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Radio operators at Mount Etako station, Tinakori Hill, 1912

Ministry for Culture and Heritage

At the outbreak of war in 1914 the Post Office's coastal radio Morse stations were taken over by the navy. The Post Office radio operators continued to work the stations, listening for enemy Morse-code messages. The relatively small amount of radio traffic in the 1910s meant that messages could ...

Ministry for Culture and Heritage
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Michael Joseph Savage's victory speech, 1935

Ministry for Culture and Heritage

'Now then, ladies and gentlemen.' In the era before television, the reassuring tones of Michael Joseph Savage, the first Labour prime minister, became familiar to the entire country through radio broadcasts. On 27 November 1935, soon after Labour's historic victory in the general election, Savage...

Ministry for Culture and Heritage
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Beeville

Ministry for Culture and Heritage

A resident picks apples at Beeville, near Morrinsville, in a 1970s photo by Ans Westra. Founded in 1933, the anarchist community of Beeville grew out of the extended family of Ray Hansen. Honey production provided a major part of the community's income – hence the name Beeville. ...

Ministry for Culture and Heritage
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John van Leeuwen

Ministry for Culture and Heritage

In this interview for Echo Radio, John van Leeuwen describes his experiences on emigrating to New Zealand in 1953.

Ministry for Culture and Heritage
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Teardrop surf ski

Ministry for Culture and Heritage

Many lifesaving aids, including the surf ski, were developed first in Australia and adapted in New Zealand. In the 1930s, Don Wright of the Piha Surf Life Saving Club designed this improved, teardrop-shaped ski, which had greater lift in the bow to cope with New Zealand’s rolling waves. ...

Ministry for Culture and Heritage
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Trevor Chappell bowls underarm

Ministry for Culture and Heritage

Listen to the appalled reaction of radio commentators to Trevor Chappell bowling underarm on the last ball of a one-day game between Australia and New Zealand at the Melbourne Cricket Ground on 1 February 1981. The game was the third of a five-match series final, and each team had won one game. ...

Ministry for Culture and Heritage
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'Enemy alien'

Ministry for Culture and Heritage

During the Second World War people of German, Italian and Japanese descent were interned on Matiu (Somes Island) in Wellington Harbour. As German internee Charles Klinginstein explains, conditions at first were tough. However, in the last years of the war things improved and the internees ...

Ministry for Culture and Heritage
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South Island hill country

Ministry for Culture and Heritage

For tussock-covered South Island hill country to be suitable for stock grazing, it needed to be sown with improved pasture species. Plant breeding and selection from the introduced English varieties produced clovers that could establish rapidly and provide ...

Ministry for Culture and Heritage
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Formation of Crown research institutes

Ministry for Culture and Heritage

On July 1, 1992, 10 Crown research institutes were formed – the most radical reorganisation of government science in New Zealand’s history. The aim was to group scientists into institutes with separate research aims and subject areas. They also provided...

Ministry for Culture and Heritage
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Redpoll

Ministry for Culture and Heritage

Redpolls have a distinctive red forehead, and in autumn and winter the males develop a pinkish-red breast. At that time of year redpolls often form flocks of up to several thousand birds.

Ministry for Culture and Heritage
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Yellowhammer with chicks

Ministry for Culture and Heritage

Yellowhammers feed their young in nests that are usually close to the ground in gorse, bracken or long grass.

Ministry for Culture and Heritage
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Tamatea sign

Ministry for Culture and Heritage

This sign, standing at Pōrangahau, has what is reputed to be the longest place name in the world. It refers to the renowned explorer Tamatea, and how he played his kōauau (flute) to his beloved on the hill in the background. Listen to a waiata (song) which contains both the name and an ...

Ministry for Culture and Heritage
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Giant kauri

Ministry for Culture and Heritage

This large kauri tree is at Waiau Falls Scenic Reserve, Coromandel Peninsula. Trees like this are believed to symbolise Tāne, propping up the sky from the earth. Listen to Canon Pāora Temuera of Ngāti Raukawa and Te Arawa recite a karakia (prayer) that was formerly heard echoing around the ...

Ministry for Culture and Heritage
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Earnslaw on Lake Wakatipu

Ministry for Culture and Heritage

The Earnslaw is a steamer that was built in Dunedin in the early 1900s, and launched on Lake Wakatipu in 1912. For over 50 years the boat carried people and freight to and from remote communities around the lake, but since the 1970s it has been mainly used for scenic cruises. ...

Ministry for Culture and Heritage
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Prisoners of war on Somes Island

Ministry for Culture and Heritage

These ‘enemy aliens’ sunbathing on Matiu (Somes Island) in Wellington Harbour during the Second World War may seem to be enjoying themselves. But as the interview with Charles Klingenstein, a German national, explains, conditions for the prisoners in the early years of the war were ...

Ministry for Culture and Heritage
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Roimata toroa pattern

Ministry for Culture and Heritage

One story from the Ngāti Porou tribe which links back to their ancestors tells of how the ancestor Pourangahua brought kūmara (sweet potato) to New Zealand. The two sacred albatrosses which accompanied him were the source of this tukutuku design, known as roimata toroa (albatross tears). Listen...

Ministry for Culture and Heritage
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Genealogy of the universe

Ministry for Culture and Heritage

Listen to the first part of a whakapapa outlining the origins of the universe. It can be translated as: From the conception the increase, From the increase the thought, From the thought the remembrance, From the remembrance the ...

Ministry for Culture and Heritage
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Poisonous garden plants

Ministry for Culture and Heritage

Most plant poisonings in New Zealand occur when young children eat parts of poisonous plants growing in their local environment, such as the garden or the grounds of their kindergarten or school. Many commonly grown plants like kōwhai, rhododendron, laburnum, ivy, daphne and arum lily are ...

Ministry for Culture and Heritage
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Chorus cicada

Ministry for Culture and Heritage

The largest New Zealand cicada is the chorus cicada (Amphipsalta zelandica). The length of its body with the wings folded is about 40 millimetres. Chorus cicadas gather in large numbers around the time they emerge from their nymph skins, from January. Common in the North Island and some ...

Ministry for Culture and Heritage
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Maoricicada mangu

Ministry for Culture and Heritage

Most of the dark-coloured Maoricicada species live in alpine habitats or other bare, rocky sites. This one, Maoricicada mangu, is distributed east of the main divide from the Kaikōura mountains to Tekapo and the Mackenzie Pass area. Nowhere else in the world do cicadas live in ...

Ministry for Culture and Heritage