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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.

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

Windy Wellington

The capital’s 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

Popular Year

During 1971 there were more marriages solemnized than in any other year; 27,199 couples were married. 1

Longest Placename

In the southern Hawke’s Bay district of the North Island, about 14 km from Porangahau, is a hill 300 m high which bears the longest placename now in use in the world. The unofficial version has 85 letters; Taumatawhakatangihangakaoauauotamatea (turipukakapikimaungahoronuku) pokaiwhenuakitanatahu and means: “the brow of the hill where Tamatea, the man with the big knees who slid, climbed and swallowed mountains, known as Traveler, played on his flute to his loved one”. The official version does not include the letters in parenthesis, and thus has only 57 letters. For obvious reasons, the name is usually shortened to Taumata. 1

1  Strange Facts & True about New Zealand by Patricia Chapman