New Zealand Timeline:
c1300 Polynesian settlement established
according to archaeological evidence.
1642 Dutch explorer Abel Tasman discovers
part of the coast of what was later named Nieuw Zeeland.
1769 Captain James Cook makes first visit
to New Zealand, charting the coast and claiming it in the name of King
1790’s- onwards, sealing, whaling, timber
and flax trades begin, sheep, cattle, horses poultry and new plants
Early 1800’s mission stations begin to be established, muskets more
widely introduced giving rise to a series of wars among the iwi (tribes).
1833 James Busby arrives in Bay of Islands
after his appointment as British Resident in New Zealand.
1835 Declaration of Independence by the
United Tribes of New Zealand signed by some 34 Northern chiefs.
1840 Treaty of Waitangi signed between the
vast majority (nearly 500) of Maori Chiefs and Governor Hobson on behalf
of Queen Victoria. British sovereignty proclaimed.
1852 NZ Constitution Act passed setting up
a General Assembly and the first six provinces with a form of
1859 Gold rushes start in Buller.
1860 Land wars start with Maori in Taranaki
and main conflicts end in Waikato in 1864 with extensive confiscation's of
1867 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).
1870 Last Imperial forces leave New
Zealand, Vogel Government starts major public works, railways and
immigration programmes which lead to arguments with some provinces.
1876 The provinces are abolished by vote in
1877 Education Act establishes a national
system of education to be free, secular and compulsory.
1886 Mount Tarawera erupts, killing 153
people and destroying world renowned pink and white terraces.
1893 All women were allowed to vote.
1894 Compulsory arbitration of industrial
disputes and reform of employment laws.
1898 Old Age Pension Act passed.
1908 Father of the atom, Ernest Rutherford,
is awarded the Nobel prize in Chemistry and New Zealand’s population
reaches one million.
1909 Stamp vending machine invented and
manufactured in New Zealand.
1914-18 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.
1915 New Zealand forces take part in
1919 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
1929 Depression deepens and 1930
Unemployment Board set up for relief work.
1935 First Labour Government elected in New
Zealand. State housing programme launched. Working week reduced to 40
1938 Social Security Act establishes
revised old age pensions and a national health service.
1939 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.
1945 New Zealand founder member of the
1946 Universal Family Benefit of one pound
1947 New Zealand Parliament adopts the
Statute of Westminster recognising New Zealand as a fully independent
state, although owing allegiance to the British King.
1948 Protest campaign against the exclusion
of Maori rugby players from rugby tour of South Africa (Maori later
declared honorary whites but protests got worse).
1950 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.
1951 Protracted 151 day waterfront dispute
destroys many strong nation-wide unions.
1952 Population reaches two million.
1953 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.
1960 Regular television programmes (black
and white) begin in Auckland
1961 Capital punishment abolished.
1965 New Zealand/Australia Free Trade
Agreement (NAFTA) signed. New Zealand sends troops to Vietnam and protests
1967 Referendum allows hotels to open to
1968 Roll-on roll-off ferry Wahine sinks in
harbour entrance storm, 51 die.
1969 Vote for 20 year olds.
1973 UK joins the EEC, New Zealand has to
negotiate entrance for butter/cheese/meat. Population reaches three
1975 Waitangi Tribunal established to start
long process of resolving Maori claims for lost lands and taonga
1979 Air New Zealand plane crashes on
Antarctic Mt Erebus, 257 die.
1981 South African rugby tour brings
widespread social disruption and violence.
1982 loser 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 until 1984.
1984 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.
1985 Anti-nuclear policy leads to refusal
of an American warship visit. French secret service agents charged with
manslaughter after bombing of Greenpeace’s Rainbow Warrior in Auckland
1986 Goods and Services Tax introduced on
nearly everything, simultaneously with substantial reductions and
simplification in income tax.
1987 Labour Government was re-elected. New
Zealand’s first heart transplant. New Zealand wins World Rugby Cup.
Share prices plummet 60 percent in four months.
1990 New Zealand celebrates its 150th
birthday. Privatisation of major government enterprises continues as does
world wide economic downturn. National government under Jim Bolger
1992 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.
