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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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Kūmara whakapapa

Ministry for Culture and Heritage

This whakapapa shows how the kūmara descends from Rongo-māui and Pani-tinaku. Its origin is referred to in this extract of the waiata 'Pō! Pō!', by Enoka Te Pakaru. In English it translates as: Pō! Pō! My son, Tama, is crying for food! Wait until it is ...

Ministry for Culture and Heritage
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The Pike River mine explosion inquiry

Ministry for Culture and Heritage

Flame and smoke billow from the Pike River coal mine, near Greymouth. In November 2010, 29 miners died after two methane explosions and a fire in the mine. In this sound file, Prime Minister John Key announces a royal commission of inquiry into the tragedy. Commissions of inquiry are one way of ...

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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Working on a farm

Ministry for Culture and Heritage

Ellen Dennison remembers her work on a farm in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Her day started at 4 a.m. and ended at 11 p.m. Like the anonymous woman in this late 19th-century photograph, milking was part of Dennison's routine. 

Ministry for Culture and Heritage
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Country life

Ministry for Culture and Heritage

The radio programme Country life is broadcast after the seven o’clock news on Saturday mornings, and includes a wide range of items of interest to rural listeners, including a regional roundup of events, weather and growing conditions for the past week. Listen to the start of the ...

Ministry for Culture and Heritage
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Kauri felling

Ministry for Culture and Heritage

Bushman Billy Mack takes a break while felling a giant kauri at Kauaeranga valley, Thames, in 1921. First, wedge-shaped ‘scarfs’ were cut into the trunk on the side the bushmen wanted the tree to fall. Then the trunk was sawn from the other side until the tree toppled. Listen ...

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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Tainui canoe

Ministry for Culture and Heritage

In Māori oral tradition there are many stories of the founding canoes. One of these was the Tainui canoe which first landed in the Bay of Plenty before journeying to the Waitematā Harbour. There it was dragged across the 200-metre portage to the Manukau Harbour. This hauling chant is ...

Ministry for Culture and Heritage
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Albert Wendt

Ministry for Culture and Heritage

As a pioneering Samoan novelist and the first Pacific Island professor in New Zealand, Albert Wendt made a major contribution to exploring questions of Pacific Island and Samoan identity. Here he reads some of his poetry.

Ministry for Culture and Heritage
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‘A new life in New Zealand’

Ministry for Culture and Heritage

From 1947 the New Zealand government once more provided assistance with fares for English migrants. Over the next 28 years more than 250,000 arrived, many paying their own way. This display in New Zealand House, London, shows the promises of a new life offered to prospective migrants. However the...

Ministry for Culture and Heritage
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Tongan overstayers

Ministry for Culture and Heritage

In the 1960s and 1970s many Tongans stayed on beyond their three-month work permit. In 1974 the New Zealand government announced an amnesty: they were to return to Tonga by a set time or be arrested. In this interview the Tongan lawyer Clive Edwards discusses the panic caused by this announcement...

Ministry for Culture and Heritage
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The Kurahaupō canoe

Ministry for Culture and Heritage

The photograph shows a replica of the Kurahaupō canoe. The tribes of Muaūpoko and Rangitāne share the belief that Whātonga was the captain of the canoe. In the song Darren Reid of Muaūpoko tells of the voyage of the canoe and the quest of Whātonga to find his grandfather, the ...

Ministry for Culture and Heritage
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Landing places of South Island canoes

Ministry for Culture and Heritage

This map shows the landing places of the Ārai-te-uru and Tākitimu canoes and the passage of the Uruaokapuarangi canoe, captained by Rākaihautū. In the sound file, Ngāi Tahu leader Sir Tīpene O’Regan tells the story of the arrival of Rākaihautū and his son ...

Ministry for Culture and Heritage
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Te Tō Waka, the canoe portage

Ministry for Culture and Heritage

Te Tō Waka, the narrow stretch of land between the Tāmaki River and the Manukau Harbour, was used extensively by Māori as they travelled between the east and west coasts. Listen to the traditional chant used by the Tainui people while they dragged their canoes across the isthmus. Today the ...

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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Power cuts

Ministry for Culture and Heritage

Power cuts, common after the Second World War, made New Zealanders return to old habits and take on new ones. This photograph shows people queuing to buy kerosene lamps during power restrictions in 1956. The lamps had been the standard source of light in New Zealand homes until the early 20th ...

Ministry for Culture and Heritage
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Band of Hope temperance pledge

Ministry for Culture and Heritage

Temperance – avoiding alcoholic drink – was a central feature of New Zealand Methodism until the mid-20th century. One of the organisations promoting temperance was the Band of Hope, whose members signed a pledge to 'abstain from all intoxicating liquors'. This magnificent certificate...

Ministry for Culture and Heritage