New Zealand History


1898 Old-age Pensions Act becomes law

A world first, the Act gave a small means-tested pension to destitute older people who were 'of good moral character'; Chinese were specifically excluded. It was one of the major achievements of Richard Seddon's Liberal government.

1944 Polish refugees land in New Zealand

On 1 November 1944, more than 800 Polish refugees from war-torn Europe landed in Wellington from the troopship USS General George M. Randall.

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1 November November


Samuel Parnell

19 Feb 1810 - 17 Dec 1890

Labour Day, a public holiday in New Zealand since 1900, is a suitable occasion to pay tribute to Samuel Parnell, who achieved fame as the founder of the eight-hour working day in New Zealand.

New Zealand and the First World War

New Zealand and the First World War

The First World War had a seismic impact on New Zealand, reshaping the country's perception of itself and its place in the world.

Women's Suffrage Petition

Suffrage Petition

The 1893 Women's suffrage petition — signed by more than 25,000 women, about a fifth of the enture adult European female population — helped pave the way for the passage of New Zealand's world-leading Electoral Act in September 1893.

See the digitised version of the petition

Memorials Register

Memorials Register

Find exact locations and further information for more than 900 memorials throughout New Zealand.

Explore the memorials