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Formation of Crown research institutes

Ministry for Culture and Heritage

On July 1, 1992, 10 Crown research institutes were formed – the most radical reorganisation of government science in New Zealand’s history. The aim was to group scientists into institutes with separate research aims and subject areas. They also provided...

Ministry for Culture and Heritage
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Eastern rosella

Ministry for Culture and Heritage

The eastern rosella has a distinctive red head, which contrasts with its yellow underbelly, and its blue and green wings and tail. Rosellas are often seen in pairs or in small flocks. Sound file from the ...

Ministry for Culture and Heritage
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Pros and cons of sex work: Anna Reed

Ministry for Culture and Heritage

Anna Reed has been the Canterbury regional coordinator for the New Zealand Prostitutes' Collective since the late 1980s, and still held the position in 2010. Reed, pictured here in the 1980s, talks about why she enjoyed sex work. While many sex workers do not experience pleasure with ...

Ministry for Culture and Heritage
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Giant kauri

Ministry for Culture and Heritage

This giant kauri is found at Waiau Falls scenic reserve on the Coromandel Peninsula, not far from Coromandel town. The reserve is part of one of the few unlogged stands found on the peninsula. Listen to Canon Pāora Temuera of Ngāti Raukawa and Te Arawa recite a karakia (prayer) that would once ...

Ministry for Culture and Heritage
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Fourth test, 1956

Ministry for Culture and Heritage

The final test against South Africa at Eden Park, Auckland, in 1956 was an epic game for New Zealand rugby supporters. The All Blacks were leading 2–1 in the first series against South Africa, since they had been beaten 4–0 in South Africa in 1949. There was a huge crowd of 61,240, ...

Ministry for Culture and Heritage
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Recording the countryside

Ministry for Culture and Heritage

Nevile Lodge’s cartoon of Jim Henderson with a microphone in hand appeared in the book version of ‘Open country’. ‘Open country’ was a regular radio show in the 1950s and 1960s, which broadcast short stories from rural New Zealand. The sound file ...

Ministry for Culture and Heritage
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Annabelle White

Ministry for Culture and Heritage

Annabelle White (second from left), cook book author and media personality, poses with the winners of a gourmet competition at Plum City near Havelock North, Hawke’s Bay. Listen to her description of Hawke’s Bay stone fruit attractions. Soundfile courtesy of

Ministry for Culture and Heritage
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Votes for women

Ministry for Culture and Heritage

The campaign for women's suffrage was led by Kate Sheppard (shown here on a stamp, which depicts a detail of the $10 note). Listen to the reminiscences of Mrs Perryman, who voted in the 1893 election (the first in which women could). Sound file from

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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Tōtara proverb

Ministry for Culture and Heritage

This is a tōtara tree. Hear an explanation of the proverb, ‘Kua hinga te tōtara o Te Waonui a Tāne’ (the tōtara in the great forest of Tāne has fallen). Sound file from Radio New Zealand Sound Archives Ngā Taonga Kōrero. Any...

Ministry for Culture and Heritage
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Giant kauri

Ministry for Culture and Heritage

This large kauri tree is at Waiau Falls Scenic Reserve, Coromandel Peninsula. Trees like this are believed to symbolise Tāne, propping up the sky from the earth. Listen to Canon Pāora Temuera of Ngāti Raukawa and Te Arawa recite a karakia (prayer) that was formerly heard echoing around the ...

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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Poisonous garden plants

Ministry for Culture and Heritage

Most plant poisonings in New Zealand occur when young children eat parts of poisonous plants growing in their local environment, such as the garden or the grounds of their kindergarten or school. Many commonly grown plants like kōwhai, rhododendron, laburnum, ivy, daphne and arum lily are ...

Ministry for Culture and Heritage
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Juvenile tuatara

Ministry for Culture and Heritage

Researchers at Victoria University of Wellington keep tuatara in enclosures, in semi-natural conditions, for up to five years after they hatch. Safe from predators, these juveniles have a higher survival rate than hatchlings in the wild. They will eventually return to their home island, or will ...

Ministry for Culture and Heritage
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Pepe tuna (pūriri moth)

Ministry for Culture and Heritage

This is a male pepe-tuna (pūriri moth, Aenetus virescens). Listen to Hirini Melbourne sing about the ghostly night-time appearance of this giant green moth (its wingspan reaches 15 centimetres). Pepe-tuna nunui Kēhua kākāriki Wairua ...

Ministry for Culture and Heritage
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Juvenile North Island saddlebacks

Ministry for Culture and Heritage

The plumage of young North Island saddlebacks (tīeke) is similar to that of adults, but lacks the paler line along the top edge of the saddle. As they grow, the red wattles at the base of the bill become larger. South Island saddleback juveniles are chocolate brown over most of their body. When ...

Ministry for Culture and Heritage
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Yellowhead

Ministry for Culture and Heritage

Yellowheads (mōhua) live in the South Island and Stewart Island, where their musical call was once heard in most forested regions – especially mature beech forest. They nest in tree holes, which makes them vulnerable to predators, and they are now limited to a few mountain forest regions ...

Ministry for Culture and Heritage
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Dawn chorus

Ministry for Culture and Heritage

In forest where native birds are plentiful, their chorus can be heard at dawn and dusk in the breeding season. There may be tūī (top), bellbirds (bottom), robins (right), yellowheads, whiteheads, brown creepers, saddlebacks, grey warblers and silvereyes taking part. Some species sing earlier or...

Ministry for Culture and Heritage
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Brown creeper with chick

Ministry for Culture and Heritage

Brown creepers (pīpipi) move about in groups in the forest and scrub, calling to each other constantly as they hunt for food. Like yellowheads and whiteheads, they have sweet, melodious calls. Sound file from Birds of New Zealand. Compact disc. © Viking Sevenseas NZ, 1980 (...

Ministry for Culture and Heritage
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Grey warbler

Ministry for Culture and Heritage

Grey warblers (riroriro) use cobwebs, lichen, twigs and leaves to build enclosed nests with a side entrance. As well as native forests, they have adapted to living in pine forests and well-planted urban gardens. Their trilling call is a familiar sign of spring. Sound file from Birds ...

Ministry for Culture and Heritage