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Must See Royal Palaces: Oceania

Good Morning!!

Today we are finalizing our new series by looking to Oceania . I have compiled lists from 5 continents, however some of them are not necessarily "Royal Palaces" but rather they are government buildings or they are places where royalty stays when they are in town. For today we are going to cover Oceania I have made a list of 3 different palaces. These are not considered royal palaces but rather government buildings.


Tonga Royal Palace- Kingdom of Tonga

This is actually a Royal residence and is not open to the public. You can however see it from the waterfront. The wooden Palace, which was built in 1867, is the official residence of the King of Tonga. Not much information is available on the palace itself but this is what's available. In line with the deference the Tongans have for the Royal Family, poets almost never refer to the palace (pālasi) by name, but use heliaki or allegorical references like: Fanga-tapu ("sacred beach", the stretch of shoreline fronting the building), Loto-ʻā ("inside the fence"), ʻĀ-maka ("stone fence"), Hangai Tokelau ("north wind against", the name of a tree near the kitchen), and so forth. The old, metre-high stone fence was so sacred to the king that none would dare sit on it, let alone cross it. However, after 1990, King Tāufaʻāhau Tupou IV had a 3-metre high grid fence erected. After 2000, some people broke through the gates with trucks, prompting the installation of iron bars to secure the gates.


Canberra Government House- Australia

Spanning over 130 acres, Government House is the official residence of the Governor-General. In addition to serving as a residence, the house and grounds are used by the Governor-General to fulfil his role as Australia’s Head of State and Commander-in-Chief. Government House is where Prime Ministers and Ministers are sworn in to office, international leaders are welcomed and where the achievements of Australia’s most outstanding citizens are officially acknowledged. In an average year, Government House hosts over 100 events, bringing together over 50,000 Australians from across the country. Two open days are held annually (in Autumn and Spring) and over 25,000 school children visit Government House each year to learn about the role of the Governor-General. Government House stands on the traditional land of the Ngunnawal people. The Office of the Official Secretary to the Governor-General pays respect to the Ngunnawal people and their elders past and present and extend that respect to all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. The official residence of the Governor-General was originally a humble farmhouse built in the 1830s. The size of the property was originally 1035 hectares, which grew to 16,000 hectares (and 40,000 sheep) by the end of the century. The Commonwealth Government acquired the property in 1909 (after Canberra was chosen as the site for the Federal capital). During the First World War, the property was used by cadets from the Royal Military College. In 1921, the Federal Capital Advisory Authority proposed that the property be used as a vice-regal residence and works began 1925 to enlarge and modernise the house for the Governor-General. Sir Isaac Isaacs was the first Governor-General to live permanently at Government House in 1931. Further works to expand the house were undertaken during the 1940s.

If you Google Canberra Government House, you can actually do the Virtual Tour of the residence.


Tūrangawaewae House / Māori Parliament Building

This building is not open to the public from what I can find, however the building itself just looks so cool that I had to include it.

Tūrangawaewae House was erected in 1917-1919 as a kauhanganui, or parliament building, for the Māori King movement. It represents an important assertion of Māori identity and resistance to Pākehā-dominated political structures in the early twentieth century. The Kīngitanga, or King movement, had been founded in the 1850s to counter the growing spread of colonial settlement in the Waikato and beyond. It consisted of a broad federation of tribes, including many descended from the Tainui canoe. Forced to move from its base at Ngāruawāhia after the third New Zealand - or Waikato - War (1863-1864), the movement set up a parliament in 1891 in response to the under-representation of Māori in the country's electoral system. Initially meeting away from the main centres of Pākehā settlement, the parliament marked a return to its original heartland by constructing a new assembly house at Tūrangawaewae in Ngāruawāhia. The building was erected in the centre of what had become an established colonial town, in an area of symbolic and spiritual importance for Kīngitanga. In particular, it lay within the site of the papakāinga where kingship had been invested in Pōtatau Te Wherowhero (?-1860) and his son Tāwhiao (?-1894), who were the earliest leaders of the movement. It was also located close to Pōtatau Te Wherowhero's initial place of burial, and the site of an earlier assembly building abandoned in 1864.

The purpose-built structure was of grand construction, affirming the movement's mana through its appearance as well as location. Designed by the Hamilton-based firm of Warren and Blechynden, the structure combines Māori and Pākehā forms in an unusual fusion of cultural traditions. The concrete and stucco building includes a symmetrical façade, with dormer windows in its taller central element and single-storey wings on either side. Its general Arts and Crafts style can be seen to acknowledge the European origins of the parliamentary idea as well as the residential nature of its immediate Pākehā neighbourhood. Māori identity is asserted through prominent carvings by Te Motu Heta on its porch and gables, while its interior includes a painted assembly hall once known as the 'throne room', whose raised dais was draped with feathers and flax for a royal chair. The building was opened in the presence of tribal representatives from throughout the Auckland province in March 1919 but was rarely, if ever, used for parliamentary gatherings as disenchantment with progress on political representation grew. In 1920, it housed meetings that planned the foundation of a more traditional group of buildings at nearby Tūrangawaewae Marae, which took over as a focus of political and social activity. Empty for long periods of time, the building was employed as a pioneering health clinic in the 1940s and by the Māori Land Court in ensuing decades. The Tainui Māori Trust Board occasionally met there after being set up in 1946 to deal with compensation for tribal land confiscated after the third New Zealand War. The building's mana and purpose were restored following refurbishment in the 1980s, when it became the first permanent home of the board.


There we have it the final series of 2020 has come to an end. I have many new series ideas for next year but they won't start till later on in January. Have an awesome weekend.


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