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Pick-and-shovel mining

Ministry for Culture and Heritage

These West Coast miners from the end of the 19th century pause in their labours. The traditional technique for extracting coal, which miners brought from Britain, depended entirely on muscle power. Miners chopped out coal with picks and then shovelled it ...

Ministry for Culture and Heritage
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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 ...

Ministry for Culture and Heritage
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Te Hoata and Te Pupu bring fire

Ministry for Culture and Heritage

When Ngātoroirangi had just arrived in New Zealand from Hawaiki, he was overcome by extreme cold at a place called Onetapu. He called out to his sisters Te Hoata and Te Pupu, who sped to him from Hawaiki in the form of fire. When they emerged above ground they created the geysers, hot pools and ...

Ministry for Culture and Heritage
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The romance of the sea

Ministry for Culture and Heritage

In the late 19th and early 20th centuries, old salts such as this man, photographed at Wynyard Pier in Auckland around 1910, would have known the words to a few sea shanties. These work songs, sung to help lighten the hard physical labour on board, also ...

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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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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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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Chatham Islands crayfish boom

Ministry for Culture and Heritage

One of the quarrying booms in the post-war period was the crayfishing boom in the Chatham Islands. In 1964 the main fish caught around the Chathams was cod, and almost no crayfish were caught commercially. By 1968, 5,900 tons of crayfish were sent out of the Chathams, mostly for export. Howard ...

Ministry for Culture and Heritage
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Winston McCarthy's rugby commentary, 1956

Ministry for Culture and Heritage

Winston McCarthy was a legendary radio commentator in the 1950s. He commentated during the famous series between the All Blacks and the Springboks in 1956. The final and deciding test was in Auckland, when a crowd of over 50,000 crammed into the ground. Listen to McCarthy describing Don Clarke's ...

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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Produce auction

Ministry for Culture and Heritage

Jack Forsyth of Turners and Growers talks about the busy scene in the wholesale produce markets when an auction was in full swing. In this picture the auctioneer is the man bending over his price sheets at the back. The man on the right is making a bid. The other potential bidders are inspecting ...

Ministry for Culture and Heritage
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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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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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Insurance fraud

Ministry for Culture and Heritage

The insurance business has always been troubled by fake claims. In 2006 pilot Howard Jamieson claimed to have crashed his Cessna aircraft into the sea off Canterbury, and won a claim for more than $200,000. The plane was discovered undamaged six months later, and Jamieson was sentenced to 18 ...

Ministry for Culture and Heritage
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Aunt Daisy

Ministry for Culture and Heritage

Maud Basham, or ‘Aunt Daisy’ as she was known to her radio audience, established her reputation on a daily morning show on commercial radio, soon after the National Commercial Broadcasting Service was established in 1937. In a breathless...

Ministry for Culture and Heritage
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Support for Radio Hauraki

Ministry for Culture and Heritage

In 1966 Radio Hauraki began to broadcast from a ship outside New Zealand waters, so as to circumvent the restrictions on commercial radio. With its focus on popular music, the station quickly attracted a youthful audience – as can be seen in ...

Ministry for Culture and Heritage
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Michael Boulgaris

Ministry for Culture and Heritage

Real estate agent Michael Boulgaris had a high profile in New Zealand in the early 2000s. Known as the ‘million-dollar man’ because of his reputation for selling million-dollar homes from a young age, he featured on popular television real estate programmes Location location ...

Ministry for Culture and Heritage
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Last meeting of the Legislative Council

Ministry for Culture and Heritage

This is the final gathering of the Legislative Council on 1 December 1950; it ceased to exist on 1 January 1951. Listen to Charles Wheeler, long-serving press-gallery reporter, describe the role of the Legislative Council and the events leading to its abolition. Sound file from

Ministry for Culture and Heritage
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Principles of the Treaty Deletion Bill 2006

Ministry for Culture and Heritage

In 2006, when Winston Peters was leader of New Zealand First and a minister in the Labour-led government, his party sponsored a bill to delete references to 'the principles of the treaty' from legislation. Listen to this radio news clip to hear New Zealand First MP Doug Woolerton explaining why ...

Ministry for Culture and Heritage
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Māori Battalion march to victory!

Ministry for Culture and Heritage

The song 'Māori Battalion' was adopted as the battalion's marching song. It was also a popular radio hit in New Zealand. The lyrics were written by Anania Amohau of Te Arawa, who served in B Company of the battalion. The image shows the battalion marching through the Volturno Valley area of ...

Ministry for Culture and Heritage