New Zealand in History

Historical Events

Events 1 - 100 of 330


Event of interestEvent of Interest

1642-03-12 Abel Tasman is the 1st European to sight New Zealand, viewing the north-west coast of the South Island

Explorer and Seafarer Abel Tasman
Explorer and Seafarer
Abel Tasman
  • 1642-12-13 Dutch explorer Abel Tasman sights the South Island of present day New Zealand; initially he calls it Staten Landt and changes it a year later to Nieuw Zeeland
  • 1642-12-18 Abel Tasman's expedition sails around Farewell Spit and into Golden Bay, first sighting local Māori in New Zealand

DiscoveryHistoric Discovery

1769-10-08 Captain James Cook lands in New Zealand (Poverty Bay)

Explorer James Cook
Explorer
James Cook
  • 1769-12-25 First Christian service in New Zealand; Mass is celebrated in Doubtless Bay by Father Paul-Antoine Léonard de Villefeix of the de Surville expedition
  • 1772-06-12 Marion du Fresne is killed at Tacoury's Cove, Bay of Islands, New Zealand, by local Māori
  • 1773-12-18 A skirmish at Grass Cove in Queen Charlotte Sound results in the deaths of two Māori and nine members of James Cook's expedition, New Zealand
  • 1814-12-22 Samuel Marsden of the Church Missionary Society arrives in the Bay of Islands, New Zealand to establish the country's first mission station; Sheep, cattle, horses and poultry are introduced
  • 1814-12-25 Reverend Samuel Marsden of the Church Missionary Society holds the first Christian service in New Zealand on land, at Rangihoua
  • 1819-08-17 The Church Missionary Society establishes New Zealand's second mission station at Kerikeri
  • 1819-11-04 Māori Chiefs Hongi Hika and Rewa sell 13,000 acres (5260 hectares) at Kerikeri to the Church Missionary Society for 48 felling axes, New Zealand
  • 1827-03-07 Shrigley Abduction: Ellen Turner, a wealthy heiress in Cheshire, England, is abducted by Edward Gibbon Wakefield, a future politician in colonial New Zealand
  • 1835-11-26 HMS Beagle leaves Tahiti for New Zealand

Event of interestEvent of Interest

1835-12-19 HMS Beagle with Charles Darwin aboard arrives in New Zealand

Naturalist Charles Darwin
Naturalist
Charles Darwin
  • 1835-12-21 HMS Beagle sails into Bay of Islands, New Zealand
  • 1840-01-22 New Zealand Company settlers arrive aboard the Aurora at Te Whanganui a Tara, which becomes Port Nicholson, Wellington

Treaty of InterestTreaty of Waitangi

1840-01-29 First Governor of New Zealand and co-author of the Treaty of Waitangi Captain William Hobson arrives in the Bay of Islands, NZ
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The Treaty of Waitangi, signed by the British Crown and various Māori chiefs
The Treaty of Waitangi, signed by the British Crown and various Māori chiefs
  • 1840-02-06 The Treaty of Waitangi is signed between 40 Māori Chiefs (later signed by 500) and representatives of the British crown in Waitangi, New Zealand. The treaty was designed to share sovereignty between the two groups.
  • 1840-05-21 Captain William Hobson proclaims British sovereignty over New Zealand; the North Island by treaty and the South Island by 'discovery'
  • 1840-08-18 French colony established in Akaroa, South Island of New Zealand
  • 1840-11-16 New Zealand officially becomes a British colony
  • 1841-05-03 New Zealand proclaimed a colony independent of New South Wales
  • 1845-03-11 The Flagstaff War: In New Zealand, Chiefs Hone Heke and Kawiti lead 700 Māoris to chop down the British flagpole and drive settlers out of the British colonial settlement of Kororareka because of breaches of the 1840 Treaty of Waitangi.
  • 1848-03-23 The ship John Wickliffe arrives at Port Chalmers carrying the first Scottish settlers for Dunedin, New Zealand. Otago province is founded.
  • 1850-12-16 Ships the Charlotte-Jane and the Randolph bring the first of the Canterbury Pilgrims to Lyttelton, New Zealand
  • 1853-07-14 New Zealand holds its first general election
  • 1856-07-31 Christchurch, New Zealand, is chartered as a city.
  • 1860-03-28 First Taranaki War: The Battle of Waireka begins in New Zealand
  • 1860-08-03 The Second Maori War begins in New Zealand
  • 1861-03-19 The First Taranaki War ends in New Zealand
  • 1863-02-07 HMS Orpheus sinks off the coast of Auckland, New Zealand, killing 189
  • 1863-06-13 Samuel Butler publishes 1st part of "Erewhon" in Christchurch, New Zealand
  • 1863-07-12 In New Zealand, British forces invade Waikato, home of the Maori King Movement, beginning a new phase of the wars between Maori and Colonial British
  • 1863-07-17 Māori forces are defeated by British troops at Koheroa, Waikato, in the New Zealand Wars between Maori tribes and British colonials
  • 1863-10-31 The Maori Wars resumed as British forces in New Zealand led by General Duncan Cameron began their Invasion of the Waikato.
  • 1864-01-21 The Tauranga Campaign of the New Zealand Wars begins

