Month Calendar View

Historic NZ events in July

Jul

1

Bastion Point land returned

1988 Bastion Point land returned

The government announced that it had agreed to the Waitangi Tribunal’s recommendation that Takaparawhā (Bastion Point) on the southern shore of Auckland’s Waitematā Harbour be returned to local iwi Ngāti Whātua.

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Jul

2

Electric trains come to Wellington

1938 Electric trains come to Wellington

On 2 July 1938, Minister of Railways Dan Sullivan and Wellington Mayor Thomas Hislop officially opened the electrified rail line between central Wellington and the northern suburb of Johnsonville.

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Jul

3

DC-3 crashes in Kaimai Range

1963 DC-3 crashes in Kaimai Range

The 1963 crash of a National Airways Corporation DC3, with the loss of all 23 people on board, remains the worst air accident within New Zealand.

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Jul

4

Te Kooti escapes from the Chathams

1868 Te Kooti escapes from the Chathams

Te Kooti Arikirangi Te Tūruki of Rongowhakaata was arrested near Gisborne in 1865 after allegedly helping a ‘rebel’ Pai Mārire force. He became one of hundreds exiled to the remote Chatham Islands.

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New Zealand Boxing Association formed

1902 New Zealand Boxing Association formed

The New Zealand Boxing Association was formed to promote and foster amateur boxing in this country. After drawing up its rules and obtaining parliamentary sanction, the association staged its first New Zealand championships in Christchurch later in 1902.

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Jul

5

Poll tax imposed on Chinese

1881 Poll tax imposed on Chinese

Parliament passed the Chinese Immigrants Act, which introduced a ‘poll tax’ of £10 (equivalent to nearly $1700 today) on Chinese migrants and restricted the number allowed to land from each ship arriving in New Zealand.

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Jul

6

Main Trunk Line express train disaster

1923 Main Trunk Line express train disaster

The Auckland−Wellington express ploughed into a huge slip that had slumped across the tracks at Ōngarue, north of Taumarunui in the King Country.

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Jul

7

New Zealand Labour Party founded

1916 New Zealand Labour Party founded

What is now New Zealand’s oldest political party emerged from a joint conference in Wellington of the United Federation of Labour, the Social Democratic Party (SDP) and local Labour Representation Committees (LRCs).

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'Tom Watson' wins bronze for New Zealand

1924 'Tom Watson' wins bronze for New Zealand

The character in the Academy Award-winning film Chariots of fire (1981) was based on Arthur Porritt, who won a bronze medal for New Zealand in the 100 m at the 1924 Paris Olympics.

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Jul

8

New Zealand’s first prize fight?

1862 New Zealand’s first prize fight?

The boxing bout was fought in an improvised ring on the banks of the Waimakariri River near Kaiapoi after police were ejected from the scene. London prizefighter Harry Jones defeated ‘navvie’ George Barton over 30 bloody bare-knuckle rounds for a purse of £100. Read more...

New Zealand Racing Conference meets

1893 New Zealand Racing Conference meets

The New Zealand Racing Conference was formed to control the thoroughbred horse-racing industry in this country.

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Jul

9

Homosexual Law Reform Bill passed

1986 Homosexual Law Reform Bill passed

Wellington Central MP Fran Wilde’s private member’s bill, which removed criminal sanctions against consensual male homosexual practices, was passed by 49 votes to 44.

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Jul

10

New Zealand adopts decimal currency

1967 New Zealand adopts decimal currency

Pounds, shillings and pence were replaced by dollars and cents − 27 million new banknotes and 165 million new coins.

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<em>Rainbow Warrior</em> sunk in Auckland

1985 Rainbow Warrior sunk in Auckland

One crew member died when French secret agents mined the Greenpeace vessel Rainbow Warrior in Waitematā Harbour, Auckland.

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Jul

11

First woman graduates from a New Zealand university

1877 First woman graduates from a New Zealand university

Kate Edger became the first woman in New Zealand to gain a university degree and the first woman in the British Empire to earn a Bachelor of Arts (BA).

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Jul

12

British forces invade Waikato

1863 British forces invade Waikato

British troops invaded Waikato by crossing the Mangatāwhiri Stream, which the Kīngitanga (Māori King movement) had declared an aukati (a line not to be crossed).

