We asked you five questions about New Zealand. Here come the answers!
- Aotearoa is the Māori name for New Zealand. What is it usually translated as?
(Land of the) Long White Cloud. It can also be translated as “long canoe”. Originally, Aotearoa was the name given by the Māori to North Island only, South Island being called Waipounamu (Land of Greenstone).
- New Zealand was the first self-governing territory in the world to grant women the vote in parliamentary elections. In which year?
1893, although it didn’t become a fully self-governing Dominion until 1907. However, women weren’t eligible to stand for election to the House of Representatives until 1919, and the first woman to stand and win election did so only in 1933.
- One member of the Eighties pop trio Thompson Twins was a New Zealander. Was it Tom Bailey, Alannah Currie or Joe Leeway?
Alannah Currie, who was born in Auckland in 1957 and emigrated to the UK in 1977. She and Bailey were married from 1991 to 2003. On divorcing, they both returned from NZ to the UK to live separately. The name Thompson Twins is a reference to the two detectives in Belgian cartoonist Hergé’s Tintin books, who however were unrelated despite being virtually identical – their names were Thomson and Thompson.
- New Zealand is famous for the almost complete absence of native mammals. How many species does it have?
Just two. Unsurprisingly given NZ’s isolation, they’re both bats – the long-tailed and short-tailed bat. The short-tailed bat is unusual in spending a lot of its time on the ground, possibly due to the fact that until fairly recently (with the arrival of the first Māori in the late 13th century) there were no land mammals to threaten it.
- “Ka Mate” is the most famous haka performed by the New Zealand All Blacks rugby team. Who composed it?
Te Rauparaha, war leader of the Ngāti Toa tribe of North Island in the early 19th century. He composed it as a celebration of the triumph of life over death after he had evaded his enemies by hiding in a food storage pit. The first person he saw on emerging was his friend Te Whareangi, the “hairy man” mentioned in the haka.
How did you get on? Why not let us know?