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

Tony Watkins

 ~ Vernacular Design 

1996 Review Print E-mail

"Live fully,
live passionately,
live disastrously."
Voilet Trefusis 1918.



ImageIn less than ten years New Zealand has moved from being the country with the lowest differential in the Western world between the rich and the poor to the country with the highest differential. In the same period, for obvious reasons, New Zealand has become one of the most violent countries in the Western world.


Our murder rate is now second only to that of the USA. Tourists are beaten and robbed in the very heart of Auckland City. New Zealanders struggle to come to grips with human rights abuses. Institutionalised violence now makes it possible to hire a policeman to beat up an environmentalist. A city manager even condemned a radio station for informing the public about the city's actions.

In the nineties we are seeing a new New Zealand, and it seems to have very little going for it.

Over a ten year period the commons have been sold, along with New Zealand's heritage, so that there has never been such an abundance of discretionary wealth. There is however a sad aimlessness in the spending of that wealth. There is some excellent architecture, but it stands in contrast to unprecedented and almost universal urban design failure. The concentration of power has also sadly but inevitably opened the door to corruption.

For a few life in New Zealand has never been so good. For many there is disbelief and confusion.

How did all this happen? Why has there been so little protest? Why has there been so little intellectual debate? Why have our Universities moved from leadership to subservience?  What has become of the ethical standards and social responsibility which were once the very foundation of both the planning profession and our way of life?

Set against such a dramatic backdrop it seems inevitable that the life of any committed individual in New Zealand will seem a little larger than life.

Life is tougher and more brutal in the nineties, but there is also an abundance of good people, joy, hope, stimulation, love, and beauty.

It is impossible in 1996 to talk of a balanced view. The world is, at the moment, wildly out of balance.

However the primary theological statement that life is indeed very  good remains as true as ever.

 1  Habitat II, in Istanbul, was a triumph for New Zealand....

In 1972 the first United Nations Conference on the Environment was held in Stockholm. It began a cycle of conferences which culminated in the first Habitat Conference in Vancouver in 1976. Stockholm began with broader concerns, such as a lack of drinking water for many people in the world, while Vancouer focused the eyes of the world more specifically on the built environment implications of seeing the water cycle more clearly. How, for example, can we accept that water will fall onto our buildings, be rejected, and turned into waste?

Not only has little progress been made since then, but the situation has become worse as attitudes have become more entrenched. In 1996 Auckland City sought to privatise sewage treatment, so that wealthy people would not need to subsidise the poor. The only problem seen was that of installing meters to measure the sewage flows. Then it was decided to charge on the basis of potable water supplied to houses "because more than 80% of water is converted to waste by our housing".

Twenty years after Stockholm the same conference cycle was repeated. It began in 1992 with the "Earth Summit" in Rio de Janeiro, and culminated in 1996 with the Habitat II Conference in Istanbul.

Until recently I would have described UNCED as "renegotiating our contract with nature", with Agenda 21 as the contract document. I now see more clearly the need to fall in love with nature once again. It is a change of heart which is needed, not more fine-sounding but ineffective policy documents.

Relationships which are nothing more than contracts are destined to lead to boring mediocrity. Life without passion is as moribund as economics. In this sense we were extremely successful in Istanbul in bringing before the world the need for cities to be more human.

2   Our idea of "The Human City" caught the imagination of the world....

We saw the need for people to "fall in love with cities again". Everywhere there is placelessness. People feel they do not belong. Architects fill the world with faceless, placeless buildings. Administrations become anonymous. Even in universities courses are reduced to numbers and names disappear. No one is responsible for anything any more. It is always someone else. In a world where people feel overwhelmed we began to talk about planting a flower or being kind to your next door neighbour.

Our first publication "Human Cities" was presented to the Narobi Preparatory Committee for Habitat II, and the theme was taken up by both UNDP and UNESCO in Istanbul.

It was not a new idea, of course. Margaret Mead had talked about these strategies at Habitat I. I wrote "The Human House" in the seventies, and have devoted much of my life to a Vernacular Architecture, which is specific to place, people and culture. It was rather a perception which has been forgotten by designers, and ignored by decision-makers.

My proposals to place an emphasis on history in the early years of the Bachelor of Planning were ignored by those who sense an elusive freedom in knowing little about their past. I try to give at least a few glimpses of the history of design in my courses, but they are not enough to overcome the placelessness of ideas which is such a feature of contemporary learning.

3   The "Road from Rio" to Istanbul has been long and hard....

All the conferences in this United Nations cycle were preceded by Preparatory Committees, at which the real work on texts was done. There were also professional and NGO meetings, as well as national reports to prepare. Thus, for those deeply involved, the global process was continuous over a seven year period. My involvement, for example, began with ICED (International Conference on Environment and Development) in Argentina in 1991, when architects from around the world gathered to prepare for the "Earth Summit".

I was able to bring about significant changes in Agenda 21, but success implies consolidation rather than relaxation. It was necessary to carry the impetus right through to Habitat II.

At WSSD Copenhagen in 1995, known at the "World Social Summit", the social importance of architecture was acknowledged. Poverty is a built-form and design issue. I went to Copenhagen with the aim of simply getting architecture onto the agenda, and found to my surprise that architecture became the central issue. The stunning setting, created by architect Jan Birkit-Smith made it clear that creative solutions are much more important than talking about problems.

It was in Copenhagen that the pattern was set for Istanbul, and I was involved with meetings with all the key players. The idea of a pedestrianised Conference Valley took shape. Back in New Zealand I initiated New Zealand's preparations for Habitat II, as well as the Preparatory Committees in Nairobi and New York, before I had even driven home from the airport.

4   The University of Auckland was one of only a few in the world to be accredited to Habitat II....

Every environmentalist knows that the time when people are most likely to be effective is the time when they are least likely to take action. Those who do take the risks of being at the leading edge are very vulnerable because it is inevitable that they will be totally extended. Much later those who played it safe rewrite history to suggest that they were there at the time.

It is very fashionable in New Zealand for politicians to claim that they were right there in the thick of the nuclear protests or the Springbok Tour protests, while at the time they were of a different persuasion. It is interesting that those in the University who lecture on Agenda 21 were not part of the process of writing the document, while those who engaged the process are marginalised.

Two days after Graeme's death Erroll agreed that the Faculty could be accredited. (8 Mar), and my motion was accepted by Faculty, with the proviso that there should be no demand for money or resources. (13 Mar) I needed to remind staff that Graeme and I had met all costs out of our own pockets up to this stage, so they had little to fear.

With only five places available for each international NGO, and only two for each national NGO, it was a considerable achievement, and a great thrill, to have every one of my students fully accredited in Istanbul. I acknowledge the skill and dedication of Megan and Mark in achieving this.

5   Adventure travel begins before you even get to the airport....

To simply say that I flew to Istanbul on 31 May is something of an understatement. When I should have been completing my preparations one crisis seemed to follow another. The main sewer from my house became blocked and I had to open up the drains to fix the problem. (19 May) Then a rat chewed through the ducted main electrical supply cable to my house. At first there were a series of underground explosions (23 May), while I tried to work out what on earth was going on, and  the following day everything died. Of course my computer was down, so I was not only out of contact with the world, but also crippled for completing all my marking for Vernacular Architecture. I replaced the cable and life carried on. Somehow, in the midst of all this I managed to get Helen's book ready to send off to the publishers.

I flew straight through to Istanbul on Thai Airlines, with only stop overs in Sydney and Bangkok. Verney came all the way with me. The Architour Group with Gerry Hodgson came as far as Bangkok. Allan Roger joined us in Sydney and came on with us to Istanbul. It was indeed a very social flight.

Within hours of arriving we were all hard at work. Internet made an immense difference. I found it difficult to believe, as we sat down to a meal together, that I had never met Felix Dodds before. It seemed as though we had had many a conversation.

6   Students keep you young....

Megan and Mark had gone on ahead to prepare the ground, and with typical brilliance they had discovered the Gezi Hotel, which became our home for several weeks. Martin Valatin, an Arc-Peace EC Member from England, Chi Wah and Manu joined us there.

Bob Harvey had also arrived early to participate in the Local Government Forum. He was an invaluable ally, and without him ringing up to get Don McKinnon, the Minister for Foreign Affairs, out of bed we would never have succeeded in getting the New Zealand Delegation to change its stance. Bob really understands the synchronicity of positive energy. It was typical that I should wonder where I would find him in the midst of twelve million people, sit down for a cup of coffee to think about it, and find myself sitting next to him.

The New Zealand Government attitude to Habitat II was as astonishing as it was ignorant. "Architecture is simply not an issue" was their response to my requests for involvement. The fact that the built environment uses more energy and resources than any other sector of the economy, and produces most of our pollution seemed to have escaped them. Cities are not only the problem; they have the potential to become the solution to global environmental collapse.

Many people spent a lot of energy trying to change the attitude of the Government. I thought it would be more fun to play the game a different way. New Zealand was almost alone in not having a delegation at the Nairobi Preparatory Committee. By default Heidi, Megan and Mark, students doing my Habitat II course, became the voice for New Zealand. It was an astonishing coup. The oldest New Zealander at Nairobi was less than half the age of the youngest other delegate, and from all accounts twice as effective.

In Istanbul we rewrote the Government agenda, and through the head of our Government Delegation, Priscilla Williams, New Zealand became one of the first countries in the world to endorse the Partnership Process. She also brought forward to the Plenary Assembly our "Peaceful Cities" initiative.

7   The Partnership Process reflected a changing world order....

New Zealand was one of only three countries in the world to have NGO representation on a government delegation at the "Earth Summit". It was a result of very fast footwork rather than any withering campaign. At an NGO meeting at the Marine Rescue Centre Don McKinnon suggested that mandate was an insoluble problem. I immediately moved that everyone present should endorse a single candidate. When this was carried unanimously with acclamation Don countered by saying we would never agree on a candidate. Lest the moment should pass I immediately nominated Simon Reeves, as the only appropriate person I could see from a quick look around the room. By the time the unanimous applause had died down we were on our way.

Astonishing changes followed over the next five years. In Istanbul an NGO document was put forward for the first time as an official UN document. The era of protest had come to an end, and an era of co-operation had been introduced. The co-ordinators of the document were Megan and Mark, two of my students. In Istanbul NGO speakers addressed Committee One in their own right. The speakers were chosen by Megan and Mark.

While others were talking about a new world order we were busy bringing it into being.

Recognition of the political power of cities was one of the features of Habitat II. Professional groups were also recognised in their own right. TNCs have blurred the boundaries of nations. Nations as they were perceived at the time of the founding of United Nations no longer exist. These changes were acknowledged through the process by which all groups were able to make submissions to Committee Two.

8  We launched the "Peaceful Cities" concept onto the world arena....

I first developed the idea of "Peaceful Cities" at PrepCom II, in Nairobi. In the midst of the "doom and gloom" academic papers about cities I wanted a positive, creative alternative. It needed to be simple, easy to communicate, profound in its scope, and yet not beyond implementation,

In Nairobi peace was accepted as the first principle for cities, but at the Intersessionals we lost ground. In New York at PrepCom III we recovered much of that ground, but the clarity of the Nairobi text became muddled. Peace is much more than a nice idea. The built-environment can encourage a culture of peace.

We wanted to avoid the traps of the "safe city" concept. More lights, fences and concrete footpaths only increase alienation and lead in the long term, through a cycle of environmental violence, to cities which are less safe.

Even the University of Auckland creates conditions of environmental violence, and then reacts to predictable responses with even more environmental violence. The downhill path is one which has been trodden before, so that the results are there for anyone to see. When I was travelling the world on my Qantas Environmental Award I visited Berkeley just after a lecturer had been murdered by a student. The academic papers were internationally acclaimed, but a ten minute visit to Wuster was enough to see that those papers were fundamentally flawed.

Hospitality, respect, belonging, identity, harmony, diversity, and complexity. These are some of the characteristics of a peaceful city. We published a small booklet to take to New York, and I had hoped before the end of 1996 to have a larger book well on the way. The violence of the Auckland City Council ironically set this programme back. My hope is that my "Peaceful Cities" book will be published in 1997.

9   We widened the agenda of the "Peace Messenger Cities"....

Through Internet I had discovered the UNESCO "Peace Messenger Cities" programme (22  April), and before leaving for Istanbul I had arranged to speak at their gathering. It was something of a miracle that we managed to do so. I had noted the wrong university campus, but obviously it was meant to happen as somehow we all found each other and the meeting.

After an hour of boring monologues I was dismayed when Bob Harvey unexpectedly whispered that he had to go to get to another meeting. I tried to convince him to stay, but he was adamant. The procedure of United Nations meetings tends to be rather formal, with the next four or so countries to speak noted by the Chairman. I did the unforgivable, and leapt to my feet to interrupt proceedings, explaining that Bob had to go to another meeting.

There was a moment of confusion. No one knew who Bob was. I propelled Bob into that moment of silence, and being a great politician he excelled. "I am the Mayor of the first city in the world to declare itself to be nuclear free." There was a thunderous standing ovation. The chairman had lost control. Bob carried on. Then he apologised for needing to go, and exited centre right. Perfect.

I was invited to speak  to explain our "Peaceful Cities" programme in more detail, and then every mayor in the room seemed to want to shake my hand.

At that time there were 76 "Peace Messenger Cities". They were people of great good will, but saw peace as something to achieve somewhere else. Bosnia. Cambodia. Rwanda. Now they could see that the best way to help others would be to achieve peace within their own cities.

A great deal of follow up is needed  to sustain the initiative. It should have been done in 1996, but once again there has not been time to do everything

10  We sent off a nomination in the UNESCO "Mayors for Peace" Prize....

It seemed so appropriate that Bob Harvey should announce at the EAROPH Conference that the Metro mayors of the nine largest cities in New Zealand had responded to our initiative and declared themselves to be "Peaceful Cities". (7 Sept) To the best of our knowledge we were the first country in the world to actually follow up Habitat II with action rather than words.

Bob had worked closely with us from the moment we arrived in Istanbul, developing that bond of understanding which makes it possible to avoid debate and launch into creative action with a nod and a wink. Back in New Zealand Bob even arranged a meeting with Megan, Mark and me to sort out his EAROPH speech. (2 Sept)

In Istanbul  UNESCO announced a "Mayors for Peace" prize, and I was delighted to be able to nominate Bob Harvey as a worthy recipient, in my capacity as an EC Member of Arc-Peace. (19 Nov)

Megan, Mark and I advised the Waitakere City Council on the preparation of the entry, and the stunning presentation left us all feeling very pleased. It was printed directly from a Pagemaker disc using a new Agfa process which makes small colour runs an economic possibility. There was a slight protocol difficulty at the Karakia, but nothing to prevent the entry arriving in Paris on time. (21 Nov)

11   We came close to bringing a Curitiba bus to New Zealand....

In Istanbul Jaime Lerner, now Governor but formerly Mayor of Curitiba, took Verney, Manu and me to lunch with the Mayor of Istanbul and the Mayor of Izmir. We travelled to our little restaurant by a Curitiba bus. Jaime had brought a demonstration model and two bus stops to Istanbul to set up a route between Conference Valley and the World Trade Fair.

I asked Jaime about the possibility of sending a similar container load on to New Zealand. He was enthusiastic and a project was launched. For him there was a marketing possibility as he was astonished to learn that we did not produce our own buses. "How can you afford to buy them from someone else?" was a typical Jaime comment.

We had first met in Chicago at the UIA Congress, and I suspect Jaime admired the energy and commitment of our New Zealand "Papatuanuku" team.

Back in New Zealand Laura Basham wrote an editorial (16 Aug), and then published one of my articles. With phone calls to all the local authorities another campaign was under way. It was an ideal opportunity for my Design students to explore a creative alternative to endless, dull transportation reports.

Positive energy is amazing. Everything just seemed to fall into place. Sadly we then ran into the negative energy of the University bureaucracy. No resources had been made available to help us, and there was not a word of encouragement from any of the sustainable design transport researchers. I was too cynical to either ask for any, or expect it. However staff resources were suddenly made available to remove all our exhibition material, on the pretext that a visiting Canadian, Clair McDuff Oliver, was more important. (18 Sept) We had little choice other than to let the idea slide.

Ideas which are fun, simple to do, and require goodwill rather than research grants do not fit easily into the current economic climate.

Sadly Laura moved to Nelson in early 1997, but around the same time (12 Feb '97) the Yellow Bus Company announced a proposal almost identical to the one we had put forward, with new "Link" buses circling our proposed city loop for a one dollar fare. The new bus design adopted the wide aisles and step-free access of the Curitiba buses. The ability of ideas to bring about change should never be under-estimated.

12   Habitat II concluded one process, but began another....

Megan, Mark and Verney produced a superb Habitat II report. Mine has taken a little longer. If you would like a copy let me know.

Mounting and labelling slides, organising written material and following up on contacts all seems to take a lot of my time. These tasks are only effortless when other people are doing them. My letters of thanks have been woefully short of my ambitions. I can only apologise to the many wonderful people I still need to thank adequately for their many kindnesses.

To reduce weight I had posted a bundle of written material home from Istanbul. It seemed to just disappear into a black hole, and I concluded that the positive view was to think of all the work which now did not need to be done. Then one night around 7pm a tattered mess of packing tape,  string, and foam pellets appeared on top of my letter box. (20 Nov) Inside was all my material, in perfect condition. "You men of little faith."

Our Istanbul team took less time to celebrating our successes than we did planning ongoing strategies. Megan, Mark and Verney and I shared a dinner at Cafe Harim. (22 Oct) It provided an opportunity to catch up on Verney's trip to Australia, and debate whether charrettes empower or disempower the people who are expected to give up their time to play the professionals' game.

Megan, Mark, Verney, Claire and I shared pizza in Ponsonby Road. (17 Dec) This at last gave us all a chance to catch up on Claire's trip through South America, and the work she had been doing with Maria Luz in Lima. (17 Sept) Claire had played an important role in keeping the Nairobi electronic communication network moving, and it was great that she could team up with Arc-Peace in Peru.

13   We reported back to the Faculty....

It seems odd that the University feels it is important for staff to attend conferences, and yet there is no tradition of staff reporting back to other staff about conferences or leave. Thus a pattern has developed where staff "collect" conferences for their CVs, without feeling any obligation to inform others, or even attend any sessions other than their own, let alone participate in debate in any active way. At UIA Barcelona the organisers simply acknowledged this in a very Spanish matter-of-fact way. A venue on the far side of town was devoted entirely to academics, who could simply talk to empty rooms and enter the Conference on their CVs, without needing to cross the threshold of a Conference venue. Guilded attendance certificates were also issued to anyone who cared to pay the fee.

It was good then that Erroll should organise  a lunch time Faculty series of talks on Habitat II and UIA Barcelona. Erroll Haarhoff began the series by talking on UIA Barcelona. (10 Sept) I was hoping to get another view of a very complex process, but unfortunately Erroll had given up in frustration at the organisation, and spent most of his time on field trips. His slides, copied from the exhibition book, and his resume of the book, offered insights for the uninitiated, but nothing for those who had been there.

