A poster highlighting some of the major events in New Zealand's history.
A timeline of some major events in New Zealand’s history.
600 A.D. -1300 A.D – The first inhabitants of New Zealand, the Maori, arrived by canoe from islands in Polynesia.
1642 – Abel Janszoon Tasman becomes the first European explorer to reach New Zealand.
1769 – English explorer Captain James Cook makes his first voyage to the islands. His journals inspire other British to settle in New Zealand.
1840 – The Treaty of Waitangi was signed. The Treaty established British law in New Zealand and is considered New Zealand’s founding document. The English and Māori versions of the Treaty differed significantly, so there is no consensus as to exactly what was agreed to.
1860 – A decade of land wars begins between the Maoris and European settlers.
1893 – New Zealand becomes the first country in the world to give women the right to vote.
1907 – The country becomes a dominion, or self-governing community, within the British Empire.
1947 – New Zealand becomes an independent country through the Statute of Westminster Adoption Act.
1997 – Jennifer Shipley becomes the country’s first female Prime Minister.