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Crayfish boom

Ministry for Culture and Heritage

In 1964 the main fish caught in Chatham Islands waters was cod. However, in 1968, 5,900 tonnes of crayfish were sent out from the islands, mostly overseas. Cod fisher Howard Page talks of the scene when he came down to hunt for crayfish about a year after the boom started. Sound file from...

Ministry for Culture and Heritage
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Neroli Fairhall, 1984

Ministry for Culture and Heritage

Neroli Fairhall, shown here with bow in hand, won gold at the Commonwealth Games in 1982. She can be heard discussing that competition in the sound file. In addition to her Commonwealth gold medal, Fairhall won many medals at the International Paralympic Committee archery world championships and ...

Ministry for Culture and Heritage
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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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Preserving muttonbirds

Ministry for Culture and Heritage

Muttonbirds, or tītī, were found mainly on offshore islands and needed to be carefully handled to preserve and transport them. Listen to sea captain Bob Whaitiri (Ngāi Tahu) explain this process, which remained in use well into the 20th century.

Ministry for Culture and Heritage
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James Little’s memoirs

Ministry for Culture and Heritage

Listen to a reading of James Little’s memoirs about breeding and exhibiting Corriedale sheep. Little successfully experimented with crossing Merinos with Lincoln or Leicester sheep from the 1870s. He promoted the inbred halfbred, as they were called at ...

Ministry for Culture and Heritage
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Tūī and its song

Ministry for Culture and Heritage

A tūī rests on the frond of a fern. Its melodious call inspired the saying 'Me he korokoro tūī' (like the throat of a tūī), which referred to someone with a beautiful singing voice. Sound file from Radio New Zealand Sound Archives Ng...

Ministry for Culture and Heritage
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Eels at Wairewa

Ministry for Culture and Heritage

These eels have been hung out to dry at Wairewa (Lake Forsyth). Wairewa was an important source of eels for South Island Māori. Eels were caught in hīnaki (eel pots), or by using a bob made of noke waiū (big white worms), split flax and rushes (wīwī). Listen to Riki Ellison from the ...

Ministry for Culture and Heritage
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Te Ara o Tāwhaki

Ministry for Culture and Heritage

This wharenui at the Eastern Institute of Technology in Hawke's Bay is named Te Ara o Tāwhaki (the pathway of Tāwhaki). In tribal tradition Tāwhaki journeyed to the heavens to attain knowledge. In this oriori, 'Pinepine te Kura', his ascent to the heavens is described. ...

Ministry for Culture and Heritage
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Radio journalists at work

Ministry for Culture and Heritage

John Scott worked for a time for the ‘rurals team’, which produced radio programmes on agricultural topics for nearly 40 years from the late 1950s. Listen to Scott’s recollections of learning the job, at a time when his New Zealand accent ...

Ministry for Culture and Heritage
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Thresher

Ministry for Culture and Heritage

Threshing machines were used in New Zealand for more than 80 years, finally declining in use in the mid-1940s. Forerunners of combine harvesters, they separated the grain of crops such as wheat and oats. Listen to Jack Perkins in his radio show ‘From the...

Ministry for Culture and Heritage
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Kūmara whakapapa

Ministry for Culture and Heritage

This kūmara whakapapa (genealogy) shows how kūmara is descended from Rongo-māui and Pani-tinaku. Listen to an extract from Pō! Pō!, a waiata (song) by Enoka Te Pakaru, which refers to the origin of the kūmara. It translates into English as: Pō! Pō! My son, Tama...

Ministry for Culture and Heritage
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Rabbit hunters

Ministry for Culture and Heritage

When other work was not available rabbiting provided an income for rural workers in the South Island. These men are at a summer camp in 1909, although rabbiting often took place in winter when the skins were at their best. The conditions were hard – but ...

Ministry for Culture and Heritage
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Myxomatosis experiment

Ministry for Culture and Heritage

Myxomatosis is caused by the myxoma virus, and was first identified killing rabbits in Uruguay in 1896. Trials of the disease began in Australia in 1938, and in 1950 it was released into the wild rabbit population with remarkable success. It was introduced ...

Ministry for Culture and Heritage
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Kookaburra

Ministry for Culture and Heritage

This Australian kookaburra looks at home perching on another Australian import – a eucalyptus tree. Sound file from the Department of Conservation.

Ministry for Culture and Heritage
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Song thrush feeding chicks

Ministry for Culture and Heritage

Song thrushes are common in all parts of New Zealand, except native bush. They lay their eggs in the spring and often raise up to three broods a season, but rarely in the same nest. The young nestlings are fed by both the male and female, and usually fledge...

Ministry for Culture and Heritage
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Wing-clapping cicada

Ministry for Culture and Heritage

The largest cicadas in New Zealand, Amphipsalta, are descended from Australian ancestors. Males produce loud sounds by contracting and relaxing a pair of membranes on their abdomen. These cicadas also sing by clapping their wings against the ground or a branch. Listen to the song of one ...

Ministry for Culture and Heritage
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Morepork

Ministry for Culture and Heritage

Listen to the call of a morepork (ruru). Moreporks roost during the day and hunt at night. Their large eyes do not move in the sockets. Instead, the morepork swivels its head rapidly, up to 270 degrees. They have good night vision, and hunt insects and small animals. Sound file from ...

Ministry for Culture and Heritage
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Kiwi concert party

Ministry for Culture and Heritage

During the Second World War, the word Kiwis was almost universally adopted to describe New Zealanders. Here a touring troupe of entertainers called the Kiwi Concert Party perform beneath the kiwi symbol of the New Zealand Expeditionary Force at El Alamein in North Africa, in October 1942. Listen ...

Ministry for Culture and Heritage
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Bellbirds

Ministry for Culture and Heritage

It is easy to identify the melodious call of the bellbird (korimako) in the forest. Their dialect or tune varies from one valley to another, but they all have the same rich tones. Sound file from Birds of New Zealand. Compact disc. © Viking Sevenseas NZ, 1980 (PO Box 152, ...

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