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New Zealand troops in Japan, 1947

Ministry for Culture and Heritage

Intelligence officer Rod Miller (centre, with beret) and other New Zealand members of the British Commonwealth Occupation Forces are shown with Japan's police judo training unit in 1947. While stationed at Matsue in southern Japan, some members of the force learned judo. Listen to Miller ...

Ministry for Culture and Heritage
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Rangiātea Church centennial, 1950

Ministry for Culture and Heritage

This haka pōwhiri was recorded at Raukawa marae in Ōtaki at a pōwhiri (welcome) for the centennial of Rangiātea Church. Manuhiri (guests) included King Korokī and Waikato kaumātua.

Ministry for Culture and Heritage
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A night in with the radio, 1935

Ministry for Culture and Heritage

The radio replaced the piano in New Zealand living rooms from the 1920s. In the evenings families gathered around to listen to music and other entertaining broadcasts. This 'family' was created for advertising purposes, but is a reasonable approximation of the New Zealand family at the ...

Ministry for Culture and Heritage
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Russell Coutts, professional yachtsman

Ministry for Culture and Heritage

New Zealand sailor Russell Coutts is shown here in 2009 at the wheel of a US yacht, which as part of the BMW Oracle team, he skippered in the Louis Vuitton Pacific Series of that year. Coutts had been hired by US billionaire Larry Ellison to head a team to win the 2010 America's Cup. In 1995 ...

Ministry for Culture and Heritage
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Yvette Williams's long jump victory, Helsinki, 1952

Ministry for Culture and Heritage

In the sound clip Yvette Williams describes her winning jump at the 1952 Helsinki Olympics, along with the two nerve-wracking 'no-jumps' that preceded it. The composite photograph illustrates her achievement. Beneath Williams in flight, a group of school girls marks out the length of her ...

Ministry for Culture and Heritage
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Promoting the Māori language

Ministry for Culture and Heritage

Activist group Ngā Tamatoa emerged in the early 1970s to demand greater recognition for Māori issues and interests. Among these was that the Māori language should be taught in schools. A 30,000-signature petition supporting this aim was presented to Parliament in 1972 by Ngā Tamatoa ...

Ministry for Culture and Heritage
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'No Maoris, no tour'

Ministry for Culture and Heritage

This 1959 poster sums up the protest position against a racially selected All Blacks rugby team touring South Africa in 1960. Listen to the comments of famous former All Black George Nēpia, who had been omitted from a 1928 tour at the specific request of the South African prime minister. Despite...

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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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
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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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The Wanganella, Barrett Reef

Ministry for Culture and Heritage

At 11.30 p.m. on 19 January 1947 the captain of the Wanganella mistook the flashing buoy in front of Barrett Reef for the light to guide ships into Wellington harbour. The ship, with 400 passengers on a voyage from Sydney, struck the reef and remained fast on the rocks. The passengers ...

Ministry for Culture and Heritage
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The end of the golden weather

Ministry for Culture and Heritage

Bruce Mason began his famous solo play, The end of the golden weather (first performed in 1959), with the words: ‘Let me take you on a voyage into that territory of the heart that we call childhood.’ The play, which Mason performed over 1,000 times, was set on Auckland’...

Ministry for Culture and Heritage
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Drying fish

Ministry for Culture and Heritage

This 1843 watercolour, by an unknown artist, depicts Māori drying fish on poles. The fish appear to be mainly barracouta, with a few rays and snapper. Māori were not preservationists; they conserved resources so that they could use them in the future. Fishing pressure may have affected fish ...

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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Evacuation in Whakatāne

Ministry for Culture and Heritage

On 26 May 1960, three days after a tsunami from an earthquake in Chile caused damage along the New Zealand coast, a radio message warned that a tsunami from a major aftershock of that earthquake was about to hit the coast. These cars are jamming Hillcrest Road on the hillside above Whakatāne, ...

Ministry for Culture and Heritage
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Impact of the Murchison earthquake

Ministry for Culture and Heritage

Most of the roads close to Murchison were impassable after the earthquake. The figure surrounded by fallen blocks gives an idea of how difficult travel was. Sound file: Len Hutchings and Mrs ? Nelson, interview by Jim Henderson for 'Open country no. 82,' 1964 (2'50

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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Recalling the Hawke’s Bay earthquake

Ministry for Culture and Heritage

Jean Martin was working as a housekeeper in Napier when the 1931 earthquake struck. She remembers the motion of the earthquake, and describes the scene outside. This photograph shows dramatic wreckage on a Napier road. Sound file: Jean Martin, interview by Helen McConnochie for ‘...

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. Sound file from Radio New Zealand Sound Archives Ngā Taonga Kōrero...

Ministry for Culture and Heritage
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Brunner mine disaster, 1896

Ministry for Culture and Heritage

The photograph shows one of the first bodies to be recovered from the Brunner mine. The worst loss of life in New Zealand mining occurred at this mine on 26 March 1896. An explosion was heard at 9.30 a.m. Two men went underground to investigate and were later found unconscious from black damp, a ...

Ministry for Culture and Heritage