Month Calendar View

Historic NZ events in November

Nov

1

Old-age Pensions Act becomes law

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. Read more...

Polish refugees land in New Zealand

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. Read more...

Nov

2

NZ Division helps Allies break through at El Alamein

1942 NZ Division helps Allies break through at El Alamein

The 2nd New Zealand Division opened the way for British armour, allowing the Allies to make a decisive breakthrough at El Alamein, Egypt, and send the Axis forces into retreat. Read more...

Nov

3

Manawatū rail link opened

1886 Manawatū rail link opened

Built by the privately owned Wellington and Manawatu Railway Company (WMR), the line helped open the Kapiti Coast, Horowhenua and Manawatū to European settlement. Read more...

Birth of iconic Anchor butter brand

1886 Birth of iconic Anchor butter brand

Henry Reynolds' new factory at Pukekura, Waikato, produced its first butter. The brand name was allegedly inspired by a tattoo on the arm of one of Reynolds' workers. Read more...

'Summer time' reintroduced on trial basis

1974 'Summer time' reintroduced on trial basis

The trial proved popular with most New Zealanders and daylight saving of one hour between October and March was made permanent in 1975. Read more...

Nov

4

Phar Lap wins the Melbourne Cup

1930 Phar Lap wins the Melbourne Cup

Ridden by Jimmy Pike, the New Zealand-bred (but Australian-owned) wonder-horse beat Second Wind by two lengths to claim one of his greatest victories. Read more...

Nov

5

Battle of Featherston Street

1913 Battle of Featherston Street

The ‘Battle of Featherston Street’, in downtown Wellington, saw some of the most violent street fighting of the 1913 Great Strike. Read more...

Attack on pacifist settlement at Parihaka

1881 Attack on pacifist settlement at Parihaka

Parihaka had come to symbolise protest gainst the confiscation of Māori land. Its leaders, Te Whiti-o-Rongomai and Tohu Kakahi, were arrested and exiled until March 1883. Read more...

Nov

6

Last spike for North Island main trunk line

1908 Last spike for North Island main trunk line

The last spike was driven home by Prime Minister Ward at Manganuioteao, between National Park and Ōhakune. A regular express service between Auckland and Wellington began in February 1909. Read more...

Nov

7

Aoraki/Mt Cook face conquered by hippies

1970 Aoraki/Mt Cook face conquered by hippies

Long-haired Christchurch mountaineers John Glasgow and Peter Gough became the first to scale the 2000-m Caroline Face of Aoraki/Mt Cook, declaring it a ‘triumph for the hippies’ Read more...

The <em>Acheron</em> arrives to begin survey of NZ waters

1848 The Acheron arrives to begin survey of NZ waters

Captained by John Lort Stokes, the paddle steamer Acheron spent four years charting the New Zealand coastline. Read more...

Public Service Act passed into law

1912 Public Service Act passed into law

The Public Service Act was passed into law, creating a framework for New Zealand’s bureaucracy that was to endure until 1988. The Act was the brainchild of lawyer Alexander Herdman, a senior minister in the new Reform Party government. Read more...

Nov

8

NZ Centennial Exhibition opens

1939 NZ Centennial Exhibition opens

More than 2.6 million people visited the New Zealand Centennial Exhibition which ran from 8 November 1939 to 4 May 1940 at Rongotai, Wellington. Read more...

NZers march into besieged Madrid

1936 NZers march into besieged Madrid

Griff Maclaurin and Steve Yates were part of the International Column of anti-fascist volunteers which marched into Madrid, bolstering the city's defences against the assault of General Francisco Franco's rebel armies. Both men were killed in battle within two days of arriving Read more...

Nov

9

White New Zealand policy introduced

1920 White New Zealand policy introduced

The Immigration Restriction Amendment Act 1920 required immigrants to apply for a permanent residence permit before they arrived in New Zealand. Read more...

Captain Cook observes transit of Mercury

1769 Captain Cook observes transit of Mercury

Captain Cook's astronomer Charles Green observed the transit of Mercury at Te Whanganui-o-Hei (Mercury Bay) on Coromandel Peninsula. Read more...

Nov

10

Te Kooti attacks Matawhero

1868 Te Kooti attacks Matawhero

Te Kooti and his supporters attacked Matawhero in Poverty Bay, killing approximately 60 people – roughly equal numbers of Māori and Pākehā. Read more...

