Tag Archives: Radio New Zealand National

New Zealand representative rugby union team, New Zealand vs Britain, 1930

Our oldest recorded sports broadcast – the All Blacks vs the British Lions, June 21, 1930

By Sarah Johnston (Senior Client Access Liaison – Takawaenga ā-Iwi Matua, Nga Taonga Sound & Vision)

The first test between the All Blacks and the current touring Lions side takes place this Saturday at Eden Park and nearly 90 years ago this week, a similar match took place and entered the history books for several different reasons. 
 
On June 21st 1930, the All Blacks met a touring British side for their first test at Carisbrook in Dunedin. This tour was the first time the British Isles team started to be called by their nickname “The Lions”, although the name wasn’t officially adopted until the 1950s. The home side featured legendary New Zealand rugby names like George Nepia and Cliff Porter, who can be seen in the photo above.

All Blacks, lions, rugby 1930
Otago Daily Times, 22 June 1930, Courtesy Papers Past

It was shocking weather with driving snow, but still a crowd of 28,000 people turned out. You can listen to Sarah Johnston from Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision talking to RNZ’s Jesse Mulligan about the broadcast of this match, or read more below about why this game has gone down in New Zealand media history.

The All Blacks lost the game 3-6,  making it New Zealand’s first loss at home to Britain,  but it was also the first time an international match had been broadcast here – and it is our oldest sound recording of any New Zealand sports commentary and a pioneering example of local sound film recording.

All blacks rugby lions tour 1930
Otago Daily Times, 22 June 1930, Courtesy Papers Past

 
Radio broadcasting began in New Zealand in 1921 and sports commentaries started being broadcast in 1926, but none of these were able to be recorded because sound recording technology was still fairly immobile.  You could only record by cutting sound onto acetate or lacquer discs and the equipment was not able to be easily taken out of the studio to sporting events.  So all earlier 1920s sports broadcasts simply went out live-to-air and were not recorded.
 
However in 1929,  sound films (the “Talkies”), arrived in New Zealand. A Dunedin silent film cameraman Jack Welsh,  acquired some sound film recording equipment and his experiments with this new technology were significant enough to make news in the capital’s “Evening Post” newspaper:
 
“TALKIE” PLANT MADE IN DUNEDIN

Two young Dunedin men have successfully built a “talkie” film recording plant, after months of slow and tedious work. Mr. Jack Welsh, working in his laboratory at Anderson’s Bay, transferred sound, from a gramophone record on to a film. When the first trial of the reproduction was made in the projection-box at a Dunedin theatre, the melody was jumbled and marred, but the results showed that Mr. Welsh was well on the way to discovering a satisfactory method of recording. In Dunedin yesterday another trial of the reproduction was made of speeches recorded in the room on Friday night, and the improvement was remarkable.

(Evening Post 06 Mar 1930 Courtesy Papers Past)
 
Jack Welsh had already made quite a few silent films of local sports events in the late 1920s, some which you can watch on our website, such as cricket at Carisbrook in 1929. With his new equipment he now made some experimental sound recordings and by June 1930 he was ready to use it to film the test against the British side. 
 
Providing the sound for his film would be a local minister and rugby referee Reverend A.L. Cantor, who had been a regular rugby commentator for Dunedin radio station 4YA.  Years later in an interview held in our sound collection, he recalled how he took his seat in the Carisbrook broadcasting box, along with his wife, two radio technicians, two Lions players who were on the bench (Welshman T.E. Jones-Davies and Brit Douglas Kendrew), as well as Jack Welsh and his partner J.H. Gault – making it a rather cosy space on a snowy Dunedin day.


A.L. Cantor recalls the test match between New Zealand and the British Isles Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision ID146483
 
The score stayed at 3-all right up until nearly fulltime, but as Rev. Cantor describes, a sensational last minute try by the visiting side caused chaos in the commentary box, when the British player Kendrew could not contain his excitement at seeing his side win.


A.L. Cantor recalls the test match between New Zealand and the British Isles Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision ID146483
 
Unfortunately, the outburst by the over-excited Kendrew (who later became Major-General Sir Douglas Kendrew, Governor of Western Australia) was not recorded as part of Welsh and Gault’s film of New Zealand’s oldest sports commentary, but you can hear part of A.L. Cantor’s commentary and watch excerpts of the game on the film, which Welsh titled “New Zealand Audible Items of Interest.” (Note the All Blacks played in white jerseys, to avoid confusion with the dark blue of the British players.)
 

F4483 NEW ZEALAND AUDIBLE ITEMS OF INTEREST. Sound by J H Gault, Camera by Jack Welsh. Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision

detail-of-22860362

Audio Curios: Children Will Listen

- By Gareth Watkins (Radio Collection Developer, Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision)

Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision has recently acquired a set of Insight documentaries, spanning 1997-2000, deposited  by Adriann Smith, a former Radio New Zealand producer. Insight is now the longest-running documentary programme on RNZ, having started back in the late 1960s. Gavin McGinley, RNZ National scheduler, recalls:

“As I remember, the National programme used to have a documentary on Sunday mornings in the 1960s. Most of the time they were BBC programmes with the occasional one from the ABC, CBC or SABC. Then I think they began to alternate – one homegrown documentary, one overseas. The first time I remember Insight being used as a series title was about the time I moved to 2ZD Masterton in 1969. And for the next few years the programme was known as Insight ‘69, Insight ‘70, Insight ‘71, etc.”

