Nation Dates Fourth Edition – Suggestions welcomed

While we only recently published the third edition of Nation Dates, we are already thinking about events to include in the fourth edition. We welcome public feedback and suggestions.

The timeline in the third edition of Nation Dates begins with Captain Cook landing in Poverty Bay on 8 October 1769, and concludes with Emirates Team New Zealand winning the America’s Cup on 27 June 2017. Therefore, ideas for entries within this date range may already be included. Equally, however, there may be events worthy of inclusion in the fourth edition that we had not considered before. There will evidently also be events that have occurred after 27 June 2017 to be included in the fourth edition.

Prior to the publication of the next edition of Nation Dates: Events that have shaped the nation of New Zealand, the McGuinness Institute will share the new events under consideration for inclusion.

If you have suggestions for new timeline entries, please comment below or email with your thoughts and ideas.

Third edition available now!

We are proud to announce the publication of the third edition of Nation Dates! After receiving a lot of great feedback from those who loved the second edition, we have added 130 new significant dates. This edition of Nation Dates presents a timeline of 655 significant events that have shaped New Zealand from 1769 to the present.

To purchase a copy, visit Unity Books in Wellington, or visit the McGuinness Institute online store. RRP $35 (GST inclusive).

If you have feedback on the third edition,  or if you have suggestions for significant events to be included in the next edition, please submit a comment below or email us at


Feedback welcome on the new dates for the 3rd edition of Nation Dates

The Institute is currently working on the third edition of Nation Dates for publication and we are inviting public feedback on the dates we are considering for inclusion. Below are the ‘headlines’ for the events that we are considering for the new edition. Each entry will include an explanatory paragraph.

The second edition of Nation Dates was published in November 2012. If you have feedback on the dates listed here, or if you have a suggestion for other significant events, please leave a comment below or email

We welcome your input and are looking forward to sharing the third edition of Nation Dates with you. The list we are currently working with is below.

New dates for inclusion in Nation Dates from 1769 to 2012

1769 First contact between Māori and Pākehā as Captain James Cook lands in Poverty Bay, Gisborne
1819 First wine grapevines planted
1821 First workers’ strike
1839 Honey bees introduced
1840 Land purchases prohibited and Crown monopoly established
1841 Native Protectorate Department established
1841 Supreme Court established
1842 Land claims commissioners initiate investigations into pre-Treaty purchases
1842 All Māori deemed to be under Crown authority
1844 Private land purchases allowed temporarily
1846 Land deemed to be ‘surplus’ is retained by the Crown
1846 Lower court established
1862 Court of Appeal established
1865 Native Land Court established and Native Lands Act 1865 (30 October) [to replace 1865 Changes to the Native Land Court in Nation Dates 2nd edition]
1866 Bay of Plenty Land confiscation
1867 Protection of Animals Act 1867
1870 University of New Zealand established
1871 First permanent overseas representative of New Zealand appointed
1873 Native Land Act 1873
1879 Major meetings on the Treaty
1881 Helen Connon becomes the first woman awarded an honours degree in British Empire
1886 First hydro-electric station built
1879 Major meetings on the Treaty start at Orakei Auckland
1891 First wildlife sanctuary Resolution Island established
1892 Land Act 1892
1895 Williamina Dean becomes the first and only woman to be hanged
1895 George Vernon Hudson is the first person to propose Daylight Saving
1897 Māori women able to stand for Te Kotahitanga (Māori parliament)
1901 Nurses Registration Act 1901
1902 SS Ventnor sinks while carrying miners’ bodies back to China
1906 International Exhibition held in Christchurch
1909 Native Land Act 1909
1916 Rua Kēnana arrested
1930 First cricket test match played
1932 Cabinet granted power to declare states of emergency
1936 Kathleen Maisey Curtis becomes the first female fellow of the Royal Society of New Zealand
1941 Legal decision: Te Heuheu Tukino v Aotea District Māori Land Board
1946 United Nations Act 1946
1948 Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) adopted
1954 New Zealand serves on the United Nations Security Council for the first time
1956 Colin Murdoch patents disposable syringes
1961 University of New Zealand dissolved
1963 ‘Kerr solution’ to Einstein’s equations of general relativity explains rotation of black holes
1966 New Zealand serves on the United Nations Security Council for the second time
1966 Beatrice Tinsley completes pioneering study into evolution of galaxies
1967 Water and Soil Conservation Act 1967
1968 National Development Conferences 1968–1969
1970 Ngā Tamatoa activist group formed
1971 Race Relations Act 1971
1974 Niue no longer governed by New Zealand
1975 Private Schools Conditional Integration Act 1975
1976 Permit granted to dump radioactive materials at sea
 First building to use lead rubber bearings in the world
1983 Reading Recovery programme implemented nationwide
1984 First minister of Pacific Island affairs appointed
1986 Legal decision: Te Weehi v Regional Fisheries Officer
1988 Nancy Wake made an Officer of the Légion d’Honneur
1989 The Congress of Tribes established
1990 National Māori Congress founded
1991 Ruth Richardson introduces the ‘mother of all budgets’
1993 New Zealand serves on the United Nations Security Council for the third time
1993 Citizens Initiated Referenda Act 1993
1994 Treaty of Waitangi fiscal cap introduced
1995 The Office of Treaty Settlements formed
1996 Lord Cooke appointed to the House of Lords (UK)
1996 Unleaded petrol made mandatory
1998 Lincoln Agreement (Bougainville peace accord) signed
1999 Georgina Beyer becomes first transsexual Member of Parliament
2000 Sir Don McKinnon becomes Secretary-General of the Commonwealth Secretariat
2003 Māori Television launches
2003 Ngati Apa v Attorney-General
2004 Don Brash’s Orewa Speech
2004 Crown Entities Act 2004
2007 Police raids in Te Urewera
2008 Kauri dieback disease identified
2009 KickStart Breakfast introduced
2009 Helen Clark becomes Administrator of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP)
2009 Nga Haerenga, The New Zealand Cycle Trail launched
2011 Programme of asset sales announced
2012 Police execute search warrants on Dotcom
2012 Crafar Farms