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New Zealander wins Tour de France stage

2001 New Zealander wins Tour de France stage

The first stage win by a New Zealander in the Tour de France came in a team time trial. Although Chris Jenner didn't finish with the core of his Credit Agricole team, he shared in the stage win and got to stand on the podium.

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Jul

13

Vivian Walsh obtains New Zealand’s first pilot’s certificate

1916 Vivian Walsh obtains New Zealand’s first pilot’s certificate

Following the establishment of the New Zealand Flying School at Ōrākei on Auckland’s Waitematā Harbour, Vivian Walsh became the first pilot to obtain an aviator’s certificate in New Zealand (several New Zealanders had earlier qualified as pilots in England).

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Jul

14

New Zealand's first general election begins

1853 New Zealand's first general election begins

For such a symbolic moment, the events of 14 July offered little drama – the first member of New Zealand’s inaugural Parliament, Hugh Carleton, was elected unopposed at Russell in the Bay of Islands.

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Death of Sir Āpirana Ngata

1950 Death of Sir Āpirana Ngata

Ngata had contributed hugely to the revival of the Māori people in the early 20th century. His intelligence, tact, persistence and political skill helped him promote Māori culture and identity.

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Jul

15

First Gallipoli wounded arrive home

1915 First Gallipoli wounded arrive home

The first large group of Gallipoli wounded to return to New Zealand arrived in Wellington on the Willochra as part of a draft of around 300 men.

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Lovelock smashes world mile record

1933 Lovelock smashes world mile record

Jack Lovelock's run at Princeton University beat the record for the mile, held by Jules Ladoumegue, by 1.6 seconds. The race was dubbed the 'greatest mile of all time' by Time Magazine.

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Jul

16

New Zealand artillery opens fire in Vietnam

1965 New Zealand artillery opens fire in Vietnam

New Zealand gunners from 161 Field Battery fired New Zealand’s first shots of the Vietnam War from their Bien Hoa base near Saigon.

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Jul

17

Death of Paddy the Wanderer

1939 Death of Paddy the Wanderer

Paddy, a ginger and brown Airedale terrier, became a national celebrity because of his exploits on the Wellington waterfront (and beyond) during the 1930s.

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Jul

18

New Zealand's first postage stamps go on sale

1855 New Zealand's first postage stamps go on sale

These adhesive, non-perforated stamps for prepaid postage were the famous ‘Chalon Head’ design, showing Queen Victoria in her coronation robes.

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Jul

19

Privy Council rules on Samoan citizenship

1982 Privy Council rules on Samoan citizenship

The Privy Council granted New Zealand citizenship to Western Samoans born since 1924, but the government did not accept this decision.

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Jul

20

Steam locomotive sets world speed record

1892 Steam locomotive sets world speed record

The Wellington and Manawatu Railway (WMR) Company’s locomotive No. 10 established a world speed record for the narrow 3 foot 6 inch (1067 mm) gauge, averaging 68 km per hour on a two-hour run and hitting a top speed of 103 kph.

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Riots rock Mt Eden prison

1965 Riots rock Mt Eden prison

The disturbance followed a botched escape attempt and lasted into the next day. Prisoners took several warders hostage and fire gutted part of the prison.

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Jul

21

Capture of Weraroa pā

1865 Capture of Weraroa pā

Governor George Grey led a small force that captured a Pai Mārire (Hauhau) pā at Weraroa, near Waitōtara. The pā had long lost its strategic significance, and its small garrison had seemed willing to surrender.

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Te Haahi Rātana registered as church

1925 Te Haahi Rātana registered as church

Founded in 1918 by Tahupōtiki Wiremu Rātana (1873–1939), the religion that bore his name provided hope for many dispossessed Māori and later became a force in Māori politics.

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Jul

22

Lotto goes on sale for first time

1987 Lotto goes on sale for first time

Outlets opened to long queues, with a first division prize in the inaugural draw of $360,000 (equivalent to $725,000 today).

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Jul

23

<em>Maria</em> wrecked near Cape Terawhiti

1851 Maria wrecked near Cape Terawhiti

Twenty-six lives were lost when the barque Maria was wrecked near Cape Terawhiti. This provided more ammunition for Wellington settlers who were trying to convince the government of the need for a lighthouse.

