Apr 9, 2009

Ti Kouka House circa 1865-2009










Situated adjacent to the central Christchurch Fire Station, Ti Kouka House succumbed to a second arson attack on the 21st of March, 2009.

In a week when the the local mainstream media reported on two suspicious fires; one at a convenience store and the other being a motor vehicle, no mention was made of the destruction of this historic house, which apparently occupied a potential redevelopment site. Quite possibly yet further evidence of seamless connections between journalism, business and politics.

8 comments:

kuaka said...

Fair's fair, the lads did have to drive the fire engine across the bridge & crash the traffic lights to get the 100m or so...

Besides, perhaps they were off fishing another floating body out of that stretch of the Avon.

I realize now I was sitting on a park bench near Ti Kouka in Jan., munching on fish & chips, and imagining through half-closed eyes a 19th C. paddle steamer chugging by to pick up folks at the nearby Oxford Hotel. Inspired, I seem to recall, by one of your 2008 posts. Only wish I'd turned around and taken a look at Ti Kouka...

Canterbury Heritage said...

Like Ratty and Mole, Mr C.H. lives by the river at the farthest reach if its quietest loop. Of recent times the bodies of two prostitutes have washed up in front of his home. One more and his going rename the house Whore's Reach.

Jayne said...

What a waste and such a loss.
The house, not the renaming of your abode.
Although "Tara" might be more appropriate, seeing as it's where the Scarlet (woman) lived :P

Canterbury Heritage said...

Something akin to fast women and slow horses have taken their toll over the years, but Tara sounds a bit McMansion for a humble cottage in the spacious grounds of a long lost, but splendid home of a distinguished descendant of French Dukes and an English pirate.

Sarndra said...

It's just so damn tragic...my heart really bleeds :-( no respect at all for heritage to let it get this far.

pssst you've got 21 July 2009 on there ;-)

Canterbury Heritage said...

Oh hell, Sarndra, that slip up must be what they call a senior moment. Bit of a toss up whether give up gracefully before going totally gaga or slog on trying to keep one's ears apart a tad longer. Thanks ever so much for pointing out the error.

Whilst taking the post fire photos, a business type gent of mature years stopped to chat. He cited the destruction of Ti Kouka house as yet another example of the endemic corruption that prevails within the Christchurch establishment, saying that it was entirely motivated by greed.

From an historical perspective that ethic appears to date right back to the beginnings of Canterbury, when John Robert Godley sold land to chums, of which he was well aware that it had already been sold by the Maori, and over which legal claim presided. Within three years the good burghers of Christchurch were resorting to forgery in order to sell off the town reserves, in spite of being advised by a lawyer that it was an illegal act.

Now local government conducts its machinations behind closed doors and we're not allowed to know about some of its financial transactions - seems that little has changed since 1850 - the current catch phrase for this type of politics is Liberal Fascism.

Jayne said...

That was a beautiful mansion!

Canterbury Heritage said...

Sure was, shame it's gone - would have been just about enough room for all the books and curios, etc. But the replacement is not too bad - still digging up shards of mid-Victorian china in the garden.