Victory in BattleBattle of Gate Pā

1864-04-29 Battle of Gate Pa (Pukehinahina): 1,700 British troops suffer their worst defeat of the New Zealand Wars at the hands of 230 entrenched Maori warriors in Tauranga
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Māori and British troops clash at the pā
Māori and British troops clash at the pā
  • 1864-06-21 New Zealand Wars: The Tauranga Campaign ends
  • 1865-03-02 Second Taranaki War: The Volkner Incident in New Zealand.
  • 1865-07-26 The capital of New Zealand moves from Auckland to Wellington
  • 1868-07-04 Maori leader Te Kooti and 300 of his followers captured the schooner Rifleman in the Chatham Islands and sail for New Zealand; landing at Whareongaonga six days later
  • 1868-11-02 Time zone: New Zealand officially adopts a standard time to be observed nationally
  • 1869-03-14 Defeat of Maori leader Titokowaru in New Zealand
  • 1876-02-18 Direct telegraph link established between Britain & New Zealand
  • 1876-11-01 New Zealand's provincial government system is dissolved.
  • 1877-07-11 Kate Edger becomes New Zealand’s first woman graduate and first woman in the British Empire to earn a Bachelor of Arts
  • 1878-09-30 Great Flood hits New Zealand's South Island
  • 1881-11-05 1,600 police and volunteers attack Māori settlement at Parihaka in western Taranaki which had become the symbol of protest against the confiscation of Māori land, New Zealand
  • 1882-02-15 SS Dunedin leaves New Zealand for Britain with the first cargo of frozen meat.
  • 1886-06-10 Eruption of Tarawera volcano destroys famous pink and white calcium carbonate hot-spring terraces (North Island, New Zealand)
  • 1888-10-03 New Zealand Natives, a privately organised and mainly Māori rugby team, plays first game in UK; beats Surry 4-1; first national rugby team to wear all-black & perform the 'haka'
  • 1893-04-27 Richard "King Dick" Seddon succeeds John Balance as premier of New Zealand and leader of Liberal Party

Event of interestEvent of Interest

1893-07-28 A petition organised by Kate Sheppard, demanding women's suffrage, is delivered to New Zealand's parliament; signed by over 25,000 women, a 5th of the adult European female population

Suffragette Kate Sheppard
Suffragette
Kate Sheppard

The Story of the First Country to Grant Women the VoteThe Story of the First Country to Grant Women the Vote

1893-09-19 New Zealand becomes the first country to grant all women the right to vote
Read the Article >>

Women gained the vote in New Zealand in 1893, the summit at last.
Women gained the vote in New Zealand in 1893, the summit at last.
  • 1893-11-28 Women vote in a national election for the first time, in the New Zealand general election
  • 1894-08-31 The Industrial Conciliation and Arbitration Act passed by Richard Seddon’s Liberal government, making New Zealand the first country in the world to outlaw strikes in favour of compulsory arbitration
  • 1896-10-13 First public screening of a motion picture in New Zealand
  • 1901-06-11 Cook Islands annexed and proclaimed part of New Zealand
  • 1903-03-31 Richard Pearse flies a monoplane several hundred yards in New Zealand
  • 1904-03-25 66th Grand National: Arthur Birch wins aboard 25/1 New Zealand bred Moifaa; horse survives shipwreck off Ireland a year earlier
  • 1905-09-02 New Zealand beats Australia 14-3 in cold, wet conditions in the first international Rugby Union match between the countries on New Zealand soil at Tahuna Park in Dunedin
  • 1906-09-22 In New Zealand Domestic workers call for a 68-hour working week
  • 1906-12-31 Australasian Championships Men's Tennis, Christchurch, NZ: All-NZ final; Antony Wilding beats Francis Fisher 6-0, 6-4, 6-4
  • 1907-08-24 Australasian Championships Men's Tennis, Brisbane : Australian Horace Rice beats Harry Parker of New Zealand 6-3, 6-4, 6-4
  • 1907-09-26 New Zealand and Newfoundland each become dominions within the British Empire
  • 1907-12-11 New Zealand Parliament Buildings almost completely destroyed by fire
  • 1908-08-07 The first train to travel the length of New Zealand's North Island 'main trunk line', leaves Wellington
  • 1909-10-25 Australasian Championships Men's Tennis, Perth: Anthony Wilding of New Zealand wins his 2nd Australasian title; beats Ernie Parker of Australia 6–1, 7–5, 6–2
  • 1910-06-30 Wimbledon Men's Tennis: New Zealander Anthony Wilding beats Arthur Gore 6-4, 7-5, 4-6, 6-2 for his 1st of 4 consecutive Wimbledon singles titles

CrownRoyal Coronation

1911-06-22 King George V crowned King of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland, Canada, Australia, South Africa, New Zealand, and all his realms and territories beyond the sea

