New Zealand History

TODAY IN HISTORY

1855 Massive earthquake hits southern North Island

The magnitude 8.2 earthquake had a profound impact on the development of Wellington city.

1951 Disastrous centennial yacht race begins

Twenty yachts left Wellington for Lyttelton in a race to celebrate Canterbury's centenary. The fleet ran into a severe southerly storm and only one yacht officially finished the race. Two others were lost, along with their 10 crew members.

KIWI OF THE WEEK

Mary Bennett

1816? - 6 Jul 1885

Mary Jane Bennett remains the only woman to have been a lighthouse keeper in New Zealand. She took on the role at Pencarrow from her husband following his death in 1855.

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