History of New Zealand from 1200
The aim of this timeline of New Zealand history is to provide a basis for the research work of Project 2058 .
Download a History of New Zealand in 50 year blocks.
|~1200||The first Polynesian waka destined for settlement in New Zealand arrive from the Pacific Islands. (Dench, 2005)
Earlier voyages by Polynesian sailors would have located these new isles. It appears that these voyagers would have returned to their homes and passed on the knowledge of what they had found, and then later voyages deliberately set out to settle the new land.
|~1400||Moa and some other native rarities become extinct, probably through over-hunting and habitat alteration through fire. (Dench, 2005)|
|~1500||Māori populations become more settled as resources become less abundant and the importance of cultivation increases.|
|Dec 13||Abel Tasman and his party first sight the West Coast of New Zealand. (Reed, 1979)|
|Oct 7||Nicholas Young, Captain James Cook's ship's boy, sights New Zealand from aboard the Endeavour. (Reed, 1979)
Cook names the sighted land after Nicholas, as Young Nick's Head. Cook's expedition, with biologists Joseph Banks and Daniel Solander, goes ashore multiple times during their stay, meeting Māori, collecting food and recording flora and fauna. Cook leaves New Zealand in April, 1770, returning again in 1772.
|Dec 12||The French ship St Jean Baptiste, captained by Jean de Surville, first sights New Zealand. (Reed, 1979)
The ship leaves New Zealand, after kidnapping a Māori chief, at the end of December.
|Mar 24||Captain Marion du Fresne sights New Zealand. (Reed, 1979)
After originally being welcomed by Māori in the Bay of Islands, du Fresne and a number of his men are later killed. In his absence, the remaining officers on his ships take possession "in the name of His Majesty King Louis XV… the continent of… New Zealand…".
|1773||The first sheep in New Zealand are released in Queen Charlotte Sound by Captain Cook. (Reed, 1979)|
|1794||Flax and timber exports begin, originating in the Firth of Thames. (Carden, 2007)|
|Oct 26||The first recorded European whaling vessel, the Mermaid, enters New Zealand waters searching for sperm whales. (Reed, 1979)|
|1805||Seal exports begin. (Reed, 1979)
Early non-Māori settlers included sealers and whalers who often set up camp near hunting spots for short periods of time.
|Dec||The crew and most of the passengers of the Boyd are massacred at Whangaroa. (Reed, 1979)|
|Jun 24||A meeting is held in Sydney to form the New South Wales New Zealand Company . (Reed, 1979)|
|Nov 9||NSW Governor Macquarie issues an order to protect "the natives of New Zealand...in all their rights and priveleges". (Reed, 1979)|
|Dec 19||Reverend Samuel Marsden arrives in the Bay of Islands. (Reed, 1979)
At this point, a number of Church Missionary Services (under the Church of England) workers were beginning to arrive in New Zealand, particularly in the Bay of Islands, where a number of missionary stations were consequently set up.
|Aug 12||First school for Māori children is opened by Thomas Kendall. (Reed, 1979)|
|1820||Intertribal fighting between Māori, known as the Musket Wars, begins. The Wars last till 1839 with fighting peaking around 1832-33. (Reed, 1979)
The newly acquired muskets provided the means for committing utu (revenge) by groups with historical grievances against others. The Wars led to considerable movement of Māori populations, with a general progression of iwi moving southwards, down the country.
|Mar||Potatoes are being cultivated by Māori in the Bay of Islands. (Reed, 1979)
The "Snapper" left Ruapuke Island with a large cargo of potatoes on March 5th. Horticulture was to prove an import means of income for many Māori.
|May 17||Governor Brisbane of New South Wales issues a Proclamation enforcing the jurisdiction of the New South Wales courts in New Zealand. (Reed, 1979)|
|Dec 29||One of the earliest recorded land purchases by European is made by John Johnston of land at Kororareka. (Reed, 1979)|
|Jan 6||The first authenticated export of wool from New Zealand is made, sent by James Clendon in the Bay of Islands. (Reed, 1979)|
|Feb 21||William Colenso produces the first book to be printed in New Zealand - the Epistles to the Philippians and Ephesians in Māori. (Reed, 1979)
Colenso goes on to start printing 5000 copies of the Bible in Māori in June 1836.
|Sep 14||Baron de Thierry sends notice to James Busby that he is on his way to New Zealand to establish a Sovereign Government on behalf of France. (Reed, 1979)|
|Oct 10||Busby calls a meeting with 35 Māori chiefs at Waitangi in order to sign a Declaration of Independence in the name of the Confederation of Chiefs and Tribes of New Zealand. (Reed, 1979)
Busby calls this meeting as a result of receiving de Thierry's letter. Notice is sent to De Thierry of the Declaration. In September 1836, from Sydney, de Thierry issues an address to residents of New Zealand, claiming sovereignty. de Thierry, self-styled "Sovereign Chief of New Zealand" arrives in the Hokianga on November 4th 1837.