Gary Tonks had apparently not been to the Conference itself, so he spoke on Gaudi. (11 Sept) It was a sharp contrast with the brilliance of Mark Burry, one of our graduates who has been working for eighteen months developing computer modelling from the original Gaudi models. Mark's computer models are then developed into working drawings.
Megan and Mark began our presentation. (12 Sept) It was interesting that several people asked me afterwards if they had spent months preparing, or was it spontaneous. Of course it was both. It had taken eighteen months to develop team skills and total familiarity with the material, but then they could speak directly and appropriately to the audience.

I endeavoured to explain the numerous working groups behind the "show and tell" facade of UIA Barcelona, and then set it in the context of Habitat II. There was some disbelief that the President of Turkey should have chartered a plane to fly the New Zealand team down to Cappadocia to have lunch with him and celebrate our successes.

Erroll Haarhoff brought everyone back to earth with a detailed explanation of Cerda's plan for Barcelona. (13 Sept) I was fascinated by a slide he had copied of a Natal village aerial photograph. Within the incredible complexity there was total visual discontinuity of the access ways. It made Cerda seem so boring, intellectual and predictable.

Gary Tonks and Peter Diprose concluded the series with an overview of Spain. (27 Sept) It was intriguing that they should show no contemporary work. Perhaps I did not miss so much after all. The politics of those who come to a lecture series such as this, and those who stay away, is also intriguing. Erroll did not come to our presentation.

14  The achievements of Arc-Peace are astonishing, while the frustrations are those of any international organisation....

For me meetings are a means to an end, never an end in themselves. I become very impatient with those who love to talk, and love to have others listening to them talk, but finally end up doing nothing. The line between useful talk and useless talk is however very fine, and impossible to distinguish. International meetings compound personality differences as cultures fail to see just how different other world views can be.

I dare not think of the hours that I spend at Arc-Peace (International Architects, Designers, Planners for Social Responsibility) Meetings, and I know the Swedes think I spend all my time avoiding meetings. Somewhere, in the gap between our perceptions, a great deal of useful talk goes on.

We did after all manage to be part of the collapse of Communism, helping to change the course of history. We have had a major impact in the area of built-environment responsibility. We did get environmental policies adopted by most of the architectural institutes of the world.

Above all else our world-wide network has made it possible for individuals to achieve far more than they could ever have done on their own. Our resources are almost non-existent, but we can be very proud of our achievements.

Without Arc-Peace none of our global achievements during 1996 would have been possible.

15   ADPSR made our participation in PrepCom III, in New York, possible....

We had hoped to have a presence at the Habitat II Intersessionals, partly to hold the advantage we had gained, and partly because the smaller the meeting the greater the possibility of having ideas discussed. However with no resources, short lead times, and other commitments in our lives it is not easy to get to meetings on the other side of the world.

Even when UNDP offered to pay all our hotel and food expenses to attend the luxurious Mamara meeting we still had to get to Mamara and find a week of spare time. In 1996 there were more opportunities than we could possibly take advantage of, but it was still hard to say no to travel brochure blue skies, fishing villages, and the archaeology of centuries.

New York in the middle of winter has little of that charm, and the prospect of plunging out of our summer into sub-zero temperatures, where even the water in firefighters' hoses was freezing, was a test of commitment. Megan and Mark once again rose to the occasion and went off to the Third Preparatory Committee for Habitat II.

I agreed to find them accommodation if they could find their fares. Doing this as well as finding accommodation and fares for myself was not as easy as I had hoped. Jim Morgan was wonderful as always and he arranged for Jane McGroarty to send me an invitation to stay. (17 Jan) Alisha Balocco, also from ADPSR offered a bed for another week.

With less than a week to go, my options were extremely limited, and I had to make some hard choices. I decided not to go to New York, so that Megan and Mark could use my accommodation. (26 Jan) It was really important that they should be there, and we had no one who was helping back in New Zealand with all the tasks which needed to be done at home, such as handling media contacts. It is sad that there is so little collegiality in the University.

There were many people of good will in New Zealand, and they held several meetings over the holiday period to prepare an alternative NGO document. (20 Jan) Over the past five years my attitudes have changed. Books provided by people with barrows to push lie in heaps in the corridors of United Nations meetings. No one reads them, and there is a Leunig poignancy in watching cleaners tip them into rubbish bins at the end of proceedings.

When there are opportunities for real change it is important to grasp them. Fundamental changes are needed in the way we see cities. Tinkering with windmills is a hobby. Heidi could see this after Nairobi and following one of our great raves she produced an excellent flyer on water patterns to go to New York. (20 Jan)

Megan and Mark flew off to New York. (2 Feb) I spent the day on final documentation, and after a mad dash to the airport only just managed to get it all to them. It was rather crazy to also squeeze in a late afternoon meeting with Des Piggin and Ann to show them the Te Taongaroa scheme, but Des insisted.

Our worldwide network was very effective for PrepCom III, although there were severe glitches. Annette Blevgard told me of UIA involvement only when it was too late. (15 Feb) The information could have influenced my decision to go. I spent a small fortune telephoning New York to cover for communication break-downs. (8 Feb) It seemed a little unfair that we were paying the bills while the University was getting the publicity.

I subscribed to ENB (Earth Negotiations Bulletin) for PrepCom III, and that changed my life. (5 Feb) Every day I was able to sit at Karaka Bay and browse through the day's proceedings in New York. Drawing together other information and responses from around the world made it possible to tell Megan and Mark about happenings in New York that they were not aware of on the spot.

Media coverage is important, but organising it can also be very time consuming. I arranged for live interviews from New York with Kevin Icon. (5 Feb)  The result was excellent coverage on Earth Turn. (17 Feb) That same night there was a half hour documentary on Sky television, and the PrepCom even featured on the 5pm news.

Judy Lessing was very helpful in New York and her interviews would also be used in later programmes. (15 Feb) CNN expressed interest in coming to NZ.

Megan and Mark's arrival home was spectacular. (1 Mar) Peggy Lauer and other IIR (Institute for International Research) folk from San Francisco had been travelling around New Zealand and they arrived back in Auckland. There was a BBQ in the Department, and after that they all ended up down at KB for pizza, with Tom telling wonderful stories of his exploits overseas. Meanwhile Graeme was dying, a swarm of wasps was attacking my beehive, I needed to front up to ten hours driving the following day to get to Mary and George's celebration, and be back to look after 500 guests for the main welcome home the day after that.

16   The "Vegas Girl" debate provided some light relief....

In the midst of the high drama of making the cities of the world more tolerant, diverse and humane some local issues serve as a reminder that people really are the problem.

A quirky sign in Karangahape Road has become something of a local cultural icon, having survived from the sixties. The knockers decided it was something they could safely knock, and interestingly the Herald rang almost fifty architects without finding one who was willing to make a public comment. I was just back from Istanbul, and rather enjoying the cut and thrust of architectural politics, so I had a very long interview with Camille Guy. (4 Sept)

The outcome was a full-page article in Herald. (14 Sept) It was great to have the supporting illustration of one of our architecture students wearing a "Save the Vegas Girl" T-shirt. Some of our students are really courageous, and very sharp.

The future of the sign drifted on into the morass of the legal process. I have spent enough of my life talking to people who wear safe suits, live in safe houses in safe suburbs, and understand almost nothing about life, so I am trying to give up boring legal appeals.

On 28 January 1997 the Film and Literature Board of Review upheld an appeal, and the sign was allowed to remain a feature of city life. It was interesting that the Board should note that "Many people appearing in the case had resorted to using censorship legislation where there had been a failure of urban planning initiative." This was the cue for planners to come out of the woodwork and make fools of themselves by ignoring their own plan.

Brian Rudman then reminded everyone that the obscene and inappropriate Sharp sign on the Auckland Hospital resulted from an emergency meeting called by the Mayor to reverse the Council's decision to uphold the District Plan, made only a month previously. (12 Feb '97) Sometimes a very small issue brings forgotten corruption back into the public eye.

17   All of my Habitat II students came to Istanbul with me....

In the real world good judgement is needed to sort out the wheat from the chaff. It is little wonder then that bureaucrats have so much trouble trying to squeeze reality into their puny concepts. I hope that my students will emerge from the University system with a sense of timing, and good judgement, in spite of it all.

We were suffering from burn-out before the academic year even began, with PrepCom III already behind us. Megan and Mark prepared a superb report, and it needed to be mailed around the world, so that everyone could be ready for Istanbul. (27 Mar)

On paper my Habitat II Course began with the academic year. (29 Feb) It was administrative shambles, with some students ending up enrolled in the wrong semester. (21 Mar) Having tried most of the alternatives I am inclined these days to just shrug my shoulders.

It was a thrill for us all when Chi Wah's father offered to pay for him to go to Istanbul. (2 April) After that we could concentrate on political effectiveness. Sharing an experience is completely different from listening to someone talking about it. Chi Wah studied the sweep of history and philosophy as we explored the relationship between China and Turkey.

My attempts to involve other staff were not so successful. Charles Walker did endeavour to sort out hotels in Istanbul, but his efforts came to nothing. (10 May)

18   Yair generously convinced me that Istanbul was really very close to the Negev....

I first met Yair Etzion when he came to New Zealand for the PLEA Conference. I was impressed that he should hire a campervan and go off to explore the country on his own. I was also very impressed with all the work he showed me from the Desert Architecture Unit.

The next PLEA Conference was held in Israel, and only the pressure of University work prevented me from getting there. By that time Graeme was too sick to go, and it seemed very important that someone from New Zealand should keep a sense of continuity.

My maps and books had all been prepared so that when Yair responded to the PrepCom III Report and obituaries I had sent him with an invitation to visit Ben Gurion University I immediately began to check fares.

I was overwhelmed by the generosity and kindness of everyone. Yair's wonderful secretary drove all the way to Haifa to meet me at the airport. Yair and Leah hosted me in their own home, and Yair drove me all over southern Israel and down to the Red Sea, looking at architectural work. Saki was the perfect guide to En Advat. Everyone at Sede Boker took time out to share their research and ideas.

There was a lot of interest in my New Zealand research, and it was great being able to bring fresh information from Istanbul.

Jerusalem seemed almost deserted as a result of bomb blasts, and there was an inevitable nervousness following the unexpected election result a few weeks before. I was thus able to wander the streets of the old city from before dawn until after dark almost without seeing another traveller. To farewell me, and also celebrate 3000 years of the city of David, there was a spectacular fireworks display. I was able to watch from the roof of the Casa Nova, where fortunately I was able to stay.

If you would like to browse through my trip diary please ask.

19   Giancarlo de Carlo is transforming Colletta del Castelbianco into the highest technology village in the world....

From time to time the interaction of a number of different research interests becomes really exciting. Home employment has always intrigued me. It implies a measure of respect and understanding within a culture. It may seem that you are at home, but actually you are working. No one would dream of walking into a lawyer's office and leafing through the papers on the desk, but there is not the same respect for a home office. Sustainable design means changing some fundamental assumptions about the house.

Everyone seems to have theories about the Net, but only those who have played the game know the pitfalls and possibilities. Joe Farrant was able to obtain information about his cancer, which apparently was not yet available in New Zealand, from the USA Cancer Society. It is possible to plan a trip on the Paris Metro and get the correct fare more easily from home than it is in Paris. When the system crashes however it can really crash. We have learned to keep everything simple. The theory of being able to run a University course in New Zealand from Colletta del Castelbianco seems to have few problems. I am keen to follow the process as it unfolds.

Just when I thought vernacular architecture would at last come into its own again architectural pastiche seems to have taken over. The best lunch we had in Istanbul was soft-selling the "New Urbanism Renaissance". Developer-driven papier-mache villages selling like hot cakes to those who heard the message, but mixed up process and product. A multi-billion dollar world happening. Even Prince Charles must find it hard to believe.

Urbino was driven by idealism. Colletta is driven by the market and money. I could not resist going to visit to see how Giancarlo de Carlo is meeting the challenge. I flew from Istanbul to Nice, hired a car and drove up to have a look and chat to the site-architect.

The new Colletta is for the very rich, but this is the architecture of the poor. The total population of Castelbianco is around 200, and there are five villages. Reviving this village will probably do nothing for the local economy. The new residents will be connected elsewhere, through a fibre-optic cable to Albegna, put in with Telecom support. The whole notion is "romantic", with the risks carefully sanitised. Balustrades are being put on what were once open accessible roofs. Today it is unacceptable for a child to fall off. Once there were five children and two survived. Now there are only two children and it is critical that they both survive. Architects have to face these questions.

20   I presented a paper on Colletta in the "Italian Cities" series of seminars....

Inter-Departmental Seminars can be great fun. There are architects who get all their pronunciations wrong, Italians who get their architects wrong, and Art Historians who are astonished to find that it is all happening right now. The art is to set up the dialogue and leave them to it. That is what I aimed to do with my paper on Colletta. (22 Aug)

Hugh McGuire actually wrote and apologised the following day. There had been two interesting papers before mine which had not provoked a single question. Forty minutes after I had finished speaking there were still people shouting at each other, trying to talk at once, and wanting to know more. I had to explain to Hugh that that was what I loved. Some reaction. The final coup was John Sutherland suggesting that twelve academics form a syndicate to buy one of the houses.

The whole series was excellent. The previous week Mary Kisler had spoken. (15 Aug. Very academic, and as a result rather dull. At the last programme in the series Lawrence Simmons spoke on Antonioni, while Peter Sheppard and Charles Walker followed my theme by backgrounding Urbino and De Carlo. (12 Sept)

It was wonderful of Peter to tell me all about Colletta. Without his map and other information I would never have found it.

21   The villages in this corner of Italy are quite extraordinary....

Somehow I found my way out of Nice to the Grand Corniche road. Exquisite villages. Eze. Doing a little writing in Menton seemed to be very appropriate. I was also able to visit Katherine Mansfield's house, but no one was in residence at the time.

Every time I cross the border I seem to fall in love with Italy all over again.
Cervo with its lineal pattern and stepped cross streets. Albegna with its crunchy architecture. Zucharello, where the fantastic arcades are better than those in Bern or Czechoslovakia. Ventimiglio with boats hauled up onto the beach by a simple turnstile. Fishing nets. Free beach showers. If only New Zealand would learn the lessons. A classic Italian cemetery at Camporoso.  High rise vaults. Dolce Aqua with bridge and buttressing. Houses almost carved out of the solid rock of the hillside. Apricale. A magical approach road. Central spine. Italian cats eat spaghetti. Many cats and many dishes on steps, each with a little spaghetti. Pigne. The Col de Tenole. Airole. Olivetta.

Being free of cars these towns are quiet. You hear only human voices. People talk from window to window. Everyone says hello, just like they used to do in New Zealand. Peace is about tolerance. Italians understand this.

22   I was able to stay in my own house in Provence....

Michel's idea of a house swap has much to commend it. In theory Karaka Bay is the ideal place to write, but in practice I need to get up at 5am to get anything done before I am overwhelmed with demands. If Michel was living there he could ignore those endless interruptions and just write. It would be similar for me in Provence, apart from being so close to all the magnificent distractions of Europe. The very pressure which has prevented me from taking sabbatical leave is the reason why I should do so.

Michel had seen my place, but I had never been to St. Julien. What looked to be the shortest route on the map took me over high alpine passes before dropping down to follow the Var River. Then I found myself inching along a slot cut into a granite face, extending a thousand feet above and two thousand below. The trip took all day rather than two hours, but I loved every minute, especially when the moon came out.

Michel and Luce D'Argent gave me a wonderful welcome, and I instantly felt at home. To be more precise they gave me my own home, complete with a magnificent library of art and literature, and views out over the whole of the plain, which, with Fromo the dog we set out to explore. Woods. Oak trees planted to produce truffles. Villages. Castles. Olive oil, peaches and cherries. Vistas. A swim. St. Julien is itself a historic village perched on a hill.

I was astonished to find that 70% of the students at Aix-en-Provence University fail in their first year. When Michel went off to talk to them I set out in my Twingo to visit Senaque Abbey. It was just closing at 6pm. so I slipped through a gate and found I was able to attend Vespers with the monks. My route took me through much of Provence. Bonnieux. Croissants, brioche and a bowl of coffee.

We talked academia. Tired papers and no promotion for those who are involved with change and history. Derrida and Foucault are no longer flavour of the month in France. Keen minds, but out of touch. With so much common ground it seemed appropriate to leave the University of Auckland logo with Michel.

Having extended my stay beyond the last possible moment, I drove off to Nice to catch the last flight to the UIA Congress. There were endless towns to squeeze through, but they were all deserted. Le Thoronet was also deserted, having been in a state of historical presentation since 1840. The Cistercians live in very mediocre accommodation next door.

23   "Barcelona '96", the UIA Congress, was a riot....

From Nice I flew directly to Barcelona as I had run out of time. Suddenly I found myself waiting for hours in queues wondering why I had left Provence behind. The only consolation was meeting friends from around the world.

By the second day the students had rioted. The organisers had accepted money from around 10,000, and provided a keynote speaker venue for 500. I had a pass which enabled me to cross the police barricades, so the students asked me to negotiate for them. Unfortunately I spoke no Spanish, let alone Catalan, so I never did work out exactly what was going on. However a new venue was found. Now everyone could hear the speakers, but no-one could see the slides. Life was never meant to be perfect.

The organisers were right is assuming that the world will be saved only by hard work. Their hand was forced by the concept that the world will be saved by heroes who will lead us out of the mess we have got ourselves into. The rift divided Barcelona '96. I was the only New Zealander on the working side, and I really missed Graeme's support and energy.

Much of my time was spent at meetings. The "Road from Rio" Group. The Energy group. Sustainable Design. The UIA Assembly. I was a guest of honour at the very formal opening of the French exhibition on Sustainable Design.

I was lucky because I was also able to spend time talking to people like Richard Rogers or Zaha Hadid in small groups. The major presentations were bland, but our private conversations were really interesting.

Everyone made me really welcome, even inviting me to the UIA party in the Mies van der Rhoe Pavilion. After an hour watching the fountains play to music prepared for the Olympic Games Sasha and I walked home, wondering about our futures. New Zealanders think that Russia is falling apart; Russians fear that New Zealand is falling apart. Sasha was keen to come to New Zealand to join Reuben, Jim and the others, if I could set up a meeting.

The turning point in Barcelona was when a little man in stripped coloured socks challenged Richard Rogers in front of five thousand people about environmental morality and ethics. Calling Richard Norman made the sin even more unforgivable. Everyone expected the frail figure to be torn to shreds. "Many of you may not know who the questioner is" began Sir Richard, "so allow me to introduce Ralph Erskine. He taught me almost all I know about architecture, and he continues to teach me. I would advise every person in this hall to listen very closely to what he has said. I agree with every word of it."

Ralph Erskine, having produced some of the world's most beautiful buildings, now lives in a humble cottage which is not even connected to the electricity grid.

As always I came away with a host of new initiatives, and an impossible work load. There is little support in New Zealand for the UIA, so that global initiatives must be carried by the enthusiasts, while those on high salaries wait for their opportunities.

Bob Berkebile, who became a good friend when he spent time with me in New Zealand, has developed for the State Department an instantaneous translation programme between Chinese and English. We concluded that New Zealand was the ideal country to organise a global network to link students preparing for the next UIA Congress in three years time in Beijing. Back in New Zealand I found myself talking to a University blank wall.

