Ramblings of a much published New Zealand author

31 July 2009

Country Churches of NZ 44. St.John the Evangelist, Te Karaka and St.Paul’s, Motu

I wrote and illustrated Country Churches of New Zealand. It was published in 2002 by New Holland, Publishers and is still on sale in bookshops. The publishers have kindly agreed to me re-publishing some of the book’s images and descriptions in this blog.



ST JOHN THE EVANGELIST, TE KARAKA and


ST PAUL’S, MOTU
I made a long detour in search of two churches on the road between Gisborne and Opotiki.
The first was St John the Evangelist at Te Karaka, a small town that has been cast aside by re-alignment of the highway. The church is unexceptional except for its nicely proportioned belfry.

Well beyond Te Karaka I took the road that turns north at Matawai and followed the course of the Motu River until, well into the slopes of the Raukumara Ranges, I found St Paul’s, a four-square handsome church picturesquely placed against a forest backdrop.

It was built about 1922 by ‘The Fisher Boys’ and painted by local men. It was the first of a number of churches in this book to have been designed by the notable architect, Frederick de Jersey Clere. The son of an Anglican clergyman, he was born in Lancashire in 1856. He came to New Zealand in 1877 and in 1883 was appointed Diocesan Architect of the Anglican Church. Pre-eminent in church design, he died in 1952.

© DON DONOVAN

donovan@ihug.co.nz
.

Country Churches of NZ 43. Matawhero Church, Gisborne

I wrote and illustrated Country Churches of New Zealand. It was published in 2002 by New Holland, Publishers and is still on sale in bookshops. The publishers have kindly agreed to me re-publishing some of the book’s images and descriptions in this blog.

MATAWHERO CHURCH, GISBORNE
Matawhero Presbyterian Church has such a rich history that I could sense old spirits as I sat painting in the small, still churchyard.

It was built as a schoolroom in 1865, reputedly by Captain G E Read. Before the Presbyterians took it over in 1872, it had served also as an Anglican church and a hospital during the Hau Hau battles of 1868.

It was the centre of an army encampment in March 1870 and was the only building in the area to survive the Poverty Bay massacre by Te Kooti and his followers in the early hours of 10 November 1868.

Transeptal porches were added in 1880 and a rear porch in 1901 when the kauri shingle roof was replaced with iron. The bell tower was erected and the bell hung in 1904.

© DON DONOVAN 

donovan@ihug.co.nz
.

Country Churches of NZ 42. St.Abraham’s, Waipiro Bay

I wrote and illustrated Country Churches of New Zealand. It was published in 2002 by New Holland, Publishers and is still on sale in bookshops. The publishers have kindly agreed to me re-publishing some of the book’s images and descriptions in this blog.



ST. ABRAHAM’S, WAIPIRO BAY
Wharfless Waipiro Bay was once a thriving community with a buoyant economy based on farming whose produce - meat, fleeces, etc - were taken by lighters to anchored ships.

St Abraham’s, which the Historic Places Trust lists as a memorial church, has three honours boards and was built six years after the end of World War 1. It is substantial but severe in plain brick and tile with raw brick for a nave.

None of the mullion-type lattice windows are coloured or stained. A large bell lies on the floor by the north door.
The foundation stone was laid by:
‘Rt Rev Bishop William Walmsley D.D., Bishop of Waiapu, April 11, 1924,
Pine Tamahori, Mission Priest; John Pigott, Vicar’.

© DON DONOVAN

donovan@ihug.co.nz
.

Country Churches of NZ 41. St. Andrew’s, Tolaga Bay, Eastland

I wrote and illustrated Country Churches of New Zealand. It was published in 2002 by New Holland, Publishers and is still on sale in bookshops. The publishers have kindly agreed to me re-publishing some of the book’s images and descriptions in this blog.



ST ANDREW’S, TOLAGA BAY
I especially liked the way somebody has picked out the detail of the west gable in Disneyland colours. Otherwise St Andrew’s, Tolaga Bay, built in 1913, is an unassuming Anglican church standing in a row of ordinary houses.

Through the magic of artist’s licence I have omitted an ugly concrete power pole that stands in front of the church, placed there by an insensitive electricity company.

© DON DONOVAN 
 
donovan@ihug.co.nz
.

Country Churches of NZ 40. St. Matthew’s, Tuparoa, East Cape

I wrote and illustrated Country Churches of New Zealand. It was published in 2002 by New Holland, Publishers and is still on sale in bookshops. The publishers have kindly agreed to me re-publishing some of the book’s images and descriptions in this blog.



ST. MATTHEW’S, TUPAROA
St Matthew’s lies eastwards from Ruatoria at the end of a winding road the last part of which fords and re-fords a small stream.

The isolated church sits on hills behind the beach, its east window looking out over a glittering sea. On the still, bright day of my pilgrimage it rose up proudly from a bed of dry summer grasses.

It’s at its best at a distance, for close up it shows its age - one of its wooden buttresses had fallen away completely on the north side. It was locked; heaven only knows why. Churches were once sanctuaries…

© DON DONOVAN

donovan@ihug.co.nz
.

Country Churches of NZ 39. St. John's, Rangitukia, East Cape

I wrote and illustrated Country Churches of New Zealand. It was published in 2002 by New Holland, Publishers and is still on sale in bookshops. The publishers have kindly agreed to me re-publishing some of the book’s images and descriptions in this blog.



ST JOHN'S, RANGITUKIA

The angel points at St John's, Rangitukia, as if to say, 'Care for that church.'

I certainly found it in need of repair. A simple structure, built in 1900, the inside was lined with tired particle board but its ceiling is original white wood and rafters. The windows all have striking colour panels: vivid reds, duck egg blues, pale peach, orange, light blue, acid lemon-green and dark blue - Mondrian rectangles!

A local couple told me that the community was about to have a meeting to decide whether to keep it and do it up or demolish and replace it - I hope they have saved it.

I was intrigued by an eroded tombstone that lies half hidden in bushes beside the sanctuary. It honours a ‘missionary’ who started his New Zealand ministry in Nelson Province but who was sent to the East Coast in 1847 only to die in harness a year later.