|Mar 28||William Wakefield is appointed as the leader of the New Zealand Company's first settlement. (Reed, 1979)|
|Jan 22||From this date to March 7th, the first five immigrant ships of the New Zealand Company arrive in the country carrying settlers bound for Wellington and the Hawkes Bay. (Reed, 1979)|
|Feb 6||The gathered chiefs spend two days in a hui, prior to its signing, in order to decide what to do. The Treaty is then taken around the country for further signing by Māori leaders.|
|Apr 29||Dumont d'Urville, leading the French ships Astrolabe and Zelee , arrives in the Bay of Islands, only to find that the British have already taken possession of the North Island. (Reed, 1979)
D'Urville and crew had just spent around a month sailing around South Island harbours, ignorant of the political events unfolding in the north of New Zealand, and essentially losing the chance for France to become the primary coloniser of the country.
|Sep 4||The New Zealand banking Company opens the first New Zealand-owned bank at Kororareka. (Reed, 1979)|
|Dec 9||Governor William Hobson moves the capital to Auckland from Kororareka (Russell). (Reed, 1979)|
|May 3||New Zealand officially becomes a British Crown Colony. (Reed, 1979)|
|Jul 1||Duties imposed on imports and exports (except tobacco) between New Zealand and Australia. (Reed, 1979)|
|Jan 6||Led by Pomare and Hone Heke, more than one thousand Māori people gather at Paihia to express discontent with the Government. (Reed, 1979)|
|Jun 1||Te Rauparaha and Te Rangihaeta land in the Wairau Valley and burn surveyors' huts. (Reed, 1979)
This marks the beginnings of souring relationships between lower-North Island Māori and the European settlers and the start of the Land Wars, which ran from 1843 till around 1872, mainly in the Taranaki and Waikato.
|Jul 8||Between this date and March 1945, Hone Heke and supporters cut down the British flagstaff at Kororareka four times. (Reed, 1979)
On the last occasion, Hone Heke's supporters ransack Russell, leading to the evacuation of settlers to Auckland and the proclamation of martial law. Fighting between Māori and settlers continues, culminating in a battle at Ruapekapeka Pa in January 1846, with Hone Heke and Rawiti, losing to the British forces.
|Jan||The first steamship, HMS Driver , arrives in the country. (Carden, 2007)
Over the next few decades the increasing use of steamships meant that the movement of people and products around New Zealand and overseas became faster.
|Jan 30||30,000 merino sheep arrive at the Pourere run, the first in the Hawkes Bay region. (Reed, 1979)
The first stud merino sheep arrive in Otago in 1862.
|Feb 21||The principal of the eight-hour day is recognised in Dunedin. (Reed, 1979)|
|Oct 27||Gold is discovered in quartz in Goodwood, Otago. (Reed, 1979)
Further discoveries in Tuapeka and Gabriel's Gully in 1861 fuel the Otago goldrush. Gold is also discovered in the Coromandel in 1852
|Aug 10||Māori claims to land in the South Island are liquidated with the Waipounamu Purchase. (Reed, 1979)|
|Jul 3rd||Katatore and Wiremu Kingi attack Ninia pa. (Reed, 1979)
These actions eventually lead to the involvement of all tribes in the Taranaki wars.
|Jul 28||Coal is discovered in Milton. Coal is discovered near Haast in May 1960. (Reed, 1979)|
|Apr 11||Quarantine regulations for the colony are gazetted. (Reed, 1979)|
|Jun 10||Land is gifted for the establishment of Te Aute College, a school for Māori boys, by Reverend Samuel Williams. (Reed, 1979)
The school was to produce many Māori leaders, including Te Rangihiroa (Sir Peter Buck), Apirana Ngata and Maui Pomare.
|May 2||The first King of the Kingitanga movement, Potatau Te Wherowhero, is crowned at Ngarawahia. (Reed, 1979)|
|1861||Systematic recording of weather data begins.|
|Jan 1||The first mouse is seen on the shores of Lake Wakatipu. (Reed, 1979)|
|Apr 19||Formation of the Canterbury Acclimatisation Society. (Reed, 1979)
Typical of a number of Acclimatisation Societies around New Zealand, the Society would attempt to release many exotic animals over the coming years, from caribou to nightingales. Some introductions were more successful than others.
|May 9||Gas lamps are first lit in the streets of Dunedin. (Reed, 1979)
Christchurch, Auckland and Wellington follow suit, respectively, over the next five years.
|Dec 2||The New Zealand Settlements Act is passed. (Reed, 1979)
The Act allows for the confiscation of all land (raupatu), without compensation for all North Island tribes said to be acting against the Crown. This was particularly useful for the colonial government in the Waikato and Taranaki areas where the Land Wars were the most intense. New European settlers were given confiscated the land. By December 1864, 1.2 million acres of Māori land had been confiscated under the Act.
|Feb 7||Parliament moves to Wellington after a recommendation that the capital is more central in the country. (Reed, 1979)|
|Jul 28||The first cargo of coal is shipped from the West Coast. (Reed, 1979)|
|Dec 14||1.2 million acres of Māori land are confiscated under the Settlements Act.|
|Dec||The first shipment of wool direct to Britain is made. (Reed, 1979)|
|May 15||Telegraphic services between Dunedin and Christchurch are established. (Reed, 1979)
In August 1866, a submarine telegraphic cable is laid across the Cook Strait, linking Wellington with a number of South Island towns. Telegraphic communication with Auckland and the southern provinces was established in April 1872. A cable linking New Zealand and Australia was operating in February 1876, allowing communication with Great Britain.
