New Zealand Fun Facts...

Everything else you can poke a stick at. And then some.
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Gayle
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New Zealand Fun Facts...

Postby Gayle » Wed Jan 18, 2006 6:46 pm

I started this thread because I thought it might be fun to take a closer look at the country from which our heros hail... and because it's a good way for me to amuse myself.

When I was in elementary school, whenever we were required to do a report on a foreign country, I always chose New Zealand or Australia.

Fun Fact #1:


February 6th is Waitangi Day, a national public holiday.


Waitangi Day commemorates the signing of a treaty at Waitangi on 6 February 1840 by a group of Maori chiefs and the British Government, represented by Lieutenant-Governor Hobson. The treaty was subsequently signed by other Maori chiefs in various locations throughout the country. The question of what obligations the Treaty of Waitangi placed on each side has been a subject of contention ever since.

This exhibition provides a brief history of how Waitangi Day has been commemorated since Governor-General Bledisloe gifted the treaty house and grounds to the nation in 1932. The gift and the events of 6 February 1840 were first officially commemorated there two years later. In the last 25–30 years the style and mood of the commemorations have been influenced by the increasingly heated debate surrounding the status of the Treaty of Waitangi in modern-day New Zealand.


OK, so perhaps this fact isn't necessarily FUN, but it's interesting.

Feel free to add your own interesting New Zealand facts!!
4 out of 3 people have difficulty with fractions.

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conchordgirl
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Postby conchordgirl » Wed Jan 18, 2006 7:44 pm

Thanks Gayle. I'd love to learn more about NZ! I'll look for other interesting facts and add to yours. Oh, here is something to add..

Towns and cities are safe from damage despite slow-moving earthquakes triggering a 30-centimetre slip deep under Manawatu and Wanganui, scientists say.

Monitoring has found earthquakes under Manawatu and Wanganui caused the region's surface to move, but GNS Science geophysicist John Beavan said the effects were not noticeable to the naked eye.

The 30-centimetre slip recorded at the interface of the Australian and Pacific plates 40 kilometres under the Earth translated to a maximum land surface movement of three centimetres in an upward and easterly direction in an area of Manawatu and Wanganui.

The Pacific Plate is slipping under, and forcing up the Australian Plate. The subtle rise in land would pose no threat to the region's roads and bridges, Dr Beavan said.
http://www.stuff.co.nz/stuff/dominionpo ... 79,00.html



Weird..slow earthquakes..Very interesting..

nicole
Oh, look at me! I'm the magical man from happy land, in a gumdrop house on lollipop laaaaaane!!
Oh by the way I was being sarcastic.--Homer Simpson

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EvilMoose
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Postby EvilMoose » Wed Jan 18, 2006 7:52 pm

85% of New Zealand's native flowering plants grow only in New Zealand.

New Zealand has no native land mammals.

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indigo_jones
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Postby indigo_jones » Wed Jan 18, 2006 7:53 pm

85% of New Zealand's native flowering plants grow only in New Zealand.

Which could make the botanical gardens in Tongan Ninja all that more interesting to visit!
"It was a hilarious, hilarious moment in a very bleak, bleak time of my life."

Happiness is Bret-Shaped.

"The forecast for Jemaine today is clean-shaven with a chance of stubble. Scattered stubble throughout the week, resulting in a 60% chance of beard early next week." - mohumbhai mania

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Gayle
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Postby Gayle » Wed Jan 18, 2006 7:58 pm

EvilMoose wrote:85% of New Zealand's native flowering plants grow only in New Zealand.

New Zealand has no native land mammals.


That's really interesting. So, I wonder if their Zoo is full of cats and dogs and squirrels.
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Ellen
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Postby Ellen » Wed Jan 18, 2006 8:39 pm

Great idea for a thread, Gayle!
Here’s my contribution:

Zorbing!

Image

I so want to do this! I would love to go hydro-zorbing in New Zealand where it was invented! I think it would be kind of the equivalent of playing the Old Course in St. Andrews for golfers. I first heard about this from The Amazing Race, hosted by that equally amazing Kiwi, Phil “you’ve been Philiminated” Keoghan. Everyone competing was absolutely terrified to try it, and came out completely in love with it. Of course, if I do ever make it there, I will naturally chicken out completely and I will need lots of friends there with me to talk me back in to doing it. Any takers? :wink:

(Image and descriptions are credited to and copyright of www.zorb.com) :

“How did we come up with the idea for the Zorbs?

Dwane van der Sluis and Andrew Akers drew a circle on a piece of paper, and then in an astounding feat of originality and daring drew a second circle inside the first.

From such simple beginnings are stupid ideas born.

How does it work? That's a person in the middle of this big ball. They've got about 700 mm of air between them and the ground - that's about 2 feet for you metrically challenged folks - and this air cushion keeps them safe as they hurtle down the side of a hill at speeds of up to 50 kilometres per hour.

Harness Zorbing
The Zorbonaut is strapped into a harness and rolls down the hill. This gives you maximum G force as you tumble head over heels. There is a sensation of weightlessness at the top of the Zorb, and the view of green grass followed by blue sky followed by green grass followed by blue ­green ­ blue ­ gree ­ blu ­ gr ­bl-gbgbgb. "Stop! let me out! I want to do it again."

Hydro-Zorbing
The Zorbonaut is not harnessed in the Zorb but is completely loose in there with a bucket of water (Yes we have warm water too!) You (and two of your closest friends if you want) slide on the bottom of the Zorb, face first, feet first, arms, heads, and legs first, sitting down, standing up, backwards or inside out.

