Monday, February 06, 2006

25 things you may not have known about New Zealand

From the NZ Herald

1 - Cook's cure
Captain James Cook, the man who navigated New Zealand, is said to have discovered a cure for scurvy, a disease that results from Vitamin C deficiency, when he played around with medicines.

2 - More births
New Zealand births exceeded deaths by 29,890 in the September 2005 year.

3 - Older brides
New Zealanders are getting married older. The latest statistics show that the median ages of men and women marrying for the first time is 29.9 and 28.1 years. These brides and grooms married, on average, nine years older than their parents did.

4 - Big on butter
For each person who lives here, New Zealand produces 100kg of butter and 65kg of cheese each year.

5 - Clever Kiwis
A New Zealander invented the tear-back velcro strip, the pop-lid on a self-sealing paint tin, the child-proof pill bottle and the crinkle in hair-pins so that they don't fall out.

6 - Olympic gold
New Zealand has won more Olympic gold medals a head than any other country.

7 - Sheep dip
In the early 1980s, New Zealand was home to more than 70 million sheep, but now has 40 million, or about 10 sheep to one person. This decline hasn't stopped New Zealand from bringing in 50 per cent of all international trade in sheepmeat.

8 - Golf swings
Measured by club memberships, golf is the most popular sport in New Zealand, followed by netball.

9 - Curious Kea
The kea, native to New Zealand, likes to eat the strips of rubber around car windows.

10 - Quick work
The shortest interval between separate births in the world is 208 days. New Zealander Jayne Bleackley gave birth to Joseph Robert on September 3, 1999, and Annie Jessica Joyce on March 30, 2000.

11 - Why bother?
Two Massey University students broke a Guinness World Record in December for the world's largest tape ball. The ball, which weighs 53kg and has a circumference of more than 2.5m, was made by winding Scotch tape continually around itself.

12 - Spelling test
The longest place name in the world still in use is Taumatawhakatangihangakoauauotamateaturipukakapikimaungahoronukupokaiwenuakitanatahu, a hill in Porangahau in the Hawkes Bay. The Maori name translates to "the place where Tamatea, the man with the big knees, who slid, climbed and swallowed mountains, known as Landeater, played his flute to his loved one."

13 - Middle age
The median age of New Zealanders is growing. In 1901 it was 23. By 1991 it was 31 and in 2001 it was 35. By 2021 it is expected to be 40.

14 - Rising prices
In 1984, $43 in New Zealand would buy approximately the same as $100 today.

15 - Blacked out
The longest blackout in the world was on February 19, 1998, when the four main power cables supplying Auckland city, broke down. The disruption, which lasted 66 days, affected 7500 business and residential customers and cost businesses an estimated $300 million.

16 - The sea, the sea
No part of New Zealand is more than 128km from the sea.

17 - Lost in space
In the scene of Star Trek: First Contact, when Picard shows Lilly she is orbiting Earth, Australia and Papa New Guinea are clearly visible but New Zealand is missing.

18 - Bottom line
No capital city in the world is further south than Wellington.

19 - Animal farm
Less than 5 per cent of the population of New Zealand is human - the rest are animals. This is one of the highest ratios of animals to humans in the world.

20 - Pipebands galore
There are more Scottish pipe bands per head of population in New Zealand than in Scotland.

21 - Big readers
New Zealand has more book-shops per head of population than any other country; one for every 7500 people.

22 - Bad behaviour
New Zealand has the third highest rate of deaths in the developed world from maltreatment among under-15-year-olds; third to Mexico and the US.

23 - Freshwater spring
More fresh water flows up from cracks in the limestone at Waikoropupu, near Takaka, than from any other freshwater spring in the world - more than 2100 million litres every 24 hours.

24 - Trout heaven
More rainbow trout in the 2kg to 3kg category are caught annually in New Zealand than in the rest of the world put together.

