The Eye of the Fish

March 18, 2009

Big Fish

Although the Dompost has reported on it already, just a reminder that there is the most amazing piece of floating architecture anchored at Queens Wharf at present. The Masquerade, a 5 year old Dutch boat, is waiting here for its owner to come and join it this weekend. It is the most extraordinary piece of marine architecture – obviously money was no object, but its worth a saunter past.

The stern of the boat is sculpted with cutouts and a jaunty flippy hat thingy for the captain to steer it from, along with a opening secret compartment where presumably a smaller boat pops out of.
I’m not sure what the owner, Robert Ogden, plans to do on the boat (presumably, party hard, and cross over to the Sounds), but the captain Michael Whitely must have enjoyed his arrival into Wellington , as the waters around Queens Wharf are currently full of natives paddling war canoes – yes, the Dragon Boat Festival is on again this weekend. Two good reasons then to go for a walk on the waterfront this weekend.


18 - 03 - 09

Is that your bike in front of the boat there Maximus?
Did you put it there for scale?

It certainly is a gorgeous piece of maritime design.

18 - 03 - 09

there’s an old feminist saying: “A woman needs a man, like a fish needs a bicycle…”

richard maclean
19 - 03 - 09

Greetings Maximus – apologies for just dropping something on you via the comments section – but you may/may not be interested in this Council relese we’ve fired out this afternoon – mainly because it involves Massey House which tends to get architectural types all excited.
Richard MacLean – WCC Ext Comms

$16,250 grant for pioneering Plischke building

New Zealand’s first Modernist office building, and several other well known local buildings, received funding Wellington City Council’s Built Heritage Incentive Fund, and time is running out to put in an application for the next round.

The fund encourages the conservation of Wellington’s ‘built environment’ by helping people meet some of the extra costs associated with owning and caring for heritage-listed buildings.

Each financial year there are three rounds in which groups can apply for funding and this year there is a total of $329,000 available. In the second round of this financial year, held last November, more than $153,000 was allocated across a range of projects to restore and preserve several landmark buildings in the Capital.

One building to benefit is Plunket House (126–132 Lambton Quay) – with $16,250 allocated for a conservation plan.

Originally known as Massey House, the building was designed for the Meat and Dairy Marketing Boards by internationally-renowned Austrian architect Ernst Plischke and his partner Cedric Firth and is widely regarded as the first example of Modern architecture in New Zealand.

On its completion in 1957 the eight-storey building was not universally lauded by the public – with many people suspicious about the arrival of Modernism in a country that was then dominated by Victorian architecture. However the building is now revered as a landmark in the history of New Zealand architecture.

A number of other significant buildings also received funding including Northland’s St Anne’s Church – which received $40,000 for a renovation and extension of its hall; the 130-year-old Inverlochy House in Te Aro – which got $30,000 for repainting and re-roofing; and the former Masonic Hall at 221 Clyde Street in Island Bay – which was granted $20,000 for urgent repairs to its roof.

The Council’s Associate Urban Development Portfolio Leader, Councillor Hayley Wain, says the funding will play an important role in preserving these buildings for future generations.

“We’re fortunate to have so many attractive old buildings in the Capital – they’re all part of the city’s charm. This funding will help ensure these buildings can be enjoyed by Wellingtonians for years to come.”

The next round of the Built Heritage Incentive Fund closes at 5pm on Tuesday 31 March, with around $130,000 available.

For more information about grants, including a grants calendar, application forms, past allocations and guides to completing your application, visit, or phone the Council on 499 4444.

19 - 03 - 09

Richard, thanks: I am duly excited. Jolly good show. I’m glad to see that the Council hasn’t cut the fund, and long may they continue to Not cut it.