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Metlink apologises: “We don’t have enough train drivers”

News from Metlink
We are bus replacing three services and their returns during afternoon peak on the Johnsonville line due to a driver shortage. This driver shortage is forecast to continue to be tight until mid-2019, but we will update you weekly as the situation changes. Read more »

5000 at powhiri on waterfront for start of Te Matatini

powhiri

Report from RNZ
About 5000 people came to the Wellington waterfront this morning for the pōwhiri of the biggest kapa haka competition in the country, Te Matatini. Thousands of kapa haka performers and supporters were greeted with a traditional wero at Waitangi Park. Read more »

Warrior and wahine as crossing lights at seven intersections

crossing-lights

News from WCC
First Kate Sheppard did it, then Carmen Rupe and John Plimmer. Now a wahine and a warrior are demonstrating a haka for Wellington pedestrians. On the day before the opening of the Te Matatini kapa haka festival, “haka lanterns” were installed at a pedestrian crossing next to Waitangi Park, where thousands attended the festival’s opening powhiri today. Read more »

Arrested UK men in court in Lower Hutt charged with using false documents

alleged-roofing-scammers

Report from RNZ
Two of the men who were arrested overnight in Lower Hutt in relation to roofing scams in Auckland have appeared in court today. Read more »

John Milford wants “decent return on investment” from Town Hall

Press Release – Wellington Chamber Of Commerce
The Wellington City Council needs to decide exactly where the Town Hall fits into its venues strategy before committing ratepayers to the massive cost of strengthening it, says the Wellington Chamber of Commerce. Read more »

Union blames Regional Council for shortage of bus drivers

News from Tramways Union
The Greater Wellington Regional Council’s concern about a bus driver shortage is hypocrisy at its worst says the Wellington Tramways Union. Read more »

Changes to Kapiti rail timetables next week

Press Release – Metlink
Metlink is making minor changes to its rail timetable on the Kapiti Line to increase capacity during the morning peak, and to improve punctuality of service in the morning and afternoon peak. Read more »

Nelson emergency extended – 250 people waiting to return home

Report from RNZ
The State of Civil Emergency in the Tasman region has been extended for another week as authorities continue to deal with the large bush fires. Read more »

Unity Books “re-charged” by selection as finalist for international excellence award

Wellington.Scoop
Wellington independent bookshop Unity Books says it is honoured by its selection as one of three finalists in the International Bookstore of the Year category of this year’s London Book Fair International Excellence Awards. Read more »

Wellington woman gives her heritage-listed Kelburn flats to Heritage NZ

chevening
Photo from HeritageNZ by Studio Pacific Architecture

News from Heritage New Zealand
In an act of incredible generosity, Wellingtonian Susan Price has gifted her block of flats – Chevening in Kelburn – to Heritage New Zealand Pouhere Taonga.

The transfer was completed last Friday, along with a significant financial donation. Chevening was purchased by her parents Hugh and Beverley Price in 1979 and extensively restored and strengthened over the years. The property was built in 1929 and is Category 2 listed with Heritage New Zealand. Spanning four levels, the reinforced concrete property partially faced in brick, in stripped classical style, is an early example of a luxury apartment building in Wellington.

Susan Price said the property transfer into the care of Heritage New Zealand was the best way to ensure the family’s legacy of the love for Chevening was carried on.

“I’m deeply honoured that Heritage New Zealand Pouhere Taonga is going to become the owner of Chevening,” Ms Price said.

“My parents and I have had this building for 40 years. Thank you so much for wishing to care for this place. The thought of it not being looked after in the future filled me with horror.

“The first person that needs to be thanked for Chevening is the original owner, Emma Rainforth. What an extraordinary and amazing woman she was because of her bravery and vision to build a block of flats as a woman on her own. Second, architect Llewellyn Williams who changed the face of Wellington. Many buildings from the 1920s, for example the Embassy Theatre, are his.

“My parents, Hugh and Beverley Price, are an incredible part of Chevening. Nothing was too difficult for my father. Chevening (when purchased in 1979) was decrepit but he said the bones were just lovely, and let’s go for it. So my parents and I just went for it from the 1980s on.

“The building was exactly 50 years old when we bought it, so the three of us furnished it in a style that reflected its age. We explored Wellington’s second hand shops to get furniture from the 1920s and 1930s, and Cuba Street was full of riches.”

In 2011 Chevening was earthquake strengthened and restored to 100 percent of building code.

“I couldn’t have done it without the work of architect Lianne Cox, engineer Matthew Lander, builder Brent Henderson and project manager Richard Hickman,” says Ms Price.

“I’m incredibly grateful to those people who strengthened the building without affecting the architecture. Thank you a thousand times for bringing it back to how it was at the end of 1929.”

Ms Price was 18 when her parents purchased Chevening, for $74,000. It had been on the market for some time at $95,000.

“When I saw the building for sale it was very rundown, extremely shabby. I asked my father to give the real estate agent a ring. I loved Chevening from that moment, and dreamed of its restoration. One day, when it was all finished, I would simply walk into the Historic Places Trust, as Heritage New Zealand was known then, and hand them the keys. This building has to belong to the nation, so thank you for making that dream come true.”

Heritage New Zealand Acting Chief Executive Claire Craig says the transfer of Chevening is a transfer of trust and guardianship from the Price family that Heritage New Zealand is honoured to accept.

“It’s extremely difficult to express just how delighted and honoured we are to be able to care for Chevening on behalf of Susan Price and the nation,” says Ms Craig.

“The love Susan has for Chevening is evident in its incredible condition. It is beautiful inside and out, with original features simply stunning to view and enjoy. That it is used today as highly-desired accommodation is testament to the Price family in caring for this heritage property so well.”

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