King of the United Kingdom George V
King of the United Kingdom
George V
  • 1911-07-08 Wimbledon Men's Tennis: Anthony Wilding of New Zealand wins 2nd of 4 consecutive Wimbledon singles titles beating Herbert Roper-Barrett 6-4, 4-6, 2-6 ,6-2 ret
  • 1913-07-03 Wimbledon Men's Tennis: New Zealander Anthony Wilding wins 4th straight Wimbledon title beating American Maurice McLoughlin 8-6, 6-3, 10-8
  • 1913-11-15 Australasian Championships Men's Tennis, Perth: Australian Ernie Parker beats NZ namesake Harry Parker 2-6, 6-1, 6-3, 6-2
  • 1914-07-04 Wimbledon Men's Tennis: Australian Norman Brookes beats 4-time defending champion Anthony Wilding of New Zealand 6-4, 6-4, 7-5
  • 1914-08-29 New Zealand forces capture German Samoa
  • 1914-12-23 World War I: Australian and New Zealand troops arrive in Cairo, Egypt
  • 1916-04-02 57 armed New Zealand police invade the remote Ngāi Tūhoe settlement of Maungapōhatu in the Urewera Ranges to arrest the Māori prophet Rua Kēnana
  • 1916-06-16 Passing of the Military Services Bill introduces conscription in New Zealand
  • 1916-07-07 The New Zealand Labour party is formed
  • 1917-05-11 King George V grants Royal Letters Patent to New Zealand
  • 1923-07-06 Rail crash on New Zealand's main trunk line; 17 killed and 28 injured
  • 1923-07-30 New Zealand claims Ross Dependency in Antarctica
  • 1930-01-10 Commencement of NZ's 1st Test, v England in Christchurch, New Zealand
  • 1930-01-10 Maurice Allom takes Test hat-trick England v NZ Christchurch
  • 1930-01-24 Stewie Dempster scores New Zealand's 1st Test century
  • 1930-05-28 Georges Forbes succeeds Joseph Ward as premier of New Zealand
  • 1931-01-07 Guy Menzies flies the first solo non-stop trans-Tasman flight (from Australia to New Zealand) in 11 hours and 45 minutes, crash-landing on New Zealand's west coast.

New ZealandHawke's Bay Earthquake

1931-02-03 New Zealand's worst natural disaster, the Hawke's Bay earthquake, kills 256 and injures thousands, devastating Napier and the Hawke's Bay region
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The Hastings post office damaged after the 1931 earthquake
The Hastings post office damaged after the 1931 earthquake
  • 1931-09-22 Coalition Government forms in New Zealand to combat the Depression (their lack of success led to the election of the First Labour Government in 1935)
  • 1931-12-11 Statute of Westminster gives complete legislative independence to Canada, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, Ireland (Free State), and Newfoundland (not then part of Canada)
  • 1933-04-01 England cricket batsman Wally Hammond smashes 34 fours, 10 sixes in a Test record unbeaten 336 in the drawn 2nd Test against New Zealand in Auckland
  • 1933-09-13 Elizabeth McCombs becomes the first New Zealand woman Member of Parliament

Event of interestEvent of Interest

1935-11-29 Michael Joseph Savage becomes the first Labour Prime Minister of New Zealand

New Zealand Prime Minister Michael Joseph Savage
New Zealand Prime Minister
Michael Joseph Savage
  • 1936-02-08 German alpine skier Christi Cranz wins the inaugural Olympic women’s combined gold medal at the Garmisch-Partenkirchen Winter Games ahead of team mate Käthe Grasegger
  • 1936-03-26 1st parliamentary debate on NZ radio
  • 1936-08-06 Jack Lovelock of New Zealand runs a world record (3:47.8) to win the gold medal in the 1,500m at the Berlin Olympics

Event of interestEvent of Interest

1936-10-16 Jean Batten reaches Auckland, New Zealand after flying solo from Kent, England in a record 11 days and 45 minutes

Aviator Jean Batten
Aviator
Jean Batten
  • 1937-09-18 The first New Zealand State house opens in Miramar
  • 1937-12-29 Pan Am starts service between San Francisco and Auckland, New Zealand
  • 1939-09-03 World War II: Britain declares war on Germany after invasion of Poland. France follows 6 hours later quickly joined by Australia, New Zealand, South Africa & Canada

Famous Birthdays

Birthdays 1 - 100 of 321

  • 1724-05-22 Marc-Joseph Marion du Fresne, French explorer (made important discoveries in the south Indian Ocean, in Tasmania and in New Zealand), born in St Malo, France (d. 1772)

Person of interestJames Cook

1728-10-27 James Cook, British explorer, navigator and cartographer who was the first European to explore much of Australia, the Pacific Islands and New Zealand, born in Marton, Yorkshire, England (d. 1779)

Explorer James Cook
Explorer
James Cook
  • 1792-09-26 William Hobson, first Governor of New Zealand and co-author of the Treaty of Waitangi, born in Waterford, Ireland (d. 1842)
  • 1821-11-02 Sir George Bowen, British provincial governor and 5th Governor of New Zealand (1868-73), born in Taughboyne, County Donegal, Ireland (d. 1899)
  • 1824-12-19 Hercules Robinson, British colonial administrator (Ceylon, Fiji, New Zealand, South Africa), born in County Westmeath Ireland (d. 1897)
  • 1833-01-01 Robert Lawson, New Zealand architect (d. 1902)
  • 1839-03-27 John Ballance, 14th Prime Minister of New Zealand and the founder of the Liberal Party, born in Glenavy, Ireland (d. 1893)
  • 1843-12-21 Thomas Bracken, Irish-born New Zealand poet, born in Clones, County Monaghan (d. 1898)
  • 1844-09-28 Robert Stout, Prime Minister of New Zealand (1884-87), born in Lerwick, Shetland, Scotland (d. 1930)
  • 1845-06-22 Richard Seddon, longest serving Prime Minister of New Zealand (1893-1906), born in Eccleston, England (d. 1906)

Person of interestKate Sheppard

1847-03-10 Kate Sheppard, New Zealand suffragette and the most prominent member of New Zealand's women's suffrage movement, born in Liverpool, England (d. 1934)

