Pioneer Newspapers


by Reginald Brian O'Neill (1932–65), Journalist, Christchurch.

Sunday News

In recent years the New Zealand press has entered the Sunday newspaper field, the earliest of these being Sunday Feature News which was published in Christchurch from August 1957 until February 1958. The oldest surviving Sunday newspaper, The City Express, was first published in New Plymouth on 5 June 1963. This was followed in Auckland, on 20 October 1963, by Sunday News. In 1965 Truth (N.Z.) Ltd. bought a controlling interest in this paper and, beginning with the issue of 6 June 1965, is publishing simultaneous editions of Sunday News in Auckland and Wellington. On 30 May 1965 the Wellington Publishing Co. (The Dominion) published the first number of a new paper, The New Zealand Sunday Times.


Statutes affect aspects other than publication. Most of them, like the Medical Advertisements Act and the Stock Remedies Act, govern advertising. The laws of libel and copyright are of important moment to newspaper publishers, and scarcely a year passes by without some paper or other being the defendant in a Supreme Court suit for alleged defamation. Papers have to be careful in quoting from published material that may be copyright; but anyone can copy almost anything from a newspaper, if he wants to, without fear of an action. Copyright of articles in newspapers is restricted to those stories which bear a reserved line with them; all other matter can be reprinted 24 hours after publication. Statute law and by-laws also govern the sales of papers on the streets and by children. Most morning papers are delivered by adult runners; most evening papers by schoolboys, for children cannot by law be employed before a certain time of the morning, a time too late for the delivery of most morning papers which will have been tossed over suburban fences before dawn.

Trade Organisation

The trade group to which all daily newspaper publishers belong is the Newspaper Proprietors' Association; the New Zealand Journalists' Association looks after the industrial and semi-professional interests of reporters, photographers, and other literary workers.

by Reginald Brian O'Neill (1932–65), Journalist, Christchurch.

The 20 oldest papers surviving in New Zealand are: Taranaki Herald, 4 Aug 1852; Wanganui Chronicle, 18 Sep 1856; Taranaki Daily News, 14 May 1857; Hawke's Bay Herald-Tribune, 24 Sep 1857; Southland Daily News, 18 Feb 1861; Christchurch Press, 25 May 1861; Otago Daily Times, 5 Nov 1861; Southland Times, 12 Nov 1862; Evening Star, Dunedin, 1 May 1863; New Zealand Herald, Auckland, 13 Nov 1863; Weekly News, Auckland, 28 Nov 1863; Bruce Herald, Milton, 14 Apr 1864; Timaru Herald, 11 June 1864; Evening Post, Wellington, 8 Feb 1865; Grey River Argus, Greymouth, 14 Nov 1865; Nelson Evening Mail, 5 Mar 1866; Greymouth Evening Star, 12 Mar 1866; Marlborough Express, Blenheim, 21 Apr 1866; Wanganui Herald, 4 Jun 1867; Christchurch Star, 14 May 1868.

There has been little published about the New Zealand press and journalism. The General Assembly Library, Wellington, has the most complete collection of files of past and present papers. Documents relating to early newspaper history can be found mainly in the Alexander Turnbull Library, Wellington, and the Hocken Library, Otago University, Dunedin.

The main source of early information is an article by T. M. Hocken published in the Transactions of the New Zealand Institute (p. 99, Vol. 34, 1901), and a paper discussing Early Days of Printing in New Zealand, by H. Hill (p. 407, Vol. 33 of the Transactions, 1900); a survey of newspapers in the 1840–52 period is given in the bibliographical section of Crown Colony Government in New Zealand (McLintock, A. H., 1958); and The Press 1861–1961 (O'Neill, R. B., 1963). The most complete survey of the press as a whole from the beginning almost to the present day is G. H. Scholefield's (A. W. and A. H. Reed) Newspapers in New Zealand. Several theses on individual newspapers are catalogued in university libraries, but the only detailed coverage of a province's newspapers is J. T. Paul's The Newspaper Press of Otago and Southland. Valuable information is being collected and published in supplements as individual newspapers reach their centenaries.


NEW ZEALAND PRESS 22-Apr-09 Reginald Brian O'Neill (1932–65), Journalist, Christchurch.