Month Calendar View

Historic NZ events in September

Sep

1

Eleanor Roosevelt visits Auckland

1943 Eleanor Roosevelt visits Auckland

It was near the end of the US First Lady’s surprise visit to New Zealand to meet American forces based in the country, inspect the work of the US Red Cross – whose grey uniform she wore throughout her seven-day stay – and study the contribution of New Zealand women to the war effort.

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New Zealander sentenced to death in Malaysia

1987 New Zealander sentenced to death in Malaysia

Lorraine Cohen was sentenced to death by a Malaysian judge for heroin trafficking. On appeal her sentence was commuted to life imprisonment. The trial of Lorraine and her son Aaron, who was arrested at the same time, gained worldwide attention.

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Sep

2

Golden hour for Kiwi runners in Rome

1960 Golden hour for Kiwi runners in Rome

New Zealand sport enjoyed one of its greatest days in Rome’s Olympic Stadium. Peter Snell won the 800 m and Murray Halberg won the 5000 m.

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New Zealand’s rowing eight wins gold

1972 New Zealand’s rowing eight wins gold

In 2008 the well-known sports writer Joseph Romanos chose the victory of the 1972 rowing eight as the best team performance by New Zealanders at an Olympic Games.

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Ivan Mauger wins sixth world speedway title

1979 Ivan Mauger wins sixth world speedway title

As well as a record six individual world titles between 1968 and 1979, including three in a row from 1968 to 1970, Mauger also won the long track world championship three times between 1971 and 1976.

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Sep

3

New Zealand declares war on Germany

1939 New Zealand declares war on Germany

Alongside Britain and Australia, New Zealand was one of the first countries to become involved in the global conflict precipitated by Germany's invasion of Poland on 1 September 1939.

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First open-heart surgery in New Zealand

1958 First open-heart surgery in New Zealand

Pioneering heart surgeon Brian Barratt-Boyes performed the surgery using a heart-lung bypass machine. The procedure, at Green Lane Hospital in Auckland, was carried out on an 11-year-old girl with a hole in her heart.

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Sep

4

7.1 earthquake rocks Canterbury

2010 7.1 earthquake rocks Canterbury

The earthquake which struck at 4.35 a.m. on a Saturday morning was felt by many people in the South Island and southern North Island. There was considerable damage in central Canterbury, especially in Christchurch, but no loss of life.

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The wreck of the <em>Delaware</em>

1863 The wreck of the Delaware

Soon after leaving Nelson for Napier, the Delaware was wrecked in what is now known as Delaware Bay. Accounts of the incident often focus on the heroism of Hūria Mātenga, one of five local Māori who helped the crew get ashore. 

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Fox Glacier plane crash

2010 Fox Glacier plane crash

On 4 September 2010 a plane crashed soon after taking off from Fox Glacier airstrip, killing all nine people on board. The Walter Fletcher FU-24 was piloted by 33-year-old Chaminda Senadhira and carried four skydiving instructors and four skydivers who were touring the West Coast on a Kiwi Experience bus trip.

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Sep

5

Prime minister declares New Zealand’s support for Britain

1939 Prime minister declares New Zealand’s support for Britain

When New Zealand declared war on Germany on 3 September 1939, Prime Minister Michael Joseph Savage was recovering from an operation for colon cancer. Acting Prime Minister Peter Fraser issued a statement in his place.

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Sep

6

New Zealand citizenship established

1948 New Zealand citizenship established

The British Nationality and New Zealand Citizenship Act 1948 (the order of the terms showed their relative importance) gave New Zealand citizenship to all current residents who had been either born British subjects or later naturalised.

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Sep

7

Von Tempsky killed at Te Ngutu-o-te-manu

1868 Von Tempsky killed at Te Ngutu-o-te-manu

Gustavus von Tempsky was killed during an assault on Tītokowaru's south Taranaki pā. His exploits during the New Zealand Wars had made the Prussian soldier of fortune a folk hero for many European settlers.

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New Zealand's heaviest gold nugget discovered

1909 New Zealand's heaviest gold nugget discovered

New Zealand’s heaviest gold nugget on record was found at Ross on the West Coast. Weighing 3.09 kg, the nugget was named the 'Honourable Roddy' after the minister of mines, Roderick McKenzie.

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Springboks play New Zealand Maoris for first time

1921 Springboks play New Zealand Maoris for first time

A South African journalist was outraged when white spectators supported the New Zealand Maoris rugby team against the touring Springboks at Napier.

