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August 7, 2021

50 Amazing Photos of New Zealand in the 1970s

New Zealand’s population reached three million in late 1973. The rate of natural increase then slowed as the contraceptive pill became more widely used and an economic downturn meant that young couples were less eager to start families. There were also more emigrants and fewer immigrants. The population had only reached 3.2 million by the end of the decade.

In 1975, the average weekly wage was $95 (equivalent to $920 in 2018). This rose to $157 by 1979, but because of inflation the average Kiwi was no better off. The minimum wage for adult workers was $1.95 an hour ($11.10 in 2018) and the average hourly rate was $4.52 ($26).

In 1970 the single state-run television channel (a second began broadcasting in 1975) broadcast 65 hours of programs each week. Color television arrived in 1973, but it was expensive. In 1975 a 26-inch set would set you back around $840 (more than $8000 in 2018) and its annual license fee of $35 ($340) was almost double that for a black and white set. With advertising restricted to weekdays for much of the decade, the license fee was an important source of revenue for television broadcasting.

The women’s movement grew in strength through the decade, influencing significant legislative and social changes. United Women’s Conventions attracted thousands in the main centers. The message of women’s rights was brought to the streets in marches and protests. Key issues for women included the right to safe legal abortion, pay equity, matrimonial property rights, and legislation to outlaw discrimination against women.

These amazing color photos from Dave's old slides show what life of New Zealand looked like during the 1970s.

Bluff, New Zealand, 1970

James Cook School, Marton, New Zealand, April 1970

Anderson House, Invercargill, New Zealand, 1970

Children's lamb feeding competition, Tuatapere, New Zealand, 1971

Fox Glacier Visitor Centre, New Zealand, 1971

On holiday, South Island, New Zealand, 1971

Outside a community hall, New Zealand, 1971

Park Hotel, Greymouth, West Coast, New Zealand, 1971

Ross, West Coast, New Zealand, 1971

Wellington from Molesworth Street showing the Old Government Buildings, New Zealand, 1971

Westport, New Zealand, 1971

Columbus America at Port Chalmers, January 1972

Men drinking next to Citroën DS near Fox Glacier, New Zealand, circa 1972

Rama Crescent, Khandallah, Wellington, 1972

Wellington from Rama Crescent, Khandallah, New Zealand, 1972

Arrowtown, New Zealand, 1973

Ben Lomond Station, Otago, New Zealand, 1973

Brownies at Dixon Park, Greymouth, West Coast, New Zealand, 1973

Children at the Botanic Garden daffodil lawn, Dunedin, New Zealand, 1973

Gilmer Hotel on Gresson Street, Greymouth,West Coast, New Zealand, 1973

Guinness Street, Greymouth, West Coast, New Zealand, 1973

Larnach Castle, Dunedin, New Zealand, 1973

Lord Street, Greymouth, West Coast, New Zealand, 1973

Palmerston North, New Zealand, 1973

Park Hotel, Greymouth, West Coast, New Zealand, 1973

Camp site, South Island, New Zealand, 1974

Carlton Mill Road, Christchurch, New Zealand, 1974

Colombo Street, Christchurch, New Zealand, 1974

Commercial Hotel, Omakau, Central Otago, New Zealand, 1974

Dunedin Botanic Garden, New Zealand, 1974

Opotiki Hotel, Church Street, Ōpōtiki, New Zealand, 1974

Puketoi, Maniototo, New Zealand, 1974

Royal Hotel, Ōpōtiki, New Zealand, 1974

Woman with old farm machinery, Otago, New Zealand, 1974

Overlooking Arrowtown, Central Otago, New Zealand, 1975

Quarantine Island / Kamau Taurua, Otago Harbour, New Zealand, 1975

Queenstown Airport, New Zealand, 1975

Lawrence, Otago, New Zealand, 1976

Old Harold Bros store, Reefton, New Zealand, 1976

Worcester Street, Christchurch, New Zealand, 1976

Colombo, Hereford, and High streets, Christchurch, New Zealand, 1977

Austin A35 body and A30, Dunedin, New Zealand, circa 1978

Makarora, South Island, New Zealand, 1978

Ross Place, Lawrence, New Zealand, 1978

Lion Reserve, Orana Park, Christchurch, New Zealand, 1979

Queenstown, New Zealand, Summer 1979

Queenstown, New Zealand, Summer 1979

Queenstown, New Zealand, Summer 1979

H&H Leyland Comet coach at Lyvia River Bridge, New Zealand, circa 1970s

Lower Stuart Street with sweeper, Dunedin, New Zealand, circa 1970s

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