Posts written by Kirstie Ross

February 1943: This month last century

70 years ago, 48 Japanese prisoners of war are killed during a riot at the Featherston prisoner of war camp (25 February 1943) From 1942, Japanese prisoners of war were brought to New Zealand and interned at the camp at Featherston, in the Wairarapa. This camp had previously been used as a military training camp during WWI. The… Read more »

January 1900 – This month last century

St Joseph’s Home for Incurable opens 113 years ago (29 January 1900) This home for so-called ‘incurables’, in Buckle Street, Wellington, was an initiative set up by Reverend Mother Mary Joseph Aubert, with the help of Catholic nuns, the Daughters of Our Lady of Compassion. Mother Aubert was the founder of this religious congregation, in… Read more »

December 1941: This month last century

Seventy one years ago, New Zealand declares war on Japan after the bombing of the US naval bases at Pearl Harbour, Hawaii (8 December 1941) The bombing of Pearl Harbour set the Pacific War in motion. This event and Japan’s subsequent expansion through the Philippines, Thailand and the Malaysian peninsula, followed by the capture of… Read more »

This month last century: November 1919

93 years ago the first health camp opens at Turakina (25 November 1919) New Zealand’s first health camp was founded by Dr Elizabeth Gunn.  The first group of 55 children stayed in tents for three weeks. Gunn had been a military doctor, and brought this experience with her to the running of the camps. The camp… Read more »

October 1935: This month last century

77 years ago the distribution of free milk to 5500 primary school children in Auckland begins (14 October 1935)  This world first began as a temporary measure in Auckland for primary school children up to Standard 4 (year 6). The experiment, paid for the Auckland City Council, was closely watched by the government. Initially, over… Read more »

September 1907 – this month last century

105 years ago New Zealand becomes a Dominion (26 September 1907) At 11am, 26 September 1907, New Zealand officially moved up in the ranks in the British Empire. On that day it became a Dominion instead of a Colony. That night, electric illuminations on buildings in the capital proclaimed this auspicious and historical moment. Although public… Read more »

August 1914: This month last century

98 years ago New Zealand troops land at Apia, German Samoa (29 August 1914) Ten days after New Zealand entered the war in Europe, it sent troops to occupy German Samoa. This force of almost 1400 men was specifically charged with seizing the colony’s wireless transmitter. The troops that landed at Apia experienced no resistance from… Read more »

June 1987: This month last century

25 years ago the New Zealand Nuclear Free Zone, Disarmament, and Arms Control Act is passed (8 June 1987). This legislation was a flash point in the history of New Zealand’s international relations. It derailed New Zealand’s defence alliance with the USA and Australia known as Anzus. The Anzus Treaty, which had come into force… Read more »