1991 Employment Contracts Act passed,
effectively ending compulsory unionism. Unemployment reaches 200,000 and
starts to drop.
1993 National Government re-elected.
1995 New Zealand wins America’s 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
1996 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.
1997 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.
Zealand Events Timeline:
Archaeological evidence indicates that Polynesian settlement was
established by this date.
Dutch explorer Abel Janszoon Tasman discovers a land he calls
Staten Landt, later named Nieuw Zeeland.
British explorer James Cook makes the first of three visits to New
Zealand, taking possession of the country in the name of King George III.
Sealing, deep-sea whaling, the flax and timber trades begin, with
some small temporary settlements. First severe introduced epidemic among Mäori
First visit by a whaling vessel, the "William and Ann",
to Doubtless Bay.
First Päkehä women arrive in New Zealand.
British missionary Samuel Marsden makes first visit to New Zealand.
Anglican mission station established. Sheep, cattle, horses and poultry
Thomas Holloway King is the first Päkehä child born in New
Raids on Taranaki and Te Whanganui-a-tara regions by Ngapuhi and Ngäti
Toa people led by chiefs Patuone, Nene, Moetara, Tuwhare and Te Rauparaha.
Hongi Hika, Ngapuhi chief, visits England, meets King George IV and
secures supply of muskets.
Musket wars begin with raids by Hongi Hika and Te Morenga on
southern iwi and continue throughout the decade.
Ngäti Toa migration south to Cook Strait region, led by Te
Jurisdiction of New South Wales courts is extended to British
citizens in New Zealand. Wesleyan Missionary Society mission established.
First Church of England marriage between Philip Tapsell and Mäori girl,
Te Heke Niho-puta migration of Taranaki iwi to the Kapiti Coast.
Rawiri Taiwhanga in Bay of Islands sells dairy produce and other food
supplies to visiting ships.
Te Rauparaha's invasion of the South Island from Kapiti begins.
First acorn planted at Waimate North where agricultural mission and
Whaling stations established at Tory Channel and Preservation
James Busby, appointed British Resident in New Zealand, arrives at
the Bay of Islands.
United Tribes' flag adopted by some 25 northern chiefs at Busby's
Declaration of Independence by the "United Tribes of New
Zealand" signed by 34 northern chiefs.
New Zealand Association formed in London, becoming the New Zealand
Colonisation Society in 1838 and the New Zealand Company in 1839, under
the inspiration of Edward Gibbon Wakefield. William Colenso completes
printing the New Testament in Mäori, the first book printed in New
Bishop Pompallier founds Roman Catholic Mission at Hokianga.
William Hobson instructed to establish British rule in New Zealand,
as a dependency of New South Wales. Colonel William Wakefield of the New
Zealand Company arrives on the "Tory" to purchase land for a
New Zealand Company settlers arrive at Port Nicholson, Wellington.
Treaty of Waitangi signed at Bay of Islands and later over most of the
country. British sovereignty proclaimed. French settlers land at Akaroa.
Hobson becomes first Governor and sets up executive and legislative
European settlements established at New Plymouth and Wanganui.
Capital shifted from Kororareka to Auckland.
Main body of settlers arrive at Nelson.
Twenty-two European settlers and four Mäori killed at a
confrontation at Tua Marina, near the Wairau, in Marlborough. Robert
FitzRoy becomes Governor.
Hone Heke begins the "War in the North". New Zealand
Company suspends its colonising operations due to financial difficulties.
George Grey becomes Governor.
War in the north ends with capture of Ruapekapeka. First New
Zealand Constitution Act passed. Heaphy, Fox and Brunner begin exploring
the West Coast. First steam vessel, HMS "Driver", arrives in New
Settlement founded by Scottish Otago Association. Provinces of New
Ulster and New Munster set up under
1846 Act. Coal discovered at Brunner
on the West Coast. Earthquake in Marlborough damages most Wellington
Canterbury settlement founded.
Second New Zealand Constitution Act passed creating General
Assembly and six provinces with representative government.
Idea of a Mäori King canvassed by Tamihana Te Rauparaha and Matene
First session of the General Assembly opens in Auckland.
