The iconic Hawera water tower has watched over this South Taranaki town for a century now. Standing at 55 meters high, the tower was saved from demolition after years of neglect in the 80s/90s had made it unsafe. Hawera (or “Te Hawera”) literally means ‘the burnt place’, and originates after an incident between two feuding Maori tribes in the area. One tribe attacked the other during the night and burned their village down- so the area became known as ‘the burnt place’.
With the arrival of European settlers, Te Hawera became shortened to Hawera and the district continued to live up to its name. In 1884 a hotel was razed, in 1888 a large fire destroyed five shops and in 1912 a particularly disastrous fire destroyed a large proportion of the main street. This last event resulted in insurance companies demanding better fire fighting capacity for the town. The decision was duly made to build a water tower.
Construction began in 1912 and was completed in 1914. In 1932 following Hawera’s 50th Jubilee, red neon lights were erected around the top of the tower as a memorial to the pioneers of the district- they remain today. More recently (2002 – 2004) the tower underwent a $1.1 million restoration project to restore the historic landmark.
New Plymouth, Taranaki, New Zealand, Oct 2012: The New Plymouth Powerstation sold this week. Port Taranaki and Methanex have jointly purchased the decomissioned powerplant for 24 million. This will enable Port Taranaki to expand it’s operations in dry goods and log exports, while Methanex can develop the area the methanol producer already currently owns. Port Taranaki chief executive Roy Weaver said “most of the power station buildings would be demolished but the 198 metre chimney would remain”. The main turbine hall is also likely to remain if the port can find a customer who requires indoor storage facilities. Thank you Contact Energy for giving me access to the powerstation, and a big thanks to Paul for arranging this and showing me around the site… Canon EOS 5D/Sigma 24-70 2.8/FujiFilm 645wi/FujiFilm Pro-400H 120
New Plymouth Powerstation, Taranaki, Oct 2012: The New Plymouth Powerstation was constructed in the early 1970′s to meet the rising demand for electricity in New Zealand.
Upon completion in 1972, the Powerstation chimney was the tallest man made structure in NZ- standing at 198 metres. It contains over 16,000 tonnes of concrete, 1200 tonnes of reinforcing steel and almost one million bricks.
The chimney has been off-limits for some time, since the discovery of asbestos inside it.
At the main entrance-way, the spiral staircase winds up and around an unusual warrior-engineer carving, gifted in the 1980′s.
The Powerstation operated for over 30 years untill it was decomissioned in 2007. It is now up for sale.. The steel alone that make up the plant, is estimated to be valued at over 10 million dollars.
The main control-room inhabits a vast room with the five individual retro styled control stations. You could be forgiven for thinking you’d stumbled onto a vintage James Bond set, circa Goldfinger…