CHAIR’S REPORT 2012-2013

This report covers the period 1 July 2012 – 30 June 2013. It has been an extraordinary full year for trustees. Two events were held:

Sapper Moore-Jones Place Renaming

Governor General Sir Jerry Mateparae’s launch of Sapper Moore-Jones Place renaming (30 November 2012).

50th Anniversary Louis Armstrong’s Hamilton Performance

US Consul General Jim Donegan’s launch of our 50th anniversary celebration of jazz king Louis Armstrong’s historic performances at Hamilton’s Founders Theatre (20 March 2013).

Competition Held for Sculptures

Nationwide competitions were held, seeking artists for central city sculptures to commemorate two history-makers from Hamilton’s past, and with outstanding results:

  • Horace Moore-Jones
  • Dame Hilda Ross

TOTI’s website was launched with a Journal feature.

TOTI’s full name is Theatre of the Impossible Charitable Trust. We work on creative projects with sustainable community benefits, involving 21st century technology & community engagement, adding value to the future. Our Trust objectives relate to art & culture, business & industry, and ecology.

Board members are Bill McArthur (chair), Margaret Evans, Mavora Hamilton, and Penny Pollard. Chris Wright is Trust Manager. Advisors to the trust include Hamish Keith (arts), Richard Stowers (history), and Tom Roa (Mana Whenua). TOTI Trust Accountants are Vazey Child of Hamilton. The trust auditor is Graham Haines.

Expenditure has been minimal for the period and according to budget. Financial accounts have been prepared and audited. Administrative requirements: DIA Charities registration (No CC43673), Certificate of Incorporation (No 2355780), IRD Number 104-233-058, GST registration, with recognition as a donor organisation exempt from income tax.

Current Projects

He Tangata

– ‘Telling the Stories’ of people important to the crafting of New Zealand, Waikato, & Hamilton. Taken from the NZ proverb/whakatauki that ‘people are the most important thing in the world’: He aha te mea nui o te ao? He tangata. He tangata. He tangata.

  • Place-naming, sculptures, water features, & other physical constructs
  • Opportunities for local artists to showcase their skills
  • Exhibitions, lectures, debates, community discussions, articles & publications
  • Biographical re-enactments & docu-dramas
  • Archival records – research, additions/amendments & corrections, digitised


– From Stream to Screen, working with Ngati Haua Mahi Trust to monitor and restore the Mangaonua Gully, Silverdale, Hamilton.


– Conversations & Views on TOTI’s website


1. Public Submission on Hamilton City Council’s 10-Year Plan (18 May 2012)

TOTI speaks up for Creative Agenda, suggesting community projects to mark region & city 150th anniversary, WWI & Gallipoli 100th-2013-2015.

Read more Waikato Times

Council response (30 August 2012):
Hamilton’s Sense of History and Heritage
The Council acknowledges that the 150th birthday of the city’s military settlement will take place in 2014 and has been working with the Theatre of the Impossible Charitable Trust to support their projects where possible, including the recent Council decision to rename Marlborough Place and working through Council’s public art development process with the Public Art Panel for the He Tangata project.

Update June 2013:

Council has set up two separate groups – for WW1’s 100th plus the city’s 150th.

2. He Tangata Project – Sapper Horace Moore-Jones

Hamilton hero Sapper Horace Moore-Jones (1868-1922): Soldier, artist & teacher whose WWI Gallipoli Campaign painting ‘Man with the Donkey’ is the enduring Anzac image, acclaimed one of the most important pieces of Australasian war art, symbolic of the nation-building sacrifice of war & birth of our nationhood.
In retrospect, his most important contribution to the nation was his Gallipoli battlefield map-making and his 1917 illustrated lecture tour bringing his first-hand experience of the disastrous Anzac experience to the people at home.

