HBC has collected information on a variety of activities in which New Zealand boys have participated in over time. Many of these activiities involve specialized costumes. Often the children. however, just wore their ordinary clothes. The available images thus show trends in English boys' clothing over time. The activities include choir, dance, games, music, religious observation, school, sport, and many others. New Zealand is blessed with a mild climate. The far noth of Nort Island is semi-tropical. The far south of South Island is temperate, but the Witers are not very hard. Thus outdoor activities, both sport and other activities are possible throughout the year, much more so than many other countries. In addition to sports, outdoor activities like camping are popular. This included both Scouting and other youth group camping as well as school and family camping. Some of these images are interesting because they depict life-style information in addition to fashion.
New Zealand is of course an island nation. As a result, almost all Australians have easy access to the ocean. And theur are several lakes where chilkdren can lean to sail in salm waters. And unlike England, the mother country, the water during part of the year (especially off North Island) is quite a pleasant temperature. Thus water sports including boating are popular activities. We see boys learning a variety of boaring skills, including canoes, kayaks, rowboars, and sailbosts. Sone boys pursue Scouting as a Scouting option. Some schools have boating programs where children can lear how to sail. New Zealand is a potent annual particpant in the America's Cup competition.
We notice several school choirs, both single gender and mixed choirs.. Some churches have children's choirs.
Dance is not a very popular activity for boys at least as a fine art. It is one of the fine arts that is very popuilar with girls from an early age. Quite a number if girls take balet or other performance dance lessons. Some schools offer lessons, especially the private schools. Other girls take lessons at private dance schools after school.
New Zealand celebrates very few holidays. The holiday celebrations are very similar to those in England, a reflection of the country's creation as a British colony. There are two destinctly New Zealand holidays (Waitangi Day and Anzac Day). There have also been some American influences affecting New Zealand holidays. As in most countries, New Year is celebrated (January 1-2). An important national day is Waitangi Day (February 6). The holiday celebrates the signing of the Treaty of Waitangi in 1840. The Treaty is seen as the country's founding document. It formally recognized New Zealand as a part of the British Empire. It also guaranteed Māori rights to their land and recognized them as British subjects. Easter isalso celebrated, both Good Friday and Easter Monday. Perhaps the most important national holiday is Anzac Day (April 25). This honors the sacrifices of Australian and New Zealand servicemen during World War I and II. New Zealand is a very small country, but played an important role in both wars. Interestingly, the contribution during World war II was mostly against the Germans in Europe/North Africa and not the Japanese in the Pacific. Unlike many countries, May Day is not a holiday. The Queen's Birthday is a holiday of British Empire origins (first Monday in June). By tradition the date never changes, regsrdless of the queen or kings actual birthday. New Zealand celebrates Labour Day (fourth Monday in October). This is similar to the May Day celebrations in many other countries. In recent years American-style Halloween has become popular, although it is not an official holiday. Of course the most important holiday for children is Christmas. This is a bit of a problem for Kiwi kids because much of the imagery is snowy winter while Christmas in New Zealand occurs in the summer. The most popular holiday for children is of course Christmas. New Zealand celebrates both Christmas Day (December 25) and Boxing Day, another British teradition (December 26). There are also provincial anniversary days celebrated locally.
Many of the activities children participate in are enjoyed at home. This is particularly true of course for the younger children. It is here that they enjoy and play with a wide variety of toys. There are toys for both boys and girls as well as toys that are primarily enjoyed by boys or girls. Those toys are pretty much world wide. The primary factor here is economics. Children in wealthier countries have more toys than children in poorer countries. The same of course is true domestically among children from more affluent and less affluent countries. Another factor is climate. New Zealand children because of the mild climate can spend more time outdoors enjoying outdoor games and sports than children in England and other European countries. The toys New Zealand children played with are very similar to those enjoyed by English children. We see New Zealand children enjoying rocking horses which for many years was the favorite toy of younger boys. We see many other toys enjoyed by boys, including : animals, balls, blocks, guns hoops, puzzels, puppetts, soldiers, tops, vehicles, and much more. And younger children play games at home, Pets are also popular. In recent years with the devedlopment of a variety electronic devices, a child's bed room has become a kind of arcade where both younger abnd older children can divert themselves.
Private schools in recent years have begun encouraging large numbers of children to at least try to lean a musical instrument. There continues to be a strong emphas9s with sport, but the increasing interest on music is notable. We are less sure about the private schools.
New Zealand is blessed with a mild climate. The far noth of Nort Island is semi-tropical. The far south of South Island is temperate, but the Witers are not very hard. Thus outdoor activities, both sport and other activities are possible throughout the year, much more so than many other countries. In addition to sports, outdoor activities like camping are popular. This included both Scouting and other youth group camping as well as school and family camping.
Reading is a valuable activity which children can enjoy. Probably no other single indivator will affect a child's future life than not only the development of reading skills, but the love of reading. Children vary in reading skills, but an interest in reading can be kindled in most children if parents and teachers do their jobs. Until after World War II, school libraries were limited, but there were good public libaries in New Zealnd. We do not know much about the 19th century, but we do notice boys making use of public libraries in the early-20th century. Getting children to read was a somewhat easier effort in the first half of the century because there were so few other activities competing for a child's time. Of course this is a problem faced by children all over the world.
New Zealand as a former British colony, instituted a school system virtually identical to the British system. Slowly the country developed its own distinctive education system. One of the features of British education, at least for secondary schools, adopted from Britain was school uniforms. The first secondary schools opened in the country adopted the uniforms standard at British public (privte secondary) schools. One of the early New Zealand private schools (Wanganui College) played a major role in introducing short pants to the New Zealand secondary school uniform. The Headmaster at Wanganui College spent some time at a Scottish school, Loretto. He was so impressed with the uniform that he intrioduced it at Collegiate. At the time there were only a few secondary schools in New Zealand. Collegiate was such an influential school that most other secondary schools adopted a similar uniform.
Sport is a major activity in New Zealand. This is of course the case for boys in most Western countries. It is especially the case in New Zealand. But in New Zealand many girls are also sports conscious. The schools have strong intra-mural program which incourage a broad base of programs. Like other former-Nritish colonies, the British team sports are especially popular. Rugby is the national sport, even more popular than football (soccer) which is the principal sport in most countries. Footbal and cricket are also popular. New Zealand is one of the ten Full Members of the International Cricket Council. Since World War II, American influences also developed so we also see boys playing baseball, mostly softball.
Australian youth organizations are basically the local organizations originally founded in England. Interestingly, the history of these offered by these groups primarily recounts the founding in England rather than than the history in Australia. The only two groups familiar to HBU is the Boys' Brigade and Boy Scouts. New Zealand's mild climate is especially condusuve to a wide range of outdoor Scouting activities.
Navigate the Boys' Historical Clothing Web Site:
[Introduction] [Activities] [Biographies] [Chronology] [Clothing styles] [Countries] [Essays]
[Bibliographies] [Contributions] [FAQs] [Glossaries] [Images] [Links] [Registration]
[Boys' Clothing Home]
Navigate the Boys' Historical Clothing national pages:
[Return to the Main New Zealand page]
[Return to the Main countries page]
[Australia] [Belgium] [England] [France] [Germany] [Ireland] [Italy] [Japan] [Korea]
[Mexico] [Netherlands] [Scotland] [United States]