24   In Bangkok I was at last able to attend the UN Environment and Sustainable Development Meeting....

Arc-Peace appointed me to be their ESCAP observer in Bangkok several years ago. It is rather hard to convince a Eurocentric person that Bangkok is actually closer to Europe than it is to New Zealand. With no resources to afford the fare I had never been able to get to any meetings.

By good luck I was able to come back through Bangkok from Barcelona at the time of the Environment and Sustainable Development Meeting, which was the Committee of greatest interest to me. After at last having the opportunity to sit in I concluded that it was actually of more interest to me than anyone else in Asia. Sometimes we are brought back to earth with a jolt.

The discussions I had in the United Nations Secretariat were much more useful.

25  My ancestors are calling me back to the Hokianga....

Journeys into our own being are at least as important as any journey around the world. Ideally they are one and the same. During 1996 I have been spending an increasing amount of time in the Hokianga.

The year began with a Marae Meeting at Michelle and Ruki's, in Omapere. (13 Jan) After a dash to catch the last ferry at 5.45pm and we stayed in the Rangi Point School for three nights. On Sunday we managed to find the Pompallier Memorial at last, and for me a mystery was unravelled. The site is where the Poynton's house stood, and that is why the first Mass in New Zealand was celebrated here. Each year a commemorative Mass is held, but this year, with rain threatening, it was relocated to the nearby marae. Afterwards, over kai, there were old friends to greet and new friends to meet. The Hokianga is one of the most humane places in the world.

The scenic route led to a game or two of table tennis in the Pawarenga pub. Talk is seldom idle in the Hokianga, as all the locals are a rich source of information. At Rangi Point Bill Scott told us all about his family history, while sharing his delicious smoked mullet. He gave us another couple of mullett to take with us.

Back in Kaikohe we discovered that Rita had rung dozens of people to ask if they had left roses on her doorstep. She never suspected that we were the culprits. (13 Jan)

At the marae fund raising at the Opononi Hotel we won several baskets, which provided an excellent source of gifts for relatives along the way. (28 Jan) It was late and we were too tired to go to the party, so Clive suggested we stay in the backpackers' accommodation at the hotel. At $10 a night it has to be one of the world's bargains. As we ate our pub meal we looked across to Te Hurunga. Discovering relationships and connections is always exciting. Ian Webster, the publican, left the duck I had won in the freezer for the night.

The Information Centre was featuring the Opo exhibition previously shown in the Art Gallery. Steve Billings quite correctly thought that people would do better to go out the back and look at the real sandhills rather than photographs of them. My agendas were slightly different as I thought of my father going across to Rangi Point with Opo for company.

We found Kwin's honey house. My enterprise seemed to be going well. Down Guests Road to Matawera and Peter Vujcich's house, but he was not in. However we met by chance back on the main road, where he was leaning on his Ute, talking to Pat Tierney about taking the Mitimiti logs out by barge. Much of my Hokianga socialising seems to take place on roads. They are where chance contacts occur, and everyone keeps an eye on everyone else's movements. James Watkins was further down the road, with news that he was moving into Dan's, on Te Mata. Spent the night at Anita and Ben's.

Karina was up at Maraki, as we walked through to continue exploring Te Hurunga. On our way home Rita corrected the family tree. Another project which urgently needs some time.

Mary and George Bryers celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary in great style. (2 Mar) They suspected nothing, and suddenly observed a great crowd walking across the paddocks and along the foreshore, carrying trestle tables, starched tablecloths, candles, and a great feast. Everything was set up on the lawn in a re-enactment of their wedding.

Even the minister who had married them was able to come all the way from Orewa. The wedding had been at Maraki because Mary was thrown off her horse on the way to the church. The locals decided she could not get to the church, so they moved the church to her. George Bryers had been a Catholic, but the priest refused to marry him to a non-Catholic. Those were the days. My grandparents refused to go to my parents wedding. When my uncle married soon after he decided they would not refuse him, so he did not invite them.

For us it was a long day. Away at 6.30am and not back to Karaka Bay until 10.30pm. Driving home through a wild storm left me wondering what the morrow would bring, but hope should never be forgotten.

On my next trip north I called in at the Hingaia dog trials. (24 Feb) Everyone made me very welcome, the coffee was free, and scones and cakes were only 40 cents. I was rather enjoying becoming a farmer. I have much to learn.

Peter Vujcich showed me how to control possums with a band of rough weeds surrounding the house. It seems to work, although I wonder why. He also wanted me to help George and him finish off the Community Centre. My list of jobs seems to get longer and longer.

At Waireia Church the singing reminded me of Rarotonga. At Ripeka Tapu Christina developed her sermon from Henare Tate's ideas at the Area Health Board hui. Creative action rather than "fighting" for peace.

After the Vernacular Study Tour (26-28 April) my next Hokianga trip was again in Lisa with Helen. (11 May) We found James and George wetting the roof of the boating club. For the first time ever drove Lisa all the way up to Maraki and stayed the night. It was wonderful to sit out on the deck the following morning reading "Living in Istanbul". A quick tramp allowed us to look across Te Hurunga from the ridge. Albert. A Mother's Day lunch at Mary and George's. Rita has come over with Anita.

Each time I go north I try to explore another small area. Motuiti has a carved marae, an average church, and some astonishing landscape. There are only twenty or so houses. Home via Waipoa so I could call in to see Kyrke and Mary-Ann.

My drive to Rangi Point following the book launch was partly in vain. (31 Aug) The Marae Meeting was over by the time I arrived. I was however able to find out the information I needed for the Arakainga project. Having bush crashed around and found a great house site by the old puriri, I was able to confirm the orientation sufficiently to enable my students to make decisions. I was also able to check with George and book the Community Centre for our Design Study Tour. A long drive home, calling in at Phil and Pauline's, Rita and the Ngawha Springs.

Brilliant weather made all the difference to the Design Study Tour. (20-22 Sept)

There was to have been a final fund raising for the year, but the committee decided it was more appropriate to celebrate what had been achieved. (23 Nov) Everyone was invited, but by good fortune none of my students were able to make the trip. As we drove through Punguru there was a group gathered outside the store. Phoebe told us that Aunt Huia died last night. At the Marae we helped Mary arrange greenery around the photographs, and prepare for the Tangi.

The body came through from Whangarei, and we welcomed her onto the Marae. Slowly the crowds gathered. Stories were told, memories revived. I was so tired that I slept through the speeches during the night. Relatives. Kyrke. Anita brought Rita over. Christina held the service which would have been in Ripeka Tapu on the Marae, and asked me to do all the readings. As my eyes fail it seems to me that the print becomes smaller. We took Rita home, and almost all the cars on the ferry were friends or relatives.

A week later I was back again, this time with Brad and Sam in a 5 ton Metropolitan Rental truck. (24 Nov) We took Arakainga north. I had looked at James' barn the previous week, and he generously gave me permission to store the house in there, ready for the next move up the hill. To make this possible Clive helped me buy a Landrover from Phil and Sue Spittal. (12 Dec) They had been using it while their tractor was out of action on their farmlet at Kariotahi.

We celebrated a Hokianga Christmas. (24-26 Dec) Mass at Pawarenga. Lunch at Rangi Point, with Helen dressed as a Christmas fairy, and Ben as a cross between a wizard and a clown, while I was Santa Claus. George's pig "Missie" with her five offspring. A round of relatives late into the night. Karina. Peter. Kyrke and Mary-Anne, Owen and Alexa. We stayed with Rita for Christmas night.

On in the morning to Kate and Hillary Thomas. Pete and Gerry Nilsom. No one home at Penny's. Fiona McFarlane at Sandy Bay. Rosemary is not in at Matapouri, but Peter and Rosemary Wakeman were in their bach. Warren Whyte and his family arrived while we were there. Damian Wojcik was just dashing out to deal with a suicide.  A full array of Dents at Waipu. My god-daughter Tess is happily camped out in the back garden.

26  I began to belong to Te Hurunga....

It seems strange that people think that land belongs to them. Everything changes when you see yourself as belonging to the land.

Walking across the land, listening to stories, turning over a leaf to see what insects call this place home. It all takes time, but it is a very necessary process. Planning will always fail when observation is seen as a substitute for belonging. Observation skills can be taught, but you cannot teach anyone to see. Seeing needs the eyes of love. A University which is a repository of culture needs staff who belong. They are not "human resources". They carry the wisdom of the ancestors through to the next generation.

Te Hurunga is moody and strong. Each of my seven trips during 1996 revealed another aspect.

In the middle of summer the swamp at the Wairea Block entry was quite dry and easy to cross. (15 Jan) I traced part of the old route which used to go from Rangi Pont to the Mitimiti Road. The north facing grassy slope seemed ideal for an orchard and there was an excellent house site at the top of the slope. The bush was very beautiful around the flowing streams. The new "road" cut a swathe of damage through the bush, and already the invasive weeds had moved in. A rainbow hung over the Hokianga as we walked home.

As I made slow progress with the legal process Winter passed, Spring came, and it was Summer again, with the swamp drying out. Perhaps it was good that nothing went too quickly.

27   We made steady progress with the Nukutawhiti Marae....

With a marae the strength of the community is built up first, and only then are the buildings begun. Wounds ran deep from the divisions over the naming of the new marae. Healing takes time, but it is a very satisfying process. The series of Marae Meetings during the year were a rich learning experience for me.

With such complex issues and so many sensitivities there are great risks in inviting student involvement, but without the risks there will be few rewards. My Design students displayed both courage and respect. As we sat on the beach adjacent to the site I spoke at length, as I am wont to do. Then I paused. "Are there any questions?" "Why don't we do something?" was the reply.

With thirty-five students and three hours a great deal can be accomplished. We cleaned much of the site, build a symbolic wall, and also a symbolic entry. The locals were astonished. Suddenly it seemed as though the mana of the site had been enhanced. Something was being visibly achieved.

I was able to present many of the students' ideas to the Marae Meeting at Muffy's. (12 Oct) Enthusiasm ran high, particularly as everyone realised that we were doing it ourselves.

Then I compiled a Marae Report, partly to provide feed-back to the students, and partly to capture some of my oral presentation. (22 Oct) It was ready for the end-of-year celebration, but then the Tangi intervened.

To end the year I put up an exhibition in the Attic Studio. (23 Oct)

28   What a buzz it was to fly over the Marae site with John Tollemache....

The view of the world from the air has fascinated me for all of my life. At first I felt I was alone, trying, for example, to convince Gillian Chaplin to produce a book of New Zealand landscape patterns. I flew all of the study area when I was working on the Waitemata Harbour Plan. Then aerial photography became fashionable and the flood of "From the air..." books began. Only more recently has there been any general realisation that an urban designer's viewpoint profoundly influences their course of action.

When we were working on the Marae site I had suddenly realised the importance of the imprint on the land of the previous building, and had gone on to develop the idea with Hayley Fitchett and others. Then Mark suggested flying over the site with his father.

In Cessna ZK-GEW, with John Tollemache, Mark, Verney and I flew north from Dairy Flat. (30 Oct) Over Hellensville. South Head. Tinopai. Kapua Point Pa off Kirikiri Inlet. The Ratana Church and Ruawai flats. Right over Tokatoka. Dargaville. Up the coast. A glimpse of the Omamari bach. Donnelly's Crossing. Waipoa. Waimamaku. Opononi. Tight turns around the Marae site. Up to Mitimiti. Over Te Hurunga to check out Arakainga sites. Horeke. Lake Omapere is astonishingly high. Landed at Kerikeri for a coffee. Verney's house. The Pa above Marsden Cross. Roberton Island. Cape Brett. Mimiwhangata. Matapouri. Tutukaka. Ngunguru. Right over Bream Head. Around the Hen. Pakiri and home. A truly astonishing experience.

We intended to extend our experience by flying to East Cape, but bad weather kept us to the West (28 Dec) The Waitakere dams. Huia. Down the coast. Kariotahi. Port Waikato. The houses of Akaaka. Tuakau redoubt. The open-cast coal mines of Rotowaro. Pirongia. Otorohanga. It was rather regal to land at Te Kuiti with its imposing two-storey grandstand club-house. Piopio to check out a farm where John had worked. Picked up the source of the Mokau River and followed it down to the sea. Wild country, with every ridge a razorback. Regenerating areas consisting only of tree-fern. Landed at New Plymouth for a milk-shake.

The Lahar fields, following the pattern of the Land Wars. Oanui. Hawera. Up the Patea River, with its many pa sites. Kakaramea. Oika. Otautu. Stratford. The Waitara River. Urenui and the Peter Buck Memorial. Up the coast. Tongaporutu. Mokau. Awakino. This coastline is astonishingly diverse. Taharoa sand extraction. Kawhia. Aotea Harbour. Landed at Raglan for an ice-cream. Up the coast. Karekare. Piha. Bethells. It took me some days to get my feet back on the ground.

1997 began with the East Cape trip, but that is another very exciting story.

29   The Vernacular Architecture Study Tour to Rangi Point was a great success....

As the University becomes increasingly placeless the importance of architects knowing who they are correspondingly increases. We began the year with Robin Morrison's "A journey" and Lyn Berquist's paintings of Hokianga. Then we explored the endless subtle variations of the Hokianga churches, with a special emphasis on the landscape setting

I was determined to take my students to the Hokianga, but the University seemed equally determined to stop me, throwing obstacle after obstacle in my path. (22,23,24 April) Staff do not get paid for taking study tours so it also cost me a full week of my time, which I could ill afford. I doubt that I will ever do it again, much as I enjoy it. It is very hard for people from my generation to accept that the University has so little interest in education. (3 May)

I hired two Metropolitan Rental vans, with a few extra student cars. Fortunately Gerald Lock was willing to drive one of the vans.  I regretfully spent ten years of my life hassling the University to get a Faculty Minibus, but eventual success may as well have been failure. Some excuse or other has always been invented for my not being able to use University vehicles.

The weather was perfect and the light quality was fantastic. (26-28 April) Wenderholm. Puhoi. Warkworth. Coffee and pasties at the "Gumdiggers" at Otamatea Museum. The Ratana Church at Ruawai. Dargaville. Kaihu. Trounson Kauri Park. At Donnelly's Crossing we called in to congratulate Geraldine Healy for taking on the Government single handed and winning. They wanted to close the school down and she saved it. The whole environment was an inspiration. Vital, dynamic, and very humane. Such a contrast to the Planning Department.

Tane Mahuta. Rawene, where we meet Kerry and Tim. A great welcome at Rangi Point. Speeches. Accommodation overload, so Helen and I stayed at Anita and Ben's.

A thick morning fog, with magical moods as it cleared. Everyone went digging for pipis, and then we went on to the Marae site. Organised a deal with Candy Pettus to take the Sierra out to the heads to give everyone a close look at the sand-dunes. Meanwhile Albert had ridden up the ridge to Maukoro and rounded up six horses, for students to ride off to the top of the dunes. I was concerned that we would be late for the fundraising, but only talking-time had been missed.

I tried to get a ticket for the baskets, but was too late. To my amazement I was a winner. My students had clubbed together to buy me a ticket. Christianne Hasslbach, one of my students, was also a winner, but she gave her basket back to be raffled over again. Such generosity. My students are wonderful. Then we won Piglet, with Bob, who had donated the pig, winning the basket of fruit we had contributed. Boy won a carved pendant and gave it to Helen. Quite a merry-go-round.

By now the overcrowding was severe, so I took one van load up to Maraki, and some slept on the beach under the stars. A 10am service at Ripeka Tapu, conducted by Christina, who spoke on the story of the Peace rose. Mary had decorated the church with flowers, and Christina brought three Peace roses. It was all very appropriate to Habitat II. The students enjoyed singing all the hymns in Maori.

There seemed to be so much love in this little corner of the world, and in contrast so little in the University and my "other" world. The marble glistened in the Mitimiti cemetery. Wairea. Motukaraka. Darkness cut our schedule short as we headed for home. Piglet, in her little box, was at Karaka Bay by midnight.

30  Winning Piglet changed my life....

My grandmother always loved to talk about the tramp who used to call in at the homestead for a meal, with his pet pig. I presume the pig got a meal too.

Karaka Bay has also been associated with pigs ever since the first Europeans arrived. Brown kept pigs on Motukorea, after Campbell followed other business enterprises. They had both camped on the site where my house now stands on their first visit to Auckland, and as I write I am looking across to the site of the homestead where Brown kept his pet pig. I remember the tragic day when the homestead burned down, so that all of this history is very real for me, and not something I know only through books.

After winning "Piglet" at the Nukutawhiti Marae fundraising, my Vernacular Architecture students stood in a circle around her tiny box. None of us knew anything about pigs. There was much to learn. The new Faculty Mascot travelled back in our minibus. When she was very quiet we assumed she had died, but then one of my students would announce a different smell, indicating life. Some time after midnight she finally arrived at the University.

From residing in the bath-house she moved to brick enclosed pen, and then a Piglet kennel. (18 May) She seemed to rather like the accommodation provided in Aotea Square, so the Arakainga pen expanded her accommodation yet again. As she grew so did her need for more space.

Piglet had other needs. Mostly food, which has led to some interesting research on where food comes from and goes to around the city. The waste is astonishing when you consider how many pigs could be happily fed. We also needed to find out about straw, for example. Newton Seeds, in Onehunga, became one source of a bale or two. (6 Aug) It was fun to walk into a place I had never been to before and have a smiling face ask me how Piglet was. A classic instance of the "human city" message we had tried so hard to convey in Istanbul. I came away with several sacks of marginal potatoes and sprouts. A gift for Piglet.

Piglet seems to have friends everywhere. Going for a walk is a really social occasion, with total strangers commenting on how she has grown, or what good health she is in. When we keep her inside children and their mothers come in to ask if she can go out and join them. Children love watching her being hand fed. She has also become something of an international star, with tourists queuing up for photographs of proud people standing beside a proud pig to take home.

She attended two international conference during the year, and was intelligent enough to recognise that the muffins were better than the papers. Jocelyn Carlin spent four hours photographing her for  a new book. (19, 20, 27 Oct) Through Piglet the city became more human. I visited Jocelyn's studio to look over the photographs before she went off to Europe to travel with David Hurn, the Magnum photographer whose trip she had organised the previous year. (9 Nov)

Behind her popular facade Piglet can also be very affectionate. One day when we were out for a walk she licked the blood from both my foot and Roxy's after we had cut ourselves on oyster shells. (18 Aug) She can also be fast, sometimes. Pig racing began at the Morrinsville A&P Show, and is now a popular feature. (2 Nov) Another link back into my past.

Clearly a Piglet book needs to be written. The stories are endless. Imagine going into a Saint Heliers Pharmacy to have a demure, eyelash-flashing white-smocked assistant emerge from the array of Innoxa and Revlon beauty preparations. (18 Oct) "Could I have some sun tan lotion, please." She is a little crestfallen. Something so common. But she recovers her charm.  "Is it for yourself" they always seem to say when men go shopping. "No, it's actually for Piglet." Pigs do get sunburnt, and Piglet loves having her cream rubbed on before she goes sunbathing.

