||Polynesian settlement established according to
||Dutch explorer Abel Tasman discovers part of the
coast of what was later named Nieuw Zeeland.
||Captain James Cook makes first visit to New
Zealand, charting the coast and claiming it in the name of King George III.
||onwards, sealing, whaling, timber and flax
trades begin, sheep, cattle, horses poultry and new plants introduced.
Early 1800s mission stations begin to be established, muskets more widely introduced
giving rise to a series of wars among the iwi (tribes).
||James Busby arrives in Bay of Islands after his
appointment as British Resident in New Zealand.
||Declaration of Independence by the United Tribes
of New Zealand signed by some 34 Northern chiefs.
||Treaty of Waitangi signed between the vast
majority (nearly 500) of Maori Chiefs and Governor Hobson on behalf of Queen Victoria.
British sovereignty proclaimed.
||NZ Constitution Act passed setting up a General
Assembly and the first six provinces with a form of representative government.
||Gold rushes start in Buller.
||Land wars start with Maori in Taranaki and main
conflicts end in Waikato in 1864 with extensive confiscation's of tribal lands.
||Four Maori seats created in Parliament and all
Maori men over 21 get the vote, possibly the first extension of the franchise without a
property barrier in the world (Pakeha (white) men got the vote in 1879).
||Last Imperial forces leave New Zealand, Vogel
Government starts major public works, railways and immigration programmes which lead to
arguments with some provinces.
||The provinces are abolished by vote in the
||Education Act establishes a national system of
education to be free, secular and compulsory.
||Mount Tarawera erupts, killing 153 people and
destroying world renowned pink and white terraces.
||All women were allowed to vote.
||Compulsory arbitration of industrial disputes
and reform of employment laws.
||Old Age Pension Act passed.
||Father of the atom, Ernest Rutherford, is
awarded the Nobel prize in Chemistry and New Zealands population reaches one
||Stamp vending machine invented and manufactured
in New Zealand.
||Heavy losses in the First World War
(Passchendaele 3,700 New Zealanders killed). Six p.m. closing introduced to pubs and
draught beer alcohol content reduced. The influenza epidemic killed an estimated 8,500 in
||New Zealand forces take part in Gallipoli
||Returning soldiers just tip the vote against
prohibition. Prime Minister Massey signs the Treaty of Versailles rather than the British
on behalf of New Zealand
||Depression deepens and 1930 Unemployment Board
set up for relief work.
||First Labour Government elected in New Zealand.
State housing programme launched. Working week reduced to 40 hours.
||Social Security Act establishes revised old age
pensions and a national health service.
||Second World War, results in New Zealanders
participating in nearly every theatre of the war suffering possibly the highest casualty
rates per capita of any participant.
||New Zealand founder member of the United
||Universal Family Benefit of one pound a week.
||New Zealand Parliament adopts the Statute of
Westminster recognising New Zealand as a fully independent state, although owing
allegiance to the British King.
||Protest campaign against the exclusion of Maori
rugby players from rugby tour of South Africa (Maori later declared honorary whites but
protests got worse).
||Upper House of Parliament abolishes itself
(Government appoints enough new members who were known as the "suicide squad").
New Zealand naval and ground forces go to Korea. Boom in wool prices.
||Protracted 151 day waterfront dispute destroys
many strong nation-wide unions.
||Population reaches two million.
||First tour by a reigning monarch. Edmund Hillary
and sherpa Tenzing Norgay first to climb Mount Everest. 151 die in train wreck caused by
volcanic lahar from Mt Ruapehu.
||Regular television programmes (black and white)
begin in Auckland
||Capital punishment abolished.
||New Zealand/Australia Free Trade Agreement
(NAFTA) signed. New Zealand sends troops to Vietnam and protests begin.
||Referendum allows hotels to open to 10/11 p.m.
||Roll-on roll-off ferry Wahine sinks in harbour
entrance storm, 51 die.
||Vote for 20 year olds.
||UK joins the EEC, New Zealand has to negotiate
entrance for butter/cheese/meat. Population reaches three million.
||Waitangi Tribunal established to start long
process of resolving Maori claims for lost lands and taonga (treasures).
||Air New Zealand plane crashes on Antarctic Mt
Erebus, 257 die.
||South African rugby tour brings widespread
social disruption and violence.
||Closer Economic Relationship (CER) signed with
Australia, described internationally as one of the "cleanest" free trade
agreements in the world. One year long wage and price and rent freeze imposed, but lasts
||Labour Party under David Lange wins snap
election and Finance Minister Roger Douglas starts de-regulation and other major reforms
to turn-round.the economy.
||Anti-nuclear policy leads to refusal of an
American warship visit. French secret service agents charged with manslaughter after
bombing of Greenpeaces Rainbow Warrior in Auckland harbour.
||Goods and Services Tax introduced on nearly
everything, simultaneously with substantial reductions and simplification in income tax.
||Labour Government was re-elected. New
Zealands first heart transplant. New Zealand wins World Rugby Cup. Share prices
plummet 60 percent in four months.
||New Zealand celebrates its 150th birthday.
Privatisation of major government enterprises continues as does world wide economic
downturn. National government under Jim Bolger elected.
||Treaty of Waitangi Fisheries Commission set up
to administer fisheries assets on behalf of Maori, one third of the commercial fishing
quota also transferred to Maori hands through Sealord Agreement.
||Employment Contracts Act passed, effectively
ending compulsory unionism. Unemployment reaches 200,000 and starts to drop.
||National Government re-elected.
||New Zealand wins Americas Cup. The Queen
in person assented to the Act offering an apology and major compensation under the Waikato
Raupatu Settlement (Tainui Agreement), the first of the large Maori iwi settlements under
the latest Waitangi Treaty claims legislation.
||Heads of Agreement reached between the Crown and
the Ngai Tahu iwi concerning Treaty claims affecting virtually the whole South Island.
Coalition Government under Prime Minister Jim Bolger and Deputy Prime Minister Winston
Peters elected under proportional representation system ("MMP"). Unemployment
down to six percent, Government in surplus for third year.
||Jim Bolger resigns as Prime Minister and is
replaced by New Zealand's first woman Prime Minister, Jenny Shipley. Nga Tahu iwi
signs a $170 million land settlement with the Crown. After New Zealand hosted peace
talks, the Defence Force supervise opposing Bougainville groups in Papua New Guinea
reaching a truce agreement. National population increased 7% since 1991 to 3.6
million. The Auckland Skytower is opened.
||Auckland city businesses hit by
major power outs, resulting in an inquiry into Mercury Energy . New
Zealand dollar drops below .50 cents US mark for the first time in 12
||New Zealand sends peacekeeping
troops into East Timor. Auckland hosts APEC World Leaders Conference,
attended by US President Bill Clinton. Former PM. Mike Moore becomes Head
of the World Trade Organisation (WTO). Labour Leader Helen Clark becomes
first elected female Prime Minister.