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Measuring fish

Ministry for Culture and Heritage

A fisheries official measures a fish aboard the Taiko Maru No 2. The industry has become increasingly regulated since the 1980s and fishermen must keep detailed records of their catches. Listen to an interview with the director of the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries at the time, ...

Ministry for Culture and Heritage
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Baited longlines

Ministry for Culture and Heritage

In longline fishing, very long lines are strung with many baited hooks and drawn through the water. Malcolm Harrison, an Auckland longline fisherman, talks about landing snapper and gurnard in the late 1950s. Sound file from Radio New...

Ministry for Culture and Heritage
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Pick-and-shovel mining

Ministry for Culture and Heritage

These West Coast miners from the end of the 19th century pause in their labours. The traditional technique for extracting coal, which miners brought from Britain, depended entirely on muscle power. Miners chopped out coal with picks and then shovelled it into waiting carts. In the sound file, a ...

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
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Mervyn Thompson performs Coaltown blues

Ministry for Culture and Heritage

Mervyn Thompson was born at Kaitangata in 1936 and spent most of his early years on the West Coast. He worked for five years as a miner, and later he became a distinguished actor, playwright and director. In the play Coaltown blues, he relived the poverty and struggles of his boyhood. ...

Ministry for Culture and Heritage
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Coromandel Harbour, 1852

Ministry for Culture and Heritage

When gold was discovered on the Coromandel Peninsula in 1852, Europeans met with Māori to discuss mining and prospecting their lands. In this 1940s interview John Edgar (born in 1874) talks about Māori attitudes towards mining. Sound file from

Ministry for Culture and Heritage
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Remembering the 1855 quake

Ministry for Culture and Heritage

Elsie Harris talks about the 1855 earthquake. Her grandparents owned a farm near the Pāuatahanui Inlet, which was affected by the quake. The image shows a watercolour of nearby Porirua Harbour, painted about 1842. Sound file: Elsie Harris, interview by Jennifer Jones, 1988 (2'54&quot...

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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Clearing the rubble

Ministry for Culture and Heritage

Men search for bodies in Napier. They had nothing more than shovels to work with as no earth-moving equipment was immediately available. Kenneth Spiller, speaking in this sound clip, was part of a group who attempted to rescue a woman trapped in the rubble of a collapsed building after the main ...

Ministry for Culture and Heritage
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Uplift of the foreshore

Ministry for Culture and Heritage

Gordon Amner was a young farmhand, cutting scrub at the time of the 1931 earthquake. He rode into Napier in time to witness the fires spreading and uplift of the Ahuriri Lagoon. When the inner harbour was uplifted, these horse mussels were left high and dry. Listen to Gordon Amner recalling the ...

Ministry for Culture and Heritage
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Effects in Martinborough, June 1942

Ministry for Culture and Heritage

There was widespread damage throughout the Wairarapa region from the earthquakes of 24 June and 2 August, especially in shops and larger buildings. In this sound clip Constance 'Dickie' Budd describes the effect of the June earthquake in Martinborough, a small country town. Mrs ...

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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The home of the ancestors

Ministry for Culture and Heritage

Taranaki tribal historian Te Miringa Hōhaia talks about the kāinga (village) Karakatonga which was the ancient dwelling place of Te Kāhui Maunga – the people of the mountains.

Ministry for Culture and Heritage
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Parihaka gatherings

Ministry for Culture and Heritage

This gathering of people at Parihaka was photographed in the 1880s. Such events have been taking place since the Taranaki wars of the 1860s. At that time the Parihaka leaders Te Whiti-o-Rongomai and Tohu Kākahi set up a regular forum called Tekau mā waru (‘The Eighteenth’) which ...

Ministry for Culture and Heritage
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Edgecumbe dairy factory

Ministry for Culture and Heritage

Ron Russell was manager of the Edgecumbe dairy factory in 1987. He describes watching these huge milk storage silos being shaken down. Sound file: Ron Russell, interview by Judith Fyfe for the Bay of Plenty Earthquake Oral History Project, 1987 (12'07

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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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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The thrill of skydiving

Ministry for Culture and Heritage

Listen to a skydiver talk about overcoming the fear of jumping from an aircraft. Modern skydiving has come a long way since the sport of parachuting first developed. Training is rigorous, equipment is more sophisticated, and beginners take their first jump harnessed to an instructor or ...

Ministry for Culture and Heritage
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Caravans

Ministry for Culture and Heritage

From the 1930s, caravans became a popular way to have a break at the beach. These caravans are parked at a beach near Te Kaha on the East Coast in the late 1970s. In the sound file, people talk in 1977 about the appeal of a caravan holiday. Sound file from

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