There is of course a down side to everything in life. During the year I did some basic research with my students on the way in which good attracts evil. I became increasingly interested also in the way in which peace attracts violence. It was the clowns who were most brutally beaten by the police during the Springbok Tour protests. They were the most innocent of people seeking only to defuse some of the tension. Their lives and their defenceless bodies were shattered by the batons of the Red Squad. Slowly I am beginning to realise that the police do not just beat up the innocent because they are easy targets. It is rather because the powerless challenge the insecurity of those who hide behind power.

These are critical issues for planners. More than one third of complaints to the SPCA have nothing to do with animals. (17 Oct) The animal is just a cover for some personal grievance. I like to think that at least I am up-front, and put my name on the bottom of my beliefs. Most planning evidence has nothing to do with the issues before the Court. I like to think that if there is a feud between neighbours everybody should not waste their time talking about parking.

How any historian could ever unravel the truth from the evidence presented in planning hearings escapes me. It is similar with all those ludicrous PhDs written by students with no ability to read between the written lines. They perpetuate a lie. References are neither indication nor proof of truth.

Someone, of considerable influence I presume, decided to attack Piglet. The City Council sent four thugs down to attempt to kill her. (12 Dec) I ended up getting badly beaten up, but we did save Piglet's life. Along the way we discovered a path to corruption opened up by the privatisation of public power.

31   Gross abuses have resulted from privatisation within Local Government....

The perfect crime is now possible. Any person can hire the Auckland City Council to do anything they want. In theory they pay, but the Council is not willing to reveal if this has been done, as "this is commercially sensitive information", which leaves the door wide open to corruption.

It is not possible to find out who has issued the original instructions, as this information is protected by the Privacy Act. The ultimate twist is that the Council can them engage the Police to provide protection for a private, perhaps illegal, activity. Anyone seeking to protect their rights becomes guilty of a criminal offence. In effect New Zealand has privatised the police force and made them available for hire.

A council worker arrived outside my door, wearing Council clothing, with a Council badge proudly displayed. (4 Jan) He was wheeling a Council wheelbarrow. Like any other citizen I would never have assumed that he was doing anything other than a Council job. My concern was that Mark had come down to spray with Amtron. He confessed that toxic non-specific sprays were a lethal health risk. Then he confessed he was not actually doing a Council job. It was a "private job", but he did not know who it was for or whether they had paid. He did not want to do the job, but to have refused would have cost him his Council job. The Employment Contracts Act makes any worker with ethical standards very vulnerable.

I was shocked, and began to wonder about all the other people who only looked like Council workers. Much worse was to come. Some of the indicators passed unnoticed, until I began to review the year. Council, for example, painted the letterbox fence white "because the residents asked for it". (24 Jan) Strangely every resident I spoke to did not want it painted.

When asked, some ACC contractors commented that they are often asked to do things which ratepayers object to, but they feel powerless. (19 July) Who then is issuing the instructions and who is in control? Nuremburg seems to have been superseded by the Employment Contracts Act.

I arrived back from Istanbul to find "the Council", or was it private contractors being paid by a private individual, had come into my property to fell a tree "at the request of a resident". The closest resident had an identical tree in a similar situation, but within the council road reserve. It was not touched. With no logic it was difficult not to assume harassment.

Perhaps it is some consolation to know that I am not alone, or is it just planners who are being targeted? A neighbour of Bryan Bennett came over and slashed two tyres of his car, so that they were unable to leave on their holiday. (20 July) The police commented only that there was little they could do. Pathological violence is something every owner-builder needs to deal with, but it seems to be escalating out of control in the new New Zealand.

The year of harassment ended with a bang rather than a whimper. It seems so sad to see one of the most gentle countries in the world going down the Los Angeles spiral. Once when you had a flat tyre in New Zealand not a car would drive by without asking if they could assist. Soon you will be murdered like Ennis Crosby, who simply got out of his car to fix a flat tyre.

As Tim Haseldine says New Zealand is using up its reserves of trust, very fast.

32   My Design students Study Tour to Rangi Point was magical....

I guess some people never learn. I was aware of the immense drain on my energy it would be to take another Study Tour north, and yet I was driven by the immense benefits these trips have for students. Sadly it did become an administrative nightmare, another victim of the failure of University administrators to understand the implications of their policies.

It took ten minutes to arrange a lecture exchange and book new rooms. Pru was astonished. Two days later however the University caught up with our efficiency. We were notified that the booked lecture room was needed for Italian. By a week later the chaos was so total that I ended up trying to stand outside two lecture rooms at once sorting out the needless shambles, directly with the students.

The stress unfairly ripples right through the system. I was up at 2am sorting out University paperwork on the morning of our long drive north. The administrators set up an accident scenario and then sit back to wait for it to happen. The person at the front end has to take all the risks. The forms provided by management experts who have never done anything do not have boxes for the things which interest me.

Once we were off campus everything was a dream. (20-22 Sept) Puhoi. Warkworth. Lunch at the Otamatea Museum. Ruawai. With the sunlight streaming through the coloured glass of the Ratana Church an old Maori lady entranced us with stories of early days in the Kaipara. Swimming across on horseback to get supplies. She also took us through into the future. Her dreams of laughing children outside the church once again. She was sad that so few wanted to listen to her.

Dargaville. Tane Mahuta. The sand dunes looking incredible in the evening light. By some miracle our two minibuses and five cars all met up in Rawene to catch the last ferry. The Tree House. Sleeping bags got rolled out in the Community Centre.

A clear dawn. The magic of fog rolling quickly down the harbour. Blue sky and sharp light. The Nukutawhiti Marae site, with the excitement of transforming it in a few hours. We left only to try to get to a market day and hangi in Punguru. At Maraki Albert caught two horses and I watched in horror as Hayley Fitchett and Liz McCracken fell off, or perhaps I should say slid off. Te Hurunga to engage the issue of siting Arakainga. I gave my best lecture ever as we all sat in the Mitimiti Cemetery. The students sat enthralled for an hour. I never said a word.

Kayaking in the morning. I went out towards the Heads and walked along the foot of the dunes. At Ripeka Tapu Exodus became mixed with Leviticus, resulting in a reading which none of us will ever forget. There was a sudden interest in the bible. Over kai Mary talked about the building of the last structure to stand on the marae. Volunteers from the mill came across the river after work, and they finished the job in two weeks.

Wairea and Motukaraka churches. Rawene. Kaikohe to collect Nassah. Waitangi, with an exploration of Harry's extensions to John Scott's building. We listened to a tape of Ben Elton's "The Other Eden" on the way home.

33   Imagine me teaching my students a waiata....

In theory I should not have needed to run a Marae trip for the Department. For almost twenty years Mike Pritchard and I have taken Planning students to maraes all over the North Island. We have worked on the principle that the Department should offer a tangible benefit to the marae. Normally this has been in the form of planning advice. The contribution of the students has been limited by their experience, so that the greater burden has fallen on Mike and me. We were subsidising the University, but were happy to do so because we believed in education rather than teaching.

With my enthusiastic support the Department has now appointed a full-time Senior Lecturer in Maori. It seemed as though an era had passed. Sadly I keep forgetting that Mission Statements are about paper performance, not excellence in actual achievement. Money was collected from the students at the beginning of the year for a Marae trip, but the trip itself was cancelled.

I was left, once again, to fill the gap. At least, I thought, I will not need to teach protocol and waiatas. No. My request for help was turned down, on the basis that even as little as 15 minutes could not be spared from the important task of writing out Goals and Objectives for the University administration.

There are many things which I can do, but singing is not one of them. However I did my best, and the results were received with enthusiasm by the Hokianga people.

34  If Maori politics could become more complex it would be so....

It was wonderful that Watercare should pay $70,000 to obtain a tame Maori witness, only to have her turn around at the hearing and give evidence against them. She said she had been to the site, and the ancestors had spoken to her there in a dream, and convinced her to change her mind. Just when we thought that all expert witnesses could be bought.

Hirini has a difficult path to tread. (25 Jan) He feels that Maoris have been disadvantaged, and it is time they got their share of the cake. My concerns are with the traditional values which existed before pakehas turned the country into a cake. The gap is a difficult one to bridge. I was not invited to the policy discussions.

Meanwhile there was much discussion around the country on many different Maori issues. We had a meeting at the Tamariki Pottery with local komatua, to discuss water and the ecological corridor, following my submission at the hearings. (3 Nov)

35  My course on Vernacular Architecture was as popular as ever....

My Vernacular Architecture course ran through the First Semester.. (28 Feb, 4 Mar, 6 Mar and on to June....) I recorded all the lectures, but transcribing the tapes remains as another of those large jobs remaining to be done.

Secretarial help would make an immense difference to my life, but by now I have an entrenched habit of doing all my own paperwork. In all the years I have taught this course I have never been paid for anything beyond actual hours spent lecturing. Administration, marking, field trips and other expenses need to come out of my own pocket. Managers expect to be highly paid; while lecturers are expected to work for love. The only change in the nineties is that the old injustices now come in four-colour printing with gold logos on top.

Vernacular Architecture began with the students coming out Karaka Bay for the Festival, and should have culminated with a "Diversity" exhibition at Habitat II, but the new structure of the year put so much pressure on the students that they left it to me to finish off, and I had to make a choice between completing their marking and completing the exhibition.

36   Sadly it seemed to fall through an administrative crack....

In a University environment survival is often an achievement in itself. Competitiveness is but a first step towards violence. All wars have been based on competitiveness. The new University structures have turned University life into a battleground. Everyone is expected to compete for funds or even accommodation. The results have all the logic of any war. I always feel sad when I visit a tiny settlement such as Te Araroa and see a line of tombstones from those who gave there lives so that others might live. The greatest tragedy of war is that those who are filled with aroha and idealism die, while those who live off the lives of others go on living.

Vernacular Architecture has never been more important. At a global level it is being recognised at last that only an architecture which is place-specific can avert the collapse of our fragile ecology. Sadly while I was away on the "battlefields" of Istanbul it was possible for those who stayed home to eliminate the course.

No one was responsible. The Head of Department was unaware that it had happened. He suggested that the Professor of Design must have been responsible. He was away on Sabbatical Leave. (21 Nov)

37  A wide public interest in Vernacular Architecture was demonstrated by Paul Oliver's visit....

I first met Paul Oliver when we had lunch together in Oxford. At that time the "Encyclodedia of Vernacular Architecture" was just an idea. Now, with it almost going to press, it was very exciting that he should be coming to New Zealand. Hugh Maguire had arranged the visit, while Peter Sheppard and I provided some local hospitality and support.

Peter Sheppard brought Paul and Val to Karaka Bay for an orientation lunch, which somehow lasted all day. (29 Sept) Paul's formal presentations began the following day when he spoke to Peter's Conservation class. (30 Sept) Surprisingly for me his examples were largely American. Over coffee Mike shared his thoughts on Ironbridge. A small group went on to lunch in the Senior Common Room with both Miles Lewis and Paul Oliver.

In the evening Paul spoke at the Art Gallery. The auditorium was packed with an astonishing array of people. He presented an overview of his definition of vernacular as being sourced in culture, opening up many questions we were able to pursue during the following week.

After going out to the airport to farewell Paul and Val, after they came back up from Hamilton, I somehow managed to miss them. (14 Oct) I never have much luck at airports.

I simply could not believe my eyes when I came out from Paul's Art Gallery lecture to discover that John Donat had come along with David Armstrong..(30 Sept) Over swami and coffee at the Middle East we caught up on several years, and I arranged for John to give a lecture to the Faculty on Architectural Photography. It was extremely difficult to organise at short notice, but with help from Ana, Peter and Warren it came together. (2 Oct) My only problem was trying to get some funding to thank him.

38   The SAHANZ Conference was a brilliant success....

Paul Oliver had come to New Zealand for the SAHANZ Conference, but he was not the only international figure. Richard Engelhardt, the Asian Regional Director for Cultural Affairs for UNESCO, was extremely interesting as he stressed the move in UNESCO away from individual buildings to urban design issues. Isolated monuments can have little meaning when isolated from a context. For someone who began life as an archaeologist on Ankgor Wat this was quite a move of perception. His concerns about humanising the city, diversity, and self-help made it seem as though he had been to Habitat II.

Richard and Hugh came with me to visit the Waitakeres, Harry's house, the Aritaki Visitors Centre, and the Hone Waititi Marae, where the new Kura Kaupapa buildings were nearing completion and looking great. (7 Oct) Richard also came out for a meal at Karaka Bay with Ruth Daniell, from Australia, and Robert Irving, from USA. (6 Oct) Robert had already come out to Karaka Bay by bus to meet Piglet. He lectured on both West India and New Delhi. (7 Oct)

Jonathan Wooding's insights into Gaelic tombs was fascinating. Seung-Jin Chung raised the issue of building over old sites, with the building placed to destroy the axis of Kyungbokj Palace. Brenda Vale had wonderful slides of English barns. Other overseas speakers covered a wide spectrum of aspects of "Loyalty and disloyalty". David Dolan, from Curtin, on Colonial Neo-Gothic. Ursula de Jong, from Deakin, on nineteenth century Melbourne Peter Scriver, from Adelaide on India. Kenneth Schaar, from Louisiana on public buildings in Cyprus. Denis Radford, from Natal, on Cecil Rhodes. Jo Lang, from Sydney, on India.

The were also a wide array of local papers, many of considerable interest. Peter Beavan spoke of course on Peter Beavan. (2 Oct) John Donat had come along expecting it to be on the topic of Colin St.John Wilson, and asked a question about him. Only then did Peter remember his subject. How wonderful. It was great to spend time over coffee in the "New Gallery" with Peter and Leslie. I still have the monograph project lost somewhere in my immense pile.

Diedre Brown spoke on Ngata, and the development of new marae forms. Bill Toomath gave a preview of his book on American influences on New Zealand houses. Koung Nyunt gave an excellent feeling for the design of Rangoon and Mandalay. Other local speakers included Hirini Matunga and Rau Hoskins, John Stackpoole, Miles Lewis, Pete Bossley, and Miles Warren.

Everyone ducked for cover when I raised the issue of copying photographs and other material, without any acknowledgment. I intended to raise an issue rather than make a criticism, but obviously all the people who criticise students for plagiarism are very sensitive. After not a single person rose to support me I thought I would be ignored at the coffee break. On the contrary dozens of people came up to say how strongly they agreed with me. It was just that they did not want to make any comment in public. Some people are the Aunt Sallys of the academic world.

The Kermadec breakfast was a great idea,. (4 Oct) I was able to share bacon and eggs with Brenda Vale, who had just arrived to take up her new job. It had not been intended but somehow I seemed to acquire the raconteur's job on the all day bus trip. My first visit to the Casino, with Gordon Moller showing us around. Peter Reed at the partly restored Saint Matthews. All Saints. Lunch at Cafe Hasan Baba. A very excited Sydneysider almost jumped out of the bus when I explained the Lippincott axis. She had come to New Zealand to try and unravel what to her was a complete mystery, and after several days of library research had finally given up, intending to return disappointed. St. Mary's. Holy Trinity. Bishops Court. One of the two buses came to Karaka Bay so the delegates could meet Piglet. By chance we also met Terry Hitchcock. Terry is designing a house for Penny and Bill.

At the Museum everyone attended the opening of the "Eye and hand" exhibition of Dick Toy's work. At last I unravelled another mystery. The Hellensville Church was by Dick in association with Frank Jones.

By chance I ended up as the person to draw SAHANZ to a close. The whole concept of a Poroporoaki fascinated the overseas speakers. I emphasised that many people choose to make history, with it becoming just another tool to achieve their other agendas. Historians do not begin with facts. They begin with images which people wish to project. History is a political act, in the same way that any news reporting is but a reflection of all those who would wish to grab the headlines. SAHANZ was itself a political event, with choices being made about what would be carried on into the future.

I moved the group up to the Attic Studio, suggesting that the space would be remembered, just as I would be remembered as the only person who did not use slides. It was a space where a great historical struggle was going on between those with a commitment to anamnesia and those who sought to trash everything which had gone before.

39   Speaking to the Papatoetoe Historic Society reawakened an awareness of my own place in history....

My guess that there would be a great deal of knowledge within the audience of the Papatoetoe Historic Society proved to be correct. (15 Oct) I structured my presentation to draw out reactions. History is concerned with the present, not the past. We only know who we are through knowing where we have come from. The more connections we make the more secure we become in knowing ourselves. Even how a photograph is taken indicates a design attitude..

I began with an old school photograph of Uncle Syd, with the children seen in a landscape context. Early Papatoetoe photographs were also taken outside and indicate space rather than enclosure. Only much later did urban design attitudes change.

All those who had spoken during the year were invited to the November meeting for a fascinating talk on the DB Brewery. (19 Nov)

40  The Arakainga house made bungy jumping look intolerably boring....

From time to time an opportunity arises which has absolutely nothing to recommend it. There was no budget, and no time to find any money. The only people available to help were my totally unskilled students, and they were already extremely busy about other things. It was close to the middle of winter, so that the weather prospects were at best mediocre. The time frame was completely ridiculous. Even with highly skilled help no one would attempt to build a house in a week. The site was "isolated" by the surrounding city. The media had their spotlights turned on so that any failure would make us all really famous.

In a way it was an irresistible challenge.

There were a few ideas floating around in my head. I badly needed a library at Karaka Bay so that I could increase my efficiency, and access material more easily. With Habitat II absorbing so much of my time it seemed that I would never be able to do it myself. I had looked at the Canadian cedar sheds, and decided I could do much better for much less cost. (6 Aug)

My wonderful design students looked up to me expectantly. How could I disappoint them? They had already taken risks by posting me mail with only a photograph as a clue to the postal service. It had arrived. They even posted mail to Piglet. Megan and Mark had also put an immense amount of energy into the EAROPH Student Forum, and the house project. (13 May)

I drew up a house design to introduce some sustainability ideas (24 July), and we discussed them at a meeting at Ken Stevenson's. (30 July) Everyone liked the ideas, but no-one could see us getting planning permission in time. Arakainga was born.

I bought 14 sheets of ply, to hold up in the yard to see just how big the house might be. (20 Aug) If we decided not to proceed they could have been used for the library. We had a lot of fun. We were all hooked.

Making the Arakainga house happen was a total commitment, and almost everything else in my life stopped. Instant decisions needed to be made about ordering materials, but I was afraid to over-order, as I needed to scratch to find every dollar to buy them. The University never contributed a cent. The design needed to be constantly responsive to student ideas, as we agreed that we would take every idea on board in our spirit of positive thinking. I would stay up most of the night trying to sort out design details. The days were spent building. The size grew with student enthusiasm. All of the theory also needed to be developed and to explain it a full text was written. (27 Aug)

Arakainga was prefabricated in the workshop and finally re-erected in Aotea Square in a little over a day. Something of the story is told in the articles I wrote for Architecture New Zealand (20 Nov), Energy-Wise, and Owner Builder.

Tying up the loose ends took much of the rest of the year. I was out at Dosina Place for the 'ribbon cutting' for the "Habitat for Humanity" house. (16 Nov)  Brad and Sam came north with the Arakainga house, so that by the end of the year it was stored in James' barn. (29 Nov - 1 Dec)

41  The negative energy directed at Arakainga left me dismayed....

When working under extreme pressure there is no time to deal with negative energy, so we simply left it out of the Arakainga equation. Every positive idea could almost always be accommodated. When a student wanted the door relocated it was relocated, without any discussion. At first everyone was shocked. Very quickly however it was clear that ideas had to be thought through before they were advanced, and when a student put an idea forward they had to take responsibility for it.

