The Last

For a while I’ve been writing about my father’s photographs. For the time being at least, here is the last. This is a photograph of a picnic that was held in New Plymouth in the late 30’s, down by the port.

It is known what this event was, apparently a large scale picnic. Notice the port in the background. And Paritutu, the plug of a volcano. The softer cone has over the aeons has eroded away. In New Zealand we use the Maori word for these structures: tokatoka. There is a famous one near Dargaville, Don Binney painted it. I don’t have an up-to-date Maori dictionary, but I think that the new Maori word for helicopter is tokatoka, or tokotoko.

If you ever come to New Plymouth, I recommend that you climb to the top of Paritutu. It takes about 20 minutes, although some of it is a bit like stepaerobics. In preEuropean times there was a small Maori village up there. Probably not for everyday living, it would be a long way down to the letterbox, but more for somewhere to retreat to in the event of an attack.


Continuing on the same subject as the preceding posts, ie some background to the photographs that my father took around the port here in New Plymouth in the 1930’s, here are four more. I particularly like the subject matter here. In fact a couple of these look like
photos that I have taken in the past. Or would like to take in the future.

The white building is the Breakwater, the hotel that my parent’s ran.

There is a power station built on most distant part of this site now. A gas burning one.
In Taranaki we have oil and gas. Right by the hotel was the first oil field in New Zealand, at Moturoa. Electricity, oil and gas, see, you’d better be nice to us.