Suffragette Kate Sheppard
Suffragette
Kate Sheppard
  • 1856-04-26 Joseph Ward, 17th Prime Minister of New Zealand (1906-12), born in Melbourne, Victoria Colony (d. 1930)
  • 1858-07-21 Alfred Henry O'Keeffe, New Zealand artist, born in Sandhurst, Victoria (d. 1941)
  • 1860-09-11 James Allan, New Zealand rugby union player All Black, born in Taieri, Otago, New Zealand (d. 1934)
  • 1863-11-03 Billy Murphy, New Zealand boxer (world featherweight champion 1890; first world champion in any class from NZ), born in Auckland, NZ (d. 1939)
  • 1865-01-17 Gen Sir Charles Fergusson, Governor-General of New Zealand (d. 1951)
  • 1870-11-16 Alfred Hill, New Zealand Australian composer (Hinemoa), born in Melbourne (d. 1960)

Person of interestErnest Rutherford

1871-08-30 Ernest Rutherford [1st Baron Rutherford of Nelson], New Zealand physicist and father of nuclear physics (Nobel 1908), born in Brightwater, New Zealand (d. 1937)

Person of interestMichael Joseph Savage

1872-12-06 Michael Joseph Savage, Australian-born New Zealand politician and first Labour Prime Minister of New Zealand (1935-40), born in Tatong, Australia (d. 1940)

New Zealand Prime Minister Michael Joseph Savage
New Zealand Prime Minister
Michael Joseph Savage
  • 1874-07-03 Āpirana Ngata, Māori New Zealand politician and lawyer known for promoting and protecting Māori culture and language, born in Te Araroa, New Zealand (d. 1950)
  • 1877-02-24 Ettie Rout, New Zealand activist (d. 1936)
  • 1878-02-03 Joseph Gordon Coates, Prime Minister of New Zealand (1925-28), born in Ruatuna, New Zealand (d. 1943)
  • 1879-12-03 Albert Asher, New Zealand dual-code rugby union and rugby league winger (RU 11 caps; RL Australasia 2 Tests, NZ 1), born in Tauranga, New Zealand (d. 1965)
  • 1880-02-23 Edgar Istel, German composer, born in Mainz (d. 1948)
  • 1883-10-31 Anthony Wilding, New Zealand tennis player (Wimbledon 1910-13), born in Christchurch, New Zealand (d. 1915)
  • 1884-03-13 Hugh S. Walpole, British novelist and playwright (Jeremy, Maradick at 40), born in Auckland, New Zealand (d. 1941)

Person of interestPeter Fraser

1884-08-28 Peter Fraser, British-born New Zealand statesman and 24th Prime Minister of New Zealand (1940-49), born in Hill of Fearn, Scotland (d. 1950)

New Zealand Prime Minister Peter Fraser
New Zealand Prime Minister
Peter Fraser

Person of interestKatherine Mansfield

1888-10-14 Katherine Mansfield (Katherine Mansfield Beauchamp Murry), New Zealand short story writer (The Garden Party), born in Wellington, New Zealand (d. 1923)

Short story writer Katherine Mansfield
Short story writer
Katherine Mansfield
  • 1892-01-06 Ludwig Berger, German film director and cinematographer (The Thief of Bagdad), born in Mainz (d. 1969)
  • 1892-01-15 Frank Hutchens, New Zealand-born composer working in Australia, born in Leeston, New Zealand (d. 1965)
  • 1893-08-15 Leslie Comrie, New Zealand astronomer and computing pioneer, born in Pukekohe, New Zealand (d. 1950)
  • 1893-10-18 Sidney Holland, Prime Minister of New Zealand (National: 1949-57), born in Greendale, New Zealand (d. 1961)
  • 1894-02-06 Eric Partridge, New Zealand lexicographer, born in Waimata Valley, New Zealand (d. 1979)
  • 1895-04-15 Clark McConachy, New Zealand billiards player (d. 1980)
  • 1895-04-23 Ngaio Marsh, New Zealand detective writer and producer, born in Christchurch, New Zealand (d. 1982)
  • 1896-01-09 Warwick Braithwaite, New Zealand-born British conductor (d. 1971)
  • 1897-12-02 Rewi Alley, New Zealand writer (Americans in China), born in Springfield, Canterbury, New Zealand (d. 1987)
  • 1899-03-25 Burt Munro, New Zealand motorcycle racer (d. 1978)
  • 1900-08-10 Arthur Porritt, New Zealand 100m sprinter (Olympic bronze 1924)
  • 1900-08-20 Murt [Edward James] O'Donoghue, New Zealand snooker player (1st witnessed 147 break), born in Te Aroha, New Zealand (d. 1994)
  • 1903-03-11 Ronald Syme, New Zealand classicist and historian, born in Eltham, New Zealand (d. 1989)

Person of interestKeith Holyoake

1904-02-11 Keith Holyoake, 26th Prime Minister of New Zealand (National: 1960-72), born in Pahiatua, New Zealand (d. 1983)

New Zealand Prime Minister Keith Holyoake
New Zealand Prime Minister
Keith Holyoake
  • 1905-04-25 George Nepia, New Zealand rugby player, born in Wairoa, New Zealand (d. 1986)
  • 1908-03-12 Rita Angus, New Zealand painter (d. 1970)

