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Events In History

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The 1912 Waihi strike

  • The 1912 Waihi strike

    On 'Black Tuesday', 12 November 1912, in the midst of a bitter six-month strike by miners in the small New Zealand goldmining town of Waihi, striker Fred Evans was killed - one of only two fatalities in an industrial dispute in New Zealand's history.

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  • Page 1 - 'Black Tuesday'On 'Black Tuesday', 12 November 1912, in the midst of a bitter six-month strike by miners in the small New Zealand goldmining town of Waihi, striker Fred Evans was killed - one of

Responding to tragedy

1981 Springbok tour

  • 1981 Springbok tour

    For 56 days in July, August and September 1981, New Zealanders were divided against each other in the largest civil disturbance seen since the 1951 waterfront dispute. The cause of this was the visit of the South African rugby team – the Springboks.

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  • Page 4 – Stopping the 1973 tour

    Keeping sport and politics separate was becoming increasingly difficult. In July 1969 HART (Halt All Racist Tours) was founded by University of Auckland students with the

  • Page 5 – Gleneagles Agreement

    The All Blacks accepted an invitation to tour South Africa in 1976, when world attention was firmly fixed on the republic because of the Soweto riots.

  • Page 6 – Battle lines are drawn

    The tour supporters were determined that the first Springbok visit to New Zealand since 1965 would not be spoiled. The anti-tour movement was equally determined to show its

  • Page 7 – Tour diary

    Select itinerary of the 1981 tour by the Springbok rugby team.

  • Page 8 – Impact

    In Hamilton the protestors occupying the pitch had chanted 'The whole world is watching'. The same applied to New Zealand as a nation. Some believed the tour was an opportunity

Wahine disaster

  • Wahine disaster

    This April marks the 45th anniversary of the sinking of the ferry Wahine. With more than 50 lives lost, this was New Zealand's worst modern maritime disaster. The Wahine’s demise on 10 April 1968 also heralded a new era in local TV news as pictures of the disaster were beamed into Kiwi living rooms.

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  • Page 3 – Co-ordinating the rescue

    The police, emergency services and civilians rescued passengers and crew from the inter-island ferry Wahine in Wellington Harbour in April 1968.

  • Page 4 – Court of inquiry

    The court of inquiry that met 10 weeks after the sinking pinpointed the build-up of water in the vehicle deck as the reason the ferry finally capsized.

Maungatapu murders, 1866

  • Maungatapu murders, 1866

    The 'Burgess gang' murdered and thieved their way around the South Island during the 1860s. Their most notorious crime was five killings over two days in June 1866, on the Maungatapu track near Nelson. Now you can read their story in a new virtual comic book.

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  • Page 4 – Sullivan's betrayal

    Joseph Sullivan claimed to have acted solely as a lookout for the gang, and informed the police about the killing of James Battle, incriminating the others

Tangiwai disaster

  • Tangiwai disaster

    New Zealand's worst railway disaster occurred 60 years ago on Christmas Eve 1953, when the Wellington–Auckland night express plunged into the swollen Whangaehu River near Tangiwai. Of the 285 people on board, 151 were killed. The tragedy stunned the world and left a nation in mourning.

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  • Page 3 - Search and rescueHow locals and police responded to New Zealand's worst railway disaster

Erebus disaster

  • Erebus disaster

    On 28 November 1979, 237 passengers and 20 crew were killed when Air New Zealand Flight TE901 crashed into the side of Mt Erebus, Antarctica. The tragedy was followed by a demanding recovery operation and a raging debate over who or what was to blame

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  • Page 6 – Finding the cause

    With the death of so many people, it is not surprising that the investigations into the tragedy became a source of great debate and controversy.

New Zealand in Samoa

  • New Zealand in Samoa

    New Zealand was ill-equipped to cope with the Western Samoa mandate allocated by the League of Nations in 1920. The Mau movement's passive resistance culminated in the violence of 'Black Saturday', 28 December 1929, which left 11 Samoans and one New Zealand policeman dead.

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  • Page 7 – Black Saturday

    One New Zealand policeman and up to 11 Samoans, including Tupua Tamasese Lealofi III, were killed in Apia on Black Saturday - 28 December 1929.