Poster a trip down memory lane

The average Kiwi fish and chip shop these days is a bit different from those of my long-ago youth: they’re as likely to feature framed prints, arty menus, glossy plants and fancy-schmancy tartare sauce as they are a pile of magazines that includes a three-month old Auto Trader and tiny plastic packets of good ol’ tomato sauce (aka TF, and if you don’t know what that means, I’m not going to tell you).

When I was a wee nipper, every shop in New Zealand had one of those 2 cent games that flicked a ball bearing around a spiral. For the life of me, I can’t remember if there was actually any point to it apart from the privilege of dropping your 2 cents in the slot. And for the average kid back then, 2 cents was a decent chunk of cash: a 5 cent mixture at the corner dairy gave you a lolly bag that was more than half full. Good times.

Then there were the pinball machines, normally shoved in to a corner and surrounded by surly looking kids who probably fancied themselves as something akin to the Fonz.

These both pre-dated even Pacman and Space Invaders. Oooh, I remember the excitement when our local chippie got its first Spacies machine.

But one thing that hasn’t changed over the years is the iconic fish poster. You know the one – it’s most likely hanging on the wall of your local chip shop, and was probably on the wall of the one you went to as a child. It features a whole bunch (school?) of our fish. The best and the brightest (or indeed the tastiest).

And now you have the chance to own a fish poster of your very own for $25.

Te Papa Press was so happy with the success of the four-volume encyclopaedia Fishes of New Zealand that a companion poster has now been released. It’s reminiscent of that iconic fish and chip shop poster that we all know an love, and features a selection of 222 fishes. Designed to appeal to fishing enthusiasts and lovers of Kiwiana, the poster includes favourites such as the sunfish and sharks, commercial species such as orange roughy and snapper, the ubiquitous spotty, as well as the blobfish, bearded angler and many more curious and unusual fishes that call New Zealand’s marine environments home.


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