Read more on TOTI website

  • Sapper Moore-Jones street naming project, 15 August 2012 – Council’s Statutory Management Committee hearing on TOTI proposal to change name of Marlborough Place to Sapper Moore-Jones Place, approved, & ratified by full council 27 September (to be in place no earlier than two months from this date), launched 30 November. From initial discussions in February 2012, the Change of Name application was lodged with HCC in early April.
  • Governor-General Sir Jerry Mateparae launches Sapper Moore-Jones Place (formerly Marlborough Place), 30 November 2012
    Read more New Zealand WW100 website

    With 10 members of the Moore-Jones family present, an extract of Campbell Smith’s Moore-Jones’ play performed by Hamilton Boys’ High students, Hamilton Brass Band, plus the Fire Service and vintage fire engine – acknowledging Moore-Jones as Hamilton High School’s 1st art master and his heroic death from the Hamilton Hotel fire of 1922. Nationwide publicity, including newspapers & radio.

  • Horace Moore-Jones statue site approval by HCC, in Victoria Street median in vicinity of Moore-Jones Place, 13 November 2012.
    From initial discussions in February 2012, the first meeting with Council’s Public Art Panel was held 18 May, TOTI seeking approval for four He Tangata sculpture sites (to commemorate Sapper Moore-Jones, Dame Hilda Ross, Thomas Russell & Co, & Whakaotirangi – all great history-makers, important national figures and particularly special to Hamilton & Waikato). The panel refused to deal with the four projects at once, demanding one at a time – and approved one of the signalled sites for another group.
    After a dozen meetings with HCC & PAP and uncounted other hours on emails & phone, we finally won council committee approval for the Moore-Jones sculpture site 17 October, ratified by council 13 November, with the rider that staff work with us “to ensure art design does not negatively impact public safety” & with “no net loss of parking” (noting the prospect of angle parking in the cul de sac). Extensive site specific support, including property owners and business operators. And so we launched our sculpture competition.
  • Nationwide competition Moore-Jones commemorative sculpture, December – February 2013. This commission will also mark WW1 100th, the Gallipoli Campaign & the origins of Anzac Day. The project is of national significance.
    Registration deadline 15 February, artists of international reputation & aspiring, nationwide & local, varied artistic interpretation – busts & figurative both traditional & contemporary, some of Moore-Jones & others the ‘Man and Donkey’, structural & abstract, mainly bronze & stone, innovative IT features, estimates from $76k to $330k. From a shortlist of seven, two outstanding concepts were chosen with assistance from veteran arts advisor Hamish Keith and consultation with a wide range of interested parties. 11 April 2013 – HCC approval (Stage 2), recommended by O&AP Committee 21 March, PAP 8 March. Two finalists to produce models & detailed proposals by 5 July 2013 to meet HCC timetable:

    – Paul Dibble (who created NZ’s national war memorial in London’s Hyde Park)

    – Capt Matt Gauldie (the current Defence artist)

    UPDATE: TOTI will not proceed to commissioning until full & final HCC sign-off. By August 2013 still seeking resolution of site questions with great assistance from Cr Angela O’Leary.

3. He Tangata Project – Dame Hilda Ross

Dame Hilda Ross (1883-1959): piano-playing community leader, social activist & pioneering politician who tackled the hard issues with gusto, focusing particularly on mothers & children, for the future. She left her mark locally and nationally on most aspects of NZ society and culture. A lifetime of life-changing community service. Hamilton’s 1st woman councillor & Deputy Mayor, MP & Cabinet Minister in the 1st National government.
Read more on TOTI website

  • Dame Hilda Ross statue site approval by HCC 11 April 2013: “staff work with TOTI and the Public Art Panel to explore potential sites for a Dame Hilda Ross sculpture, in the vicinity of the Ward St, Worley Lane, Civic Square, Garden Place precinct.”
    Following intervention by Mayor Julie Hardaker and Cr Angela O’Leary, agreement was reached on the Ward Street corner site near Starbucks, in consultation with Hamilton Central Business Association & Kiwi Income Property Trust & Centreplace.
  • Nationwide competition Dame Hilda Ross commemorative sculpture, April-June 2013. This commission will also mark Hamilton’s city status (1945), WW2 (1939-45), & the 150th anniversary of military settlement during the Waikato War (1863-1864). The project is of national significance.

