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October 2020
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Whatchamacallit 181: Native Timbers of New Zealand (Ruler!)

Native Timbers of New Zealand

I’ve visited New Zealand twice. Once.

Both visits were part of my 2015 around the world adventure – before and after Samoa and American Samoa. It depends how you count “visit” – the first was 7 hours, the second was 25.5 hours. I could look it up, but I am too lazy to do that right now. I call it one visit, but two entry stamps in my passport.

I bought this at the Auckland Museum (as I recall). The back side of the ruler informs about the inlays, which show 13 different woods from New Zealand, with the body a bonus 14th. From left to right: Rimu, Rata, Rewarewa, Pukatea, Tawa, Towai, Matai, Puriri, Kauri, Tawhai, Taraire, Totara, and Maire. The body is Kahikatea.

For over 60 years rulers with inserts of native timbers have introduced New Zealanders and overseas visitors alike to the unique production of nature that is the New Zealand forest.

Because I am a scrupulously honest person, I admitted on my Canadian Immigration/Customs form that I had agricultural products in my luggage, items made of wood, so I had to detour to the Agricultural desk after getting my suitcase from baggage claim: the inspector took one look at it (and my Samoan Fale) stamped my form and sent me on my way. Thus, I can honestly say that this ruler is not a threat to Canada.

Regardless, it is too pretty to use.


During the Covid-19 crisis, I am going to try and make a point of writing a blog post about an object in my home.

We’ll see how long this lasts.

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