Waitangi

This week, I had the immense privilege of going to Waitangi to celebrate a pretty immense day in Aotearoa's history and I was really stoked to be able to experience it with my Green whānau.

 We woke up Monday morning, to find Waitangi cloaked in mist. Pretty stunning.

We woke up Monday morning, to find Waitangi cloaked in mist. Pretty stunning.

 The Green team assembled and we made out way up to the treaty grounds.

The Green team assembled and we made out way up to the treaty grounds.

 Kelvin Davis filled us in on the powhiri we'd be attending.

Kelvin Davis filled us in on the powhiri we'd be attending.

 Ngāpuhi lay down the wero (challenge).

Ngāpuhi lay down the wero (challenge).

 James accepted the wero on behalf of the Greens.

James accepted the wero on behalf of the Greens.

 During the powhiri, James spoke on our ongoing commitment to honoring the treaty and affirmed the fact that Maori never ceded sovereignty.

During the powhiri, James spoke on our ongoing commitment to honoring the treaty and affirmed the fact that Maori never ceded sovereignty.

 I got to go with Chlöe and James (and the PM) to Paihia school for a picnic!

I got to go with Chlöe and James (and the PM) to Paihia school for a picnic!

 Good oppurtunity for James to lose the tie!

Good oppurtunity for James to lose the tie!

 One big kid with all the little kids.

One big kid with all the little kids.

 Everyone was really welcoming, even with the sea of journalists that followed us.

Everyone was really welcoming, even with the sea of journalists that followed us.

 Chlöe is quite partial to a good picnic. 

Chlöe is quite partial to a good picnic. 

 After the visit to Paihia school, we got to explore the sights and sounds - a waka powering through the waves is always an awesome sight to behold.

After the visit to Paihia school, we got to explore the sights and sounds - a waka powering through the waves is always an awesome sight to behold.

 Tuesday, Waitangi day, started with a dawn service - well worth the 4am start. Please excuse the grain, it was pretty much pitch black.

Tuesday, Waitangi day, started with a dawn service - well worth the 4am start. Please excuse the grain, it was pretty much pitch black.

 The upper marae was packed out for the service.

The upper marae was packed out for the service.

 We were greeted by the rising sun and beautiful low cloud hanging over the hills.

We were greeted by the rising sun and beautiful low cloud hanging over the hills.

 We all loitered for a bit, enjoying the view and korero with the people around.

We all loitered for a bit, enjoying the view and korero with the people around.

 What. A. Team.

What. A. Team.

 It was awesome to have a great Young Greens squad present!

It was awesome to have a great Young Greens squad present!

 Me and the best boss ever!

Me and the best boss ever!

 After chilling for a bit near the upper marae, we made out way down to the waka house for a breakfast barbecue, served by the MP's.

After chilling for a bit near the upper marae, we made out way down to the waka house for a breakfast barbecue, served by the MP's.

 Marama was on the bacon.

Marama was on the bacon.

 Chlöe was on egg duty.

Chlöe was on egg duty.

 She did an eggcelent job!

She did an eggcelent job!

 James ft. dad shirt and bacon.

James ft. dad shirt and bacon.

So there we have it - my favourites from Waitangi!

Looking back on 2017

With 2017 coming to a close, I thought it'd be a good time to share my favourite photos from the year.

It's been a pretty hectic time, with a lot of work on the election and switching between a few jobs, but in the end - everything worked out.

Anyway - photos!

Campaign dogs and new job

So I suck at blogging and have totally neglected this blog!

A lot has happened since my last post. We had a pretty bumpy (and at times heart-wrenching) election, but we ended up changing the government and now, for the first time, have Green ministers.

I'm now working for one of our new MP's, the very awesome Chlöe Swarbrick. I met Chlöe during the campaign and became part of her campaign team, taking photos and doing lots of other adminy (a word I appear to have made up) stuff. It's really cool getting the chance to work with someone who cares so much about making our democracy more accessible and inclusive.

Anyway. We met a lot of dogs along the campaign trail (even going to a sausage dog derby!) and I suspect we will meet many many more. Maybe I'll start a 'Chlöe petting dogs' blog?

