Events In History


The Olympics: 1908–2021

  • The Olympics: 1908–2021

    In 2012 the Olympic Games returned to London, the city where New Zealand's Olympic story began in 1908. Kiwi athletes have produced plenty of memorable moments over the years, but the Summer Games have also been marred by boycotts, controversy and tragedy.

    Read the full article

  • Page 2 – NZ's Olympic history

    In 2012 the Summer Olympic Games were held for a third time in London, the city where New Zealand's Olympic story began in 1908.

  • Page 3 – 16 Olympic stories

    We created a story for each day of competition at the Summer Olympic Games:NZ Olympic pioneers (1908)Distance and money prevented New Zealanders from competing at the first

  • Page 4 – Further information

    This web feature was written and produced by the NZHistory.net.nz team, with the assistance of David Green and Carl Walrond. Links

Sport, 1940-1960

  • Sport, 1940-1960

    The mid-century decades brought more mass participation in sport, the consolidation of many national competitions, and greater achievement at international level.

    Read the full article

  • Page 3 – Women's sport, 1940-60

    Women's sport matured in New Zealand after 1945. Mass participation in a period of prosperity, and increased mobility thanks to the now-common motor car, were crucial factors

  • Page 4 – Competitors and spectators

    Sports participation and spectatorship were the only daytime leisure activities to rival home-centred pursuits such as gardening in this period. New Zealand's hosting of

1987 Rugby World Cup

  • 1987 Rugby World Cup

    In a country where rugby became a surrogate for religion, hosting and then winning the first Rugby World Cup was a big deal. The story of how the tournament came about mixes the worlds of sport, politics and money.

    Read the full article

  • Page 2 - Origins of international rugbyBefore the 1987 Rugby World Cup and the professional era, rugby prided itself on extolling the virtues of friendly rivalry.

1981 Springbok tour

  • 1981 Springbok tour

    For 56 days in July, August and September 1981, New Zealanders were divided against each other in the largest civil disturbance seen since the 1951 waterfront dispute. The cause of this was the visit of the South African rugby team – the Springboks.

    Read the full article

  • Page 5 - Gleneagles AgreementThe All Blacks accepted an invitation to tour South Africa in 1976, when world attention was fixed on the republic because of the Soweto

The 1920s

  • The 1920s

    The 1920s was the decade that modern New Zealand came of age. Despite political and economic uncertainty, the country shrugged off the gloom of war to embrace the Jazz Age - an era of speed, power and glamour. Explore an overview of the decade and a year-by-year breakdown of key events.

    Read the full article

  • Page 3 - 1920 - key eventsA selection of key New Zealand events from

Rowing in New Zealand

  • Rowing in New Zealand

    The 2010 World Rowing Championships was the third major international rowing event to be held at Lake Karāpiro in Waikato. Find out about earlier events and other fascinating stories from New Zealand's rich rowing past.

    Read the full article

  • Page 6 - Olympic medallistsOlympic rowing medals won by New Zealanders


  • Williams, Yvette Winifred

    The sports writer Peter Heidenstrom rated Yvette Williams as his 'New Zealand Athlete of the Century'. There is no doubt that she was one of our greatest-ever athletes - and probably the most versatile. 

  • Lovelock, John Edward

    One of our greatest athletes, Berlin Olympic gold medallist Jack Lovelock led a remarkably full life before his tragic death in 1949, just a few days shy of his 40th birthday.

  • Walker, John George

    John Walker is one of New Zealand's track heroes. His athletic career was punctuated by memorable performances and noted for its longevity

  • Mander, Peter Garth

    One of our most successful yachtsmen, Peter Mander won 16 national titles in eight different design classes between 1945 and 1985, and in 1956 won New Zealand's first yachting Olympic gold medal.

  • Lydiard, Arthur Leslie

    Arthur Lydiard was a marathon runner and athletics coach, whose most notable trainees included Olympic and Commonwealth Games champions.

  • Morgan, Edward

    Ted Morgan was a boxer and a plumber, and was the first New Zealander to win an Olympic gold medal.

  • Read, Norman Richard

    Norman Read was an Olympic gold medal-winning race walker who helped to popularise the sport in New Zealand.