Governor Thomas Gore Browne, appointed in 1854, arrives. Severe
earthquake on both sides of Cook Strait. Adhesive, imperforate postage
stamps on sale.
Henry Sewell forms first ministry under responsible government and
becomes first Premier. Edward Stafford forms first stable ministry.
New Provinces Act passed. Te Wherowhero installed as first Mäori
King, taking name Potatau I.
First session of Hawke's Bay and Marlborough provincial councils.
Gold discovered in Buller River. New Zealand Insurance Company
Waitara dispute develops into general warfare in Taranaki.
Grey begins second governorship. Gold discovered at Gabriel's
Gully; Otago goldrushes begin. First session of Southland provincial
council. Bank of New Zealand incorporated at Auckland.
First electric telegraph line opens—from Christchurch to
Lyttleton. First gold shipment from Dunedin to London.
War resumes in Taranaki and begins in Waikato when General Cameron
crosses the Mangatawhiri stream. New Zealand Settlements Act passed to
effect land confiscation. First steam railway in New Zealand opened.
War in the Waikato ends with battle of Orakau. Land in Waikato,
Taranaki, Bay of Plenty and Hawke's Bay confiscated. Gold discovered in
Marlborough and Westland. Arthur, George and Edward Dobson are the first Päkehä
to cross what becomes known as Arthur's Pass.
Seat of government transferred from Auckland to Wellington. Native
Land Court established. Mäori resistance continues. Auckland streets lit
by gas for first time.
Cook Strait submarine telegraph cable laid. Christchurch to
Hokitika road opens. Cobb and Co. coaches run from Canterbury to the West
Thames goldfield opens. Four Mäori seats established in
Parliament. Lyttleton railway tunnel completed. Armed constabulary
Mäori resistance continues through campaigns of Te Kooti
Arikirangi and Titokowaru. New Zealand's first sheep breed, the
Corriedale, is developed.
New Zealand's first university, the University of Otago, is
The last imperial forces leave New Zealand. Vogel's public works
and immigration policy begins. New Zealand University Act passed,
establishing a federal system which lasts until 1961. Vogel announces
national railway construction programme; over 1,000 miles constructed by
1879. First rugby match. Auckland to San Francisco mail service begins.
Deer freed in Otago.
Te Kooti retreats to the King Country and Mäori armed resistance
ceases. Telegraph communication links Auckland, Wellington and southern
New Zealand Shipping Company established.
First New Zealand steam engine built at Invercargill.
Abolition of the provinces and establishment of local government by
counties and boroughs. New Zealand-Australia telegraph cable established.
Education Act passed, establishing national system of primary
Completion of Christchurch-Invercargill railway.
Triennial Parliaments Act passed. Vote is given to every male aged
21 and over. Kaitangata mine explosion, 34 people die. Annual property tax
Parihaka community forcibly broken up by troops. Te Whiti, Tohu
Kakahi and followers arrested and imprisoned. Wreck of SS
"Tararua", 131 people die. Auckland and Christchurch telephone
First shipment of frozen meat leaves Port Chalmers for England on
Te Kooti pardoned, Te Whiti and other prisoners released. Direct
steamer link established between New Zealand and Britain.
King Tawhiao visits England with petition to the Queen, appealing
to the Treaty of Waitangi, and is refused access. First overseas tour by a
New Zealand rugby team, to New South Wales. Construction of King Country
section of North Island main trunk railway begins.
Mt Tarawera erupts and the Pink and White Terraces are destroyed,
153 people die. Oil is discovered in Taranaki.
New Zealand's first national park, Tongariro, is presented to the
nation by Te Heuheu Tukino IV. Reefton becomes first town to have
electricity. First inland parcel post service.
Birth of writer Katherine Mansfield.
Abolition of non-residential or property qualification to vote.
First New Zealand-built locomotive completed at Addington.
Maritime Strike involves 8000 unionists. "Sweating"
Commission reports on employment conditions. First election on a one-man
John McKenzie introduces the first of a series of measures to
promote closer land settlement. John Ballance becomes Premier of first
First Kotahitanga Mäori Parliament meets.
Franchise extended to women. John Ballance dies and is succeeded by
Richard John Seddon. Liquor licensing poll introduced. Elizabeth Yates
becomes first woman mayor, of Onehunga. Banknotes become legal tender.
