The 10th Commonwealth Games, held in Christchurch in January 1974, was an odd coupling of 1970s cosmic harmony and cut-throat competition. The song that caught the mood of this was Steve Allen’s ‘Join together’.
New Zealanders have become accustomed to hearing the national anthem before major sporting events such as All Black tests. But many may not know that ‘God defend New Zealand’ is one of two official anthems.
In 1980 Split Enz put New Zealand music firmly on the international scene with their album True colours. They were the first New Zealand act to break into the highly lucrative British and United States markets.
The year 1981 was a time of great economic anxiety and social and political unease in New Zealand. This was captured by the Auckland band Blam Blam Blam, which released ‘There is no depression in New Zealand’.
The Wellington-based band Riot 111 played on the back of a truck outside Avalon studios to protest against Television New Zealand's refusal to screen the video clip for their single 'Writing on the wall'.
New Zealand isn’t famous for its railway songs and has produced little to compare with the American folk classics, but few home-grown folk songs are as iconic as Peter Cape’s ‘Taumarunui (on the main trunk line)’.