The stone was commissioned by his widow and sent from England to the colony where it disappeared, only to turn up in an Auckland garden 50 years later. Thereafter it found its way to Rangitukia.
THE INSCRIPTION READS:
'Here lies all that could die of
The Reverend Charles Lucas Reay
Formerly of Queen's College, Oxford, B.A.
and Vicar of Swanbourne Bucks
in England
He was an Israelite indeed in whom
there was no guile
Learned and brave yet mild as a child
a fond husband and tender parent
A faithful friend.
In obedience to the commands of
His great master
To go forth and preach the Gospel among all nations
He left
A Christian home and Christian friends
And here borne down by the weight of his labour
In the Lord's Vineyard,
He sunk to rest March 31st 1848. Aged 38.
In the hope and faith of a joyful resurrection.
A volume would not tell his many virtues,
But this stone
Is erected to his memory
By his widow.'
© DON DONOVAN

donovan@ihug.co.nz
.



Country Churches of NZ 38. De-consecrated Roman Catholic Church, Waihau Bay, Bay of Plenty

I wrote and illustrated Country Churches of New Zealand. It was published in 2002 by New Holland, Publishers and is still on sale in bookshops. The publishers have kindly agreed to me re-publishing some of the book’s images and descriptions in this blog.


DECONSECRATED ROMAN CATHOLIC CHURCH,
WAIHAU BAY

A little to the west of Raukokore, near Waihau Bay, an old, de-consecrated Roman Catholic church is notorious for having been raided by the police and found to house a large cache of cannabis. News of this event appeared in the New Zealand Herald under the headline: 'Holy smoke - what a bumper haul'.

© DON DONOVAN

donovan@ihug.co.nz
.

Country Churches of NZ 37. Christ Church, Raukokore, Bay of Plenty

I wrote and illustrated Country Churches of New Zealand. It was published in 2002 by New Holland, Publishers and is still on sale in bookshops. The publishers have kindly agreed to me re-publishing some of the book’s images and descriptions in this blog.


CHRIST CHURCH, RAUKOKORE

To see at a distance elegant Christ Church, Raukokore, with its attendant twin Norfolk pines against a sparkling Bay of Plenty was one of the delights of travelling the coast road from Opotiki to East Cape.

Alas, no more - the pines, diseased, were felled on 3 August 2001. I have kept my earlier illustration because of the unique combination of trees and church.

Christ Church was designed and built by Duncan Stirling. Well kept, it is also well used, not only by its Anglican parishioners but also by an odoriferous shuffle of penguins that live beneath its floor.

© DON DONOVAN

donovan@ihug.co.nz
.

30 July 2009

Country Churches of NZ 36. Hiona St. Stephen the Martyr, Opotiki

I wrote and illustrated Country Churches of New Zealand. It was published in 2002 by New Holland, Publishers and is still on sale in bookshops. The publishers have kindly agreed to me re-publishing some of the book’s images and descriptions in this blog.


HIONA/ST.STEPHEN THE MARTYR, OPOTIKI

The church of St. Stephen the Martyr is notorious as the location for the murder and decapitation of Reverend Carl Sylvius Volkner (responsible for its completion in 1864).
Volkner, believed by many Maori to be a government spy, offended not only many of the local Whakatohea tribe but also Kereopa, leader of a faction of out-of-town Hau Hau militants, to such extent that he was lynched.

In 1866 a local chief, Mokomoko, was hanged with others for the murder but was pardoned in 1992 in the first of a number of reconciliatory gestures by the government toward the tribe in the wake of which the church and its grounds have been refreshed and the name of the church changed to its original – Hiona, the Maori rendering of Zion.

© DON DONOVAN

donovan@ihug.co.nz
.

Country Churches of NZ 35. St. Thomas's, Maketu

I wrote and illustrated Country Churches of New Zealand. It was published in 2002 by New Holland, Publishers and is still on sale in bookshops. The publishers have kindly agreed to me re-publishing some of the book’s images and descriptions in this blog.
ST. THOMAS'S, MAKETU

On one of the hottest days of the year I sat under a tree sipping picnic tea and contemplating the urn-topped monument presented by the colonial government in memory of their loyal servant chief Winiata Pekanui Tohi Te Ururangi who died repelling an attack by East Coast tribes in April 1864.

He'd earlier had a blazing row with another chief, Te Amohau, over two stones which had been obtained from the foreshore to use as foundations for St Thomas's, Maketu. The fiery dispute led to inter-tribal war.

The church was finally built, after Te Ururangi's celebrated death, in 1868. While the oiled timbers of the nave ceiling were awaiting installation, children ran across them bare-footed. Nobody raised a memorial to the children, but you can still see their footprints.

© DON DONOVAN

donovan@ihug.co.nz
.

Country Churches of NZ 34. St. Andrew's, Coromandel

I wrote and illustrated Country Churches of New Zealand. It was published in 2002 by New Holland, Publishers and is still on sale in bookshops. The publishers have kindly agreed to me re-publishing some of the book’s images and descriptions in this blog.




ST. ANDREW'S, COROMANDEL

This the old mother church of the Coromandel Whitianga Presbyterian parish, opened for divine service on 18 May 1873.

This event well preceded the five-year gold boom that started in 1894, when the town's population swelled to bursting then shrank again, leaving the church bruised but intact.

J.C.Young was both architect and builder but such a procrastinator that a James Marshall had to finish the job.

I've painted this church before, delighting in its frontal aspect with its unusual integral triple porch-cum-steeple.

© DON DONOVAN

donovan@ihug.co.nz
.

Country Churches of NZ 33. All Saints', Manaia, Coromandel Peninsula

I wrote and illustrated Country Churches of New Zealand. It was published in 2002 by New Holland, Publishers and is still on sale in bookshops. The publishers have kindly agreed to me re-publishing some of the book’s images and descriptions in this blog.

From the Coromandel Peninsula, through the Bay of Plenty to Gisborne I visited and illustrated a number of small churches. But I had great difficulty gathering historical information about many of them and so my commentaries are often confined simply to impressions gained from each subject on the day of my visit.
ALL SANTS’, MANAIA

'All Saints' Church looks over Manaia Harbour flats with mauve hills beyond.

'Front door doesn't need to be locked; it's jammed tightly at the bottom. Inside, a couple of old brooms against the wall, bristles almost eroded to nothing.

'The structure is racked, ends of horizontal boards pulled from their verticals. White nave with pale lime green ceiling, 13 pews, simple sanctuary, white linen-covered altar with brass cross before east window (Gothic arch with trefoil below which is divided into three smaller Gothic arches). Bunches of fresh flowers in vases either side of sanctuary (which means that despite its tiredness the church is tended).

‘Simple pulpit elevated just enough to get the vicar above the congregation. Tiny organ covered by tablecloth; white stone font.

'A plate on the north wall is dedicated to four of the Pareone family: "For over 50 years ... faithful members of this church erected by their families".

