Chronography of New Zealand

Page last modified 17 September 2023


15 March 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.

15 August 2006, Maori Queen Te Arikinui Dame Te Atairangikaahu died, aged 75 (born 23 July 1931)

13 August 2005, David Lange, New Zealand Prime Minister, died.

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 Zealand�s 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.

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.


Restoration of Maori Rights

31 March 1998, The New Zealand Government introduced a Bill to compensate the Maori Ngai Tahu people for land stolen from them in the 1800s.

1998, The Waitangi Tribunal ordered the New Zealand government to return some NZ$ 6.1 million-worth of confiscated land.

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.

3 November 1995, Queen Elizabeth II gave Royal Assent to a law restoring land to the indigenous Tainui Maori people, New Zealand.

1992, The Maoris won South Island fishing rights.


1 October 1991, New Zealand's Resource Management Act 1991 came into force.


Greenpeace scandal

3 November 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 September 1985, French Prime Minister Laurent Fabius admitted that French agents had sunk the Greenpeace boat Rainbow Warrior in Auckland, New Zealand, on 10 July 1985. The French Defence Minister was forced to resign.

10 July 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.


Labour Government 1984--90

4 September 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 October 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.

4 February 1985, New Zealand barred a US warship from its waters after the USA refused to confirm whether or not there were nuclear weapons on board.

14 July 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 November 1981, The National Party won a very narrow election victory in New Zealand.

29 November 1975, In New Zealand the National Party defeated the Labour Government. Robert Muldoon became Prime Minister. An economic austerity programme was implemented.

25 November 1972, Norman Kirk became Prime Minister of New Zealand after Labour won a sweeping electoral victory.

14 June 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 September 1961, New Zealand introduced compulsory selective military service.

26 November 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 November 1957, General election in New Zealand was won by the Labour Party with a majority of one seat. Walter Nash became Prime Minister.

1 September 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.

30 November 1949, New Zealand General Election. The incumbent Labour Party was defeated by the opposition National Party.

17/ May 1947, George Forbes, Prime Minister of New Zealand 1930 - 35, died aged 78.

27 November 1946, New Zealand elections gave 42 seats to Labour, which retained power, against 38 seats for the National Party.

4 August 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 March 1940, New Zealand Labour Prime Minister Michael Savage died aged 68.

26 March 1936, New Zealand began radio broadcasts of its Parliamentary sessions.

13 March 1936, Sir Francis Bell, who was Prime Minister of New Zealand for only 16 days, died aged 84.

1 October 1933, Te Rata Mahuta, King of the Maori people in New Zealand since 1912, died aged 56

23 July 1931, Te Arikinui Dame Te Atairangikaahu, Queen of the Maori people, was born (died15 August 2006)

10 May 1925, William Massey, Prime Minister of New Zealand, died.

14 June 1923, The New Zealand Air Force was founded.

25 September 1921, Sir Robert Muldoon, Prime Minister of New Zealand 1975-84, was born.

20 July 1919. Sir Edmund Hillary, who conquered Mount Everest in 1953 with Tenzing Norgay, was born in Auckland, North Island, New Zealand.

11 September 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 December 1907, Fire destroyed the Parliament buildings at Wellington, New Zealand.

26 September 1907. New Zealand became a dominion. It had become a colony of Britain in 1840. A series of wars between the British and the indigenous Maoris ended with peace in the 1870s. Full independence was achieved in 1947.

26 November 1902, In New Zealand, the Progressive Party gained a fifth consecutive election victory.

24 March 1902, The Flag of New Zealand became standardized after more than 32 years, with royal assent being given to the New Zealand Ensign Act of 1901 by King Edward VII.

11 June 1901, New Zealand annexed the Cook Islands.

13 March 1899, Sir Julius Vogel, British colonial administrator of New Zealand, died in East Molesey (born 24 February 1835 in London)

28 November 1893, Women first voted in New Zealand, at the General Election, see 19 September 1893.

19 September 1893. New Zealand became the first country to allow women the vote. The Women�s 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 women�s votes in other countries.See 28 November 1893.

26 June 1893, Sir Charles Norrie, Governotr-General of New Zealand from 1952, was born.

23 June 1893, Sir William Fox, New Zealand statesman, died (born 9 June 1812).

1890, A Liberal Govermment was elected.

20/1/1887. New Zealand annexed the Kermadec Islands.


Maori uprisings as European settlement and gold mining increased

15 April 1898, Kepa te Rangihiwiwiniu, Maori leader, died.

14 March 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, replacing Auckland.

21 June 1864, In New Zealand the Tauranga Campaign, the Maorii-British wars, ended with both sides having suffered major losses.

4 May 1863, Maoris clashed with British settlers at Taranaki, New Zealand, over land rights.

1861, Gold was discovered near Dunedin.

19 March 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 December 1860, The first immigrant ship, the Charlotte Jane, arrived in New Zealand.

25 June 1860, Death of Maori King, Potatau Te Wherowher.

1857, Gold mining began in New Zealand.

23 March 1848. The first official settlement at Dunedin, New Zealand. It was originally called New Edinburgh.

11 March 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 March 1844, In New Zealand, Maoris rose up against British rule.

17 June 1843, The First New Zealand War began with the Wairu Massacre.


New Zealand constituted as a separate colony

1852, The New Zealand House of Representatives was established.

1841, New Zealand was separated from the colony of New South Wales.

1840, Auckland became the capital of New Zealand, until 1865.

21 May 1840, Captain William Hobson proclaimed New Zealand to be a British Colony.

6 February 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.


16 May 1862, Edward Gibbon Wakefield, British colonial administrator in New Zealand, died in Wellington (born 20 March 1796 in London)

27 March 1839, John Balance, New Zealand politician, was born (died 1893)

24 February 1835, Sir Julius Vogel, British colonial administrator of New Zealand, was born in London (died in East Molesey, 13 March 1899)

24 February 1815, Land in New Zealand was sold to a White person for the firsttime, for a mission church.

20 March 1796, Edward Gibbon Wakefield, British colonial administrator in New Zealand, was born in London (died 16 May 1862 in Wellington)

20 May 1773, Captain James Cook released the first sheep in new Zealand.

7 October 1769, Captain Cook reached New Zealand.

13 December 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.

925, New Zealand was first discovered by the Polynesian exploere Kupe.


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