Compulsory arbitration of industrial disputes and reform of
employment laws. Advances to Settlers Act. Clark, Fyfe and Graham become
the first people to climb Mt Cook. Wreck of SS "Wairarapa".
National Council of Women is founded. Brunner Mine explosion, 67
people killed. Census measures national population as 743,214.
First of series of colonial and later imperial conferences held in
London. Apirana Ngata and others form Te Aute College Students'
Old Age Pensions Act. First cars imported to New Zealand.
New Zealand army contingent is sent to the South African war. First
celebration of Labour Day.
Mäori Councils Act passed. Public Health Act passed setting up
Department of Public Health in 1901.
Cook and other Pacific Islands annexed. Penny postage first used.
Pacific cable begins operating between New Zealand, Australia and
Fiji. Wreck of SS "Elingamite".
Richard Pearse achieves semi-controlled flight near Timaru.
New Zealand rugby team tours England and becomes known as the All
Blacks. Old Age Pension increases to £26 per year; however, eligibility
Seddon dies and is succeeded by Joseph Ward as Premier.
New Zealand constituted as a Dominion. Fire destroys Parliament
Auckland to Wellington main trunk railway line opens. Ernest
Rutherford is awarded the Nobel Prize in Chemistry. New Zealand's
population reaches one million.
"Red" Federation of Labour formed. SS "Penguin"
wrecked in Cook Strait, 75 people die. Compulsory military training
introduced. Stamp-vending machine invented and manufactured in New
Halley's Comet sighted in New Zealand.
William Massey wins vote in the House and becomes first Reform
Party Prime Minister. Waihi miners strike.
Waterfront strikes in Auckland and Wellington.
World War I begins and German Samoa is occupied. New Zealand
Expeditionary Forces are despatched to Egypt. Huntly coal mine disaster,
43 people die.
New Zealand forces take part in Gallipoli campaign. Reform and
Liberal parties form National War Cabinet. Britain announces its intention
to purchase all New Zealand meat exports during war.
New Zealand troops transfer from Western Front. Conscription
introduced. Labour Party formed. Lake Coleridge electricity supply scheme
Battle of Passchendaele, 3,700 New Zealanders killed. Six o'clock
public house closing introduced. Lord Liverpool becomes first
New Zealand Division in the Battle of the Somme. End of World War
I. Influenza epidemic in which an estimated 8,500 die. Creation of power
boards for electricity distribution. Prohibition petition with 242,001
signatures presented to Parliament.
Women eligible for election to Parliament. Massey signs Treaty of
Versailles. First official airmail flight from Auckland to Dargaville.
Anzac Day established. New Zealand gets League of Nations mandate
to govern Western Samoa. First aeroplane flight across Cook Strait.
New Zealand Division of Royal Navy established. 1921
New Zealand Division of Royal Navy established.
Meat Producers' Board placed in control of meat exports.
Otira tunnel opens. Ross Dependency proclaimed. Death of Katherine
National public broadcasting begins under auspices of Radio
Broadcasting Co. Ltd.
New Zealand Summer Time introduced. General election won by new
United Party. Kingsford-Smith completes first flight across Tasman Sea.
Economic depression gets worse. Severe earthquake in
Murchison-Karamea district, 17 people die. First health stamps issued.
Unemployment Board set up to provide relief work.
Newly formed Coalition Government under George Forbes wins general
election. Hawke's Bay earthquake, 256 die. Substantial percentage
reductions in public service wages and salaries. Airmail postage stamps
Compulsory arbitration of industrial disputes abolished. Unemployed
riots in Auckland, Dunedin and Christchurch. Reductions in old-age and
Elizabeth McCombs becomes first woman MP. Distinctive New Zealand
coins first issued.
Reserve Bank and Mortgage Corporation established. First
First Labour Government elected under Michael Joseph Savage. Air
services begin across Cook Strait.
Reserve Bank taken over by state. State housing programme launched.
Guaranteed prices for dairy products introduced. National Party formed
from former Coalition MPs. Inter-island trunk air services introduced.
