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 New Zealand Information


Aotearoa: Land of the Long White Cloud 



 Main New Zealand Facts: 

location:        In the Southern Hemisphere and is approximately 2250km east of Australia. It spans 1600 km from north to south, and is made up of the North Island, the South Island, Stewart Island and various small surrounding islands.

population: Exactly 4 million people on New Zealand on 24 April 2003. Here is the latest population figure from Satistics NZ.

language:    The official languages are English and Mäori, and with New Zealand having the biggest polynesian population in the world there are many pacific Island languages spoken.

the flag: It consists of two main elements, the Union flag of Great Britain and the four stars of the Southern Cross.

national anthem:   It is called 'God Defend New Zealand", Here is      the NZSO-played audio file and 'sheet music' of the national anthem. 





national bird:     Kiwi 

national food:  Kiwifruit 



national plant:  Pohutukawa  

natural wonders:   geysers






national sport:   Rugby Union (Winter), Cricket (Summer)

kiwiana stamp collection:   icons and symbols of New Zealand are called kiwiana, here is one such collection from 1994 featured on stamp


links about new zealand:  profile of NZ from a tourist point of view

                           profile of NZ from a statistical point of view

history of new zealand:  visit the new zealand in history website

general infomation:   general information at the Kiwi Web website


the map of new zealand:



 Main 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 George III.

1790’s- onwards, sealing, whaling, timber and flax trades begin, sheep, cattle, horses poultry and new plants introduced.
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 representative government.

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 tribal lands.

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 the legislature.

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 Gallipoli campaign.

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 hours.

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 United Nations.

1946 Universal Family Benefit of one pound a week.

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 begin.

1967 Referendum allows hotels to open to 10/11 p.m.

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 million.

1975 Waitangi Tribunal established to start long process of resolving Maori claims for lost lands and taonga (treasures).

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 harbour.

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 elected.

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 claims legislation.

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.



 New Zealand Events Timeline:

c1300 Archaeological evidence indicates that Polynesian settlement was established by this date.

1642 Dutch explorer Abel Janszoon Tasman discovers a land he calls Staten Landt, later named Nieuw Zeeland.

1769 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.

1790s Sealing, deep-sea whaling, the flax and timber trades begin, with some small temporary settlements. First severe introduced epidemic among Mäori population.

1791 First visit by a whaling vessel, the "William and Ann", to Doubtless Bay.

1806 First Päkehä women arrive in New Zealand.

1814 British missionary Samuel Marsden makes first visit to New Zealand. Anglican mission station established. Sheep, cattle, horses and poultry are introduced.

1815 Thomas Holloway King is the first Päkehä child born in New Zealand.

1819 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.

1820 Hongi Hika, Ngapuhi chief, visits England, meets King George IV and secures supply of muskets.

1821 Musket wars begin with raids by Hongi Hika and Te Morenga on southern iwi and continue throughout the decade.

1822 Ngäti Toa migration south to Cook Strait region, led by Te Rauparaha, begins.

1823 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, Maria Ringa.

1824 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.

1827 Te Rauparaha's invasion of the South Island from Kapiti begins.

1830 First acorn planted at Waimate North where agricultural mission and school established.

1831 Whaling stations established at Tory Channel and Preservation Inlet.

1833 James Busby, appointed British Resident in New Zealand, arrives at the Bay of Islands.

1834 United Tribes' flag adopted by some 25 northern chiefs at Busby's suggestion.

1835 Declaration of Independence by the "United Tribes of New Zealand" signed by 34 northern chiefs.

1837 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 Zealand.

1838 Bishop Pompallier founds Roman Catholic Mission at Hokianga.

1839 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 settlement.

1840 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 councils.

1841 European settlements established at New Plymouth and Wanganui. Capital shifted from Kororareka to Auckland.

1842 Main body of settlers arrive at Nelson.

1843 Twenty-two European settlers and four Mäori killed at a confrontation at Tua Marina, near the Wairau, in Marlborough. Robert FitzRoy becomes Governor.

1844 Hone Heke begins the "War in the North". New Zealand Company suspends its colonising operations due to financial difficulties.

1845 George Grey becomes Governor.

1846 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 Zealand waters.

1848 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 buildings.

1850 Canterbury settlement founded.

1852 Second New Zealand Constitution Act passed creating General Assembly and six provinces with representative government.

1853 Idea of a Mäori King canvassed by Tamihana Te Rauparaha and Matene Te Whiwhi.

1854 First session of the General Assembly opens in Auckland.

1855 Governor Thomas Gore Browne, appointed in 1854, arrives. Severe earthquake on both sides of Cook Strait. Adhesive, imperforate postage stamps on sale.

1856 Henry Sewell forms first ministry under responsible government and becomes first Premier. Edward Stafford forms first stable ministry.