The Native Rights Act deems Māori to be natural-born subjects of the Crown. (Reed, 1979)
This confirmed in law the Section 3 of Te Tiriti that Māori were to be accorded the same rights and priveleges as other British subjects.
|Jan 6||Oil and gas are discovered at Moturoa, New Plymouth, at a depth of around 6 metres. (Reed, 1979)|
|Oct 10||Four Māori seats established in Parliament. (Reed, 1979)|
|1868||New Zealand Standard Time, an agreed time zone, is established. (Carden, 2007)|
|Jun 3||New Zealand's first university, the University of Otago, is founded. (Reed, 1979)|
|1870||During this decade many rail lines were completed and opened, particularly around Auckland, Wellington and Lower Hutt, and between Christchurch, Dunedin and Central Otago. (Reed, 1979)
Rail line building goes on until well into the next century - most of it undertaken at the behest of Colonial Treasurer, Julius Vogel. The first train travels between Wellington and Auckland on in July 1907. Rail connections were slowest in the Far North, with Whangarei being connected to Auckland, finally, in November, 1925.
Mail service between San Francisco and Auckland is established. (Reed, 1979)
The last of the British Imperial troops leave New Zealand. (Carden, 2007)
The first official rugby match in the country is played between Nelson College and Nelson Football Club. (Carden, 2007)
|Jul 5||Inaugural ceremony at Otago University. (Reed, 1979)
During the first semester, Robert Stout wrote an editorial calling for woman to have equal educational advantages as men. Women were allowed to attend classes and sit examinations by August of that same year.
|Aug 22||Establishment of the first dairying co-operative company on the Otago Peninsula. (Reed, 1979)|
|1873||The passing of 'Bradshaw's' Act sees the employment of women in factories retricted to eight hours a day. (Carden, 2007)
The Act was amended in 1975 to restrict child labour to four hours a day.
|1876||The Rabbit Nuisance Act is passed. (Reed, 1979)
Three years later, ferrets are released in an attempt to control the burgeoning rabbit population. The ferrets instead decimate the much easier to catch native birds. Stoats and weasels are also released in 1885.
|1877||The Chief Justice, Sir James Prendergast, declares Te Tiriti "worthless" and "a simple nullity" and takes the view that 'native title' could not be recognised or granted by the courts.
This occurs at the end of a case against the Bishop of Wellington, brought by Wi Parata. This statement influences judicial decisions on Te Tiriti issues for many decades to come
|Aug 1||First closed season of the Bluff oyster fishery in the Foveaux Strait. (Reed, 1979)
The fishery remained closed until February 1879.
The Education Act is passed, providing primary education for all children. (Carden, 2007)
|Oct 26||Thomas Bracken's 'God Defend New Zealand' is first published, later becoming New Zealand's national anthem. (Reed, 1979)|
|May 26||Under orders from Te Whiti, Māori begin ploughing up the land of European settlers at Parihaka. (Reed, 1979)|
|Feb 15||The first refrigerated shipment of meat and diary on board the Dunedin leaves Port Chalmers for London. (Reed, 1979)
The activities of Chow Chong, an immigrant from China, over the past decade in improving the delivery of butter (by cutting it in one pound blocks and wrapping in greaseproof paper) helped to pave the way for shipping refrigerated dairy products. (Carden, 2007).
|Apr 26||A telephone exchange opens in Dunedin. (Reed, 1979)
An exchange opens in Wellington in March the next year. Further towns open their own exchanges, but it takes a few years for inter-town communications to begin. Christchurch and Dunedin are linked in February 1887.
|Nov 2||Electricity lights up a house for the first time in Auckland. (Reed, 1979)
Electricity makes its public debut in Auckland when three arc lights are lit for Christmas on Queen Street in December 1887. In 1887 Reefton is the first town in New Zealand, and Gore the second, to have electricity.
|Apr 26||Mount Tongariro erupts violently . (Reed, 1979)|
|May 21||The opening ceremony of Auckland University College takes place. (Reed, 1979)|
|1884||The first New Zealand rugby team to tour overseas visits New South Wales, winning all games. (Reed, 1979)
The New Zealand Rugby Football Union is established in April 1892. A team called the All Blacks first plays in Somerset County, UK, in October 1905.
|Dec 25||The first ascent of Mt Cook is made. (Reed, 1979)|
|Sep 14||The New Zealand State Forests Act is passed. (Reed, 1979)|
|Jun 10||Mt Tarawera erupts, destroying the famed Pink and White Terraces and killing 153 people. (Reed, 1979)
Less than two weeks prior to the eruption, tourists on Lake Tarawera report seeing a phantom canoe on the water.
