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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.

Earliest Moose

The first moose to be liberated in New Zealand were sent here by the Canadian government in 1900. Fourteen moose were originally sent out, but only four survived the storms and rough seas. These four were kept just opposite Parliament Buildings in Wellington for some time, before being released in Hokitika. Curiously, one of the cow moose took a liking to the town and for 14 years she regularly disturbed the inhabitants by chasing them up and down the streets. 1

Unique Spiral

The Raurimu Spiral, on the North Island Main Trunk Railway, is a unique piece of engineering. Designed by Mr R W Holmes, the spiral enables the railway to surmount an ascent of 217.6 m by means of a complete circle and 2 loops, one of them shaped like a very long horseshoe. The spiral involves a gradient of 1 in 50 and was opened to traffic on 6 November 1908. 1

Windy Wellington

The capitalís nickname is well-earned. On average Wellington has 188 days with wind gusts of over 65 kph and over 41 days when wind gusts reach 96.5 kph. 1

Unusual Occupations

The census of 1874 brought to light a number of intriguing occupations including 84 hawkers or peddlers, 5 whipmakers, 3 cheesemongers, 33 soap boilers, one pauper, 17 prostitutes, and 9 inmates of refuge. 1

1  Strange Facts & True about New Zealand by Patricia Chapman