Monday, August 30, 2010


by Graham Hutchins
Hodder Moa - $29.99

From kiwifruit and Chesdale cheese to jandals and Swanndris; bungy jumping and marching girls to the Farmers Trading Company and the A&P show, Strictly Kiwi looks at our favourite things. One person’s trash, another person’s treasure. There was a time when New Zealand Railway cups were strewn about the landscape, smashed and forsaken. These days railway cups have become valuable members of the Kiwiana family.

Kiwiana has come of age in the last 30 years. Today there is a distinct
body of iconic Kiwiana items that speak to New Zealanders of home.
Inanimate objects like the railways cup, the Buzzy Bee and paua shells
have an important place in the Kiwiana lexicon, but other aspects of the Kiwi lifestyle have become Kiwiana-ised: Where we live and lurk (villas and bungalows, the bloke’s shed), what we eat (Tip Top ice cream, Marmite) what we drink (Lemon & Paeroa, tea), what we wear (Swanndri and gumboots), and what we sing (‘Ten Guitars’ and ‘Poi E’).

‘As Kiwi as corrugated iron’ is a common term yet it could just as easily be applied to many of the 50-odd Kiwiana items featured in Strictly Kiwi. Trash becomes treasure. Things we take for granted become objects of affection and national recognition.

Strictly Kiwi features iconic and never seen before photographs!
Among the contents of Strictly Kiwi:

Kiwi Bird
Silver Fern

Growing up
Buzzy Bee
Dental Nurses
School Milk

Food & Drink
Chesdale Cheese
Tip Top Ice Cream
Lemon & Paeroa

Sport and entertainment
A&P Show

House and garden
Quarter acre section
Villas and bungalows
Masport Mower
Crown Lynn
Edmonds Cookery Book
Yates Garden Guide
Garden Ornaments
Rinso, Handy Andy and Janola

Fred Dagg
Corrugated iron
Footrot Flats

Farmers Trading Company
Four Square
Corner Dairy
Pie Cart

Blue Smoke
Now is the Hour
Poi E
Pokarekare Ana
Ten Guitars

And that is just some of the kiwi icons, there is much more. Truly the book is great fun and an obvious contender for Fathers Day.

While I think of it did you see the quote in this week's Listener (sept 4) - "Small boy's definition of Fathers Day: It's just like Mothers Day only you don't spend so much".
Well I suggest Strictly Kiwi will be a great gift for the old man if you are spending 30 bucks on him. He'll love it.

About the Author
Graham Hutchins has written many books on non-fiction subjects ranging from rugby, cricket and rock music to railways, travel trivia and New Zealand social history. He has also written works of fiction, including two novels with musical themes that were subsequently adapted for National Radio. Strictly Kiwi is his 32nd book.

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