'Kids by the bridge along the road shout "Hi mister!". I wave a brush at them. They say excitedly: "He waved to us!" as if I were a Martian. Marae down side lane; comfortable houses along an unsealed road,'

(FROM MY NOTEBOOK 21/1/01)


© DON DONOVAN

donovan@ihug.co.nz
.

Country Churches of NZ 32. Christ Church, Kihikihi, Waikato

I wrote and illustrated Country Churches of New Zealand. It was published in 2002 by New Holland, Publishers and is still on sale in bookshops. The publishers have kindly agreed to me re-publishing some of the book’s images and descriptions in this blog.
CHRIST CHURCH, KIHIKIHI

A pretty little Anglican church in a peaceful Waikato settlement.

It wasn't always so. This town was the headquarters of Rewi Maniapoto, supreme Maori commander in the 1863-64 war against the British.

The church, designed by Reverend Philip Walsh of Taranaki, came later. It was opened on Monday 5 December 1881 with a packed congregation of 90.

It was locked and silent on the day of my visit, but as I sketched, a young mother and her three children arrived in the summer evening and had a picnic under the trees.

© DON DONOVAN

donovan@ihug.co.nz
.

Country Churches of NZ 31. Christ Church, Taupiri, Waikato

I wrote and illustrated Country Churches of New Zealand. It was published in 2002 by New Holland, Publishers and is still on sale in bookshops. The publishers have kindly agreed to me re-publishing some of the book’s images and descriptions in this blog.




CHRIST CHURCH, TAUPIRI

'I hate the colours,' a local woman complained.

I love them; it's not often that lavender doors turn up on churches. Anyway, coats of paint are the least offensive of church alterations; they can always re-decorate in a different colour.

Christ Church, Taupiri, stands near State Highway One just south of the sacred burial grounds on Taupiri Mountain.

It was dedicated on 12 November 1905 and replaced an 1875 predecessor; both were designed by pioneer T H White. The lych gate was added in 1989.

Regular services were discontinued in 1992, but, because of its typical country church appearance, it still offers a special setting for weddings.

© DON DONOVAN

donovan@ihug.co.nz
.
.

29 July 2009

Country Churches of NZ 30. St. John's, Te Awamutu, Waikato

I wrote and illustrated Country Churches of New Zealand. It was published in 2002 by New Holland, Publishers and is still on sale in bookshops. The publishers have kindly agreed to me re-publishing some of the book’s images and descriptions in this blog.




ST JOHN'S, TE AWAMUTU

Under its roof of distressed shingles, St John's is fighting a brave battle with 'progress' beside the busy highway.

Cracked tombstones have been salvaged and laid horizontally into cement, which is a good idea for beating vandals but a shame that it has to be that way. Fortunately a memorial installed by the New Zealand Government to the memory of Maori heroes who died in the battles of Hairini and Orakau in 1864 is untouched.

It's no accident that St John's, built in 1854, looks like St Paul's at Hairini - they were both designed by the same man, Reverend John Morgan.

© DON DONOVAN

donovan@ihug.co.nz
.
.

Country Churches of NZ 29. St. Mary's, Gordonton, Waikato

I wrote and illustrated Country Churches of New Zealand. It was published in 2002 by New Holland, Publishers and is still on sale in bookshops. The publishers have kindly agreed to me re-publishing some of the book’s images and descriptions in this blog.
ST MARY'S, GORDONTON

Is one of the younger churches, but its shape and middle-class brick gentility make for a pleasing subject.

I was fascinated to discover that the estimated cost of St Mary's in 1930 was almost exactly the same as my parents paid for a tiny English house in that same year - £775. A fine, four-square colonial church was far better value for money than a suburban London semi-detached brick and tile!

Hamilton architects Edgecumbe and White knocked five pounds off that price in their tendering letter of January 1934. So, funds already in the kitty, the estimate was accepted without demur, the church was up within five months and was consecrated on 1 July that year.

© DON DONOVAN

donovan@ihug.co.nz
.

Country Churches of NZ 28. St. Paul's, Hairini, Waikato

I wrote and illustrated Country Churches of New Zealand. It was published in 2002 by New Holland, Publishers and is still on sale in bookshops. The publishers have kindly agreed to me re-publishing some of the book’s images and descriptions in this blog.




ST PAUL'S, HAIRINI

It was a gorgeous day for a wedding and one was about to start at St Paul's, Hairini, when I arrived. Wedding guests were all dressed up. It was mid-afternoon, shadows were lengthening, and a light breeze was rustling through a flimsy silver birch.

The church rises above rolling farmland. I left out the trees and the view to reveal the simple elegance of the 1856 Anglican mission church, which was designed by Reverend John Morgan.

A survivor of the Waikato wars, it is the only building remaining from the time when this area was a major centre of Maori agriculture.

© DON DONOVAN 

donovan@ihug.co.nz
.

Country Churches of NZ 27. St. Alban's, Waingaro, Waikato

I wrote and illustrated Country Churches of New Zealand. It was published in 2002 by New Holland, Publishers and is still on sale in bookshops. The publishers have kindly agreed to me re-publishing some of the book’s images and descriptions in this blog.


ST ALBAN'S, WAINGARO

On a perfect day in March 2001, St Alban's, Waingaro, lay in a pool of sunlight standing out from the gloom of the forest that almost completely surrounds it.

In a somewhat remote clearing north of Waingaro Springs it gathers to itself just a few graves strung along the crest of a knoll that ends, against the pines, with a large grey marble stone topped with a horizontal cross - the tragic grave of a four year-old girl.

St Alban's, named after the first English martyr, was designed by Reverend H.B.Wingfield and was dedicated on 6 November 1907.

© DON DONOVAN

donovan@ihug.co.nz
.

Country Churches of NZ 26.War Memorial Church, Waerenga, Waikato

I wrote and illustrated Country Churches of New Zealand. It was published in 2002 by New Holland, Publishers and is still on sale in bookshops. The publishers have kindly agreed to me re-publishing some of the book’s images and descriptions in this blog.



WAR MEMORIAL CHURCH, WAERENGA

There are two memorial tablets in the Taniwha and Waerenga UndenominationalWar Memorial Church. The first lists the names of 44 men of whom 14 died serving in WorldWar I; the second honours 57 men who fought in World War II - seven of whom did not return.

These tablets go a long way to explaining why such a substantial country church should exist in the middle of sparsely populated north Waikato farmlands.

Mr Ivan Hall, an architect turned farmer, drew up the plans, and the building and materials were largely donated by the local community. The church opened in May 1928 for all denominations but when I visited in 2000 only Anglicans were using it regularly.

