british empire


British & Irish immigration, 1840-1914

  • British & Irish immigration, 1840-1914

    Who were the ancestors of Pākehā New Zealand? Where did they come from and what sort of people were they? These are some of the questions which this feature sets out to answer.

    Read the full article

  • Page 1 - British and Irish immigration 1840-1914Who were the ancestors of Pākehā New Zealand? Where did they come from and what sort of people were they? These are some of the questions which this feature sets out to

First World War - overview

  • First World War - overview

    Archduke Franz Ferdinand, heir to the throne of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, and his wife Sophie were assassinated in the Bosnian city of Sarajevo. This was a key event in sparking the Great War of 1914–18.

    Read the full article

  • Page 3 – Preparing for war

    News of the outbreak of war was received in Wellington at 1 p.m. on 5 August 1914. It was announced by the governor, Lord Liverpool, on the steps of Parliament to a crowd of

  • Page 4 – New Zealand goes to war

    Before the outbreak of war, Prime Minister W.F. Massey had made it clear that New Zealand’s main contribution would be supplying troops to the major theatre of conflict. But

  • Page 5 – The war at home

    New Zealand played a small but useful part in the British Empire's war effort, and its essential war aim was achieved with the defeat of Germany and its allies in late 1918.

  • Page 6 – The legacy of war

    The war had a major impact on constitutional arrangements within the British Empire, and it affected New Zealand's international status.

British Empire

History of the Governor-General

  • History of the Governor-General

    New Zealand has had a governor or (from 1917) a governor-general since 1840. The work of these men and women has reflected the constitutional and political history of New Zealand in many ways.

    Read the full article

  • Page 5 – Splendid ornamentals

    With the appointment of Lord Onslow in 1889, a new type of governor took up residence in Government House.

  • Page 6 – Regalised

    The constitutional arrangements of the British Empire changed greatly between the creation of the Imperial War Cabinet in 1917 and the passing of the Statute of Westminster in

Governors and Governors-General

  • Governors and Governors-General

    New Zealand has had 16 resident governors and 22 governors-general. Two early governors were called governor-in-chief.

    Read the full article

  • Page 3 - Career pathsAs the job evolved over time, so did the type of person needed to govern successfully. Between 1840 and 1853, when governors ruled personally, they were junior navy or army

Premiers and Prime Ministers

  • Premiers and Prime Ministers

    From Henry Sewell in 1856 to Chris Hipkins in 2023, New Zealand has had 41 prime ministers and premiers. Read biographies of the men and women who have held the top job, discover more about the role's political origins, and explore fascinating prime ministerial facts and trivia.

    Read the full article

  • Page 2 - Political originsOverview of the influence of the British political system in New Zealand and our move toward self-government in the 19th

Capture of German Samoa

  • Capture of German Samoa

    When war broke out in Europe in August 1914, Britain asked New Zealand to seize German Samoa as a ‘great and urgent Imperial service’. Although the tiny German garrison offered no opposition, at the time it was regarded as a potentially risky action.

    Read the full article

  • Page 2 - New Zealand in the PacificSamoans were not consulted when Britain, Germany and the United States agreed to partition their islands in December

Merchant marine

  • Merchant marine

    On 3 September New Zealand honours Merchant Navy Day. Here we explore the little-known but vital role played by the merchant marine during the First World War, when these civilian seafarers often found themselves in the front line of the war at sea.

    Read the full article

  • Page 2 - The merchant marine goes to warThe outbreak of war in 1914 posed special problems for New Zealand because of its dependence on sea

Parliament's culture and traditions