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Mokomoko’s pardon, 1993

Ministry for Culture and Heritage

Wharehuia Milroy of Ngāi Tūhoe talks about the visit of the justice minister Doug Graham in 1993, to apologise to Te Whakatōhea and the descendants of Mokomoko. Mokomoko was wrongfully accused and hanged for the murder of the missionary, Carl Völkner, in 1865. Shown here is Hiona St ...

Ministry for Culture and Heritage
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Remembering Johnny Jones

Ministry for Culture and Heritage

Mr A. Eccles, grandson of whaler and businessman Johnny Jones, recalls his forebear's enterprises at Waikouaiti in the 1830s and 1840s. Jones developed a farm at Matanaka, near Waikouaiti; some of the buildings are shown here. Sound file from ...

Ministry for Culture and Heritage
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Longest place name in the world

Ministry for Culture and Heritage

A hill near the coastal settlement of Pōrangahau is believed to have the longest place name in the world. The name is sung at the start of this waiata (song) and is followed by an account – in Māori – of the story behind it of the explorer Tamatea, who climbed the hill and played ...

Ministry for Culture and Heritage
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The SS Earnslaw

Ministry for Culture and Heritage

The SS Earnslaw, built in Dunedin in the early 1900s, first plied Lake Wakatipu in 1912. For 50 years it carried freight and people to and from remote lakeside settlements. Since the 1970s the ship has been used for scenic cruises. British composer Ron Goodwin wrote the ‘Earnslaw Steam ...

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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Ferdinand the bull

Ministry for Culture and Heritage

Ferdinand the bull has been a Taranaki rugby mascot since the 1950s, and has appeared in a number of guises. This smoke-exhaling version is 'Big Ferdie',  built for a June 2005 match against the Lions. In the audio clip, Taranaki rugby supporters sing of Ferdinand’s talents, to the ...

Ministry for Culture and Heritage
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Bruce Levy speaks about grasslands

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 themselves rapidly and provide a nitrogen source for ...

Ministry for Culture and Heritage
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Gathering shellfish at Motunui reef

Ministry for Culture and Heritage

These Te Āti Awa kuia (female elders) are collecting seafood in the early 1980s in the traditional manner, not far from a proposed outfall from the Motunui synthetic petrol plant. The Waitangi Tribunal, however, in a landmark decision, ruled that the Crown had to protect traditional Māori ...

Ministry for Culture and Heritage
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Winter stars

Ministry for Culture and Heritage

To some tribes the new year in mid-winter was signalled by the dawn rising of Matariki (the Pleiades), while to others it was the rising of Puanga (Rigel). Takurua (Sirius) was also associated with winter. Along with other stars, Matariki, Puanga, and Tautoru (Orion's Belt) were important in the ...

Ministry for Culture and Heritage
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A symbol of patriotism

Ministry for Culture and Heritage

The Southern Cross has been incorporated into the design of the New Zealand Tomb of the Unknown Warrior, at the National War Memorial in Wellington. Crosses on the side of the tomb represent the warrior’s fallen companions as well as the stars in the ...

Ministry for Culture and Heritage
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When to plant and fish

Ministry for Culture and Heritage

Traditionally, Māori measured time according to the nights rather than the days. Nightly cycles began with the new moon. Each night of a lunar month was named and described according to how favourable or unfavourable it was for fishing, eeling or planting. Te Matarēhua Wikiriwhi describes how M...

Ministry for Culture and Heritage
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Make your own Geiger counter

Ministry for Culture and Heritage

This DSIR booklet included instructions on how to make a cheap Geiger counter. For several years enthusiasts used their own counters, hoping that the ticking would suddenly speed up, indicating radioactivity. This sound file illustrates what happens when a ...

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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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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North Island kōkako

Ministry for Culture and Heritage

Pureora Forest is home to the rare North Island kōkako. Large numbers of these native birds used to live in the North Island but deforestation has severely restricted their range. Small populations now exist in Pureora Forest, as well as the northern Urewera, Bay of Plenty and Northland. Listen ...

Ministry for Culture and Heritage
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Benneydale township

Ministry for Culture and Heritage

Benneydale was a township purpose-built in 1940 to house the employees of the Mangapehi state coal mine. The mine was Benneydale’s reason for existence, so its closure after a fire in 1962 had a major, negative impact on the township. Listen to part of a 1983 radio documentary to ...

Ministry for Culture and Heritage
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Taumarunui on the main trunk line

Ministry for Culture and Heritage

Taumarunui was the archetypal railway town and was a refreshment stop for passenger trains on the main trunk line as they travelled up and down the North Island. This is the main street, Hakiaha Street (and State Highway 4), and the railway line in 1913, 10 years after the line reached the town. ...

Ministry for Culture and Heritage
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With Britain in time of war

Ministry for Culture and Heritage

For most New Zealanders, commitment to Britain did not depend on their political beliefs – both conservative and reform-minded New Zealanders saw themselves as part of Britain's colonial family. In this 1939 radio broadcast, Prime Minister Michael Joseph Savage affirms that relationship on ...

Ministry for Culture and Heritage
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New Zealand declares war on Germany

Ministry for Culture and Heritage

This telegram announcing that the United Kingdom had declared war on Germany was received in New Zealand at 11.45 p.m. on the night of 3 September 1939. At that point New Zealand followed suit, and backdated its declaration to the same moment when the United Kingdom had declared war (9.30 p.m. on...

Ministry for Culture and Heritage
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Swearing-in of Sir Guy Powles

Ministry for Culture and Heritage

Sir Guy Powles (left) was photographed at his swearing-in as ombudsman in 1962 with Leader of the Opposition Walter Nash, Minister of Justice Ralph Hanan and another guest. The presence of both National and Labour party politicians emphasised the bipartisan support for the office when it was ...

Ministry for Culture and Heritage