Month Calendar View

Historic NZ events in October

Oct

1

First Chatham Cup football final

1923 First Chatham Cup football final

At Athletic Park, Wellington, Seacliff from Otago defeated Wellington YMCA 4-0 in the first final of the Chatham Cup, which has become New Zealand football’s longest-running and best-known national club competition. Read more...

Government watchdog appointed

1962 Government watchdog appointed

Sir Guy Powles was New Zealand's first Ombudsman. In a loose translation from Swedish, the word means ‘grievance person’. The office was created to investigate complaints about government departments and other national public sector organisations. Read more...

Goods and Services Tax Act imposed

1986 Goods and Services Tax Act imposed

Adding 10 per cent to the cost of most goods and services, GST was a key part of the economic reforms of the fourth Labour government – dubbed ‘Rogernomics’ after Minister of Finance Roger Douglas.

Read more...

Oct

2

New Zealand pilot saves Scottish village

1941 New Zealand pilot saves Scottish village

In October 1941, New Zealand Spitfire pilot Carlyle Everiss heroically sacrificed his life to save the Scottish village of Cowie from serious damage. Read more...

'Slice of Heaven' hits no. 1

1986 'Slice of Heaven' hits no. 1

Written for the movie Footrot Flats: the dog’s tale, based on an iconic New Zealand cartoon series, Dave Dobbyn’s hit single featured reggae band Herbs singing an unaccompanied cappella. It topped the charts for eight weeks. Read more...

Oct

3

New Zealand Natives team plays first game in UK

1888 New Zealand Natives team plays first game in UK

The privately organised rugby team was the first to wear the silver fern and an all-black uniform. Read more...

Oct

4

Morris Yock trademarks the jandal

1957 Morris Yock trademarks the jandal

Inspired by footwear he had seen in Japan, businessman Morris Yock and his son Anthony began manufacturing this simple rubber footwear in their garage in 1957. The name ‘jandal’ combined the words ‘Japanese’ and ‘sandal’. Read more...

Oct

5

Maungatapu murderers hanged in Nelson

1866 Maungatapu murderers hanged in Nelson

Burgess, Kelly and Levy were hanged. Joseph Sullivan, the fourth member of the 'Burgess gang', received a life sentence after turning Queen's evidence and helping convict his co-accused. Read more...

Shipwrecked <em>Rena</em> spills oil into Bay of Plenty

2011 Shipwrecked Rena spills oil into Bay of Plenty

The German-built Rena was the largest ship ever wrecked in New Zealand waters; although no lives were lost, in financial terms it was our costliest-ever shipwreck.

Read more...

Oct

6

Young Nick sights land

1769 Young Nick sights land

Ship’s boy Nicholas Young received a gallon of rum and had a headland named after him for being the first aboard HMS Endeavour to spot land in the south-west Pacific. Read more...

Oct

7

German 'Sea Devil' imprisoned in New Zealand

1917 German 'Sea Devil' imprisoned in New Zealand

German Count Felix Graf von Luckner earned the epithet Der Seeteufel (the Sea Devil) for his exploits as captain of the raider SMS Seeadler in 1916–17. Read more...

Oct

8

Stan Graham's killing spree on West Coast

1941 Stan Graham's killing spree on West Coast

Dairy farmer Stanley Graham killed seven people in Kōwhitirangi on the South Island’s West Coast. Read more...

Oct

9

The end of the 'six o'clock swill'

1967 The end of the 'six o'clock swill'

Fifty years of six o’clock closing in pubs ended after a referendum convinced the government to abolish the antiquated licencing law. Read more...

Oct

10

Waitangi Tribunal created

1975 Waitangi Tribunal created

The government created the Tribunal to hear Māori claims of breaches of the Treaty of Waitangi. It has evolved ever since, adapting to the demands of claimants, government and public. Read more...

Oct

11

First Cobb & Co. coach service runs to Otago goldfields

1861 First Cobb & Co. coach service runs to Otago goldfields

In its first venture from Dunedin to Gabriels Gully, Cobb & Co. reduced the time for the trip from two days to nine hours. Read more...

Oct

12

New Zealand's ‘blackest day’ at Passchendaele

1917 New Zealand's ‘blackest day’ at Passchendaele

Ever since 1917, Passchendaele has been a byword for the horror of the Great War. In terms of lives lost in a single day, the failed attack on Bellevue Spur on 12 October was probably the greatest disaster in New Zealand’s history.

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<em>Niagara</em>'s arrival blamed for flu pandemic

1918 Niagara's arrival blamed for flu pandemic

Many people blamed the liner Niagara for bringing a deadly new influenza virus to New Zealand. But six people had died of the flu in Auckland in the three days before it arrived, and the upsurge in cases in the city came two weeks later.

