Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Has Cook's Endeavour Been Found?

That plucky little collier Endeavour, sailed by Captain James Cook during his great voyage of exploration of 1768- 1771, may have been located.
Researchers in the US believe they may be a step closer to locating the ship. The Rhode Island Marine Archaeology Project (RIMAP) has known for some time the ship was scuttled in Newport Harbour, off the US coast, in 1778. But they now believe they have narrowed down the search to a cluster of five shipwrecks on the seafloor.
The researchers plan to investigate the ships and their artefacts further. They are also appealing for funds to build the right facilities for handling and storing items retrieved from the sea.
RIMAP: "All of the 13 ships lost in Newport during the (American) Revolution are important to US history, but it will be a national celebration in both NZ and Australia when RIMAP identifies Endeavour."
Capt Cook set sail on Endeavour - a British-built coal ship originally called Earl of Pembroke - in 1768 on a scientific voyage to map the Pacific Ocean. In 1769, he spent six months charting the NZ coastline,
and making the first European contacts with natives. (His visit is commemorated on the NZ 50c coin.) He reached Australia in 1770, claiming that for England too.
After returning to Britain, Endeavour was renamed Lord Sandwich and made a troop carrier. During the American War of Independence, it was scuttled by the British Navy in a blockade.
The wreckage has never been found, but RIMAP has been checking out 13 sunken ships, with the help of remote sensing equipment and historical documents. It says an analysis of data suggests there is "an 80-100% chance" that the Lord Sandwich wreckage is still in Newport Harbour, "and because the Lord Sandwich was Capt Cook's Endeavour, that means RIMAP has found her too."
The announcement coincides with the 240th anniversary of Rhode Island declaring independence from the UK. RIMAP says identifying "one of the most important shipwrecks in world history would be "an intriguing birthday gift for all of Rhode Island"...and an important historical link to NZ and Oz too.
"HMS Endeavour": John Charles Allcot (1888-1973)

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Maori Showpiece Canned

Ngai Tahu has canned plans for a huge CBD cultural centre, earmarked as one of the anchor projects in the Christchurch blueprint.
Instead it'll focus on earthquake recovery "at whanau level", and projects like housing schemes are of higher priority.
The cultural centre was one 17 anchor projects unveiled as part of the 2012 Christchurch Central Recovery Plan. It was intended as a welcome point for visitors, and Ngai Tahu was to take the lead.
The plan envisioned a "world class cultural centre... as a focal point for cultural celebration and diversity...(to) reflect and celebrate... maori culture, and acknowledge Christchurch's place in, and connections with, the Pacific."
But the cultural centre has staggered along an uncertain path since then, and few details ever came to light. In 2014, the bros were considering shifting the centre to Cathedral Square, as part of an $80-million "living cathedral" concept. That pie-in-the-sky involved a floating timber canopy connecting the cathedral and the cultural centre.
Quite frankly I'm relieved this joke has died. It always felt like a PC attempt to force a multi-cultural image onto Christchurch, and persuade tourists that maori culture is an integral core of our existence. This may be the case in -say - Rotorua, but not in Christchurch!
Simply consider other similar mis-adventures to see what flops they rapidly became eg: the Tupperwaka in Auckland. If Ngai Tahu wish to advance such an idea in the future, that's fine...on their own land, with their own money! And then they can reap all the rewards too!
But there is no requirement for a huge cultural marae in central Christchurch. It will not advance the city at all, and there's plenty more good that can be done with $80-million of public money than that!
Thank God for a bit of common sense in this rebuild debacle!

Thursday, April 21, 2016

Anzac Day Sacrosanct

While most kiwis and ozzies get it, one second-hand car dealer didn't.
Anzac Day is sacrosanct. It's a day to remember the fallen from all wars, the sacrifices made...it's not to be used for commercial exploitation.
2 Cheap Cars had to pull its TV ad for Anzac Day specials after the Returned Services Association (RSA) complained. The ad told people to "come down because their great-granddad would be proud".
The car company - which claims on its website to be "NZ's most popular car dealership" with "70,000+ Facebook likes" - crossed the 'respect' line with the RSA.
The RSA pointed out that the Ministry of Culture and Heritage guidelines prohibit the use of the word 'Anzac' in trade or business, unless approval has been given by the Minister for Arts, Culture and Heritage and the Governor-General: "...the intention is to protect the term 'Anzac' from commercialisation and to ensure use is not offensive to public sentiment."
The company's marketing manager Jared Donkin said the ad was not meant to be offensive, and it's now been pulled. Great!
But now the question must be asked: WHY THE HELL IS IT RUNNING SUCH APPALLING ADS??!! They feature a young teenage girl talking so rapidly in such a high-pitched breathless almost-scream, that she's literally illegible! She sure puts me off EVER shopping there!
WHY MUST WE BE BOMBARDED WITH SUCH BANALITY??!!
Perhaps 2 Cheap Cars is too cheap to afford something better?
Wait, is she the boss's daughter or something?
Here's an example of its ads below...(spoiler alert: this is NAFF!!!)

WHAT did she say...?