© DON DONOVAN

donovan@ihug.co.nz
.

Country Churches of NZ 25. Christ Church, Alfriston, South Auckland

I wrote and illustrated Country Churches of New Zealand. It was published in 2002 by New Holland, Publishers and is still on sale in bookshops. The publishers have kindly agreed to me re-publishing some of the book’s images and descriptions in this blog.
CHRIST CHURCH, ALFRISTON

There's a special aura of affluence and self-assuredness about Christ Church, Alfriston. Money has been spent on it. Sadly, in doing so, its shape and simplicity have been compromised. Except, that is, for the steeple which is beautifully proportioned - and oddly naive - its simple timber pinnacles topped with bent metal protectors emulating those grander stone steeples of Gothic city churches.

Mr Archibald Cochrane built Christ Church for £146 and what has been described as the ‘neat little church with a chancel, spire and tower' was opened on Sunday, 18 March 1877.

© DON DONOVAN

donovan@ihug.co.nz
.

28 July 2009

Country Churches of NZ 24. St. Mary on the Hill, Pokeno, Waikato

I wrote and illustrated Country Churches of New Zealand. It was published in 2002 by New Holland, Publishers and is still on sale in bookshops. The publishers have kindly agreed to me re-publishing some of the book’s images and descriptions in this blog.



 ST MARY ON THE HILL. POKENO

On many occasions, taking that dangerous road at the foot of the Bombay Hills that weaves towards distant Coromandel, I've driven past the charming Anglican St Mary on the Hill, Pokeno, where it stands proudly like a story-book church.

It was given by Harriett Johnstone to the people of Pokeno, a town which, when she arrived from England in 1892, was the gateway to Auckland from the Waikato.

The church's warm, dark wood interior and a fine 'faith, hope and charity' triptych west window - given by Harriett Johnstone in 1910 give it a restful atmosphere.
Tapestry by local needleworkers

The church was consecrated by Archbishop Cowie on Sunday, 25 March 1900. The architect was Ed Bartley and the builder A. Vinson.

© DON DONOVAN

donovan@ihug.co.nz
.

Country Churches of NZ 23. Pukekohe East Church, South Auckland

I wrote and illustrated Country Churches of New Zealand. It was published in 2002 by New Holland, Publishers and is still on sale in bookshops. The publishers have kindly agreed to me re-publishing some of the book’s images and descriptions in this blog.
PUKEKOHE EAST CHURCH

When I re-visited the Pukekohe East Presbyterian Church on 7 January 2001 it had become the Pukekohe East Church Creative Centre. Were it not for the creative centre it would, I'm sure, have become derelict.

Its simple form belies a romantic history too long to recount here. The wording of the Historic Places Trust plaque at the gate sums it up:

'This church, opened on 5 April 1863, was garrisoned on the outbreak of the Waikato War. An attack by Maori forces on 14 September 1863 was repulsed.'


© DON DONOVAN

donovan@ihug.co.nz
.

Country Churches of NZ 22. All Souls, Clevedon, Auckland


I wrote and illustrated Country Churches of New Zealand. It was published in 2002 by New Holland, Publishers and is still on sale in bookshops. The publishers have kindly agreed to me re-publishing some of the book’s images and descriptions in this blog.


The churches of South Auckland and the Waikato exhibit less of a pioneering earnestness than Northland’s. The rolling country with its rich, red soils and lazy rivers might have something to do with it, although colonial history was just as turbulent.



ALL SOULS, CLEVEDON

Exaggerated agapanthus plants hide wrecked tombstones and my distress at the petty vandalism that despoiled the churchyard. But the church itself maintains a quiet dignity.

All Souls, Clevedon, one of the famous sixteen Selwyn churches, dates to 1861 when it was dedicated on 29 December by Bishop Selwyn himself.

It was at first known as the Wairoa Episcopalian Church. It looked much different from my illustration and has been modified a number of times. In 1888 the nave was extended; a vestry was added in 1910, and the shingled spire was built in 1961 to celebrate its centenary. Despite all the changes, the church's elements are remarkably harmonious, except for the clumsy porch roof and the steeple being a little too slender for its base.

© DON DONOVAN

donovan@ihug.co.nz



27 July 2009

Country Churches of NZ 21. St. Stephen's Chapel. Judges Bay, Auckland

I wrote and illustrated Country Churches of New Zealand. It was published in 2002 by New Holland, Publishers and is still on sale in bookshops. The publishers have kindly agreed to me re-publishing some of the book’s images and descriptions in this blog.


ST. STEPHEN'S CHAPEL, JUDGES BAY

I make no apology for including the minuscule St Stephen's Chapel, Judges Bay, in a book of country churches. Although it stands in an inner suburb of Auckland it has the rural look, and the feel and setting of its origins.

Built in 1857 to plans by Frederick Thatcher, it replaced a short-lived stone affair that fell down in a storm in 1845. The graveyard stones are a roll call of early Auckland identities among whose lichened memorials I sat and sketched while talking with a couple of visitors from Newcastle-on-Tyne, England, who had seen the chapel from their cruise liner and made a bee-line for it.

On the skyline beyond the quiet churchyard looms the Auckland Sky Tower. I left it out. Artists are allowed to do things like that.

© DON DONOVAN

donovan@ihug.co.nz
.

Country Churches of NZ 20. St. Cuthbert's, Kaukapakapa

I wrote and illustrated Country Churches of New Zealand. It was published in 2002 by New Holland, Publishers and is still on sale in bookshops. The publishers have kindly agreed to me re-publishing some of the book’s images and descriptions in this blog.
ST CUTHBERT'S, KAUKAPAKAPA

High and boxy on a grassy knoll above a steep roadside bank screened by agapanthus and, today, closely surrounded by suburban homes, St Cuthbert's, Kaukapakapa was opened as an inter-denominational church on Sunday 16 January 1881.

They held three services that day: one for the Unionists, one for the Presbyterians and one for the Methodists.

Its design, which originally included an elegant belfry since rotted and removed, was the work of Matthew Henderson of Auckland. It was built for £210 by a Mr Keyes.

I'm not sure how old the outside dunny round the back is, but it, too, has an air of dereliction. Architecturally designed? Possibly.

© DON DONOVAN

donovan@ihug.co.nz
.

Country Churches of NZ 19. Church of St Peter and St Paul, Puhoi

I wrote and illustrated Country Churches of New Zealand. It was published in 2002 by New Holland, Publishers and is still on sale in bookshops. The publishers have kindly agreed to me re-publishing some of the book’s images and descriptions in this blog.


