New Zealand; key historical events
Page last modified 24/6/2020
15/3/2019, A White-supremacist gunman shot dead 50 Muslim worshipers at Friday prayers at a mosque in Christchurch New Zealand, with several others wounded, some seriously.
2006, Maori Queen Te Arikinui Dame Te Atairangikaahu died, aged 75.
1999, The Labour Party led by Helen Clark won the elections. They were re-elected in 2002 and 2005. New Zealand provided armed forces for peacekeeping duties in East Timor. Since 2002 New Zealandís armed forces have been focissed towards peacekeeping duties and dealing with economic threats.
1998, Jenny Shipley, National Party Prime Minister, terminated her coalition with the New Zealand First (NZF) Party amd sacked Winston Peters, NZF, as Deputy prime Minister. She now led a minority government.
1998, The Waitangi Tribunal ordered the New Zealand government to return some NZ$ 6.1 million-worth of confiscated land.
1997, The National Party (NP) formed a coalition with the New Zealand First Party. Jenny Shipley, NP, became the first woman Prime Minister of New Zealand.
1996, First use of Proportional Represntation in New Zealand elections, following a referendum decision to adopt the system in 1993. The National Party formed a coalition to preserve its working majority.
1995, Annual Waitangi Day celebrations (marking the Waitangi Treaty of 1840, the foundation of the modern State of New Zealand) were cancelled following proetsts by Maoris.
1992, The Maoris won South Island fishing rights.
1/10/1991, New Zealand's Resource Management Act 1991 comes into force.
4/9/1990, In New Zealand the Labour Prime Minister, Geoffrey Palmer, resigned, following the electoral defeat of his Party. He was replaced by Michael Moore. James Bulger, National Party, became the Prime Minister.
27/10/1990, In New Zealand elections, the National Party led by James Bolgar defeated the ruling Labour Party.
1989, Labour Prime Minister Lange resigned and was replaced by Geoffrey Palmer.
1987, The Labour Party won elections and began widespread privatisation. A nuclear ban was enshrined in law.
3/11/1985, In New Zealand, two French agents pleaded guilty to the sinking of the Greenpeace ship, Rainbow Warrior, and the manslaughter of the photographer on board.
22/9/1985, French Prime Minister Laurent Fabius admitted that French agents had sunk the Greenpeace boat Rainbow Warrior in Auckland, New Zealand, on 10/7/1985. The French Defence Minister was forced to resign.
10/7/1985. The Greenpeace ship Rainbow Warrior was blown up in Auckland harbour, New Zealand. Limpet mines had been attached to the ship, killing one crewmember. French security forces were implicated. The rainbow Warrior was to have taken part in a protest against French nuclear tests at Mururoa atoll in the south Pacific.
14/7/1984, In New Zealand general elections, the Labour Party led by Prime Minister David Lange defeated the ruling National Party. The Auckland harbour Headland was restored to the Maoris.
28/11/1981, The National Party won a very narrow election victory in New Zealand.
29/11/1975, In New Zealand the National Party defeated the Labour Government. Robert Muldoon became Prime Minister. An economic austerity programme was implemented.
25/11/1972, Norman Kirk became Prime Minister of New Zealand after Labour won a sweeping electoral victory.
7/2/1972, Sir Keith Holyoake retired as Prime Minister of New Zealand. He was succeeded by John Marshall.
14/6/1967. Australian and New Zealand woolgrowers expressed concern over the effects of the mini skirt on wool prices, which were down 6d a pound on the last season.
14/9/1961, New Zealand introduced compulsory selective military service.
26/11/1960, General election in New Zealand was won by the National Party, with 46 seats. Labour won 34 seats. Keith Holyoake was appointed Prime Minister.
30/11/1957, General election in New Zealand was won by the Labour Party with a majority of one seat. Walter Nash became Prime Minister.
1/9/1951, Australia, New Zealand, and the USA signed the ANZUS Pact, a mutual defence treaty.† This marked a shift in New Zealand politics away from the UK and towards the US.
