New Zealand - Country history and economic development



1300 A.D. Evidence of human habitation on Aotearoa (New Zealand).

1642. Dutchman Tasman first European to sight "Staten Landt" later renamed "Nieuw Zeeland."

1769. James Cook claims country for Great Britain.

1790s-1800s. Ongoing Maori-European (Pakeha) contacts: whaling, timber, spread of disease.

1840. Treaty of Waitangi between British Crown and many Maori chiefs cedes some political powers to British but maintains indigenous rights in perpetuity.

1860s. Land wars fought between Maori and British administration/settlers; Maori armed resistance ends in 1872 after loss of much land.

1882. First shipment of frozen meat to England.

1907. New Zealand becomes a dominion.

1914-18. World War I; New Zealand takes over Samoa from Germany.

1935. First Labour government elected; state housing program started.

1939-45. World War II; New Zealand troops in Africa, Europe, Pacific; bulk purchases of farm produce for war effort.

1950s. Manufacturing industry expands; Maori urbanization for employment; beginning of substantial Pacific immigration.

1960s. National government in power; open access to British market for farm products.

1972-75. Labour government in power.

1975-84. National government in power; New Zealand butter quotas set by European Commission; wage and price freeze.

1984-91. Labour government undertakes economic restructuring including reduction of tariffs, abolition of subsidies to agriculture, regions etc., privatization, reduction of government services.

1987. International and New Zealand stock market crash following period of much property speculation in New Zealand.

1991-99. National coalition government in power; Employment Contracts Act introduced; welfare benefits cut; further privatization.

1999. Labour-Alliance coalition government elected on reformed policies focusing on preservation of government services, more pro-labor stance.

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