New dates for inclusion in Nation Dates from 2013 to 2017

2013 Crown Research Institute renamed Callaghan Innovation after Sir Paul Callaghan
2013 Constitutional Advisory Panel report released
2013 New Crown Research Institute, Callaghan Innovation, established
2013 Fonterra whey protein botulism scare
2013 Same-sex marriage legalised
2013 Immigration Amendment Act 2013
2013 Government Communications Security Bureau (GCSB) Amendment Act 2013
2013 Special Housing Areas (SHAs) Act 2013
2013 Eleanor Catton wins the Booker Prize for The Luminaries
2013 New Zealand’s Constitution: A Report on a Conversation released
2014 Internet Mana Party established to contest 2014 elections (January 2014)
2014 Restrictions on recreational fishers announced
2014 Te Urewera and Whanganui River become legal entities
2015 Taxation (Bright-line Test for Residential Land) Act 2015
2015 New Zealand serves on the United Nations Security Council for the fourth time
2015 Environmental Reporting Act 2015
2015 Navy anti-poaching operations
2015 Government Communications Security Bureau (GCSB) surveillance in the South Pacific
2015 Lydia Ko becomes the youngest world number one in professional golf
2015 Legal decision: Seales v Attorney-General
2015 The All Blacks win Rugby World Cup for the third time
2015 Medical marijuana approved for one-off use
2016 Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement signed in Auckland
2016 Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement signed but not enacted
2016 Kermadec Ocean Sanctuary Bill introduced to Parliament
2016 Ashburton Council decide not to sell rights to bottled water company
2016 Predator free-by-2050 target adopted
2016 New Zealand pathway to Australian citizenship is streamlined
2016 NIWA’s Clean Air Monitoring Station records carbon dioxide readings of over 400 ppm
2016 Ministry for Vulnerable Children (Oranga Tamariki) announced
2016 New Zealand ratifies the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) Paris Agreement
2016 Ross Sea Marine Protected Area established
2016 Report of the Cross-Party Inquiry on Homelessness released
2016 Kaikoura earthquake
2016 USS Sampson becomes the first US warship to enter New Zealand waters in 33 years
2016 Prime Minister John Key resigns
2017 Relocation of salmon farms in the Marlborough Sounds proposed
2017 Clean water package targets 90% of rivers and lakes swimmable by 2040

Nation Dates Third Edition – Inviting Public Feedback

The Institute is currently working on the third edition of Nation Dates.

