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New Zealand in History









New Zealand firsts
The Public Trust The Public Trust, first of it's kind in the world, was started in 1873 by an act of Parliament. Its aim is to provide all New Zealanders with the possibility of establishing a testament. The Public Trust is a self funding government department now operating under the Public Trust Office Act 1957.
Vote New Zealand became the first country in the world to grant women the right to vote - in 1893. More about the suffragist movement in New Zealand ...

Extract from early newspaper

First Lady Mayor Elizabeth Yates served one year as Mayor of Onehunga in 1894. She became the first Lady Mayor in the British Empire.
Labour Day New Zealand was the first country in the world to introduce the 8 hour working day. Labour Day, which celebrates this event, became a public holiday in 1899.
First Flight On 31st March 1903, Richard Pearse flew his home constructed aircraft 150 yards, possibly the first flight in the world. More about Richard Pearse...
Mount Everest On 29th May 1953, New Zealander Edmund Hillary and Sherpa Tenzing Norgay reached the summit of Mount Everest, the world's highest mountain.
  Mount Everest was named in 1865 after Sir George Everest, the British surveyor general of India at the time.
New Zealand national firsts
The first telegraph line opens from Christchurch to Lyttelton.
Auckland streets lit by gas for the first time.
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4 Māori seats established in parliament.
New Zealand's first university, the University of Otago, is established.
The first Rugby match is played.
The first New Zealand steam engine is built at Invercargill.
First overseas tour by the New Zealand rugby team - to New South Wales.
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Reefton became the first town to have electricity.

The first inland parcel services commenced.

The first election is held, on a one man one vote basis.
First Kotahitanga Māori Parliament meets.
The first cars were imported into New Zealand.
Penny postage was first used.
Women became eligible for Parliamant.
Elizabeth McCombs becomes the first woman MP.
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Related Links
Timeline of events in New Zealand history
Commonwealth Games - New Zealand gold medallists timeline
Important dates in post-colonial European history
Important dates in post-colonial Māori history


 Please be aware that this website is a personal homepage. It would therefore be wise to cross check information which I have presented here. A list of many official New Zealand history sites may be found within my Links section.