Napier, a lovely town situated in the heart of one of NZ’s main wine regions, has become a major tourist center thanks to a general realization that it’s got one of the world’s most concentrated collections of excellent art deco architecture. This is a bit of historical happenstance related to the town’s near-total destruction in a major earthquake in 1931, after which they decided that art deco would be the best combination of both style and cost efficiency, given the need for a lot of rebuilding real fast. One of the only pre-earthquake buildings still standing is the public trust office, on which lives the coat of arms shown at left, and which is depicted in its full glory down below. As you see below, the streets were still full of christmas decorations when we were there for a too-brief stay. I’d happily go back to Napier for a longer stay, and drink lots of wine :-).