New Zealand in History

Historical Events

Events 1 - 100 of 271


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 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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  • 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 (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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  • 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
  • 1893-09-19 New Zealand becomes the first country to grant all women the right to vote
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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

Event of interestEvent of Interest

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
  • 1913-07-04 Wimbledon Men's Tennis: New Zealander Anthony Wilding wins 4th straight Wimbledon title beating American Maurice McLoughlin 8-6, 6-3, 10-8
  • 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.
  • 1931-02-03 The Hawke's Bay earthquake, New Zealand's worst natural disaster, kills 258
  • 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 Hammond scores 336* v NZ at Auckland, 47 fours 10 sixes
  • 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 Minsiter of New Zealand

New Zealand Prime Minister Michael Joseph Savage
New Zealand Prime Minister
Michael Joseph Savage
  • 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
  • 1939-09-05 New Zealand Prime Minister, Michael Joseph Savage declares New Zealand's support for Britain in the war with Germany; Savage famously told the nation 'where she goes, we go. Where she stands,we stand'
  • 1941-09-17 The New Zealand Labour Party abolishes the death penalty (It is reintroduced by the National government in 1950 before being finally removed from the statute book in 1961)
  • 1941-11-22 NZ troops conquer Ft Capuzzo Libya
  • 1942-02-12 German battle cruisers Scharnhorst and Gneisenau and heavy cruiser Prinz Eugen escape from Brest to Germany in a dash up the English Channel
  • 1943-01-29 New Zealand cruiser Kiwi collides with Japanese submarine I-1 at Guadalcanal
  • 1943-04-16 40 NZ bombers attack Haarlem, Netherlands (85 killed)

Famous Birthdays

Birthdays 1 - 100 of 290


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 (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 Sir Joseph Ward, 17th Prime Minister of New Zealand (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)
  • 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)
  • 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 (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)
  • 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)
  • 1910-12-24 William "Bill" Pickering, NASA scientist (JPL), born in Wellington, New Zealand (d. 2004)
  • 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)
  • 1916-12-26 Helmut Eder, Austrian composer, born in Linz (d. 2005)
  • 1917-07-06 Arthur Lydiard, New Zealand running coach (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
  • 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, born in Cambridge, New Zealand (d. 2007)
  • 1929-04-25 Yvette Williams, New Zealand long jumper (Olympic gold 1952), born in Dunedin, 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, Judge (NZ Court of Appeals)
  • 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 walker (Olympic gold 1956), born in Portsmouth, England (d. 1944)
  • 1932-06-04 Maurice Shadbolt, New Zealand writer
  • 1933-07-07 Murray Halberg, New Zealand, 5K runner (Olympic gold 1960)
  • 1934-02-10 Fleur Adcock, New Zealand poet
  • 1934-04-09 Bill Birch, New Zealand politician
  • 1934-05-01 Nev MacEwan, New Zealand rugby union #8 (All Blacks 20 caps), 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, NZ auto maker (World Champion 1957, 58, 64, 66)
  • 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)
  • 1936-03-14 Bob Charles, Carterton, New Zealand, PGA golfer (1963 Houston Open)
  • 1936-06-03 Colin Meads, New Zealand rugby player
  • 1937-06-01 Colleen McCullough, Australian author (Tim, Indecent Obsession), born in Wellington, New Zealand
  • 1937-07-24 Barry Lloyd Vercoe, New Zealand composer and computer scientist (MIT Media Lab), born in Wellington, New Zealand
  • 1937-08-02 Ronald Brierley, New Zealand investor and company director, born in Wellington, New Zealand
  • 1937-08-30 Bruce McLaren, New Zealand car racer and founder of eponymous race team, born in Auckland, New Zealand (d. 1970)
  • 1938-12-17 Peter Snell, New Zealand middle distance runner (3 Olympic gold 1960, 64), born in Opunake, New Zealand
  • 1939-02-11 Bryan Gould, New Zealand and British politician (L), born in Hawera, New Zealand
  • 1941-01-17 Dame Gillian Weir, New Zealand organist
  • 1942-04-22 Denis Lill, New Zealand-born British actor (Only Fools and Horses), born in Hamilton, New Zealand
  • 1942-07-17 Gale Garnett, singer (We'll Sing in the Sunshine), born in Auckland, New Zealand
  • 1942-08-04 David Russell Lange, PM (L) NZ (1984-89)

Person of interestDavid Lange

1942-08-04 David Lange, New Zealand politician (Prime Minister, 1984-1990), born in Otahuhu, Auckland (d. 2005)

New Zealand Prime Minister David Lange
New Zealand Prime Minister
David Lange
  • 1943-07-20 Chris Amon, New Zealand Formula 1 racer, born in Bulls, New Zealand (d. 2016)
  • 1944-03-06 Kiri Te Kanawa, New Zealand operatic soprano (Don Giovanni), born in Gisborne, New Zealand
  • 1945-09-17 Bruce Spence, New Zealand actor

Person of interestMichael King

1945-12-15 Michael King, New Zealand historian and author (Penguin History of New Zealand), born in Wellington, New Zealand

Historian and Author Michael King
Historian and Author
Michael King
  • 1947-02-19 Tim Shadbolt, mayor of Invercargill, New Zealand

Famous Weddings


HeartWedding 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

Deaths 1 - 100 of 122


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

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 and 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
  • 1930-07-19 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

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)
  • 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 (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

Person of interestKeith Holyoake

1983-12-08 Keith Holyoake, 26th Prime Minister of New Zealand (National: 1960-72), dies of a stroke at 79

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, NZ author, pro Chinese communist, dies at 90 in Beijing
  • 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
  • 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 walker (Olympic gold 1956), dies 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, PM 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
  • 1999-04-13 Ortvin Sarapu, New Zealand chess player (b. 1924)
  • 2001-07-08 John O'Shea, New Zealand film director (b. 1920)
  • 2001-12-06 Sir Peter Blake, New Zealand yachtsman & 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
  • 2003-04-13 Possum Bourne, New Zealand rally car driver (b. 1956
  • 2003-04-30 Peter 'Possum' Bourne, New Zealand race car driver (b. 1956)
  • 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 physicist, Nobel laureate (b. 1916)
  • 2004-10-10 Maurice Shadbolt, New Zealand writer (b. 1932)
  • 2004-12-11 Arthur Lydiard, New Zealand running coach (b. 1917)
  • 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 (b. 1912)
  • 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)
  • 2006-10-08 Mark Porter, New Zealand racing driver (b. 1975)
  • 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)
  • 2007-06-20 Trevor Henry, New Zealand Justice (b. 1902)
  • 2007-07-22 Jarrod Cunningham New Zealand rugby player (b. 1968)
  • 2007-08-07 Angus Tait, New Zealand electronics innovator and businessman (b. 1919)
  • 2007-08-15 Geoffrey Orbell, New Zealand bush walker (b. 1908)
  • 2007-08-28 Nikola Nobilo, New Zealand winemaker (b. 1913)
  • 2007-08-29 James Muir Cameron Fletcher, New Zealand industrialist (b. 1914)