Prior to the publication of each edition of Nation Dates, the Institute shares the events that are being considered for inclusion and invites the public to comment or suggest significant events themselves.

The second edition of Nation Dates was published in November 2012; therefore, ideas for entries before this date may already be included. To submit feedback, please comment on this site or email

Below is a preliminary (and rough) list of events that have been suggested thus far. These are headlines; each entry will contain an explanatory paragraph if published. Please note that the events below are listed with the primary intention of generating discussion and will not necessarily be included in the third edition.


1773 Captain James Cook brews first beer at Dusky Sound
1796 First sailing ship built in New Zealand
1815 First Christian Service
1819 Samuel Marsden plants first grapevines for wine
1821 First strike by New Zealand workers
1837 Missionaries petition
1837 The New Zealand Association formed
1838 The People’s Charter
1839 Mary Bumby recorded as first person to introduce honey bees
1839 New Zealand Gazette first published
1841 First criminal sitting of the Supreme Court of New Zealand and first hanging
1843 Meeting between Fitzroy and Te Rauparaha
1852 The New Zealand Constitution Act 1852
1854 Maori meeting in Taranaki
1867 Royal Society of New Zealand
1867 New bird species introduced
1867 Brown trout introduced from Tasmania
1870 The University of New Zealand founded
1871 First Agent-General appointed
1875 Helen Connon becomes first woman to attend lectures at Canterbury College
1877 Education Act
1878 Lincoln University Opens
1887 First hydro-electric station
1889 Maritime Labour Council of New Zealand established
1891 Land and Income Assessment Act 1891
1892 Land Act
1894 Richard Henry becomes caretaker of Resolution Island
1895 Williamina Dean is the first and only woman to be hanged in New Zealand
1895 George Vernon Hudson first to think of daylight saving
1901 Socialist Party formed
1901 Ernest Godward’s hairpin invention
1906 Auckland Tram Strike
1906 International Expo in Christchurch
1910 The Maoriland Journal is published
1912 Black Tuesday results in death of Fred Evans
1912 Unity Conference held
1913 Employers’ Union create ‘defence fund’
1914 Education Act
1919 First airmail flight
1930 Atmore Report published
1930 Ascension of NZ cricket to test status
1932 Ratana and Labour Party coalition formed
1935 Jean Batten flight
1954 Hamilton Jet Boat
1956 Colin Murdoch invents disposable syringes
1962 Maori Welfare Act
1962 The Council for Volunteer Service Abroad established
1963 Roy Kerr solves physics equation
1967 Water and Soil Conservation Act 1967
1967 Beatrice Tinsley publishes her thesis ‘Evolution of Galaxies and its Significance for Cosmology’.
1968 National Development Conference 68 and 69. Represented a different model of planning the future of the nation to anything seen since.
1975 Private Schools Conditional Integration Act
1977 New Zealand Planning Act
1982 First building to be constructed on lead-rubber bearings
1986 Tom Te Wahi legal decision that he had a right to customary fishing forced the actions on giving Maori a share of fisheries by highlighting that Maori common law rights existed
1989 Congress of Tribes established
1989 Act Maori right to fishing resources
1990 National Maori Congress
1991 NZ Dairy Research Institute introduces spreadable butter
1992 Mountain Buggy invented
1992 Sealord Settlement
1993 Marie Clay’s book Reading Recovery: Guidelines for Teachers in Training sells eight million copies world wide
1994 Lady Kathleen Rigg, pioneer female botanist dies
1994 Treaty of Waitangi fiscal cap introduced
1996 Creation of the New Zealand Treasurer. Winston Peters the first appointee.
1996 Appointment of Lord Cooke to the Privy Council
1998 Lincoln Agreement
1999 World’s first transsexual to be voted into parliament
2000 Appointment of Sir Don McKinnon to Secretary General of the to the head of the Commonwealth Secretariat.
2003 Māori Television Service Act (Te Aratuku Whakaata Irirangi Māori)2003
2004 Foreshore and Seabed Act 2004
2005 Iwi Chairs Forum
2008 Glenn Martin invents world’s first practical jetpack
2008 Dieback disease identified as a threat to kauri trees
2009 William Hayward Pickering and Beatrice Tinsley names on Kepler Mountains in the Fiordland National Park
2009 Iwi leaders forums
2009 Water rights issues raise ghost of the Maori Council
2009 kickStart breakfast in schools programme introduced
2012 Whanganui River granted legal identity
2013 Same sex marriage legalised
2013 Immigration Amendment Act 2013 passed
2013 Fonterra botulism scare
2013 David Shearer resigns as Labour leader
2013 Government Communications Security Bureau and related legislation Bill passed
2013 Eleanor Catton wins Man Booker prize
2013 Asset sales referendum
2013 Constitutional Review Panel report released
2014 New Zealand serves on the UN Security Council for the first time since 1994
2014 Nicky Hager’s book Dirty Politics published
2014 Te Urewera ceases to be a national park
2014 Net migration to New Zealand hits new record high
2015 Government passes ban on animal testing
2015 Cancellation of Campbell Live
2015 Euthanasia case before High Court
2015 Medical marijuana approved for one-off use
2015 New Green Party leader
2015 Teina Pora absolved
2015 Mark Lundy conviction upheld
2015 NZ troops deployed to Iraq
2015 Tenders released for petroleum exploration permits
2015 NZ Navy chases illegal fishing vessels
2015 Special Housing Areas (SHAs) identified
2015 TPPA negotiations continue
2015 800th anniversary of the Magna Carta
2015 John Key in ‘Tailgate’
2015/2016 National flag referendum

