New Zealand: History

  1. 1642

    Abel Tasman, a Dutch navigator, visits New Zealand. It is the first recorded European sighting of New Zealand.

  2. 1840

    The United Kingdom establishes a British sovereignty through the Treaty of Waitangi, which is signed that year with Maori chiefs.

  3. 1845

    The New Zealand Wars, also referred to as the Land Wars, begin. The Maori put up a determined resistance to the British, but are eventually defeated in 1872.

  4. 1893

    New Zealand becomes the first country to allow women to vote in national elections.

  5. 1890s

    Improved transportation facilities make possible a great overseas trade in wool, meat, and dairy products.

  6. 1947

    New Zealand gains full independence from Britain.

  7. 1951

    The Australia, New Zealand, United States (ANZUS) Security Treaty is signed.

  8. 1984

    Prime Minister David Lange begins radical economic reforms.

  9. 1985

    French secret service agents blow up Greenpeace ship Rainbow Warrior in Auckland Harbor, one person is killed. Western countries' apathy toward the attack leads New Zealand to distance itself from Western alliances and build relationships with its Pacific neighbors.

  10. 2004

    New Zealand and China begin talks on a potentially lucrative free trade agreement.

  11. 2009

    New Zealand's economy shrinks for the fifth consecutive quarter, making it officially the longest recession in the country's history.

  12. 2012

    Because of a dispute over foreign ownership of agricultural land, the High Court blocks sale of dairy farms to a Chinese consortium.


BBC News