Category archive: NZ History

Kiwiosities: The Great Depression or The Slump

Excerpts from Kiwiosities, a book by Gordon Ell on the traditions and folklore of New Zealand.

The most traumatic civil event of 20th-century New Zealand. After the prosperous 1920s, New Zealand was plunged into a well of unemployment and social misery by the international breakdown that followed the Wall Street Crash of 1929. An economy dependent on primary produce sold overseas was particularly vulnerable.

Continue reading

Remember radio  when it was – King?  

Before television, families gathered each night around the essential piece of lounge furniture – a stylish floor level radio console (perhaps branded Atwater Kent or Gulbransen) – or faced the ornate mantle model (Philco), waiting with expectation for the crackling  radio valves to warm up.

Continue reading

Be kind she said…

At first  they nodded and smiled as usual on our daily walks. Nothing unusual there, it’s our neighbourhood.

But then the pandemic arrived and didn’t  leave.  For a few days  we were confused and offered the same  greetings, though we all knew nothing would  ever be the same.

Continue reading

Don’t mention the war!

Indian students with their awards for education excellence.

It was John Cleese who made the above comment famous in regard to German guests in the 1960s television show, Faulty Towers. The theme; attempting to keep silent about guests whose behaviour or history you think deplorable is universal, which is what made the show so brilliant.

Continue reading

Ghosts…

Outside it’s sunny, a hot, muggy Auckland day. A plump Tui swings on the untidy flax bush by the bedroom’s open window; slothful clouds drift past in a china-blue sky. But inside the bedroom it’s cold, chilly enough to raise goose-pimples. Despite the golden light outside, the room is shadowy, its corners dim and blurry.

Continue reading

The future is now

It took the devastating Australian bushfires to bring home to the country’s politicians that perhaps, maybe, they had to update their thinking on climate change. Perhaps, because that thinking remains dominated by an ideology which increasingly looks untethered to present day realities. Below are some of those realities:

Continue reading

Kiwi TV as we once knew it … Part three

Watching television was now beginning to be ingrained in the 60’s household social routine not entirely due to the magnetism of Ena Sharples and the Coronation Street’s Rover’s Return!

Waiting in the wings was Networking, the move of News to Auckland,  the advent of colour and the famous Philips K9 TV set and TV2’s first Telethon.

Continue reading