I spent the first half of my life in Auckland, born into a family of mad collectors.

I assembled displays of all the normal kids’ stuff; stamps, badges, coins, feathers, bottle tops – you name it. By ten years old, watching my mother’s rapidly expanding (but very well dusted) collection of milk glass, Victorian pipes and bird feeders, apothecary bottles, majolica tiles and tins – I had moved on to antique bottles (especially with original labels or boxes intact), food and medical packaging, tin signs and vintage magazine advertising, and by twelve years old I already had 200 vintage tobacco tins alone.

New Zealand seemed to be a very old-fashioned country that never really moved on much post World War Two. Being right down the bottom of the earth so far away from everything probably didn’t help; and even while Australia was being invaded by the whizz bang and razzle dazzle of American popular culture, The land of the long white shroud remained very much tied to Mother England’s apron strings. As a result, the way of life, as well as the charming designs and graphics of product, remained a quaint lacuna of the remarkably unchanged over the decades.

Although my original and large collection has long been jettisoned, I continued collecting images for years of those items and anything from my childhood in New Zealand that brings back a memory.

I eventually realised  I’d like to “share” the experience and data; in the process somehow organize that jumble into a feed that can be appreciated by, and enjoyed with, others. I will have a focus on food packaging and advertising, and hope to occasionally post footage of adverts.

Nearly two years down the track since my first clumsy posts – and over time my tangential but related interests to food and drink product  has sometimes extended to other everyday  household items, from preserving to polish; as well as  celebrity cooks and advertising agencies  that repped for brands, packaging printers, chain grocery or department stores, and unsung commercial artists and copywriters.

Most of the graphics you see on the site have been meticulously recreated by me from often crumpled, dirty, torn and stained items that nobody else wants or cares much about. If that sounds too easy- sometimes I end up recreating them from really bad, blurry photos  of crumpled, dirty, torn and stained items that nobody else wants or cares much about! I literally spend hours squinting at barely discernible lines and text and redrawing it all as perfectly as possible. – what I call grocery archaeology.

A recent question a reader asked me was: “Longwhitekid, what’s that mean – and what’s it about?” Since nobody has ever asked me – I assumed it was either evident or unnecessary to give an explanation. So after some thought – I guess it’s a rather fitting combination of “long white cloud” and “Milky Bar Kid”. If I need to go into more detail, you probably shouldn’t be reading my blog.

Visit my online store for Longwhitekid calendars, T-shirts, posters, cards and more. http://www.redbubble.com/people/darianzam


STUDENTS: Attention if you please (I know it’s difficult to focus, you will get the hang of it with old age, trust me).
I do not give free help and advice here. I have had quite a number of people contacting me over the past three or more years with all kinds of requests for projects and presentations they are doing.
Most of it is along the lines of “can I excerpt your text?”, “can I use your pictures?” or “can you answer some questions for me?” I especially don’t respond well to “do you know anything about Four Square?”  These days the answer is no, no and NO. And to the last one – use the seach facility, that’s why it’s there! Hopeless.
I don’t really care what you do to be honest, since you will go ahead and do as you please anyway (enjoy it while it lasts kids, you will have less freedom as every year progresses, believe it).
Anyhoo, point being that every time I have been offered a copy of whatever it is, to see how my stuff has been used – not one time has it materialised, as promised, even with follow ups. My polite and helpful replies to your plaintive pleas for help – go unthanked. What is it with kids these days? It’s one word. What’s wrong with you? So I have no more time to give. It’s your qualification; ergo your problem. I am also a student and really busy, so you get the picture. If I had more spare time, I’d spend more time than I do writing this blog so you can rewrite bits of it for your degree. Yes, that’s right – go get some sorry cream to put on the burn I just delivered to you.

