Urban Designer - Vernacular Architect - Maritime Planner - Owner-Builder - Servant of Piglet - Educator - Author - Revolutionary - Peacenik - Tour Guide 

Tony Watkins

 ~ Vernacular Design 

Urban Design begins with whakapapa Print E-mail
ImageThe March-April 2006 issue of Architecture New Zealand includes an article on Karaka Bay setting the architecture within the context of whakapapa.


Simon Devitt took the photographs.


Slice of Life Print E-mail

ImageAlong with Akio and Kazuko Hayashi and Helen Momota, Tony was a judge for the recent North Hokianga Photographic Competition. The Awards were presented in Village Arts, Kohukohu, on 31 March 2006. The Judges Citation and images of the postcards now available for purchase may be found at www.kohukohu.com


A Watkins-Slye Family Reunion Print E-mail

Ralph Fletcher Watkins
Ralph Fletcher Watkins married Annie Ruamamao Hardiman. Their daughter Margaret Anne married Oswald Dale Slye. The cousins and their offspring gathered to celebrate and re-tell their stories on 25 March 2006.


Coromandel Easter Exhibition 2006 Print E-mail
ImageIt is now nineteen years since Eugene O'Sullivan organised the first Ikon exhibition in the Methodist Mission Chapel in Auckland. Every year since then the Coromandel Group have gathered together again to share their wonderful pottery, carvings and paintings. The opening this year was on 8 April 2006 in Hauraki House, followed by the customary pot-luck dinner at Tom and Wailin's.
Easter Sunday Unveilings Print E-mail

ImageUnveilings for Ihapera Ruamamao Pape, Tony's great great grandmother (who married Robert Henry Hardiman), and Harriet Emma Diamond-Ogilvy, her great grand daughter, took place at Ripeka Tapu, Rangi Point, on 16 April 2006.


Learn by Doing Print E-mail

Thought for the month...
Urban Design is the art of rearranging the world
so that we do not have to experience it.

"Vernacular-Architecture for Agenda 21 and RMA" now reprinted Print E-mail

ImageDue to popular demand the book
"Vernacular - an Architecture for Agenda 21
and the Resource Management Act"
was reprinted in August 2005.

A limited number of copies are available from

Parsons Bookshop, Wellesley Street, Auckland.

Piglet features on BBC World News Print E-mail

ImagePiglet featured on BBC World News in March 2005.

Cameraman Olaf Wiig survived a kidnap drama in Gaza in August 2006.

Piglet's book “Piglet the Great of Karaka Bay”
is still available from a bookshop near you.

Now reduced to only NZ$20.

It would make an ideal birthday or Christmas present.
Send presents for Piglet to the Tree House.

Montana Award Winning 'Pohutukawa and Rata', and Piglet Print E-mail

ImagePhilip Simpson’s book on Pohutukawa and Rata was launched at Te Papa on 9 November 2005 and in Auckland two days later.

It features Ian Town’s watercolour
of Piglet at Karaka Bay along with the Karaka Bay house
nestling among the pohutukawa.

Philip's book won the 2006 Montana Award for Environment/Non-fiction.

Congratulations Philip. 

Karaka Bay as slow theatre in "Exquisite Apart" Print E-mail
Image“Exquisite Apart” is still available at bookstores.
It features many wonderful photographs of
architecture without people, and one lonely photograph
of people without architecture. For an explanation read
Dorita Hannah’s essay on architecture as slow theatre.
Dogs banned from Tahuna Torea Bird Sanctuary Print E-mail
ImageA decision in August 2005 has set aside Tahuna Torea
as a safe haven for both birds and people,
with dogs completely banned from the sanctuary.
The next step is to establish a network of coastal walkways
where people can take their birds for a walk
without being molested by dogs.
World Habitat Day and the Kauri Festival both focused on Kohukohu Library Print E-mail
ImageTo celebrate 2005 as the Year of the Built Environment
Kohukohu hosted an open day tour of kauri buildings. It began at the Library,
which was the New Zealand focus for United Nations World Habitat Day 2004.
The Library was developed in response to
Jaime Lerner’s “Celebration of Cities” competition.
Tony was in Tokyo for the UIA Council Meeting Print E-mail
ImageThe highlight of 2005 was spending a week in Tokyo
staying with Akio and Kazuko to attend the
International Union of Architects Work Programme Meeting
and the UIA Council Meeting.
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