CHURCH OF ST PETER and ST PAUL, PUHOI

The Roman Catholic church of St Peter and St Paul was built for £267 in 1881. The architect was James Wrigley. His design ended where today's altar begins and there was no bell-tower until 1899.

Larger than your usual village church, it has an imposing west entrance with a porch surrounded by five simple, 'early English' windows, lots of brass doorknobs and fingerplates, and abundant stained glass in Art Nouveau style.

Many of the windows are dedicated and most of the names on them are redolent of the Bohemian settlement: Schischka, Straka, Remiger, Ranner, Becher, Schollum, Wenzlick, Bayer, Tunnwald. The organ, as typical of older country churches, was made by the Carpenter Company of Brattleboro, Vermont, USA.

© DON DONOVAN


donovan@ihug.co.n.

Country Churches of NZ 18. Wainui Early Settlers' Church

I wrote and illustrated Country Churches of New Zealand. It was published in 2002 by New Holland, Publishers and is still on sale in bookshops. The publishers have kindly agreed to me re-publishing some of the book’s images and descriptions in this blog.


WAINUI EARLY SETTLERS' CHURCH

It was pleasant to sit and sketch this church in the shade of a handy tree, my folding stool rocking on the springy turf with its scattering of rabbit pellets and dandelions; the tree ferns each side of the door looked as if they'd been there since Genesis.

The Presbyterian Wainui Early Settlers' Church was built in 1862 on land given by the Crown to the famous surveyor Charles Heaphy V.C.

Despite being quite close to Orewa and Auckland, it's now remote from its community. Although very simple – just porch and nave – its proportions are faultless. For many years it was the only public building in the district and served not only as a church but also as a school, store and post office. In fact, in the wall of the porch there's still a slit where letters were once posted.


© DON DONOVAN

donovan@ihug.co.nz
.

Country Churches of NZ 17. St. Andrew's, Taumarere, Northland

I wrote and illustrated Country Churches of New Zealand. It was published in 2002 by New Holland, Publishers and is still on sale in bookshops. The publishers have kindly agreed to me re-publishing some of the book’s images and descriptions in this blog.


ST ANDREW'S, TAUMARERE

St Andrew's stands on a slight eminence beside the busy Kawakawa to Opua road near Tirohanga Stream. It started life as the fourth church to be built on the site of the Paihia Mission Station (established in 1823 by Henry Williams) and was originally dedicated as St Paul's.

At Paihia it served all races, mainly Maori, for fifty years but attendance flagged and it fell into disrepair. In 1903 William Henry Bedggood, a lay reader from Waimate North, arrived in Paihia and set about reviving attendance. In 1904-5 he had the church re-shingled and upgraded. But in 1926 it was dismantled and the following year was barged in sections via the Veronica Channel and Kawakawa River to the nearby Tirohanga riverbank, then transported by bullock team to its present position and re-named St Andrew's.

© DON DONOVAN

donovan@ihug.co.nz
.

Country Churches of NZ 16. Oruaiti Chapel, Whangarei, Northland

I wrote and illustrated Country Churches of New Zealand. It was published in 2002 by New Holland, Publishers and is still on sale in bookshops. The publishers have kindly agreed to me re-publishing some of the book’s images and descriptions in this blog.


ORUAITI CHAPEL, WHANGAREI

Completely out of place on its concrete pad in the grounds of Whangarei Museum, tiny Oruaiti Chapel was first built near Mangonui Harbour in 1861 and was only accessible by water. It was moved a short distance to be closer to a road in 1936, then to a Methodist site in Kamo Road, Whangarei in 1946, and finally to the museum in 1975.

Originally thatched, it was first shingled in 1866, re-shingled in kauri in 1919, and again, later, in cedar, only to be re-roofed in cedar once more in 1990.

Its charm is in its shape which owes itself to Thomas Ball, an early immigrant who copied the pattern of Lincolnshire octagonal chapels where Wesleyans could gather in 'preaching houses' - which in no way resembled traditional churches - and there do their own thing.

© DON DONOVAN

donovan@ihug.co.nz
.

Country Churches of NZ 15. Minniesdale Chapel, Wharehine, Port Albert

I wrote and illustrated Country Churches of New Zealand. It was published in 2002 by New Holland, Publishers and is still on sale in bookshops. The publishers have kindly agreed to me re-publishing some of the book’s images and descriptions in this blog.
MINNIESDALE CHAPEL, WHAREHINE, PORT ALBERT

Traveling long distances on dusty roads to find remote churches can be exhausting but when you come over a rise and see a gem like Minniesdale Chapel, Wharehine, in its garden of lavender, ornamental manuka and geraniums it's all worthwhile. After that there's little more rewarding than to sit on a grassy bank and splash some watercolours around.

The chapel was assembled from parts pre-fabricated in England and shipped to New Zealand in 1866 - four years after the area was settled - and was opened for its first service on Sunday, 29 December 1867.


© DON DONOVAN


donovan@ihug.co.nz
.

26 July 2009

Country Churches of NZ 14. St. Peter's, Te Kopuru, Northland

I wrote and illustrated Country Churches of New Zealand. It was published in 2002 by New Holland, Publishers and is still on sale in bookshops. The publishers have kindly agreed to me re-publishing some of the book’s images and descriptions in this blog.


ST PETER'S, TE KOPURU

St Peter's, with its boxy nave and dumpy steeple was designed, as were many simple Anglican churches, by a minister, in this case a Reverend H. B. Wingfield.

It was built in 1902, and its foundation stone was laid by the first vicar's wife, Mrs A. J. Beck. Inside it is dark, cool and unremarkable. Te Kopuru is an old settlement that time seems to have passed by. The Wairoa River lies to its east and was an important transport waterway into Northland via the Kaipara Harbour in the early times of the settlement.


© DON DONOVAN

donovan@ihug.co.nz

.

Country Churches of NZ 13. Christ Church, Russell, Northland

I wrote and illustrated Country Churches of New Zealand. It was published in 2002 by New Holland, Publishers and is still on sale in bookshops. The publishers have kindly agreed to me re-publishing some of the book’s images and descriptions in this blog



CHRIST CHURCH, RUSSELL

'A profound peace. Brilliant sunlight, trees tremor lightly. A sudden arrival of tourists who fill all the spaces... and then disappear as if by magic! Alone again I sit among the stones and do a quick watercolour.' (SKETCHBOOK NOTE)

Built in 1835 by Gilbert Mair, Christ Church, Russell was unnamed until 1873 shortly after some changes had been made to its appearance to leave it as it is today. It is New Zealand's oldest surviving church.

