New Zealand History


1904 First use of kiwi as unofficial national symbol?

The New Zealand Free Lance printed a J.C. Blomfield cartoon in which a plucky kiwi morphed into a moa as the All Blacks defeated Great Britain 9–3 in the first rugby test between Motherland and colony. This may have been the first use of a kiwi to symbolise the nation in a cartoon.

1940 Turakina sunk by German raider in Tasman

It was the first naval battle in the Tasman Sea. The New Zealand Shipping Company freighter Turakina was intercepted and sunk by the Orion nearly 500 km off the Taranaki coast with the loss of 36 lives. Twenty survivors were taken prisoner.

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20 August August


Kate Sheppard

10 Mar 1847 - 13 Jul 1934

New Zealand was the first country in the world to grant women the vote. Kate Sheppard, leading light of the suffrage movement, was vindicated when 65% of New Zealand women took the chance to vote in their first general election.

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