Adriann’s documentaries from the late 1990s cover a diverse range of subject matter – from revamping the public service to body image.

One that caught my eye from 1997 was “Culture and Cool” – young people speak about cultural change and the influence of mass media on cultural ideas. In this edited excerpt, students from Rongotai College in Wellington talk about how music influences fashion and how media influences language.

 

Insight ’97, “Culture and Cool” (Radio New Zealand) Continue reading

Huia birds, male and female. Harris, Esme, fl 1980-1981 : Photographs. Ref: PA11-046-11. Alexander Turnbull Library, Wellington, New Zealand. http://natlib.govt.nz/records/23081750

Te Karanga a te Huia | The Call of the Huia

By Sarah Johnston (Client Services Co-ordinator, Radio – Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision)

If you have been to see Taika Waititi’s film The Hunt for the Wilderpeople (2016) you will remember the scene in which the two main characters discover the long-believed-extinct huia bird, while they are deep in the bush.

In real life, the last authenticated sighting of a huia is generally believed to have been in 1907 in the Tararua Ranges, north of Wellington. Sound recording technology was in its infancy when the huia died out, so there are no recordings of the actual bird call itself. However, Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision’s sound collection holds several recordings about the huia, including eyewitness descriptions of it – and a re-creation of the bird’s call by a man who remembered them well. You can hear me talking about these recordings with RNZ’s Jesse Mulligan here or listen to the full recordings below.
 

Huia birds, male and female. Harris, Esme, fl 1980-1981 : Photographs. Ref: PA11-046-11. Alexander Turnbull Library, Wellington, New Zealand. http://natlib.govt.nz/records/23081750
Huia birds, male and female. Harris, Esme, fl 1980-1981 : Photographs. Ref: PA11-046-11. Alexander Turnbull Library, Wellington, New Zealand. http://natlib.govt.nz/records/23081750

 

The sad tale of the huia holds a great deal of fascination for many people – both Māori and Pākehā, as well as people overseas. In my role as Client Services Co-ordinator, I handle requests from people who want to hear sound recordings from Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision’s collection. In the case of the huia, these might be ornithologists, academics interested in aspects of extinction, or artists and musicians inspired by the melancholy idea of being able to hear the call of the bird that has long been silenced.

This usually leads them to one particular recording, which is the re-creation of the huia’s call.

 

Re-Creation of Huia Calls (Hēnare Hāmana, 2YA, 1949)

Continue reading

Basil Clarke (Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision collection).

Audio Curios: We Used to Drink from Every River

“Country Life” is archived as part of Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision’s 24-hour capture of RNZ National. In this excerpt ( 22 April 2016), writer and environmentalist Sam Mahon meets with dairy farmer Dave Hislop to discuss their differing views on water.

You can hear the full feature here.

 

This post is part of the Audio Curios series. Radio Collection Developer Gareth Watkins regularly comes across interesting, unique, and sometimes downright puzzling bits of audio during his accessioning work. He’s going to share some of these audio treasures with you in the Audio Curios series, which will be posted here on the Gauge blog frequently.

Audio from Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision Radio Collection, all rights reserved. To enquire about re-use of these items please contact sound@ngataonga.org.nz

Basil Clarke (Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision collection).

Audio Curios: The Last Post

Bugler Trevor Bremner and producer Shelley Wilkinson discuss the various bugle calls that make up the “Last Post” (“Bugle Stories,” RNZ Concert, 25 April 2015).

Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision Radio Collection, all rights reserved. To enquire about re-use of this item please contact sound@ngataonga.org.nz

 

You can hear the full series of six “Bugle Stories” here.

 

This post is part of the Audio Curios series. Radio Collection Developer Gareth Watkins regularly comes across interesting, unique, and sometimes downright puzzling bits of audio during his accessioning work. He’s going to share some of these audio treasures with you in the Audio Curios series, which will be posted here on the Gauge blog frequently.

AW

“Radio – as necessary for the mind, as water is for the body”: 2YA’s Tītahi Bay Transmitter Opens in 1937

By Sarah Johnston (Client Services Coordinator – Radio, Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision)

If you have driven into Wellington from the Kāpiti Coast you will probably know the sight of the RNZ transmission mast that used to dominate the skyline at Tītahi Bay near Porirua. This week the last section of the big 220-metre mast was finally demolished after it was found to  have significant rust damage. There has been a radio mast at Tītahi Bay since 1937. When it was built,  the original mast was the tallest structure in New Zealand and remained so until the Auckland Sky Tower was built in the 1990s.