1858 New Provinces Act passed. Te Wherowhero installed as first Mäori King, taking name Potatau I.

1859 First session of Hawke's Bay and Marlborough provincial councils. Gold discovered in Buller River. New Zealand Insurance Company established.

1860 Waitara dispute develops into general warfare in Taranaki.

1861 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.

1862 First electric telegraph line opens—from Christchurch to Lyttleton. First gold shipment from Dunedin to London.

1863 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.

1864 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.

1865 Seat of government transferred from Auckland to Wellington. Native Land Court established. Mäori resistance continues. Auckland streets lit by gas for first time.

1866 Cook Strait submarine telegraph cable laid. Christchurch to Hokitika road opens. Cobb and Co. coaches run from Canterbury to the West Coast.

1867 Thames goldfield opens. Four Mäori seats established in Parliament. Lyttleton railway tunnel completed. Armed constabulary established.

1868 Mäori resistance continues through campaigns of Te Kooti Arikirangi and Titokowaru. New Zealand's first sheep breed, the Corriedale, is developed.

1869 New Zealand's first university, the University of Otago, is established.

1870 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.

1871 Deer freed in Otago.

1872 Te Kooti retreats to the King Country and Mäori armed resistance ceases. Telegraph communication links Auckland, Wellington and southern provinces.

1873 New Zealand Shipping Company established.

1874 First New Zealand steam engine built at Invercargill.

1876 Abolition of the provinces and establishment of local government by counties and boroughs. New Zealand-Australia telegraph cable established.

1877 Education Act passed, establishing national system of primary education.

1878 Completion of Christchurch-Invercargill railway.

1879 Triennial Parliaments Act passed. Vote is given to every male aged 21 and over. Kaitangata mine explosion, 34 people die. Annual property tax introduced.

1881 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 exchanges open.

1882 First shipment of frozen meat leaves Port Chalmers for England on the "Dunedin".

1883 Te Kooti pardoned, Te Whiti and other prisoners released. Direct steamer link established between New Zealand and Britain.

1884 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.

1886 Mt Tarawera erupts and the Pink and White Terraces are destroyed, 153 people die. Oil is discovered in Taranaki.

1887 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.

1888 Birth of writer Katherine Mansfield.

1889 Abolition of non-residential or property qualification to vote. First New Zealand-built locomotive completed at Addington.

1890 Maritime Strike involves 8000 unionists. "Sweating" Commission reports on employment conditions. First election on a one-man one-vote basis.

1891 John McKenzie introduces the first of a series of measures to promote closer land settlement. John Ballance becomes Premier of first Liberal Government.

1892 First Kotahitanga Mäori Parliament meets.

1893 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.

1894 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".

1896 National Council of Women is founded. Brunner Mine explosion, 67 people killed. Census measures national population as 743,214.

1897 First of series of colonial and later imperial conferences held in London. Apirana Ngata and others form Te Aute College Students' Association.

1898 Old Age Pensions Act. First cars imported to New Zealand.

1899 New Zealand army contingent is sent to the South African war. First celebration of Labour Day.

1900 Mäori Councils Act passed. Public Health Act passed setting up Department of Public Health in 1901.

1901 Cook and other Pacific Islands annexed. Penny postage first used.

1902 Pacific cable begins operating between New Zealand, Australia and Fiji. Wreck of SS "Elingamite".

1904 Richard Pearse achieves semi-controlled flight near Timaru.

1905 New Zealand rugby team tours England and becomes known as the All Blacks. Old Age Pension increases to £26 per year; however, eligibility tightened.

1906 Seddon dies and is succeeded by Joseph Ward as Premier.

1907 New Zealand constituted as a Dominion. Fire destroys Parliament buildings.

1908 Auckland to Wellington main trunk railway line opens. Ernest Rutherford is awarded the Nobel Prize in Chemistry. New Zealand's population reaches one million.

1909 "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 Zealand.

1910 Halley's Comet sighted in New Zealand.

1912 William Massey wins vote in the House and becomes first Reform Party Prime Minister. Waihi miners strike.

1913 Waterfront strikes in Auckland and Wellington.

1914 World War I begins and German Samoa is occupied. New Zealand Expeditionary Forces are despatched to Egypt. Huntly coal mine disaster, 43 people die.

1915 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.

1916 New Zealand troops transfer from Western Front. Conscription introduced. Labour Party formed. Lake Coleridge electricity supply scheme opened.

1917 Battle of Passchendaele, 3,700 New Zealanders killed. Six o'clock public house closing introduced. Lord Liverpool becomes first Governor-General.

1918 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.

1919 Women eligible for election to Parliament. Massey signs Treaty of Versailles. First official airmail flight from Auckland to Dargaville.

1920 Anzac Day established. New Zealand gets League of Nations mandate to govern Western Samoa. First aeroplane flight across Cook Strait.