The Anchor brand of butter is first produced in the Waikato. (Reed, 1979)
|1887||Te Heuheu Tokino of Tuwharetoa, gifts land around Tongariro, Ruapehu and Ngarahoe, becoming New Zealand's first national park. (Reed, 1979)|
|May 7||A mass meeting is held in Dunedin to discuss the question of the 'Yellow Peril' (Chinese immigration). (Reed, 1979)
In September 1905, a fanatic, Lionel Terry, murders a Chinese person in Wellington in order to bring attention to his cause.
|Mar 26||The country's first agricultural conference is held in Christchurch over two days. (Reed, 1979)|
|1892||The first Kotahitanga Māori Parliament meets. (Reed, 1979)|
|May 1||Richard Seddon takes the office of Premier following the death of John Ballance. (Reed, 1979)|
|Sep 8||The Women's Franchise bill is passed. Women first vote in the Parliamentary elections in December 1893. (Reed, 1979)|
|1898||First cars to be imported into New Zealand arrive. (Reed, 1979)|
|Oct 11||New Zealand declares joins Britain in the Boer War. (Reed, 1979)|
|Oct 19||Labour Day is celebrated for the first time. (Reed, 1979)|
|Feb 10||Four moose arrive in Wellington, later to be released in Hokitika Valley. (Reed, 1979)|
|May 20||Kapiti Island is declared a reserve under the Animals Protection Act 1880. (Reed, 1979)|
|Jun 11||Cornwall Park is gifted to the city of Auckland by Sir John Logan Campbell. (Reed, 1979)|
|Nov 7||2 326 000 acres of Western Southland are temporarily reserved for a National Park. (Reed, 1979)
Fiordland National Park is made permanent in February 1905
|Jun 10||Premier Richard Seddon dies of a heart attack aboard a ship bound from Sydney for New Zealand.|
|Apr 28||Elsdon Best completes his huge study, Tuhoe . (Reed, 1979)|
|May 14||The Plunket Society is founded by Truby King. (Reed, 1979)|
|Sep 26||The Colony of New Zealand officially becomes the Dominion of New Zealand. (Reed, 1979)
The Tohunga Suppression Act is passed.
|Dec 10||Ernest Rutherford wins the Nobel Prize in Chemistry for his work on the form of atoms and nuclear physics. (Reed, 1979)|
|Dec 24||Compulsory military training is introduced. (Reed, 1979)|
|Feb 24||Seven moose, gifted by the Canadian Government, are released at Supper Cover, Dusky Sound. (Reed, 1979)|
|Nov 22||The first car journey along the 'centre route' between Wellington and Auckland commences. (Reed, 1979)|
|Nov 22||Striking dockside workers in Wellington place their case in the hands of the Federation of Labour, causing a nation-wide strike of dockside workers, and threatening the national economy. (Reed, 1979)
This leads to a series of clashes between government 'specials' and workers and the occupation of Auckland wharves by over a thousand farmers. The strike ends on 20th December.
|Mar 3||Britain purchases all of New Zealand's meat exports from this time until 1920. (Reed, 1979)|
|Aug 4||World War I commences. New Zealand joins the war on August 5th. (Reed, 1979)
NZ Expeditionary Force leaves New Zealand on October 16th. More troops follow, including the Maori Contingent. Troops are originally sent to Apia, Turkey and Gallipoli, Greece, and later, to Italy and France.
|Nov 8||Tahupotiki Wiremu Ratana experiences visions from sent by God. (Reed, 1979)
These transcendental visions gift Ratana healing powers to which many flock, and marks the start of the Ratana church
movement. This day is celebrated as the day of his maramatanga (revelation).
|Nov 11||The Armistice is signed, ending World War I. (Reed, 1979)|
|Nov 12||The Niagra arrives in Auckland carrying twenty five people seriously ill with Spanish influenza. (Reed, 1979)
This marks the beginnings of the Spanish 'flu epidemic in New Zealand, which is also brought into the country by returning troops. Around 8600 people die by the end of the year. Māori are severely affected, with death rates around seven times higher than that of Pakeha.
|1920||Bush sickness affects many cattle farmers in the central North Island, forcing conversion to forestry.|
|May 24||First flight made between Auckland and Invercargill. (Reed, 1979)
Herbert Guthrie-Smith's book, Tutira: The Story of a New Zealand Sheep Station , the country's first environmental history, is published.
|Mar 28||The predecessor to the Royal New Zealand Forest and Bird Protection Society is formed. (Reed, 1979)|
|May 22||First set of mechanical traffic lights introduced in Auckland. (Reed, 1979)|
|Dec 17||The Auckland Zoological gardens open. (Reed, 1979)|
|Jan 9||Writer Katherine Mansfield dies at a sanatorium in Fontainebleau, France.|
|Jun 3||Arapuni hydroelectric power station begins operation. (Reed, 1979)|
|Feb 3||A severe earthquake in the Hawke's Bay kills 256 people, mostly living in Napier. (Reed, 1979)|
|1932||At the Ottowa Conference, British Denominations, including New Zealand, gain preferential access to the British market place. (Carden, 2007)|
|Nov 3||The New Zealand Antarctic Society is formed in Wellington in November. (Reed, 1979)|
|May 8||Jean Batten sets off on her record breaking flight from London to Darwin. (Reed, 1979)|
|Mar 13||Action is taken in the Legislative Council to movement to exterminate deer and goats in native forests. (Reed, 1979)
The Native Housing Act is passed. (Reed, 1979)
|Mar 1||The Free Milk in Schools scheme is introduced. (Reed, 1979)
Prime Minister Michael Savage opens the first state house in Miramar, Wellington.
|Sep 3||Britain declares War on Germany. New Zealand follows suit around ten hours later. (Reed, 1979)
An original recruitment drive for 6 600 men is started. Māori members of Parliament request that a special unit, the Maori Battalion, is set up for Māori volunteers.
