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Tuesday 11 October 2016

Three things you did not know about New Zealand

New Zealand may have only a small population but its global achievements and inventions stretch from science and medicine to music and the arts. 

1. New Zealanders are among the most active people on earth. Both jogging and bungy jumping were invented here. Arthur Lydiard, a former marathon runner and well-known Auckland athletics coach, devised jogging back in 1960 as a method of preparation and building endurance for his world-class distance runners, including Olympic gold medallists Peter Snell and Murray Halberg. His unique training methods are credited with helping improve the fitness of millions of people. Snell and Halberg were both knighted, but Lydiard was not.

2. Global movie star Sam Neill has starred in dozens of films, splitting his time between New Zealand, Australia, and Hollywood. He played key roles in Jurassic ParkThe PianoThe Horse WhispererMy Brilliant Career and this year's Hunt for the Wilderpeople, as well as starring in TV series, including Peaky Blinders and Old School. What is less known is that since 1993, Neill has been producing world-class pinot noir in the cool Gibbston region of Central Otago. His Twitter account describes his Two Paddocks winery as “producers and purveyors of fine pinot to both gentry and ratbags”. He changed his name to Sam from Nigel at the age of 10.

3. From Xena: Warrior Princess to Master and Commander and The Lord of the Rings, New Zealand has produced some of the most famous names in film-making. From Sir Peter Jackson, writer, producer and director of The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit trilogies, to Wellington-born Hollywood superstar Russell Crowe, who has also headlined in GladiatorA Beautiful Mind and LA Confidential, Auckland-born actor Lucy Lawless, known for her role as Xena: Warrior Princess, and Love Actually writer Richard Curtis, Kiwis play key roles in many areas of the global entertainment industry.

Find out several more things you probably didn't know about New Zealand right here:

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