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Male and female paradise shelduck

Ministry for Culture and Heritage

A paradise shelduck pair usually stays close together, each bird calling in turn as they move about. The male’s call is deeper than the female’s. The female has a white head, whereas the male’s head is glossy green-black. Like other shelducks they have a long goose-like neck.

Ministry for Culture and Heritage
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Kingfisher in flight

Ministry for Culture and Heritage

The speed of a kingfisher or kōtare when diving on moving prey is legendary. This one is returning to its perch after catching food. They call from high lookouts with a distinctive ‘kek-kek-kek’ that carries afar. Close to the nest they make an unusual whirring call. Sound ...

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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Pou outside Waitomo

Ministry for Culture and Heritage

This pou (supporting post) from Waitomo represents Tāne, god of the forest. The god was often acknowledged by Māori when they took resources from the forest. Listen to the karakia (incantation), which was said to lift the tapu from a house built from Tāne’s wood. Its purpose was to ...

Ministry for Culture and Heritage
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Erebus recovery operation

Ministry for Culture and Heritage

Eight Federated Mountain Club volunteers helped recover bodies after an Air New Zealand DC10 crashed on Mt Erebus, Antarctica, in November 1979. Their skills in mountain rescue were needed because of the site’s icy conditions and crevasses. Hugh Logan, one of the team, recalls the operation...

Ministry for Culture and Heritage
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‘Towards Banks Peninsula’

Ministry for Culture and Heritage

Denis Glover was one of the writers who came of age in the 1930s and began to explore the meaning and mythology of the land. In this extract from his 1958 poem ‘Towards Banks Peninsula’, he describes a walk from Port Levy to Pigeon Bay. The photo looks across Lyttelton Harbour to ...

Ministry for Culture and Heritage
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The Battle of the Birds

Ministry for Culture and Heritage

These three birds are Auckland Island shags. Shags (kawau) feature in the story of the ‘Battle of the Birds’. The kawau had an argument with the fantail (tīwaiwaka) about whether seabirds or land birds had better food. The tīwaiwaka was so clever in his argument that the ...

Ministry for Culture and Heritage
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Acronyms

Ministry for Culture and Heritage

Many new words have been generated in the form of abbreviations and acronyms – especially from the names of government agencies. Work and Income, the employment and income support division of the Ministry of Social Development, was previously and widely known as WINZ, an abbreviation of ...

Ministry for Culture and Heritage
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'I'm absolutely buggered'

Ministry for Culture and Heritage

In 1956 All Black Peter Jones earned himself a place in history, not just for his rugby playing, but for words uttered after a test match win over South Africa's Springboks. Straight after the game, Jones told a radio journalist – in true Kiwi bloke form – 'I'm absolutely ...

Ministry for Culture and Heritage
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Pink Pussycat club

Ministry for Culture and Heritage

Rainton Hastie, owner of the Pink Pussycat strip club in Karangahape Road, Auckland, can be heard in this 1973 radio programme. The segment begins with Hastie talking to a potential employee, and then outlining the steps to full nudity on stage.  

Ministry for Culture and Heritage
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'No Maoris, no tour', 1960

Ministry for Culture and Heritage

A massive protest campaign developed against the proposed 1960 All Black tour of South Africa, since Māori players were banned from the team. The protests were organised by the Citizens' All Black Tour Association (CABTA), chaired by Rolland O'Regan of Ngāi Tahu. This poster announces a...

Ministry for Culture and Heritage
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Ian Gordon

Ministry for Culture and Heritage

Victoria University of Wellington became an important centre of New Zealand English scholarship under Professor Ian Gordon, who taught there from 1937 to 1974. He also wrote columns in the Listener magazine and had his own radio show on the topic, which has long been of interest to ...

Ministry for Culture and Heritage
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Tītahi’s chant

Ministry for Culture and Heritage

Just before Captain James Cook’s arrival, Tītahi, a leader of Ngāti Whātua, prophesied that major change was about to occur in the region of Waitematā Harbour, pictured here with Rangitito in the distance. Wiremu Rēweti of Ngāti Whātua presents the chant. Here are the the ...

Ministry for Culture and Heritage
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Joe Hawke

Ministry for Culture and Heritage

Joe Hawke (pictured here on the left) led the occupation of Bastion Point. In this 1977 interview he explains why the issue was so important to Ngāti Whātua. Sound file from Radio New Zealand Sound Archives Ngā Taonga Kōrero. Any re-use of...

Ministry for Culture and Heritage
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Proof of Spanish discovery?

Ministry for Culture and Heritage

Some have speculated that Spanish or Portuguese ships reached New Zealand, or became wrecked on its coast, before Abel Tasman’s arrival in 1642. This ‘Spanish helmet’, allegedly fished out of Wellington Harbour, is seen by some as proof that the Spanish did reach New Zealand. ...

Ministry for Culture and Heritage
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Chant composed by Te Rauparaha

Ministry for Culture and Heritage

Ngāti Toa chief Te Rauparaha, pictured here, composed the ngeri (chant with actions) which you can hear performed by members of Ngāti Toa. The words are set out below. This chant, which is not often performed, forms the start of the famous haka composed by Te Rauparaha –‘Ka mate, ka...

Ministry for Culture and Heritage
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Betty Meyer, Scottish immigrant

Ministry for Culture and Heritage

Betty Meyer emigrated to New Zealand from Hawick in the Borders country of Scotland in 1952 at the age of 16. She came with her parents who had been sponsored by a Dunedin woollen factory. In this interview she explains why her parents decided to leave Hawick for Dunedin.

Ministry for Culture and Heritage
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Interview with Samoan overstayer

Ministry for Culture and Heritage

During the 1990s people were streaming into New Zealand, particularly from Asia, Africa and the Middle East. There was not a huge increase of Pacific Islanders during this decade, and in fact a few Pacific Islanders were deported for overstaying their temporary residence permits. This Samoan ...

Ministry for Culture and Heritage
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A Western Samoan viewpoint

Ministry for Culture and Heritage

The Privy Council decision of 1982, giving all Western Samoans born after 1924 New Zealand citizenship, was not accepted by the New Zealand government. It negotiated a compromise with the Western Samoan government which overturned the Privy Council ruling and gave New Zealand citizenship only to ...

Ministry for Culture and Heritage
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A Zimbabwean talks about home

Ministry for Culture and Heritage

Immigrant Peter Baldwin, who arrived in New Zealand with his family in 2000, talks about Robert Mugabe’s government and the family’s reasons for leaving Zimbabwe.

Ministry for Culture and Heritage