Person of interestJean Batten

1909-09-15 Jean Batten, New Zealand aviator (first-ever solo flight from England to New Zealand in 1936), born in Rotorua, New Zealand (d. 1982)

Aviator Jean Batten
Aviator
Jean Batten
  • 1910-01-05 Jack Lovelock, New Zealand athlete (Olympic gold 1,500m 1936), born in Crushington, New Zealand (d. 1949)
  • 1910-04-15 Ralph Grey, Baron Grey of Naunton, Governor of Northern Ireland (1968-73), born in Wellington, New Zealand (d. 1999)
  • 1910-12-24 William "Bill" Pickering, NASA scientist (JPL), born in Wellington, New Zealand (d. 2004)
  • 1911-01-13 Johannes Bjelke-Petersen, Australian politician, Premier of Queensland (1968-87), born in Dannevirke, New Zealand (d. 2005)
  • 1912-05-24 Joan Hammond, Australian operatic soprano, born in Christchurch, New Zealand (d. 1996)
  • 1912-08-30 Nancy Wake, New Zealand-born World War II secret agent (Special Operations Executive), born in Wellington, New Zealand (d. 2011)
  • 1914-02-03 Felix Kelly, New Zealand-born British artist, born in Auckland (d. 1994)
  • 1914-11-09 Colin Falkland Gray, New Zealand fighter ace of the Second World War, born in Christchurch, New Zealand (d. 1995)
  • 1914-12-25 James Fletcher Jr, New Zealand industrialist (Fletcher Construction), born in Dunedin, New Zealand (d. 2007)
  • 1915-11-02 Douglas Lilburn, New Zealand composer, born in Whanganui (d. 2001)
  • 1916-07-09 Dean Goffin, New Zealand composer, born in Wellington, New Zealand (d. 1984)
  • 1916-12-15 Maurice Wilkins, New Zealand-born English physicist (Nobel 1962-X-ray diffraction studies of deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) proved crucial to the determination of DNA’s molecular structure by James D. Watson and Francis Crick), born in Pongaroa, New Zealand (d. 2004)
  • 1916-12-26 Helmut Eder, Austrian composer, born in Linz (d. 2005)
  • 1917-07-06 Arthur Lydiard, New Zealand running coach, born in Auckland, New Zealand (d. 2004)
  • 1919-04-05 Les Munro, New Zealand WWII pilot (Dambusters), born in Gisbourne (d. 2015)

Person of interestEdmund Hillary

1919-07-20 Edmund Hillary, Explorer and Mountaineer (1st to scale Mt Everest with Tenzing Norgay), born in Auckland, New Zealand (d. 2008)

Mountaineer and Explorer Edmund Hillary
Mountaineer and Explorer
Edmund Hillary
  • 1921-02-06 Bob Scott [Robert], Rugby player (All Black, 1946-54), born in Wellington, New Zealand (d. 2012)

Person of interestRobert Muldoon

1921-09-25 Robert Muldoon, New Zealand politician (Prime Minister, 1975-1984), born in Auckland (d. 1992)

