New Zealand is a new country in the grand scheme of things. According to Te Ara (online encyclopedia of NZ), “New Zealand has a shorter human history than any other country. The precise date of settlement is a matter of debate, but current understanding is that the first arrivals came from East Polynesia in the 13th century. It was not until 1642 that Europeans became aware the country existed.” Other reports say that the first Maori to come to New Zealand made landfall about 1,000 years ago. That’s a long time, but when you look at the rich human history of other countries it is actually pretty brief compared to 13,000 years for America and much much longer than that for other countries.
The oldest known building in NZ is called Kemp House and was built in 1820. And there’s a fun site here that has a history of New Zealand in 100 places. The end result of all of this is that there aren’t a lot of ‘old’ buildings here and you don’t get that feeling of walking through history like you do in Europe. Most of the cities have a bit of a historic downtown but historic usually means buildings that are less than 100 years old.
I mentioned before that we are shifting flats (moving apartments) soon. We found a new apartment and are moving in next weekend so we spent this weekend packing boxes. The place we live in now is a comfortable place built just a few years ago and convenient to the city. The new place is in a building that is almost 100 years old (built in 1926)! That will mean the apartment is likely cold in the winter and hot in the summer and the water pressure may need some help but it is right in the middle of the CBD (central business district) and feels like we’ll really be living in the heart of the city. I can’t wait.