Our lawyers have advised us that we shouldn't guarantee that Hydro-Zorbing cures hangovers but ... Hydro-Zorbing cures hangovers!!

Zylinder
Take a Zorb turn it inside out and upside down. Now get two of these bad boys and cut them in half and join them together and you have the Zylinder.

Developed just for children who are too young or too small or just too plain apprehensive to go into the big Zorbs. I remember when I was a kid and the big brother and sister were doing ALL the cool things and I was left holding mummy's hand because I was too little - I thought it was completely unfair then, and I think it's completely unfair now!

So ... all you little brothers and sisters out there - I know your pain! The Zylinder is for you! Free the youngest children!

Where was I ... oh yeah ... The Zylinder is nice and safe, you can run around on the flat ground and jump in and out to your hearts content. By the way Mum and Dad - the Zylinder is a GREAT way to tire the kids out before the drive home.”

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indigo_jones
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Postby indigo_jones » Wed Jan 18, 2006 8:54 pm

I first heard about this from The Amazing Race, hosted by that equally amazing Kiwi, Phil “you’ve been Philiminated” Keoghan.

Ellen, that's how I first heard about it, too, and I immediately wanted to do it, which is pretty surprising, since stuff like that usually makes me run the other way. I'd definitely have to do the hydraZorb, though, as the harness one would almost certainly make me ill.

(I should send you one of the millions of "Philimination: You know you want it" magnets I've got from one of the TARcons I went to a few seasons ago.)


My vaguely interesting fact about NZ: The population of the city of Sydney, Australia, is greater than the entire population of the country of New Zealand.
"It was a hilarious, hilarious moment in a very bleak, bleak time of my life."

Happiness is Bret-Shaped.

"The forecast for Jemaine today is clean-shaven with a chance of stubble. Scattered stubble throughout the week, resulting in a 60% chance of beard early next week." - mohumbhai mania

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Gayle
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Postby Gayle » Wed Jan 18, 2006 9:04 pm

Thanks Ellen, that's awesome!! Must... Zorb.... Now........
4 out of 3 people have difficulty with fractions.

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Deirdre
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Postby Deirdre » Wed Jan 18, 2006 9:08 pm

Kia ora is an informal way of saying hi in the Maori language. I just wasn't sure how to pronounce it. So I Googled it and eventually found a nice little site with some sound bites so you can hear what some common Maori phrases sound like.

I don't know how to link something here, so I am just going to copy/paste from the address line on my browser? Did I say that right? Here it is:

http://www.geocities.com/SouthBeach/Por ... index.html

Take a listen.

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indigo_jones
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Postby indigo_jones » Wed Jan 18, 2006 9:32 pm

The longest place-name still in use is: Taumatawhakatangihangakoauauotamateaturipukakapikimaungahoronukupokaiwenuakitanatahu, a New Zealand hill.

It translates to: The brow [or summit] of the hill [or place], where Tamatea, the man with the big knees, who slid [down], climbed [up] and swallowed mountains, [to travel the land], [who is] known as the Land Eater, played [on] his [nose] flute to his loved one.

Some more info here.
"It was a hilarious, hilarious moment in a very bleak, bleak time of my life."

Happiness is Bret-Shaped.

"The forecast for Jemaine today is clean-shaven with a chance of stubble. Scattered stubble throughout the week, resulting in a 60% chance of beard early next week." - mohumbhai mania

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conchordgirl
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Postby conchordgirl » Wed Jan 18, 2006 10:15 pm

Wow, you guys are doing great finding all this information! By the time we all make it to NZ we will be able to be a tour guide! :D

nicole
Oh, look at me! I'm the magical man from happy land, in a gumdrop house on lollipop laaaaaane!!

Oh by the way I was being sarcastic.--Homer Simpson

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EvilMoose
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Postby EvilMoose » Wed Jan 18, 2006 10:26 pm

Wellington is the southernmost national capital in the world.

The Governor General and Chief of State of New Zealand are women (Dame Silvia Cartwright and Queen Elizabeth II).

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Gayle
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Postby Gayle » Wed Jan 18, 2006 10:40 pm

EvilMoose wrote:Wellington is the southernmost national capital in the world.

The Governor General and Chief of State of New Zealand are women (Dame Silvia Cartwright and Queen Elizabeth II).


Wellington is also the first capitol to ring in the New Year~cool, 18 hours before New York City.

New Zealand's Prime Minister is also a woman, Helen Clark!
4 out of 3 people have difficulty with fractions.

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Gayle
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Postby Gayle » Thu Jan 19, 2006 12:00 am

Deirdre wrote:Kia ora is an informal way of saying hi in the Maori language. I just wasn't sure how to pronounce it. So I Googled it and eventually found a nice little site with some sound bites so you can hear what some common Maori phrases sound like.

I don't know how to link something here, so I am just going to copy/paste from the address line on my browser? Did I say that right? Here it is:

http://www.geocities.com/SouthBeach/Por ... index.html

Take a listen.


I love this site - it's fascinating!
4 out of 3 people have difficulty with fractions.

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Deirdre
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Postby Deirdre » Thu Jan 19, 2006 12:15 am

Thanks to Gayle for thinking up this fun thread. :yay:
It adds a whole new dimemsion to our knowledge about Bret and Jemaine. 8)

Glad you like the site Gayle. I can't believe I figured out how to put the link in without asking anyone. :type:


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