The phrase, ngā matapihi, is Māori for ‘windows’. The State Insurance Tower with its pattern of windows was photographed from the front entrance of the Wellington City Library in Victoria Street; the library’s Māori name is Te Matapihi Ki Te Ao Nui (the window on the wide world). The silhouetted plant-forms in this image are stylised nikau palms; a row of these sculptured nikau are a feature of the library entrance and of the civic centre.
The Museum Hotel was initially located on the other side of Cable Street from where it now stands. Facing demolition in 1993 to make way for the new Te Papa Tongarewa / Museum of New Zealand, the squat black box seemed doomed, until its owner began to investigate the possibility of relocating it. The five-storey, 3500 tonne structure made a 120-metre journey down an inner city street on railway tracks. Read more …