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