The first edition of the New Zealand Listener is published. (Reed, 1979)
|Apr 22||Regular air service between Auckland and Sydney begins. (Reed, 1979)
A regular trans-Pacific flight between Auckland and San Francisco begins in July 1940.
|Jul 22||Conscription is introduced, with all males ages between 18 and 46 eligible for call up to service via the ballot. (Reed, 1979)|
|Dec 4||A meeting of the South Island Progress Leagues results in a request to government to address erosion issues. (Reed, 1979)
In September the next year, the Soils Conservation and Rivers Control Act comes into force.
|Mar 8||Japanese reconnaissance planes fly over Wellington. On the 13th, Japanese planes fly over Auckland. (Reed, 1979)|
|Apr 23||A diplomatic post to the USA is formally appointed, the first diplomatic position New Zealand holds outside of Britain. (Reed, 1979)|
|Jun||A large number of American servicemen begin to arrive in the country, particularly in Wellington.|
|Dec 19||The Abel Tasman National Park is opened in a ceremony to mark the tercentenary of Abel Tasman's visit to the country. (Reed, 1979)|
|Feb 25||Japanese prisoners-of-war, jailed in Featherston, break out with the loss of forty-nine lives. (Reed, 1979)|
|Mar 1||The first generator at the Waikaremoana hydroelectric power station begins operation. (Reed, 1979)|
|Oct 28||Butter rationing begins. Meat rationing begins the next year. (Reed, 1979)|
|May 8||Victory in Europe. (Reed, 1979)|
|Jun 26||New Zealand signs the United Nations Charter in San Francisco in June, along with 49 other nations. (Reed, 1979)|
|Aug 15||Japan surrenders, thus ending World War II. (Reed, 1979)|
|Dec 18||New Zealand formally accepts trusteeship of Western Samoa in December, under the new UN Trusteeship system. (Reed, 1979)|
|Apr 1||The Karapiro Hydroelectric Power Station begins operation. (Reed, 1979)|
|Nov 29||North Island schools are closed due to a poliomyelitis epidemic. Schools are reopened in April 1948.|
|Apr 11||Tracks of the thought-extinct takahe (Nortinis mantelli) are discovered in Fiordland. (Reed, 1979)
The scientists photograph and catch a takahe in November of the same year.
|May 14||Mabel Howard becomes the first woman in New Zealand to hold a portfolio in Cabinet. (Reed, 1979)|
|Sep 1||The first aerial pest control flight is conducted, dropping rabbit poison. (Reed, 1979)|
|Oct 12||The first ever aerial top-dressing run is made by the RNZAF at Te Mata. (Reed, 1979)
Ground troops and naval forces are sent to the Korean War after requests from the United States.
|Feb 13||Waterside workers and miners strike for several months, causing civil unrest and considerable economic disruption. (Reed, 1979)|
|Aug 13||The Meals on Wheels service begins. (Reed, 1979)|
|Sep 1||New Zealand, Australia and the United States of America sign the ANZUS Treaty for military cooperation. (Reed, 1979)
A pan-iwi approach to solving Māori social issues, the Māori Women's Welfare League is established.
|Jul 23||Yvette Williams wins the Olympic gold medal for long jump with a record breaking leap. (Reed, 1979)|
|Sep 10||Buses supplant trams in Invercargill. This is symptomatic of an increasing dependence on fossil-fueled transport systems. (Reed, 1979)
New Zealand population reaches two million.
|Apr 29||Edmund Hillary and Sherpa Tenzing Norkay reach the summit of Mt Everest. (Reed, 1979)|
|Dec 24||A lahar on Mt Ruapehu washes down the Whangaehu River, washing away the railbridge at Tangiwai, resulting in the derailment of the Wellington-Auckland train service. 151 people lose their lives. (Reed, 1979)|
|Jul 28||The Urewera National Park is officially gazetted. This has major ongoing implications for Tuhoe Māori. (Reed, 1979)
New Zealand gains a seat on the United Nations Security Council. (Reed, 1979)
|1956||New Zealand sends troops into Malaya.|
|1957||The New Zealand-led Scott Base is established on the Ross Dependency, Antarctica. (Reed, 1979)|
|Jun 28||The first shipment of beef cattle to the United States leaves the country. (Reed, 1979)|
|Sep 3||The first successful use of a lung-heart machine at Auckland's Greenlane Hospital. (Reed, 1979)|
|Nov 15||The Wairakei thermal power plant generates commercial power for the first time. (Reed, 1979)|
|Feb 23||Broadcasting of experimental television from a low powered Auckland station begins. (Reed, 1979)
Regular programming begins in June 1960 with broadcasting being extended to seven nights a week on January 1st, 1961.
|May 31||The Auckland Harbour Bridge opens to traffic between Auckland City and the North Shore. (Reed, 1979)
It takes seventeen days for one million cars to cross the bridge.
