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Māori and city jobs

Ministry for Culture and Heritage

A huge proportion of young Māori moved from rural to urban areas after the Second World War and needed to find new occupations. This film clip from 1967 shows a training scheme run by Wellington Polytechnic to help young Māori adjust to city life. They were shown various career options and ...

Ministry for Culture and Heritage
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Working in a new country

Ministry for Culture and Heritage

Immigration, especially from Britain and other European countries, caused the New Zealand workforce to grow rapidly after the Second World War. Not all immigrants were impressed with their first sight of their new workplaces. This clip is from a 1950 film about an English migrant arriving to work...

Ministry for Culture and Heritage
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Toy making

Ministry for Culture and Heritage

The production of new materials like plastic made large-scale development of some local manufacturing industries possible. Here, dolls are being made for the Christmas season in 1960.

Ministry for Culture and Heritage
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Savile Cup polo final

Ministry for Culture and Heritage

Two Waikato polo teams – Morrinsville and Cambridge – competed in the final for the Savile Cup in 1949. There is a long tradition of equestrian sports in the Waikato region.

Ministry for Culture and Heritage
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Building Porirua

Ministry for Culture and Heritage

A shortage of housing after the Second World War led the government to start building new suburbs in the main centres, some of which became satellite cities. Among these was Porirua, north of Wellington. This 1958 clip shows the land being developed and houses built.

Ministry for Culture and Heritage
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Hops and brewing: hop picking

Ministry for Culture and Heritage

Watch footage of families picking hops in Nelson in 1944. Hops have been an important crop in the region since the mid-19th century.

Ministry for Culture and Heritage
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Rotorua becomes a city

Ministry for Culture and Heritage

Becoming a city was a cause for civic celebration because it confirmed a settlement had progressed to become an important player in the urban hierarchy. This clip shows Rotorua’s mayor proclaim his town New Zealand’s 17th city in 1962.

Ministry for Culture and Heritage
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Picking tobacco

Ministry for Culture and Heritage

Nelson was New Zealand’s tobacco-growing stronghold, from the late 19th century until the 1980s. Watch tobacco being picked in Nelson in 1961.

Ministry for Culture and Heritage
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Expanding Auckland

Ministry for Culture and Heritage

From the 1950s Auckland’s growth outstripped the other four main cities. This 1959 clip highlights the city’s suburban expansion and rapid growth.

Ministry for Culture and Heritage
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Nelson College centennial

Ministry for Culture and Heritage

Founded in 1856, Nelson College is the oldest state secondary school in New Zealand. Watch footage of its 1956 centennial. Its most famous pupil was Ernest Rutherford.

Ministry for Culture and Heritage
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Feeding the grid

Ministry for Culture and Heritage

The Benmore hydroelectric scheme and Cook Strait cable were an essential part of the national grid, built to feed power from the South Island to the North Island. Power also flows in the other direction. Power shortages at certain times of year in one island can be dealt with by hydro generation ...

Ministry for Culture and Heritage
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Learning workplace skills

Ministry for Culture and Heritage

Following an appeal from parents, a residential home for handicapped people was opened by the state in an old airforce base outside Levin in 1945. Called the Levin Farm and Mental Deficiency Colony it was soon oversubscribed, leading to a major expansion plan in 1953. In 1959 its name was changed...

Ministry for Culture and Heritage
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Rock 'n' roll, Taita Youth Club, 1958

Ministry for Culture and Heritage

Rock ’n’ roll was the musical genre of choice for young people in the 1950s. Venues popped up in all the major cities. By the end of the decade smaller cities and towns had their own bands and rock ’n’ roll events in dance halls, church halls and youth clubs. This film ...

Ministry for Culture and Heritage
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Teaching health

Ministry for Culture and Heritage

Native schools had a strong focus on health. The schools first opened in the 1860s; by the 1890s, their primary purposes was teaching English and ‘sanitary science’. The importance of ventilation, a healthy diet, hygiene, the need for clean water, and the careful choice of building ...

Ministry for Culture and Heritage
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Hard times

Ministry for Culture and Heritage

Gone up north for a while is a television film made in 1972 about the experiences of a young unmarried woman who decides, against the advice of social welfare officers and her family, to keep her baby. At this time sole parents received very little state support. This excerpt shows ...

Ministry for Culture and Heritage
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Roll-on, roll-off ferry

Ministry for Culture and Heritage

The first roll-on, roll-off ferry was the Aramoana. When it arrived at Picton on its first voyage from Wellington in 1962 it was greeted by small craft in Picton Harbour, and a host of well-wishers, both officials and the public, on shore.

Ministry for Culture and Heritage
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Polish child migrants, 1944

Ministry for Culture and Heritage

'Everybody tried to squeeze in as near to the rails as possible to get a better view. We saw masses of tiny, colourful houses perched on the green hills surrounding the harbour with the taller buildings of the city lower down on the flat,' wrote Krystyna Skwarko about her arrival in New ...

Ministry for Culture and Heritage
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Gisborne in 1963

Ministry for Culture and Heritage

Gisborne locals were asked what they thought of the town in this 'vox pop' clip from the Gisborne episode of a 1963 news film series, 'These New Zealanders', which was produced and narrated by well-known personality Selwyn Toogood. In 1963 Gisborne was the centre of a farming ...

Ministry for Culture and Heritage
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Babies at a Karitane hospital, 1957

Ministry for Culture and Heritage

Karitane hospitals were established by the Royal New Zealand Plunket Society to care for new babies who were not thriving at home. These babies are being cared for in 1957 – the 50th anniversary of the hospital's founding.

Ministry for Culture and Heritage
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Peat fire

Ministry for Culture and Heritage

The menace peat fires posed to farming is described in this 1946 newsreel. Peatlands, formed of slowly decomposing plant material, could burn underground if fire from farm burnoffs spread down through tree roots. Peat fires were once a regular occurrence in farmland around Hamilton.

Ministry for Culture and Heritage