New Zealand Prime Minister Robert Muldoon
New Zealand Prime Minister
Robert Muldoon
  • 1923-10-09 Ronald Tremain, New Zealand composer, born in Feilding, New Zealand (d. 1998)
  • 1924-02-29 David Beattie, New Zealand judge, Governor-General of NZ (1980-85), born in Sydney, Australia (d. 2001)
  • 1924-08-28 Janet Frame, New Zealand novelist (Intensive Care, Owls Do Cry), born in Dunedin, New Zealand (d. 2004)
  • 1925-02-07 Herbert Eisenreich, Austrian writer, born in Linz (d. 1986)
  • 1925-06-11 Richard White, New Zealand rugby union player (55 games as an All Black), born in Gisborne, New Zealand (d. 2012)
  • 1925-09-11 Ashley Heenan, New Zealand composer, born in Wellington, New Zealand (d. 2004)
  • 1926-05-09 Robin Cooke, pres (NZ Court of Appeal)
  • 1926-11-27 Barbara Anderson, New Zealand author
  • 1928-02-29 Alan Loveday, New Zealand and British violinist, born in Palmerston North, New Zealand (d. 2016)
  • 1928-04-05 David Farquhar Andress, New Zealand composer (Ring Around the Moon, A Unicorn for Christmas), born in Cambridge, New Zealand (d. 2007)
  • 1928-12-15 Friedensreich Hundertwasser, Austrian-born New Zealand artist, born in Vienna, Austria (d. 2000)
  • 1929-04-25 Yvette Williams, New Zealand long jumper (Olympic gold 1952), born in Dunedin, New Zealand
  • 1930-04-01 Dennis Young, New Zealand rugby union hooker (22 caps; Canterbury 139 games), born in Christchurch, New Zealand
  • 1930-04-18 Clive Revill, New Zealand singer and actor (Legend of Hell House), born in Wellington, New Zealand
  • 1930-05-24 Ivor Richardson, New Zealand judge (NZ Court of Appeals), born in Ashburton, New Zealand (d. 2014)
  • 1930-09-03 Cherry Barbara Grimm [Lockett], New Zealand sci-fi author (Nearest Fire), born in Auckland, New Zealand (d. 2002)
  • 1931-07-23 Te Atairangikaahu, Māori Queen for 40 years, born in Waahi Marae, Huntly, New Zealand (d. 2006)
  • 1931-08-13 Norman Read, New Zealand 50k race walker (Olympic gold 1956), born in Portsmouth, England (d. 1944)
  • 1932-06-04 Maurice Shadbolt, New Zealand writer (Season of the Jew), born in Auckland, New Zealand (d. 2004)
  • 1933-02-11 Mildred Sampson, New Zealand distance runner (world marathon record 3:19:33 1964), born in Auckland, New Zealand
  • 1933-07-07 Murray Halberg, New Zealand, 5K runner (Olympic gold 1960)
  • 1934-01-06 Harry M. Miller, Australian entrepreneur, born in Auckland, New Zealand (d. 2018)
  • 1934-02-10 Fleur Adcock, New Zealand poet
  • 1934-04-09 Bill Birch, New Zealand politician (38th Minister of Finance), born in Hastings, New Zealand
  • 1934-05-01 Nev MacEwan, New Zealand rugby union #8 (20 caps; Wellington 133 games), born Auckland, New Zealand
  • 1934-10-22 Donald McIntyre, Bass-Baritone (Wotan-Das Rheingold), born in Auckland, New Zealand
  • 1934-11-13 Peter Arnett, New Zealand-born American journalist, born in Riverton, New Zealand
  • 1934-12-30 Barry Briggs, New Zealand speedway rider (World Champion 1957-58, 64, 66; British Championship 1961, 64-67, 69), born in Christchurch, Canterbury
  • 1935-04-13 Kenneth Hayr, Air Marshal, born in Whangarei, New Zealand (d. 2001)
  • 1935-05-31 Jim Bolger, 35th Prime Minister of New Zealand
  • 1935-07-10 Wilson Whineray, New Zealand All Black rugby player (1957-65), born in Auckland, New Zealand (d. 2012)
  • 1935-08-18 Howard Morrison, New Zealand entertainer, born in Rotorua, New Zealand (d. 2009)
  • 1936-01-05 Terry Lineen, New Zealand rugby union centre (12 caps; Auckland), born in Auckland, New Zealand (d. 2020)
  • 1936-03-14 Bob Charles, New Zealand golfer (British Open 1963), born in Carterton, New Zealand
  • 1936-05-06 Pat Walsh, New Zealand rugby union utility back and selector (14 caps), born in Kaitaia, Far North District (d. 2007)
  • 1936-06-03 Colin Meads, New Zealand rugby player
  • 1936-06-18 Denny Hulme, New Zealand auto racer (F1 World Drivers' Champion 1967), born in Motueka, New Zealand (d. 1992)

Famous Weddings


LoveWedding of Interest

1871-07-21 Suffragette Kate Sheppard (24) weds general merchant Walter Allen Sheppard in Christchurch, New Zealand

Suffragette Kate Sheppard
Suffragette
Kate Sheppard
  • 1925-08-25 Suffragette Kate Sheppard (78) weds printer and author William Sidney Lovell-Smith (72) in Christchurch, New Zealand
  • 2007-04-14 Two and a Half Men actress Melanie Lynskey (29) weds actor Jimmi Simpson (31) in a chapel overlooking a vineyard on Lake Hayes, near Queenstown, New Zealand
  • 2012-11-17 Award-winning Chinese actress Chen Yao (33) weds cinematographer Yu Cao in Queenstown, New Zealand
  • 2012-12-01 Minnesota Twins baseball catcher Joe Mauer (29) weds Maddie Bisanz at Nativity of Our Lord Catholic Church in St. Paul, Minnesota

Famous Deaths


Person of interestAbel Tasman

1659-10-10 Abel Tasman, Dutch seafarer and explorer (1st European to sight Tasmania, New Zealand and Fiji), dies around the age of 55

Explorer and Seafarer Abel Tasman
Explorer and Seafarer
Abel Tasman
  • 1772-06-12 Marc-Joseph Marion du Fresne, French explorer (made important discoveries in the south Indian Ocean, in Tasmania and in New Zealand), killed by local Maori in New Zealand at 48 (b. 1724)

Person of interestJames Cook

1779-02-14 James Cook, British explorer, navigator and cartographer, discovered and explored Australia, Pacific Islands and New Zealand for Britain, killed in a fight with Hawaiians near Kealakekua at 50

Explorer James Cook
Explorer
James Cook
  • 1842-08-10 Captain William Hobson, first British Governor of New Zealand and co-author of the Treaty of Waitangi, dies of a stroke at 49
  • 1860-06-25 Pōtatau Te Wherowhero, The Māori King, Waikato, New Zealand
  • 1865-03-02 Carl Sylvius Völkner, German missionary to New Zealand (b. 1819)
  • 1869-11-16 Hamiora Pere is hanged for treason at the Terrace Gaol, Wellington - only New Zealander ever to be executed for treason
  • 1884-12-01 William Swainson (lawyer), second, and last, Attorney-General (New Zealand) of the Crown Colony of New Zealand (b. 1809)
  • 1893-04-27 John Ballance, 14th Prime Minister of New Zealand & the founder of the Liberal Party, dies of intestinal disease after a major surgical operation at 54
  • 1894-08-26 Te Wherowhero Tāwhia, Second Māori King and leader of the Waikato tribes in New Zealand, dies at 71 or 72
  • 1897-10-28 Hercules Robinson, British colonial administrator (Ceylon, Fiji, New Zealand, South Africa), dies at 72
  • 1898-02-16 Thomas Bracken, New Zealand poet (b. 1843)
  • 1899-02-21 Sir George Bowen, British provincial governor and 5th Governor of New Zealand (1868-73), dies at 77
  • 1902-12-03 Robert Lawson, New Zealand architect (b. 1833)
  • 1906-06-10 Richard John Seddon, longest serving Prime Minister of New Zealand, dies at 61
  • 1907-01-14 Sir James Fergusson, British politician, and governor of South Australia, New Zealand and Bombay (b. 1832)
  • 1915-05-09 Anthony Wilding, New Zealand tennis player (Wimbledon 1910-13), dies on the Western Front at 31
  • 1915-05-19 John Simpson Kirkpatrick stretcher bearer with the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps at Gallipoli during World War I (b. 1892)

