Month Calendar View

Historic NZ events in October

Oct

1

Goods and Service Tax Act comes into force

1986 Goods and Service Tax Act comes into force

Initially adding 10% to the cost of most goods and services, GST was a key part of the economic reforms of the fourth Labour government that were dubbed 'Rogernomics' after Minister of Finance Roger Douglas. Read more...

First Chatham Cup football final

1923 First Chatham Cup football final

At Athletic Park, Wellington, Seacliff from Otago defeated Wellington YMCA 4-0 in the first final of the Chatham Cup, New Zealand football’s oldest and best-known national club competition. Read more...

Oct

2

NZ pilot saves Scottish village

1941 NZ pilot saves Scottish village

In October 1941, New Zealand Spitfire pilot Carlyle Everiss heroically sacrificed his life to save the Scottish village of Cowie from serious damage. Read more...

'Slice of Heaven'  hits No. 1

1986 'Slice of Heaven' hits No. 1

Written for the movie Footrot Flats: the dog's tale, which was based on the iconic New Zealand cartoon series, Dave Dobbyn's hit single featured reggae band Herbs singing a cappella. It topped the charts for eight weeks. Read more...

Oct

3

NZ Natives team plays first game in UK

1888 NZ Natives team plays first game in UK

Privately organised and mainly Māori, this was the first national rugby team to wear the silver fern. During their tour of New Zealand, Australia and Britain, they played 107 rugby matches, nine under Australian rules, and two association football games. Read more...

Oct

4

Morris Yock trademarks the jandal

1957 Morris Yock trademarks the jandal

Inspired by an Asian example, Yock and his son began manufacturing this simple rubber footwear in his garage. The name 'jandal' combined the words 'Japanese' and 'sandal'. Read more...

Oct

5

Maungatapu murderers hanged in Nelson

1866 Maungatapu murderers hanged in Nelson

Burgess, Kelly and Levy were hanged. Joseph Sullivan, the fourth member of the 'Burgess gang', received a life sentence after turning Queen's evidence and helping convict his co-accused. Read more...

Oct

6

Young Nick sights land

1769 Young Nick sights land

Ship's boy Nicholas Young received a gallon of rum and had Young Nicks Head named in his honour for being the first aboard the Endeavour to spot land. Read more...

Oct

7

German 'Sea Devil' imprisoned in NZ

1917 German 'Sea Devil' imprisoned in NZ

Count von Luckner's raider Seeadler sank 14 Allied ships in 1917 before he was captured in Fiji. His subsequent escape from Motuihe Island in the Hauraki Gulf made him a legend. Read more...

Oct

8

Stan Graham runs amok on West Coast

1941 Stan Graham runs amok on West Coast

Graham shot dead three policemen and mortally wounded two other men before escaping into the bush. One of New Zealand's largest manhunts ended when Graham was shot and mortally wounded on 20 October. Read more...

Oct

9

The end of the 'six o'clock swill'

1967 The end of the 'six o'clock swill'

Six p.m. closing for pubs was introduced as a 'temporary' wartime measure in 1917. The resulting 'six-o'clock swill' encouraged binge drinking as patrons aimed to get their fill before closing time. Read more...

Oct

10

Waitangi Tribunal created

1975 Waitangi Tribunal created

The Waitangi Tribunal was established to provide 'for the observance and confirmation of the principles' of the Treaty. It initially investigated claims dating from the passage of the Treaty of Waitangi Act, but in 1985 its jurisdiction was extended back to 1840. Read more...

Oct

11

First Cobb & Co. coach service runs to Otago goldfields

1861 First Cobb & Co. coach service runs to Otago goldfields

In its first venture from Dunedin to Gabriel's Gully in Central Otago, Cobb & Co. reduced the time for the trip from two days to nine hours. Read more...

Oct

12

NZ's ‘blackest day’ at Passchendaele

1917 NZ's ‘blackest day’ at Passchendaele

In terms of lives lost on a single day, this was the greatest disaster in New Zealand history. The failed assault on Passchendaele in Belgium took the lives of 45 officers and 800 men, and left 2700 wounded Read more...