Jack Lovelock wins New Zealand's first Olympic gold. Jean Batten's record
flight from England. Working week reduced from 44 to 40 hours.
Federation of Labour unifies trade union movement. RNZAF set up as
separate branch of armed forces.
Social Security Act establishes revised pensions structure and the
basis of a national health service. Import and exchange controls are
World War II begins. Second New Zealand Expeditionary Force formed.
Bulk purchases of farm products by Great Britain. HMS "Achilles"
takes part in Battle of the River Plate.
Michael Joseph Savage dies and is succeeded by Peter Fraser. Sidney
Holland becomes Leader of Opposition. Conscription for military service.
German mines laid across Hauraki Gulf.
Japan enters the war. Mäori War Effort Organisation set up.
Pharmaceutical and general practitioner medical benefits introduced.
Economic stabilisation. New Zealand troops in Battle of El Alamein.
Food rationing introduced. Mobilisation of women for essential work.
New Zealand troops take part in invasion of Italy.
Australia-New Zealand Agreement provides for co-operation in the
War in Europe ends on 8 May and in the Pacific on 15 August. New
Zealand signs United Nations charter. Mäori Social and Economic
Advancement Act passed. National Airways Corporation founded.
Family benefit of £1 per week becomes universal. Bank of New
Statute of Westminster adopted by New Zealand Parliament. First
public performance by National Orchestra. Mabel Howard becomes first woman
cabinet minister. Fire in Ballantyne's department store, Christchurch, 41
Protest campaign against exclusion of Mäori players from rugby
tour of South Africa. Polio epidemic closes schools. Ruapehu and Ngauruhoe
erupt. Meat rationing ends.
Referendum agrees to compulsory military training. National
Government elected. New Zealand gets first four navy frigates.
Naval and ground forces sent to Korean War. Legislative Council
abolished. Wool boom.
Prolonged waterfront dispute—state of emergency proclaimed. ANZUS
treaty signed between United States, Australia and New Zealand. Mäori
Women's Welfare League established.
Population reaches over two million.
First tour by a reigning monarch. Edmund Hillary and Sherpa Tenzing
Norgay first to climb Mount Everest. Railway disaster at Tangiwai, 151
people die. World sheep-shearing record set by Godfrey Bowen.
New Zealand signs South East Asia Collective Defence Treaty. Gains
seat on United Nations Security Council. Social Credit gets 10 percent of
vote in general election, but no seat in Parliament.
Pulp and paper mill opens at Kawerau. Rimutaka rail tunnel opened.
New Zealand troops sent to Malaya. Roxburgh and Whakamaru power
stations in operation.
National loses election; Walter Nash leads second Labour
Government. Last hanging. Scott Base established in Ross Dependency. Court
of Appeal constituted. Dairy products gain 10 years of unrestricted access
PAYE tax introduced. Arnold Nordmeyer's "Black Budget".
First geothermal electricity generated at Wairakei. First heart-lung
machine used at Greenlane Hospital, Auckland.
Antarctic Treaty signed with other countries involved in scientific
exploration in Antarctica. Auckland harbour bridge opened.
Regular television programmes begin in Auckland. National
Government elected. Government Service Equal Pay Act passed.
New Zealand joins the International Monetary Fund. Capital
New Zealand troops sent to Malaysia during
"confrontation" with Indonesia. Western Samoa becomes
independent. Sir Guy Powles becomes first Ombudsman. New Zealand Mäori
Council established. Cook Strait rail ferry service begins. Taranaki gas
well opens. Peter Snell establishes mile and half-mile world running
Marsden Point oil refinery opens at Whangarei. Cook Strait power
cables laid. Auckland's population reaches half a million.
NAFTA agreement negotiated with Australia. Support for United
States in Vietnam; New Zealand combat force sent, protest movement begins.
Cook Islands becomes self-governing.
International airport officially opens at Auckland. New Zealand
labour force reaches one million. National Library of New Zealand created.
Te Ata-i-rangi-kaahu becomes first Mäori Queen.
