Events In History


Children and adolescents, 1930-1960

  • Page 1 – Children and adolescents, 1930-1960

    The story of family and child welfare during the tough interwar years of the 20th century, with a focus on the rise of the teenager in the prosperous 1950s.

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  • Page 2 – Children's health

    By the late 1940s all New Zealand children had a medical examination on entering school, and were seen by a nurse at standards two and six. These examinations helped

  • Page 3 – Education

    By 1940 childhood was internationally recognised as a distinct stage in human development. A child's value to the family was no longer seen as primarily economic. Instead

  • Page 4 – The post-war family

    As a consequence of the post-war economic boom there was increasing demand for consumer goods. The 1956 census revealed that more than half of New Zealand homes possessed

  • Page 5 – Further information

    Links Bodgies and widgies in Dunedin. All about bodgies and widgies in 1950s Dunedin, including a link to an article on the 'Beau Monde' written by Richard Kilgour of Otago

Baby farmers

  • Page 1 – Baby farmers

    Baby farmers were paid caregivers who allegedly neglected children in their care, concealed their deaths or deliberately murdered the infants. The most notorious was Minnie

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  • Page 2 – From childcare to baby farming

    High-profile British and Australian court cases in the 1880s introduced New Zealanders to the sinister practices of baby farmers: paid caregivers who neglected children in

  • Page 3 – Minnie Dean

    In 1895 Southland's Williamina (Minnie) Dean became the first – and only – woman to be hanged in New Zealand. Her story exposed the stark realities of paid

  • Page 4 – The Newlands baby farmers

    The sensational murder trial of Daniel and Martha Cooper revealed that the difficulties facing single mothers and unwanted children continued well into the 20th century.

Schools and the First World War

  • Page 1 – Children, schools and the First World War

    Schools and children were quickly called into action at the outset of the First World War in 1914. Developing patriotic, fit and healthy citizens was seen as important to the

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  • Page 2 – Schools in 1914

    The head of the Department of Education believed that ‘moral purpose should dominate the spirit of the whole school life.’ Schools and teachers were to shape children into

  • Page 3 – Displaying patriotism

    In late 1917 district education boards ordered that children salute the New Zealand flag at the start of each school day. Some teachers opposed this as too militaristic.

  • Page 4 – The School Journal

    During the First World War the New Zealand School Journal played an important role in encouraging patriotism, self-sacrifice, obedience and support for the war effort among

  • Page 5 – Turning boys into soldiers

    The Defence Amendment Act 1900 introduced military cadet training into schools. The Defence Act 1909 made military training for nearly all boys compulsory from the age of 12

  • Page 6 – Supporting the war effort

    During the war children were encouraged to be ‘cheerful’ and ‘helpful’, to ease the worry and sorrow of the mothers and wives of soldiers. There were also many practical ways

  • Page 7 – Teachers who served

    Whether as school cadet officers or supporters of saluting the flag, teachers did much to set the moral tone of New Zealand schools before and during the war. Many hundreds

State housing

  • Page 5 – Building families

    An essential aim of state housing was to provide suburban homes for families, a place where children could grow up in safe and spacious surroundings, away from the dangers of

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  • Page 5 - Building familiesAn essential aim of state housing was to provide suburban homes for families, a place where children could grow up in safe and spacious surroundings, away from the dangers of the

Royal Visit of 1953-54

  • The first purpose-built crèche in the country was set up in Wellington by Mother Aubert's nuns.

Images and media for Children