Events In History


The 1918 influenza pandemic

  • The 1918 influenza pandemic

    The lethal influenza pandemic that struck New Zealand between October and December 1918 killed about 9000 people in two months. No other event has claimed so many New Zealand lives in such a short time.

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  • Page 2 – The pandemic begins abroad

    The 1918 influenza pandemic was commonly referred to as ‘the Spanish flu’ but it did not originate in Spain.

  • Page 3 – The pandemic hits New Zealand

    Many people believed that the second wave of the 1918 influenza pandemic arrived in New Zealand in the form of ‘a deadly new virus’ on board the RMS Niagara.

  • Page 4 – Uneven rates of death

    No other event has killed so many New Zealanders in so short a space of time. While the First World War claimed the lives of more than 18,000 New Zealand soldiers over a four-

  • Page 5 – Response to the influenza pandemic

    There were consistencies in New Zealand's response to the influenza pandemic. Many of these arose out of a circular telegram the Health Minister, George Russell, issued to all

  • Page 7 – Aftermath

    Robert Makgill Following the pandemic speculation continued over the Niagara's involvement in bringing the virus to New Zealand.

  • Page 9 – South Island influenza death rates

    Death rates in South Island towns and counties from the influenza pandemic

  • Page 11 – Further information

    This web feature was written by Imelda Bargas and produced by the NZHistory.net.nz team.