New Zealand History

Te Akomanga A space for teaching and learning the histories of Aotearoa New Zealand

TODAY IN HISTORY

1910 Champion rower Dick Arnst wins world title race on Zambezi River

Former top cyclist Dick Arnst had become world sculling champion in 1908. After two successful title defences at home, the muscular Arnst raced in a more exotic setting – on the Zambezi River.

1955 20-year-old hanged for murder

Edward Te Whiu was one of the last four people executed in New Zealand. He admitted to killing 75-year-old widow Florence Smith, but his underprivileged background and childlike mental state led some to question the appropriateness of the death penalty.

1971 Deadline for Vietnam pull-out announced

Prime Minister Keith Holyoake’s statement in Parliament that New Zealand’s combat force would be withdrawn before the end of the year coincided with a similar announcement by the Australian government.

1892 First women's cycling club in Australasia formed

Soon after the development of the modern bicycle, Australasia's first women's cycling club was formed in Christchurch.

KIWI OF THE WEEK

Hēnare Balneavis

26 Mar 1880 - 13 May 1940

Hēnare Balneavis became private secretary to Apirana Ngata, and continued in this role when Ngata became Native Minister. He went on to serve as private secretary to a number of Native Ministers, including W.H. Herries, Gordon Coates, George Forbes and M.J. Savage.

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 1000 memorials throughout New Zealand.

Explore the memorials register