Person of interestKatherine Mansfield

1923-01-09 Katherine Mansfield, New Zealand short story writer (The Garden Party), dies of tuberculosis at 34

Short story writer Katherine Mansfield
Short story writer
Katherine Mansfield
  • 1930-07-08 Joseph Ward, 17th Prime Minister of New Zealand (1906-12), dies at 74
  • 1930-07-19 Robert Stout, Prime Minister of New Zealand (1884-87), dies at 85

Person of interestKate Sheppard

1934-07-13 Kate Sheppard, New Zealand suffragette and the most prominent member of New Zealand's women's suffrage movement, dies at 87

Suffragette Kate Sheppard
Suffragette
Kate Sheppard
  • 1934-09-02 James Allan, New Zealand rugby union player All Black, dies at 73
  • 1936-09-17 Ettie Annie Rout, New Zealand activist (b. 1877)

Person of interestErnest Rutherford

1937-10-19 Ernest Rutherford, New Zealand physicist (Nobel Prize 1908), dies at 66

  • 1939-07-26 Billy Murphy, New Zealand boxer (world featherweight champion 1890; first world champion in any class from NZ), dies at 75

Person of interestMichael Joseph Savage

1940-03-27 Michael Joseph Savage, Australian-born New Zealand politician and first Labour Prime Minister of New Zealand (1935-40), dies of colon cancer at 68

New Zealand Prime Minister Michael Joseph Savage
New Zealand Prime Minister
Michael Joseph Savage
  • 1941-07-27 Alfred Henry O'Keeffe, New Zealand artist, dies at 83
  • 1947-05-17 George William Forbes, Prime Minister of New Zealand (b. 1869)
  • 1949-12-28 Jack Lovelock, New Zealand athlete (Olympic gold 1,500m 1936), dies in rail accident at 39
  • 1950-07-14 Āpirana Ngata, Māori New Zealand politician and lawyer known for promoting and protecting Māori culture and language, dies at 76
  • 1950-12-11 Leslie Comrie, New Zealand astronomer and computing pioneer, dies at 57

Person of interestPeter Fraser

1950-12-12 Peter Fraser, British-born New Zealand statesman and 24th Prime Minister of New Zealand (1940-49), dies of a heart attack following hospitalization with influenza at 66

New Zealand Prime Minister Peter Fraser
New Zealand Prime Minister
Peter Fraser
  • 1960-10-30 Alfred Hill, New Zealand Australian composer (Hinemoa), dies at 90
  • 1961-08-05 Sidney Holland, Prime Minister of New Zealand (National: 1949-57), dies at 67
  • 1963-07-04 Bernard Freyberg, Governor-General of New Zealand (b. 1889)
  • 1965-01-08 Albert Asher, New Zealand dual-code rugby union and rugby league winger (RU 11 caps; RL Australasia 2 Tests, NZ 1), dies at 85
  • 1970-01-27 Rita Angus, New Zealand painter (b. 1908)
  • 1970-06-02 Bruce McLaren, New Zealand car racer and founder of eponymous race team, dies in a car crash at 32
  • 1971-10-10 John Cawte Beaglehole, New Zealand historian (b. 1901)
  • 1974-08-31 Norman Kirk, New Zealand prime minister (b. 1923
  • 1975-12-08 Gary Thain, New Zealand bassist (Uriah Heep) (b. 1948)
  • 1978-01-06 Burt Munro, New Zealand motorcycle racer, dies at 78 (b. 1899)
  • 1979-04-23 Blair Peach, New Zealand-born anti-fascist (b. 1946)
  • 1980-04-12 Clark McConachy, New Zealand billiards and snooker player (b. 1895)
  • 1982-02-18 Ngaio Marsh, New Zealand detective writer and producer, dies at 82

Person of interestJean Batten

1982-11-22 Jean Batten, New Zealand aviator (first-ever solo flight from England to New Zealand in 1936), dies at 73

Aviator Jean Batten
Aviator
Jean Batten
New Zealand Prime Minister Keith Holyoake
New Zealand Prime Minister
Keith Holyoake
  • 1984-01-23 Dean Goffin, New Zealand composer, dies at 67
  • 1986-06-27 George Nepia, New Zealand rugby player, dies at 81
  • 1987-06-19 Teresa Cormack, New Zealand murder victim (b. 1981)
  • 1987-12-27 Rewi Alley, New Zealand writer (Americans in China, dies at 90
  • 1989-09-04 Ronald Syme, New Zealand-born classicist and historian, dies at 86
  • 1990-08-16 Pat O'Connor, New Zealand professional wrestler (b. 1925)

