Kiwiana

Old Mar 31st 2008, 2:56 am
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Default Kiwiana

Something uniquely New Zealand-ish but quite hard to define sometimes.

We were asked once to provide a load of Kiwiana for our kids' North Shore School to gift to less priviledged kids in Samoa. Must admit we coped out a bit and just headed off for the Warehouse and stocked up on little toys.

What exactly is Kiwiana?
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Old Mar 31st 2008, 3:12 am
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Default Re: Kiwiana

Originally Posted by Nerine View Post
Something uniquely New Zealand-ish but quite hard to define sometimes.

We were asked once to provide a load of Kiwiana for our kids' North Shore School to gift to less priviledged kids in Samoa. Must admit we coped out a bit and just headed off for the Warehouse and stocked up on little toys.

What exactly is Kiwiana?
Well you already said it ................... something uniquely New Zealand-ish

Buzzy bees
L&P
Pineapple lumps
Paua Shells
Edmonds Cook Book
etc
etc
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Old Mar 31st 2008, 3:21 am
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Default Re: Kiwiana

I always view kiwiana as kiwi kitsch. Something quintessential NZ. The type of thing NZers used to suffer a cultural cringe over (because it was kiwi and not British).

And, speaking from the perspective of someone who loves history, I adore the historical side of it. The fact that many of these items were developed in a NZ that was very isolated (yes, some would say that was still the case) and as such were very very ‘kiwi’. There were incredibly high import taxes on damn near everything so in effect many of the items could only ever be found in NZ or at the very least Australia. Hence why things like the buzzy bee were so popular as gift items. It was a good solid toy made in NZ therefore, amongst many things, affordable. But that is with my historical hat on.

Not to say I like all kiwiana. Plastic tikis make me want to hurl.

More recently, I would say kiwiana was anything which defines itself as ‘kiwi’. Flags, pukeko, pavlova with kiwifruit on it etc etc etc.

Particularly kiwiana products:
Buzzy bee
Tomato shaped tomato sauce containers
Crown lynn china
Tikis
Kiwis
Birdy stuff
Koru and maori patterns (though, not necessarily kiwiana – I am thinking more the souvenier styled koru)
Edmonds Cookbook
Goodnight Kiwi
Paua (and Paua, not other abalone)
More recent stuff: tee shirts with such phrases as “good afterble consternoon” or “O for Awesome”, or the old school “keep new Zealand beautiful” logo’d items with a little stick figure putting something into the rubbish bin.
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Old Mar 31st 2008, 3:30 am
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Default Re: Kiwiana

Having spent a month in Samoa in '97 I'm quite shocked by that. The best thing one can do to 'gift' something to Samoan children is $$$ sponsorship for education right there on their own islands. They are Samoan and I am not at all sure that Kiwiana is of benefit to them.
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Old Mar 31st 2008, 3:36 am
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Default Re: Kiwiana

I was just looking at some references to the Edmonds cookbook (looking for a good Pav receipe)

My daughter had one of those pull along Buzzy Bee toys when she was a toddler! - I never realised they originated in NZ.

There's good displays at Te Papa of Kiwi bric a brac/kitsch, including a blokes shed/garage - really fascinating. It's one of the best museums I've visited.

Bevs, I'm not sure why they didn't ask us to give money, the request was for Kiwiana, reading books and writing materials.
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Old Apr 1st 2008, 12:33 am
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Default Re: Kiwiana

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Old Apr 1st 2008, 12:36 am
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Default Re: Kiwiana

Haha!! Kiwi Boot polish - had forgotten about that!
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Old Apr 1st 2008, 3:18 am
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Default Re: Kiwiana

Aha! Well done Rob! Otorahanga!! I couldn't remember the name of the darn town...

Has kiwiana hanging from the lamp posts through the centre of town... including the Swan-dri! http://www.swanndri.co.nz/ Has the tag line, "we have to make good products, most of our customers have guns"
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Old Apr 1st 2008, 8:38 am
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Default Re: Kiwiana

Originally Posted by Nerine View Post
Haha!! Kiwi Boot polish - had forgotten about that!
Have you checked out where that is made??
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Old Apr 1st 2008, 11:37 am
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Default Re: Kiwiana

Like most things claimed to be 'Uniquely NZ' the truth is out there:

Kiwi shoe polish.....developed by an Australian based Scottish inventor, who named it Kiwi as a homage to his wife, a New Zealander. I remember going on a school journey to Colmans Mustard factory in Norwich when it was the Reckitt & Colmans and guess what they made ...... Kiwi shoe polish.

Gumboots... hmmn I think the Duke of Wellington laid claim to these, not Wellington as in the capital of NZ.

Jandals.... what does that stand for? Big clue is in the name, Japanese Sandals! The staple footwear of every developing nation that can't afford proper shoes.