Referendum extends hotel closing hours to 10pm. Decimal currency
introduced. Lord Arthur Porritt becomes first New Zealand-born
Governor-General. Breath and blood tests introduced for suspected drinking
Inter-island ferry "Wahine" sinks in severe storm in Wellington
Harbour, 51 people die. Three die in Inangahua earthquake. 1968
Inter-island ferry "Wahine" sinks in severe storm in
Wellington Harbour, 51 people die. Three die in Inangahua earthquake.
Vote extended to 20-year-olds. National Government wins fourth
election in a row. First output from Glenbrook Steel Mill.
Natural gas from Kapuni supplied to Auckland.
New Zealand secures continued access of butter and cheese to the
United Kingdom. Nga Tamatoa protest at Waitangi celebrations. Tiwai Point
aluminium smelter begins operating. Warkworth satellite station begins
Labour Government led by Norman Kirk elected. Equal Pay Act passed.
Great Britain becomes a member of the EEC. Naval frigate despatched
in protest against French nuclear testing in the Pacific. New Zealand's
population reaches three million. Rugby tour of South Africa cancelled.
Oil price hike means worst terms of trade in 30 years. Colour TV
Prime Minister Norman Kirk dies. Commonwealth Games held in
Robert Muldoon becomes Prime Minister after National election
victory. Mäori land march protests against land loss. The Waitangi
Tribunal is established. Second TV channel starts broadcasting.
Matrimonial Property Act passed. Pacific Islands
"overstayers" deported. EEC import quotas for New Zealand butter
set until 1980. Introduction of metric system of weights and measures.
Subscriber toll dialling introduced.
National Superannuation scheme begins. New Zealand signs the
Gleneagles Agreement. The 200-mile exclusive economic zone is established.
Bastion Point occupied by protesters.
Registered unemployed reaches 25,000. National Government
Air New Zealand plane crashes on Mount Erebus, Antarctica, 257
people die. Carless days introduced to reduce petrol consumption.
Social Credit wins East Coast Bays by-election. Saturday trading
partially legalised. Eighty-day strike at Kinleith Mill.
South African rugby team's tour brings widespread disruption.
CER agreement signed with Australia. First köhanga reo
established. Year-long wage, price and rent freeze imposed—lasts until
Visit by nuclear-powered United States Navy frigate
"Texas" sparks protests. Official Information Act replaces
Official Secrecy Act. New Zealand Party founded.
Labour Party wins snap general election. Finance Minister Roger
Douglas begins deregulating the economy. New Zealand ratifies the United
Nations Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination
Against Women. Te Hikoi ki Waitangi march and disruption of Waitangi Day
celebrations. Auckland's population exceeds that of the South Island.
Government devalues New Zealand dollar by 20 percent.
Anti-nuclear policy leads to refusal of a visit by the American
warship, the USS "Buchanan". Greenpeace vessel Rainbow Warrior
bombed and sunk by French agents in Auckland harbour. New Zealand dollar
floated. Keri Hulme wins Booker Prize for "The Bone People".
First case of locally-contracted AIDS is reported. Waitangi Tribunal given
power to hear grievances arising since 1840.
Homosexual Law Reform Bill passed. Royal Commission reports in
favour of MMP electoral system. Jim Bolger becomes National Party leader.
Soviet cruise ship, the "Mikhail Lermontov", sinks in
Marlborough Sounds. Goods and Services Tax introduced. First visit to New
Zealand by the Pope.
Share prices plummet by 59 percent in four months. Labour wins
general election. Mäori Language Act making Mäori an official language
passed. Anti-nuclear legislation enacted. First lotto draw. New Zealand's
first heart transplant is performed. New Zealand wins Rugby World Cup.
Significant earthquake in the Bay of Plenty.
Number of unemployed exceeds 100,000. Bastion Point land returned
to Mäori ownership. Combined Council of Trade Unions formed. Royal
Commission on Social Policy issues April Report. Gibbs Report on hospital
services and Picot Report on education published. State Sector Act passed.
Cyclone Bola strikes northern North Island. Electrification of North
Island's main trunk line completed. New Zealand Post closes 432 post
offices. Fisheries quota package announced for Mäori iwi.
Prime Minister David Lange suggests formal withdrawal from ANZUS.
