A Brief History of New Zealand

New Zealand is the youngest country on earth - the last major landmass to be discovered.
570 million years BC Geological formations and rocks in Nelson, Westland and Fiordland have been dated to the Paleozonic era.
100 - 300 million years BC New Zealand forms part of the super continent Gondwanaland. It is joined to South America, Australia, Africa and the South Pole. Dinosaurs roam the country.
65 million years BC. Continental drift slowly separates New Zealand from the rest of Gondwanaland, Dinosaurs become extinct.

5 - 23 million years BC. NZ has a sub tropical climate and appearance. Kauri, mountain beech and karaka trees remain as living evidence of this period. In the absence of predators unique bird-life evolved, including 3m high Moa and the 3m wing-spanned Haast Eagle.
See New Zealand Geology and Earthquakes
181 AD. Accounts of strange atmospheric events including a sky blood red are recorded in China and Rome. The source of these accounts is thought to have been the largest eruption known on Earth for the last 5000 years. Attributed to the volcano known today as Lake Taupo.
See New Zealand Volcanos

1350 Supposed year of the 'Great Migration'

in which a large fleet of East Polynesian people arrived. Now known as Māori, they did not identify themselves by this collective name until the arrival of European people. See Also: Polynesian Navigators
1642 Naming it Staten Land, Abel Tasman discovers and claims New Zealand for Holland.
See Also: Abel Tasman

1769 Lieutenant James Cook lands at Gisborne and claims New Zealand for Britain. (the North Island 1769, the South Island 1770).

See Also: Lieutenant James Cook's journey round New Zealand
1772 Marion du Fresne lands in the Bay of Islands and, yet again, claims the country for France, calling it France Australia (South France). The French explorer, fished in the wrong place, broke a local Maori Tapu and was killed and eaten. (Make up your own jokes here)
See Also: French explorers
1792 First European whalers and sealers arrive.
1837 The colonization of New Zealand Begins.
1840 The Treaty of Waitangi is signed on February 6th.
1840's The Maori rebel against the British, lead by Hone Heke.\

1841 New Zealand officially declared a crown colony.

1842 Auckland proclaimed capital city, Settlement at Nelson formed.
1846 The country is divided into two provinces.
1850 Christchurch settled and port of Lyttleton formed nearby.
1857 Potatau I becomes the first Maori King.
1858 New provinces Act passed.
1859 Gold discovered in Buller.
1860 Second of the Maori wars fought at Waireki.
1861 Truce arranged with Taranaki Maori. More gold discovered in Central Otago
1863 Waikato Wars rage until 1864.
1865 Government transferred to Wellington

1868 New Zealand becomes first country in the world to let its native people vote.

During the 1850s and 1860s, Māori pressed for political representation. Parliament agreed that some representation was needed but feared that Māori votes might outnumber Pākehā (European) votes in some areas. It therefore created four separate Māori seats in 1868.

Important Māori leaders have represented their people in the House. They have included Maui Pomare, James Carroll, Matiu Rata, and (most famously) Apirana Ngata.

For many years, these and other men (they were all men until 1949, when Iriaka Ratana was elected) were lonely voices in a Pākehā-dominated House. Only quite recently have Māori represented electorates outside the Māori seats (apart from Carroll). Since the 1980s, Māori have entered Parliament in greater numbers. The mixed-member proportional representation (MMP) system introduced in 1996 has boosted Māori representation even more.

1876 Provinces abolished.
1882 First shipment of frozen meat leaves Port Chalmers on The Dunedin.
1886 Mt Tarawera erupts. The scenic Pink and White terraces are destroyed. Oil is discovered in Taranaki.

1893 NZ becomes first country in the world to give women the vote.

1899 NZ is the first country to give the elderly the pension.

New Zealand was one of the first countries to bring in a state pension, in 1898. This was means-tested until 1939, when a universal non-tested benefit was brought in. In 1974 the Labour Government introduced a funded scheme. However, the incoming 1975 National Government abolished the scheme and reinstated a universal benefit, funded out of taxes. This is essentially the basis of New Zealand Superannuation today. In the intervening years, the original generous 1975 scheme has been reined in to some extent – the level of payment dropping and the age of eligibility increasing from 60 to just under 65. (NB: from January 2001, the qualifying age was fixed at 65). It has also had a number of name changes. However, the basic concept of a reasonable and universal benefit has remained unchanged. See Pensions in New Zealand

1905 NZ rugby team tours Great Britain and is named “All Blacks”
1907 New Zealand constituted as a Dominion.
1908 New Zealand population reaches 1 million
1914 WWI - With a population of one million New Zealand contributed 100,000 soldiers to WW1, 17000 were killed and 41,000 wounded.
1920 Anzac day established
1929 - 1930 NZsuffers major economic recession.
1931 Napier earthquake hits, killing 255 people.
See Also: Farmer Buckley's exploding trousers
1933 New Zealand adopts own currency, the New Zealand pound.
1935 First Labour government elected under Michael Savage
1939 - 1945 NZ troops in WW2, serving in Greece, Crete, Egypt, Italy and the South Pacific. maori regiments earn respect.

1947 New Zealand gained total independence from Britain.

1950 British Empire Games held in Auckland.
1951 ANZUS Pact established between NZ, Australia and the US.
1951 The watersiders' strike, where union workers went on strike for 151 days. Over 1000 workers attacked a group of police who were trying to disperse them.
1952 NZ population reaches 2 million.
1953 Sherpa Tenzing and New Zealander Edmund Hilary conquer Mt Everest. Tangiwai Rail Disaster
1960 TV comes to New Zealand.
1965 NZ troops sent to Vietnam amidst much public protest.
1967 The NZ pound is replaced with the dollar.
1973 Britain joins the EEC and New Zealands agricultural exports are threatened.
1973 New Zealand population reaches 3 million.

1974 Xth Commonwealth Games held in Christchurch.
1981 The South African rugby tour goes ahead, despite much protest. Riots break out all over the country, and the nation is divided. Described as the worst 56 days in New Zealand's history.
1984 New Zealand becomes nuclear free.

1985 The world watches NZ as it refuses port entry to a US Nuclear Warship, breaking the ANZUS Pact, and establishing itself as the world's first Anti-Nuclear country.

See Also: New Zealand's nuclear-free zone

1985 Greenpeace vessel, the Rainbow Warrior is sunk by French agents at Auckland, leaving New Zealanders forever sour at the French. Waitangi Tribunal given power to hear historic Māori land grievances going back to 1840.
1987 All Blacks win the Rugby World Cup. Māori declared as official language alongside English.
1990 XIVth Commonwealth Games held in Auckland.
1992 Government and Maori regulate fisheries deal.
1992 Shortland Street starts and its still going, Oh Well.

1995 New Zealand and the Black Magic boat, beat the USA to win the Americas Cup (Yachting), the world's oldest sporting trophy.

1999 A female protester dies of brain injuries after being run over in the picket line at Lyttelton Harbour.

2000 New Zealand successfully defends the Americas Cup, making NZ the only country to do so outside of the US.

2003 New Zealand population reaches 4 million.
2004 The Maori Party was launched on the 7th of July 2004.
2007 National Disaster, All Blacks lose to France (18-20) in World Cup, country goes into mourning!
2008 NZ population reaches 4.27 million
2010 NZ Population at nearly 4.40 million

2011 New Zealand win Rugby World Cup beating France 8 to 7.

2012 Aucklands Population reaches 1.5 million

2013 We do not mention the Americas Cup
See: A Brief Political History of New Zealand (NZ)

new_zealand_history.txt · Last modified: 2013/10/01 12:34 by art
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