Here's some puppers:

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Green Party campaign Launch

I'm not going to preach my politics here, I'm just going to share some of my favourite photos from a day I really enjoyed and that I shared with some amazing people who I really like.

 

 Selfie time!

Selfie time!

 Busy busy!

Busy busy!

 Filling up!

Filling up!

 Can't frowning the Browning!

Can't frowning the Browning!

 Evangelical vibes?

Evangelical vibes?

 Awesome Kapa haka group.

Awesome Kapa haka group.

 League of live illustrators hard at work.

League of live illustrators hard at work.

 It's a tick for Swarbrick.

It's a tick for Swarbrick.

 But isn't that drone made from plastic? You know plastic is made from oil right?

But isn't that drone made from plastic? You know plastic is made from oil right?

 Getting amped for some sweet, sweet doorknocking

Getting amped for some sweet, sweet doorknocking

 The angelic Kimberley

The angelic Kimberley

 Doorknocking with two bloody excellent candidates, Teanau Tuiono and Chlöe Swarbrick.

Doorknocking with two bloody excellent candidates, Teanau Tuiono and Chlöe Swarbrick.

 We found a pupper playing on the road.

We found a pupper playing on the road.

 We unilaterally decided his name is Democracy (don't worry, he's back with his family now)

We unilaterally decided his name is Democracy (don't worry, he's back with his family now)

Heaphy - Day three

Not as many photos from day three as it wasn't a huge amount of fun!

We started out on the plateau pretty early, with myself still hobbling along, albeit with a much reduced load thanks to come careful redistribution of material wealth.

Of course it started raining so we all buttoned down the hatches which meant we couldn't enjoy the scenery quite as much, though we did encounter our first Giant land snail (Powelliphanta).

We made it as far as Saxon hut, where unfortunately we decided I couldn't go any further.

Luckily, a gentlemen we met at the previous hut (Perry saddle), his young son and his sons friend arrived to rescue us. Turn out his sons friends dad is a DoC ranger, so this lad knew how to get into the rangers hut and got on the radio to call me a helicopter! What a bloke!

Not long after my ride arrived and off I was to Nelson hospital. Abby, Christina and Lauren went on to the next hut and then onto day 4 and the end of the track!

Helicopter flights are very scary.

 

 Perry saddle hut!

Perry saddle hut!

 This is a very large snail. Those aren't twigs... Those are trees!

This is a very large snail. Those aren't twigs... Those are trees!

 The ladies!

The ladies!

 One sore boy

One sore boy

 Oh you bet we got boardwalks!

Oh you bet we got boardwalks!

 Oh we got scenery!

Oh we got scenery!

 See ya later losers!

See ya later losers!

Heaphy - Day two

So this is where the pain began!

After arriving at Heaphy Hut the previous day I discovered that my poor old knee was a bit sore, but as we set off on day two, I was chipper as could be.

Just under half this leg involved weaving through some bloody gorgeous wetlands and over yet more bridges (much to Abby's delight). We saw some great Birbs (0 V 0") and lots of excellent fungi, but alas, no giant land snails as yet.

Then came the delightful uphill leg, which as pretty as it was, was not a huge amount of fun for poor wee Tim. My knee gradually got worse and worse and eventually, a makeshift splint was concocted to keep me from stuffing my leg further. I was 'reluctantly' relinquished my gear. Not a fun time for anyone to be quite honest.

We made it though and boy what a view at the top (and a very cool hut). The hut warden thought our splint was hilarious and insisted on taking many photos of it (he turned out to be an epicly good photographer!). He also crafted me a crutch (a pickaxe with the pick party wrapped in bandages for padding) and so ended day two - to considerable relief.

 

 WATERBIRB.

WATERBIRB.

 Check out this great bridge!

Check out this great bridge!

 My lady love. Taking in all these great bridges.

My lady love. Taking in all these great bridges.

 Guess what? We got more bridges!

Guess what? We got more bridges!

 First Aid 101.

First Aid 101.

 We got great moss!

We got great moss!

 I'm not carrying anything at this point.

I'm not carrying anything at this point.

 We got trees!

We got trees!

 We're here! Woooo!