    Registration deadline 28 June, artists of international reputation & aspiring, nationwide & local, varied artistic interpretation – traditional & contemporary figurative as well as abstract, mainly bronze & stone, estimates from $100k to $350k. Three outstanding concepts were chosen with assistance from veteran arts advisor Hamish Keith and consultation with a wide range of interested parties.
    – Terry Stringer
    – Gary Schofield
    – Brigitte Wuest

    UPDATE: TOTI will not proceed to commissioning until full & final HCC sign-off.

  • Dame Hilda Ross street naming project:
    TOTI ‘place naming’ proposal to recognise Dame Hilda Ross in the CBD precinct which knew her footsteps so well has strong support from property and business owners, but has been put on hold until after this October’s local body elections because of inconsistent HCC staff views and advice. The options include the new un-named ‘shared space’ between Civic Square and Garden Place or an overall street naming ‘tidy up’ through to Victoria Street now that the central section of Ward Street is closed, while Worley Lane could be retained for historic reasons.

4. 50th anniversary of Jazz legend Louis Armstrong’s 1963 sell-out concerts in Hamilton’s Founders Theatre

23 March 2013, with US Consul General Jim Donegan unveiling TOTI’s commemorative plaque, jazz band Art Gecko, film footage of Armstrong’s 1964 tour, and Richard Swainson.
Read more from Waikato Times

We turned down HCC’s commercial offer of refreshments at the theatre and took the post-event party to town, to The Londoner where the jazz continued until late.
“It was a great event, full of good music and good company – one that Ambassador Satch would have loved.” – Jim Donegan

Read more from the Consul General Jim Donegan

5. Mangaonua – From Stream to Screen

Working with Ngati Haua Mahi Trust to monitor and restore the Mangaonua Gully (Silverdale, Hamilton). Developing a sustainable integrated economic, environmental and socially beneficial model, with community engagement.
Saturday 25 May, 1st community planting event, attracting about 80 people – range of ages & interests, from Silverdale School, Hillcrest High & University of Waikato, neighbours….

6. “A Day to Remember”, 12 July 2013 – 150th anniversary event, SKYCITY Hamilton breakfast

Marking the date General Cameron crossed the Mangatawhiri into King Tawhiao’s territory to begin the Waikato War 1863-64, the origins of contemporary society and the military settlement of Hamilton.

A companion event to Waikato-Tainui’s dawn ceremony at the Mangatawhiri site. Showcasing TOTI’s two He Tangata projects – the two finalists’ models of their Moore-Jones statues plus the three short-listed artist concepts for Dame Hilda Ross. Dame Hilda’s grandson Colin was a special guest, with four generations of the family. Featuring Mocha – Waikato Diocesan’s award-winning Barbershop Quartet to remind that Dame Hilda was the school’s first music teacher, a crowd singalong based on her Port Waikato School Camp songbook, and Bryan Bevage on the piano. Unique photographs from the Port Waikato School Camp Trust collection.

7. TOTI Website

‘Telling the Stories’ – Journal, an evolving e-library of archival records.

is offered to family and interested parties to add to our biographical store with insights, accounts and photographs.

TOTI collaborates with Hamilton Library Heritage Team led by Marc Caunter, and on behalf of the Port Waikato School Camp Trust has placed the trust’s records collection on loan.

Gratefully Received:

Our thanks go to the hundreds of people who have attended our events, and assisted in their planning and presentation; to the families of our He Tangata history-makers, so willing to give their time and memories; to the advisors, the people we have consulted, our collaborators; to the officials who have opened their arms and minds to TOTI; to all those who have voluntarily gifted us their time, intelligence, and efforts, and to our donors – to help make it happen.

Financial Status

SKYCITY Hamilton Community Trust grant ($10,000) was banked on 22nd June 2012. The financial report records its expenditure as budgeted:

  • Moore-Jones project Stage One street renaming completed 30 November 2012.
  • Website development –Stage One completion January 2013.

Formal approval has been given to apply for funding in order to achieve the objectives of the trust.
Because of delays in HCC processes, we were unable to finalise applications for funds for the two He Tangata sculpture projects, but will progress these in 2013-14 (WEL Energy Trust, Trust Waikato, WWI00, etc), and discussions are ongoing with potential sponsors. WEL agreed an initial $10,000 grant would be available for the He Tangata sculpture project.


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