Month Calendar View

Historic NZ events in September

Sep

1

New Zealander sentenced to death in Malaysia

1987 New Zealander sentenced to death in Malaysia

Lorraine Cohen was sentenced to death by a Malaysian judge for heroin trafficking. On appeal her sentence was commuted to life imprisonment. The trial of Lorraine and her son Aaron, who was arrested at the same time, gained worldwide attention. Read more...

Sep

2

Golden day for Kiwi runners in Rome

1960 Golden day for Kiwi runners in Rome

It was arguably New Zealand's greatest day at the Olympics. Peter Snell won gold in the 800 m and Murray Halberg followed up 30 minutes later to win the 5000 m, completing a remarkable track double in Rome's Olympic Stadium. Read more...

New Zealand’s rowing eight win gold in Munich

1972 New Zealand’s rowing eight win gold in Munich

In 2008 well-known sports writer Joseph Romanos chose the victory of the 1972 rowing eight as the best team performance by New Zealanders at the Olympics. Read more...

Ivan Mauger won a record sixth world speedway title in Katowice, Poland

1979 Ivan Mauger won a record sixth world speedway title in Katowice, Poland

As well as a record six individual world championships between 1968 and 1979, including three titles in a row between 1968 and 1970, Mauger also won the long track world championship three times between 1971 and 1976. Read more...

Sep

3

New Zealand declares war on Germany

1939 New Zealand declares war on Germany

Alongside Britain and Australia, New Zealand was one of the first countries to become involved in the global conflict precipitated by Germany's invasion of Poland on 1 September 1939. Read more...

First open-heart surgery in NZ

1958 First open-heart surgery in NZ

Pioneering heart surgeon Brian Barratt-Boyes performed the surgery using a heart-lung bypass machine. The procedure, at Green Lane Hospital in Auckland, was performed on an 11-year-old girl with a hole in her heart. Read more...

Sep

4

Magnitude 7.1 earthquake rocks Canterbury

2010 Magnitude 7.1 earthquake rocks Canterbury

The earthquake struck at 4.35 a.m. on Saturday 4 September and was felt by many people in the South Island and the southern North Island. There was considerable damage in central Canterbury, especially in Christchurch, but no loss of life. Read more...

The wreck of the <em>Delaware</em>

1863 The wreck of the Delaware

Soon after leaving Nelson for Napier, the Delaware was wrecked in what is now known as Delaware Bay. Accounts of the incident often focus on the heroism of Huria Matenga, the only woman in a party of five local Māori who assisted the crew to shore.  Read more...

Sep

5

PM declares NZ's support for Britain

1939 PM declares NZ's support for Britain

In declaring New Zealand's support for Britain in the war with Germany that had just begun, an ailing Michael Joseph Savage famously told the nation that 'Where she goes, we go. Where she stands, we stand'.  Read more...

Sep

6

New Zealand citizenship established

1948 New Zealand citizenship established

Prior to this act coming into effect, all New Zealanders were classified as British subjects. Separate New Zealand citizenship became possible on 1 January 1949. This was a change New Zealand did not initiate. Read more...

Sep

7

Von Tempsky killed at Te Ngutu-o-te-manu

1868 Von Tempsky killed at Te Ngutu-o-te-manu

Gustavus von Tempsky was killed during an assault on Tītokowaru's south Taranaki pā. His paintings and accounts of the New Zealand Wars had made the Prussian soldier of fortune a folk hero for many European settlers. Read more...

NZ’s heaviest ever gold nugget discovered

1909 NZ’s heaviest ever gold nugget discovered

New Zealand’s heaviest recorded nugget was found at Ross on the West Coast. Weighing 2.81 kg, the nugget was named the 'Honourable Roddy' after the Minister of Mines, Roderick McKenzie. Read more...

Springboks play NZ Maoris for first time

1921 Springboks play NZ Maoris for first time

‘Bad enough having play team officially designated New Zealand Natives’, a South African journalist wrote in a report of the match played between the Springboks and a New Zealand Maori XV at Napier. Read more...

Sep

8

NZ signs Manila Pact

1954 NZ signs Manila Pact

The South-East Asia Collective Defence Treaty, or Manila Pact, aimed to contain the spread of communism in the region. The South-East Asia Treaty Organisation (SEATO) was the institutional expression of this Treaty. Read more...