25 - World-beaters
New Zealand is home to the world's smallest dolphin, the Hectors Dolphin, the rarest sea lion, the Hookers Sea Lion, the largest flightless parrot, the kakapo, the oldest reptile, the tuatara, the heaviest insect, a weta, the biggest earth-worms, the smallest bats, some of the oldest trees, and many of the rarest birds, insects, and plants in the world.

* Facts sourced from Statistics New Zealand, Strange Facts & True About New Zealand, Guinness World records, The Kiwi Site and the ENZ New Zealand Immigration Guide.


paintergirl said...

I have to come to New Zealand to hear the pipe bands! Really? I like your list Rose. The animal to people ratio must be why the air is is nice there. Not too people people mucking it all up.

Anonymous said...

Winners at Wednesday's 48th Annual Grammy Awards:

Album of the Year: "How to Dismantle an Atomic Bomb," U2.

Record of the Year: "Boulevard of Broken Dreams," Green Day.

New Artist: John Legend.

Male R&B Vocal Performance: "Ordinary People," John Legend.

Pop Vocal Album: "Breakaway," Kelly Clarkson.

Rap/Sung Collaboration: "Numb/Encore," Jay-Z featuring Linkin Park.

Song of the Year: "Sometimes You Can't Make It on Your Own," U2.

Female Pop Vocal Performance: "Since U Been Gone," Kelly Clarkson.

Country Album: "Lonely Runs Both Ways," Alison Krauss and Union Station.

Rap Album: "Late Registration," Kanye West.

Rock Album: "How to Dismantle an Atomic Bomb," U2.

Rap Solo Performance: "Gold Digger," Kanye West.

Rap Performance by a Duo or Group: "Don't Phunk With My Heart," Black Eyed Peas.

Rap Song: "Diamonds From Sierra Leone," D. Harris and Kanye West.

Solo Rock Vocal Performance: "Devils & Dust," Bruce Springsteen.

Rock Performance by a Duo or Group With Vocal: "Sometimes You Can't Make It on Your Own," U2.

Hard Rock Performance: "B.Y.O.B.," System of a Down.

Metal Performance: "Before I Forget," Slipknot.

Rock Instrumental Performance: "69 Freedom Special," Les Paul and Friends.

Rock Song: "City of Blinding Lights," U2, (U2).

Alternative Music Album: "Get Behind Me Satan," the White Stripes.

Female R&B Vocal Performance: "We Belong Together," Mariah Carey.

R&B Performance by a Duo or Group With Vocals: "So Amazing," Beyoncé and Stevie Wonder.

Traditional R&B Vocal Performance: "A House Is Not a Home," Aretha Franklin.

Urban/Alternative Performance: "Welcome to Jamrock," Damian Marley.

R&B Song: "We Belong Together," J. Austin, M. Carey, J. Dupri & M. Seal, (D. Bristol, K. Edmonds, S. Johnson, P. Moten, S. Sully & B. Womack (Mariah Carey).

R&B Album: "Get Lifted," John Legend.

Contemporary R&B Album: "The Emancipation of Mimi," Mariah Carey.

Male Pop Vocal Performance: "From the Bottom of My Heart," Stevie Wonder.

Pop Performance by a Duo or Group With Vocal: "This Love," Maroon 5.

Pop Collaboration With Vocals: "Feel Good Inc.," Gorillaz Featuring De La Soul.

Pop Instrumental Performance: "Caravan," Les Paul.

Pop Instrumental Album: "At This Time," Burt Bacharach.

Traditional Pop Vocal Album: "The Art of Romance," Tony Bennett.

Female Country Vocal Performance: "The Connection," Emmylou Harris.

Male Country Vocal Performance: "You'll Think of Me," Keith Urban.

Country Performance by a Duo or Group With Vocal: "Restless," Alison Krauss and Union Station.

Country Collaboration With Vocals: "Like We Never Loved at All," Faith Hill and Tim McGraw.