Telegraph Department cleared of 'hacking' charges

1871 Telegraph Department cleared of 'hacking' charges

Events in 1870-71 led Otago Daily Times editor George Barton to claim in his newspaper that the government had been intercepting telegraphs for political gain. Read more...

Sutherland Falls 'discovered'

1880 Sutherland Falls 'discovered'

The renowned backwoodsman Sutherland 'discovered' the waterfall that bears his name near what is now the Milford Track – New Zealand’s best-known walking track. Read more...

Nov

11

Armistice Day

1918 Armistice Day

The 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month was the moment when hostilities ceased on the Western Front in 1918, following the signing of an armistice Read more...

Troopship <em>Awatea</em> goes down fighting

1942 Troopship Awatea goes down fighting

New Zealand's finest pre-war passenger liner, the Union Steam Ship Company's Awatea, was sunk by German and Italian bombers after landing Allied troops on the North African coast. Read more...

Andy Haden dives to save rugby test

1978 Andy Haden dives to save rugby test

With two minutes to play in a rugby test match against Wales, All Black lock Andy Haden flung himself sideways as if in a C-grade action movie in an attempt to secure a match-winning penalty Read more...

Nov

12

Striker fatally wounded at Waihī

1912 Striker fatally wounded at Waihī

Striking worker Fred Evans was seriously injured in a clash with police and strike-breakers during a bitter industrial dispute in the goldmining town of Waihī. He died the following day. Read more...

Nov

13

Mount Tongariro erupts

1896 Mount Tongariro erupts

At 12.40 p.m. on 13 November 1896, Te Maari, a crater at the northern end of the Tongariro range, erupted spectacularly. It continued to erupt sporadically for nearly a year. Read more...

David Gray kills 13 at Aramoana

1990 David Gray kills 13 at Aramoana

David Gray, an Aramoana resident, began a shooting spree that left 13 people dead. Read more...

Nov

14

DPB legislation introduced

1973 DPB legislation introduced

The passage of the Social Security Amendment Act introduced the Domestic Purposes Benefit. Paid out from 1 May 1974, the DPB was to be set at a level that would enable sole parents to stay home to care for their children. Read more...

George Grey arrives in NZ

1845 George Grey arrives in NZ

Grey served two terms as Governor and later one as Premier. His most notable achievement in his first term as Governor (1845-53) was probably his management of the relationship between the Crown and Māori. Read more...

Nov

15

First issue of <em>Otago Daily Times</em> published

1861 First issue of Otago Daily Times published

Dunedin became the first New Zealand centre to get a daily newspaper when William Cutten and future Premier Julius Vogel published the first issue of the Otago Daily Times. Read more...

British flag flies for first time in NZ

1769 British flag flies for first time in NZ

By raising the British Colours on Coromandel Peninsula, Cook claimed the area in the name of King George III. Read more...

Nov

16

Hamiora Pere executed for treason

1869 Hamiora Pere executed for treason

Hamiora Pere was hanged at the Terrace Gaol, Wellington. He is the only New Zealander to have been executed after being convicted of treason. Read more...

NZ officially becomes British colony

1840 NZ officially becomes British colony

New Zealand became a separate colony of the United Kingdom. North, South and Stewart islands were to be known respectively as the provinces of New Ulster, New Munster and New Leinster. Read more...

Nov

17

NZ and South Seas International Exhibition opens

1925 NZ and South Seas International Exhibition opens

By the time it closed in May 1926 the exhibition had attracted over 3.2 million visitors, more than double New Zealand's total population at the time. Read more...

Nov

18

<em>Cospatrick</em> fire kills 470

1874 Cospatrick fire kills 470

En route to Auckland laden with immigrants, the Cospatrick caught fire off the Cape of Good Hope. The tragedy has been described as New Zealand's worst civil disaster. Read more...

Nov

19

Pike River Mine explosion kills 29

2010 Pike River Mine explosion kills 29

The mine exploded at 3.45 p.m. on Friday 19 November 2010. Twenty-nine of the 31 men underground died immediately or shortly afterwards from the blast or because of the toxic atmosphere this generated. Read more...

