Friday, February 7, 2014

FSO - Entrances

Around Northland where I live, and around the rest of New Zealand, you will find Maori Marae.  Marae are Māori community facilities that usually consist of a carved meeting house, a dining hall and cooking area and the marae ātea (sacred space in front of the meeting house).  They serve religious and social purposes in Maori society and are still a vital part of everyday life.

 The main entrance to a marae with elaborately carved posts.

 Door to meeting house on the marae

Occasionally I go to see a film at Forum North, the event and conference centre operated by Whangarei District Council.  The stairs below lead to the blue door entrace to the movie theatre.


Just across the road from Forum North is one of my favourite cafes, Vinyl, seen below with its doors standing open in welcome.


Closer to home our entrances are more humble.   The poison warning on the post should not be ignored.  The sign warns that 1080 poison has been laid on the property by the Department of Conservation.


1080 (sodium fluoroacetate) is a poison that is mixed into baits and used to control a range of pests, especially possums, rats and the stoats which eat the poisoned rats.   1080 is biodegradable, dilutes quickly in water and does not build up in the food chain. The active component of the poison occurs naturally in many plants found in Australia, South America and Africa. These plants evolved the poison as a defence against browsing animals. 

This reminds me of something that happened when my grand-daughters Krystal and Shayde were three or four.  Of the time I went to war with the Department of Conservation. We were living at Tapora on the Kaipara Harbour with access to a lovely little beach.  The girls had a little friend visiting and I took the three of them out to the beach to play.  The three little girls dived out of the car the minute it stopped and disappeared into the bush, following a track that we knew from previous adventures.  I wasn't concerned and followed at my own pace.  Then I heard their excited voices arguing which one of them should have 'it'.  I broke into a run and arrived at the foot of the tree where they were standing just as Krystal started to shinny up the tree, her little hands reaching out to grab something I couldn't see.  When I got closer I reached up and snapped it from the tree before Krystal could reach it.  Honest, the shape and size looked just like the packet of a lemonade iceblock.   But, that innocent looking packet contained 1080 poison.  

I got nowhere in my war with the Department of Conservation.  Not even a sorry you were alarmed.   I wonder if they still put the poison in packets that look like lemonade iceblock packets.  Probably.  The DoC staff I spoke to, and I spoke to a few, seemed to think they did everything right.  They put out warning signs.  Check.  They put the poison some distance from human habitation.  Check.  They attached the poison to the tree out of the reach of children.  Check.  I followed up my phone call with a letter asking them to please consider putting the poison in a packet that would not be so appealing to children.  Letter was duty acknowledged,.  End of story. 

Anyway, back to entrances.  We had 17 participants in the Friday My Town Shoot Out last week.  Check out this weeks entries here.  And then why not pop back and join us.  It's easy.  Just think for a minute about Mersad's prompt - "Show us usual and unusual entrances in your towns and cities, from home doors, to gates in the city" -  then prepare a post showing us an example, along with a few words about your town, and link your post on the FMTSO blog.

14 comments:

  1. Love that first photo! it's so beutiful with so much history in it. I can't access the group blog, are you having the same problem too?

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  2. As I read this post Pauline, I glanced across to my Maori carving sitting on a side table - such memories! Great post, brought back wonderful memories for me.
    Have a wonderful weekend over there.

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  4. The first building is wonderful.

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  5. Great shots on your first two photos. Very unique!

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  6. Love the marae buildings. Not so happy to hear about the 1080 poison!

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  7. I think I've been to that marae when we visited New Zealand about ten years ago. Wonderful carved posts.

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  8. Marae have some really splendid buildings. Doors and windows have always fascinated me as a photographic subject.

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  9. Oh my word! I learned so much! Love it!

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  10. The way of live way over there is so way over there for someone like me way over here! Wonderful to read your true stories and to see the amazing colors you are blessed to see all the time. Wow.

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  11. Very unusual. I love the colors and the carved posts of the area. Hooray for you girl telling those folks to get things safer for the children. You would thing they would know the abilities of children to go after something unusual and attractive.

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  12. I love your paddock gate! Also, what is with government entities? You would think that they would want to not have children finding these poison packets to be similar to a treat package...

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  13. The Maori building is similar to those of the Coast Salish people here, but the colour is something we don't see.

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