Posts written by Kirstie Ross

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 »

April 1982: this month last century

Thirty years ago, Wellington is voted nuclear weapons-free by the city council (14 April 1982). In 1981, New Zealand peace groups began campaigning for sites around the country to become nuclear weapons-free. This initiative was supposed to highlight the dangers of nuclear weapons and to change national policies related to them. The following year, Wellington… Read more »

March 1940: This month last century

72 years ago, Prime Minister Michael Joseph Savage (1872-1940) dies from cancer (27 March 1940) Michael Joseph Savage was New Zealand’s first Labour Prime Minister. He was born in Victoria, Australia, and arrived in New Zealand in 1907. Savage was active as a trade unionist and socialist, and first stood for parliament in 1911. In 1919, he became… Read more »