<em>Niagara</em>'s arrival blamed for flu pandemic

1918 Niagara's arrival blamed for flu pandemic

Many people blamed the liner Niagara for bringing a deadly new influenza virus to New Zealand. But six people had died of the flu in Auckland in the three days before it arrived, and the upsurge in cases in the city came two weeks later. Read more...

Oct

13

Whina Cooper leads land march to Parliament

1975 Whina Cooper leads land march to Parliament

About 5000 marchers arrived at Parliament and presented a petition signed by 60,000 people to Prime Minister Bill Rowling. The main goal of the hīkoi was to end the alienation (sale) of Māori land. Read more...

Oct

14

'Mr Asia' found murdered

1979 'Mr Asia' found murdered

The mutilated body of Marty Johnstone, nominal leader of the 'Mr Asia' drug syndicate, was found by divers in Eccleston Delft, a flooded disused quarry in Lancashire. His execution had been ordered by syndicate kingpin Terry Clark. Read more...

Oct

15

NZ coastwatchers executed by the Japanese

1942 NZ coastwatchers executed by the Japanese

Seventeen New Zealand coastwatchers and five civilians who had been captured in the Gilbert Islands in August-September 1942 were beheaded at Betio, Tarawa. Read more...

'Anti-terror' raids in Urewera

2007 'Anti-terror' raids in Urewera

Citing the Terrorism Suppression Act, police arrested 18 people in nationwide raids linked to alleged weapons training camps near the eastern Bay of Plenty township of Rūātoki. Read more...

Former Governor Grey becomes Premier

1877 Former Governor Grey becomes Premier

Grey played a central role in 19th-century New Zealand politics, serving two terms as governor before entering Parliament to fight Julius Vogel's plans to abolish the provinces. He was the first of just two men who have held both positions. Read more...

Oct

16

Main Body of NZEF sails to war

1914 Main Body of NZEF sails to war

Thousands of Wellingtonians rose before dawn and crowded vantage points around the harbour entrance to watch as 10 grey-painted troopships, escorted by four warships, sailed to war. Read more...

Jean Batten conquers UK-NZ route

1936 Jean Batten conquers UK-NZ route

Jean Batten set a number of aviation firsts before flying from the UK to NZ in 11 days 45 minutes. A crowd of 6000 greeted her at Māngere Aerodrome. Read more...

Oct

17

Chief Justice declares Treaty 'worthless' and a 'simple nullity'

1877 Chief Justice declares Treaty 'worthless' and a 'simple nullity'

Sir James Prendergast's statements, made when delivering a reserved judgment in the case of Wi Parata v The Bishop of Wellington, would influence government decision-making on Treaty of Waitangi issues for decades. Read more...

Oct

18

First trans-global radio transmission to London

1924 First trans-global radio transmission to London

From the family sheep station in Shag Valley, East Otago, amateur radio operator Frank Bell sent a ground-breaking Morse code transmission which was received and replied to by London-based amateur operator Cecil Goyder.  Read more...

NZ Opera Group's first opening night

1954 NZ Opera Group's first opening night

Soon to be renamed the New Zealand Opera Company, the Group performed The telephone in Wellington. The performance was also broadcast live on radio. Read more...

Oct

19

New Zealand’s day with LBJ

1966 New Zealand’s day with LBJ

President Lyndon Johnson's 24-hour visit was aimed at shoring up support for the war in Vietnam. Protesters were outnumbered by enthusiastic crowds. Read more...

Oct

20

Fugitive Stan Graham shot by police

1941 Fugitive Stan Graham shot by police

Graham died of his wounds the following day. He had been on the run since 8 October and was responsible for the deaths of seven people. Read more...

Oct

21

Peter Snell wins second gold in Tokyo

1964 Peter Snell wins second gold in Tokyo

Snell had successfully defended his 800-m title earlier at the Tokyo Olympics and completed the coveted middle-distance double with gold in the 1500 m. Fellow Kiwi John Davies won bronze. Read more...