New Date: 2007 New Zealand police raids

Recently a reader contacted us, stating that our timeline is missing a significant 2007 event. We agree, and thus we have included draft text below.

2007 New Zealand police raids in Urewera

On 15 October 2007 armed police carried out raids throughout the North Island, arresting 17 political activists. Police claimed they had arrested participants in a terrorist training camp in the Urewera region. In September 2011 firearms charges were dropped against 13 of the defendants. In February 2012 four stood trial on various charges but were convicted only on firearms charges. The case remains controversial, as some members of the public claim that police used the fear of terrorism to suppress genuine political dissent.

To find out more:

Beath, L. Terrorism and counter-terrorism – Securing New Zealand against terrorism. In Te Ara – the Encyclopedia of New Zealand. Retrieved June 19, 2015 from:


New Date: Wreck of the SS Ventnor

For many New Zealanders, the story of the SS Ventnor was unknown until its discovery off the coast of Hikianga two years ago. Following this event, details have surfaced surrounding the shipwreck that place it as a significant historical event. The Institute will be doing further research into this event and including it in the next Nation Dates edition. Our draft text follows:

1902 Wreck of the SS Ventnor

On 27 October, a day after leaving Wellington, the Ventnor struck a reef off the coast of Taranaki near New Plymouth, and the following day it foundered off the coast of the Hokianga Heads. The ship had set out for China with the bones of 499 Chinese men who had died in New Zealand, and the wreck caused distress as culturally it is essential for Chinese people to have their graves tended by their family. The local iwi Te Roroa have confirmed that their ancestors buried the bodies that washed ashore.

To find out more:

Dougan, P. (2014, November 14). Outrage over ‘lack of respect’ shown to Ventnor shipwreck. New Zealand Herald. Retrieved June 19, 2015 from:

Dougan, P. (2014, November 19). 112-year-old SS Ventnor shipwreck mystery revealed. New Zealand Herald. Retrieved June 19, 2015 from:

Ventnor Group. The Wreck of the SS Ventnor: History. Retrieved June 19, 2015 from: