British Empire Games come to Auckland
These were the first Empire Games (the forerunner to the Commonwealth Games) held since the Second World War. The main venue was Eden Park, which usually hosted rugby and cricket matches. The closing ceremony was held at Western Springs Stadium and the rowing regatta at Lake Karapiro in Waikato, 150 km away.
Over the course of the week a total of 250,000 spectators watched athletes from 12 countries compete.
Plunket baby, 1950s
The post-war ‘baby boom’ was the main factor in the total population increasing by nearly 400,000 during the 1950s. But it was an immigrant on the Captain Hobson who in September 1952 officially took New Zealand’s population past the two million mark. More than 125,000 migrants settled here during the decade, the vast majority of them British. Approximately 50,000 arrived as assisted migrants, including 5000 ‘displaced persons’ from Europe and 1100 Hungarian refugees fleeing Soviet repression after the 1956 uprising.
The 1950s saw New Zealanders fight in the Korean War, conquer Mt Everest and crack the 2 million population mark, among many other things. We provide an overview of the decade and a year-by-year breakdown of some of the key events.