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‘Kiwis care’ march

Ministry for Culture and Heritage

Listen to Tania Harris (centre) and other participants talk about the ‘Kiwis care’ march down Queen Street in 1981. Two of the speakers highlight a widely held public perception that industrial unrest was caused by expatriate British unionists – often called 'Pommie stirrers'.

Ministry for Culture and Heritage
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Europa petrol station

Ministry for Culture and Heritage

During the 1930s Europa was one of the brand names under which imported petrol was sold to New Zealand motorists. This radio jingle was used to advertise the fuel to motorists. Europa petrol was sold by the Todd Corporation, a large company which imported and assembled cars. Sound file ...

Ministry for Culture and Heritage
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A lament

Ministry for Culture and Heritage

This lament, ‘E pā tō hau’, was composed by Rangiamoa for her cousin Te Wano of Ngāti Apakura and Waikato. Like many such songs, it compares the tears of those mourning to rain falling from the sky. This extract includes the reference to rain.

Ministry for Culture and Heritage
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Hone Tuwhare

Ministry for Culture and Heritage

Hone Tuwhare was a distinguished poet, and a playwright and author of short fiction, whose writing career spanned some 50 years. His first published collection of poetry, No ordinary sun, appeared to acclaim in 1964. Tuwhare, who was of Ngāpuhi descent, died in January 2008 at the age ...

Ministry for Culture and Heritage
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Black stilts in flight

Ministry for Culture and Heritage

This pair of black stilts is flying above the Cass Valley in the Mackenzie Basin, one of their last strongholds. They breed in isolation on the banks above river braids, or nearby side streams and wetlands. The shallow edges are where they search for food, ...

Ministry for Culture and Heritage
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Perano whaling

Ministry for Culture and Heritage

Five generations of Heberleys hunted whales. The last two were Charlie Heberley and his son Joe who worked at the Perano whaling station at the entrance to Tory Channel. In the sound clip they recall the excitement and danger of those days. The image from June 1952 shows workers at the ...

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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Cicada song

Ministry for Culture and Heritage

Listen to the song of the cicada or kihikihi, which conjures up images of hot summer days. The cicada and cricket were described as the song birds of the ‘summer’ star Rehua (Antares), because their song heralded the arrival of warmer weather. Sound file from

Ministry for Culture and Heritage
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Fossil of baleen whale

Ministry for Culture and Heritage

There are well-preserved fossils of early whales in New Zealand which help document their evolution from land-based mammals. The Waitaki valley in north Otago is especially rich in such fossils. This fossil of a baleen whale, found in the nearby Awamoko valley, is about 26 million years old. The ...

Ministry for Culture and Heritage
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Humpback breaching

Ministry for Culture and Heritage

Humpbacks are often seen leaping out of the water (breaching) and clowning around. They are also known for the complex and varied nature of their songs. Listen to a humpback whale singing. It is almost certainly a male – only males are known to sing. The ...

Ministry for Culture and Heritage
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Ron Brierley, 1970

Ministry for Culture and Heritage

Ron Brierley, born in 1937, established his investment firm Brierley Investments Ltd (BIL) in 1961. He invested in companies with low share prices and valuable assets. His style of corporate raiding was not always welcomed by the stock exchange, which in the late 1960s refused to list BIL. ...

Ministry for Culture and Heritage
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The Corriedale sheep

Ministry for Culture and Heritage

Listen to the memories of James Little, the South Island sheep farmer who first bred the Corriedale sheep to suit New Zealand conditions. Corriedales were later farmed in large numbers overseas. Sound file from Radio New Zealand Sound Archives Ng...

Ministry for Culture and Heritage
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Specials and stonethrowers, 1913

Ministry for Culture and Heritage

Baton-wielding special constables (volunteer mounted police) confront stone-throwing strikers on Wellington’s Jervois Quay during the 1913 waterfront strike. Listen to Wellingtonian George Davies talk about the strike. Davies was a young boy when he took part in running battles with mounted...

Ministry for Culture and Heritage
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Recording the countryside

Ministry for Culture and Heritage

Nevile Lodge’s cartoon of Jim Henderson with a microphone in hand appeared in the book version of ‘Open country’. ‘Open country’ was a regular radio show in the 1950s and 1960s, which broadcast short stories from rural New Zealand. The sound file ...

Ministry for Culture and Heritage
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Annabelle White

Ministry for Culture and Heritage

Annabelle White (second from left), cook book author and media personality, poses with the winners of a gourmet competition at Plum City near Havelock North, Hawke’s Bay. Listen to her description of Hawke’s Bay stone fruit attractions. Soundfile courtesy of

Ministry for Culture and Heritage
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Votes for women

Ministry for Culture and Heritage

The campaign for women's suffrage was led by Kate Sheppard (shown here on a stamp, which depicts a detail of the $10 note). Listen to the reminiscences of Mrs Perryman, who voted in the 1893 election (the first in which women could). Sound file from

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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Dawn chorus

Ministry for Culture and Heritage

In forest where native birds are plentiful, their chorus can be heard at dawn and dusk in the breeding season. There may be tūī (top), bellbirds (bottom), robins (right), yellowheads, whiteheads, brown creepers, saddlebacks, grey warblers and silvereyes taking part. Some species sing earlier or...

Ministry for Culture and Heritage
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Male and female paradise shelduck

Ministry for Culture and Heritage

A paradise shelduck pair usually stays close together, each bird calling in turn as they move about. The male’s call is deeper than the female’s. The female has a white head, whereas the male’s head is glossy green-black. Like other shelducks they have a long goose-like neck.

Ministry for Culture and Heritage
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Kingfisher in flight

Ministry for Culture and Heritage

The speed of a kingfisher or kōtare when diving on moving prey is legendary. This one is returning to its perch after catching food. They call from high lookouts with a distinctive ‘kek-kek-kek’ that carries afar. Close to the nest they make an unusual whirring call. Sound ...

Ministry for Culture and Heritage