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Showing posts from October, 2019

Resilience: The Auckland Māori Community Centre

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The Māori Community Centre, set up in 1947, was an important component in the reestablishment of Ngāti Whātua Ōrākei’s community identity. During a period of significant upheaval and devastation for Ngāti Whātua, the Centre provided space for a temporary Marae and supported the process of rebuilding within the hapū. In understanding the role the Māori Community Centre played for Ngāti Whātua Ōrākei, it is necessary to outline the trials faced by the hapū in the early-to-mid twentieth century. In particular, the encroachment of urban sprawl onto Ngāti Whātua Ōrākei’s land set in motion a series of devastating events, cumulating in the destruction of Ngāti Whātua Ōrākei’s marae.


At the beginning of the twentieth century, there were two key events that negatively impacted Ngāti Whātua. In the first instance, the increasing urban population of Auckland required extensive public works to be carried out in order to install and update urban utilities. While objected to by Ngāti Whātua in 190…

Louis Chevrolet, car designer and racing driver

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Louis Chevrolet was born on 25 December 1878 in Neuchâtel, Switzerland. He began his working life making bicycles but soon became fascinated by the fledgling automobile industry. In 1900 he emigrated to Montreal in Canada, where he worked as a chauffeur and mechanic. Then in 1901 he moved to New York and began working for the Brooklyn agency of the French car manufacturer, De Dion-Bouton.

Chevrolet was soon driving in auto races; and thus began his career as a racing driver. His enduring international racing car legacy is shown in a series of colour photographs taken at Pukekohe racetrack during the 1973, 1974 and 1975 New Zealand Grand Prix by motor-racing enthusiast, auto-journalist/photographer (and mobile librarian) Gerard Richards. Gerard remembers that ‘the main race at these meetings was for Chevrolet V8 powered single seaters for the coveted New Zealand Grand Prix title’, featuring F5000 cars like Chris Amon’s Talon Chevrolet single seater, although there were also support rac…