Russell (previously Kororareka) was a wild seafarers' town in the 1830s, the only real authority being that of the Maori chiefs. But the missionaries were intent on cleaning up the moral tone. The land for the church was purchased in 1834 and public subscription of money and materials soon had the simple structure done. Unlike most Christian churches it does not face east, being built on a north/south axis.

Among many historic tombstones in the garden graveyard is that of Hannah King Letheridge, 'The First White Woman Born In New Zealand'. Not so, she was the second, the first was Dinah Hall.

© DON DONOVAN

donovan@ihug.co.nz
.

Country Churches of NZ 12. Holy Trinity, Pakaraka, Northland

I wrote and illustrated Country Churches of New Zealand. It was published in 2002 by New Holland, Publishers and is still on sale in bookshops. The publishers have kindly agreed to me re-publishing some of the book’s images and descriptions in this blog.


HOLY TRINITY, PAKARAKA

Over several years I have drawn and re-drawn Holy Trinity, Pakaraka.

My first effort had it with a blue iron roof. Then it was re-shingled and I painted it again. On 12 April 2001 a replica steeple was finished to make it externally exactly the same as the original which opened on 28 November 1873 on the site of a previous church built in 1851, so I made this final rendering

I imagine architect Richard Keals would think the restoration flattering, but for a church well into its second century it looks too fresh, too new. Once a patina of age has stained its shingles all will be well. Reverend Henry Williams, the pioneer missionary of Paihia, and his wife, Marianne, are buried side by side beneath two brown-lichened stones within a wrought iron enclosure below the east window.

© DON DONOVAN

donovan@ihug.co.nz
.

Country Churches of NZ 11. St. John the Baptist, Waimate North, Northland

I wrote and illustrated Country Churches of New Zealand. It was published in 2002 by New Holland, Publishers and is still on sale in bookshops. The publishers have kindly agreed to me re-publishing some of the book’s images and descriptions in this blog.


ST JOHN THE BAPTIST, WAIMATE NORTH

I sketched St John the Baptist, Waimate North, on a perfect autumn day. A warm sun was on my back, and the only sound on the still air was coming from somebody sweeping the drive of the adjacent Mission House.

It's the third church to be built here; the first finished in 1831 on St John the Baptist's Day; the second, built in 1839, was much larger in order to accommodate a congregation that had embraced Anglicanism with enthusiasm. After Hone Heke's war of the mid-1840s, devotional numbers shrank, leaving an over-sized church which was also in a state of disrepair. So they commissioned Marsden Clarke to design a new, smaller one and built it with the timbers of the old church at a total cost of £374. It was dedicated on 19 April 1871 and still stands today, neo-Gothic and finely proportioned.

© DON DONOVAN

donovan@ihug.co.nz

.

25 July 2009

Country Churches of NZ 10. Aperahama, Kaikohe, Northland


I wrote and illustrated Country Churches of New Zealand. It was published in 2002 by New Holland, Publishers and is still on sale in bookshops. The publishers have kindly agreed to me re-publishing some of the book’s images and descriptions in this blog.

APERAHAMA KAIKOHE

Aperahama is the Maori rendering of Abraham. Architect Marsden Clarke, whose family played an important part in the spread of Anglican Christianity in the north, designed Aperahama Church, Kaikohe. It was built in 1885 and is said to be named after a churchman of high repute who died in the year before the church was opened and is buried in its grounds.

At the start of the twenty-first century I found a church in sore need of restoration. But, like so many churchyards in predominantly Maori areas, its tombstones, often quite elaborate, were decked in flowers, spinners and memorabilia giving a paradoxical life to the memory of the dead.

© DON DONOVAN

donovan@ihug.co.nz
.

Country Churches of NZ 9. St. Michael's, Ngawha, Northland

I wrote and illustrated Country Churches of New Zealand. It was published in 2002 by New Holland, Publishers and is still on sale in bookshops. The publishers have kindly agreed to me re-publishing some of the book’s images and descriptions in this blog.



ST MICHAEL'S NGAWHA

Te Whare Karakia o Mikaera, Ngawha*, dedicated on 21 April 1871, was built on the site of Pene Taui's pa where the Battle of Ohaeawai was fought on 1 July 1845.

Scoria walls around the church are remnants of the outer fortifications of the pa. It's a nice, neat church that oozes history.

The builders were Neilson and Cook. The cost was £300 and the plans were 'from Auckland'. There's an old saying that the devil is in the detail - not true.

The artistic homage to the god of the artisan is in the detail; you see it around the world in pew ends, gargoyles, wrought iron work, and here in the elegant lancet windows of St Michael's with their quatrefoil decorations picked out in unabashed scarlet.

*Maori, literally: ‘The House of Prayer of Michael, Ngawha’.

© DON DONOVAN
donovan@ihug.co.nz
.

Country Churches of NZ 8. St. Barnabas, Peria, Northland

I wrote and illustrated Country Churches of New Zealand. It was published in 2002 by New Holland, Publishers and is still on sale in bookshops. The publishers have kindly agreed to me re-publishing some of the book’s images and descriptions in this blog.


ST BARNABAS, PERIA

Opposite the local school, in broad green pastures and a not-very-crowded graveyard, you can smell the polish in St Barnabas, Peria.

It is clearly a much loved and carefully groomed church and wears its age well. It was dedicated by the Bishop of Auckland, O.T.L. Crossley, on Tuesday 26 March 1912.

© DON DONOVAN


donovan@ihug.co.nz
.

Country Churches of NZ 7. Methodist Church, Omanaia, Northland

I wrote and illustrated Country Churches of New Zealand. It was published in 2002 by New Holland, Publishers and is still on sale in bookshops.
The publishers have kindly agreed to me re-publishing some of the book’s images and descriptions in this blog.


METHODIST CHURCH, OMANAIA

Modesty characterises the 1884 Methodist Church at Omanaia. Sharing a hill with a school, which is superbly maintained for just thirty pupils, the church is sadly neglected: paint flaking, timbers distressed. But it is obviously well used, especially so in December 2000 when I visited. The lobby and nave were full of floral tributes, posters, texts, and wreaths for a local person who had recently died. In the cemetery one grave stood out: that of a boy of 14. It was a love-adorned toy land of mementos, bordered by the cut-out shapes of red Ferraris.

Quite a few Methodist churches were built around the Hokianga at the end of the nineteenth century. At this one a spiritual dimension was apparently added which took it beyond Methodism. The whys and wherefores of that defeat me but I am sure they would have had little effect upon the simple charm of the church itself, comfortably shabby in its golden summer grasses.

