Rodney Times : January 23rd 2014
Auckland’s most powerful media NETWORK Unbeatable coverage of Thursday, January 23, 2014 ❝ 808,000 readers 15+ Ph 09 525 0666 Source: Nielsen CMI Q3 2011–Q2 2012 TODAY People were terrified. They really expected the Japanese to to try to come up over the horizon. ❞ – Chris Keenan Film-maker and animator War women:Womenfrom the auxiliary army corp did everything from driving trucks to using the plotting system of the Hauraki Gulf. Photo: ALEXANDER TURNBULL LIBRARY Enemy at the gates By LIZ WILLIS EVER wondered about the old gun emplacements littered around the Hibiscus Coast. They once formed part of an expansive defence network designed to keep invading hordes at bay. The history of that net- work is now being retold in a short film, Armed, Ready. And, Waiting, created by movie-maker and animator Chris Keenan, with the storytelling skills of historian Dave Veart. Aucklanders lived in fear of being bombed during World War II. The threat felt very real after German mines laid in the approaches to the Hauraki Gulf sank the TransPacific liner the Niagara off Northland’s coast in 1940. The film was made for the Department of Conservation and screens daily at North ‘‘People were terrified. They really expected the Japanese to to try to come up over the horizon,’’ Mr Keenan says. ‘‘The average 20-year-old has no idea what was happening in 1942 and just how threatened the country was.’’ The 10-minute short-film uses computer aided design to bring World War II guns and aircraft back to life. Mr Keenan created real Forgotten era: Animator Chris Keenan and historian Dave Veart tell the stories behind Auckland’s World War II coastal defences. Head in Devonport. Most Kiwis know about the war in Europe and the Pacific but many don’t realise that New Zealand was also under threat of attack. Our enemies flew over- head, entered harbours, laid mines and sunk ships along our coasts. A Japanese spotter plane flew over Auckland taking photographs of potential targets in 1942. It’s a forgotten history and the pair want to keep alive the stories behind coastal defences in places like Whangaparaoa, North Head and Motutapu Island. scale guns using old manuals still kept in archives to add authenticity. An extraordinary defence network eventually created to defend the region included radar, an underwater mine system and a complex ship monitoring system. Personnel included women from the auxiliary army corp. But Motutapu Island defences were the only protection against invasion in 1937. The three guns were Go to rodneytimes. co.nz and click on Latest Edition to view the short film Armed, Ready. And, Waiting. hi-tech, firing about 12 shells a minute, and could take out New Zealand’s entire naval fleet today, Mr Keenan says. An attack would have aimed to destroy Motutapu’s guns before bombing Auckland, he says. Auckland was armed, ready and waiting but nothing happened. The short film screens in the fire command post at the North Head summit that was once the main control centre for the Hauraki Gulf defence network. It runs daily from 8.30am to 4pm. ❚ Go to doc.govt.nz for more information. Luck’s in Jordan Luck on playing at Matakana – P2 Animal day All about dogs and cats – P5 Show time Open ambition ONLINE It’s the 147th Warkworth show – P11 Muriwai amateur golfer in NZ Open – P23 There is still time to win yourself two tickets to the NRL Auckland Nines at Eden Park on February 15 and 16. Auckland Transport, in association with the Rodney Times, has 100 to give away. Email your name, address and daytime contact number to online.admin@ snl.co.nz by 5pm on January 29 for a chance to win. Type NRL Auckland Nines Competition in the subject line.
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