New Zealand History

TODAY IN HISTORY

1939 Battle of the River Plate

When the cruiser HMS Achilles opened fire on the German pocket battleship Admiral Graf Spee in the South Atlantic, it became the first New Zealand unit to strike a blow at the enemy in the Second World War.

1642 First recorded European sighting of New Zealand

Towards noon the Dutch explorer Abel Tasman sighted 'a large land, uplifted high', possibly the peaks of the Paparoa Range behind Punakaiki.

KIWI OF THE WEEK

David Gallaher

30 Oct 1873 - 4 Oct 1917

Dave Gallaher was captain of the 1905 ‘Originals’ rugby team, the first to be known as the All Blacks. His death while fighting overseas during the First World War ensured that he acquired a mystique that transcended sport.

New Zealand and the First World War

New Zealand and the First World War

The First World War had a seismic impact on New Zealand, reshaping the country's perception of itself and its place in the world.

Women's Suffrage Petition

Suffrage Petition

The 1893 Women's suffrage petition — signed by more than 25,000 women, about a fifth of the enture adult European female population — helped pave the way for the passage of New Zealand's world-leading Electoral Act in September 1893.

See the digitised version of the petition

Memorials Register

Memorials Register

Find exact locations and further information for more than 900 memorials throughout New Zealand.

Explore the memorials