Meet New Zealand guide

Meet New Zealand, a guide produced by the Historical Branch of the Department of Internal Affairs in September 1942 for United States servicemen stationed in New Zealand during the Second World War. Click on the image above to see the pages of the the guide.

The 36-page booklet, drafted by Dr J.C. Beaglehole, outlined aspects of New Zealand’s history, economy, culture and society. It revealed the mysteries of tea, scones, drinking hours and customs, Māori, Sundays, slang, horse-racing and road rules to newly-arrived American troops. 

In 1945, Internal Affairs followed up Meet New Zealand with a detailed and well-illustrated book, Introduction to New Zealand. Aimed at the American public in general rather than soldiers, its chapters were written by scholars within the Historical Branch and decorated with drawings by artists such as Mervyn Taylor and George Woods.

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