The flow of positive energy was so astonishing that no one was prepared for the negative energy it attracted. We were vulnerable because we had no time to deal with it, and it had no place in our process.

To complete the learning process we erected six panels in the Attic Studio. (26 Sept) This was enough to demonstrate a developed design for the loft and roof structure, to make erection safer. We also designed an exhibition with mini-panels similar to those used on the house itself. Before any of that could be done Michael Gunder savagely attacked what my students were doing. It became formalised as a complaint from Tom. (28 Sept) Slowly I began to hear stories from around the town of slander directed at the project by other staff.

None of us were prepared for the negativity as we had assumed the project was for the good of the Department, and  the Faculty as a whole. As the knives came out it became clear that everyone had expected us to fail.

42   Those who can do, those who can't destroy....

I am an incrementalist. I believe that if each move that every person makes is a creative one the world will quickly and wonderfully be transformed.

The alternative view is to wait until someone else does something and then to take it from them. This leads to very successful companies, but a totally impoverished community.

My life is enriched by the most wonderfully creative friends anyone could ever wish for. Sadly I see them often being taken advantage of. The saddest move of all is when those who take what they can never possess then destroy it in their frustration at the futility of what they have done.

Ideally a University should be a place of great creativity. In practice it is becoming a competitive, and consequently very destructive, environment.

43   The idealism enshrined in the Attic Studio took a significant battering....

When I designed, in association with KRTA, the Department's present accommodation I incorporated the idealism of an environment which would itself become part of the educational process. The Attic Studio at that time had the highest quality environment in the University. It allowed for a relaxed relationship between staff and students. More formal interactions were provided for in the Lippincott Room, and of course there were spaces for those more interested in teaching than education.

I have endeavoured over the years to keep the spirit of the Attic Studio alive. Even when I was on crutches I would struggle to clean the space up after it had been reduced by those with little environmental sensitivity. It would take me an hour to repair the damage done by others in a few minutes. Perhaps I was foolish. The more energy I put in the more demand there was for the space. I was breaking my own spirit, and reducing myself to the point of collapse.

I used the Attic Studio as an educational tool for my design students. It is easier to understand the dynamics of one room, than it is to understand the dynamics of city, where human relationship issues tend to be hidden behind words.

20 years after the day when Hozumi was murdered at 3am in the morning, my class were finally locked out of Attic Studio by Michael Gunder. (10 Oct) He struggled to black out the space, smashing our models to jam them into the bay windows. When I returned to the space it was a shambles.

It was interesting that a bird should mysteriously flap through the space as I stood alone surveying the mess. Perhaps, in spite of everything, the Kaitiaki of the space will protect its spirit. These spiritual encounters stand in sharp contrast to the world of market economics. (12 Oct)

44   Interestingly staff harassment is a greater problem in the University than student harassment....

For the first time in my life I thought that perhaps I should discuss with someone from the harassment network what, if anything, might be done to make life in the University more bearable. I was astonished to discover that staff harassment is a greater problem in the University than student harassment. (15 Oct)

Staff see their own discipline as being more important. They are forced to compete for increasingly rare resources. Those who follow the rules rise through the ranks. The gadflies of the establishment are marginalised. Harassment is just another of the burdens they must learn to carry.

45   Open Day was a fiasco....

After all the full time staff refused to be involved, while I was away with my students in Istanbul, Tom asked me to handle the University Open Day. Perhaps foolishly I said I would, on the single condition that no knifes were put in my back. They were not long coming. I felt that I had kept my half of the bargain. (26 July)

It is easier to read indicators than it is to know what to do about them. I needed to clean up the Attic Studio after Erroll Haarhoff, (25 July) so when Tom asked Spenser Nicholls to "ensure I had the help I needed". I asked if the architects could clean up the Attic Studio after their Departmental Meeting. It was left as a shambles and I ended up having to do it all myself. I could see it was going to be the same on Open Day.

I remembered the previous Open Day, when I had used my own money to buy ferns to enhance the Department. I did not expect to be thanked but I was unprepared for a dismissve "If you want to do that, then that is your affair".

My original idea was that we should erect the Arakainga house in some location where we could spend several weeks completing it, refining the details, and solving the unresolved design issues. The public would have been able to see some real work being done. Integrity would have been our hallmark, not superficial public relations.

There was a great deal of pressure to reduce the mana of Arakainga to mere entertainment. Tom suggested that my organisation could be improved. (9 Sept) I suggested that I was very happy for someone to do better. There was stunned silence from my students when instead of being congratulated they found that more pressure was being put on them. (10 Sept) Everyone likes to feel that their efforts are acknowledged.

Open Day was the chance for everyone to show how they could do better. (15 Sept) The storage space was locked, and it took several hours before a key turned up. Then we discovered the University had issued an edict that no tools were to be used that day. Nothing happened.

I prepared a display of photographs of Arakainga. My lecture was greeted with hoots of laughter, but there was a strange silence at the end when I explained that everything I had quoted was from recent University documents. I had lunch with the Chancellor and ended up listening to Indonesian music.

46   My Design Course will be a hard act to follow....

My Design Course ran through the second Semester, beginning on16 July. The Attic Studio programme, the Arakainga House project, the Nukutawhiti Marae report and the Hokianga study tour set high standards of excellence, but there was much, much more.

Once again I recorded all the lectures, with the thought of a book in mind. It is only a question of finding the time.

47  After more years than I can remember I gave my last "Engineering General Studies" lectures....

One of the most enjoyable tasks of my University career has been lecturing to the Engineers. They have always been very responsive, and they have drawn out the best in me. More a ritualised performance than a lecture.

I am constantly meeting engineers who remember fondly the few hours we spent together, and there have been real changes in the way engineers think. I was delighted to hear a radio broadcast about "soft engineering", with concepts I had introduced now accepted as mainstream thinking.

In recent years I have given both the first and the last lectures of the course, setting the scene, and then drawing together the many threads to show that they are of direct relevance to the everyday practice of engineering.

The first lecture was in HSB 1. (17 July) The New Zealand walk. Counterproductivity. Loup, Serre and Robin Morrison slides. For the final lecture I wore black to symbolise the de-humanising of the University. (15 Oct) The kukuri talking about culture and place. Coffee grinders. The Rossi teapot and the Jacobsen jug. Candles linking rich and poor. The symbolism of water. I blessed them, as I have always done, and asked them to keep the flame alive.

This absolutely invaluable course has now been restructured out of existence, and the future is a void.

48  My first lectures to the "Engineers and Society" course will also be my last....

So often the people for whom we do a great deal never think to say "thank you", while those for whom we do almost nothing remain eternally grateful. I wonder how often I have failed to convey my gratitude. I beg forgiveness for the many times I have failed in this regard.

I was astonished at my own efficiency when Heather Silvyn-Roberts asked me to do two lectures in her course. (14 May) In those days before departing for Istanbul there was no alternative. She was too busy to confirm in writing, so I even sent her a full lecture outline along with my confirmation of her dates, to make certain that there was no mistake. I arrived back to be accused of inefficiency by my HOD. When all the messages and memos had been cleared it was acknowledged that there was no crisis, but my name had meanwhile been dragged through the mud, when all I had done was to be extremely obliging.

Bad vibes take the edge off lecturing quality. However lecturers are like actors. When the curtain goes up everything else is forgotten. My first lecture covered the Viaduct Basin, the impact of the Aswaan Dam, York Cathedral tower, urban design, the way in which nature slows down the passage of water through the environment, placenames, corner pubs, Tangata Whenua issues, and even Richard Roger's stories from Chicago and Barcelona. (31 July)

In my second lecture there was almost no interest in Habitat II, so I turned to the carnations I had taken in to brighten the room up. (8 Oct) Peaceful Cities and lawnmowers, erosion and the way in which solutions generate problems.

49   Universities are sustained by their own momentum....

With Mike being appointed as Dean of the Faculty and Morris's retirement I became the most senior member of staff. Having the longest memory is however not a great advantage when there is very little respect for history or tradition.

When a whole institution is under stress the ride can be rather rough. Only time will give a better perspective on the year. When I was at University it all seemed rather normal to me. Only now do I realise that we were living through a unique time, with any number of truly astonishing people. Vernon Brown, Ivan Juriss, Bill Wilson, Pud Middleton, Dick Toy. Perhaps there were tensions there, but I remember it only as a time of great stimulation where everyone respected what others were doing, and unity was provided by a real sense of vision. We had manifestos instead of Mission Statements. The University challenged the conventional wisdom, and it was fun doing so. Those were halcyon days.

A demeaning and downputting welcome to the first Staff Meeting did not get the year off to a great start. (23 Feb) Then David Engwicht spent the first week dealing with traffic calming and other ideas out of the sixties. (28 Feb) Safe suburban ideas which actually reinforce the values underlying the global ecological collapse are a guaranteed seller. They symbolised the way in which the University is being turned into a market place.

I prepared an accommodation brief for the Department, but no one was interested in a planning approach. (4 Mar) It seemed odd that I should be advocating a clear vision, while the debate was all about moving sinks around. The whole process collapsed into confusion.

Mike suddenly became the client for the Eco-Studio.  (20 Mar) I could feel Graeme squirming in his grave. I gave up.

The year really heated up with a Staff Meeting seething with violence and hatred. (24 April) Michael Gunder tried to get me evicted out of my room. Tom handled it brilliantly.

Matt Riley did an energy efficiency assignment for Geoff Richards on my house. (10 May) When a suggestion is made that pohutukawas should be cut down and replaced with deciduous trees to increase energy efficiency something is seriously wrong.
I also helped Nigel Cartwell on his Half Moon Bay assignment. (24 & 29 Oct) and Tong with his thesis on Korean architecture.

I sometimes wonder about my level of commitment. After giving up a trip to Melbourne so that I could keep up with University politics I went off to the Faculty meeting only to find it had been cancelled. (22 May)  The Staff Meeting was also cancelled.

Just before going off to Istanbul Tom promised me $5000 for extra teaching help, and $1500 for a Design field trip. (28 May) Suddenly all my dreams became possible. I immediately approached Maureen Lander and Harry Turbott to get them to come to the Marae site with my students. Perhaps Ralph Hotere, Jahnke and Para Matchitt would also be able to join us. We suddenly had the makings of a project of international importance. By the time I arrived back Tom denied that he had offered the $5000 (8 Aug) Planning is hard when the ground rules keep changing.

Tom tore into me for telling others that the Attic furniture had been stolen, but not him. (23 July) I decided I could not take any more at the Staff Meeting the next day, so gave it a miss. I could not even front the Bodrum dinner to celebrate our successes in Istanbul. (24 July) It can be really hard to keep positive energy flowing out.

Jo Cogill wanted me to run a course for Continuing Education. (12 Sept) As she put it the people they really want are too stressed to be able to help so they end up being referred on to staff who are building up their CVs. I finally offered to explore the idea of an intensive week devoted to Peaceful Cities, with a selection of Arc-Peace members coming to New Zealand. Tom's response left me with the feeling that I would be very much on my own, trying to host Wally N'Dow and the others, while the Department gathered the kudos and Continuing Education made a profit. I let the idea slide away.

The SDRC carried on through the year, and I went to the General Meeting, but Robert Hottam and Robert Guild were back in the seventies talking about public transport, so I left them to it. (28 Aug)

I continued a close association with Newman Hall through the year. There was a Newman Mass and dinner for staff. (4 Sept)

The administration triumphed when they managed to set my design exam on two different days. (15 Oct) The students could not believe it, but we all laughed our way through. I sent out a full individual student report with the exam outline this year (21 Oct), and it was my most efficient year ever for marking exams. (26 Oct) The Examiner's meeting was held after all the exams had been signed off. (27 Nov) Everyone was ponderously serious.

The Ombudsman issued an edict that students should be entitled to access comments on their exam papers. The very same day I had posted out a full set to every student. The administration bleated that fees would have to rise to do all this. Fees for the administration I presume, rather than those who have all the information sitting on their computers anyway.

Staff were not invited to the NZIA Travel Award. (7 Nov)

The idea of moving the Faculty to the Tamaki Campus had been floating around for some time, but it was suddenly throw at us as a matter of urgency. (3 Dec) It is essentially an urban design issue, but Tom only invited me to speak when Bob insisted. Michael Gunder yawned as an insult. I sometimes think that we do not need any outsider to destroy us. We can do it ourselves. Tom's excellent report went to the Faculty Meeting on the following day. (4 Dec) Suddenly the urgency had passed.

I had to force myself to go to the Workshop Party at the end of the year. (19 Dec)

50   Graeme's death left me emotionally drained....

Graeme Robertson died on 6 March, after two traumatic weeks in Saint Joseph's Hospice. The human rights abuses left me wondering what had become of New Zealand. I was turned away by Annette, and denied any visiting rights, as were all his friends. (23 Feb) Even after Joe forced the issue legally Jan Nicholls still refused to let anyone in. I would sooner die in the gutter than ever end up in this so-called "Catholic" hospice.

Then Annette attempted to stop anyone visiting Graeme in the mortuary. Fortunately the undertaker had a sense of humour and a good deal of experience, so we were all able to spend an hour with his body. (7 Mar)

Graeme had left some money for a celebration at the Globe, and David Oppenheim flew across from Melbourne. (8 Mar)

Joe Farrant took the ashes and a small group of us out in "Starlight" to the Ahaaha Rocks. (24 Mar) The heavier ashes from Graeme's bones spiralled down into the clear water just as a wisp of wind caught the lighter ashes and spiralled them up into the air. There was peace at last in the beauty of nature.

51   Obituaries celebrate life as much as they share grief....

Graeme's life demanded that writing about him should have some political bite. I wrote obituaries for the Sunday Star-Times, the University News, Architext, and as an editorial in Architecture New Zealand.

52   It was a great honour to be chosen to present the oration at John Tuhakaraina's tangi....

John Tu and his wife were just sitting down to a meal. (16 Mar) Two extra plates were quickly provided, with superb Maori bread to follow. Family came and went as we talked about his research work on genealogy. He encouraged me to continue learning Maori. He explained the meaning of Mitimiti - "to lick". The blood was licked from the rocks in the bay just past the marae, where the local people were massacred. He asked me to check if the greenstone which turned white was still in the church.

I was in the church looking at that greenstone thinking of him at the moment when he died in a car accident. (21 Sept)

At the Tangi I was given a place of honour. (24 Sept) Hone had always regarded me as his eldest son. He was working for my father in his first job when I was born, and I was only a few weeks old when I moved out to the bush camps.

Suddenly I was asked to do a reading, and then, to my astonishment, to give the eulogy. In Maori tradition people are chosen for tasks. They do not push themselves forward with an American-style CV in their hand. I had been given no warning so that I would speak from the heart.

"Hone was a big man. He had the biggest handshake of any person I have ever known. Strong, yet gentle. Throwing a timberjack up on his shoulder. Swept away with the raft through Bowentown Heads. The war years. Risking Court Martial to save his men from death. Returning to the cowshed. Soft hands from hand milking. The middle years. Family. The later years. Wisdom. Helping hands. The komatua leading his people. Always available for advice. A mighty tree had indeed fallen." The words were given to me to say.

We walked across to the cemetery, and I helped to shovel the earth into his grave. The hangi. Farewells. Who else would I be able to turn to?

53   My love of Wales has not been broken by Mary Kinsey's death....

I was glad that I had made the effort to hire a car at Heathrow and drive up to Wales to spend some time with Mary Kinsey. She died on 2 February.  The snow was so heavy that all the villages were isolated, but finally Diana, Trixie and the others were able to get to Llandinum.  (5 & 6 Feb)

Memories flooded back of the days when I was living in London. Maesmwr. Evan in his tweed and plus fours. Returning regularly over the years to share in the wisdom of my forbears. Now the last of that generation had been laid to rest.

54   Ian Watkins' death symbolised the frail grip we have on life....

Ian went in for heart surgery. It should have been straightforward, and he seemed to be making a good recovery. Then he suddenly died on the night of 10 March.

Clive and I drove Lisa down to Omori, and stayed in Gus Watt's bach. (13 Mar) Ida McDougall very kindly left the key out for our late arrival. The following morning we went on to meet Heather, Brian, Brenda, Auntie Joyce and other relatives at the house. The funeral was at the Waikanae Baptist Church. Few took advantage of the invitation to speak, so I tried to fill the gap. He was buried on the hill, looking out to Kapiti and across Waikanae.

55   At long last I was able to get to the Wellington Arts Festival....

A day was hardly enough but it was good to get at least a taste of the Festival. After a meal with Gus and Jill we went on to "Twin Houses" at Victoria University. (14 Mar) Nicole Mossoux from Theatre del'Atelier Saint-Anne was both herself and her alter-ego puppets. Incredible. Late at night the firedancers and stilt theatre in the square were part of the Fringe Festival. The following day we glimpsed a Waiters Race, and watched the street performers in the Square. BC Indians were meanwhile hard at work in the Art Gallery. The Circa Building sculpture was a delight for an urban designer. (15 Mar) The slice through the building was swathed in grass.

The unexpected trip to Wellington also allowed me to visit the charred site of Rangiatea. It was hard to believe that such a majestic building should no longer exist.

Havel and Helen continued a great tradition by providing beds for the night. At the Turkish Embassy I was able to collect a lot of material relating to Habitat II. MONZ was at last emerging from the scaffolding. It was my first visit to the School of Architecture and Design. John Daish showed me around. The Peter Beavan exhibition was on display.  Cafe L'Affare gave Clive a taste of Wellington urbanity..

It was interesting to revisit Plishke's Taihape Church. A hot swim at Tokaanu. Another night at Omori. My first visit to 30 Monmouth Street. Gerry was busy preparing for Habitat II. My first visit to Willoughby Road. (16 Mar) The house was larger than I had expected, and the site smaller. At Harry Parkes and Jeanette Fitzimmons we talked about Graeme's death, over a meal.

56   Simon Watkins' death was a tragic waste of a life....

Simon had more opportunities than anyone else in our family could ever have dreamed of. Whatever he wanted was his for the asking The best education in the best schools. Unlimited possibilities for travel and learning. He died of a heroin overdose in Los Angeles on 11 November. (14 &16 Nov)

57   Inanui's death cast further doubt on the future of Para-o-tane....

Every year for four years I had gone to Rarotonga with Harry Turbott, Tapu, and a group of students to rebuild the Para-o-Tane Palace. It was one of the most successful building programmes the University has ever been involved in. Particularly as the University found itself unable to pay for my teaching time, so that we had to finance all our own expenses as well as the cost of the building.

When some funding did become available it was used to pay for a trip for another staff member who had never been to Rarotonga to go there to look at what we had done. He went around from his hotel, and suggested to the Government that the Palace should be used as a community centre. I guess he never had time to understand either Rarotongan politics  or the local way of life.

The task was completed before Makea died, but then there was great conflict as to who was her rightful successor. It seemed as though it must be Inanui, but then she died in October. I would have flown up, but it was too late when the news reached me.

