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CONIFER GROVE - Utopia with Security Cameras.
Utopian communities have been a recurrent feature of New Zealand society since the nineteenth century, when prophets of colonialism like Edward Gibbon Wakefield portrayed the country as a ‘better Britain’ where settlers could enjoy peace and prosperity. Nonconformist Christians founded utopian settlements in the late nineteenth century, and during the World Wars many pacifists withdrew into a set of utopian communities in the countryside. In the early 1970s Norman Kirk’s Labour government set up a scheme that gave free or cheap land to idealistic young hippies who wanted to live communally. One person’s utopia can be another’s dystopia, and many members of nineteenth century colonial settlements or the counterculture of the ‘70s eventually sought refuge from their alternative communities in the outside world. Just beyond the low income South Auckland suburb of Manurewa, a different sort of utopia was established in the late 1970s. Conifer Grove was New Zealand’s first ‘gated’ community, and its video surveillance cameras, grid-like streets, rows of faux-Tudor townhouses, and weirdly dour streetnames – ‘Syntax Place’ is typical – can still bemuse visitors from the outside world. For many of its residents, though, Conifer Grove was an escape from a city they found increasingly chaotic and incomprehensible. This geocache is part of the Great South Road Geocache Experiment that was initiated at the Papakura Art Gallery Exhibition 'A Sense of Place', sponsored by Auckland City Council. THE NEXT CACHE IN THIS SEQUENCE IS BOMBAY OBELISK - CACHE GC54H83
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Coordinates are in the WGS84 datum