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Edgecumbe dairy factory

Ministry for Culture and Heritage

Ron Russell was manager of the Edgecumbe dairy factory in 1987. He describes watching these huge milk storage silos being shaken down. Sound file: Ron Russell, interview by Judith Fyfe for the Bay of Plenty Earthquake Oral History Project, 1987 (12'...

Ministry for Culture and Heritage
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Mt Taranaki (Mt Egmont)

Ministry for Culture and Heritage

The classic cone shape of Mt Taranaki (Mt Egmont) indicates that it is an active volcano. At 2,518 metres, it is the second-highest mountain in the North Island. A small subsidiary volcanic cone, Fanthams Peak, can be seen in the foreground. Detailed studies by scientists from Massey ...

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...

Ministry for Culture and Heritage
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Volcanic avalanche mounds

Ministry for Culture and Heritage

Most large cone volcanoes have a complex history of cone-building followed by collapse. The mounds in front of Mt Taranaki (Mt Egmont) are the remains of a huge landslide that occurred about 23,000 years ago when a large volcanic cone collapsed and spread ...

Ministry for Culture and Heritage
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Puysegur Point lighthouse

Ministry for Culture and Heritage

Puysegur Point, in the far south-west of unpopulated Fiordland, is remote even by lighthouse standards. Frequent gale-force winds, heavy rain and sandflies added to the challenges of lighthouse life at the point, as Kevin Pennel, the last keeper, recounts in this audio clip. Sound file ...

Ministry for Culture and Heritage
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Skellerup Woolston Brass Band

Ministry for Culture and Heritage

The Skellerup Woolston Brass Band takes part in the street march at the 2001 New Zealand National Band Championship at Whanganui. The band won this event for the 18th consecutive time. Listen to the band play ‘Flourish for an occasion&rsquo...

Ministry for Culture and Heritage
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Scottish settlers

Ministry for Culture and Heritage

Some 800 Scottish settlers made their home at Waipū from 1854 onward, bringing with them precious mementoes such as this book of Highland music. Their leader, Norman McLeod, was charismatic and fanatical, preaching hellfire and demanding subservience from his followers. Listen to a descendant of...

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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Preparing muttonbird containers

Ministry for Culture and Heritage

Men prepare pōhā (containers made from bull kelp) to hold tītī (muttonbirds), in 1910. The pōhā were put into flax baskets and surrounded with tōtara bark. Listen to Ngāi Tahu elder Bob Whaitiri talk about using pōhā with tītī. Sound file from

Ministry for Culture and Heritage
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School on the radio

Ministry for Culture and Heritage

Kathryn Stirling of Glentanner Station, Canterbury, tunes in to a radio programme as part of a correspondence lesson in the early 1950s. The Correspondence School broadcast its lessons between 1937 and 1997. Listen to the first Māori-language programme of ...

Ministry for Culture and Heritage
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Open Bay Island

Ministry for Culture and Heritage

In the early 19th century, sealers were often dropped at islands to hunt for their prey. In 1810 a group of 10 sealers were taken to Open Bay Island in South Westland, but their ship, under Captain John Bedar, was lost at sea. The men were stranded on the ...

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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Red-crowned parakeet

Ministry for Culture and Heritage

The red-crowned parakeet is almost extinct on the North and South islands, but remains abundant on stoat-free Stewart Island and the Auckland Islands, as well as a number of small islands without rats or stoats. It nests in tree hollows or ground burrows. There are another two subspecies – ...

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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Mauri stone

Ministry for Culture and Heritage

This mauri stone was found on Moutohorā (Whale Island) in the Bay of Plenty. Māori believed that the life principle or mauri of a forest, tree or waterway could be concentrated into a stone or other object for protection. Sound file from Radio ...

Ministry for Culture and Heritage
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Pou outside Waitomo

Ministry for Culture and Heritage

This pou (supporting post) from Waitomo represents Tāne, god of the forest. The god was often acknowledged by Māori when they took resources from the forest. Listen to the karakia (incantation), which was said to lift the tapu from a house built from Tāne’s wood. Its purpose was to ...

Ministry for Culture and Heritage
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Tōtara tree

Ministry for Culture and Heritage

The tōtara is associated with strength and grandeur. It is considered the greatest of all the trees in Tāne’s forest. Listen to Huirangi Waikerepuru from Taranaki and Te Āti Awa tribes explain the proverb, ‘Ka hinga te tōtara o te wao nui o Tāne’ (the mighty tōtara...

Ministry for Culture and Heritage
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Ruru (morepork)

Ministry for Culture and Heritage

The Māori and English names of the ruru (morepork) both echo the sound of its haunting cry. Listen to Ruka Broughton discuss the significance of the ruru’s call. Sound file from Radio New Zealand Sound Archives Ngā Taonga Kōrero. Any ...

Ministry for Culture and Heritage