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Sep

8

First Albertland settlers arrive in Auckland

1862 First Albertland settlers arrive in Auckland

The Matilda Wattenbach brought 352 Nonconformist (non-Anglican Protestant) immigrants from England. Another 315 arrived on the Hanover a week later, and six more immigrant ships had arrived by 1865.

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New Zealand signs Manila Pact

1954 New Zealand signs Manila Pact

The South-East Asia Collective Defence Treaty, or Manila Pact, aimed to contain the spread of communism in the region. The South-East Asia Treaty Organization (SEATO) was the institutional expression of this treaty.

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Sep

9

Wanganui Computer legislation enacted

1976 Wanganui Computer legislation enacted

The establishment of New Zealand’s first centralised electronic database through the Wanganui Computer Centre Act focused attention on the state’s ability to gather information about its citizens.

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Sep

10

Eruption on White Island kills 10 people

1914 Eruption on White Island kills 10 people

On 10 September 1914, 10 miners working on White Island were killed when part of the crater wall collapsed, causing a landslide

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Te Maori exhibition opens in New York

1984 Te Maori exhibition opens in New York

The landmark Te Maori exhibition was a milestone in the Māori cultural renaissance. Featuring traditional Māori artwork, it toured the United States between 1984 and 1986, before returning to New Zealand for a nationwide tour in 1987.

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Sep

11

Rail tragedy on the Rimutaka Incline

1880 Rail tragedy on the Rimutaka Incline

Four children were killed and 13 adults injured when two rail carriages were blown off the tracks by severe winds on a notoriously exposed part of the Rimutaka Incline railway. This was the first major loss of life on New Zealand’s railways.

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First trans-Tasman flight touches down

1928 First trans-Tasman flight touches down

Australian pilots Charles Kingsford Smith and Charles Ulm crossed the Tasman in a Fokker tri-motor named the Southern Cross, covering 2670 km in 14 hours 25 minutes.

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Sep

12

Forty-three miners killed in explosion at Huntly

1914 Forty-three miners killed in explosion at Huntly

At 7.20 a.m. an explosion at Ralph's mine on Raynor Rd rocked Huntly. It was caused by a miner's naked acetylene cap-lamp igniting firedamp (methane gas given off by coal)

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'Flour-bomb test' ends Springbok tour

1981 'Flour-bomb test' ends Springbok tour

The third and deciding rugby test at Eden Park, Auckland, is best remembered for the flares and flour bombs dropped onto the playing field. Outside the ground, violence erupted on an unprecedented scale.

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Sep

13

New Zealand's first woman MP elected

1933 New Zealand's first woman MP elected

The Labour Party’s Elizabeth McCombs became New Zealand’s first woman Member of Parliament, winning a by-election in the Lyttelton seat caused by the death of her husband, James McCombs.

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Sep

14

Social Security Act passed

1938 Social Security Act passed

The cornerstone of the first Labour government’s welfare programme, the Social Security Act overhauled the pension system and extended benefits for families, invalids and the unemployed.

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Sep

15

First steel produced from local ironsand

1969 First steel produced from local ironsand

New Zealand Steel’s Glenbrook mill, near Waiuku, south of Auckland, produced iron and steel from local ironsand (titanomagnetite) for the first time. In the 2010s ironsand and coal were being used to produce about 650,000 tonnes of steel a year.

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Lyttelton–Wellington ferry service ends

1976 Lyttelton–Wellington ferry service ends

The last sailing of the Rangatira brought to an end more than 80 years of regular passenger ferry services between Lyttelton and Wellington.

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Sep

16

'Originals' kick off All Black tradition

1905 'Originals' kick off All Black tradition

The first fully representative New Zealand rugby team to tour the northern hemisphere was known as the ‘Originals’. They won 34 of their 35 matches and popularised both the haka and the ‘All Blacks’ nickname.

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Sep

17

Flogging and whipping abolished

1941 Flogging and whipping abolished

As well as (temporarily) doing away with capital punishment for murder, the Crimes Amendment Act 1941 abolished judicial provision for flogging and whipping.

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Sep

18

First state house opened in Miramar

1937 First state house opened in Miramar

Most of the Labour Cabinet helped the first tenants move into 12 Fife Lane in Miramar, Wellington. Even Prime Minister Michael Joseph Savage carried a cumbersome dining table through a cheering throng.

