1200 to 1300 AD: Arrival to Aotearoa

  • Between 1200 and 1300 AD, settlers arrived to New Zealand, which is known as Aotearoa to natives. Legend has it that Kupe, the first native man, arrived to the island and remarked that he “saw a long, white cloud over the land.” Translated into Māori, the phrase is interpreted as Aotearoa (“New Zealand Profile”Pukui).

December 1642: Western Contact – First Attempt

  • Dutch explorer Abel Tasman was the first westerner to make contact on Aotearoa on December 13th. The first encounter with westerners ended badly as the Māori killed four members of Tasman’s crew, who fired back at the Māori in retaliation. As a result of this first encounter, Tasman named the bay Moordenaers Kokoru, which translates to Murderers’ Bay (“A History of New Zealand”; “Negate Dictionary”).

October 1769: Western Contact – Second Attempt

  • One hundred and twenty seven years after Tasman arrived to Aotearoa on December 13, 1642 (see “December 1642: Western Contact – First Attempt”), British explorer James Cook arrived in Poverty Bay on a scientific expedition. Cook used the encounter to expand Britain’s trade and empire. Coincidentally, the French were 40 kilometers south of Cook; these encounters marked the end of Aotearoa isolation from westernization (“A History of New Zealand”).

1807-1842: Musket Wars

  • The Musket Wars was a series of intertribal battles fought in Aotearoa and the Chatham Island over tikanga (customs) and settling old feuds. The northern tribes (Ngāpuhi and Ngāti Whātua) were the first to use firearms. As a result, approximately one-fifth of Māori were killed (“A History of New Zealand”).

December 1814: Missionary Arrival

  • English born Anglican cleric Samuel Marsden, who was affiliated with the Church Missionary Society, arrived to Aotearoa in December 1814. Marsden mission was based at Rangihoua. The first Christian service was on Christmas Day in 1814 (“Te Ara Encyclopedia of New Zealand“).

March 1834: United Tribes Flag 

  • The first Aotearoa resident with British ancestry, James Busby, encouraged chiefs of 25 tribes to create a flag that represents Aotearoa as a whole. The flag was completed on March 20th (“Taming the Frontier” Choosing a Flag).

October 1835: Declaration of Independence of New Zealand

  • Chiefs from 13 Ngāpuhi villages met to draft a petition for King William IV’s protection from foreign powers. Eventually, on October 28th, 34 northern leaders from the Confederation of United Tribes ratified the declaration (“Taming the Frontier” Declaration of Independence).

February 1840: Treaty of Waitangi

  • The Treaty of Waitangi is known as the founding documents of westernized Aotearoa. After a few days of preparation and writing of the official treaty, it was signed on February 6th at the Bay of Islands in Waitangi (“Read the Treaty”“The Treaty of Waitangi”).

1845-1872: The New Zealand Wars/Land Wars

  • The New Zealand Wars was a resistance between the indigenous Māori and British Colonial rule. The war was a result of land disputes between both parties (“New Zealand Profile”).

May 1854: First Parliament

1947: Independence

  • Independence from Britain was received by Aotearoa as a result of the Declaration of Independence of New Zealand and – eventually – the evolving constitutional status. This is why there is no set date for Aotearoa’s independence (“New Zealand Profile”).

1950-1953: Korean War

  • Aotearoa participates in the Korean War by sending approximately 4,700 armed troops to serve with United Nations officials (“The Korean War”).

September 1951: The Australia, New Zealand, and United States (ANZUS) Treaty

  • The ANZUS treaty was an agreement between Australia, New Zealand, and the United States to protect the security interest of each country and the Pacific Rim (“The ANZUS Treaty Milestones”).

September 1986: ANZUS Obligations Suspended

  • The United States suspends its commitment to Aotearoa, which is outlined in the ANZUS Treaty. This is speculated to be the result of Aotearoa refusal to permit U.S. nuclear-powered ships to enter its ports a year prior (“The ANZUS Treaty Milestones”).

1998: Indigenous Land Rights

  • Leaders from the Waitangi tribe orders the government to return indigenous lands in Turing to its Māori owners (“New Zealand Profile”).

May 2004: Preventing Indigenous Māori from Ancestral Rights to Seabeds

  • Approximately 20,000 Māori protested a proposed bill, which would have prevented indigenous Māori from continuing cultural practices along seabeds (Williams).

May 2006: Military Intervention in Southeast Asia

October 2007: Racial Tensions

October 2010: Aotearoa Film Industry

April 2013: Same-Sex Marriage

  • Aotearoa passes a same-sex marriage bill in April 2013 and on the 19th the bill become law. By doing so Aotearoa was the first country in Oceania to legalize same-sex marriage (“New Zealand Profile”).