Dunedin, steampunk and Te Tiriti o Waitangi

Hey guys. Sorry to have not written in a while, but I just haven’t got round to it. But now I have some time, I’m going to talk about what I got up to on the weekend. So it was a long weekend, because of Waitangi Day. (If you don’t know, the flag at the top is the tino rangatiratanga flag) You probably know all about its origins, but just in case you don’t, here’s a brief run down. It marks the day when the Māori and English signed the Treaty of Waitangi, aka Te Tiriti o Waitangi, which is New Zealand’s founding document. What it did was make New Zealand part of the British Empire. What caused conflict afterwards was a discrepancy between the Māori and English versions of the Treaty. In the Māori one, the Māori believed they merely ceded government to the English; the English believed they were to receive sovereignty. So it didn’t work quite as planned. But at any rate, the signing of the Treaty of Waitangi is an important part of New Zealand history.

Now. Were you aware that Oamaru is the steampunk capital of New Zealand? Were you aware that there was a steampunk capital of New Zealand? Anyway, there is, and it is Oamaru. I’ve written a little about steampunk before, with my post about The Leviathan, but all I really did was say, the Leviathan was of the steampunk genre. Steampunk is a subgenre of science fiction that’s inspired by 19th century steam powered machinery and the like. It’s based on the premise of what would happen if technology had developed along the lines of steam power, as opposed to electric power. It’s really rather interesting. Another steampunk novel I read recently was entitled Rebel Mechanics, by Shanna Swendson, and I rather enjoyed it.

Next, Dunedin. I hadn’t been there in ages, so it was nice to go back. We took a look around Larnach Castle, and it was really cool. It was built in 1871 by William Larnach, and took three years to build. From the upper stories, one gets a spectacular view, especially from the roof. We also went to the Cadbury factory and had a tour, which was rather interesting. For example, I learnt that marshmallow products, like pineapple lumps and pinky bars, are only sold in New Zealand. This is because they’re too fragile to ship overseas. I never knew that before.

Finally, this is slightly random, but we were discussing what days we were born on, and I recalled this rhyme. Kinda interesting, and when I was looking it up, I found this post about its origins and other similar rhymes. Some of it is a little technical, but quite cool.




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