Country Instrumental Performance: "Unionhouse Branch," Alison Krauss and Union Station.

Country Song: "Bless the Broken Road," Bobby Boyd, Jeff Hanna and Marcus Hummon, (Rascal Flatts).

Latin Pop Album: "Escucha," Laura Pausini.

Latin Rock/Alternative Album: "Fijación Oral Volumen 1," Shakira.

Traditional Tropical Latin Album: "Bebo De Cuba," Bebo Valdes.

Salsa/Merengue Album: "Son Del Alma," Willy Chirino.

Mexican/Mexican-American Album: "Mexico En La Piel," Luis Miguel.

Tejano Album: "Chicanisimo," Little Joe Y La Familia.

Engineered Album, Classical: "Mendelssohn: The Complete String Quartets," Da-Hong Seetoo, engineer (Emerson String Quartet).

Producer of the Year, Classical: Tim Handley.

Classical Album: "Bolcom: Songs of Innocence and of Experience," Leonard Slatkin, conductor (Christine Brewer and Joan Morris, University of Michigan School of Music Symphony Orchestra).

Orchestral Performance: "Shostakovich: Symphony No. 13," Mariss Jansons, conductor (Sergei Aleksashkin, Chor Des Bayerischen Rundfunks, Symphonieorchester Des Bayerischen Rundfunks).

Opera Recording: "Verdi: Falstaff," Sir Colin Davis, conductor (London Symphony Chorus, London Symphony Orchestra).

Choral Performance: "Bolcom: Songs of Innocence and of Experience," Leonard Slatkin, conductor (Christine Brewer, Measha Brueggergosman, Ilana Davidson, Nmon Ford, Linda Hohenfeld, Joan Morris, Carmen Pelton, Marietta Simpson and Thomas Young, Michigan State University Children's Choir, University of Michigan Chamber Choir, University of Michigan Orpheus Singers, University of Michigan University Choir and University Musical Society Choral Union, University of Michigan School of Music Symphony Orchestra).

Instrumental Soloist(s) Performance (with Orchestra): "Beethoven: Piano Cons. Nos. 2 & 3," Claudio Abbado, conductor; Martha Argerich (Mahler Chamber Orchestra).

Instrumental Soloist Performance (without Orchestra): "Scriabin, Medtner, Stravinsky," Evgeny Kissin.

Chamber Music Performance: "Mendelssohn: The Complete String Quartets," Emerson String Quartet.

Small Ensemble Performance: "Boulez: Le Marteau Sans Maitre, Derive 1 & 2," Pierre Boulez, conductor, Hilary Summers, Ensemble Intercontemporain.

Classical Vocal Performance: "Bach: Cantatas," Thomas Quasthoff (Rainer Kussmaul, Members of the RIAS Chamber Choir, Berlin Baroque Soloists).

Classical Contemporary Composition: "Bolcom: Songs of Innocence and of Experience," William Bolcom (Leonard Slatkin).

Classical Crossover Album: "4 plus Four," Turtle Island String Quartet and Ying Quartet.

Compilation Soundtrack Album for Motion Picture, Television or Other Visual Media: "Ray," Ray Charles.

Score Soundtrack Album for Motion Picture, Television or Other Visual Media: "Ray," Craig Armstrong, composer.

Song Written for Motion Picture, Television or Other Visual Media: "Believe," Glen Ballard and Alan Silvestri, songwriters, from "The Polar Express."

Instrumental Composition: "Into the Light," Billy Childs, composer.

Instrumental Arrangement: "The Incredits," Gordon Goodwin, arranger (Various Artists).

Instrumental Arrangement Accompanying Vocalist(s): "What Are You Doing for the Rest of Your Life?" Billy Childs, Gil Goldstein and Heitor Pereira, arrangers (Chris Botti and Sting).

Traditional Blues Album: "80," B.B. King and Friends.

Traditional Folk Album: "Fiddler's Green," Tim O'Brien.

