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Charles Fleming, paleontologist

Ministry for Culture and Heritage

Scientist Charles Fleming looks over a collection of fossils. A versatile scientist, Fleming became chief paleontologist of the Geological Survey in Wellington in 1952 and specialised in studying living and fossil molluscs. Listen to Fleming explain why there are few terrestrial fossil deposits ...

Ministry for Culture and Heritage
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Heather Nicholson

Ministry for Culture and Heritage

Geologist Heather Nicholson stands in front of greywacke outcrops on Waiheke Island, near Auckland. In 1953 she wrote her master’s thesis on the island’s geology and in 2003, exactly 50 years later, she submitted her PhD thesis with the title, ‘The ...

Ministry for Culture and Heritage
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Measuring fish

Ministry for Culture and Heritage

A fisheries official measures a fish aboard the Taiko Maru No 2. The industry has become increasingly regulated since the 1980s and fishermen must keep detailed records of their catches. Listen to an interview with the director of the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries at the time, ...

Ministry for Culture and Heritage
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Hunting sperm whales

Ministry for Culture and Heritage

Whalers were attracted to New Zealand by the numerous sperm whales to the north and east of North Cape. This engraving by Joel Samuel Polack shows whaling in the area in 1838, when there were many American whalers. The American sea shanty in this sound clip refers to ‘a thousand whales off ...

Ministry for Culture and Heritage
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Reporting the Tangiwai disaster

Ministry for Culture and Heritage

With 151 people killed and many injured, the rail accident at Tangiwai on 24 December 1953 was one of New Zealand’s worst disasters. Because the following day was Christmas Day, there were no newspapers, but on 26 December they devoted their issues to the tragedy. This radio interview is ...

Ministry for Culture and Heritage
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Puysegur Point lighthouse

Ministry for Culture and Heritage

The work of a lighthouse keeper was taxing and monotonous. Before the lights were electrified, the regular routine involved watching the light, pumping fuel, and winding up the weights that powered the lenses. But at some lighthouses the physical conditions were unusually demanding. At Puysegur ...

Ministry for Culture and Heritage
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Choir of the Congregational Christian Church, Grey Lynn, Auckland

Ministry for Culture and Heritage

Singing has always been an important aspect of worship for Samoan Christians. Here a Samoan choir sings an extract from ‘Le maota i le lagi’ (The house of peace in heaven). The choir, pictured here, is from the Congregational Christian Church, Grey Lynn in Auckland.

Ministry for Culture and Heritage
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A woollen-mill worker’s story

Ministry for Culture and Heritage

Scottish mill workers played an important role in developing New Zealand’s wool industry over many years. Marie Jarvis, from Hawick, had experience in the mills of her hometown when she decided to move with her family to Otago, to work in a mill founded in the 19th century by two Scots, ...

Ministry for Culture and Heritage
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Cymanfa ganu

Ministry for Culture and Heritage

The Welsh are renowned for their singing and for musical events that have helped keep their language alive. Their reputation for singing is at least a thousand years old, but the cymanfa ganu – communal singing of hymns in parts – dates back only to the 19th century temperance ...

Ministry for Culture and Heritage
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Tītahi’s chant

Ministry for Culture and Heritage

Just before Captain James Cook’s arrival, Tītahi, a leader of Ngāti Whātua, prophesied that major change was about to occur in the region of Waitematā Harbour, pictured here with Rangitito in the distance. Wiremu Rēweti of Ngāti Whātua presents the chant. Here are the the ...

Ministry for Culture and Heritage
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Rook call

Ministry for Culture and Heritage

Rooks have a distinctive harsh call, which makes them very unpopular with the human inhabitants of Hawke’s Bay. They are also skilled at stripping horticultural crops of their edible parts, elevating them to true pest status. Sound ...

Ministry for Culture and Heritage
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Disaster at Hyde

Ministry for Culture and Heritage

Onlookers view the crumpled carriages after the Cromwell–Dunedin express came to grief near the town of Hyde on 4 June 1943. The train, which was travelling too fast, derailed on a corner and the carriages piled into each other. Many people were injured, and 24 were killed. Listen ...

Ministry for Culture and Heritage
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Romanian children in New Zealand

Ministry for Culture and Heritage

Sam, Emma and Elsie, seen at a Wellington play group in 1992, were born in Romania and adopted by New Zealanders. Listen to Department of Social Welfare advisor Paula Dickens talk about the criteria prospective parents need to meet before adopting a child from another country. Sound file ...

Ministry for Culture and Heritage
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Kūmara whakapapa

Ministry for Culture and Heritage

This kūmara whakapapa tells how kūmara is descended from Rongo-māui and Pani-tinaku. Whakapapa was integral to the Māori world view – humans, gods and the whole natural world shared genealogical links. Listen to part of 'Pō! Pō!', by Enoka Te Pakaru, which refers to the ...

Ministry for Culture and Heritage
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TranSister Radio interview

Ministry for Culture and Heritage

In 2008 and 2009 TranSister Radio regularly broadcast news, music and interviews for the transgender community on the Canterbury community radio station Plains FM. The programe was founded and run by Joanne Clarke, a male-to-female transsexual. Clarke is part of the drag act Playgirls and author ...

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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Hay barn, Sunburst ohu

Ministry for Culture and Heritage

A dog, a rooster and several residents mill around the Sunburst community's hay barn. Sunburst received government approval under the ohu scheme in 1974, and was the first ohu to be established. Residents – a loose group of friends who had lived together in Auckland and the Hokianga &ndash...

Ministry for Culture and Heritage
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'His name is higher', with David and Dale Garratt

Ministry for Culture and Heritage

In 1974 New Zealand charismatic Christian pastors David and Dale Garratt held huge outdoor meetings at racetracks in Palmerston North and Tauranga. Each was attended by about 3,000 people and the Garratts led them in singing devotional songs. These were recorded and later released as ...

Ministry for Culture and Heritage
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New Zealand Prostitutes' Collective premises

Ministry for Culture and Heritage

The former Wellington premises of the New Zealand Prostitutes' Collective (NZPC), seen here in 1988, signals the collective's commitment to safe-sex practices in the array of posters displayed in its window. Inside, pamphlets for sex workers are available and a comfortable couch ...

Ministry for Culture and Heritage
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Preserving muttonbirds

Ministry for Culture and Heritage

Muttonbirds, or tītī, were found mainly on offshore islands and needed to be carefully handled to preserve and transport them. Listen to sea captain Bob Whaitiri (Ngāi Tahu) explain this process, which remained in use well into the 20th century.

Ministry for Culture and Heritage