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7 Milestones That Shaped New Zealand’s History

What sort of things New Zealand has been through to become as great as it is now? Read our post of 10 moments that shaped New Zealand’s history to know more about this country.

Signing Treaty Of Waitangi


In 1840, 540 Maori rangatiras and the British Crown signed the Treaty of Waitangi. This is the founding agreement of New Zealand.

However, this Treaty is controversial since the Maori and English versions specified different things about sovereignty and the rights of owning land. Nowadays, the Treaty is entirely honored in court proceedings and lawmaking.

The New Zealand Wars – Milestones Shaped New Zealand’s History


 The 19th century witnessed a string of wars in New Zealand. These battles caused substantial changes to the New Zealand community.

During the 1820s – 1830s period, the inter-tribal Musket Warfares destroyed many Maori tribes. The wars led to land ownership complications. This, in company with the Treaty of Waitangi, cleared the way for the New Zealand Wars. A series of conflicts between settlers came from Europe and Maori who desired to preserve their land. The majority of the deaths during the wars were Maori.

Women Had The Right To Vote


New Zealand became the first independent nation to offer women the right to vote in a parliamentary referendum on the 19th of September 1893. 

After ages of suffrage campaigns and petitions, the Electoral Act was finally signed into law. It was Lord Glasgow who passed the Act.

These movements were conducted by Kate Sheppard and motivated by the Women’s Christian Temperance Union of American-based.

The First World War And The Gallipoli Campaign – Milestones Shaped New Zealand’s History


People believe that it’s the Gallipoli during World War I encouraged a sense of federal identity in Australia and New Zealand.

One in four New Zealand men between 20 and 45 who joined the war were either wounded or killed. This, in turn, caused many tragedies and hurts among families and communities.

In Gallipoli, there were more than 2,000 casualties were New Zealanders. By that, they choose the 25th of April each year – the ANZAC Day – to remember the sacrifice of these warriors.

Gaining Independence From Britain


In fact, New Zealand stopped being a colony of the British Empire in 1907. However, this fact made no difference to the nation in the political field at that time. It’s because not many New Zealanders wanted complete sovereignty from Britain.

The Statute of Westminster 1931 dismissed London’s right to legislate for British sovereignty without precise permission. But it was until 1947 that New Zealand approved the document.

MMP Voting System – Milestones Shaped New Zealand’s History


In 1993, a referendum led New Zealand to adjust its voting system. The purpose is to change the classic FPP, past the post into the better inclusive MMP, mixed-member proportional.

This is the most theatrical shift in New Zealand’s electoral history besides the women’s suffrage campaign. It allows more political parties to emerge. As a result, the parliament can become more representative of the society in general.

First Woman Prime Minister


After a victorious campaign to expel her predecessor – Jim Bolger, Jenny Shipley became New Zealand’s first woman Prime Minister. For 7 years, from 1990 to 1997, Jenny Shipley kept several parliamentary portfolios. It’s Women’s Affairs, health, and social welfare specifically. 

In 1998, Jenny Shipley left parliament. Then, Helen Clark, the first selected women Prime Minister, took over in 1999.

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Maris Lopez
Maris Lopezhttp:////
Hey there! I'm Maris, an American girl who is passionate about adventure, the outdoors and all things travel!


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