Month Calendar View

Historic NZ events in June



NZ's first official TV broadcast

1960 NZ's first official TV broadcast

Broadcast from Shortland Street in central Auckland, New Zealand's first official television transmission began at 7.30 p.m. The first night's broadcast lasted just three hours and could only be seen in Auckland. Read more...



NZ steamer captured by the <em>Wolf</em>

1917 NZ steamer captured by the Wolf

The steamer Wairuna, en route from Auckland to San Francisco, was captured by the German raider Wolf and later sunk near the Kermadec Islands. The crew of 42 was taken prisoner. Read more...

Motor racing driver Bruce McLaren killed

1970 Motor racing driver Bruce McLaren killed

Bruce McLaren was killed while testing one of his Can-Am series cars on the Goodwin circuit near Chichester, England. He had been one of New Zealand's most successful Formula One Grand Prix drivers. Read more...



Colin 'Pinetree' Meads born

1936 Colin 'Pinetree' Meads born

The legendary All Black lock was a physically tough, uncompromising player. Rugby writer Lindsay Knight described Colin Meads as New Zealand's equivalent of Australia's Sir Donald Bradman or American Babe Ruth as a sporting legend. Read more...



Rail tragedy at Hyde

1943 Rail tragedy at Hyde

The Cromwell-Dunedin express, travelling at speed, derailed at Hyde, killing 21 people and injuring 47. The driver was later found guilty of manslaughter. Read more...



Te Kooti deported to Chathams

1866 Te Kooti deported to Chathams

The future prophet and military leader was deported with Pai Mārire prisoners to the Chatham Islands. He had been accused of spying for the enemy while fighting with government troops. Read more...



Wesleyan mission established

1823 Wesleyan mission established

Samuel Leigh and William White established Wesleydale, a Wesleyan (Methodist) mission station at Kaeo. Leigh was friendly with Samuel Marsden of the Church Missionary Society and the two missions worked closely together. Read more...



The Battle of Messines

1917 The Battle of Messines

The Battle of Messines was a prelude to the much larger Third Battle of Ypres, better known as Passchendaele. New Zealanders played a prominent role in this successful action but paid a heavy price: 3700 casualties, including 700 dead. Read more...

Fighter ace Edgar ‘Cobber’ Kain killed

1940 Fighter ace Edgar ‘Cobber’ Kain killed

Known to others as ‘Killer Kain’, the Hastings-born pilot's exploits flying Hurricanes for the RAF’s No. 73 Squadron in the first year of the Second World War had made him a household name. Read more...

McDonald's arrives in NZ

1976 McDonald's arrives in NZ

The Golden Arches appeared for the first time in New Zealand at Cobham Court, Porirua. Twenty years later the American fast-food giant would have 100 outlets around the country. Read more...



New Zealand goes nuclear-free

1987 New Zealand goes nuclear-free

The New Zealand Nuclear Free Zone, Disarmament, and Arms Control Act was passed into law, establishing this country as a nuclear and biological weapon-free zone Read more...



Tītokowaru's war begins

1868 Tītokowaru's war begins

Three settlers were killed near Ketemarae, Hāwera, by Ngā Ruahine warriors acting on the spiritual leader's orders. This signalled a change of strategy in the Māori response to land confiscation. Read more...

Public Trust Office building opens

1909 Public Trust Office building opens

Prime Minister Sir Joseph Ward opened the Public Trust Office Building in Lambton Quay, Wellington. The occassion was marked by a lunchtime banquet and a concert and dance later that evening Read more...



Eruption of Mt Tarawera

1886 Eruption of Mt Tarawera

The eruption lasted six hours and caused massive destruction. Several villages were destroyed, along with most of the famous silica hot springs known as the Pink and White Terraces. Around 120 people, nearly all Māori, lost their lives Read more...

Death of Richard Seddon

1906 Death of Richard Seddon

Known as 'King Dick', Seddon had dominated New Zealand politics since the early 1890s. His Liberal government established the tradition of state-supported welfare in this country. Read more...



Cornwall Park gifted to Auckland

1901 Cornwall Park gifted to Auckland

At a civic reception for the visiting Duke and Duchess of Cornwall and York, Mayor John Logan Campbell handed over the deed to land around One Tree Hill (Maungakiekie). The new park was named in honour of the royal couple. Read more...



First US troops arrive in Auckland

1942 First US troops arrive in Auckland

Between 1942 and 1944 about 100,000 American servicemen were stationed in New Zealand as part of the Allies' counter-offensive against Japan. This American ‘invasion’ led to a considerable clash of cultures. Read more...



Murder on the Maungatapu track

1866 Murder on the Maungatapu track

Having murdered George Dobson a fortnight earlier, and a prospector the day before, the Burgess gang continued their killing spree on the track between Canvastown and Nelson. Four men were ambushed and slain in a crime that stunned the colony. Read more...



Muldoon calls snap election

1984 Muldoon calls snap election

Prime Minister Robert Muldoon surprisingly announced a snap election for 14 July, hoping to catch the opposition Labour Party under-prepared. The gamble backfired and National suffered a heavy defeat. Read more...



