Saturday, March 7, 2015

Thames (NZ): THe House of Hotunui revisited 1880

I have often looked at the photo featured here and just acknowledged that the House of Hotunui was in the distance but that there was nothing else to see apart from the front gardens. High resolution scans have meant that this is far from the truth and yet again a wealth of information can be found on a SECOND LOOK.

The Description given for the photo reads: "View from Shortland (also known as Thames), looking towards Parawai, showing Colonel Wirope Hoterini Taipari's meeting house, Hotonui (completed 1878) at right centre. Photograph taken in 1880 by Daniel Manders Beere."
View from Shortland, looking towards Parawai. Beere, Daniel Manders, 1833-1909 :Negatives of New Zealand and Australia. Ref: 1/2-096137-G. Alexander Turnbull Library, Wellington, New Zealand. http://natlib.govt.nz/records/23047558
 
In the foreground of the photo is the area that today is housing and occupied by Thames South School. In this photo is this the large garden area associated with the old Kauaeranga Pa, a place where the reported Kumera and other crops would have been grown.
 
HOUSING: To the left of the photo is what looks like a shack, on closer look there is even an outhouse like structure, but given this looks like a garden then maybe it is just an implement shed?. Note that the fence completely surrounds this garden area.
Moving closer to the meeting house, the hills in the background of Parawai are a marked contrast to that of Shortland and Grahamstown - which would at this time be ravaged by the effects of mining. The land appears farmed and in set paddocks. No shortage of fencing here!  Also the houses are substantial compared to the miners huts in the northerly parts of the Thames. The rich folk lived at Parawai!!!
 
HOUSE of HOTUNUI: A closer look at the meeting house, located near the corner of Bowen (later Rolleston Street) and Fenton Street. Later in the 1920s this would be moved to the Auckland War Memorial Museum, where it resides today and it is the centrepiece of their Maori cultural display area.
 


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