New Zealand History

TODAY IN HISTORY

1941 New Zealand declares war on Japan

New Zealand's declaration followed the surprise attack on the United States naval base at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii. Japan also attacked Hong Kong, the Philippines, Thailand and Malaya.

1942 Deadly fire at Seacliff Mental Hospital

The fire that swept through a locked ward of the Seacliff Mental Hospital, north of Dunedin, killed 37 female patients.

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8 December December

KIWI OF THE WEEK

Ernest Rutherford

30 Aug 1871 - 19 Oct 1937

Rutherford's discoveries about the nature of atoms shaped modern science and paved the way for nuclear physics. Einstein referred to him as the 'second Newton' who ‘tunneled into the very material of God’.

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