Read more...

Oct

13

Whina Cooper leads land march to Parliament

1975 Whina Cooper leads land march to Parliament

About 5000 marchers arrived at Parliament and presented a petition signed by 60,000 people to Prime Minister Bill Rowling. The primary aim of the hīkoi (march) was to protest ongoing Māori land alienation. Read more...

Oct

14

'Mr Asia' found murdered

1979 'Mr Asia' found murdered

The gangland murder of ‘Mr Asia’ Marty Johnstone led to the demise of one of New Zealand’s largest ever drug rings. Johnstone was killed on the orders of drug lord Terry Clark. Divers found his mutilated body in a flooded quarry in England. Read more...

Oct

15

Former Governor Grey becomes Premier

1877 Former Governor Grey becomes Premier

Grey played a central role in 19th-century New Zealand politics, serving two terms as governor before entering Parliament to fight Julius Vogel's plans to abolish the provinces. He was the first of just two men who have held both positions. Read more...

New Zealand coastwatchers executed by the Japanese

1942 New Zealand coastwatchers executed by the Japanese

Seventeen New Zealand coastwatchers and five civilians captured in the Gilbert Islands (now Kiribati) during the Second World War were beheaded at Betio, Tarawa.

Read more...

'Anti-terror' raids in Urewera

2007 'Anti-terror' raids in Urewera

Citing the Terrorism Suppression Act, police arrested 18 people in raids linked to alleged weapons-training camps near the Bay of Plenty township of Rūātoki.

Read more...

Oct

16

Main Body of NZEF sails to war

1914 Main Body of NZEF sails to war

Thousands of Wellingtonians rose before dawn and crowded vantage points around the harbour to watch as 10 grey-painted troopships, escorted by four warships, sailed to war. Read more...

Jean Batten reaches Auckland after epic solo flight

1936 Jean Batten reaches Auckland after epic solo flight

Jean Batten left for New Zealand from Kent, England, at 4.20 a.m. on 5 October 1936. Despite the early hour, a large media contingent gathered to see her off; Batten was already famous for her successful solo flights from England to Australia in May 1934, and to South America in November 1935. Read more...

Oct

17

Chief Justice declares treaty 'worthless' and a 'simple nullity'

1877 Chief Justice declares treaty 'worthless' and a 'simple nullity'

Chief Justice Sir James Prendergast’s statements when delivering judgment in the case of Wi Parata v The Bishop of Wellington would influence decision-making on Treaty of Waitangi issues for decades. Read more...

Oct

18

First trans-global radio transmission to London

1924 First trans-global radio transmission to London

From the family sheep station in Shag Valley, East Otago, amateur radio operator Frank Bell sent a groundbreaking Morse code transmission received and replied to by London-based amateur operator Cecil Goyder. Read more...

New Zealand Opera Group's first opening night

1954 New Zealand Opera Group's first opening night

Soon to be renamed the New Zealand Opera Company, the Group performed The telephone in Wellington. The performance was broadcast live on radio. Read more...

Oct

19

New Zealand’s day with LBJ

1966 New Zealand’s day with LBJ

President Lyndon Johnson's 24-hour visit was aimed at shoring up support for the war in Vietnam. Protesters were outnumbered by enthusiastic crowds. Read more...

Fred Hollows Foundation launched in New Zealand

1992 Fred Hollows Foundation launched in New Zealand

The foundation was established in Australia by the Kiwi-born ophthalmologist (eye doctor) to treat eye problems in poorer countries. Within six years 200,000 people had their sight restored through cataract surgery. Read more...

Oct

20

'Black Tuesday' share-market crash

1987 'Black Tuesday' share-market crash

Billions of dollars were wiped off the value of New Zealand shares in the weeks following 20 October, as the shockwaves of a sharp drop in New York’s Wall St stockmarket rippled around the world. Read more...

Oct

21

Peter Snell wins second gold in Tokyo

1964 Peter Snell wins second gold in Tokyo

Snell had successfully defended his 800-m title earlier at the Tokyo Olympics and completed the coveted middle-distance double with gold in the 1500 m. Fellow Kiwi John Davies won bronze. Read more...

Stolen medals returned to National Army Museum

2008 Stolen medals returned to National Army Museum

The 96 medals, including nine Victoria Crosses, two George Crosses and an Albert Medal, had been stolen from the Waiōuru museum early on the morning of 2 December 2007. The VCs included those awarded to Reginald Judson, Keith Elliott and Henry Laurent. Read more...