Contemporary Folk Album: "Fair & Square," John Prine.

Native American Music Album: "Sacred Ground -- A Tribute to Mother Earth," Various Artists.

Hawaiian Music Album: "Masters of Hawaiian Slack Key Guitar -- Vol. 1," Various Artists.

Reggae Album: "Welcome to Jamrock," Damian Marley.

Traditional World Music Album: "In the Heart of the Moon," Ali Farka Toure and Toumani Diabate.

Contemporary World Music Album: "Eletracustico," Gilberto Gil.

Polka Album: "Shake, Rattle and Polka!" Jimmy Sturr and His Orchestra.

Musical Album for Children: "Songs From the Neighborhood -- The Music of Mister Rogers," Various Artists.

Spoken Word Album for Children: "Marlo Thomas & Friends: Thanks & Giving All Year Long," Various Artists.

Spoken Word Album: "Dreams From My Father," Sen. Barack Obama.

Comedy Album: "Never Scared," Chris Rock.

Musical Show Album: "Monty Python's Spamalot."

Gospel Performance: "Pray," CeCe Winans.

Rock Gospel Song: "Be Blessed," Yolanda Adams, James Harris III, Terry Lewis and James Q. Wright, (Yolanda Adams).

Rock Gospel Album: "Until My Heart Caves In," Audio Adrenaline.

Pop/Contemporary Gospel Album: "Lifesong," Casting Crowns.

Southern, Country, or Bluegrass Album: "Rock of Ages ... Hymns & Faith," Amy Grant.

Contemporary Soul Gospel Album: "Purified," CeCe Winans.

Gospel Choir or Gospel Chorus: "One Voice," Gladys Knight, choir director.

New Age Album: "Silver Solstice," Paul Winter Consort.

Jazz Vocal Album: "Good Night, and Good Luck," Dianne Reeves.

Jazz Instrumental Solo: "Why Was I Born?" Sonny Rollins.

Jazz Instrumental Album, Individual or Group: "Beyond the Sound Barrier," Wayne Shorter Quartet.

Contemporary Jazz Album: "The Way Up," Pat Metheny Group.

Large Jazz Ensemble Album: "Overtime," Dave Holland Big Band.

Latin Jazz Album: "Listen Here!" Eddie Palmieri.

Traditional Soul Gospel Album: "Psalms, Hymns & Spiritual Songs," Donnie McClurkin.

Dance Recording: "Galvanize," The Chemical Brothers featuring Q-Tip.

Electronic/Dance Album: "Push the Button," The Chemical Brothers.

Bluegrass Album: "The Company We Keep," The Del McCoury Band.

Contemporary Blues Album: "Cost of Living," Delbert McClinton.

Producer of the Year, Non-Classical: Steve Lillywhite.

Short Form Music Video: "Control," Missy Elliott Featuring Ciara and Fat Man Scoop.

Best Long Form Music Video: "No Direction Home" (Bob Dylan).

Recording Package: "The Forgotten Arm," Aimee Mann and Gail Marowitz, art directors (Aimee Mann).

Boxed or Special Limited Edition Package: "The Legend," Ian Cuttler, art director (Johnny Cash).

Album Notes: "The Complete Library of Congress Recordings by Alan Lomax," John Szwed, album notes writer (Jelly Roll Morton).

Historical Album: "The Complete Library of Congress Recordings by Alan Lomax," Jeffrey Greenberg and Anna Lomax Wood, compilation producers (Jelly Roll Morton).

Engineered Album, Non-Classical: "Back Home," Alan Douglas and Mick Guzauski, engineers (Eric Clapton).

Remixed Recording, Non-Classical: "Superfly (Louie Vega EOL Mix)," Louie Vega, remixer (Curtis Mayfield).

Surround Sound Album: "Brothers in Arms -- 20th Anniversary Edition," Chuck Ainlay, Bob Ludwig, Mark Knopfler (Dire Straits).