We're here! Woooo!

 Stay tuned for day 3!

Stay tuned for day 3!

Heaphy - Day one

We did the Heaphy earlier in the year, but better late then never! Right?

We opted to start at the Karamea, which meant we caught the Trans-Alpine from Christchurch to Greymouth.

Hold up, I have to post some photos from that particular train ride!

It's a brilliant way to experience Aotearoa's spectacular alpine terrain, weaving through mountain passes and valleys, gouged by glaciers. 

There wasn't a lot of snow during out trip, just a small amount peaking out from behind the clouds enveloping the higher peaks. Going back there in winter is definitely on my list of must-do's.

But anyway. Back to the Heaphy.

We got up super early and caught a shuttle to the beginning of the track. The first part of which takes you on a jolly jaunt along rugged coastline to the first hut (aptly named Heaphy hut). There were many stops to take photos of ourselves crossing various bridges. Our fellowship was four strong. Abby (my delightful fiancé), myself and our friends Lauren and Christine.

It was somewhere along this first leg that I munted my knee, but we'll get back to that in the next post. Anyway - pretty photos!

 Here we are! Looking chipper as can be.

Here we are! Looking chipper as can be.

 First bridge. Bridges are very important. Abby is particularly fond of all bridges.

First bridge. Bridges are very important. Abby is particularly fond of all bridges.

 This first leg is pretty easy walking really. Just weaving along the coast with the sea on the left and the mountains on right.

This first leg is pretty easy walking really. Just weaving along the coast with the sea on the left and the mountains on right.

 I like motorcycles. These DoC rangers had Yamaha TW200's. Great little bike for the job, that big fat tyre is perfect for cruising along those beaches and they weigh pretty much nothing. I like motorcycles.

I like motorcycles. These DoC rangers had Yamaha TW200's. Great little bike for the job, that big fat tyre is perfect for cruising along those beaches and they weigh pretty much nothing. I like motorcycles.

 Giant land snails ( Powelliphanta ). These are carnivorous snails and can grow as large as a fist. Needless to say we were very excited. We didn't actually see any until day three, but we did encounter a few empty shells.

Giant land snails (Powelliphanta). These are carnivorous snails and can grow as large as a fist. Needless to say we were very excited. We didn't actually see any until day three, but we did encounter a few empty shells.

 Some darned good rivers to cross! Check out those rocks! Rocks!

Some darned good rivers to cross! Check out those rocks! Rocks!

 aaaaand here we are! Heaphy hut!

aaaaand here we are! Heaphy hut!

So there we go. Day one. Definitely the easiest leg (though not the easiest on my leg as we will soon find out). Stay tuned for more!

First post!

Hello there!

I plan on using this blog to post about all my various adventures and exploits (even the banal and uneventful among them) but first, I suppose I should give a little background on myself.

I live in Wellington, capital city of New Zealand and the wind capital of the world (or so it seems some days). I've lived here about as long as I can imagine and I love it.

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Living in the capital city, it's only natural that I work in politics. I'm assistant to a Green Party MP, which basically means I do a lot of organising, making phone calls, weaselling information out of the government and generally trying to make his life as easy as possible. On top of this, I get to take photos for a party who I really believe in and work with some pretty spectacular people.

In my spare time I'm a keen tramper and motorcyclist. Living in New Zealand there is no shortage of stunning nature to explore and I am really lucky to have my wonderful partner, Abby, who is just as excited to experience it all as I am. Below is a photo of us doing the Heaphy track, which sadly I wasn't able to finish as I stuffed my knee up (thought Abby persevered and finished, while I took a leisurely helicopter ride). I'll likely post up a blog post about this particular adventure in the not so distant future, so stay tuned!

I ride an old BMW R100GS adventure bike, which is great fun as it can pretty much go anywhere I could want to go and carry everything but the kitchen sink. It's delightfully rugged and easy to fix anything that might go wrong with it.

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Aside from all that more exciting stuff, I'm also a huge nerd with a particular interest in anything Sci-fi, but I'm not sure you'll see anything about that up on this blog (or maybe I should write stuff about it!).

Anyway! That's me! Hurray first blog post!