Oct

22

Death of poet James K. Baxter

1972 Death of poet James K. Baxter

Acknowledged as one of New Zealand’s most accomplished poets, Baxter had devoted the last years of his life to social work among alcoholics and drug addicts. He died in Auckland, aged 46. Read more...

Oct

23

Ten NZ nurses lost in <em>Marquette</em> sinking

1915 Ten NZ nurses lost in Marquette sinking

Thirty-two New Zealanders, including 10 nurses, were killed when the troop transport Marquette was torpedoed by a German U-boat. Read more...

Mt Ruapehu air crash kills 13

1948 Mt Ruapehu air crash kills 13

The Lockheed Electra airliner ZK-AGK Kaka went missing in poor weather on a flight from Palmerston North to Hamilton. Searchers did not reach the wreckage for a week. Read more...

Oct

24

Violence flares on Wellington wharves

1913 Violence flares on Wellington wharves

Events in Wellington on and around 24 October marked the beginning of the Great Strike of 1913 – a bitter two-month struggle that would ultimately involve 16,000 unionists around the country. Read more...

Oct

25

Foundation of IHC

1949 Foundation of IHC

A meeting in Wellington set up an interim committee for the Intellectually Handicapped Children's Parents' Association (IHCPA), the forerunner of IHC. Read more...

End of the line for steam railways

1971 End of the line for steam railways

The Christchurch-Dunedin overnight express, headed by a JA-class locomotive, ran the last scheduled steam-hauled service on New Zealand Railways, bringing to an end 108 years of regular steam rail operations in this country. Read more...

Oct

26

Women Jurors Act allows women to sit on juries

1942 Women Jurors Act allows women to sit on juries

The Act provided for women aged between 25 and 60 to have their names placed on the jury list on the same basis as men – if they so desired. The first female juror, Miss E.R. Kingsford, served at the Auckland Supreme Court in 1943. Read more...

Oct

27

NZ troops make first opposed landing since Gallipoli

1943 NZ troops make first opposed landing since Gallipoli

New Zealanders of 8 Brigade, 3 New Zealand Division, helped their American allies clear Mono Island in the Solomons of its Japanese defenders. Forty New Zealanders lost their lives in weeks of fierce fighting. Read more...

Oct

28

First Labour Day celebrations

1890 First Labour Day celebrations

The first Labour Day celebrated the struggle for an eight-hour working day. Parades in the main centres were attended by several thousand trade union members and supporters. Read more...

Oct

29

SS <em>Wairarapa</em> wrecked on Great Barrier Island

1894 SS Wairarapa wrecked on Great Barrier Island

Only weeks earlier the glamorous steamer had set a record time for the Tasman crossing from Sydney to Auckland. A Court of Enquiry blamed the captain for the disaster, which cost 121 lives. Read more...

Forgotten silver film hoax screened

1995 Forgotten silver film hoax screened

Peter Jackson and Costa Botes' documentary about Colin McKenzie, a forgotten hero of early New Zealand movie-making, was later revealed as the biggest Kiwi film hoax of the century. Read more...

Oct

30

Massive prohibition petition presented to Parliament

1918 Massive prohibition petition presented to Parliament

A petition with more than 240,000 signatures demanding an end to the manufacture and sale of alcohol in New Zealand was presented to Parliament. Read more...

Native Land Court created

1865 Native Land Court created

The Native Land Court was one of the key products of the 1865 Native Lands Act. It converted traditional communal landholdings into individual titles, making it easier for Pākehā to purchase Māori land. Read more...

Oct

31

Keri Hulme’s Bone people wins Booker Prize

1985 Keri Hulme’s Bone people wins Booker Prize

By 1985 Keri Hulme had won several New Zealand awards for her writing. But the decision to award her first novel, The bone people, the Booker Prize surprised literary critics, bookies and Hulme alike.  Read more...