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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.

Smallest Bird

The smallest New Zealand bird is the acanthisitta, the rifleman or New Zealand wren, often called the titipounamu, which measures on 8 cm from beak tip to tail. The bird inhabits the forests of both main islands, especially the South Island beech forests. 1

Popular Year

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


The tallest fern in New Zealand is a tree fern of the mamaku species (Cyathea medullaris) which grows over 12 m tall and has a stem 30 cm thick. Individual fronds can grow up to 5 m long and 2 m across. 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

1  Strange Facts & True about New Zealand by Patricia Chapman