Sep

9

Wanganui Computer legislation enacted

1976 Wanganui Computer legislation enacted

'Big Brother is watching'? The New Zealand government's establishment of the country's first centralised electronic database through the Wanganui Computer Centre Act raised questions about the state's ability to gather information on its citizens. Read more...

Sep

10

Eruption on White Island kills 10 people

1914 Eruption on White Island kills 10 people

On 10 September 1914 ten miners working on White Island were killed when part of the crater wall collapsed, causing a landslide Read more...

Te Maori exhibition opens in New York

1984 Te Maori exhibition opens in New York

This exhibition was a milestone in the Maori cultural renaissance. After being hugely successful in New York, St Louis, San Francisco and Chicago, it returned to tour New Zealand to great acclaim. Read more...

Sep

11

Rail tragedy on the Rimutaka Incline

1880 Rail tragedy on the Rimutaka Incline

Four children were killed and 13 adults injured when two rail carriages were blown off the tracks by severe winds on a notoriously exposed part of the Rimutaka Incline railway. This was the first major loss of life on New Zealand’s railways. Read more...

First trans-Tasman flight

1928 First trans-Tasman flight

Australians Charles Kingsford Smith and Charles Ulm, in their Southern Cross monoplane, landed at Wigram, Christchurch, 14 hours 25 minutes after leaving Sydney. More than 30,000 people thronged to greet them. Read more...

Sep

12

'Flour-bomb test' ends Springbok tour

1981 'Flour-bomb test' ends Springbok tour

The third and deciding test at Eden Park, Auckland, is perhaps best remembered for the flares and flour bombs dropped onto the pitch from a light plane. Outside the ground, violence erupted on an unprecedented scale. Read more...

Forty-three miners killed in explosion at Huntly

1914 Forty-three miners killed in explosion at Huntly

At 7.20 am an explosion at Ralph's mine on Raynor Road rocked Huntly. It was caused by a miner's naked acetylene cap-lamp igniting firedamp (methane gas given off by coal) Read more...

Sep

13

NZ's first woman MP elected

1933 NZ's first woman MP elected

The Labour Party's Elizabeth McCombs became the first woman Member of Parliament, winning a by-election in the Lyttelton seat caused by the death of her MP husband James McCombs. Read more...

Sep

14

Social Security Act passed

1938 Social Security Act passed

The cornerstone of the first Labour government's 'cradle to the grave' welfare policies, this Act introduced revised pensions and extended the scope of benefits for families, invalids and the unemployed. Read more...

Sep

15

Lyttelton–Wellington ferry service ends

1976 Lyttelton–Wellington ferry service ends

The last sailing of the Rangatira brought to an end more than 80 years of regular passenger ferry services between Lyttelton and Wellington. Read more...

First steel produced from local ironsand

1969 First steel produced from local ironsand

New Zealand Steel's mill at Glenbrook, south of Auckland, began producing a range of iron and steel products for both domestic and export markets. Using local ironsand and coal, the mill today produces about 650,000 tonnes of steel a year. Read more...

Sep

16

'Originals' kick off All Black tradition

1905 'Originals' kick off All Black tradition

The first fully representative New Zealand rugby team to tour the Northern Hemisphere was known as the 'Originals'. Winning 34 of the 35 matches they played, they popularised both the haka and the 'All Blacks' nickname. Read more...

Sep

17

Death penalty abolished... for the time being

1941 Death penalty abolished... for the time being

This law change also ended flogging and whipping as punishments for murder. National reintroduced the death penalty in 1950 but it was finally abolished as the penalty for murder in 1961. Read more...

Sep

18

First state house opened in Miramar

1937 First state house opened in Miramar

Most of the Labour Cabinet helped the McGregor family move into 12 Fife Lane in Miramar, Wellington. The government's aim was to rid New Zealand of sub-standard housing by building 5000 new homes a year. Read more...

Sep

19

Women's suffrage day

1893 Women's suffrage day

Governor Lord Glasgow signed a new Electoral Act into law, making New Zealand the first self-governing country in the world to grant all women the right to vote in parliamentary elections. Read more...