ADULTS: Grow up. I mean, at least act more grown up than students. Do not contact me and ask me to write for free. Especially if it’s a for-profit publication. Don’t offer to send me me free copies of whatever, that never arrive, if I do it for free either. I don’t do that deal. Because promising something you have no intention of delivering is not really a ‘deal’. It is insulting to ask me to work for free. It immediately tells me you’ve just lied to me when you say you respect what I do. Here’s a revelation for you: good writing costs money to do! Oh, yes it does. Also: the electricity company had me escorted out last time I tried to pay them with “a couple of books”. They said I must be joking and called security. Just saying.

There, I feel much better now. Thanks for asking.



  1. Awesome! Looking forward to it!

  2. Hey, great to see your blog, specially liked the Lynmall story. I remember the Kelston Foodtown as the place where we did most of out grocery shopping growing up. Grew up on a small poultry farm out west (Oratia) and remember taking eggs in to the Coop in New North Rd? I think it was. Still have a few of the producer labels we used around somewhere 🙂

  3. Thanks Henry. I’ve seen your blog, I especially enjoyed “Fine dining in the ranges”. My mother’s side of the family are Dutch Indonesian. The Dutch seemed to be a significant post WWII influx along with the numerous Yogoslavian immigrants. So they knew that community there in the area fairly well, where like you I grew up – I actually went to Oratia School. And I can’t recall ever hearing about that venue. I’ll have to remember to ask if they ever ate there.

  4. Just love reading about it.

  5. Great blog really interesting to read and informative at the same time

  6. Hi Darian, great blog! Very pleased I have stumbled across it in my travels. Brings back many great memories, not least of them hanging out with you at your grandmother’s place when I was little. Love your work. 🙂

  7. Hi Enzo, wow I haven’t seen you since you were a child. I remember one time we got lost on a ramble in the bush at the back of her house. Scary for youngsters. My grandmotther passed away in 2007. I am sure you knew that. I know she was very fond of you so I am sorry if you didn’t know and this is the first you’ve heard of it.

    • I’m sorry to hear about that, I hadn’t heard. I did know she was in her 90s though so not terribly unexpected… I was trying to think when I last called in and saw her at her little flat off Archers Road. I think it must have been either ’06 or ’07…. Ha ha I remember getting lost in that bush well, we thought we were in the middle of the Amazon, only to discover later we were only a few metres away from home.

  8. Hello
    I have enjoyed flicking through this site. I wonder – do you have an image (or remember) the ice-cream ‘Walls Balls’ …. possibly late 60s, maybe early 70s. The ice cream came in a little plastic coloured ball and from memory you removed a hexagonal shaped lid to get into it. Anyway – thought it was worth asking!

  9. Thanks Lyn! Well I guess you came to the right person since I don’t know anyone else who keeps a database of NZ ice cream products! Don’t have a record of that one – was it possibly called a “Fizzbang”? Tip-Top had one called a “Screwball”, which seemed to be a milk ice in a plastic cone with a foil lid like Trumpets have. At the bottom was a bubblegum ball. I don’t think this sounds at all like what you remember though…I’ll take note of this one and add it in.

  10. I can’t even tell you where to go to ask about an archive because Wall’s was such a “pass-around patty” from the late 1960s to the late 1970s – with so many owners over that time I bet any product records from an earlier time are well and truly lost.

  11. Hey there – thanks for the quick response! Nope, definitely a Walls Ball! – I can see it in my minds eye as plain as anything – and just as plainly can ‘see’ one late night (probably only 6pm if truth be told), going with Dad to the dairy – him buying an 8’oclock and him buying me and my sister each one of these ice-creams. It was too cold to eat it, but I desperately wanted that plastic ball/container! The one I got that night was blue! I did ask the Walls company (in Australia) if they had any advertising material or something that would have shown it. Got a very polite reply – but it came to nothing. Who knows maybe something will surface.

