Timeline of NZ History

1642 Abel Tasman anchors at Golden Bay.
1769 NZ is sighted by Captain James Cook aboard the Endeavour.
1840 The Treaty of Waitangi is signed.
1854 NZ’s first Parliament sits in Auckland (it later moves to Wellington).
1868 The first Maori MPs, Frederick Nene Russell and Tareha Te Moananui, are elected to Parliament.
1884 The first representative NZ rugby team tours New South Wales in Australia.
1893 NZ becomes the first country in the world to allow women to vote.
1908 Ernest Rutherford wins the Nobel Prize in Chemistry.
1931 The Hawke’s Bay earthquake destroys much of Napier and Hastings, killing over 250 people.
1945 Charles Upham, NZ’s most decorated soldier, is awarded a Victoria Cross and Bar for services in WWII.
1947 Independence from Britain is formally proclaimed.
1953 Sir Edmund Hillary and Sherpa Tenzing Norgay conquer Mt Everest.
1974 The Commonwealth Games are held in Christchurch.
1981 The Springbok rugby tour sparks countrywide protests against apartheid.
1987 The New Zealand Nuclear Free Zone, Disarmament and Arms Control Act is passed into law, establishing New Zealand as a nuclear weapon-free zone.
1999 Filming of The Lord of the Rings starts.
2004 Maori Television begins broadcasting.
2008 John Key is elected Prime Minister.
2010 An earthquake shakes Christchurch.
2011 Another major earthquake strikes Christchurch.
2011 Rugby World Cup is held in New Zealand.
2012 The Hobbit film premieres in New Zealand.
2013 Kiwi songbird Lorde’s track Royals hits #1 in America.