Sep

20

Mazengarb report released

1954 Mazengarb report released

The Mazengarb report into 'juvenile delinquency' blamed the perceived promiscuity of the nation's youth on the absence from home of working mothers, the easy availability of contraceptives, and on young women who enticed men into having sex. Read more...

Sep

21

Rescue of <em>Harriet</em> survivors begins

1834 Rescue of Harriet survivors begins

Betty Guard and her children were rescued from Ngāti Ruanui (who had held them captive in Taranaki since April) by troops landed from HMS Alligator and the Isabella. It was the first clash between British forces and Māori. Read more...

Sep

22

Domestic workers call for 68-hour week

1906 Domestic workers call for 68-hour week

The labour reforms of the Liberal government had earned New Zealand a reputation as a 'working man's paradise'. But what about working women? A 68-hour working week hardly seemed an unreasonable demand. Read more...

Coalition formed to combat Depression

1931 Coalition formed to combat Depression

United Party Prime Minister George Forbes had convened an inter-party conference with the goal of forming a coalition government that would 'share the responsibility' of dealing with the Depression. Labour withdrew from these discussions but the leader of the conservative Reform Party was unable to resist pressure to heed this call. Read more...

Sep

23

Tongariro mountains gifted to Crown

1887 Tongariro mountains gifted to Crown

Horonuku (Te Heuheu Tūkino IV), the paramount chief of Ngāti Tūwharetoa, signed a deed presenting the mountain tops of Tongariro, Ngāuruhoe and Ruapehu to the Crown for the purpose of establishing a national park. Read more...

Sep

24

Race killing in Haining St, Wellington

1905 Race killing in Haining St, Wellington

Lionel Terry killed Joe Kum Yung to draw attention to his crusade to rid New Zealand of Chinese people. His death sentence was commuted to life imprisonment on the grounds of insanity. Read more...

Bere Ferrers rail accident

1917 Bere Ferrers rail accident

Ten New Zealand soldiers were killed when they were hit by a train at Bere Ferrers in the United Kingdom. The accident occurred as troops from the 28th Reinforcements, NZEF, were being transported from Plymouth to Sling Camp on Salisbury Plain. Read more...

Sep

25

NZ's first grape vines planted?

1819 NZ's first grape vines planted?

The Anglican missionary Samuel Marsden noted in his journal that he had just planted 100 vines at Kerikeri and that New Zealand 'promises to be very favourable to the vine.' Read more...

Sep

26

Joseph Ward proclaims Dominion status

1907 Joseph Ward proclaims Dominion status

From the steps of the General Assembly Library in Wellington, the Prime Minister read the proclamation to the gathered crowd. This first Dominion Day was a full public holiday. Read more...

Native Rights Act declares Māori British subjects

1865 Native Rights Act declares Māori British subjects

The Act deemed all Māori to be natural-born subjects of the Crown, confirming in law the Treaty promise that Māori were to be accorded the same rights and privileges as other British subjects. Read more...

Sep

27

William Sutch charged with spying

1974 William Sutch charged with spying

Economist Dr W.B. Sutch was acquitted of spying in 1975 after he had what the NZSIS claimed were 'surreptitious and clandestine' meetings with a Russian diplomat. Continuing speculation on the matter has been fuelled in recent years by the release of NZSIS and KGB files. Read more...

Sep

28

NZ answers Empire's call to arms in South Africa

1899 NZ answers Empire's call to arms in South Africa

Premier R.J. Seddon asked Parliament to approve an offer to the British government of a contingent of mounted rifles. Amid emotional scenes, the proposition was overwhelmingly endorsed - only five members voted against it. Read more...

Sep

29

NZ's first professional opera performance

1862 NZ's first professional opera performance

Dunedin's Royal Princess Theatre was the venue for a performance of Donizetti's Daughter of the regiment by the visiting 'English Opera Troupe', supplemented by local performers. Read more...

Sep

30

Government watchdog appointed

1962 Government watchdog appointed

Sir Guy Powles became New Zealand's first Ombudsman. Loosely translated from Swedish, the term Ombudsman means ‘grievance person’. The office was created to investigate complaints about government departments and other national public sector organisations. Read more...