Back In Time

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20 years ago:

• A Wellington City Council proposal to include the construction of a $72 million multi-sports stadium as part of a massive redevelopment of Wellington’s waterfront looked likely to get the go-ahead.

A feasibility study on the 41,000 all-seater stadium said there was more support for the “Railyard Stadium” — now known informally as the “Cake Tin” — proposal from the public, sportspeople and potential corporate backers than for other suggested alternatives around the Wellington region.

One of the main strengths of the stadium option was its central location and proximity to Wellington’s efficient public transport network.

15 years ago:

• A builder stripped down to his underwear so he could attend one of the first nationwide seminars to explain the revised NZS 3604 Standard!

It wasn’t a standard condition of entry — rather, he had gone to the venue straight from doing some very muddy work and, without having to be asked, accepted that he was too filthy to get in.

Somehow the unnamed builder managed to acquire some clothing during the seminar.

10 years ago:

• The newly-established Department of Building and Housing (DBH) would foster a more integrated approach to industry issues, according to the RMBF.

The new government department was to be responsible for a wide range of matters, including managing the administration of the Weathertight Homes Resolution Services Act 2002, the administration of the new Building Act, and the occupational licensing regulation associated with the building and housing sector.

Chief executive Chris Preston said the RMBF would be looking to the new department to be proactive in its dealings with the industry on key issues.

5 years ago:

• An Uku (Earth) house was to be built in Northland as part of a University of Auckland engineering research project into sustainable, low-cost housing options for rural Maori.

Uku is a building method involving mixing earth and flax with cement to build quality, affordable housing.

Civil Engineering PhD student John Cheah was working with the Ahipara community to develop the house. He said Uku technology was ideal for rural Maori communities where land was owned by the local hapu rather than by individuals, and when financial barriers might have prevented them from developing that land.

Ahipara residents had attended a workshop at the university where they learned how to prepare the flax, how to mix it with earth and cement, and how to compact it into walls.