  12. I am sure if I saw the container I would remember it. I thought Wall’s had been long phased out in Australasia, in the late 1980s – do you mean you approached Streets? Wall’s material is far and few between. Occasionally something comes up – someone had a few posters on Trade Me recently of 1970s products which brought back memories of the Woppa Lion and Crazy Joe. Cheers

    • Hmm, thinking now. Yes, was Streets – under the Unilever umbrella, if I recall correctly. They made the comment that their archives were not kept back that far . . . though I think she did comment that Walls was the British arm, whereas Streets was Australian. I hadn’t thought of ice-cream being imported to NZ from UK – but maybe it was??? Who knows! I tried researching it all at the time – but it came to nothing.

      I dont believe I imagined it all!! 🙂 Must have been one hell of a dream if I did!

  13. That’s right. Wall’s originally came to NZ from the UK under the Birdseye umbrella which was auspices of Unilever. My records go back to the early 1960s. At various times it was quoted as being manufactured by one or the other. It was acquired by a company called Rangitikei Dairy Plains at some point who eventually offloaded it to Tip-Top who in turn seem to have disappeared it some time after the late 1970s. Like a lot of these buy-outs and changeovers it’s very confusing.

  14. Stumbled across your blog and it brought back some great memories. I collect soft drink bottles myself. Only ones with the brand printed directly onto the bottle. There were so many brands and bottling plants around the country. The bottles have some great imagery. Do you happen to have any wrappers or recollection of DECKS lollies? Few people I speak to remember them.

  15. Thanks for your comment Glen.
    I have a long list of soft dink manufacturers I keep a database of. It’s probably as long as butter and tea brands. The old Pyro (baked ceramic) labels are great, I also like the old milk bottles which for a period used to have ads on for products from toasters to neckties from what I’ve seen.
    No images of Deck,sorry. It’s kind of amazing one hasn’t turned up yet. I’ve asked several people and several have asked me. I also very fondly remember them. I think they were made in orange, lemon and strawberry, from what I remember. They were around from the early 1960s. Griffins made them and turned them over to Sweetacres in the 1980s. The last record I have for them is 1986. I’d dearly like to see the packaging again. I remember what it looked like,the individual wrappers ad a little black repeat print on white of clubs, spades, aces, and hearts. They seem to have disappeared by the end of the decade.

  16. Hi Long white kid, I love your website, great reading and Images.
    Im an artist having an exhibition looking at collecting habits and treasure hunting and have screenprinted over 100 images of objects for the installation including some kiwiana you might like.
    Can I send you some images and essay from my show ? Thanks Emma

  17. Yes, of course I would love to see/read what you have done. Were you seeking anything in particular like some feedback? Cheers

    • Ive just loved reading your site for the depth of research you go into- its fabulous.
      As an artist the images I have used in my work I’ve collected from other peoples collections, by haven’t researched individual objects, so your writing really helps with this.
      My latest exhibition is a sort of homage to how, why and what we are collecting. My show is called ‘recovered’ and is opening tomorrow at Papakura Art Gallery, 10 Averil st, Papakura its on til 13 April. The images are meant to reflect a possible collection of Papakura ( and greater NZs past) objects reflected by my gathering these collectables from other peoples boggs, trade me and auction sites. Images are up on Papakura Gallerys facebook site. Can I email you some images? sorry not sure of your email or how to attach here !?

  18. It sounds like a fascinating project. The questions about why and how people collect is a very interesting one, that I talked over with a student last year who was doing a thesis on the topic and we explored a few different ideas. You can email me if you like. Cheers

  19. I am an exhibition designer based in Adelaide, South Australia. I am currently designing an exhibition about bathing huts and I want to recreate some packaging of the 50’s and 60’s from australia but can not find any good reference online. You have done a great job with your packaging – any tips or websites you can give me?

