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Flavour of New Zealand

NZ popular culture 1960 onward

Funky nz statistics

Excerpts from Strange Facts & True about New Zealand should be seen as having validity as of its publishing date of 1981.


The first and only recorded instance of a telephone in a toilet was a distinction achieved by the Brown Owl Post Office, Upper Hutt. This odd combination of convenience was caused by a lack of space during Post Office alterations carried out in April 1976. The telephone ended up on one side of the wall, and that side was inside the toilet. 1

First Million

Our first million of population was recorded in 1908. 1

Longest Speech

Mr Tim Shadbolt of Auckland holds the world record for the longest speech ever given. Starting on 15 June 1979, he harrangued a crowd non-stop for 32 hours. 1

Wettest Year

The highest rainfall ever recorded over a 12-month period in New Zealand occurred at Frews Hut, Westland, between 14 March 1967 and 14 March 1968. In that year Frews Hut, which has the highest average rainfall of 8,180 mm, received 10,670 mm of rain (editorís note: thatís 35 feet). 1

1  Strange Facts & True about New Zealand by Patricia Chapman