27/11/1946, New Zealand elections gave 42 seats to Labour, which retained power, against 38 seats for the National Party.
4/8/1942, David Russell Lange, New Zealand politician and Prime Minister 1984-9, was born. He
controversially refused to allow nuclear armed ships to dock in New Zealand.
26/3/1936, New Zealand began radio broadcasts of its Parliamentary sessions.
13/3/1936, Sir Francis Bell, who was Prime Minister of New Zealand for only 16 days, died aged 84.
25/9/1921, Sir Robert Muldoon, Prime Minister of New Zealand 1975-84, was born.
20/7/1919. Sir Edmund Hillary, who conquered Mount Everest in 1953 with Tenzing Norgay, was born in Auckland, North Island, New Zealand.
11/9/1918, Desmond James Scott, New Zealand fighter pilot, was born.
1916, The New Zealand Labour Party was founded, by trades unionists and other socialists.
11/12/1907, Fire destroyed the Parliament buildings at Wellington, New Zealand.
26/9/1907. New Zealand became a dominion. It had become a colony of Britain in 1840. A series of wars between the British and the native Maoris ended with peace in the 1870s. Full independence was achieved in 1947.
11/6/1901, New Zealand annexed the Cook Islands.
28/11/1893, Women first voted in New Zealand, at the General Election, see 19/9/1893.
19/9/1893. New Zealand became the first country to allow women the vote. The Womenís Christian Temperance Union had been pressing for this for 8 years, and had presented three petitions to the House of Representatives. Each time the number of signatures rose, until a record 31,872 names swayed the House. Despite an unscrupulous liquor lobby, the WCTU won and intended to press for womenís votes in other countries.† See 28/11/1893.
23/6/1893, Sir William Fox, New Zealand statesman, died (born 9/6/1812).
1890, A Liberal Govermment was elected.
20/1/1887. New Zealand annexed the Kermadec Islands.
14/3/1869, The third Maori rebellion in 15 years ended with the defeat of the rebel leader, Titokowaru.
1867, Four Maori seats were established in the House of Representatives.
1865, Wellington became the capital of New Zealand.
4/5/1863, Maoris clashed with British settlers at Taranaki, New Zealand, over land rights.
1861, Gold was discovered near Dunedin.
19/3/1861, An uneasy truce was agreed between the Maoris and the British in the two-year war over the enforced sale of Maori lands.
16/12/1860, The first immigrant ship, the Charlotte Jane, arrived in New Zealand.
25/6/1860, Death of Maori King, Potatau Te Wherowher.
1857, Gold mining began in New Zealand.
1852, The New Zealand House of Representatives was established.
23/3/1848. The first official settlement at Dunedin, New Zealand. It was originally called New Edinburgh.
11/3/1845, In New Zealand, a Maori uprising against the British began. The Maori were protesting at European settlement of Maori lands, in breach of the 1840 Treaty of Waitangi.
11/3/1844, In New Zealand, Maoris rose up against British rule.
1841, New Zealand was separated from the colony of New South Wales.
21/5/1840, Captain William Hobson proclaimed New Zealand to be a British Colony.
6/2/1840. Captain Hobson signed the Treaty of Waitangi with Maori chiefs in New Zealand. The Maoris were guaranteed possession of their lands but if they wished to sell them must first offer them to the British government. Britain was concerned at French plans to send settlers to New Zealand, and at mistreatment of the Maoris by land speculators and escaped convicts from Australia.
27/3/1839, John Balance, New Zealand politician, was born (died 1893).
24/2/1815, Land in New Zealand was sold to a White person for the first† time, for a mission church.
7/10/1769, Captain Cook reached New Zealand.
13/12/1642. New Zealand was discovered by the Dutch explorer Abel Tasman.
1000 - `1200, The Maori, a Polynesian people, arrived in New Zealand from eastern Polynesia.