Fred Hollows Foundation launched in NZ

1992 Fred Hollows Foundation launched in NZ

The foundation was established in Australia by the Kiwi-born ophthalmologist (eye doctor) to treat eye problems in poorer countries. Within six years 200,000 people had their sight restored through cataract surgery. Read more...

Nov

20

Parachuting Santa crashes in Auckland Domain

1937 Parachuting Santa crashes in Auckland Domain

George Sellars narrowly escaped serious injury when he was able to swing his parachute away from the glass roof of the Winter Gardens during the Farmers' Christmas parade. Read more...

Mass murder in the Bay of Islands

1841 Mass murder in the Bay of Islands

Maketū Wharetōtara, the 17-year-old son of the Ngāpuhi chief Ruhe, killed five people at Motuarohia in the Bay of Islands. In March 1842 he became the first person to be legally executed in this country. Read more...

Nov

21

Māori surrender at Rangiriri

1863 Māori surrender at Rangiriri

More British soldiers were killed at 'Bloody Rangiriri' than in any other battle of the New Zealand Wars. But their victory opened the Waikato basin to the imperial forces. Read more...

Nov

22

Freyberg takes command of NZ Expeditionary Force

1939 Freyberg takes command of NZ Expeditionary Force

The First World War hero was British-born but New Zealand raised. He proved to be a charismatic and popular military leader and would later serve a term as governor-general. Read more...

Nov

23

Civic funeral for 41 Ballantyne's fire victims

1947 Civic funeral for 41 Ballantyne's fire victims

On 18 November 1947 Ballantyne's, a Christchurch department store that was a local institution, was razed by one of the worst fires in New Zealand's history. The bodies of the 41 victims were buried at Ruru Lawn Cemetery, Bromley, after a civic funeral. Read more...

Nov

24

Fifteen die in mysterious shipwreck

1959 Fifteen die in mysterious shipwreck

All hands were lost when the modern coastal freighter Holmglen foundered off the South Canterbury coast. The cause of the tragedy was never established Read more...

Nov

25

Fitzsimmons wins third world boxing title

1903 Fitzsimmons wins third world boxing title

By winning the world light-heavyweight championship, Timaru boxer Bob Fitzsimmons became the first man ever to be world champion in three different weight divisions. Read more...

Nov

26

'Kiwi Keith' begins 12-year reign as PM

1960 'Kiwi Keith' begins 12-year reign as PM

The National Party, led by Keith Holyoake, swept into power, defeating Walter Nash's Labour Party, which had held office for the previous three years Read more...

Nov

27

Liner sunk by German raiders off East Cape

1940 Liner sunk by German raiders off East Cape

The 16,712-ton New Zealand Shipping Company liner Rangitane was intercepted and sunk 550 km off East Cape, with the loss of 15 lives. Read more...

Death of Te Rauparaha

1849 Death of Te Rauparaha

The formidable Ngāti Toa leader had dominated Te Moana-o-Raukawa - the Cook Strait region - from his base at Kapiti Island for nearly 20 years. Read more...

Nov

28

257 killed in Mt Erebus disaster

1979 257 killed in Mt Erebus disaster

Flight TE901, an Air New Zealand sightseeing flight over Antarctica, crashed into the lower slopes of Mt Erebus, near Scott Base, killing all 257 passengers and crew on board. Read more...

Women vote in first general election

1893 Women vote in first general election

New Zealand women went to the polls for the first time, just 10 weeks after the governor signed the Electoral Act 1893, making this country the first in the world to give all adult women the vote. Read more...

Air New Zealand A320 crashes in France

2008 Air New Zealand A320 crashes in France

An Air NZ Airbus A320 crashed off the coast of France. All seven people on board, including five New Zealanders, were killed. It was 29 years to the day since Air NZ Flight TE901 had crashed in Antarctica, killing all 257 on board Read more...

Nov

29

First woman mayor in British Empire elected

1893 First woman mayor in British Empire elected

By winning the Onehunga mayoralty, Elizabeth Yates struck another blow for female rights the day after the first general election in which women could vote. Read more...

Nov

30

Election of first National government

1949 Election of first National government

After 14 years of Labour government, voters were tired of continuing shortages and regulations. The National Party would be in power for 29 of the next 35 years. Read more...