Person of interestRobert Muldoon

1992-08-05 Robert Muldoon, New Zealand politician (Prime Minister, 1975-1984), dies at 70

New Zealand Prime Minister Robert Muldoon
New Zealand Prime Minister
Robert Muldoon
  • 1992-10-04 Denny Hulme, New Zealand auto racer (F1 World Drivers' Champion 1967), dies of a heart attack driving in Bathurst 1,000 at 56
  • 1993-02-10 Fred Hollows, New Zealand ophthalmologist (b. 1929)
  • 1994-01-04 Jim Booth, New Zealand producer (Heavenly Creatures), dies at 48
  • 1994-03-13 Murt [Edward James] O'Donoghue, New Zealand snooker player (1st witnessed 147 break), dies at 93
  • 1994-05-22 Norman Read, New Zealand 50k race walker (Olympic gold 1956), dies from a heart attack at 62
  • 1994-07-03 Felix Kelly, New Zealand-born British artist, dies at 80
  • 1995-08-02 Colin Falkland Gray, New Zealand fighter ace of the Second World War, dies at 80
  • 1995-10-31 Wallace Edward Rowling, Prime Minister of NZ (1974-1975), dies at 68
  • 1996-05-23 Rob Hall, New Zealand high altitude climber, dies of exposure on Mount Everest at 35
  • 1997-12-14 Robert Sutton, New Zealand electronics engineer, dies at 82
  • 1998-07-17 Ronald Tremain, New Zealand composer, dies at 74
  • 1999-04-13 Ortvin Sarapu, New Zealand chess player, dies at 74
  • 2000-02-19 Friedensreich Hundertwasser, Austrian-born New Zealand artist, dies at 71
  • 2001-07-08 John O'Shea, New Zealand film director (b. 1920)
  • 2001-12-05 Peter Blake, New Zealand yachtsman and winner of numerous Whitbread and America's Cup sailing contests, killed by pirates on the Amazon River at age 53

Person of interestKevin Smith

2002-02-15 Kevin Smith, New Zealand actor (Ares-Hercules), dies at 38 after falling from a prop tower

  • 2002-03-14 Cherry Wilder, New Zealand-born author (b. 1930)
  • 2002-03-14 Cherry Barbara Grimm [Lockett], New Zealand sci-fi author (Nearest Fire), dies at 71
  • 2003-04-30 Peter "Possum" Bourne, New Zealand race car driver, dies at 47
  • 2003-07-21 John Davies, New Zealand Olympic Committee president (b. 1938)
  • 2004-01-29 Janet Frame, New Zealand novelist (Intensive Care, Owls Do Cry), dies at 79
  • 2004-03-15 William "Bill" Pickering, New Zealand-born space scientist at NASA, dies at 93

Person of interestMichael King

2004-03-30 Michael King, New Zealand historian and author (Penguin History of New Zealand), dies in a car crash at 58

Historian and Author Michael King
Historian and Author
Michael King
  • 2004-08-14 Trevor Skeet, New Zealand-born British politician (b. 1918)
  • 2004-10-05 Maurice Wilkins, New Zealand-born English physicist (Nobel 1962-X-ray diffraction studies of deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) proved crucial to the determination of DNA’s molecular structure by James D. Watson and Francis Crick), dies at 87
  • 2004-10-10 Maurice Shadbolt, New Zealand writer (Season of the Jew), dies at 72
  • 2004-12-11 Arthur Lydiard, New Zealand running coach, dies at 87
  • 2004-12-29 Liddy Holloway, New Zealand actress (b. 1947)
  • 2005-01-19 Bill Andersen, New Zealand communist and trade union leader (b. 1924)
  • 2005-03-26 Paul Hester, Australian drummer (Split Enz and Crowded House) (b. 1959)

Person of interestDavid Lange

2005-08-13 David Lange, New Zealand politician (Prime Minister, 1984-1990), dies of complications associated with renal failure at 63

New Zealand Prime Minister David Lange
New Zealand Prime Minister
David Lange
  • 2005-11-05 Rod Donald, New Zealand environmentalist (b. 1957)
  • 2005-11-06 Rod Donald, New Zealand Politician, Green Party Co-leader (b. 1957)
  • 2005-12-04 Errol Brathwaite, New Zealand author (b. 1924)
  • 2006-01-04 Robert Howard White, Mayor of Papatoetoe, New Zealand (b. 1914)
  • 2006-02-01 Bryce Harland, New Zealand diplomat (b. 1931)
  • 2006-03-08 Brian Barratt-Boyes, New Zealand heart surgeon (b. 1924)
  • 2006-04-23 Johnnie Checketts, New Zealand fighter pilot, dies at 94
  • 2006-05-30 David Lloyd, New Zealand biologist (b. 1938)
  • 2006-06-11 Neroli Fairhall, New Zealand archer (b. 1944)
  • 2006-08-30 Robin Cooke, Baron Cooke of Thorndon, New Zealand jurist and member of the British House of Lords (b. 1926)
  • 2006-09-19 Hugh Kawharu, New Zealander Ngāti Whātua Māori chief (b. 1927)
  • 2007-04-16 Frank Bateson, New Zealand astronomer (b. 1909)
  • 2007-05-02 Brad McGann, New Zealand film director and screenwriter (b. 1964)
  • 2007-05-19 Dean Eyre, New Zealand politician (b. 1914)