Doing a bit of research, after I had visited, I learned that the church and burial ground were ‘out of bounds for visitors’. I was brought up to believe that churches are open to all and may even be sanctuaries for souls of any denomination; to me that makes more sense than exclusion!

© DON DONOVAN

donovan@ihug.co.nz
.

24 July 2009

Country Churches of NZ 6. Our Lady of the Assumption, Motukaraka, Northland

I wrote and illustrated Country Churches of New Zealand. It was published in 2002 by New Holland, Publishers and is still on sale in bookshops.
The publishers have kindly agreed to me re-publishing some of the book’s images and descriptions in this blog.


OUR LADY OF THE ASSUMPTION, MOTUKARAKA

Of all the many churches of the northern Hokianga district the Roman Catholic Church of Our Lady of the Assumption, Motukaraka is the most prominent. From the busier southern side of the harbour you see it beckoning across the water like a gleaming spire of many-towered Camelot.

Built in 1910 by H. A. Williams of nearby Kohukohu, it is thought to have been designed by Thomas Mahoney, architect of so many Catholic churches, convents and schools in the Auckland diocese. Its grandness speaks of the spirited! competition for souls that took place among different Christian denominations in the north. It even has a copy of a 1678 Bartolomé Murillo painting of the Immaculate Conception above the altar (the original hangs in the Louvre, Paris).

A caretaker told me that a man who once fell from the spire and bounced off a shoulder of the tower, hit the ground but was unharmed. Of such miracles are legends made.

© DON DONOVAN

donovan@ihug.co.nz
.

Country Churches of NZ 5. Holy Trinity, Mehopa, Northland

I wrote and illustrated Country Churches of New Zealand. It was published in 2002 by New Holland, Publishers and is still on sale in bookshops.
The publishers have kindly agreed to me re-publishing some of the book’s images and descriptions in this blog.


HOLY TRINITY, MEHOPA

Holy Trinity, Mehopa, on western Northland’s Whangape Harbour must be the most remote of North Island churches. I tried twice to find it until the driver of a road metal truck told me where it was.

Beyond a private gate at the end of the shingle road a faintly discernible 4WD track ran through scrub past a run down farm littered with rusting wrecks of cars and machinery, and other discarded items. The surrounding paddocks were mostly unfenced, the remains of old posts sticking up like abandoned wharf piles. Young manuka, about 60cm high, scraped the underside of the car and I feared I might be bogged down forever. The Anglican church eventually revealed itself in well kept grounds, where many graves had fresh flowers.

The main gate leads down to mud flats on the side of Whangape Harbour and I've since been told that the best access is by boat. Built for £120 by Paul Lingaard, a Scandinavian, who is said to have 'jumped ship' at Whangape, it was opened in March 1922. It is the third church on this site.

© DON DONOVAN


donovan@ihug.co.nz
.

Country Churches of NZ 4. St. Gabriel's, Pawarenga, Northland

I wrote and illustrated Country Churches of New Zealand. It was published in 2002 by New Holland, Publishers and is still on sale in bookshops.
The publishers have kindly agreed to me re-publishing some of the book’s images and descriptions in this blog.


ST. GABRIEL'S, PAWARENGA

The Roman Catholic church of St Gabriel's, Pawarenga, was built in 1899 on Makora pa, the home of the Te Aupouri tribe. It was constructed by Robert Shannon, a flax miller from Kaitaia, with timber said to have been sawn by the local people, who raised funds for its construction by gum digging.

When I visited it in December 2000 I found it locked and lonely, high on its windy hill overlooking Whangape Harbour. I sat on the even higher hill opposite where, wishing for a third hand to hold my paper steady, I did my watercolour sketch, noting the odd contrast between well-tended graves on the south side and the litter of tombstones among the dead puriri trees on the north.

© DON DONOVAN


donovan@ihug.co.nz
.

Country Churches of NZ 3. Ratana Church, Ahipara, Northland

I wrote and illustrated Country Churches of New Zealand. It was published in 2002 by New Holland, Publishers and is still on sale in bookshops.
The publishers have kindly agreed to me re-publishing some of the book’s images and descriptions in this blog.


RATANA CHURCH AHIPARA
The charming and distinctive Ratana Church at Ahipara was something of a surprise when, as I was about to head south, I came across it by the roadside. It is spick and span and, like all Ratana churches, is a consistently patterned reminder of the principal temple at Ratana in the Rangitikei.

The powerful Christianity based Maori Ratana faith started with a vision received by Tahupotiki Wiremu Ratana on 18 November 1918.

© DON DONOVAN
donovan@ihug.co.nz
.


Country Churches Of NZ 2. The North Island & St.Pauls,Whangaroa

I wrote and illustrated Country Churches of New Zealand. It was published in 2002 by New Holland, Publishers and is still on sale in bookshops.
The publishers have kindly agreed to me re-publishing some of the book’s images and descriptions in this blog.


 

Lych Gate, All Saints' Church, Kawhia

THE NORTH ISLAND COLLECTION

Where does one start on an odyssey such as this? Roughly from north to south, but, like life's journey, indirectly. I started in Northland and went through Auckland to the Waikato, then to the Coromandel Peninsula and the Bay of Plenty before running all down the east coast to southern Wairarapa. From there I
made a huge leap to Lake Taupo so that I could explore down the west side of the island, eventually to reach Wellington.




ST PAUL'S, WHANGAROA

In Northland, where European proselytisers first came ashore, lie scores of little churches - some thriving, some not. Built in 1883, St Paul's Anglican Church, Whangaroa, teeters impossibly on the side of a steep hill overlooking the harbour. Inside, a timbered silence breathes an old peace but, like its diminishing congregation, it shows its age. Its cemetery, although not yet full, was closed in 1966 'because of the unstable nature of the country'. I liked the detail of its apsidal sanctuary.

© DON DONOVAN
donovan@ihug.co.nz
.

Country Churches of NZ 1. Introduction


I wrote and illustrated Country Churches of New Zealand. It was published in 2002 by
New Holland Publishers and is still on sale in bookshops.

The publishers have kindly agreed to me re-publishing some of the book’s contents.

This is the introduction to Country Churches of New Zealand

 IN THE BEGINNING I had a list of over 500 historic churches from around New Zealand. I spent the following three years travelling the country illustrating, observing and collecting snippets of history. It wasn't possible to include so many churches in a book of this sort so, as my main interest was in the uncomplicated structures more likely to be found in the country, I eliminated almost all city and major provincial churches. That led to the title Country Churches of New Zealand which just about sums it up. The odd city church has crept in because it was probably built when the city was no more than a small town and has that simple charm that so much takes my fancy.