Turners and Growers announce that the Chinese gooseberry, grown in New Zealand since 1904, would now be exported as the kiwifruit. (Reed, 1979)
New Zealand signs the Antarctica Treaty. (Reed, 1979)
|Sep 24||A sewerage purification plant opens at Mangere. (Reed, 1979)
This sees twelve million gallons of raw sewerage diverted from the Waitemata Harbour daily (that is approximately 45 million litres)
|Oct 12||Capital punishment is abolished. (Reed, 1979)
The first Golden Shears national shearing contest is held in Masterton. (Reed, 1979)
New Zealand joins the International Monetary Fund, World Bank and International Finance Corporation.
|Feb 22||Gas and condensate are first produced in the Kapuni well. (Reed, 1979)|
|Mar 26||The Māori Education Foundation Campaign is launched. (Reed, 1979)
The double-helix shape of DNA is uncovered using x-rays.
Maurice Wilkinson, along with two English scientists, is awarded the Nobel Prize for Physiology and Medicine for this discovery.
The New Zealand Māori Council is established.
|1963||Bob Charles wins golf's British Open. (Reed, 1979)|
|May 30||The Marsden Point oil refinery opens. (Reed, 1979)|
|Jun 21||The Beatles begin their tour of the country. (Reed, 1979)|
|Oct 16||Peter Snell wins the 800m gold medal at the Olympics. (Reed, 1979)
Mount Aspiring National Park is gazetted. (Reed, 1979)
Power cables across Cook Strait are laid. (Reed, 1979)
The population of Auckland reaches half a million.
|May 27||PM Keith Holyoake announces that a New Zealand artillery contingent will be sent to Vietnam. (Reed, 1979)|
|Aug 31||New Zealand and Australia sign the NZ-Australia Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). (Reed, 1979)|
|Jan 29||Auckland International Airport opens in Mangere. (Reed, 1979)
The New Zealand National Library is founded.
|May 18||The fifth Māori King, Koroki, dies. His daughter, Te Atairangi Kaahu, is crowned Māori Queen at Ngarawahia. (Reed, 1979)|
|Feb 10||The Milk in Schools scheme ends. (Reed, 1979)|
|Jul 10||New Zealand changes to decimal currency. (Reed, 1979)|
|Oct 8||The 'six o'clock swill' - law that pubs close at 6pm - first introduced as a war-time measure in 1917, ends. (Reed, 1979)
The law led to a considerable binge drinking culture as patrons hurried to get as much alcohol in as possible before 6pm.
|Feb 12||Use of DDT pesticides on agricultural land is banned - the ban comes into force in June 1970. (Reed, 1979)|
|Apr 10||The Wahine InterIslander service is wrecked on Barretts Reef on the entrance to Wellington Harbour during a severe storm, with the loss of 51 lives. (Reed, 1979)|
|Nov 25||Ministry Transport Act is passed. (Reed, 1979)|
|Mar 12||Oil condensate, natural gas and heavy oil are discovered at the Maui I well off the Taranaki Coast. (Reed, 1979)|
|May 1||Breath and blood tests for alcohol are introduced for drivers suspected of drinking. (Reed, 1979)|
|Sep 15||Production begins at the Glenbrook Steel Mill, south of Auckland. (Reed, 1979)|
|Oct 20||The Save Manapouri campaign gains national headlines.|
|Jan 15||The visit of the USA Vice-President, Spiro Agnew, sparks a protest outside his hotel by anti-Vietnam War campaigners.|
|Feb 6||The young Māori activist group, Nga Tamatoa, disrupts Waitangi Day celebrations at Waitangi.|
|Jul 17||The country's first satellite station opens near Warkworth.|
|Nov 30||The Tiwai Point aluminium smelter begins production.|
|Dec 17||Race Relations Act passed, paving the way for the creation of the office of the Race Relations Conciliator.|
|Oct 22||Writer James K Baxter dies suddenly at age 46.
The Values Party is formed.
|Jan 1||The United Kingdom joins the European Economic Community, forcing New Zealand to diversify its agriculture exports.|
|May 27||New Zealand joins the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD).|
|Jun 28||A New Zealand naval frigate is sent to French Polynesia to protest against French nuclear testing in the Pacific.|
|Sep 15||The first United Women's Convention is held in Auckland, indicating the increasingly important role of feminism in NZ.|
|Oct 31||The first colour television broadcasts are made from Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch.|
|Dec 3||In response to the 'first oil shock', the government lowers the speed limit to 50mph and encourages car pooling.
New Zealand population reaches three million.
|Jan 25||The Christchurch Commonwealth Games, dubbed the 'Friendly Games', open.|
|Aug 31||The Labour Prime Minister, Norman Kirk, dies suddenly from surgery complications during his second year in office.|
|Aug 12||John Walker becomes the first person to run a mile in under 3 minutes 50 seconds.|
|Sep 14||Whina Cooper, then 80 years old, leads the Te Ropu o te Matakite land march (hikoi) from Northland to Wellington.|
|Oct 10||The passing of the Treaty of Waitangi Act initiates the formation of the Waitangi Tribunal.
