The expression ‘No. 8 wire mentality’ is often used to describe New Zealander’s supposed ability to make or fix anything using whatever materials happen to be at hand.
Early settlers found themselves in a land far from anywhere; the importing of goods was still a distant dream and improvisation was a necessity. No. 8 fencing wire (4mm low-tensile) was, and still is, used as a multi-purpose tool to bind, fashion and fix things, be it a problematic tractor or faulty TV set.
Many of New Zealand’s most famous inventions had their origins on farms, some going on to be used around the world. As with most inventions, there is always an element of controversy as to who thought of it first. In New Zealand we lay claim to the following creations and, regardless of whether we were in fact the first to think them up, it can be said for certain that we developed them to be winners in the marketplace.