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Events In History

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Food in the 20th century

  • Food in the 20th century

    The pavlova - that frothy, baked confection of egg whites and sugar - has long been seen as an icon of New Zealand cuisine; its place of origin has been debated with Australians for just as long in one of the many instances of trans-Tasman rivalry.

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  • Page 2 – Dining out

    Before the 1960s, New Zealanders had a limited choice both of venue and of food if they wanted to dine out.

  • Page 3 – Seafood consumption

    New Zealand is an island nation. Its inland and coastal waters support fish and shellfish in abundance.

  • Page 4 – Tea and coffee break

    Tea was a 'great mainstay' of 'thirsty colonial New Zealand', the food historian Tony Simpson claims.

  • Page 5 – Fruit and vegetables

    A house and garden on a patch of land were part of the 'New Zealand dream' for most of the twentieth century.

Wellington cafe culture

  • Wellington cafe culture

    Café culture has become integral to Wellington's identity. This culture began in the 1930s with the emergence of the milk bar, followed by coffee houses in the 1950s. After a period of decline in the 1960s and 70s, the city's café scene has grown in spectacular fashion over the last 20 years.

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  • Page 2 – Overview

    Wellington city centre is renowned for its flourishing café scene and the culture it inhabits. But it was nearly 1950 before there was much sign of the sparkling capital

  • Page 4 – Design and technology

    New construction materials and equipment fashioned the cafe culture rising in the 1950s. Wellingtonians were introduced to the espresso machines as European styled cafes

  • Page 3 – Immigration and Society

    The rise of coffee houses in the 1940s, 50s and 60s was not a phenomenon confined to Wellington, or indeed to New Zealand. The connection between the history of cafe

  • Page 5 – Music and cafe culture

    Entertainment generally and music in particular have always been a part of the Wellington cafe scene.

  • Page 6 – Personalities

    New Zealand in the 1940s and 1950s has been described as a drab and uniform place. From the late 1950s, however, a café culture was established throughout the country

  • Page 7 – Further information

    Sources on Wellington cafe culture.

1947 Greymouth beer boycott

  • 1947 Greymouth beer boycott

    What would it take for West Coasters to boycott their beloved beer? Greymouth hotel-keepers found out in 1947, when an organised attempt to raise the price of beer sparked one of the most effective consumer boycotts ever seen in New Zealand.

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  • Page 2 – Pub culture

    Between 1919 and 1967 all public hotels in New Zealand officially closed at 6 p.m., but these hours were only nominally observed on the West Coast.

  • Page 3 – The boycott begins

    In mid 1947 there were rumours that the price of beer was about to rise. It was a decision that no publican wanted to take alone because customers might move to another hotel

  • Page 4 – Industrial action

    After the first week of the Greymouth beer boycott it became clear that the Licensed Victuallers' Association (LVA), supported by the breweries, was not going to yield.

  • Page 5 – Working Men’s Clubs

    A number of Working Men's Clubs had been established in major urban areas since the late 19th century, but there were none on the West Coast. The beer boycott provided a

  • Page 6 – End of the 1947 beer boycott

    By early December 1947 business was gradually returning to some pubs in the larger towns, but the boycott was still effective in smaller centres.

  • Page 7 – Further information

    This feature was written by Simon Nathan with assistance from Margaret Hurst (National Library of New Zealand), and produced by the NZHistory.net.nz team. A note on

School of Radiant Living

  • School of Radiant Living

    The School of Radiant Living was a movement active in New Zealand from the late 1930s until the late 1980s. Founder Dr Herbert Sutcliffe taught a holistic philosophy of physical, psychological and spiritual health.

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  • Page 9 – Salad recipes

    Colour, beauty, exquisite artistry find joyous expression in the Art of Salad Making. The homemaker who serves salads so deliciously and artistically tempting that the