Oct

22

Denny Hulme wins Formula One title

1967 Denny Hulme wins Formula One title

In 1967 Denny Hulme became the first – and so far only – New Zealander to win the Formula One World Championship. Read more...

Death of poet James K. Baxter

1972 Death of poet James K. Baxter

Acknowledged as one of New Zealand’s most accomplished poets, Baxter had devoted the last years of his life to social work among alcoholics and drug addicts. He died in Auckland, aged 46.

Read more...

Oct

23

New Zealand nurses lost in <em>Marquette</em> sinking

1915 New Zealand nurses lost in Marquette sinking

The sinking of the transport ship Marquette in the Aegean Sea in late 1915 added to the grief of a nation still reeling from the heavy losses at Gallipoli. Read more...

Mt Ruapehu air crash kills 13

1948 Mt Ruapehu air crash kills 13

The Lockheed Electra airliner ZK-AGK Kaka went missing in poor weather on a flight from Palmerston North to Hamilton. Searchers did not reach the wreckage for a week. Read more...

All Blacks win their second World Cup

2011 All Blacks win their second World Cup

The All Blacks won the Webb Ellis Cup for the second time in seven attempts, defending grimly to hold onto an 8–7 lead over France in front of 61,000 spectators at Eden Park, Auckland. Read more...

Oct

24

Violence flares on Wellington wharves

1913 Violence flares on Wellington wharves

Violent clashes between unionised waterside workers and non-union labour erupted two days after Wellington’s ‘wharfies’ held a stopwork meeting in support of striking shipwrights. Read more...

Oct

25

End of the line for steam railways

1971 End of the line for steam railways

The Christchurch–Dunedin overnight express, headed by a JA-class locomotive, ran the last scheduled steam-hauled service on New Zealand Railways (NZR), bringing to an end 108 years of regular steam rail operations in this country. Read more...

Foundation of IHC

1949 Foundation of IHC

A meeting in Wellington set up an interim committee for the Intellectually Handicapped Children's Parents' Association (IHCPA), the forerunner of IHC. Read more...

Oct

26

Women Jurors Act allows women to sit on juries

1942 Women Jurors Act allows women to sit on juries

The Act provided for women aged between 25 and 60 to have their names placed on the jury list on the same basis as men – if they so desired. Read more...

Oct

27

First opposed New Zealand landing since Gallipoli

1943 First opposed New Zealand landing since Gallipoli

New Zealanders of 8 Brigade, 3 New Zealand Division, helped their American allies clear Mono Island in the Solomons of its Japanese defenders. Forty New Zealanders lost their lives in weeks of fierce fighting.

Read more...

Oct

28

Declaration of Independence signed by northern chiefs

1835 Declaration of Independence signed by northern chiefs

Thirty-four northern chiefs signed a Declaration of Independence at a hui called by the British Resident, James Busby. Read more...

First Labour Day celebrations

1890 First Labour Day celebrations

The first Labour Day celebrated the struggle for an eight-hour working day. Parades in the main centres were attended by several thousand trade union members and supporters. Read more...

Oct

29

Forgotten silver film hoax screened

1995 Forgotten silver film hoax screened

Peter Jackson and Costa Botes' documentary about Colin McKenzie, a forgotten hero of early New Zealand movie-making, was later revealed as the biggest Kiwi film hoax of the century. Read more...

SS <em>Wairarapa</em> wrecked on Great Barrier Island

1894 SS Wairarapa wrecked on Great Barrier Island

It remains the third deadliest shipwreck ever in New Zealand waters: 121 lives were lost when the steamer Wairarapa struck Miners Head, on the northern tip of Great Barrier Island, 90 km north-east of Auckland. Read more...

Oct

30

Native Land Court created

1865 Native Land Court created

The Native Land Court was one of the key products of the 1865 Native Lands Act. It converted traditional communal landholdings into individual titles, making it easier for Pākehā to purchase Māori land. Read more...

Massive prohibition petition presented to Parliament

1918 Massive prohibition petition presented to Parliament

Prohibition supporters presented Parliament with a petition containing more than 240,000 signatures demanding an end to the manufacture and sale of alcohol in New Zealand. Read more...

Oct

31

Keri Hulme wins Booker Prize

1985 Keri Hulme wins Booker Prize

When Keri Hulme’s first novel, The bone people, won the prestigious Booker Prize in 1985, it was not only New Zealand’s first Booker, but the first debut novel ever to win. Read more...

All Blacks defend World Cup title

2015 All Blacks defend World Cup title

The All Blacks defeated Australia 34-17 at London's Twickenham stadium to become the first team to win back-to-back Rugby World Cup competitions, and the first to win the title three times. Read more...