Events In History


The 1912 Waihi strike

  • Page 1 – 'Black Tuesday'

    They called it 'Black Tuesday'. On 12 November 1912, in the goldmining town of Waihi, striker Fred Evans died during a violent confrontation.

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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

Nuclear-free New Zealand

1981 Springbok tour

  • Page 1 – The 1981 Springbok rugby 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

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  • Page 2 – All Blacks versus Springboks

    Since rugby went professional in 1995 countries like Australia, England and France have challenged New Zealand and South Africa's claims to be the two powerhouses of world

  • Page 3 – Politics and sport

    South Africa's apartheid policies and attitudes created obvious problems for New Zealand rugby, given the prominence of Māori in the sport.

  • 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

1951 waterfront dispute

  • Page 1 – The 1951 waterfront dispute

    The 1951 waterfront dispute was the biggest industrial confrontation in New Zealand’s history. Although it was not as violent as the Great Strike of 1913, it lasted

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  • Page 2 – Countdown to confrontation

    New Zealanders generally accepted the hardships and restrictions of the war years as necessary in the fight against fascism. After the war, though, many began to demand a

  • Page 3 – War on the wharves

    With New Zealand’s vital export trade at stake when the wharves came to a standstill, the government declared a state of emergency on 21 February.

  • Page 4 – Division and defeat

    The watersiders’ militancy had isolated them from most unionists and Walter Nash’s Labour Party Opposition sat uncomfortably on the fence, denouncing government

Homosexual law reform

1947 Greymouth beer boycott

  • Page 1 – The 1947 Greymouth beer boycott

    What would it take for West Coasters to boycott their beloved beer? Greymouth hotel-keepers found out in 1947, when an organised attempt to raise the price of beer sparked one

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  • Page 3 – The boycott begins

    In mid 1947 there were rumours that the price of beer was about to rise. It was a decision that no publican wanted to take alone because customers might move to another hotel

  • Page 4 – Industrial action

    After the first week of the Greymouth beer boycott it became clear that the Licensed Victuallers' Association (LVA), supported by the breweries, was not going to yield.

  • Page 5 – Working Men’s Clubs

    A number of Working Men's Clubs had been established in major urban areas since the late 19th century, but there were none on the West Coast. The beer boycott provided a

  • Page 6 – End of the 1947 beer boycott

    By early December 1947 business was gradually returning to some pubs in the larger towns, but the boycott was still effective in smaller centres.

The 1913 Great Strike

Waitangi Day

Maori King movement origins

Vietnam War

Anzac Day

The Cold War

  • Page 6 – Protest and dissent

    The end of the Vietnam War shifted the focus of the Cold War away from Asia and New Zealand's need for ‘forward defence’ diminished. These changes, together with the anti-

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  • Page 6 - Protest and dissentThe end of the Vietnam War shifted the focus of the Cold War away from Asia and New Zealand's need for ‘forward defence’ diminished. These changes, together with the

New Zealand in Samoa

  • Page 5 – The rise of the Mau movement

    Samoa has a history of opposition to European rule, but the opposition that emerged in the late 1920s was organised and widespread.

  • Page 6 – Stepping up the Mau campaign

    In January 1928 Mau policeman, dressed in a uniform of a purple lavalava with a white stripe, began enforcing a sā - ban - on European stores in Apia.

  • 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.

  • This case study examines New Zealand's involvement in the nuclear debate of the 1970s and 1980s, culminating in a breakdown of the ANZUS alliance in 1985. With

War and remembrance

The Royal New Zealand Navy

  • Page 7 – New directions

    The RNZN’s independence as a service came to an end when the Ministry of Defence (created in July 1963) was reconstituted to incorporate all three armed services on 1 January

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  • Page 7 - New directionsThe RNZN’s independence as a service came to an end when the Ministry of Defence (created in July 1963) was reconstituted to incorporate all three armed services on 1 January


  • Cooper, Whina

    Te Rarawa leader and woman of mana, Dame Whina Cooper spent her whole life fighting for Maori land rights. As an 80-year old she led 5,000 Maori land protest marchers as they walked from Te Hapua (in the far north) to Parliament, arriving on 13 October 1975.

  • Parnell, Samuel Duncan

    Labour Day, a public holiday in New Zealand since 1900, is a suitable occasion to pay tribute to Samuel Parnell, who achieved fame as the founder of the eight-hour working day in New Zealand.

  • Evans, Frederick George

    Fred Evans' violent death during the 1912 Waihi miners' strike made this otherwise obscure figure into a martyr of the New Zealand labour movement.

  • Lee, Alfred Alexander

    A charismatic ex-soldier, orator and propagandist, John A. Lee was a dynamic figure in the Labour Party from the 1920s until 1940, when he was expelled for attacking the leadership of M.J. Savage.


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