Jim Anderton founds NewLabour Party. Lange resigns and Geoffrey Palmer
becomes Prime Minister. First annual balance of payments surplus since
1973. Reserve Bank Act sets bank's role as one of maintaining price
stability. First school board elections under Tomorrow's Schools reforms.
First elections under revised local government structure. Sunday trading
begins. Third TV channel begins.
Mäori Fisheries Act passed.
New Zealand celebrates its sesquicentennial. Mäori leaders
inaugurate National Congress of Tribes. Dame Catherine Tizard becomes
first woman Governor-General. Geoffrey Palmer resigns as Prime Minister
and is replaced by Mike Moore. National Party has landslide victory. Jim
Bolger becomes Prime Minister. One and two cent coins are no longer legal
tender. Commonwealth Games are held in Auckland. Telecom sold for $4.25
billion. Welfare payments cut. Big earthquake in Hawke's Bay.
First budget of new Finance Minister, Ruth Richardson. Welfare
payments further reduced. The Alliance Party is formed. Employment
Contracts Act passed. Consumers Price Index has lowest quarterly increase
for 25 years. Number of unemployed exceeds 200,000 for the first time. New
Zealand troops join multi-national force in the Gulf War. An avalanche on
Mt Cook reduces its height by 10.5 metres.
Government and Mäori interests negotiate Sealords fisheries deal.
Public health system reforms. State housing commercialised. Watties Foods
is bought by American company, Heinz. New Zealand gets seat on United
Nations Security Council.
Centennial of women's suffrage celebrated. New Zealand First Party
launched by Winston Peters. National wins election without
majority—Opposition MP Peter Tapsell becomes Speaker of the House, thus
giving the government a majority. Referendum favours MMP electoral system.
New Zealand film "The Piano" has international success.
Government commits 250 soldiers to front-line duty in Bosnia.
Government proposes $1 billion cap in plan for final settlement of Treaty
of Waitangi claims. Sharemarket reaches highest level since 1987 crash.
New Zealand's first casino opens in Christchurch. First fast-ferry
passenger service begins operation across Cook Strait.
Team New Zealand wins America's Cup. Occupation of Moutua Gardens,
Wanganui. Waikato Raupatu Claims Settlement Act passed. New political
parties form: the Conservative, Christian Heritage and United New Zealand.
Renewal of French nuclear tests results in New Zealand protest flotilla
and navy ship "Tui" sailing for Moruroa Atoll. Commonwealth
Heads of Government Meeting in Auckland, Nelson Mandela visits. New
Zealand contingent returns from Bosnia.
Imported pests—Mediterranean fruit flies and white-spotted
tussock moths—cause disruption to export trade and to Aucklanders.
Thirteenth National Park, Kahurangi, opened in north-west Nelson. Waitangi
Tribunal recommends generous settlement of Taranaki land claims. First
legal sports betting at TAB. $170 million Ngai Tahu settlement proposed,
$40 million Whakatohea settlement announced. First MMP election brings
National/New Zealand First coalition government.
America's Cup damaged in attack by a Mäori activist. TV4 begins
daily broadcasts. Customs Service cracks down on imported Japanese used
cars following claims of odometer fraud. Auckland's Skytower is opened.
Beatrice Faumuina wins gold for discus at the World Track and Field
championships in Athens. Auckland band OMC's album "How Bizarre"
goes gold in the United States. Compulsory superannuation is rejected by a
margin of more than 9 to 1 in New Zealand's first postal referendum. Jim
Bolger resigns as Prime Minister after a National Party coup; he is
replaced by New Zealand's first woman Prime Minister, Jenny Shipley.
Auckland city businesses hit by a power cut lasting several weeks.
The crisis continues for over a month and results in an inquiry into
Mercury Energy. The women's rugby team, the Black Ferns, become the world
champions. Mortgage rates and the New Zealand dollar both take a slide
leaving NZ$1 below the US50c mark for the first time in 12 years. The
Coalition Government is dissolved leaving the Jenny Shipley-led National
party as a minority government. Several cases of tuberculosis discovered
in South Auckland in the worst outbreak for a decade. The Hikoi of Hope
marches to Parliament calling for more support for the poor. The
government announces plans to lease 28 new fighter aircraft but says no to
a new naval frigate.