The Act gives the provision for "the observance and confirmation of the principals" of Te Tiriti. While initially only investigating claims dating from the passage of the Act, in 1985 the Act was amended so that it could consider claims back to 1840.
|Nov 7||The country's first marine reserve is established at Cape Rodney-Okakari Point.|
|Dec 12||Robert Muldoon (National) assumes the office of Prime Minister, holding the position for nine years.|
|Jul 30||The New Zealand men's hockey team and John Walker both win gold at the Montreal Olympics.|
|Sep 1||Wanganui Computer Centre opens.
This became the New Zealand government's first centralised electronic storage facility, raising questions about the state's ability to gather information on its citizens.
|Oct 21||Police begin a series of dawn raids on Pacific Islanders' homes searching for overstayers, sparking considerable protest.|
|Jan 5||Ngati Whatua occupy land at Takaparawha (Bastion Point) to protest against the proposed sale of the land by the Crown.
The occupation continues until the eviction of protestors by police (by force) in May 1978. The land is eventually returned to Ngati Whatua in July 1988.
|Feb 6||Waitangi Day is celebrated for the first time as a public holiday, replacing New Zealand Day.|
|Sep 26||The 200 nautical mile Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) of ocean around New Zealand is established.|
|Jul 30||Car-less days are introduced as a result of the 'second oil shock', have very little effect, and are scrapped in December.|
|Nov 28||Air New Zealand flight 901 crashes into Mt Erebus while on a tourist flight over Antarctica, killing all 297 people onboard.|
|Feb 16||TVNZ begins operation.
Split Enz scores the number one spot on the music charts in New Zealand and Australia
|Nov 15||Saturday morning trading is legalised again after a 45 year ban.|
|Dec 23||The 'Independent State of Aramoana' is formed to protest against the planned aluminium smelter at Aramoana, Otago.|
|Feb 1||Australia wins a one-day cricket match over New Zealand with an underarm bowl by Trevor Chappel to Brian McKechnie.|
|May 1||Protests against the Springbok rugby team begin and continue throughout the tour, till September.|
|May 15||Kinetic sculptor and experimental film artist, Len Lye, dies.|
|Apr 2||The first "kohanga reo" (language nest) pre-school Māori language immersion programme opens in Wainuiomata.
The Patea Māori Club releases Poi E and the song tops the New Zealand music charts in 1984.
|Aug 2||The United States nuclear war ship, Texas , visits New Zealand, sparking protests.|
|Jun 14||Robert Muldoon, then Prime Minister, calls a snap election to be held in one month's time.|
|Jul 14||David Lange and the Labour Party win the general election with a landslide victory.|
|Jul 18||The incoming government announces a number of urgent measures to combat the currency crisis.
Removal of agricultural subsidies sees New Zealand become one of the least regulated markets in the world.
This is just one of the sweeping changes the new Labour Minister of Finance, Roger Douglas, makes in his efforts to reform and deregulate the economy.
Auckland's population exceeds that of the South Island for the first time.
|Feb 1||Anti-nuclear policy introduced by the Labour government prevents the US ship, Buchanan , from visiting New Zealand.|
|Mar 4||The New Zealand dollar is floated for the first time.|
|Jul 10||The Rainbow Warrior is bombed by French secret agents in Auckland after its involvement in protests at Mururoa Atoll against French nuclear testing. The bombing sinks the boat and kills one crew member.|
|Oct 31||Keri Hulme becomes the first New Zealander to win the Booker Prize for her novel Bone People.
The Māori language (te reo) is recognised as a taonga under Te Tiriti.
|Dec 9||The Waitangi Tribunal is given retrospective power to consider claims dating back to 1840.|
|Jul 9||The Homosexual Reform Bill is passed, removing criminal sanctions against consensual male homosexual practice.|
|Oct 1||The Goods and Services Tax Act (10% on all goods and services), another part of Rogernomics, comes into force.
The Environment Act is passed, leading to the establishment of the Ministry for the Environment and the office of the Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment.
|Apr 1||The State Owned Enterprises Act is passed, turning a number of government departments into limited liability companies with an emphasis on efficiency and profitability.|
|May 27||Colin McCahon, the eminent New Zealand modern artist, dies.|
|Sep 30||The Waitangi Tribunal's ruling on the Murawhenua fisheries claim opens the door to more challenges by Māori on rights to the fishing quota system.|
|Jun 8||The New Zealand Nuclear Free Zone, Disarmament and Arms Control Act is passed into law.|
|Jun 20||The All Blacks win the first ever Rugby World Cup under the captaincy of David Kirk.|
|Aug 1||The Māori language becomes and an official language under the Māori Language Act.
Conservation Act is passed, establishing the Department of Conservation.
|Oct 14||The stock market crashes. Share values fall 59% in four months.|
|Mar 7||Cyclone Bola hits the country, particularly affecting the north and east coast of the North Island.
Bola dumps nearly a metre of water on the East Coast hills, causing widespread slipping and underlining the problem of forest clearance in erosion prone areas.
|Nov 12||The first ever bungy jump is made at the Kawarau Bridge just outside of Queenstown.
432 post offices are closed by New Zealand Post.