Lovelock wins ‘Mile of the century’

1935 Lovelock wins ‘Mile of the century’

In June 1935 Lovelock returned to Princeton – the scene of his 1933 world record – to compete against the top American milers in what the media later dubbed the ‘Mile of the Century’ Read more...

Chinese gooseberry becomes kiwifruit

1959 Chinese gooseberry becomes kiwifruit

The prominent produce company Turners and Growers announced that it would from now on export Chinese gooseberries under the name 'kiwifruit'. First grown here in 1906, kiwifruit are now cultivated worldwide, with New Zealand-grown fruit marketed as 'Zespri'. Read more...



Baby-farmer Daniel Cooper hanged

1923 Baby-farmer Daniel Cooper hanged

A generation after the execution of the infamous Minnie Dean, the murder trial of Daniel and Martha Cooper revealed that 'baby farming' was still seen as a solution to the problem of unwanted children in 1920s New Zealand. Read more...



The Wairau incident

1843 The Wairau incident

Also known as the ‘Wairau Affray’ and ‘Wairau Massacre’, this was the first serious clash of arms between Māori and British settlers after the signing of the Treaty of Waitangi. Four Māori and 22 Europeans were killed. Read more...



Minnie Dean goes on trial

1895 Minnie Dean goes on trial

Minnie Dean's trial for murdering a baby placed in her care began at the Invercargill Supreme Court. The 'Winton baby-farmer' was found guilty three days later and hanged on 12 August. Read more...



<em>Niagara</em> sunk by German mines off Northland

1940 Niagara sunk by German mines off Northland

The Second World War arrived in New Zealand with a bang when the trans-Pacific liner Niagara was sunk by a German mine off the Northland coast. All 349 people on board were rescued. Read more...



US Navy tragedy at Paekākāriki

1943 US Navy tragedy at Paekākāriki

Ten United States Navy personnel were drowned off Paekākāriki near Wellington during a beach landing exercise. Read more...

All Blacks win the first World Cup

1987 All Blacks win the first World Cup

With Michael Jones, John Kirwan and captain David Kirk scoring tries, the All Blacks defeated France 29-9 at Eden Park, Auckland. Kirk became the first captain to lift the Webb Ellis Cup. Read more...



The Beatles land in NZ

1964 The Beatles land in NZ

Beatlemania hit New Zealand when 7000 hysterical fans greeted the Fab Four in Wellington during their 'Far East' tour. Read more...



Parker-Hulme murder in Christchurch

1954 Parker-Hulme murder in Christchurch

Armed with a brick in a stocking, 16-year-old Pauline Parker and her best friend Juliet Hulme, 15, became two of New Zealand's most notorious female murderers when they killed Pauline's mother, Honora, in Victoria Park, Christchurch. Read more...



World Court condemns French nuclear tests

1973 World Court condemns French nuclear tests

The ruling by the International Court of Justice was part of New Zealand's long campaign to end French nuclear testing in the Pacific. The French ignored the court's injunction to cease testing. Read more...



<em>New Zealand Truth</em> hits the news stands

1905 New Zealand Truth hits the news stands

Truth prided itself on being 'the champion of the little person and the scourge of corruption and scandal in high places'. At its peak in the 1950s and 1960s, it was read in half of New Zealand's households. Read more...



Death of the first Māori King

1860 Death of the first Māori King

The Māori King movement came into existence in the late 1850s as an attempt to unite the tribes, prevent land sales and make laws for Māori. Pōtatau Te Wherowhero became the first Māori King in 1858, but died two years later. Read more...



<em>Wimmera</em> sunk by German mine

1918 Wimmera sunk by German mine

The steamer Wimmera, bound from Auckland to Sydney, struck a mine laid north of Cape Maria van Diemen in 1917 by the German raider Wolf. Twenty-six of its 151 passengers and crew were lost. Read more...



Mark Williams hits no. 1

1975 Mark Williams hits no. 1

'Yesterday was just the beginning of my life' topped the New Zealand music charts for three weeks. Williams successfully combined soul and pop with an image that merged glam rock with disco. Read more...



Assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand

1914 Assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand

The assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand, heir to the Austro-Hungarian throne, and his wife Sophie in Sarajevo on 28 June 1914 eventually led to the outbreak of the First World War. Read more...

HMNZS <em>Otago</em> sails for Mururoa test zone

1973 HMNZS Otago sails for Mururoa test zone

Prime Minister Norman Kirk told the crew of the Otago that by sailing to France's nuclear testing area they would act as a 'silent witness with the power to bring alive the conscience of the world'. Read more...



World's first female diocesan Anglican bishop appointed

1990 World's first female diocesan Anglican bishop appointed

Dr Penny Jamieson, who had been ordained as a priest in 1985, became the Anglican bishop of Dunedin − the first woman in the world to hold such a position. She retired in 2004. Read more...



First issue of <em>New Zealand Listener</em> published

1939 First issue of New Zealand Listener published

Free to all radio licence holders, the New Zealand Listener soon expanded beyond its original brief to publicise radio programmes. Today it is the country's only national weekly current affairs and entertainment magazine. Read more...