29 October 2012

Wrights Hill Fortress: a trip back in wartime

A couple of Mondays back (Labour Day to be precise), we visited the Wrights Hill Fortress located at Karori in Wellington. Open only 4 times a year, it was surely a treat to see this piece of New Zealand war history. The country itself was relatively unharmed as the invading Japanese forces did not make it to these shores, but their presence in Australia was sufficient to mobilize countermeasures should the Japanese ever dare to attack. Hence the establishment of the Wrights Hill Fortress.

Built during World War Two, the Fortress consists of an underground network of tunnels, operation rooms and three gun emplacements. Society members take the public on a one hour long guided tour on Open Days. You can also wander around yourself with the help of a free history pamphlet and map. The experience is fascinating for people of all ages and gives adults and children alike an insight into the measures taken to protect New Zealand during World War Two.  - from the Wrights Hill Fortress Restoration Society Inc website

Carved through the hills, a series of tunnels links various storehouses, quarters, rooms with various functions, and gun turrets. Originally I thought the tunnels would be dark and dank things and we'd be doing an occasional stooping at low-ceilinged areas. In short, I was expecting something quite claustrophobic (it's the war!). So imagine my surprise in walking through clean, cool, well-ventilated, nicely illuminated tunnels! I was amazed at the dedication of the volunteers maintaining the place.

23 October 2012

[nzherald] Filipino leader seeks new level in ties with NZ

Details of a working-holiday agreement between New Zealand and the Philippines are expected to be announced during the visit to New Zealand of Philippines President Benigno S. Aquino III.

It will be the first such agreement the Philippines has had, according to the Ministry of Foreign and Affairs and Trade.

read more

17 October 2012

Revolution... a step back in TV evolution?

I don't normally write about TV shows, but this one got me baffled. Moderate spoiler alert!

Revolution started airing on New Zealand air last night, with the second episode happening later. The main premise of the story is about the world suddenly losing electricity. In one fell swoop, cars stopped in the middle of the roads, neighbourhoods turned black as night, planes fell from the sky, hospitals and emergency services collapsed. It was no longer possible to generate and harness electricity. The ensuing months become expectedly chaotic as governments crumbled. People fled the cities and formed small communities in small pockets.

Intriguing, isn't it? 

15 October 2012

Philippine President to visit with trade delegation

Prime Minister John Key will host the President of the Philippines for discussions on two-way trade and other bilateral matters later this month.

President Benigno Aquino III will be accompanied by Secretary of Foreign Affairs Albert del Rosario, other members of the President’s Cabinet and a large trade delegation.

continue reading at beehive.govt.nz
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