Perils of the sea: 19th century

The 19th century saw New Zealand’s most frequent and lethal maritime disasters.

Part of story: Shipwrecks

The earthquakes that struck Canterbury in 2010 and 2011 are among the most significant events in New Zealand history. They have also caused enormous upheaval in the lives of the people who experienced them.

Part of story: Historic earthquakes

Population projections and ethnicity

Part of story: Ethnic inequalities

International developments in history and local concerns about identity heightened the move away from history as ‘past politics’ and emphasised ‘history from below’.

Part of story: History and historians

The great migration: 1871 to 1885

The migration of the 1870s was the most significant in New Zealand history.

Part of story: History of immigration

The stage races

Part of story: Cycle racing

Middle Eastern peoples

The most numerous of New Zealand’s Middle Eastern immigrants were the Lebanese. They were called ‘the quiet immigrants’, because they worked hard to establish themselves.

Part of story: Middle Eastern peoples

Early mapping

The narrow islands of New Zealand did not appear on a world map until 1646, after Abel Tasman’s visit in 1642.

Part of story: Early mapping

Dalmatian, Yugoslav, Croatian?

The history of the Dalmatian people has brought changes to their name, and to their country.

Part of story: Dalmatians

Malaysians and Singaporeans

When Malaysians and Singaporeans first came to New Zealand as students in the 1950s, few found the country lively enough to want to stay.

Part of story: Malaysians and Singaporeans


One 19th-century promoter of Italian immigration pointed out that New Zealand ‘bears a striking resemblance to … Italy, turned upside down with the foot end facing up’.

Part of story: Italians

Life in New Zealand

Communities In the 20th century Polish settlement was predominantly urban, but before the 1940s there were no Polish immigrant associations.

Part of story: Poles