    • Hi Richard, thanks for your comment. I think again like my project, it’s one of those areas where nobody’s really collated that data into any one entity online. There are a number of collectors of specific genre in Australia such as MacRobertson ephemera for instance; certainly more than the handful of collectors I know of in New Zealand who amass household/grocery collectables. However for the most part they are very private about their collection and what they’ve got. The Powerhouse Sydney and the Museum Victoria have some nice examples online from their collections. I can’t think of any one specific source to send you to. Certainly not digital recreations that anyone has done that would be of standard suitable for reproduction for an exhibit. It may be a good thing to post on Facebook sites like Lost Sydney, Lost Melbourne, Australia – Remember This? etc and see if you can elicit a response from members at those groups and pages. I do collect images of Australian stuff too and have a lot of stuff on labels, packets and cans etc, anything in a box or still has it’s label or contents interests me obviously. There’s also a lot of cross-over with New Zealand stuff as much was issued in both countries so was almost identical. Email me if you wish to discuss further. Cheers

      • I’m from an ephemera collecting society in Melbourne called the Ephemera Society of Australia. We have a website http://www.ephemerasociety.org.au/ and a journal and members with a lot of different collecting interests.
        we were founded by a paperbag collector, I would like one day permission to reprint something from your blog for our members.

      • Hi Mandy,
        I have heard of your organisation.
        I was under the impression that the magazine recently ceased being published. It seems I have that wrong.
        I would be very pleased if the Ephemera Society would like to publish something in it, of course.
        Thanks for reading!

  20. Heya, I’m trying to get in touch with you again about a Depot project you might like to get involved in. Can you please flick me an email when you get a chance? Thanks!

  21. Hi there,
    I’m wanting to access one of the old edmonds baking advertisements. Is this possible and if so, how do I get hold of one?

    • Hi Chloe, you’ll have to be more specific, Edmonds were one of the most prolific advertisers in history of any brand – so there are literally hundreds.

  22. Hi everyone!

    Can anyone tell me who makes the Sunshine Pegs in NZ now? Trying to source dome from the manufacturer!

    Cheers Trace

    • Hi Tracey, it looks like this product may still be on the shop shelves so it’s as easy as going down to your local supermarket and looking on the packet. If not you’d be better off posting your question on a page with a large volume of readership like Living in Dunedin in the 60’s-90’s on Facebook. Or History Always Repeats: Remembering New Zealand. There’s a few pages and groups like that but with thousands of members. If you post a picture of the pegs with it it’s bound to catch people’s attention.

      Unfortunately no pictures online show the manufacturer
      Good luck!

  23. Love your site, I’m a huge kiwiana fan and combine that with my love of tattoos, I have just aquired a 1960’s Tip top “it’s creamier” tin advertising sign not a repoduction, as sadly I find most kiwiana things these days are. found your info very helpful in regards to tip top and lots of other interesting things I might even get a Moggy man tattoo next hehe


  24. If I do I will send you a picture

  25. Hi there – Great blog!! Brings back so many memories!

    I was hoping to chat to you about a project we are doing for which I’d love to access some of the fantastic old Griffin’s photographs you have. Could you email me, or give me your email address and I’ll explain more?

    Thanks so much.

  26. cool blog – am really enjoying the nostalgia
    pedantically I want to say, as a custom, the jam put on donuts is raspberry (I realise most people would never comment on such a tiny point, yes, I am seeking help)

  27. I am in saudi arabia. I want to get job in your company as i have some affiliations with this brand.

  28. I don’t know if you misspelt sauce in your self-sourcing custard blog… should be self-saucing…

    BTW I worked at Self Help in ’71 when it was sold and also went to school with Graeme (Tub) Sutherland

  29. Hi,

    Perhaps you can help. I am looking for a print of a four square poster from the fifties. It depicts a futuristic 4 square store with space-like vehicles and what looks like a stealth bomber flying by. The tagli e is whatever the future brings, four square will be there. Are you familiar with it and can you point me in the right direction to obtain a copy.


    • Hi Simon, I think I know which one you mean. There was one for sale a few weeks ago on Trade Me. It sold for hundreds. My guess it was designed by Bernard Roundhill. It’s the one and only time I’ve seen a copy of it.