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Sep

19

Women win the right to vote

1893 Women win the right to vote

When the governor, Lord Glasgow, signed a new Electoral Act into law, New Zealand became the first self-governing country in the world to grant all adult women the right to vote in parliamentary elections.

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Sep

20

Mazengarb report released

1954 Mazengarb report released

The Mazengarb inquiry into ‘juvenile delinquency’ blamed the perceived promiscuity of the nation’s youth on working mothers, the ready availability of contraceptives, and young women enticing men to have sex.

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Sep

21

Rescue of <em>Harriet</em> survivors begins

1834 Rescue of Harriet survivors begins

The family of the whaler Jacky Guard were among a group of Pākehā captured by Māori in May 1834 after the barque Harriet ran aground on the Taranaki coast.

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Sep

22

Domestic workers call for 68-hour week

1906 Domestic workers call for 68-hour week

At a meeting in Wellington, Marianne Tasker and supporters established a domestic workers’ union, hoping to use the Liberal government’s Industrial Conciliation and Arbitration Act to force employers to improve pay and conditions. Central to their demands was a 68-hour working week.

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Coalition government formed to combat Depression

1931 Coalition government formed to combat Depression

United Party Prime Minister George Forbes had convened an inter-party conference with the goal of forming a coalition government that would ‘share the responsibility’ of dealing with the Depression.

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Sep

23

Tongariro mountains gifted to Crown

1887 Tongariro mountains gifted to Crown

In February 1887 newspapers reported Ngāti Tūwharetoa’s proposal to gift the British Crown the mountaintops of Tongariro, Ngāuruhoe and Ruapehu to form the basis of a national park.

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Sep

24

Race killing in Wellington's Haining St

1905 Race killing in Wellington's Haining St

The murder of Joe Kum Yung in Wellington’s Haining St highlighted the hatred some felt towards New Zealand’s small Chinese community. His killer, Lionel Terry, committed the brutal act to promote his crusade to rid New Zealand of the so-called ‘yellow peril’.

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Bere Ferrers rail accident

1917 Bere Ferrers rail accident

Ten New Zealand soldiers were killed when they were hit by a train at Bere Ferrers in southern England. The accident occurred as troops from the 28th Reinforcements for the NZ Expeditionary Force were being transported from Plymouth to Sling Camp on Salisbury Plain.

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Sep

25

New Zealand's first grapevines planted?

1819 New Zealand's first grapevines planted?

Missionary Samuel Marsden planted a vineyard at the Church Missionary Society (CMS) station at Kerikeri.

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Sep

26

Native Rights Act declares Māori British subjects

1865 Native Rights Act declares Māori British subjects

The Act deemed all Māori to be natural-born subjects of the Crown, confirming in law the treaty promise that Māori were to be accorded the same status as other British subjects.

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Joseph Ward proclaims dominion status

1907 Joseph Ward proclaims dominion status

Prime Minister Ward read the proclamation to a smallish crowd from the steps of the General Assembly Library in Wellington. This first Dominion Day was a public holiday.

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Sep

27

William Sutch charged with spying

1974 William Sutch charged with spying

On a rainy night in Wellington’s Aro St, the Security Intelligence Service (SIS) gatecrashed a meeting between William Sutch and Dimitri Razgovorov. They believed Sutch, a prominent economist and former senior public servant, was passing information to Razgovorov, a Soviet diplomat.

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Sep

28

New Zealand answers the empire's call to arms

1899 New Zealand answers the empire's call to arms

Premier Richard ‘King Dick’ Seddon asked Parliament to approve an offer to the British government of a contingent of mounted riflemen to serve in South Africa. Amid emotional scenes, the members overwhelmingly endorsed the motion – only five voted against it.

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Sep

29

New Zealand's first professional opera performance

1862 New Zealand's first professional opera performance

Dunedin's Royal Princess Theatre was the venue for a performance of Donizetti's Daughter of the regiment by the visiting English Opera Troupe, supplemented by local performers.

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Greymouth beer boycott provoked

1947 Greymouth beer boycott provoked

West Coast publicans soon regretted increasing the price of a beer by 1d.

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Sep

30

Great Flood hits South Island

1878 Great Flood hits South Island

The ‘Great Flood’ of 1878 killed at least three people and thousands of animals as it swept across the southern South Island

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New Christchurch Town Hall opens

1972 New Christchurch Town Hall opens

Designed by prominent Christchurch architects Warren and Mahoney, the Brutalist (blocky, using lots of concrete) structure was officially opened by Governor-General Sir Denis Blundell.

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