Tomato Sauce bottles ... how so? Weren't they an icon from the Rock'n Roll fifties American diners? Wimpys and dodgy transport cafes all over the world in the 70s had these skanky sauce bottles on the table.

I'm still not falling for the Pavlova story either, it's highly debated among Aussies that they were there first. Still hardly stacks up that an Australasian, be it Kiwi or Aussie, could conjure up a Russian name like 'Pavlov' for a homegrown dessert, all by themselves.

Pies? Gosh, the old Nursery rhyme 'Four and Twenty Blackbirds' dates back to the 1700s, so maybe Captain Cook brought some pies to NZ in his lunchbox.

Honey? Well I never, I always thought bees invented that?

Kiwifruit? Chinese gooseberries.

Rugby? Need I say any more.

Okay, so what are we left with? Kiwis, Buzzy Bees and Pineapple Lumps, yep NZ I will let you can claim the fame for those.
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Old Apr 1st 2008, 11:51 am
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Default Re: Kiwiana

No wonder I had so much trouble trying to find stuff!

I'm sure I've had pineapple lumps in the UK you know.....
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Old Apr 1st 2008, 1:43 pm
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Default Re: Kiwiana

Originally Posted by Bo-Jangles View Post
I'm still not falling for the Pavlova story either, it's highly debated among Aussies that they were there first. Still hardly stacks up that an Australasian, be it Kiwi or Aussie, could conjure up a Russian name like 'Pavlov' for a homegrown dessert, all by themselves.

Okay, so what are we left with? Kiwis, Buzzy Bees and Pineapple Lumps, yep NZ I will let you can claim the fame for those.
Isn't it the case that the Pavolva name comes from Anna Pavlova the russian ballerina that toured NZ/OZ in the 1920's? I think the orginal creation was Kiwi but not Pavlova as we know it. It took a chef from Perth the perfect it. I think.

A Kiwiana list from Wikipedia (and that has to be right ):

All Blacks — national Rugby Union team.
Black Singlet — worn by many farmers, shearers as well as representative athletes.
Buzzy Bee — wooden child's toy.
Chocolate fish — confection of marshmallow covered in chocolate, in the shape of a fish.
Claytons — originally a non alcoholic spirit, advertised as The drink you have when you're not having a drink, that did not gain market acceptance; now refers to any form of inferior substitute. This term is primarily used among those generations old enough to remember the original drink.
Edmonds 'Sure to Rise' Baking Powder, the distinctive Edmonds factory (demolished in the late 1980s), and the Edmonds Cookbook.
Footrot Flats — popular cartoon strip by Murray Ball.
Gumboots, calf length rubber boots (also known as the Wellington boot or wellie.)
Hei-tiki — Māori neck pendant. Tourist variety in green plastic are the definitively tasteless depths of kiwiana.
Jandals — beach footwear with a bit of sole but very little else. AKA flip-flops (USA), thongs (Australia).
Kiwi — native bird; its stylised image or shape frequently appears on things associated with New Zealand.
Kiwifruit — fruit from a vine originating in China but selectively bred by New Zealand horticulturalists to obtain egg-sized fruit with green or gold flesh. In New Zealand it was originally called "Chinese gooseberry".
L&P — Lemon & Paeroa, a popular soft drink.
Marmite - a dark and salty spread made from yeast extract, similar to Vegemite. New Zealand Marmite is distinct from British Marmite, in taste and recipe. Marmite is made in New Zealand, as opposed to Vegemite, which is made in Australia.(Much Debated, the packaging shows it as the other way around)
Paua — the polished shell of the native paua (abalone) shellfish, turned into jewelery and souvenirs. Once considered kitsch, it is starting to regain its popularity.
Pavlova - a light and fluffy meringue dessert named after the ballet dancer, Anna Pavlova
Silver fern — native plant; its stylised image or shape is displayed by many of the national sports teams.
Stubbies - a particular brand of walk shorts that were popular in the 70's. Always seemed to be a size too small for the wearer but were beloved by men from many walks of life.
Tip-Top ice cream.
Watties tomato sauce.
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Old Apr 1st 2008, 8:38 pm
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Default Re: Kiwiana

Originally Posted by BEVS here View Post
Having spent a month in Samoa in '97 I'm quite shocked by that. The best thing one can do to 'gift' something to Samoan children is $$$ sponsorship for education right there on their own islands. They are Samoan and I am not at all sure that Kiwiana is of benefit to them.
Yeah - but they would have loved some mince and cheese pies with kumara chips too.
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Old Apr 1st 2008, 8:50 pm
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Default Re: Kiwiana

forgot Hokey Pokey ice cream

You could probs include snifters and jaffas as well
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Old Apr 1st 2008, 9:02 pm
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Default Re: Kiwiana

Originally Posted by southerner View Post
Yeah - but they would have loved some mince and cheese pies with kumara chips too.
Maybe, but they were more into corned beef if they could get it. Neither of which is suitable food for a Pacific Islander.
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