Weekly Photo Challenge: Big

Now I thought about posting a photo of me from 2008/9. Seriously…I was big…like 30 kilos bigger. I was showing someone some photos the other day and just to prove how big I was I zoomed in. You should never…and I mean never…zoom in on a fat lady on the beach. It took a while for her to recover from that one.

But I digress. My BIG this week is from a place I visited on Thursday. The Waihi Martha Mine. Gold was first discovered in Waihi in 1878. In 1979 William Nicholl pegged out and claimed five acres naming it Martha after a family member.

The Martha mine went on to become one of the most important gold and silver mines in the world.

In 1952 the mine was shut down. Many factors made it uneconomical to mine the lower grade ore that was now left. But with the increase in gold price in the seventies, mining became viable and resulted in the first gold being poured in 1987.

Today the mine is in flux waiting for resource consent to go underground in two new areas. If not granted he mine will close. It is still a controversial subject.

Parts of the town Waihi have actually collapsed taking houses with them. Rising and falling water tables during the transition between active to inactive phases causes BIG damage to other structures.Β  Many in the area want the mine closed. But not all. For the moment we wait.

We wait for a government to actually care about New Zealand’s environment. But while our Prime Minister Mr John Key [in my opinion] lies crooked in his bed – it’s crowded in there, so I think he bends to accommodate – because he shares it with the BIG corporations who want only to rape and pillage like the conquerors of olden times, many of us fear that it has already gone to far.

New Zealand is headed down many paths that are destroying this once proudly environmentally forward country. We were the ones who said NO to a country as BIG as America when it came to allowing nuclear powered ships to visit our land for goodness sake. There was a time when doing the right thing for New Zealand was paramount. When we stood tall and fought for the BIG issues. I hope that time comes again.

Rant over !!!!!

The same day I wandered around the Waihi Cornish Pumphouse.

I posted some photos for the WINDOWS challenge, of the Pumphouse, plus a video of them moving the almost 2000 ton structure in 2006. It is truly an amazing engineering feat to watch.

Visit My Thursday’s Windows if you would like some other views of this wonderful building that has been moved to prevent it from collapsing, like a few of the houses in the town.

Posts that came in to existence because of this week’s photo challenge:

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  1. This is a very informative post. I hope things are settled regarding the mines. I hope they are being held responsible for any damages made in surrounding areas.



    1. Never enough responsibility is taken by any government body here in New Zealand lately. From councils to national governing bodies it has all become about the $$$$$$$$$$$$$$. It deeply saddens me that New Zealand has become like this. Sadly many New Zealanders are quite apathetic when it comes to fighting the government and big corporations. While there are Kiwis who do whatever it takes to do the right thing…a lot feel that nothing will change – so what’s the point.


  2. Well said. New Zealand has done some wonderful things on the civic and political fronts (first country to give women the vote – that’s BIG). I hope things turn around. It seems that much of the world has chosen to bend over and take it instead of fighting the fight. Thanks for the photos and context.


    1. Just throw out everything that is processed and cook from scratch. That all I did. If I didn’t make it I didn’t eat it. I was actually eating more than I was before…and it just started falling off.


      1. OR … eat vegan. I know, I know … it’s controversial but I eat like a flippin PIG and don’t gain weight. Prior to being vegan, my weight was typically 138 lbs. Now I eat MORE and weigh LESS. For the past 10 mos, I have been at a consistent 122-125 lbs without trying. I’m liking it!


        1. I am pretty close to being a total vegetarian…how can people eat things that go baa…I will never know. But vegan ?? Nah !! I would miss the cheese and the milk way too much.


          1. Nice!! I hail from Wisconsin – the dairy capitol of the USA, so I grew up a milk drinker and cheese eater!! Then I watched the documentary, Forks Over Knives, with my teenage son and it revolutionized my outlook. I wouldn’t go so far as to say that I *miss* milk and cheese – but on occasion I do have a craving for the flavor. I really enjoy your blog, BTW.


  3. I enjoy your rants. I wasn’t aware of the mining situation there and I always appreciate learning more about areas. Politicians…I can’t think of any that I trust. Oh they know how to say nice things and how to make promises, but come on, I don’t believe them anymore.

    On a side note, I saw an ad for the Hatfields and McCoys–finally it will be on TV here.


    1. I have another rant coming…
      I despise our politicians for what they are doing to New Zealand.
      I can’t wait to hear what you think of it…I loved it. Thought it was Kevin at his best ever.


    1. Thanks Colline. I know – I ranted a little. I just get so mad at the way this country is headed and how it is losing the very thing that makes it special all because of a government not listening to what the people want. Oh dear me…sorry…there I go again.


      1. In many countries the world over, the government seems to be discounted from the very people that voted them in. Today at the lunch table we spoke about that very thing. Seems that there is something wrong with our system.


        1. Sadly these days we don’t attract the politicians who are in it for the right reasons…and once they get in they are often so arrogant as to believe they know better than we do what is best for us.


  4. One of my dreams has always been to visit New-Zealand, because it harbors all landscapes of the world. Or so I have been told. My partner has been to your country for a biker holiday a couple of years back, Jo. And he loved it.

    Money always wins over environment – until it’s too late to save our poor Mother Earth. All balance is gone, due to the influence of ‘civilization’ and our ‘needs’.

    I’m so sorry to hear about the mine, about what happened to the village. That is awful. If only mankind would learn to use what is still good, and produce with respect for the natural resources that are still left to us. To re-use and recycle. To be content in stead of wanting more, better, newer.

    I salute you and your beautiful country and hope government will soon come to its senses.


  5. Sweet! I’ve actually never seen pictures of a mine so this was very informative and INTERESTING for me. I love the pictures that provide perspective. The picture with the wheels on the walls of the mine is great! THANKS for sharing!!


      1. i have female friends who drive the big haul pack trucks in the mines in northern western australia. interestingly the mines find females are far better drivers of their trucks than males πŸ™‚


  6. The landscape is rugged and lush and I can’t help but imagine how challenging working in that terrain must be… yet many get up daily to do so… with no accolades or additional support. The rest of your piece was informative. TY!


    1. One of The Daughter’s friends works there. And I do know that he worries about the future of his job. And I do understand that. He has a young family. It still saddens me though that there isn’t another way forward.


  7. This kind of mining is always such an environmental nightmare. It displaces the ecosystem, changes the landscape, and often leaves an ugly remainder.
    We have a happier story here – we had a large brownstone quarry near us near the river. Brownstone is no longer used in building, so the quarry was closed – it has now been filled with water and made into a water park with ziplines, boating, swimming, and water slides. I hope some kind of solution can be found for you much larger problem soon.


    1. Awwwwwwww…thank you ma’am. But I must confess that isn’t me in the pic, but a dear friend. She posed so I could have an image that showed the BIGNESS of the Pumphouse bless her. And isn’t she gorgeous !!!!!!


        1. It was a fabulous day. My mouth waters when I think about those asparagus stalks and the egg and the sauce. Your BUM, my dear lady, looks perfectly luscious and exactly how it should look. Been walking around all day in the shoes…and track pants. Bit of a funny sight really.


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