    • Not again! Thanks for the heads up! This had definitely been ripped off from my Redbubble store, I can tell by the fonts and brush strokes which are uniquely my work. I’ll tackle it immediately.

  30. OMG just stumbled across your blog while doing another of my regular searches for anything Edmonds. Like you, I collect all sorts of stuff – but am never able to categorise it succinctly when somebody asks “what do you collect?” because I just love anything vintage that evokes a memory, and then when I have one, I want the whole history explained and any other variants manufactured too! My main love has to be Edmonds though. I have nearly all the printed cookbooks, though money constraints prevented me from buying the 1st editions sold on trade me for over $1000. I have the 2nd edition 1908 through to the latest. I’m also missing the 3rd edition 😦 Anyway, love your work and kind of helps to find another person with a passion for the same things. Off to look at your website …. cheers from Southland

    • Thanks for your kind words Wendy. Yes the First editions have come up a few times in the past twelve months as people saw what the first one listed sold for and started dig them out and list them. I think the last fetched 1200-1600, closer to the latter price. I too have no hope of ever owning one! I can only think of around eight or so copies known to exist – perhaps there’s a few more around. 2nds now go for around 750-950, and thirds for about the 450-550 mark. Hope you enjoy the blog, there’s an article on Edmonds there…I easily have enough material to do another four articles focussing on categories like jelly items, custard items, cookbook items and all of their other products! PS if you’re a Lapthorne I have bought items from you in the past. Cheers

  31. I just stumbled across you today looking for Flemmings Rolled oats online as I havnt been able to buy them anywhere, isnt it funny how the most interesting things pop up so unexpectedly, I really enjoyed your write up, thanks it certainly helped with the fact you can no longer buy this product a little less disapointing, now I’m off to find more

  32. Hey there….I have been using your site to regularly reference to with my own collections of vintage packaging. I’ve often (really, really often), wanted to share some with you that I thought may be of interest, but I have no idea where to send them or how to share them. I also have a neat little pile of things I’ve made with your wonderful restored works – yes I did read what you said earlier about people promising but not following through. Well, I make stuff with them, and I want to share it with you. The pile has been growing for about 18 months now….but again have no idea where to send it to. I only wish I could learn what you do! I have about 2 thousand vintage pieces of packaging, and I’d love to be able to restore them all! so I practice and practice and practice. Anyway….I’d love to share these things with you, please can you tell me how? If I had a po box address, they’d be scooting to you by the middle of the week! Love your work….you’re a totally legend!

  33. Hi Darian, is it possible to contact you about using some of your work on a personal blog?

  34. Hi Longwhitekid,

    I have a question for you and I think you might be able to answer it. Who put beetroot into a hamburger first, was it a Kiwi or an Aussie? I’ve always believed like the Pav it was ours but stolen by that lot over there.



    • It’s never occurred to me but food for thought, literally. Since the Aussies have stolen everything from us, I think you can probably work out the answer. I know I can!

  35. Hi there its funny what people collect i love collecting anything old , just wondering if old lolly wrappers are worth much as they must be quite rare cause as you mention most people treat wrappers as rubbish. The other day i found a old stash spot inside a wall in my spare room with old mintie,milkshake and a macintosh egg annd cream wrappers also a old cigarette packet and lighter and a bit of paper with the date of 1960 on it hahaha i was pretty excited thought id find some real treasures but no only rubbish from 1960s

  36. Hi, I was interested in your article regarding M O’Brien & Co. Ltd based in Christchurch as I am doing some research, especially around the 70’s/80’s/90’s when they manufactured adidas sports shoes. If you are able to assist at all please let me know. Thanks Daren

  37. What a great site! Cant believe the amount of work you have put into this. A great memory jolt back to the 60’s/70’s- thankyou. i stumbled here looking for parts, or buyer for my Hamilton Beach triple head drink mixer!!! I vaguely remember WallsBall that Lyn was talking about back in 2012. Cheers, Scott

    • Thanks! It doesn’t seem like a lot of work when done in increments. I guess that the ones that stick out as having had a ton of work done on them have ended up being my most highly-read stories, which I guess says everything. Longwhitekid is now published by a quarterly e-book. Whittaker’s recently had a Hanilton triple head in use in their Cuba Street pop-up store. They may have purchased the one that was on offer on Trade Me a couple of months back, the going price was about 2,750. Generally the older, single ones are d esirable and sell, but lately there seem to be repro ones about.

