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

Tony Watkins

 ~ Vernacular Design 

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"Thinking it through" is available from either Rim Books or Karaka Bay Press for the astonishingly low price of $30. This book brings together a series of articles by Tony Watkins and photographs by Haru Sameshima, originally published in "Home and Building" over an eight year period. You will find a review by Greg O'Brien published in Tui Motu at www.tony-watkins.com/content/view624/20/ and a review by John Walsh published in the Listener at www.tony-watkins.com/content/view/618/20/  You will find a selection of the original articles at www.tony-watkins.com/content/view/21/20/

This book would make an ideal present.


"The Human House" is now available as a book. Itgathers together all the articles which originally appeared in the Auckland Star along with a Prologue and an Epilogue. It is available for $40 from John Balasoglou or for $35, or $40 including packing and postage, from Karaka Bay Press, through this web site. You will find a review at www.tony-watkins.com/content/view/486/20/

Everyone thinking about building a house should read this book first.


Copies of "Piglet the Great of Karaka Bay" are still available. A few sample pages at www.tony-watkins.com/content/view/9/26

All these books are also available at Tower Bakery in Waimarie Street, the best bakery in Auckland.


"Kohukohu Heritage Precinct" by Tony Watkins and Graeme North, originally published in 2009, was reprinted in 2013. It is available from "Village Arts", or directly from Karaka Bay Press. $20 but half price for Kohukohu locals.

After a short-run reprint a very limited number of copies of "Veracular - An architecture for the RMA and Agenda 21" were available from Parsons. Sadly the bookshop closed down in 2012 but they may still be able to supply. Check the price with them.


Hopefully "The house that Piglet Built" will be published in late 2014. This book tells the story of the building of Arakaianga at Te Ohu with the support of Piglet at the Tree House. It weaves together Hokianga adventures and different ways of seeing the world.


An article on Rio+20 was published in both the August 2012 issue of Tui Motu and NZIA Cross Section, with extracts in the Arc-Peace Newsletter. You will find it at www.tony-watkins.com/content/view/605/20/ 

I have always liked the form of the Letter to the Editor. A good letter should be like a haiku, short and yet saying much more than is obvious at first.

"Stormwater forum" in November 2013 took the Auckland Council to task for failing to obtain Resource Consents for itself while expecting everyon else to do so.

Older letters include "Planners take note" published in the Herald, in Jaunuary 2011. It praised Chris Barton for his excellent writing about Sagrade Familia and Mark Burry. It also hoped there might be changes in the planning process. Check it out at www.tony-watkins.com/content/view/572/20/

My letter published in the Herald on GM pine was cheered on by friends, but a dead duck as far as the public was concerned. Rather like leaky homes. No one was interested until their own homes rotted to pieces. Check it out at www.tony-watkins.com/content/view/566/20/

ImageTwo other older letters published in the Herald are at www.tony-watkins.com/content/view/322/20/
on the new weak-kneed ACC logo, and at www.tony-watkins.com/content/view/345/20/
on the demolition of the Edmiston Wing of the Art Gallery.

Three letters published in the East and Bays Courier are at www.tony-watkins.com/content/view/393/20/
arguing for a total ban on all dogs at all times at all Auckland beaches. Sydney adopted this policy long ago to make beaches safe places for people.

An article published in Tui Motu pointed out that creativity during the Medieval period was at least 22 times greater than it is now. Simple statistics suggest that our building industry is a basket case. You will find it at www.tony-watkins.com/contect/view/564/20

An article published in Cross Section put the case for the NZIA to sign up to the Earth Charter. You will find it at www.tony-watkins.com/content/view/352/20/
It hit the mark and on 21 May 2008 the NZIA Council resolved to sign up. The Earth Charter sets an ethical standard which over time will lead to ethically responsible architecture.


The NZIA has been endlessly debating changing our world-leading environmental policy into something more suitable for business. Along the way history has been forgotten. As a reminder I have put a few of the NZIA Position Papers I wrote in support of the Environmental Policy on line. You will find them at www.tony-wtkins.com/content/view/512/20/


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