Events In History
10 April 1968Wahine wrecked in Wellington Harbour
The sinking of the Lyttelton–Wellington ferry Wahine is New Zealand’s worst modern maritime disaster. Fifty-one people lost their lives that day, another died several weeks later and a 53rd victim died in 1990 from injuries sustained in the wreck. Read more...
9 October 1967The end of the 'six o'clock swill'
Fifty years of six o’clock closing in pubs ended after a referendum convinced the government to abolish the antiquated licencing law. Read more...
10 July 1967New Zealand adopts decimal currency
Pounds, shillings and pence were replaced with dollars and cents − 27 million new banknotes and 165 million new coins. Read more...
10 February 1967End of free school milk
New Zealand schoolchildren received free milk between 1937 and 1967. The first Labour government introduced the scheme – a world first – to improve the health of young New Zealanders (and make use of surplus milk). Read more...
4 December 1966Radio Hauraki rules the waves
Pirate station Radio Hauraki broadcast its first scheduled transmission from the vessel Tiri in the Colville Channel between Great Barrier Island and Coromandel Peninsula. Read more...
21 June 1964The Beatles land in New Zealand
Beatlemania hit New Zealand when 7000 hysterical fans greeted the Fab Four in Wellington during their ‘Far East’ tour. After concerts in the United States, Europe, Hong Kong and Australia, the lads from Liverpool finally touched down in New Zealand. Read more...
2 May 1964New Zealand's last electric tram trip
Tram no. 252, displaying the message ‘end of the line’ and driven by Wellington Mayor Frank Kitts, travelled from Thorndon to Newtown zoo. Large crowds lined the streets to witness the end of electric trams in New Zealand. Read more...
7 December 1963Bassett Road machine-gun murders
The bullet-ridden bodies of Frederick George Walker and Kevin James Speight were found in a house on Bassett Rd in Remuera, Auckland. A team of 32 detectives began an immediate search that led to the arrest of Ron Jorgensen and John Gillies. Read more...
25 April 1963New Zealand medics start work in South Vietnam
On Anzac Day 1963, a six-strong New Zealand civilian surgical team arrived in Qui Nhon, South Vietnam as part of the Colombo Plan assistance programme. Their deployment marked the beginning of New Zealand’s involvement in the Vietnam War. Read more...
26 November 1960'Kiwi Keith' begins 12-year reign as prime minister
Keith Holyoake led the National Party to victory over Walter Nash’s Labour government, and went on to become New Zealand’s third longest-serving prime minister behind Richard Seddon and William Massey. Read more...
1 June 1960New Zealand's first official TV broadcast
Broadcast from Shortland St in central Auckland, New Zealand’s first official television transmission began at 7.30 p.m. Read more...
The Vietnam War was New Zealand's longest and most controversial overseas military experience. Although this country's troop commitment and casualties were modest, the conflict aroused widespread protest and condemnation. And for those who fought in Vietnam, it was a tough homecoming.
- Page 1 - The Vietnam WarThe Vietnam War was New Zealand's longest and most controversial overseas military experience. Although this country's troop commitment and casualties were modest, the conflict
When four young Liverpool musicians landed in Wellington on a lazy Sunday afternoon in June 1964, seven days of pandemonium erupted. Young New Zealanders flocked in their thousands to hear or just catch a glimpse of the famous 'Fab Four'.
Page 2 – Setting the scene
The Beatles' 1964 tour occurred as New Zealand was undergoing a cultural shift, and many young people swapped their old image for the new 'mod' look.
Page 3 – Wellington
Seven thousand screaming fans waited as The Beatles touched down at Wellington airport on 21 June 1964. As the band stepped off the plane, the fans' shrieks drowned out the
Page 4 – Auckland
Auckland fans were as riotous as those in Wellington. The Beatles' music went almost unnoticed as everyone commented on the audience.
Page 5 – South Island
The Beatles' concerts in Dunedin on 26 June were some of the wildest of the New Zealand tour.
Five decades ago most Kiwis enjoyed a standard of living that was the envy of other nations. During the 1960s the arrival of TV and jet airliners shrank our world, and New Zealanders began to express themselves on a range of international issues, including opposition to the Vietnam War.
Page 2 – Overview
Summary of what NZ was like in the 1960s, including our population, economy, popular culture, sporting achievements and technology
Page 3 – 1960 - key events
A selection of key events from 1960
Page 4 – 1961 - key events
What were the key events in New Zealand history from 1961
Page 5 – 1962 - key events
A selection of the key events in New Zealand history from 1962
Page 6 – 1963 - key events
A selection of the key events in New Zealand history from 1963
Page 7 – 1964 - key events
A selection of the key events in New Zealand history from 1964
Page 8 – 1965 - key events
A selection of the key events in New Zealand history from 1965
Page 9 – 1966 - key events
A selection of the key events in New Zealand history from 1966
Page 10 – 1967 - key events
A selection of the key events in New Zealand history from 1967
Page 11 – 1968 - key events
A selection of the key events in New Zealand history from 1968
Page 12 – 1969 - key events
A selection of the key events in New Zealand history from 1969
New Zealand’s first non-experimental television transmission went to air on 1 June 1960. To mark five decades of TV, in 2010 we presented five snapshots of Kiwi TV history. Explore pre-1960 experiments, TV news, music shows and modern election coverage - and discover how our own history has been showcased on the small screen.
Page 4 – Kiwi music shows on TV
New Zealanders can now view music videos over the internet or on music channels C4 and Juice TV. But after TV was introduced in 1960 several generations of New Zealanders kept
Every year on 6 February, New Zealand marks the signing of the Treaty of Waitangi in 1840. For most people, Waitangi Day is a holiday; for many, and especially for Māori, it is a time for reflecting on the Treaty and its place in modern New Zealand.
- Page 4 - Waitangi Day 1960sThe Waitangi Day Act 1960 declared 6 February to be Waitangi Day; a national day of thanksgiving in commemoration of the signing of the Treaty of
Hanan, Josiah Ralph
As Minister of Māori Affairs in the 1960s, Ralph Hanan generally showed understanding of Māori interests and aspirations.Read more...
Hunn, Jack Kent
Jack Hunn commissioned a series of wide-ranging studies on Māori population, housing, education, employment, health, crime and land titles.Read more...
- vietnam war
- keith holyoake
- national party
- prime ministers
- wellington city
- frank kitts
- malayan emergency
- cold war
- popular culture
- queen elizabeth
- wahine disaster
- radio broadcasts
- famous firsts
- ralph hanan
- maori land
- jack hunn
- maori housing
- maori health
- six oclock swill
- walter nash
- auckland city
- bob charles
- maori writing
- state housing
- nuclear ships
- rolling stones concert
- norman kirk
- labour party
- public holidays
- waitangi day
- race relations
- lord cobham
- bernard fergusson
- motor sport
- the who
- south africa
- maori leaders
- te atairangikaahu
- king koroki
- mount eden prison
- cook islands
- ray columbus
- all blacks
- maori sport
- music month
- howard morrison
- crown lynn
- parliament buildings