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.
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.
The 8.5-km Ōtira tunnel, which pierced the Southern Alps and linked Christchurch with Greymouth, was formally opened by Prime Minister William Massey. At the time it was the longest tunnel in the southern hemisphere, the longest in the British Empire, and the sixth-longest in the world.
After the initial enthusiasm of the 1870s, Julius Vogel’s reputation suffered in the 1880s when New Zealand’s economy slumped into a long depression that was triggered by an international banking crisis.
In 1870, Colonial Treasurer Julius Vogel launched the most ambitious development programme in New Zealand’s history. The ‘Vogel era’ was a decisive moment in New Zealand’s 19th-century transformation from a Māori world to a Pākehā one.