Janet Frame (1924–2004) is the foremost name in
New Zealand literature with a style that has been
described as magical realism. Her best-known work is an
autobiographical trilogy "An Angel at My Table" which
became a film directed by Jane Campion in 1990.
Janet Frame (actually Nene Janet Paterson Clutha) had
a dramatic path to authorship. Unhappy because of family
tragedies, she was considered abnormal and ended up in a
mental hospital. There she wrote books, which she got
published. After several years of brutal treatment with
hundreds of electric shocks, she narrowly avoided a
lobotomy, after a doctor discovered that she had won a
Other well-known authors are Katherine Mansfield and
Ngaio Marsh who were active during the first half of the
20th century. Mention should also be made of Frank
Sargeson, Maurice Gee, Maurice Shadbolt, Margaret Mahy
and Elizabeth Knox as well as from a younger generation
Kirsty Gunn, Alan Duff and Bill Manhire.
Latest population statistics of New Zealand, including religious profiles and major languages spoken as well as population growth rates in next three decades.
During the 1970s, authors of Maori origin published
for the first time both short stories and novels in
English. First was Witi Ihimaera, closely followed by
Patricia Grace. In 1985, Keri Hulme won the prestigious
British Booker Prize for the novel "The People". Of the
poets, Hone Tuwhare is best known.
Filmmaker Jane Campion has also directed the Piano
and Holy Smoke. Peter Jackson has had great success with
his filmizations of JRR Tolkien's trilogy about the Lord
of the Rings and the film triology Hobbit after
Tolkien's novel Bilbo - A Hobbit's Adventure. The
ruling, which was largely recorded in New Zealand
national parks, was rewarded with a total of 17 Oscars
in 2002–2004. Hobbit was recorded in New Zealand
Songaah: List and lyrics of songs related to the country name of New Zealand. Artists and albums are also included.
The film The Warrior's Soul, directed by Lee Tamahori,
from 1994 is a dark depiction of a Moorish family in a
metropolitan suburb. In 2003, Niki Caro's movie Whale
rides about a Maori girl who refuses to find herself in
the restrictions old customs place on her.
New Zealand's beautiful and varied nature has long
attracted and inspired many artists. Among these,
Frances Hodgkins (1869-1947) was the most prominent.
Other highly regarded artists are Peter McIntyre, Colin
McCahon, Don Binney, Ralph Hotere and Para Matchitt.
Because the Maoris lacked written language before the
19th century, the craftsmanship had to some extent
reproduce the history of the tribes. The Maoris wood
carving has been kept alive and new carpenters are being
trained at an institute in the city of Rotorua. Interest
in traditional Moorish culture has increased in recent
years. Both visual art and film and fiction have
captured the impression of Moorish and Polynesian
Douglas Lilburn is considered the foremost composer.
In opera, Kiri Te Kanawa, Inia Te Wiata and Donald
McIntyre are internationally known for their singing.
Bill English becomes new prime minister
Bill English, who has been finance minister in John
Key's government, is elected new prime minister and new
party leader for the Nationalist Party. English promises
as a new head of government to strive to create a New
Zealand that "rewards hard work and entrepreneurship and
that protects the weakest in society."
Prime Minister Key resigns
Prime Minister John Key surprisingly announces that
he will resign for personal reasons on December 12. Key
has been prime minister since 2008. He will also quit as
party leader for the Nationalist Party, which he has led
Earthquake near Christchurch
Two people are killed in a powerful earthquake with
magnitude 7.5 on the Richter scale. During the following
hours, another powerful earthquake occurs, which is
followed by several thousand aftershocks. Roads and
other infrastructure are subject to enormous damage.
Hundreds of people are evacuated from the area. Warships
from Canada, the United States and Australia that have
been on their way to participate in the celebration of
the New Zealand Navy's 75th anniversary help with the
evacuation of residents of the hard-hit city of Kaikoura.
New Zealanders want to keep the flag
In a second referendum on the country's flag (see
December 2015), the residents voted no
to replace the country's flag with a new one. More than
56 percent of the people in the referendum want to keep
the old flag.
New flag proposal
A referendum will start where residents will vote on
five proposals for a new national flag. Prime Minister
John Key wants the country's flag replaced because it
does not represent New Zealand today and is too similar
to Australia's. In 2016, a new referendum will be held
where the population will decide whether they want the
new proposal as a flag or if they want to keep the old
flag. In mid-December, the first referendum is ready. It
is then clear that a flag proposal with a leaf and the
background colors blue, black and white has won.
New Zealand includes TTP
New Zealand, along with another 10 countries in Asia
and the Pacific region, includes Australia, the United
States, Canada and Japan - but not China, a Free Trade
Agreement, the Trans-Pacific Trade Agreement (TPP). The
agreement covers 40 percent of the world economy.
However, before it can take effect, the agreement must
be approved by the parliaments of the countries.
Neighbors monitoring is revealed
Materials leaked by American Edward Snowden and
published by the New Zealand Herald magazine show that
New Zealand has monitored data and telecommunications
from Pacific countries such as Fiji, Papua New Guinea,
Solomon Islands and more.