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Promoting multilingualism

Ministry for Culture and Heritage

New Zealand-born and Israel-based sociolinguist Bernard Spolsky has contributed significantly to language policy theory and practice. He was a strong supporter of the revival of the Māori language, and is shown in 2008 with Dame Kāterina Te Heikōkō Mataira, a strong advocate of te reo Māori...

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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Working on a farm

Ministry for Culture and Heritage

Ellen Dennison remembers her work on a farm in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Her day started at 4 a.m. and ended at 11 p.m. Like the anonymous woman in this late 19th-century photograph, milking was part of Dennison's routine. 

Ministry for Culture and Heritage
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Iain Gallaway on air

Ministry for Culture and Heritage

For  almost 40 years (from 1953 to 1992) Iain Gallaway was regarded as the voice of Carisbrook. He made his name commentating on cricket, but he also covered hundreds of rugby matches. In this excerpt he reports on a club game in Dunedin in 1976. Gallaway had been a first-class cricketer and...

Ministry for Culture and Heritage
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Samuel McBurney

Ministry for Culture and Heritage

The first person to record and describe pronunciation in New Zealand was Samuel McBurney, a Scottish singing teacher and educationalist who emigrated to Australia in 1881. McBurney went on a lecture tour of Australia, New Zealand and North America in 1887, and during his time in New Zealand ...

Ministry for Culture and Heritage
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Changing vowels

Ministry for Culture and Heritage

The New Zealand Institute of Language, Brain and Behaviour at the University of Canterbury has developed new approaches to studying language, using sociophonetics and psycholinguistics. Its director in 2014 was Jen Hay. In a 2009 interview with radio journalist Kim Hill she describes a recent ...

Ministry for Culture and Heritage
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Lexicographers: Harry Orsman

Ministry for Culture and Heritage

Harry Orsman edited the Dictionary of New Zealand English (1997), which recorded exclusively New Zealand words. This award-winning work was a product of over 40 years of research into New Zealand English. Listen to Orsman talk to radio journalist Brian Edwards about the New Zealand use ...

Ministry for Culture and Heritage
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Me and Gus

Ministry for Culture and Heritage

Nevile Lodge drew the illustrations for a 1951 edition of Me and Gus, comic sketches of farming life by Frank Anthony. Readings from the book that year were very popular with radio listeners in both town and country. Listen to an excerpt from ‘Gus buys a bull’. Sound ...

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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Woolston Brass

Ministry for Culture and Heritage

Woolston Brass (formerly Skellerup Woolston) takes part in the street march at the 2001 New Zealand National Band Championship at Whanganui. The band won this event for the 18th consecutive time. Listen to the band play ‘Flourish for an occasion’.

Ministry for Culture and Heritage
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'Min' – Gordon Minhinnick

Ministry for Culture and Heritage

Gordon Minhinnick, known as 'Min', was the pre-eminent New Zealand cartoonist from the mid-1930s through to the 1960s. Despite 'retiring' in 1976, he continued having cartoons published until 1987. In the accompanying sound clip Minhinnick discusses the 'corrosive'  ...

Ministry for Culture and Heritage
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Winston McCarthy

Ministry for Culture and Heritage

Winston McCarthy, a legendary rugby commentator who had established his name broadcasting on the 1945–46 'Kiwis' tour of the United Kingdom and Europe, describes a Don Clarke kick during the fourth test match between the All Blacks and the Springboks in 1956. New Zealand was ...

Ministry for Culture and Heritage
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'To a Maori figure cast in bronze outside the chief post office, Auckland'

Ministry for Culture and Heritage

A larger-than-life Māori statue by Molly McAlister was erected in downtown Auckland in 1967. Five years later Hone Tuwhare wrote a poem addressed to the statue, mixing Māori language with everyday English ('your balls, mate'). Listen to Tuwhare reading this poem, one of the funniest ...

Ministry for Culture and Heritage
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Crystal Palace, Auckland

Ministry for Culture and Heritage

The Crystal Palace (shown here in 1986) was one of Auckland's busiest clubs in the 1930s, drawing crowds to hear Epi Shalfoon and the Melody Boys – a band that acted as a training ground for many Auckland musicians. The Crystal Palace was revived in the 1950s by promoter Phil Warren, ...

Ministry for Culture and Heritage
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Racing commentary

Ministry for Culture and Heritage

In this Nevile Lodge cartoon from 1955, four Kiwi blokes stop their card game to listen to a horse race on the radio. They were possibly listening to a commentary by Dave Clarkson, who called many horse races and trots in the Canterbury region from 1937. The sound recording is of his last ...

Ministry for Culture and Heritage
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Changing vowel

Ministry for Culture and Heritage

A recent vowel change in New Zealand English is the raising of the DRESS vowel into the area of the FLEECE vowel – this means that 'best' sounds like 'beast' and 'bed' like 'bead'. Here University of Canterbury linguistics scholar Jen Hay explains this change...

Ministry for Culture and Heritage
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Longest place name in the world

Ministry for Culture and Heritage

A hill near the coastal settlement of Pōrangahau is believed to have the longest place name in the world. The name is sung at the start of this waiata (song) and is followed by an account – in Māori – of the story behind it of the explorer Tamatea, who climbed the hill and played ...

Ministry for Culture and Heritage
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Cymanfa ganu

Ministry for Culture and Heritage

The Welsh are renowned for their singing and for musical events that have helped keep their language alive. Their reputation for singing is at least a thousand years old, but the cymanfa ganu – communal singing of hymns in parts – dates back only to the 19th century temperance ...

Ministry for Culture and Heritage
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Patricia Winton, American immigrant

Ministry for Culture and Heritage

Pat Winton came to New Zealand in 1959 to work for the American embassy in Wellington. She later married a New Zealander, had two children, and in 1995 took out dual New Zealand–United States citizenship. Listen to Pat talk about the differences between the New Zealand and American ways of ...

Ministry for Culture and Heritage