1921 New Zealand Division of Royal Navy established. 1921 New Zealand Division of Royal Navy established.

1922 Meat Producers' Board placed in control of meat exports.

1923 Otira tunnel opens. Ross Dependency proclaimed. Death of Katherine Mansfield.

1926 National public broadcasting begins under auspices of Radio Broadcasting Co. Ltd.

1928 New Zealand Summer Time introduced. General election won by new United Party. Kingsford-Smith completes first flight across Tasman Sea.

1929 Economic depression gets worse. Severe earthquake in Murchison-Karamea district, 17 people die. First health stamps issued.

1930 Unemployment Board set up to provide relief work.

1931 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 introduced.

1932 Compulsory arbitration of industrial disputes abolished. Unemployed riots in Auckland, Dunedin and Christchurch. Reductions in old-age and other pensions.

1933 Elizabeth McCombs becomes first woman MP. Distinctive New Zealand coins first issued.

1934 Reserve Bank and Mortgage Corporation established. First trans-Tasman airmail.

1935 First Labour Government elected under Michael Joseph Savage. Air services begin across Cook Strait.

1936 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.

1937 Federation of Labour unifies trade union movement. RNZAF set up as separate branch of armed forces.

1938 Social Security Act establishes revised pensions structure and the basis of a national health service. Import and exchange controls are introduced.

1939 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.

1940 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.

1941 Japan enters the war. Mäori War Effort Organisation set up. Pharmaceutical and general practitioner medical benefits introduced.

1942 Economic stabilisation. New Zealand troops in Battle of El Alamein. Food rationing introduced. Mobilisation of women for essential work.

1943 New Zealand troops take part in invasion of Italy.

1944 Australia-New Zealand Agreement provides for co-operation in the South Pacific.

1945 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.

1946 Family benefit of £1 per week becomes universal. Bank of New Zealand nationalised.

1947 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 people die.

1948 Protest campaign against exclusion of Mäori players from rugby tour of South Africa. Polio epidemic closes schools. Ruapehu and Ngauruhoe erupt. Meat rationing ends.

1949 Referendum agrees to compulsory military training. National Government elected. New Zealand gets first four navy frigates.

1950 Naval and ground forces sent to Korean War. Legislative Council abolished. Wool boom.

1951 Prolonged waterfront dispute—state of emergency proclaimed. ANZUS treaty signed between United States, Australia and New Zealand. Mäori Women's Welfare League established.

1952 Population reaches over two million.

1953 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.

1954 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.

1955 Pulp and paper mill opens at Kawerau. Rimutaka rail tunnel opened.

1956 New Zealand troops sent to Malaya. Roxburgh and Whakamaru power stations in operation.

1957 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 to Britain.

1958 PAYE tax introduced. Arnold Nordmeyer's "Black Budget". First geothermal electricity generated at Wairakei. First heart-lung machine used at Greenlane Hospital, Auckland.

1959 Antarctic Treaty signed with other countries involved in scientific exploration in Antarctica. Auckland harbour bridge opened.

1960 Regular television programmes begin in Auckland. National Government elected. Government Service Equal Pay Act passed.

1961 New Zealand joins the International Monetary Fund. Capital punishment abolished.

1962 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 records.

1964 Marsden Point oil refinery opens at Whangarei. Cook Strait power cables laid. Auckland's population reaches half a million.

1965 NAFTA agreement negotiated with Australia. Support for United States in Vietnam; New Zealand combat force sent, protest movement begins. Cook Islands becomes self-governing.

1966 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.

1967 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 drivers.

1968 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.

1969 Vote extended to 20-year-olds. National Government wins fourth election in a row. First output from Glenbrook Steel Mill.

1970 Natural gas from Kapuni supplied to Auckland.

1971 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 operation.

1972 Labour Government led by Norman Kirk elected. Equal Pay Act passed.

1973 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 introduced.

1974 Prime Minister Norman Kirk dies. Commonwealth Games held in Christchurch.

1975 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.

1976 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.

1977 National Superannuation scheme begins. New Zealand signs the Gleneagles Agreement. The 200-mile exclusive economic zone is established. Bastion Point occupied by protesters.

1978 Registered unemployed reaches 25,000. National Government re-elected.

1979 Air New Zealand plane crashes on Mount Erebus, Antarctica, 257 people die. Carless days introduced to reduce petrol consumption.

1980 Social Credit wins East Coast Bays by-election. Saturday trading partially legalised. Eighty-day strike at Kinleith Mill.

1981 South African rugby team's tour brings widespread disruption.

1982 CER agreement signed with Australia. First köhanga reo established. Year-long wage, price and rent freeze imposed—lasts until 1984.

1983 Visit by nuclear-powered United States Navy frigate "Texas" sparks protests. Official Information Act replaces Official Secrecy Act. New Zealand Party founded.

1984 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.

1985 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.

1986 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.

1987 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.

1988 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.

1989 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.

1990 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.

1991 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.

1992 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.

1993 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.

1994 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.

1995 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.

1996 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.

1997 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.

1998 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. 




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