58   It seemed so appropriate to float Mavis Yarrall's ashes out to sea....

When I was first building at Karaka Bay Mavis always had a story to tell when she passed by on her daily walk. She had lived through the Depression by growing kumara right along the frontage, and catching enough fish. She knew a good deal about sustainability long before the designer people who turn gardens into closely-cut grass lawns began to make money out of sustainability by discussing it over their designer wines in fashionable coffee houses.

She died on 3 February. It was sad that she should have been thrown out of her house by the Council. Her spirit was broken and she never recovered. Her house was still sitting soundly on the hill when she died. Another blunder by the Council engineers. Another example of "soft corruption" in Council. Civil rights for the rich, and eviction for the poor.

Helen decorated her house with flowers and candles, and we gathered there to remember and celebrate her life. To the beat of a drum her ashes were carried down to the sea she loved. The bamboo bier, decorated with flowers and candles lit up the night sky as it slowly burned and eventually sank. The reflections of the surrounding candles flickered on. (13 Feb)

It surprised me that many of the people there should say that when they died they would like a similar farewell ritual.

59   Of course there were jokes at Jaime's funeral....

Jaime had been part of the cut and thrust of the great debate about the design of the Papatoetoe Church. I had lost at the time, but thirty years later everyone agreed that the concept of gathering around the altar, and gathering as a community, was right. At that time I had been deeply involved in the Second Vatican Council, but there was no popular understanding of its message. In the same way those involved in Habitat II become distanced from the decision makers.

Jaime had been with us when we gathered beneath the chestnut tree at Feri and Joyce Hoffman's for our traditional welcome to the New Year. (5 Jan) I had hoped to call in and see him at his Whiritoa bach when we went down to Coromandel, but ran out of time. Two days later Jaime McLay was dead. (2 April)

Ruth, with her astonishing courage, stood beside the coffin and greeted everyone as they arrived for the Funeral. (8 April) She gave the eulogy. Jaime had spent eight years in the Jesuits, and left with only a crucifix, ten shillings for lunch, and a bus fare to get to Glasgow and his mother. The crucifix was buried with him. Jaime studied to become a lawyer, but missed his final exam because he was tutoring other students to try and make a few bob. By that stage he had arranged to come to New Zealand as a lawyer, so he decided to come as a cadet anyway. Ruth was from Gisborne. They moved to Hillside Road in 1956.

60   After so many openings Rodney's funeral was also the closing of RKS....

After a long struggle with cancer Rodney Kirk-Smith died on 16 August.
His funeral on 20 August was a gathering of Auckland's artists. Rodney had asked his family to carry on with the gallery, but they had concluded that RKS was a person, not a gallery. Everyone walked around the corner from Saint Matthews for the closing.

The Barry Lett Gallery had been an inspiration to us all in the sixties. Those were the days before dealer galleries. I smiled remembering the time that Rodney framed a Margaret Lawlor-Bartlett collage for me. When I went to collect it he tore off the brown paper wrapping with a great sweep of his hand, for me to admire the work. The frame was indeed excellent. It was a few moments before I could bring myself to tell him that the painting was one I had not seen before.

61  So many stories die with a person....

When I visited Andrew Watkins at the old home in Vine Street on 27 November he was very frail. He died two days later.

His Waikumiti funeral was a family gathering. (3 Dec) Rita and Kyrke came down from the Hokianga. It was a time for story telling. Cecil had been a minister in Kohukohu and he used to go down to Rangi Point by boat in those days before there was any road. He would anchor off and wait for a puff of smoke to indicate that someone was up and a pot of tea was on the stove.

62   Every death leaves a void....

David Oppenheim's wife Mary committed suicide. (20 Jan) A tragic end.

Liz Hutton was killed climbing Mount Cook. (31 Jan) Many of my friends have died doing the things they loved.

Lesley Brown died on 31 July. She had been a stalwart supporter of me ever since Vernon's death. When we were students we became close friends with our staff, because we shared a common commitment. It is so sad now to see students regarded as nothing more than EFTSs.

John Bull died on 6 October. I had not realised that Bob Griffith spent two years during the war on minesweepers. When the boats were together the crews would want Bob to play jazz. (11 Oct) John (DFC) was on a fairmile at that time. John allowed me to copy some of his very early Karaka Bay photographs, including several of the building of Bob's house. At that time John was living in the old homestead on Riddell Road, and there was a path down the hill to the beach. It was much later that Peacock Street was formed.

Peter Middleton died in August. I was glad to have been able to listen to his final oration, telling the story of his life. He had seemed a little overbearing when we were students, but as we became friends I cherished the bite of both his intellect and his wit. We had shared our last dinner together across at Peter and Margaret's.

Francois Mitterand, formerly President of France, whom I had got to know at WSSD Copenhagen died on 8 January. Albert Goldwater, John's architect father, died in March. John Asher, Ines' father, died on 26 April. Rob Hall died on 12 May, on his fifth climb of Everest. Glenys Rush died on 15 July. Nigel Simmons, David's son died on 6 September. He was only 39 but his life had been remarkable.  Lulu (Louise) Hunter, of Hunters Corner, was 90 when she died on 13 November.

1996 also saw the deaths of Barry Crump, in July, aged 61, Ella Fitzgerald in June aged 79, and Marcello Mastroianni, on 19 December, aged 73.

63   Life always wants to live....

Faith Goodwin was born at 6.15pm. on 5 February. I guess that makes me a grand-godfather. She was christened in the Mount Albert Church, with Jim Vercoe officiating, so everything was very in-house. (13 Oct) Afterwards a pohutukawa was planted over her whenua.

64   The elderly are increasingly forgotten....

Market forces are very effective in dealing with the elderly. They are sucked dry until they have no resources left, and then they are thrown out as waste. Economics has no place for wisdom, experience, tradition, story-telling, memories, or history.

George Thomas was dragged from his house by several heavies acting on Haruko's instructions. Because he resisted, as I would have done, he was classified as violent, and this was used as an excuse to lock him away. Suddenly he was stripped of all his rights, and we found ourselves standing out in the street looking through a grille with Victoria refusing to let us go in to see him. (24 Mar) His life became a living death, and I spent months being shunted from one bureaucrat to another. Everyone was helpful, but everything was always someone else's responsibility, and no one would take any action. The fact that I was acting for George's son seemed to be totally irrelevant.

Adrian came back from Seattle, and finally we were able to see George when Adrian brought him to McDonalds in Mission Bay. (2 Nov)

65   Architects are lucky people....

At the NZIA Branch AGM at Pembridge there was debate on Habitat II, UIA, Barcelona. (21 Feb)

Brigitte Shim of Shim-Sutcliffe (Howard Sutcliffe), Toronto, gave an enthralling lecture in the Design Theatre. (28 May) Very "Scarpa". The same attention to detail. The same sense of landscape. Brilliant little gardens and modest houses relating people to nature. High quality incremental environments. I was filled with enthusiasm for what might be.

Gus asked me to be part of his ANZAC Memorial design team. (2 Aug) He asked about strategy so I suggested a week lying in a hot pool in Omori. Gus wrote a wonderful description and sent it off. We did not get short-listed for the job.

Lee Hallman spoke on Norman Foster at an AAA meeting. (29 Mar) Great slides but the work was cold and inhuman.

Harbourama at the Maritime Museum reduced the wonderful reality of the Viaduct Basin to the pastiche of another "design opportunity". (3 April)

Doug Kelbaugh, now Professor of Architecture and Urban Design, but formerly for eight years HOD Architecture at the University of Washington, Seattle, and a principal of Kelbaugh, Calthorpe and Associates, spoke in the Design Theatre. (9 May) Peter Calthorpe, who spent time with us in Chicago in 1993, was very superficial, so my expectations were minimal. He revealed a great deal about the Seattle Charettes. "No we didn't have any local people on the teams, because they are really hard to work with. We only used local professionals." "We were able to get cheap labour, with professionals participating because they enjoyed it so much." "We used cheap students." The results were predicably dull, but very fashionable, Medieval villages, with a return to the street patterns which existed before planners thought of cul-de-sacs. It was worrying to discover that Sydney has been employing him for three months.

Russell Armitage called to see me, to ask if I could provide free advice for the Hamilton City Council to help them out with their new Arts Centre. (9 Aug) They had been really pleased with all the free advice I had given them in the past, and apologised for the tight deadline, but Russell wanted to get everything sewn up before he went on holiday. I could not remember getting any note of thanks for the last time.

At the NZIA Roadshow at Pembridge I finally caught up with Barry Dacombe and found out what happened to him after he had been thrown out of the Plenary in Istanbul. The armed escort took him right off the site. (31 July)

Greg Smith wanted lots of advice about Lippincott furniture, but did not want to go so far as to actually save any. (4 Aug)

I tried to help Bob Stefanovic, an architect from Bosnia whose wife was working with Livia, but he seemed to want everything handed to him on a gold plate. (10 Aug)

At long last Ken Yeang made it to New Zealand. He gave a Friday night slide presentation, and took part in a Saturday morning seminar before flying back to Malaysia. (8 & 9 Nov) His PR was great, but his work seemed very shallow and empty.

AAA site visits are invaluable for keeping in touch with new work. (9 Nov) The Terry Hitchcock at 10B Brett Road, Takapuna is superb. Classic Takapuna windows and Vernon Brown creosote. Russell and Karen McKeen had only moved in two weeks before. The 1955 Malitte House by the Group at 12A Muritai Road is a classic. 28 Rock Isle Road, Torbay did nothing for me. Along the way called on Walter Breusted to help Marie with her trip to Barcelona.

The "Concrete image" AAA photography competition results were announced at the Kamo in K Rd.

The AAA Urban Gaze ceremony was at the Maritime Museum. (27 Sept)

The NZIA Resene Awards were at the Casino. (24 Oct) A dreadful space, and, apart from a brilliant loft conversion, dreadful awards. The plus was having lots of people to catch up on.

The AAA Cavalier Bremworth Awards were presented at the Mandalay. (1 Nov) Miles Warren was a judge, so we had a chance to catch up on his trip to Europe. Not a single other lecturer came. How sad.

The final AAA meeting for the year was at Jasmax with Simon Dodd showing the work of Chris Wilkinson. Big sheds and computer generated perspectives. (27 Nov) Meredith from Craig, Craig Moller catered with real style.

Charles Molloy wanted help with saving the Little Sisters for the Poor Chapel. (16 Dec) He remembered my solo effort to save the Chapel at St. Mary's, and wondered how I had done it.

66   Environmentalists are seldom understood....

The flood of graduates who have great theoretical knowledge but little experience of life is resulting in increasingly bizarre stories.

The largest giant squid ever found was killed "for research". (1 Feb)

Four kiwis were to be killed after blood tests "failed to show conclusively" whether they would be affected by the rabbit virus. Tissue tests would "ensure" that kiwis were not at risk. (1 Feb) So this is the "precautionary principle"?

Tons of poison were dropped onto Kapiti Island so that all the water would be contaminated to kill the existing wildlife with a single decisive blow. (27 July) With a clean slate tuatara and other species were then to be introduced, and presto, in no time it would be just like it was thousands of years ago. Are we going mad??

67   Dealing with symptoms becomes an excuse for not dealing with causes....

The erosion debate continued through the year, without any of the real issues being addressed.

Subritzky's Port Kennedy came in in front of Beth's, arriving empty and taking away waste plastic pipe, reinforcing steel, and fibreglass matting. (19 Jan) It was an easy operation to lift the ramp to allow the front end loader to just drive on. In ten minutes the barge was gone, indicating that much environmental damage is the result of carelessness rather than need.

The sandbagged wall stood up happily for the whole year, although it did cause erosion in front of my boatshed.

The ACC invited tenders for professional services. (20 Mar) I made a submission, without really wanting a job I had no time to do before Istancul. Tonkin and Taylor won the contract, but then needed my help to sort out even the boundaries. (16 May)  A public meeting was held in Churchill Park School, but it produced only boring platitudes from terribly serious people. (2 Sept) I faxed lengthy comments on the interim report to Tonkin and Taylor at 11.55pm, exactly five minutes before the deadline. (23 Sept) I felt vindicated by the Bioresearchers report, which confirmed that once there used to be clean sand, and that the strange unidentified algae had brought a layer of mud. The final report was produced just before the end of the year.

68  A dynamic coast is a problem for static people....

Society's attitude to the fragile coastal environment was summed up in a comment on sand dunes. "We need management. We need to hit them with a bulldozer." (13 Jan)

In contrast there were some moments of insight. "Waves do not cause erosion. That is why we have a rock shelf." noted Peter Ballance, on the coastal walk with Juliet Yates. (21 Jan)

The ACC Community Board presentation on the Harbour Edge, to my surprise, was excellent. (15 April) John Betts was predicably dull. Amanda Reynolds inadvertently showed that Harbourama was full of contradictions. "Keep the identity and the fishing fleet." Really? Hugh Sayers showed a video on the Princes Wharf Cultural Centre, with the JASMAX drawings. Robin Sheffield, manager at Magellan proudly showed the railway land proposals - a petrol station, a fast food outlet, and south facing housing. Ben Chrystall, Manager Ports Planning, showed the Fergusson Wharf extensions. The excellent overview brought the shambles of what was happening on the ground clearly into focus.

The ARC Coastal Plan arrived in the mail. (10 May) The brevity of the ARC comments on my complex submissions could only be described as insulting. (17 May)

Piglet went for a walk with the ARC coastal team, showing a distinct interest in Andrew Benson's trousers. (16 Aug) Quentin was astonished that none of the Tribunal's decisions had been implemented.

69   Writing is "problematic", as they fashionably say, in a world where too much is written....

The obsession of the University with refereed publications results in endless safe, mediocre writing. Writing which is as challenging as a McDonald's hamburger. Academics who follow the formula rise up in the ranks. The world goes on unchallenged. In this environment I prefer to write less, lest I should be seen to be giving credibility to a destructive lie.

"Campaigning architect who had a lust for life", an obituary for Graeme Robertson, appeared in the Sunday Star-Times on12 March.

"Graeme Robertson" Architext. (8 April)

"Sustainable architect", University News, May/June 1996. (19 April)

"Man of action", Architecture New Zealand Editorial, p8

"Planning is a fake", Habitat II Anthology. (21 April)

"The light of Peace", Gijon Award. (1 May)

"Loyalty to place", SAHANZ. (17 May)

"Setting the EAROPH Agenda", Planning Quarterly, June 1996, p10-12. (28 May)

"Cameos of Papatoetoe Women", The Papatoetoe Historical Society Inc., 1996. I wrote the chapters on Elizabeth (Bessie) Butler (nee Turnbull) and Beatrice Ena Watkins (nee Butler). The book launch was held in the Papatoetoe Town Hall on 31 August, with great style and a few hundred people, many of whom I had not seen for years.

"Pig pen in Aotea Square", Energy Wise News, December 1996, p8. (20 Dec)

"People Buildings" Architecture New Zealand, January/February 1997, p118. A response to Paul Oliver and the SAHANZ Conference.

"Mainstrreaming the message", The Owner Builder Magazine, February/March 1997, p 17-20.

The quality of Architecture New Zealand has risen steadily during the year, under the guidance of Jonathan Mayo, while the quality of Planning Quarterly seems to have declined even further, in spite of attempts by Barbara Glenny to make it more interesting. I know that what I write for Jonathan will be treated with respect, accurately reproduced, and presented with good graphics. It is worth putting the effort in. With Planning Quarterly the results are quite haphazard, and there is no incentive to write well. I may as well have saved my time and several hundred dollars in providing a cover photograph of Priscilla Williams in Istanbul. (13 Aug) The EAROPH issue simply fell over. (6 Aug) I felt embarrassed that a photograph should seem to have been plagiarised when the editor failed to acknowledge it. An apology never appeared. It was impossible to get material back. Writing for Planning Quarterly is very literally a thankless task.

Some articles still have to be published. "Urban agriculture". (19 Aug) "Life is not a theory". Sometimes a very small letter to the editor provokes a more violent response than a major conference paper. "Asbestos", East and Bays Courier, 9 October 1996, p10, touched some raw nerves, just as I did when I launched the whole asbestos campaign some twenty five years ago.

"Dream bus could come to Auckland", East and Bays Courier, 4 September 1996, launched the Curitiba bus campaign, and provoked articles in other publications. The colour reproduction of my Istanbul photograph was certainly an immense improvement over the old black and white.

70   Lectures, like lecturers, come in all shapes and sizes....

David Hurn, Magnum photographer. (8 Feb) "Be in the right place, and release the shutter at the right moment. Technology has nothing to do with it."

"Electro Magnetic Radiation Hazards" by Ivan Beale at ESR. (21 Mar) There are plenty of hazards, but also anomalies. Good PR, but only platitudes about action.

Tim Haseldine produced data to show that from 1982 to 1992 the number of managers in New Zealand increased threefold, and yet production had gone down. (22 Mar) There is a need for "trust", and management is no substitute. If people cannot trust then lawyers go up and productivity goes down. Britain spends more on insurance than even the USA, with New Zealand away down at the bottom of the Western nations.

Those short listed for professorial positions give public lectures. Robin Fisher, University of Northern BC, on the Nisga's land claims. (26 Mar) His blend of politics and history was great.

Hugh Barr spoke at ASC. (2 April)

I missed out on Archicad so that I could hear Dr Janet Gough talk on risk assessment. (14 May) One of the worst performances I have ever been to. Tom thanked me for raising issues, rather than the speaker.

Eric Lord from the Bahaus, currently lecturing at the Wellington School of Design, told us how to suck eggs while failing to get his CD-Rom technology to work. (14 May)

Graham White and Trevor Nash spoke at ESR/Solar Action on wind energy. (18 July)

Bryan Gould, Waikato University VC gave a winter lecture in the Maidment. (23 July) Endless pompous platitudes, with no intellectual bite.

Bernice Johnson Reagon (1 & 8 Aug) presented the Robb lectures. She managed to get a hall full of stuffy academics to sing songs from the Civil Rights Movement, without them realising what they were doing. Very skilful. "We shall (I will) overcome."

Ian Swinton spoke at ASC on Rajasthan. (6 Aug) Eight of their family spent seven weeks there.

David Simmons talked about Tamaki place names at the TEPS AGM. (14 Aug)

John La Roche talked to ASC about "Water for Survival". (3 Sept) After 18 months I finally caught up with all the details of his trip.

Yongjin Zhang, from Political Studies spoke on Peace and China. (8 Oct)

Verney Ryan spoke at the Civic Trust. (10 Dec)

71   Films remain the art form of our time....

"Golden Eye" at Berkeley. (2 Jan) James Bond in the new Russia, with the classic sequence of Bond in a tank pursuing a car through Saint Petersburg.

"Burnt by the sun" at the Lido. (5 Jan) Russia in 1936 with the rise of Stalin's power. Kotov departs from the idyllic Chekov setting of summer to be shot just because he is a leader.

"Persuasion" at the Rialto. (22 Jan) Jane Austin. A wooden class-ridden society which feels strangely like the direction New Zealand is going in.

"Underground" at the Rialto. (25 Jan) A zany, surrealistic and brilliant romp through the history of Jugoslavia.