The number of unemployed reaches 100 000.
|Aug 8||David Lange resigns as Prime Minister, disillusioned by the direction of Labour policy. Geoffrey Palmer replaces him.|
|Dec 20||The Māori Fisheries Act is passed.
Regulation drift netting comes into force, prohibiting both their possession and use within New Zealand's 200 nautical mile EEZ.
Janet Frame wins the Commonwealth Writers Prize for her novel The Carpathians .
|Jan 24||Auckland hosts the Commonwealth Games.|
|Jul 14||Māori leaders inaugurate the National Congress of Tribes.|
|Nov 2||Jim Bolger leads the National Party into government.|
|Nov 13||David Gray kills thirteen people during a shooting rampage at Aramoana, before he is shot by police the next day.|
|Dec 13||The number of unemployed reaches 202 054, the highest ever total.|
|Dec 19||National announces plans to slash benefits and other severe money-saving schemes in attempt to balance the budget.
The Ozone Layer Protection Act is passed, controlling imports and emissions of ozone-depleting substances.
|Jul 22||The Resource Management Act is passed.|
|Jul 30||Finance Minister Ruth Richardson delivers her 'Mother of all Budgets'.|
|Aug 23||The Biosecurity Act is passed.|
|May 19||Jane Campion directed film, The Piano, is released to international acclaim.
Winston Peters forms the New Zealand First Party.
|Jun 10||The Hazardous Substances and New Organisms Act is passed.|
|Jul||250 frontline troops are sent to the Bosnian conflict.
The government proposes a $1 billion cap for final settlement all Treaty of Waitangi claims.
|28 Oct||Māori activist Mike Smith attacks the lone pine on top of One Tree Hill (Mangakiekie).|
|Sep||The Environment 2010 Strategy is released.|
|May 13||Team New Zealand, lead by Sir Peter Blake, wins the America's Cup at San Diego, California.
The French renew nuclear testing at Mururoa Atoll, sparking considerable protest in New Zealand.
|Oct 12||The first MMP election is held, resulting in a coalition government.|
|Nov 19||The first OECD Environmental Performance Review of New Zealand is released.
Serious biosecurity threats, the white tussock moth and Mediterranean fruit fly are both found in Auckland.
|Mar 3||Auckland's tallest building, the Sky Tower, opens.|
|Dec 8||Jenny Shipley ousts Jim Bolger as National's leader in a coup, becoming the country's first female Prime Minister.
The rabbit calicivirus is illegally introduced into the country by South Island farmers after the government declines application for its release in July.
Winston Peters initiates the 'wine-box' enquiry.
|Feb 20||The central Auckland business district is hit by a major power cut that lasts several weeks.|
|Nov 27||The Labour party wins the general election, making Helen Clark the country's first elected female Prime Minister.
The Hikoi of Hope marches to Parliament, calling for greater support for the disadvantaged.
|Jan 1||The Y2K bug causes considerable hysteria and stocking up of water supplies, but little else.|
|Feb||Team New Zealand, and an army of red socks, successfully defends the America's Cup regatta held in Auckland.|
|Dec 19||The first part of Peter Jackson's much anticipated film trilogy, Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Rings , is released.
The Varroa bee mite is discovered in North Island hives.
|2001||Government places a moratorium on new marine farm applications, leading, eventually, to the Foreshore and Seabed Bill.|
|Oct||The Fonterra Cooperative Group is formed by its 11 600 dairy farmer owners, becoming the world's largest dairy exporter.|
|Dec 10||New Zealand ratifies the Kyoto Protocol.
Ahmed Zaoui, an Algerian politician, is detained as a security threat after attempting to gain refugee status.
|Jun 30||The population of the North Island exceeds 3 million for the first time.
Michael King's hugely popular Penguin History of New Zealand is published.
After pressure from Fish and Game New Zealand, the Clean Streams accord is developed and signed by the Government and Fonterra.
|Jan 29||Highly regarded novelist and poet Janet Frame dies.|
|Mar 30||Michael King, preeminent historian and biographer, dies in a car crash at Maramarua.|
|Nov 18||The Seabed and Foreshore Bill is passed, making all land up to the hightide mark property of the Crown.
Both the passing of the Bill and the process with which the government went about it, greatly upsets large numbers of Māori, causing a huge hikoi to march to Parliament and sparking the formation of the Māori Party.
|Dec 9||The Civil Unions Act is passed, creating the institution of the civil union, is open to hetero and homosexual couples.|
|Dec 10||Smoking in the workplace is banned.
Didymosphenia geminata, an invasive algae also known as rock snot, is found in some South Island rivers.
|Aug 4||The government places a deadline on claims to the Waitangi Tribunal by 2008, and settlement on all claims by 2020.|
|Dec 21||The Labour government abandons the proposed carbon tax.
The Environment Court rules that Solid Energy can proceed with a coal mine at Happy Valley, West Coast, resulting in continued protests and the relocation of hundreds of endangered endemic Powelliphanta snails.
|May 3||The government announces that Telecom must 'unbundle' local loop services to help improve broadband uptake.|
|Jun 16||The Varroa bee mite is found in the South Island for the first time, threatening the regions honey production.|
|Sep 28||The Overlander train service between Wellington and Auckland, due to be axed, gets a last minute reprieve.|