September 25, 2018
MV Tuhoe was a 100yo ship, the last of its kind on the Kaiapoi River. Very alarmingly the tourist vessel was accidentally destroyed on 27 September 2015. Gone, the last reminder that for most of its history Kaiapoi has been a busy river port.
From the 1850s to the 1970s (when things tanked) this was an exciting transport hub.
So, for the last 40 years this site limped along uninterestingly but two terrible things have wiped a clean slate for the area:The Earthquake (2011) devastated this north bank, and the Tuhoe ran aground (2015).
Act 3, 2017! “Could Kaiapoi River be the Waimakariri’s Riviera?” asks Waimakariri District Council in their video. ‘Paris for the Weekend’ cafe opened in January 2017, so they think the answer is “yes” too. The whole thing is set to Frenchy-sounding music (sounds like Mr Fredrickson music from Pixar’s ‘Up’ to me!) “Just like the Riviera.” says Councillor Al Blackie. Some 2 years later, this is what the scene looks like in September 2018; Turners Media; Facebook.
Anarchist Opinion Time: Could it be that a croissant sunk the Tuhoi? There is no place for the riverboat within this plan. Which came first, the destruction of the ship or the plan? It’s far from unusual for obstacles in the government’s way to suffer accidents when due process is lengthy and complicated. For most of New Zealand history offices and town halls accidentally burn down. In Brisbane some were blown up secretly while everyone slept. My favourite recent example is Auckland pohutukawa trees ‘accidentally’ killed by kamikaze trucks!
Image ref. ESB Photography
Image ref. nzcoastalshipping.com