"Il Postino" at the Rialto. (16 Feb) Pablo Neruda and the postman. The humanity and humility of truly great people.

"The Englishman who went up a hill and came down a mountain" at St. James. (7 Mar) Delightful whimsy.

"All men are liars". (20 Mar) Queensland people-watching. Empty lives. Fair and sad.  

"The white balloon" from Iran is my first Festival film. (22 July) Gentle, whimsical and magical, it is set in the mud-brick market lanes of Teheran. The little girl seems so mature, and the adults so immature.

"Rats in the ranks" at the Showcase. (22 July) Astonishingly brilliant. A documentary, but far more dramatic than any drama. Melodramatic, but so is life. Politics exactly the way it is. A laugh a minute. A long discussion afterwards with directors Bob Connolly and Robin Anderson. The people in the film actually loved it. It was great to see so many friends in the audience. Bob Harvey, Tom Fookes, Barry Rae, Bruce Hucker, with their wives.

"Cold fever". (22 July) The Japanese man who goes to Iceland to complete the rituals at the place where his parents died. Incredible scenery, but very cult and uneven.

"Maborosi" filmed in 1995 in Japan, but the way they used to be. (25 July) A wife wonders why her husband committed suicide. From Osaka she goes north to remarry. The sea is beguiling, and Maborosi is the mysterious light which entices people to go out. The concluding funeral is astonishing. Slow moving, but never a second too long.

"Land and Freedom", directed by Ken Loach. (25 July) The Spanish Civil War, but also the betrayal of friends and ideals in a mixture of expediency and futility. Positions hard won count for nothing.

"Gabbeh". (31 July) Astonishing symbolic storytelling. My kind of film. There is also an excellent short on Kazakistan.

"Someone else's country" in the Choral Hall. (1 Aug) Interesting, but not good cinema.

"God's Comedy" at the Showcase for the last day of the Film Festival. (3 Aug) I was interested in the fine line between the sacred and the profane, but the film was really a send up of fastidious, fussy people who think they have their lives together. The "dirty old man" is really revolting, but he does it so perfectly. I think of some people who like to pretend they are perfect, but really are just "dirty not-so-old women". Sadly ritual is often better done by the butcher rather than the church. The slaughtered lamb lies on the block to the music of Angus Dei. Finally when his fastidiousness is destroyed by mediocre people (with the butcher's daughter actually wanting someone like him because he does it so well) the Paradiso Ice-Cream Parlour (which uses milk in which the virgin has bathed) is replaced by American mediocrity, and the pigeons flap around in his derelict mansion with the wonderful view.

"Secrets and lies" by Mike Leigh, at the Berkeley. (11 Aug) Wonderful character studies and a situation to totally identify with. I laugh, I weep, I feel the pain. The "counsellor" epitomises what I have to live with at the University. Distancing providing misunderstanding.

"Trainspotting" at Mid-City. (20 Aug) Wow! A strong film. Good but depressing. Too close to the bone with Simon Watkins dying of a heroin overdose.

"La Haine" at the Capitol. (23 Aug) Paris 'cite' riots, and their aftermath. Black and white. Extremely powerful. Hatred with the French police sultry and forbidding. It captured my fear of the abuse of power.

"Broken English" at the Lido. (21 Oct) A New Zealand film on Croation /Maori /Chinese /Rarotongan relationships, with the eccentricities of all the cultures. Sexuality unites, but it also divides as the struggle to save identity goes on. Good value.

"Breaking the waves" at the Bridgeway. (31 Dec) Lars von Trier (Zentropa and The Kingdom) has many hidden agendas, and the film is rich in symbolism. Hand pans to extreme close-ups bring us painfully close. The extreme Protestantism of the north of Scotland is juxtaposed with the new world of the oil rig. Each chapter deals with an idea. Wedding. Accident. Sacrifice. Funeral. She is consumed so that he might recover. There are bells in the sky at the end.

"Hokianga backblocks doctor" at the Art Gallery. (17 Sept)

At long last I succumbed, bought a Panasonic video, and began to build up a collection of New Zealand films. (13 Sept)

"Sleeping Dogs" (16 Oct) Probably I identify with it more strongly than ever.

"Sylvia". (30 Dec)

"Rails in the wilderness." (12 April) Timber-jacks, canthooks and cross-cut saws. Nostalgia for my past.

"Runaway", thanks to Lawrence Simmons. (26 Sept)

"Ngati". (25 Oct) I feel the need to return to my people.

"Mauri". (28 Oct) My roots and my "old people".

"Ruby and Rata". (11 Nov)

Livia sent along one video to try to entice us away from New Zealand. "Truly, madly, deeply". (2 Nov) The dead husband who 'lives on' in her flat until she finds love again. Excellently British.

72   We almost take it for granted that our lives will be enriched by superb theatre, dance and music....

"Opera in the park" with Robin and Pat. (26 Jan) 350,000 people listened to Kiri Te Kanawa.

"Symphony under the stars", with a magnificent 1812 Overture. (3 Feb)

Michael Parmenter's "A long undressing" at the Maidment. (10 Feb) An opening night champagne supper with Raymond Hawthorne, Michael Hooper and others.

Eileen Appleton-Maher presented "A night of Alan Bennet" at Maidment B-side. (11 April) Two monologues from "Talking Heads" - "A woman of no importance" and "A lady of letters". Poignant, lonely. The detail of life. She talked with us afterwards, but most of the audience failed to grasp the heroic tragedy of it all.

"Travels with my aunt" by Graeme Green at the Herald Theatre. (25 May) A stunning set by Dorita Hannah, and a superb production. Damian was there, and also Peter and Claire Stenhouse. It was good by chance to be among old friends.

"Going to see the elephant" at the Little Dolphin with ASC. (1 Oct)

"Loomatua - the ancient earth mother", Butoh by Mau, in the Maidment. (23 Oct) Brilliant dancing and lighting. A celebration of the human body. Forms reduced until they seem larger than life.

Henry Wong-Doe played three Chopin Etudes, Opus 25, at the Maidment. (22 Mar) The virtuoso.

Douglas Wright's "Buried Venus" at Maidment. (22 Mar) Physical and symbolic. A cow, candles and strobe lighting. The struggle of all, not just women, to make sense of their lives.

"Three tall women" by Edward Albee at the Herald Theatre. (26 Mar) A little too American, and a little too close to the bone with George imprisoned in a rest home.

Thomas Leims talked on Japanese history, and the Shinto/Buddhist connections with Gagaku dance and music (26 Aug) to prepare us for the performance of "Gagaku" at the Maidment. (27 Aug) Stunning. A large orchestra and a variety of dances. Exotic costumes. I managed to get a seat in the middle of the second row.

Flute recital in the Music Theatre by Andrea Fields. (14 Nov)

"Did you hear the one about the Irishman" by Christine Reid at Pocket Theatre. The tragedy of love across the border.

73   It is impossible to keep up with the rich world of art....

"Art on the Beach" at Piha. (20 Jan) Hundreds of people built around seventy sand-castles, of all shapes and sizes. How much better to work in an environment than to attempt to bring that environment back to a gallery. The energy developed at the Eco-Art Symposium the previous year kept flowing.

Paul Hutchinson at Outreach. (13 Mar)

"On Form" at Lopdell House with Maureen Lander's carpet of red muka around the piano.

"Images of the far north" by Lyn Berquist opened at Oedipus Rex Gallery. (20 Feb) Afterwards I went to see Graeme, not realising that I would not see him alive again.

Truman Lowe, the American Indian artist who came to the Karaka Bay March Festival, spoke at the Art Gallery. (8 Mar)

This year I went to the Coromandel Group exhibition opening in Lisa with Helen. (30 Mar) We stayed in Barry Brickell's mouse house, sharing a pot luck dinner at Wailin's. Rees Hill joined us for breakfast. His forbears were Welsh hat-makers in the Bristol area. He was wearing a wonderful leather cap. Barry took us by train up to the summit, and I pondered the design of an appropriate structure. Andrew Goodfellow was in full flight back at Wailin's lunch. Wailin gave me the column which exploded in the kiln. I bought an array of other pottery and trees. We were able to call on Jeanette Fitzsimmons and Harry Parke on the way home, and even have a hot swim at Miranda.

AWA (Association of Women Artists) exhibition of postcards at Lopdell House. (4 May)

Tom and Wailin's exhibition at Aritake. (4 May)

Andrew Barry's exhibition Avatars in the George Frazer Gallery was extremely good. (22 Aug) Beautiful models, exquisite drawings and photographs. At last architecture is appearing in art galleries.

After a Milan Trienale presentation in the Art Gallery we all went over the road to see the work itself. (15 Aug)

The Alvar Aalto exhibition in the Art Gallery was very disappointing. (13 Sept)

Elizabeth Thomson at the Art Gallery. (27 Sept)

Michael O'Donnell had an exhibition at Gallery 16 at Kumeu. (11 Oct)  I missed him by a few hours after he had called to take some of the stones back to Paeroa. Graham Bell's Papas-like paintings were great. Karen used to make architectural models.

"Spiritual themes in art" at Saint George's, Takapuna. (15 Oct)

Art in Genevieve Beecroft's garden. (15 Oct)

Megan Jenkinson montages at the New Gallery. (19 Nov & 4 Dec) Ten years of her life.

Unseen McCahon. Gretchen Albrecht. (19 Nov)

Portraits of French people, with their comments on nuclear testing, at Oedipus Rex. (4 Dec) The city was given a human face, with personalities seeming to be as diverse as they were complementary.

"Studio Potters" at the Museum. (22 Nov) refer

My own exhibitions were still born. I arranged for Aritaki to be on display in Barcelona, but then the UIA funding dried up and the project collapsed. (10 May) I designed our Arakainga exhibition only to have it fall victim to the harassment process. (14 Sept)

I did at least mount a photographic exhibition at Karaka Bay. It needs to be expanded, and eventually moved to a gallery.

74   A few books stand out....

I reviewed "The Green Imperative" by Victor Papanek. (12 Jan) He had asked the publishers to send me a copy.

Madeline gave Helen "101 Un-useless Japanese inventions". (26 Jan) It provided endless fun and inspiration throughout the year.

"Two worlds collide" by Klaus Bosselman. (18 July) It is good when hooks by friends appear.

"Food for thought" by Heidi set a real standard of excellence. (10 Nov)

"Ruapehu Erupts" was very lightweight, but useful for those people overseas who thought that the whole of New Zealand had been overwhelmed by a flow of lava. (13 Sept)

The second volume of "Nga Tohu a Tainui" appeared.

The "Times Atlas of History" left me wondering about a visual rather than a verbal review. (3 April)

Ana give me Susan Roaf's book "Energy efficient building" when she called down with David Oppenheim's son. (25 April)

75   I wish I had more time to listen to the radio....

Whenever I have time to tune in I seem to find extremely good programmes on the radio. A milkman telling stories from another time. David Hurn on photography. Oratory from the BBC. Richard Roger's Reith lectures. Flying to the Chathams 50 years ago. Helen Pollock speaking on "Art and spirituality." (21 Jan)

Barry Brickell's interview by Brian Edwards in contrast was very lacklustre. (20 April) Have we really reached the stage where to be normal and to be your own person is to be "eccentric"?

Megan and Mark spoke at length on Insight on the UN and NGOs. (25 & 26 Aug)

Earth Turn ended with the year. (21 Dec) Environmental concerns disappeared from the radio waves.

76   Technology is for me a means to an end....

None of my students can believe that I existed before computers. Those early days of carrying a stack of punched cards and a tool kit to keep the hardware running seem so remote to them. Certainly the University administrators forget just who has been pushing the edge of technology for forty years now.

I felt very dated when Bruce Howie asked me to catalogue my "Planning Triangle" film. (1 April) It was one of the first films to be submitted as a thesis, and had to go to Germany for processing, getting lost in the mail along the way. How technology has changed.

At the beginning of the year I bought an HP 4C Scanjet scanner (3 Feb), but never had the time to sort out the memory capacity problems to get Adobe photoshop working. I also ungraded to a 660 HP colour printer. (16 Feb) In effect this gave me colour xeroxing capability at Karaka Bay which was extremely convenient.

It was satisfying to be able to send Graeme's obituary direct to University News by e-mail (19 & 23 April) They nearly published my "signature", which was something I had not thought about

At the University I muddled along with a discarded student computer, with no printing capability. I consequently needed to do all my University computer work at home, which was a real problem when broken days left me wanting to be in two places at once. With everything from grades to comments being done on my computer it also meant that I needed to spend an increasing amount of time away from the University to do my University work.

When technology does not work it just sits, waiting for attention  My DeLongi toaster/oven from Noel Leeming is still not operational. (22 Mar)

77   A festival of drumming and dancing kept me in touch with my local friends....

David Thom, with a packet of weetbix was the first to arrive, just after the blue sky had pushed away the torrential thunderstorms of the night before. (3 Mar) Polo helped me dig the Hangi Pit. Livia helped me organise the food. The parachute and decorations went up. The Samoan dugout canoe was launched.

The Rarotongan drummers and dancers arrived along with crowds of people. All the locals from half a mile around had been invited, even John Heise. (19 Feb) Also as many of my friends as I had time to contact. I felt I had been neglectful of my friends, and needed to keep some contact up. Perhaps 500 or so people came.

The hangi went down at 4.40, and was out of the ground by 7.40, perfectly done. Crisp and dry. Joan Chapple and Polo entertained the crowds with their wonderful puppets. Janita the lobster. A show for the children, and another with some political bite for adults. The privatisation of the Bay. The full moon rose. Jeff Clarkson brought down his powerful new speakers and "released" his new Botanica record as the hangi was being eaten. Henry Wong Doe played Warren's piano with astonishing virtuosity. The bach atmosphere seemed perfect, and people on the beach listened as Helen floated hundreds of candles out across the Bay. The water was so still the reflections shimmered across the moonlight.

It was around midnight before we began our reading of "Under Milkwood", with a decision eventually to continue on another night. The talking letter box farewelled people as they departed.

78  The solstice party ended the year....

Imagine the full moon rising over a rainbow springing out of Motukorea. Imagine a crowd gathered around a video out on the beach to watch "Babe", with Piglet providing the sound effects. Imagine seven fires along the length of the beach sending sparks into the air as a bamboo raft carried flickering candles out into the Bay. Imagine a harvest tree decorated with fruit and the bounty of the earth.

It all seemed so ethereal that it was difficult to believe it really was happening. The Karaka Bay Solstice Party on 21 December was simply surreal.

79  Celebrating life is really important....

Tom and Wailin celebrated their 50th Wedding Anniversary down at Karaka Bay. (17 Nov) The parachute went up, the crowds came, and Lydia produced an amazing cake.

Wailin celebrated her birthday on 20 March, and even Barry came up for their pot luck dinner. (19 May) It was interesting to see Wailin branching out into bookbinding.
Tom and Wailin ended the year with their traditional Christmas party. (3 Dec)

80   Many friends called in....

The social environment at Karaka Bay remains dynamic and tense. Energy seems to concentrate at this meeting of the waters, so that the Bay becomes an intense reflection of the wider world. Karaka Bay is also a meeting place for people.

It was fun to begin the year by taking a holiday on the beach in front of the house. We pitched the Nomad tent and stayed in it for the night. (1 Jan) Cedric told Beth that the tent was part of a Maori occupation, which had her rather worried. The social focus was enjoyed by Gerard Pain and Adrian, her children and two cousins from Sydney. Annette, Graeme Anderson's sister also called in.

It seems to be increasingly difficult to keep in touch with friends, but fortunately many of them make it easy by keeping in touch with me.

Alan Mumery and his wife called in to Karaka Bay. (10 Jan) They are now living in Customs House.
Jenny Walling joined us for a BBQ. (11 Jan) She is a Unitech design student interested in both architecture and theatre.
Veronica Lythe and Terry Brown called down. (19 Jan)
Jeremy, Anne and Lucy Dunningham share the most wonderful and hilarious stories. (22 Jan) (10 Mar)
Sharyn McGrearty called in. (24 Jan)
Sally Govorko spent time at KB after her mother died. (24 Jan)

Piglet gave a new social dimension to the Bay, and many of her friends also became our friends. Stewart and Thea Kelly came ashore at Karaka Bay thirty years ago when the sail on their yacht blew out. We talked of old times, and also the new right. (2 Aug)

Ray Southwell was a regular visitor. (14 Aug)
Robin Kearns came down for his birthday. (19 Oct)

Hilary and Clea Gardiner called in. (24 Aug) Neat people. Harry advised Hilary on the house which slipped. Clea works for DOC looking after Raol Island.

Sally Govorko brought sushi for Helen's birthday. (9 Oct)
Bill Daniels called down. (3 Nov) refer
Liz Crockett and Emily kept in touch while Julia was away in Japan.
John Pettit called in to check out a suitable location for a cover photograph. (11 Nov)
Harry Turbott and Rosie arrived with a pizza. (28 Nov)
Lara and Graham, former students of Susan Roaf, arrived while they were there.
Kwin called in, delivering honey from the Hokianga. (27 Dec)

81   My friends spoilt me with wonderful invitations....

After lunch with Feri and Joyce Hoffman under the chestnut tree (5 Jan)
we arrived back with a car full of roses to give to friends. Beth Wutherspoon, Maurice and Bev Caldwell. I discovered that Malcolm Hadlow had committed suicide on Waiheke. Bruce Campbell. (6 Jan) We found Jack Bassett sitting on the terrace and spent time talking as we used to do. (7 Jan)

Dinner with Ian and June Logie. (23 Jan) Ian remembered when we used to talk endlessly about religion at the School of Architecture.
There was a farewell to Vivien Rickard when she moved to Wellington to continue her work with the Historic Places Trust. (10 Feb)
Helen Strevens, another of my god-daughters, celebrated her 21st on 9 March. It was the first time I had seen Katherine's painted table tops.

Sandy Mills was back from four months sailing around New Zealand. (1 May) We visited them on board at Westpark Marina. (4 May) He spent the later half of the year cruising the Pacific.
Peter Carter went sailing in Taveuni, Fiji. (6 Aug) He had been on the boat skippered by Glen Goodhue, and Bill Graveson was going up the next week. From David Armstrong I discovered that they had been in Taveuni at the same time as Sandy.

Dorita Hannah was farewelled from the University with a Mass at Newman Hall. (25 Jan)
Bishop Pat Dunn was welcomed by the community at Newman Hall. (8 May)
The Indonesian students cooked a traditional meal at Newman Hall. (22 May)
Bill Matthews from Lugano turned up at Newman Hall. (13 Aug)

Audrey Lincoln and Trevor Hill called down to collect Peter's oars, anchor and boat rollers. (14 April)

Kate Simpson, now at Whitecliffs, called in with two of her fellow students, Francis Potter and Ric Harris. (10 April)

We farewelled Denuta at 136 Wood Bay when she went back to Poland. (4 May)
At long last we were able to wander through the bush before enjoying a meal with Erroll and Jan Kelly. (4 May)
There was a party at Sue and Wally Simpson's. (18 May)
We saw too little of Rowena and Michael, but did manage to squeeze their party in before Istanbul, just. (26 May)

Roger Bell called in with Margaret. (27 July) Roger went back to Kiribati after fourteen years, taking his son Hayden with him, and he saw his daughter. I admired his courage.