  38. I have a Ballins breweries jug dated 1878-1978 to sell. Can you advise who would be interested please?

  39. I found your blog by doing a search for Regina Easter Eggs… we have one from at least early 50’s but more likely to be 1940s. Didn’t know if you were interested or wanted a photo. It’s intact…. it’s been a family joke really. All original packaging etc.

    If you would like a photo get in touch!

  40. I think you are just so cool awesome good on you glad to support you and share your pages neat stuff – you live in the south island? I just got a st George recipe book from my nana and other recipe pamphlets. Good on you creature lol Amazing nature God Bless Darian Zam Keep up the inspiration for us Kiwi 😉

  41. I was looking for info about L.D. Nathan — thank you so much. (I’m in the U.S., dreaming of being able to move to New Zealand…) Best wishes.

    • I’m dreaming of RETIRING. As soon as possible. I am sure there’s plenty about the Nathans online. There were three Nathan businesses that were major merchants: LD (David, Lawrence and Nathan), Joseph, and Arthur.

  42. Hi I really enjoyed your photo gallery.
    I came across your site when searching for an image of the Auckland Zoo dragon before its teeth were filed Back.
    In 1969 i was 7 on a school excursion and I fell on the dragons tooth which almost took my life.
    If you’d like to know more I can be contacted at bdg327@gmail.com
    Best regards

    • Thanks for your comment, Bryan. The only thing surprising about this is, I haven’t heard a story of this kind earlier! Those things were an OHS nightmare.

      • I was surprised too that my parents never heard any more from the zoo about it either as I was hospitalized for weeks afterwards. It was a zoo groundskeeper who lifted me off the tooth before being ultimately transported by a car to hospital. At the time i was going to Point Chevlier primary school. Im sure there’d be people who’d remember the incident as I was bleeding profusely.
        I live in Australia now amd intend to return to the zoo and tell my story this year. I think it may interest people as to why those teeth are missing. It was only a matter of time that an injury happened. If that accident had have happened today maybe that dragon would be dismantled.

  43. Hi. Fellow Kiwi here. Accidently stumbled upon your website. So awesome to see you collecting and restoring these historic memorabilia of Kiwiana. So many memories of days gone by. Thank you for your efforts.

  44. Just stumbled into your site after a tour of the civic theatre resulted in some research! I’d love to subscribe to your new magazine if thats at all possible? And I have a question – Do you happen to know what brand of orange cordial was served at the civic in the 60s? My Dad said it tasted ‘like’ kingsleys, if that makes any sense? Im looking to surprise him with a close remake and will happily do the same for you in return for any intel!! Really appreciate all your work, its so special to discuss our memories.

    • Well it may make sense. Kingsley made shampoo and had a brand called ‘Valencia’ as in oranges. I’d maybe consider, NOT remaking it, in that case! One a serious note, there were so many brands of domestic cordial it would be impossible to find out which one was used at the Civic, unless there were records in an archive of suppliers/business transactions which is unlikely. However I’d say it was probably a local, Auckland-made brand.

  45. Hey, love your site, I have some old four square signs and wondered if you would help me date them? Going off your list I believe they are 1960’s, they all came off the same building. I also have a Tin tip top sign which you might be able to help date too? Thanks

  46. Hi Cam, I’ll contact you via email.

  47. Hi, we are working on Foodstuffs momentous 100 Year Celebrations and would love to make contact with you.

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