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Commemorations 2014-2020

The following anniversaries for the period 2014-2020 were authorised by the Government in 2014. Please note that this is an indicative list and may be subject to review.

2019 Tier 1 events

250th anniversary of the first meetings of Māori and Europeans between James Cook and Tahitian chief and navigator Tupaia. Visit our Tuia - Encounters 250 website for more details.

100th anniversary of the Treaty of Versailles and peace celebrations (1919)

NZHistory - The legacy of war

WW100 - New Zealand at the 1919 Paris Peace Conference

MCH media release - Youth debate to mark centenary of the Treaty of Versailles

2019 Tier 2 events

200th anniversary of the first planting of fruit frees and wine grapes

NZHistory - New Zealand's first grapevines planted?

Te Ara - History of viticulture in New Zealand

150th anniversary of the founding of New Zealand's first university - University of Otago

University of Otago - 150th anniversary celebrations events

MCH news item - Otago University – New Zealand’s first founded 150 years ago

100th anniversary of New Zealand joining the International Labour Organisaton

Mentioned in MCH media release - Youth debate to mark centenary of the Treaty of Versailles

75th anniversary of the abolition of the poll tax on Chinese migrants

NZHistory - Poll tax on Chinese immigrants abolished

Te Ara - Poll tax certificate

Future commemorations

2020 Tier 1 event

75th anniversary of the end of the Second World War (1945)

Tier 2 events

175th anniversary of the start of the Northern War

100th anniversary of New Zealand sending its first official team to the Olympics

100th anniversary of New Zealand attending the League of Nations and the 75th anniversary of signing the United Nations Charter

100th anniversary of the opening of the Alexander Turnbull Library

25th anniversary of New Zealand joining the World Trade Organisation.

Past commemorations

2018 Tier 1 events

125th anniversary of women's suffrage (1893)

On 19 September 1893 the Electoral Act 1893 was passed, giving all women in New Zealand the right to vote.  As a result of this landmark legislation, New Zealand became the first self-governing country in the world in which all women had the right to vote in parliamentary elections. 

100th anniversary of the battle at Le Quesnoy  - National Commemoration held in France (1918)

100th anniversary of Armistice - National Commemoration held at Pukeahu National War Memorial Park (1918)

Tier 2 events

175th anniversary of the Wairau incident

150th anniversary of the start of the fighting between Crown forces and the forces of Titokowaru and Te Kooti

150th anniversary of New Zealand becoming the first country to introduce nationwide standard time

100th anniversary of the influenza pandemic

50th anniversary of the sinking of the Wahine. The Wahine 50 Trust organised a number of events for the commemoration on 10 April 2018.

2017 Tier 1 Event

100th anniversary of the war in Belgium and Sinai/Palestine (1917)

NZHistory - Passchendaele: fighting for Belgium

Te Ara feature on the war in Belgium

NZHistory - The Sinai campaign

Tier 2 events

150th anniversary of the Māori Representation Act establishing Māori seats in Parliament

NZHistory - Māori and the vote

Te Ara feature on Māori representation

150th anniversary of the creation of the Native School system

Te Ara feature on the Native School system

100th anniversary of the introduction and 50th anniversary of the end of 6 o'clock closing in bars

NZHistory - 'Six o'clock swill' begins

NZHistory - The end of the '6 o'clock swill'

Te Ara feature on the beer swill

50th anniversary of the adoption of the decimal currency

NZHistory - New Zealand adopts decimal currency

Te Ara feature on the decimal currency (view the 1967 decimal currency song here)

Decimal currency move a defining moment

2016 Tier 1 event

100th anniversary of the War in France (1916)

Tier 2 events

200th anniversary of New Zealand's first school

150th anniversary of the Cook Strait undersea telegraph cable and the 140th anniversary of the trans-Tasman undersea telegraph cable

120th anniversary of the first public film screening, 100th anniversary of the introduction of film censorship and the 75th anniversary of the establishment of the National Film Unit

Listen to a Radio New Zealand feature about the history of the National Film Unit here and a second part which first aired in July and August 2016.

75th anniversary of the founding of the Royal New Zealand Navy

50th anniversary  of Vietnam War (Battle of Long Tan)

2015 Tier 1 events

175th anniversary of the Treaty of Waitangi (1840)

100th anniversary of the Gallipoli campaign (1915)

Tier 2 events

150th anniversary of Wellington becoming the capital of New Zealand

150th anniversary of the creation of the Native Land Court

75th anniversary of the start of regular trans-Tasman air services

70th anniversary of VE Day and VJ Day

50th anniversary of the Cook Islands self-government

2014 Tier 1 event

100th anniversary of the outbreak of the First World War and occupation of Samoa (1914)

Tier 2 events

200th anniversary of the first mission station

75th anniversary of the Battle of River Plate


Updated on 2nd September 2019