I wrote and illustrated a book titled The Good Old Kiwi Pub a year or two ago and have been intrigued at how much old churches and pubs have in common. They were at the heart of new colonial communities, being practically the first public buildings to be erected. They were focal points, the church offerings being spiritual; the pub's more likely spirituous. They both would have offered not only comfort but also entertainment: comfort at the pub in a sympathetic barmaid's ear; entertainment in church through the sheer joy of a lustily sung Sunday hymn or Christmas carol. They were almost invariably built of the same materials - whatever came to hand, mostly timber. There the resemblances end. Churches, being used with sobriety and civic responsibilty, had a good chance of survival whereas pubs more often than not burned down, not unusually through a glowing cigarette butt falling from drunken fingers on to a straw-packed palliasse on a Saturday night thus to deny their victims the opportunity of repentance the following morning.

The oldest surviving church in New Zealand was built in 1835. Since then, due to fast, cheap transport, good roads, and the urbanization of population, small rural settlements have shrunk, many to the point where congregations have virtually disappeared. No church is a more poignant example than St Paul's, Whangaroa, where a plaintive note inside apologises that the cemetery is overgrown because there remain only twelve active parishioners all of whom are over 60. Now New Zealand is left with two sorts of country church: the first is a collection of decaying hulks bereft of support; the second survives with the financial help of the Historic Places Trust or earnest local communities of particular affluence and spiritual substance.
External architectural forms are my sphere of illustrative interest. That's why I have, over the years, drawn and painted old stores, houses and cottages, pubs and churches. I like variety of colour, texture and shape. This allows me to pick and choose which churches to illustrate without regard to denomination or creed. Country Churches of New Zealand contains Anglican, Roman Catholic, Methodist, Presbyterian and Ratana houses of worship. (I would have relished an historic synagogue or mosque but never found one.) I'm drawn to them all, not only for their graphic possibilities, but also because, not being a religious man, I am fascinated by the spiritual energy that went into their construction. It seems that with few resources beyond their physical strength, newly arrived settlers were able to erect their churches as quickly as possible as if their spiritual survival were as important as the need to dig wells, build houses, plant crops and husband stock. And the additional miracle is that they carried the incumbent polytheistic Maori with them with such speed and to such effect that now, in the twenty-first century, they are some of the most devout of worshippers. An infidel such as I can only be astonished.

In gathering information, I have mostly encountered enthusiastic and generous contributors whom I have acknowledged elsewhere. But it wasn't all plain sailing; some guardians have been distant, unhelpful and secretive perhaps simply because their churches' histories have been forgotten, or for shame at their neglect, or maybe because they haven't trusted my motives. I was actually ejected from one churchyard with most unchristian-like hostility but the less said about that the better...

Here and there I have mentioned building costs in pounds (£).When New Zealand went metric in 1967 the pound was divided into two dollars thus £100 equals $200. I have not attempted to convert old values to current.

© DON DONOVAN

donovan@ihug.co.nz
.

Paypal

Blog Archive

Hits Counter

Blogdash

Loaded Web

Blog Directory for Albany, New Zealand

BlogThisHere.com

Blog This Here

Blog Flux

Commentary blogs

Comments

  • <$BlogCommentAuthor$> // <$BlogCommentDateTime$>

Blurb

RANDOM SAMPLINGS F...
By Don Donovan

About Me

My photo

Don Donovan: Biography

I was born on 20 January 1933, nine days before Hitler came to power in Germany, I grew up in south London. Although evacuated during the phoney war and the quieter times I lived in and out of air raid shelters during the blitz and experienced both V1 and V2 attacks on London. Left grammar school in 1948 aged 15 substantially undereducated. I wanted to go to art school but because of family ‘poverty’ joined a commercial art studio in the West End. I was, thereafter, variously a messenger boy, commercial artist and typographer. I was in the Royal Air Force from 1951 to 1953 when the only useful thing I did was to take part in King George VI’s funeral parade.

In 1955 I married Patricia O’Donnell, a RADA graduate, at that time playing opposite Derek Nimmo, they were juvenile leads in a touring repertory company. He went on to great success because he had a funny voice.

We came to New Zealand in 1960 where I worked in advertising. At length I became managing director of one of the companies of whose holding company (the largest domestic advertising complex in New Zealand) I was also a proprietor and shareholder. I left the industry in 1990 when my company was bought out by American interests. My timing was brilliant, at that point my first book had been published and the next was on its way.

We have two daughters and four grand-children.

Now, apart from writing, I function as a self-educated grumpy old man.

Books & Writings

‘New Zealand Odyssey’, with Euan Sarginson, Heinemann-Reed, 1989.

‘One Man’s Heart Attack’, New House, 1990. (A special edition of this book was purchased by CIBA-Geigy for distribution to NZ doctors).

‘Open 7 Days’, Random Century, October 1991.

‘The Good Old Kiwi Pub’ by Saint Publishing in 1995 followed by:
‘New Zealand House & Cottage’ in 1997. (Saint Publishing have also published calendars for the years 1994 to 2004 using my watercolour illustrations).

‘The Wastings’, my first novel was published in July 1999 by Hazard Press. Although an international subject it had very limited distribution, only in New Zealand, and the rights have reverted to me. (Colin Dexter read 'The Wastings' and wrote to me: 'I enjoyed and admired "The Wastings"... a beautifully written work... a splendid debut in crime fiction... More please!'.)

Also the texts of photographic books:
‘Auckland’
‘Colourful New Zealand’
‘New Zealand in Colour’
‘Top of the South’
‘Aoraki-Mt.Cook’
‘Above Auckland’
‘Hauraki Gulf Destinations’
‘Otago’
‘Bay of Plenty’
and a compilation of photographs and quotations titled ‘Anzac Memories’ 2004 all published by New Holland.

My written and illustrated book, ‘Country Churches of New Zealand’ was published in October 2002 by New Holland, who also published ‘Rural New Zealand’ 2004 (photographs and text), and a series of four humorous books of photographs and quotations in 2004 and 2005 titled ‘Woolly Wisdom’, ‘Chewing the Cud’, ‘Fowl Play’, and ‘Pig Tales’. My most recent book was published in August 2006 by New Holland, titled ‘Political Animals’.

Over the years I have written for NZ Herald, Heritage Magazine, Next Magazine and various local and overseas travel and general interest media.

[ENDS]