Jim Hainey called in with partner Jill. (4 Aug) They are now operating a business out of a house in Half Moon Bay. He regretted the loss of the old shell path and other changes, and noted how much he cherished the Bay the way it used to be.

Maria Bullock celebrated five years by gathering friends for dinner. (8 Nov)
It was there that I met John Grogan, who seemed to be very tenacious in winning court battles, against the odds. (12 Nov)

Yvonne Edwards invited me around for Christmas drinks, but I was running very late. (21 Dec)

Roast Duck with Martin and Karen Symonds. (29 Dec)

82   The world continued to shrink....

Belinda Slack, with Luke, went off to Japan to produce an art book. (7 Jan)
Annie Bell spent the year in Mexico. (8 Jan) "The hardest thing I have ever done." Gerry's Jesuit boss had a death threat hanging over his head.
Alastair Muir decided not to proceed with my Art Gallery scheme. (11 Jan)

Rachel Albang passed through on her way to Christchurch (17 Jan), and I was able to meet her at the airport on her way back to Canada. (10 Feb)

Helped Mike Bordenaro, an architect writer from Chicago. (18 Jan)
John Groark left a message when he passed through from Hawaii. (21 Jan)

Dave, Glennys, Tom and Tess flew to Woolongong. (1 Feb)

Russell Andrews moved to Dunolly. (4 April)
Met Val Andrews and Yvonne at Tradewinds. (17 April) Proudly took them to the New Gallery to find a pile of dust, cement and scaffolding. Was it art?

Peter Boronski came back from three years in Kyoto completing a masters degree. (8 May)

Danny and Tracy O'Brien, cousins of Eugene O'Sullivan were across from London. (1 & 2 April)

Polo invited me down for coffee with John Seed from the Rainforest Information Centre, Nimbin, who is currently working in Chile to save the beech forests. (21 April) He was very concerned about linking activists in Russia so I was able to get some e-mail contacts who may be able to help Sasha.

Jill and Ken Jones to my surprise arrived at Karaka Bay with John Hunt. (23 April) I discovered that Ken was working at the GLC at the same time as I was.
John Hunt had a year off on sabbatical leave. He was back briefly and then went over to Australia. (18 Nov) I felt really sad that John and Averill should split up. (27 May)

Athol failed to show up at the airport, or perhaps I should say that we waited but missed him. (3 April)
John and Judith Curran, from Winnipeg, came to KB. (5 April)

Heidi came under a great deal of stress, seemed to recover, and then disappeared off to England. (18 Mar)

Graham Banks was back from five years in Zurich, with his Swiss wife. (17 May)

Dierdre Kent came back from overseas with plans to change the world and a passionate desire to convert me to New Economics. (4 Aug)

Bruce Taylor is now retired, 600 feet up, in the rainforest, one and a half hours north of Brisbane. (23 Aug) Jo went to see him.

Yuchiro Kodama organised a stop-over so that he could visit my house, and we were able to spend an afternoon together. (4 Nov) Like everyone he ended up being almost as interested in hand feeding Piglet as he was in the house. He wanted me to present a paper at the PLEA Conference in Hokaido, but as it worked out my injuries resulting from the City Council brutality prevented me from getting there.

Jan Coyle only had time for a coffee at the Wynard, at the end of three months on the road. (18 Nov) With more trips in the pipeline she will be down again soon. In Wellington she made contact with Vince O'Sullivan and Doug Thurston. In Queenstown she went para-gliding with Guy.

Ian Shirley moved to Ponsonby from Palmerston North, but will continue as HOD Social Studies, operating out of the Massey Albany Campus. (18 Nov) He needed tome free advice on their new house.

Clive flew off to Indonesia to live for several weeks in Bruce's house while he was away in Europe. (21 Dec)

I could only ring Natalie Thomas to congratulate her on her wedding. (18 Feb)

83   While lives seemed to get busier....

Joe Farrant's 40th birthday, on 27 January was celebrated with style. (24 & 26 Jan) Later in the year he was diagnosed with massive liver cancer, and assorted secondaries. (24 Oct) The doctors decided he should be rushed in to hospital, but he told them that he was going fishing first, and would come on Monday. Then he confounded them further by heading off to Great Barrier for a month of healthy living. He even found time to call in at Karaka Bay. (8 Nov)

Ben Hanly now lives in Grant Copeland's old family home. (9 Nov)
Allan Lynch was off work with RSI. (8 May)
Rod Hackney and Kate Macintosh were elected to RIBA Council. (3 May)

Margaret Evans became very interested in "Peaceful Cities", but first wanted some help with the Performing Arts Centre. (4 Aug)

84   Legends were made at Karaka Bay....

It was after midnight when Joan woke me to tell me that my dinghy had been stolen. (21 Jan) Five youngsters were by this time being carried away by the outgoing tide. I set off in hot pursuit in another dinghy and eventually caught up with them. "Police" I boldly announced through the darkness "pass me the painter". "What is a painter?" came the plaintive reply. "The rope on the front." I replied, with a hint of nautical authority. I towed them home like prisoners of war. They gave false addresses and disappeared, not realising how close they had come to drowning.

Penny left a child's car-seat in the carpark as she was packing and went back up to find it had disappeared. A message to search went out, but it was nowhere to be found. Three days later I found a car-seat in the car park, presumed it must be Penny's and put it in my car for security. Then a day later I heard that Livia had lost a car-seat, and that everyone else had been looking for it. Finally the story emerged. Livia had gone up to take a group of children to the zoo, and could not believe her luck at finding exactly what she needed sitting beside her car. It was of course all the same car-seat. (2 Aug)

Robert Niven sold for $680,000. (26 Feb) His reign of terror came to an end without even a whimper. Pat Booth in the Courier berated those who have "no interest in an area other than to make capital gains from it". (25 Oct) In all planning however knowing what to do is much more difficult than identifying the problem.

Julienne sold for $760,000. (23 Nov) She had achieved her objective of hurting Robert as much as she could, and along the way managed to hurt a few other people too, not to mention the environment. (9 Jan)

Warren Dennison graduated, after a tragic administrative error by the University was revealed. (9 Sept) He had been entitled to graduate two years ago, but the bureaucrats had made mistakes in the paperwork. He would have had grounds to sue for loss of income, but the good quiet people never think like that. It was ironic that he should then begin work at the School of Architecture. (8 Aug)

Bill Graveson and Penny Caughey arrived on 1 April. They were a wonderful breath of fresh air.
Bill and Penny held an end of year party, graciously inviting everyone. (15 Dec) Some really guilt consciences became apparent when Piglet came along in response to her personal invitation.

Anton and Corina would become my new neighbours in 1997. They joined in our end-of-year events and began to come down for picnics. (8 Dec)

The Lipman family moved in to Julienne's, and became my neighbours over the summer. (22 Jan - 1 April) Betty and Verney Krainis came to stay with them. (25 Mar)

Beyond the legends there was also lots of local gossip.

Jenny spent most of the year in Katikati. (11 May)
Bob was 76. (16 Oct)
Bob developed the ritual of bringing Natasha along to feed Piglet. (9 May)
Joan had a quiet birthday. (10 Mar)
The truck delivering her new refrigerator backed over the roofing I had just rescued, which was a little discouraging.
Helen filled the house with flowers. (12 Aug)
Richard Liggins sold his catamaran. (27 Oct)
Polo left the Bay on16 November. (2 Dec)
Frazer Bruce revealed that a neighbour was trying to get Council to evict Richard out of Mavis Yarrall's house. (31 Jan) The Council took the bait and continued their tragic path of destruction.
Elizabeth Hoffman continued her wonderful work with Amnesty International.

Living at Karaka Bay seems to the visitor to be idyllic, but it can also be extremely stressful. When I arrived back from Istanbul to find what the Council had done while I was away I had my first sleepless night in six weeks. (15 July)
The Bay can also be a health risk. We were showered with asbestos fibre from water blasting. (12 Sept) There were also all the flights to spray the tussock moth. (5 Oct)

85   The loss of my hive after so many years was a tragedy....

While Graeme was dying a swarm of wasps attacked my beehive. I was too preoccupied to be able to do much, and a little mystified about what to do. By the end of the week I had lost 30,000 bees. When I finally took the top off my hive I found it was totally dead. (9 Mar) It was tragedy.

For years I have been able to give my friends and visitors a pot of honey from the Karaka Bay Apiaries, Purveyors of fine honey.

Alan Quin established a new hive for me, but at the years end it was still waiting in the Hokianga for me to find time to bring it down.

86   It is sad to live so close to the sea and sail so little....

Messing about in boats is indeed one of the great joys of life. It is also very necessary for anyone who wishes to understand erosion or other coastal processes. With Nova Caprice on my doorstep and Saucy the Laser in the shed I should have done a lot more sailing.

Saucy is great for sailing on my own, particularly when there is an east wind to make it easy to sail her away from the beach. Musick Point provides a good wind shelter. (11 Feb) It is wonderful to be able to visit some of the local islands. Motukorea is very close, with the climb to the top both easy and rewarding. (13 April) Rangitoto needs to be approached around full tide, with the climb to the top taking a little more time, particularly in bare feet. (14 April) Sailing home in the dark is not such a good idea, but it sometimes happens.

Finding a crew for Nova is often difficult. Overseas visitors tend to enjoy sailing more than local people. Six students from the USA Ecology Course came out in Nova with me when I was entertaining them at Karaka Bay. (13 Feb)

Rescuing yachts is also one of my hobbies. A yacht from San Francisco went aground on the reef early in the year. I rowed out with Sparky, and with the help of two other boats managed to get her free. (5 Feb) Two days later there was a flare off the barber's pole, so I rang Coastguard and arranged another rescue. (7 Feb)

At the end of the year I almost needed rescuing myself. I attempted to get to the grid with a barnacle jammed in the folding propeller mechanism. Inevitably I was running late and I was caught by the turn of the tide. I rowed valiantly on, towing the yacht, but finally Nova went aground a few hundred yards short of the grid. (24 Dec) With a couple of tyres to careen her on there were no problems, and I was able to complete the job of freeing the prop, while cleaning all the accessible hull.

87   Life is discerned in the detail....

We often forget that from a tiny fragment it is possible to reconstruct the world. Instead in a Review we always feel tempted to include too much, perhaps afraid that someone will take our fragment and recreate a different world from our own. It seems appropriate then to end with a few fragments, which may on the one hand prove to be indicators, or perhaps on the other hand prove to be very forgettable.

History becomes more difficult to write as we come closer to our own time. Some would say that this is because we see more clearly from a distance. My suspicion is that we see less clearly. Our unsustainable and inaccurate generalisations seem more plausible because they stand aside from the intricacy, complexity and diversity of life.

Planners who plan from the outside think they see clearly when in fact they see almost nothing. Those who think they are very good at management all too often end up reducing an awesome world to mediocrity. It is almost impossible to distinguish one dollar note from another. Making a profit is a useless waste of a life.

The casino opened. (2 Feb) The skytower became the butt of everyone's jokes.

Our annual Chinese New Year HKTA lunch was held at the City Chinese Seafood Restaurant. (27 Feb) 1997 seems to have arrived very suddenly.

Zoe was filmed wearing sunglasses for a TV3 feature on global warming. (11 Mar) All around the globe the storms were worse, with only the insurance industry showing concern.

Rod Moretti, "Liscensed private investigator", confused me with someone else and advised NZI insurance company to commence a court action. (1 Nov) It turned out that he had been snooping around my house. (19 Mar) I could have sued for damages, but why bother?

Arundel was demolished. (19 Mar) The Astor was demolished. "The Age of Hitoric Vandalism" is alive and well.

Ric Leplastrier rang from Sydney. After borrowing Ric's car Julian Mitchell had parked it on the street and flown back to New Zealand. The only problem was that no one could find either the car or Julian. Some days later we tracked them both down. (5 Mar)
I was in touch with Ric again when I arranged for John Hunt to visit him. (20 Nov)

I discovered that Morton Jordan's father was the doctor in Ohakune who brought all Colleen Larsen's children into the world. (12 Mar) On New Years Day 1997 Mary Larsen was found dead outside her tent, with no apparent cause for a fit and healthy 36 year old.

I failed to get the Ruapehu sewage scheme changed into a closed loop. (28 Mar) Only a yuppie would protect the integrity of an area by dumping its rubbish in someone else's back yard.

I called on Greg Osborne to collect my photographs. (3 April) Needless to say half them were missing. I never learn. The positive view is to take another trip to Russia to look for them.

At Easter we washed each others hands instead of our feet. (4 April) Symbolism can be interpreted in many ways. James was received into the church. (6 April)

At the Sister Cities meeting in Whakatane John Strevens was impressed to discover that Canada offers "design help" to third world countries. (( April)

Privatised railways decide to charge people and powerlines for crossing "their property. (9 April)

Mark sent me a Happy Anniversary note on 25 April. It was a year since they flew off to Nairobi, and the great adventure began.

Kahurangi National Park opened.

I even went by bus to the city, but only because my car clutch was inoperable when I returned from Istanbul.

John Gellert is a rare breed. He prefers to look through pohutukawas instead of cutting them down. Fortunately his 25 year interest in Churchill Park continues. (28 July) I did not have time to get to the public meeting.

When I visited Hillary and Jim Cleary I met son Jim, who lives in Kumamoto with his wife Yukio. (1 Aug)

It was the 25th year of Clive's week away skiing with Barry, David and Brian. (18 Aug)

I helped Nicole Roberton understand the urban design of Istanbul. (27 Aug)

I voted in the MMP election. (12 Oct) The desire of the nation for a change in our style of government came to nothing.

The Nobel Peace Prize was awarded to Bishop Carlos Belo and Ramos Horta, to support the East Timor independence campaign. (16 Oct) I had met Ramos when he spoke to one of East Timor meetings.

It is 40 years since the Suez crisis. (23 Oct) I remember how it affected us as students.

At the Macau cocktails at Bistango Pip announced that this might be the last gathering, as Macau Tourism was being restructured. (16 Dec)

The Roger Fox Big Band played at Mission Bay as part of the Music in Parks programme. (22 Dec)

The year would have ended at Sally Govorko's new house in Rutland Street, but we left a few minutes early. (31 Dec) Imagine me being early for a whole year! We were just driving past Princes Wharf when the ships whistles blew and the aimless designer crowd wandering around desperately trying to not look bored wondered what they ought to be doing. We drove on without stopping to help them out. There was too much cleaning up to do after a very busy year.

1  Habitat II, Istanbul, was a triumph for New Zealand....
2   Our idea of "The Human City" caught the imagination of the world....
3   The "Road from Rio" to Istanbul has been long and hard....
4   The University of Auckland was one of only a few in the world to be accredited to Habitat II....
5   Adventure travel begins before you even get to the airport....
6   Students keep you young....
7   The Partnership Process reflected a changing world order....
8  We launched the "Peaceful Cities" concept onto the world arena....
9   We widened the agenda of the "Peace Messenger Cities"....
10  We sent off a nomination in the UNESCO "Mayors for Peace" Prize....
11   We came close to bringing a Curitiba bus to New Zealand....
12   Habitat II concluded one process, but began another....
13   We reported back to the Faculty....
14  The achievements of Arc-Peace are astonishing, while the frustrations are those of any international organisation....
15   ADPSR made our participation in PrepCom III, in New York, possible....
16   The "Vegas Girl" debate provided some light relief....
17   All of my Habitat II students came to Istanbul with me....
18   Yair generously convinced me that Istanbul was really very close to the Negev....
19   Giancarlo de Carlo is transforming Colletta del Castelbianco into the highest technology village in the world....
20   I presented a paper on Colletta in the "Italian Cities" series of seminars....
21   The villages in this corner of Italy are quite extraordinary....
22   I was able to stay in my own house in Provence....
23   "Barcelona '96", the UIA Congress, was a riot....
24   In Bangkok I was at last able to attend the UN Environment and Sustainable Development Meeting....
25  My ancestors are calling me back to the Hokianga....
26  I began to belong to Te Hurunga....
27   We made steady progress with the Nukutawhiti Marae....
28   What a buzz it was to fly over the Marae site with John Tollemache....
29   The Vernacular Architecture Study Tour to Rangi Point was a great success....
30  Winning Piglet changed my life....
31  Gross abuses have resulted from privatisation within Local Government....
32   My Design students Study Tour to Rangi Point was magical....
33   Imagine me teaching my students a waiata....
34  If Maori politics could become more complex it would be so....
35  My course on Vernacular Architecture was as popular as ever....
36   Sadly it seemed to fall through an administrative crack....
37  A wide public interest in Vernacular Architecture was demonstrated by Paul Oliver's visit....
38   The SAHANZ Conference was a brilliant success....
39   Speaking to the Papatoetoe Historic Society reawakened an awareness of my own place in history....
40  The Arakainga house made bungy jumping look intolerably boring....
41  The negative energy directed at Arakainga left me dismayed....
42   Those who can do, those who can't destroy....
43   The idealism enshrined in the Attic Studio took a significant battering....
44   Interestingly staff harassment is a greater problem in the University than student harassment....
45   Open Day was a fiasco....
46   My design course will be a hard act to follow....
47  After more years than I can remember I gave my last "Engineering General Studies" lectures....
48  My first lectures to the "Engineers and Society" course will also be my last....
49   Universities are sustained by their own momentum....
50   Graeme's death left me emotionally drained....
51   Obituaries celebrate life as much as they share grief....
52   It was a great honour to be chosen to present the oration at John Tuhakaraina's tangi....
53   My love of Wales has not been broken by Mary Kinsey's death....
54   Ian Watkins' death symbolised the frail grip we have on life....
55   At long last I was able to get to the Wellington Arts Festival....
56   Simon Watkins' death was a tragic waste of a life....
57   Inanui's death cast further doubt on the future of Para-o-tane....
58   It seemed so appropriate to float Mavis Yarrall's ashes out to sea....
59   Of course there were jokes at Jaime's funeral....
60   After so many openings Rodney's funeral was also the closing of RKS....
61   So many stories die with a person....
62   Every death leaves a void....
63   Life always wants to live....
64   The elderly are increasingly forgotten....
65   Architects are lucky people....
66   Environmentalists are seldom understood....
67   Dealing with symptoms becomes an excuse for not dealing with causes....
68  A dynamic coast is a problem for static people....
69   Writing is "problematic", as they fashionably say, in a world where too much is written....
70   Lectures, like lecturers, come in all shapes and sizes....
71   Films remain the art form of our time....
72   We almost take it for granted that our lives will be enriched by superb theatre, dance and music....
73   It is impossible to keep up with the rich world of art....
74   A few books stand out....
75   If only I had more time to listen to the radio....
76   Technology is for me a means to an end....
77   A festival of drumming and dancing kept me in touch with my local friends ....
78  The solstice party ended the year....
79   Celebrating life is really important....
80   Many friends called in....
81   My friends spoilt me with invitations....
82   The world continued to shrink....
83   While lives seemed to get busier....
84   Legends were made at Karaka Bay....
85   The loss of my hive after so many years was a tragedy....
86   It is sad to live so close to the sea and sail so little....
87   Life is discerned in the detail....

 A 1996 Review

Tony  Watkins