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HISTORY OF NEW ZEALAND


It is important as new or prospective migrants to have a brief outline of the history of this young and very beautiful country and this is detailed briefly below.

1300 (approximately) East Polynesian people arrived. Now known as the Maori people. They did not identify themselves by this collective name until the arrival of European people.
1642 Abel Tasman is the first European to see New Zealand.
1769 James Cook arrives in New Zealand and claims it for Great Britain (North Island 1769 and South Island 1770).
1835 Declaration of Independence signed by 34 Maori chiefs.
1840 Treaty of Waitangi signed.
1865 Wellington replaces Auckland as the capital city.
1882 First shipment of frozen meat leaves for Europe.
1891 Liberal government embarks on significant social and infrastructure reforms.
1893 New Zealand becomes the first country to give women the vote.
1907 New Zealand becomes a dominion.
1908 New Zealand population reaches 1 million.
1933 New Zealand adopts own currency, the New Zealand pound.
1947 New Zealand adopts the Statute of Westminster (1931) and thus becomes independent from Great Britain.
1952 New Zealand population reaches 2 million.
1967 Decimalisation of currency sees the New Zealand dollar introduced.
1973 New Zealand population reaches 3 million.
1981 Tour of New Zealand by South Africa’s Springbok rugby team divides New Zealand society.
1983 Closer Economics Agreement signed with Australia.
1985 Waitangi Tribunal given power to hear historic Maori land grievances going back to 1840.
1987 Maori declared an official language alongside English.
1987 New Zealand becomes nuclear free.
1999 Helen Clark is New Zealand’s first elected woman prime minister.
2003 New Zealand population reaches 4 million.
2004 Parliament passes the Foreshore and Seabed Act, asserting Crown ownership and setting up a system to recognise Maori customary rights.
2005 New Zealand Government gives NZ$68 million in aid and sends 113 defence personnel to support the Asian tsunami relief effort.
2006 Maori Queen Te Arikui Dame Te Atairanghuaha dies.
2008 Sir Edmund Hilary, mountaineer, dies.
2009 Parliament passes the Auckland ‘super city’ bill.

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