The Japanese term “kaizen” translates loosely as improvement or change for the better, according to the web-site of Leclair Ryan, an American firm of legal advisors. In Porirua, however, Kaizen is the café at Pataka Art + Museum.
After visiting my father at Kemp Home, Titahi Bay (21 May 2015), I met my sister for lunch at the Kaizen. The beautiful Japanese garden adjoining the café added to our experience as we ate the best spanakopita we’ve tasted in a long time … and the coffee was great!
Incidentally, kai refers to food in the Māori language, and a pataka is a place to store treasures.
Pataka houses a fine collection of sculptures, including one of Michel Tuffery’s tin-can bulls (image below).
Outside the entrance, and elsewhere in the vicinity, heaps of white sandbags – needed after mass rainfall on 14 May resulted in extensive flooding in the area. (My camera could not resist.)
As is all too often the case these days, the century-old building pictured here is little more than the hull of its former self. According to the architects in charge of the refurbishment of the building, “Although most of the interior’s historic features were lost due to the extensive structural work required, we tried to retain a semblance of the original hundred year-old building within the new fit-out. We added brick, pressed metal ceilings and old wood to make the space look like it had simply [been] stripped back to its original bones …” (see Studio Gascoigne’s write-up of the project)
For years an iconic Lambton Quay bookshop (the Wellington branch of Whitcombe & Tombs), the refurbished structure opened as the flagship store for Hallensteins & Glassons on 10 October 2013.
Whitcombe & Tombs began in Christchurch in 1882 – “a partnership between … bookseller, George Hawkes Whitcombe, and printer George Tombs. … In 1971, Whitcombe & Tombs merged with Coulls Somerville Wilkie to become Whitcoulls, and has since been sold several times.” (Read more in Wikipedia, and in Book Barons on the Lost Christchurch web-site.)