Circuit Breakers

While we’re on the topic of immaculately-preserved power stations . . . Here’s a tweaked edit of our four explores in 2014 and 2015 of a 600 MW thermal power station which has dominated its landscape since its construction in 1972, with a 198m high chimney – the second tallest structure in New Zealand – made from 16,400 tonnes of concrete, 1200 tonnes of reinforcing steel and almost 1,000,000 bricks. After its decommissioning in 2007 all access was prohibited and it was lit and guarded 24/7, making for some tension but also creating ideal conditions for shooting video and stills in the dead of night. Despite our anxiety at potentially exposing ourselves, we simply couldn’t resist firing up power to the control room, lighting it up like a Christmas tree.

Residual Controls

This sprawling plant was formerly operated by a firm which started trading in the late 1970’s in response to the risk of a proposed merger creating a monopoly in the production of fertiliser in New Zealand. We always enjoy getting our fingers occupied in environments where museum rules don’t apply. This is Part Three of a three-part series. Part TwoPart One.

Chiller

A video from a couple of years ago- wandering around the creepy ruins of an abandoned cool-stores facility in Taranaki. Happy Halloween folks 😉

Power Station

This thermal power station was completed in 1972 and was decommissioned between 2001 and 2008, it’s chimney was once the tallest structure in New Zealand, it is now being demolished and in the final stages of demolition.

We began exploring this Power Station back in Easter where after trekking down in the darkness from the top of a hill we eventually reached a shoreline where we met a couple of angry seals who we had to dodge as they tried to attack us. Once we found our way in, avoiding light and the risk of areas with motion detectors we reached the main building, our eyes were greeted with a wonderland of ‘pipe-porn’ and steel. The first thing we knew we wanted to hit was the turbine room and to reach this we needed to scale some ladders through the maze of pipes and steel.

Upon reaching the turbine room we found a gigantic space full of yellow turbines, all fully lit up, the whole place echoed as you walked through it which made us feel on edge. After documenting the turbine room we advanced on to find the control room, from intel we had been given we attempted to enter through to the control room where we were met by locked doors, the control room was not to be seen that visit.

Included in this post are pictures months apart, the second series of pictures were pictures taken when the turbine room was mostly deconstructed but we finally found an intact control panel room :).

 

Inhospitable

Filmed in late 2011- this was the final days of the old Hawera Hospital (1925-2012). Demolition was already well underway on the South Taranaki Hospital, with at least half the complex already gone. A compact digital camera was rigged onto the hot-shoe of a DSLR to capture on video the state the place and what was being photographed- plenty of shaky camera footage ensued. Abandoned in 2002, the hospital’s state of decline over the next decade was dramatic and completely unnecessary. It wasn’t a pretty explore- a bleak and hazardous environment, the complete opposite of what a hospital is supposed to be about- inhospitable.

Aramoana

Situated high above the town, with great views overlooking the sea is the woman’s ward of this old hospital. It is extremely eerie walking around the old wards, now sealed shut with corrugated iron. The whole hospital site was closed due to earthquake risk and awaits demolition in the near future. More to come of the rest of the hospital soon.

PTA

This Historic Hospital (c.1880) still stands in its dilapidated state, 22 years after its closure. When the hospital finally closed its doors in 1990, it had served the district for over a century. Locals have been complaining for years about the eyesore, demanding the owner of the property to demolish the derelict and vandalised buildings.

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The Tower

https://vimeo.com/64215270

The iconic Hawera water tower has watched over this South Taranaki town for a century now. Standing at 55 meters high, the tower was saved from demolition after years of neglect in the 80s/90s had made it unsafe. Hawera (or “Te Hawera”) literally means ‘the burnt place’, and originates after an incident between two feuding Maori tribes in the area. One tribe attacked the other during the night and burned their village down- so it became known as ‘the burnt place’.

Hospital Complex

We would have stayed longer and explored more of the buildings at this picturesque hospital situated high on a hill with fantastic views, but some local homies decided to ruin our fun. These buildings are all in poor condition and are incredibly earthquake prone (some of the masonry is crumbling), the homies were playing loud music with their sub, perhaps in an attempt to initiate a partial collapse of the buildings.

 

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Fertiliser Tower

After walking into this fertiliser storage tower we quickly noticed something very wrong, hundreds of dead birds coating the floors. We’re not sure if it was the fertiliser or being trapped which entombed them in the building, but didn’t care to stay and find out.

 

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