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Southern bell frog

Ministry for Culture and Heritage

The southern bell frog is mainly green, with bronze markings and a warty back, and is native to south-eastern Australia and Tasmania. The most aquatic of the three introduced species, it has webbing on its hind toes. It catches insects near water by ...

Ministry for Culture and Heritage
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Small alpine cicada

Ministry for Culture and Heritage

Adult cicadas have a broad head and a tapered body with two pairs of wings. This specimen of a small alpine cicada, now named Kikihia subalpina, was collected in 1893 in Karori, Wellington, by entomologist George Hudson. Sound file from

Ministry for Culture and Heritage
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Chorus cicada

Ministry for Culture and Heritage

The largest New Zealand cicada is the chorus cicada (Amphipsalta zelandica). The length of its body with the wings folded is about 40 millimetres. Chorus cicadas gather in large numbers around the time they emerge from their nymph skins, from January. Common in the North Island and some ...

Ministry for Culture and Heritage
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Maoricicada mangu

Ministry for Culture and Heritage

Most of the dark-coloured Maoricicada species live in alpine habitats or other bare, rocky sites. This one, Maoricicada mangu, is distributed east of the main divide from the Kaikōura mountains to Tekapo and the Mackenzie Pass area. Nowhere else in the world do cicadas live in ...

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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Kākāpō

Ministry for Culture and Heritage

New Zealand’s most unusual parrot is the nocturnal, flightless, vegetarian kākāpō. It is the heaviest parrot in the world. Males weigh 2 kilograms on average, but can reach 4 kilos. The females average 1.5 kilos. This male is feeding on the berries of a low-growing poroporo bush. But kākāp...

Ministry for Culture and Heritage
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Kōkako pair

Ministry for Culture and Heritage

Kōkako belong to the Callaeatidae family, which has no close relatives. This family also includes the saddleback and huia. Sound file from Radio New Zealand Sound Archives Ngā Taonga Kōrero. Any re-...

Ministry for Culture and Heritage
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Brown kiwi

Ministry for Culture and Heritage

In the North Island, the brown kiwi is the most numerous kiwi, although it has become confined to three inland areas. It is quite an aggressive little bird, with spiky plumage. It is a proficient runner, and when alarmed can outrun a human being and zigzag at the same time. It has even been known...

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 ...

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 ...

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
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John van Leeuwen

Ministry for Culture and Heritage

In this interview for Echo Radio, John van Leeuwen describes his experiences on emigrating to New Zealand in 1953.

Ministry for Culture and Heritage
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Yorkshire immigrants talk of work in New Zealand and at ‘home’

Ministry for Culture and Heritage

In the 1920s there was an increase in immigrants from the more industrial areas of northern England, especially Yorkshire. One Yorkshire immigrant who arrived in 1927 was a man simply known as Mr Pearson. He had worked at a dockyard at South Bank-on-Tees. Here he and his wife discuss the ...

Ministry for Culture and Heritage
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The Holy Trinity Cathedral choir, Auckland

Ministry for Culture and Heritage

The Church of England was the strongest denomination in New Zealand, and an important vehicle for the transmission of English values. The choir of the Holy Trinity Cathedral in Auckland, pictured here in 1980, can be heard singing ‘Evening hymn’, composed by the Englishman Henry Balfour ...

Ministry for Culture and Heritage
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News of the 2000 Fiji coup

Ministry for Culture and Heritage

Here Aucklanders Jioji Tikodei (left), an ethnic Fijian, and Krishna Lal, an Indo-Fijian, read about the 2000 coup in Fiji. The news of another coup in 2000 (there had been two in 1987) caused many Fijians living in New Zealand to react with dismay. The ...

Ministry for Culture and Heritage
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'Split Enz with a bang' tour, 1984

Ministry for Culture and Heritage

Until recently, the New Zealand music-buying public would not buy Kiwi music until it had proved popular with overseas audiences. New Zealand’s small population means that many bands still take the flight overseas, chasing dreams of rock stardom. Like...

Ministry for Culture and Heritage
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Tainui canoe

Ministry for Culture and Heritage

In Māori oral tradition there are many stories of the founding canoes. One of these was the Tainui canoe which first landed in the Bay of Plenty before journeying to the Waitematā Harbour. There it was dragged across the 200-metre portage to the Manukau Harbour. This hauling chant is ...

Ministry for Culture and Heritage
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TrinityRoots

Ministry for Culture and Heritage

An area of Māori innovation is music. Here are two clips from the album Home, land and sea by the band TrinityRoots, whose lead singer is Warren Maxwell of Ngāi Tūhoe (pictured). The other members are Rio Hemopo of Ngāti Tuwharetoa and Riki Gooch of Ngāti Māhanga. The songs ...

Ministry for Culture and Heritage
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Speaker of the House of Representatives

Ministry for Culture and Heritage

In 2004 the Speaker of the House of Representatives was Jonathan Hunt, photographed here beside artist Ryuzo Mishida’s portrait of him. The Speaker, who is elected by MPs, determines the proceedings of the House and keeps order. He is also responsible...

Ministry for Culture and Heritage
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‘God defend New Zealand’

Ministry for Culture and Heritage

New Zealand is unusual in having two national anthems of equal standing – ‘God save the queen’ (or king), and the more recent ‘God defend New Zealand’. When a member of the royal family is present the former is preferred. However, increasingly on public occasions and...

Ministry for Culture and Heritage