Recordings held in the radio collection of Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision tell us about the important role this mast played in New Zealand’s broadcasting history. They were made at the opening ceremony for the transmitter – the fact the ceremony was recorded and archived is indicative of the significance of this event in 1937. You can hear me talking about these recordings with Jesse Mulligan on RNZ National here, or you can listen to the original recordings in full below.

Radio began in New Zealand in the mid-1920s and station 2YA (which eventually became RNZ National) used to broadcast from Mt Victoria. But after the Hawke’s Bay earthquake in 1931 it was decided that a station with enough power to be heard nationwide was needed, so the government bought the Tītahi Bay site and built what was then the most powerful station in the southern hemisphere.

Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision holds several discs recorded at the opening ceremony for the new transmitter on 23 Jan 1937. Prime Minister Michael Joseph Savage was there and in his speech he stressed the importance of this new medium of radio, saying: “Radio will soon be as necessary for the mind of an active citizen as water is for the human body”:

Prime Minister M.J. Savage at opening of 2YA transmitter 25 January 1937. 

Rt Hon M.J. Savage (left) declaring the new 60-kilowatt transmitting station at Titahi Bay officially opened. Evening Post, 26 Jan 1937. (Courtesy Papers Past).
Rt Hon M.J. Savage (left) declaring the new 60-kilowatt transmitting station at Tītahi Bay officially opened. Evening Post, 26 Jan 1937. Courtesy Papers Past.

Mr Savage had already grasped how radio could be used to promote democracy. In 1936 New Zealand had become one of the first countries in the world to broadcast parliament, so this new transmitter that could reach the whole country tied in with his push to strengthen the spread of radio in New Zealand. Continue reading

Basil Clarke (Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision collection).

Audio Curios: Aftermath of the Tsunami

Ian McInnes, CEO of Tearfund NZ, recalls establishing the first mobile medical clinic for the Red Cross in Sri Lanka following the Boxing Day tsunami in 2002 (RNZ National, 26 December 2014).

The full interview can be heard here.

 

This post is part of the Audio Curios series. Radio Collection Developer Gareth Watkins regularly comes across interesting, unique, and sometimes downright puzzling bits of audio during his accessioning work. He’s going to share some of these audio treasures with you in the Audio Curios series, which will be posted here on the Gauge blog frequently.

David_Bowie_Young_Americans_Tour_1974

David Bowie

Like people the world over, we at Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision are today mourning the passing of David Bowie.

(We even have the title of one of his hits, Sound and Vision, in our name!)

A highlight of one of his tours of New Zealand, was a visit to Takapūwāhia Marae, near Porirua, in 1983. This radio programme “Bowie’s Waiata,” about that visit, is from our Radio New Zealand collection. It was produced by Sam Coley for RNZ National.

On November 23, 1983, shortly before his first concert in Wellington, David Bowie was invited to visit Takapūwāhia Marae, the first rock star to be officially welcomed onto a marae. 25 years later, members of the Ngāti Toa iwi and music industry professionals involved in the tour look back on the event that Bowie himself called “one of the most hospitable experiences of my life.”

This programme features a unique recording of a song that Bowie wrote for the occasion entitled “Waiata,”  as well as the reaction of Bowie backing singer Frank Simms after hearing a recording of the song played back to him for the first time in 25 years.

Listen here:

Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision Radio Collection, all rights reserved. To enquire about re-use of this item please contact sound@ngataonga.org.nz

Learn more about the programme on RNZ’s website.

Image: David Bowie photographed by Hunter Desportes in 1974. Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.

Basil Clarke (Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision collection).

Audio Curios: Dot’s Building a Castle

Dot Smith talks to Kathryn Ryan about the castle she is building with her husband, Neil, just north of Oamaru (“Nine to Noon,” Radio New Zealand National, 15 April 2014). The castle includes a secret passage, dungeon, drawbridge, moat and towers.

Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision Radio Collection, all rights reserved. To enquire about re-use of this item please contact sound@ngataonga.org.nz

 

You can hear the full interview here.

 

This post is part of the Audio Curios series. Radio Collection Developer Gareth Watkins regularly comes across interesting, unique, and sometimes downright puzzling bits of audio during his accessioning work. He’s going to share some of these audio treasures with you in the Audio Curios series, which will be posted here on the Gauge blog frequently during 2015.

Basil Clarke (Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision collection).

Audio Curios: 11 Years of Bullying

Jesse Greenslade, author of the anti-bullying children’s book First Week Blues, talks to Wallace Chapman about being continually bullied at school and the subsequent apologies he received years later from his tormentors (“Sunday Morning with Wallace Chapman,” Radio New Zealand National, 1 February 2015).

Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision Radio Collection, all rights reserved. To enquire about re-use of this item please contact sound@ngataonga.org.nz

 

You can hear the full interview here.

 

This post is part of the Audio Curios series. Radio Collection Developer Gareth Watkins regularly comes across interesting, unique, and sometimes downright puzzling bits of audio during his accessioning work. He’s going to share some of these audio treasures with you in the Audio Curios series, which will be posted here on the Gauge blog frequently during 2015.