What does adolescence look like in New Zealand?
Bloody teenagers. Always having a good time despite the deep boringness of New Zealand life. A new book on the history of Kiwi adolescence shows teenagers having fun in boring towns where they attend boring schools and get boring jobs; over 230 snapshots, plus writings taken from letters, diaries and other primary sources, make up Teenagers: The Rise of Youth Culture by Dunedin academic Chris Brickell.
We present five choice photos from the book.
Just shoot me: the Bicknell girls having a whale of a time, obviously, on a sunny afternoon near Oamaru, 1896. (Item ref 2014/45, North Otago Museum, Oamaru)
There’s this sheila in refreshments and she’s pouring cups of tea: Huia and Alena pose in their smart New Zealand Railways uniforms at the Wellington railway station cafeteria in 1959. (Private collection)
Ngapuhi OG: two unidentified but totally, languidly, sensationally cool dudes, 1950s, in Kaitaia. (Item ref: C117-6, Te Ahu, Kaitaia)
Police notebook, Timaru: A New Year’s Eve bonfire on the beach at Caroline Bay, Timaru, in 1962. (South Canterbury Museum, Timaru)
Kapiti ice: Naomi Highfield, Glenys Taylor and Beverley Nicholson near the skating rink in Paraparaumu, early 1965. (Private collection)
Teenagers: The Rise of Youth Culture by Chris Brickell (Auckland University Press, $49.99) is available at Unity Books.