We have an award for a new designed waterfront area of climate change calculations that promises future protection, one hopes this is the case. We have a sad history of building buildings that don’t build confidence in this sector, writes Ruta Mave.
All roads lead to
Rome, the eternal city that wasn’t built in a day so the sayings go. Standing beside
the Colosseum built in AD 70 years after the death of Christ nearly 2000 years
ago, it is the sheer colossal size of the building as it towers 48 metres above
you made from small handmade brick slats, large wooden beams, marble slabs that
takes your breath away. The fact it is still standing the test of time, nature,
war and the ravages of human kind stealing it or polluting it, is a true marvel
of material endurance and engineering. Throughout the whole Italian countryside
are Roman walls, roads, citadels, shops, homes, piazza’s – squares and amphitheaters
– all denoting historical events and all standing as strong as they were when
they were built. There were no large mechanical cranes, road trucks and diggers
during this time, it was all carved by hand and lifted by pulleys pulled by
many hands but created with exacting precision and forward thinking to last forever
in the name of whomever was building it.
Imagine living in
a country that values time and history. In the southern area of Perugia there
are 61 million olive trees – those that are 100 plus years old are protected
and kept with small GPS devices in their trunks to track them if they are
transplanted elsewhere. Roman roads are uncovered and displayed to show the
wearing of chariot wheels into the stone over the years and if a wall appears
during your excavating to build a house, shop or office you must build around
it or incorporate it into your design.
protected, the ancients are acknowledged. We have some monuments to our history
in the islands. There is evidence of human presence in the Southern Cooks dated
to around 1000 AD – an archeological marvel of paved road way by Toi which is
now unrecognisable although still in use, we call “the back road”. We have some
ruins of coral limestone houses around but it’s the large white limestone
churches the missionaries directed to build with coral from the local beaches
which remain fully functional housing – the Cook Island Christian Churches are
our testament of time.
Like the early
Roman structures they too relied on people and rudimentary pulleys and levers
to construct them, they stand stoic and look able to do another 100 years,
compared to the modern structures we were gifted from the Chinese, both stadiums,
the Justice and Police station that were breaking down months after completion.
Similarly, the water system of poor workmanship had to be replaced, redone and
revived by a New Zealand company.
We have an award
for a new designed waterfront area of climate change calculations that promises
future protection, one hopes this is the case. We have a sad history of
building buildings that don’t build confidence in this sector. We had $30
million from New Zealand to build classrooms for Tereora College, the design
was modern but not practical for our climate. Small narrow window doors, no air
flow when it rains so they use fans and air conditioning units. The “gift” to
modernise and economise created a crippling power bill because attention was
not paid to those who have to work in it.
which could hold 50,000 people was designed in a way that it could be filled
and emptied of people in a matter of minutes. Compare that to our stadium built
less than 20 years ago. Our national Olympic committee, CISNOC has pledged a
budget of $9 million for replacing of the synthetic track, rusting grandstand
and the grass turf. The new government offices will cost $68 million. None of
our projects have stayed within budget so we wait with anticipated “taxpaying
breath” how much more debt we will take.
With the amount of
money being pilfered throughout our government departments you have to wonder
how much of these millions are going to end up somewhere else.
Then once built with
all our modern technology, will we have the workmanship and materials to ensure
they last longer than one to two years before needing repair? Are we capable of
The world lost a
great monument to history with the passing of Queen Elizabeth II, the last icon
of the 20th century. They certainly don’t build them like her
anymore. Working with elegance and dignity in her last days by swearing in the new
Prime Minister for Britain, the Queen, is as timeless as the Pantheon built to
recognise all people equally. We can only hope that we as a generation can
produce an enduring nation in culture, language and community she would be