLAND, starting on Monday, November 1 (dubbed the “super city”, although in the controversial runup to the changes some bumper stickers proudly proclaimed that “Waitakere is already a super city”). Elections for mayor, 20 city councillors and 21 local boards were held on October 9, and now our best hopes and expectations ride on the new administration. Wish them and us luck!

In all, the new Auckland will have a population of about 1.4 million (just under a third of the population of NZ). It is made up from parts of Rodney District, Auckland City, North Shore City, Waitakere City, Manukau City, Papakura District, and parts of Franklin District.

But rather than shedding tears for the past, why not join in the celebrations this afternoon of Viva Waitakere, at Henderson Park next to the Corban Estate Arts Centre from 4 (“populated with a diverse range of activities and entertainment that capture what Waitakere is all about — bring your own friends, family, food and fun”).

The website for the new city is http://www.aucklandcouncil.govt.nz.

For more black and white images check out Dragonstar’s Weekend in Black and White.

Oystercatcher

Oystercatcher in the Evening Light

Oystercatcher in the Evening Light

An oystercatcher is about to get its feet wet as the tide comes in and the sun goes out at Piha beach.

Find more weekend reflections at James’ Newtown Area Photo.

Patterns on Glass (Miranda Brown)

Patterns on Glass (Miranda Brown)

Patterns on Glass (Miranda Brown)

New Lynn’s railway station has seen a huge transformation which is now completed: a trench has been dug to let the trains go underground, avoiding messy street crossings above. The trench is in large parts open to the sky, surrounded at street level with a wall topped with plate glass. Some of the panes have decorative patterns, designed by Miranda Brown.

Sky and clouds just happen to be there.

A Skywatch Friday photo. More Skywatch images at the Skywatch Site!

Manuka Shrub

Manuka Shrub at Top of Mercer Bay

Manuka Shrub at Top of Mercer Bay

On the Mercer Bay Loop Track we encountered this manuka shrub (leptospermum scoparium) covered in blossom. The heights above Mercer Bay are totally exposed to the weather from the west, so upright growth is not an option. But the adversity of the environment was no impediment to a profusion of flowers.

Manuka Blossom

Manuka Blossom

Mercer Bay Loop Track

Looking North

Looking North

We took advantage of the fine weather on Saturday and walked the Mercer Bay Loop Track, a beautiful walk of about one hour, halfway between Piha and Karekare. The highest cliffs of the Waitakere ranges are found here, and the breaking waves far below the viewing platform provide a spectacle for eyes and ears. The picture above shows the steep cliff face of more than 200 metres. Looking south, the eye skims the ridges, with the massive expanse of the Whatipu sands appearing in the distance on the right. Part of the loop is incorporated in the Hillary Trail.

Looking South

Looking South

Piha Labour Day Market

Colourful Flags

Colourful Flags

We were on the way to Karekare, but the sign said “Piha Market” — so a quick adjustment of our plans was in order. We arrived just minutes before it ended, but got in the spirit of shopping with gay abandon! Sadly, we missed out on ice creams — sold out! — but these girls had more luck!

A Labour weekend of splendid weather, and ample time remained for our excursion to Karekare.

Happiness is ...

Happiness is ...

Brian and Phoenix

Phoenix

Phoenix

We got talking as I took some photos of the panels in the background which grace the walls in the recently opened New Lynn railway station. From questions about whether there was a repetition pattern, how many different panels there were we got to the subject of grandparenting — Brian displayed his skills in the latter art throughout our chat. He was on his way delivering grandson Phoenix to his parents after a morning of quality time between grandfather and grandson.

(The panels will feature in a later post.)

Brian and Phoenix

Brian and Phoenix

Curves (Britomart Station)

Curves (Britomart Station)

Curves (Britomart Station)

I showed the Britomart Railway Station in Auckland City last Thursday. Here is what happens if one stares too long into the ceiling.

For more black and white images check out Dragonstar’s Weekend in Black and White.

Filtered Sunlight

Right Way Up

Right Way Up

Find more weekend reflections at James’ Newtown Area Photo.

The sun just managed to pierce the cloud cover when I visited Lower Nihotupu Dam. The lake is 100% full again, with overall water storage over all dams at 98% (compared to an average of 88% for this time of year — good news).

Upside Down

Upside Down

Three Ducks

Three Ducks at French Bay

Three Ducks at French Bay

Nature’s own sepia toning on another glorious morning at French Bay, Titirangi.

A Skywatch Friday photo. More Skywatch images at the Skywatch Site!

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