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Yvette Williams leaps for gold at Helsinki

1952 Yvette Williams leaps for gold at Helsinki

Yvette Williams (later Corlett) won the long jump to become New Zealand’s first female Olympic medallist. Read more...

Jul

24

New Zealand soldier killed in Timor-Leste

2000 New Zealand soldier killed in Timor-Leste

Private Leonard Manning was the first New Zealander killed in combat since the Vietnam War.

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Jul

25

Anti-Springbok protesters block Hamilton match

1981 Anti-Springbok protesters block Hamilton match

Anti-tour demonstrators invaded Hamilton’s Rugby Park, forcing the abandonment of the Springboks–Waikato match.

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Jul

26

Floods kill 25 miners in Central Otago

1863 Floods kill 25 miners in Central Otago

Approximately 25 gold miners died on the Arrow diggings, north-east of Queenstown, in a series of flash floods and slips caused by 24 hours of heavy rain. Read more...

Parliament moves to Wellington

1865 Parliament moves to Wellington

The capital moved from Auckland to more centrally located Wellington on the recommendation of an Australian commission. The former Wellington Provincial Council chamber became the new home for Parliament.

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Kiwi boxer fights for world heavyweight title

1928 Kiwi boxer fights for world heavyweight title

In the midst of boxing's golden age, Gisborne-born Tom Heeney took on Gene Tunney in front of 46,000 spectators at Yankee Stadium, New York. Although he was defeated, his title bid had aroused tremendous interest in both New Zealand and the USA.

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Jul

27

Armistice ends fighting in Korean War

1953 Armistice ends fighting in Korean War

After lengthy negotiations, representatives of North Korea and the United Nations signed an armistice on the ceasefire line between North and South Korea.

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Pioneer aviator George Bolt dies

1963 Pioneer aviator George Bolt dies

Bolt was an outstanding figure in the development of commercial aviation in this country. Among his many achievements were taking New Zealand's first aerial photographs in 1912 and delivering its first official airmail in 1919

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Jul

28

Massive women’s suffrage petition presented to Parliament

1893 Massive women’s suffrage petition presented to Parliament

The monster suffrage petition contained the signatures of more than 25,000 women. A dozen other, smaller petitions were also submitted around the same time.

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Jul

29

<em>Tasmania</em> sinks off Māhia with suitcase of jewels

1897 Tasmania sinks off Māhia with suitcase of jewels

On the afternoon of 28 July, the Huddart-Parker steamer Tasmania left Auckland for Dunedin via Napier, Wellington and Lyttelton. At around 11 p.m. the following night, with a strong south-east gale blowing, the ship struck rocks off Table Cape, Māhia Peninsula.

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Police baton anti-tour protesters outside Parliament

1981 Police baton anti-tour protesters outside Parliament

Up to 2000 anti-Springbok tour protesters were confronted by police who used batons to stop them marching up Molesworth St to the home of South Africa's Consul to New Zealand.

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Moana Mackey joins mother Janet in Parliament

2003 Moana Mackey joins mother Janet in Parliament

Twenty-nine-year-old Moana Mackey entered the House of Representatives as a Labour Party list MP. She joined her mother, Janet Mackey, who had been a Labour MP since 1993. They were the first mother and daughter to serve together in New Zealand’s Parliament.

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Jul

30

Carless days introduced

1979 Carless days introduced

Carless days for motor vehicles were introduced to combat the second ‘oil shock’ (petrol shortage) of the 1970s. They did little to reduce consumption and were scrapped in May 1980.

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Jul

31

Foundation stone laid for New Zealand's first purpose-built theatre

1843 Foundation stone laid for New Zealand's first purpose-built theatre

Laying the foundation stone for the Royal Victoria Theatre on Manners St, Wellington, Alderman William Lyon welcomed the new amenity – ‘a theatre [was] a necessary concomitant of an advanced state of civilization.’

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John Walker wins gold in Montreal

1976 John Walker wins gold in Montreal

Following in the footsteps of Jack Lovelock and Peter Snell, Walker won gold in the Olympic 1500 m. Black African nations boycotted the Games in protest at the All Blacks' tour of South Africa Read more...