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120 New Zealand History Trivia Questions, Answers, and Fun Facts

How much do you know about New Zealand History? This category is for trivia questions and answers related to New Zealand History (History). Each one is filled with fun facts and interesting information.
1 One of the most important moments in New Zealand history took place on 6 February 1840. What was it?
Answer: Signing of the Treaty of Waitangi

The Treaty of Waitangi was an agreement between the Maori and the Crown that New Zealand would be under British governance. The Maori in exchange would have their land, forests and other properties recognised and they would have the rights of British subjects. In return the Maori ceded New Zealand to Queen Victoria, giving her government the sole permission to buy land.

  From Quiz: Events in New Zealand History
2 On 4 June 1943 a train travelling from Cromwell to Dunedin derailed killing 29 people and injuring 47 more. What small town, which the disaster was named after, was the closest to the disaster?
Answer: Hyde

The Hyde derailment was the rail disaster that had claimed the most lives up to that point in time. The Tangiwai rail disaster in 1953 was New Zealand's worst rail disaster at the time.
    Your options: [ Roxburgh ] [ Hyde ] [ Lawrence ] [ Clyde ]
  From Quiz: Big Moments in NZ History
3 New Zealander Sir Edmund Hillary, along with Nepalese Sherpa Tenzing Norgay, were the first known mountaineers to reach the summit of the world's highest peak, Mount Everest. In which year did they achieve this incredible feat?
Answer: 1953

Sir Edmund Hillary, (20 July 1919 - 11 January 2008), affectionately known to the nation as "Sir Ed", was also a dedicated philanthropist. He established the Himalayan Trust in order to help the Sherpa people of Nepal, and it oversaw the building of many schools and hospitals. In recognition of his extraordinary achievements, his profile appears on the New Zealand five-dollar note.
    Your options: [ 1956 ] [ 1949 ] [ 1953 ] [ 1951 ]
  From Quiz: I Heard it in My History Class
4 In which zone of latitude do the Auckland Islands lie?
Answer: The Furious Fifties

The Auckland Islands lie at latitude 50 29' to 50 59' and are the remains of two volcanoes of the Miocene Age. The two largest islands are Auckland and Adams. The smaller land masses in the group include Disappointment Island and Enderby Island.
    Your options: [ Across the Forties and Fifties ] [ The Roaring Forties ] [ The Furious Fifties ] [ The Screaming Sixties ]
  From Quiz: Sub-Antarctic - The Unlucky Enderby Settlement
5 Which US state gave all women the vote before New Zealand did so in 1893?
Answer: Wyoming

The granting of women's suffrage in New Zealand appears to have been more or less a political accident. In fact, it should have been granted some years before, since it always passed the Lower House with ease, but then was rejected by the Upper House (the Legislative Council, a very conservative body). In 1893 the bill again easily passed the Lower House. This time the women behind the female suffrage movement organised a major campaign to influence the members of the Legistlative Council. By the time of the vote, there was one vote - by a Liberal Councillor, in favour - in it. Richard Seddon, the bombastic and self-opinionated Prime Minister, peremptorily ordered the Councillor to change his vote. This he did, but "King Dick's" demand annoyed two other members of the Council so much that they changed their votes to spite him. The bill passed, 20 - 18.

Despite this, women were not allowed to stand for Parliament until 1919 and it wasn't until 1933 that the first female Member of Parliament was elected.
    Your options: [ Wyoming ] [ Arizona ] [ Colorado ] [ Kansas ]
  From Quiz: Aotearoa IV - The Political Landscape
6 In the experimental phase of New Zealand farming (1845-1882) what form of production was the key engine of the colonial export economy?
Answer: Wool production

Wealthy settlers opened up the lower North Island for sheep in the late 1840s and moved on to the South Island in the 1850s. In 1848 there were 1 million sheep. By 1865 there were 9 million sheep.
  From Quiz: Early Kiwi Farming
7 Captain Langlois, the French whaling captain that eventually brought the French settlers to Akaroa, operated a whaling ship in the 1830s. What was it called?
Answer: Cachalot

Many sealers and whalers of the time plundered the coast around Banks Peninsula for whale oil and seal skins - which were the then commodity equivalent of kerosene and gortex! In the late 1820s and throughout the 1830s, this trade was almost akin to the later gold rushes. The seals and whales were hunted to near extinction - but have recovered their numbers under NZ conservation laws.
  From Quiz: Akaroa and the French
8 What year did the Dutch trader Abel Tasman sail up part of the western coast of New Zealand?
Answer: 1642

Tasman was rather timid. When some of his sailors were killed by Maori in what is now Golden Bay (near Nelson), he simply sailed away again. Generations of schoolchildren in New Zealand were taught: "In sixteen hundred and forty-two, Tasman sailed the ocean blue".

As for the other years given, 1769 was the year that Captain Cook "discovered" New Zealand while looking for the Great Southern Continent. 1788 was the year that Botany Bay in Australia was first colonised, and 1652 was the year that the First Dutch War between England and Holland began.
  From Quiz: Early New Zealand History
9 Although the discovery never resulted in a rush, gold was found in New Zealand fairly soon after the Treaty of Waitangi was signed. What year was that?
Answer: 1842

Gold was found - in rather small quantities, it must be admitted - on the Coromandel Peninsula in 1842.
  From Quiz: The New Zealand Gold Rush!
10 Maori arrive from Polynesia
Answer: Mid to late 1200s

According to tradition, the first Maori sailed by waka (canoes) to New Zealand from Hawaiki, the place where Io created the world and its first people. This is where each person comes from and where each person will return after they die. The discovery of New Zealand is attributed to Kupe. He followed a great octopus that belonged to his rival from Hawaiki to what is now Cook Strait, the narrow strip of water that separates the North and South Islands.

The Maori name for New Zealand, Aotearoa, 'long white cloud', has been attributed to Kupe's wife, who gave it the name after she saw the North Island for the first time. Many years after Kupe discovered New Zealand, many waka made the trip to New Zealand from Hawaiki to Aotearoa. Maori disclose their founding waka first when identifying themselves. (Strictly speaking, "Aotearoa" refers only to the North Island. While this name is in common usage in New Zealand, it has no official status.)

Maori first discovered and settled in New Zealand sometime between 1250 and 1300 AD according to archaeological evidence, making Aotearoa the last place on earth to be inhabited. These journeys from Polynesia were deliberate discovery voyages. They navigated using ocean currents, prevailing winds, and the stars. These settlers were not known as Maori and did not identify themselves with a collective name until European arrival when they adopted the name Maori to differentiate themselves from the Europeans (Pakeha).

Early waka landed on the east coast of the North Island, especially around Whangaparoa on the Bay of Plenty. The South Island was inhabited approximately 20 years later. They explored the coastline of both islands - there is scientific evidence that by 1400 AD, all of Aotearoa had been explored. Early settlements were concentrated near the mouths of rivers as there was fresh water and fish. Hunting was a major source of food, particularly fur seal and moa, large flightless birds that are now extinct. Horticulture developed quickly in the North Island, as early settlers had bought sweet potato (kumara) and yams. Settlements moved inland as a result of the lesser dependency on coastal resources to survive. Fighting between settlements was common, but Maori lived in open settlements rather than in fortified pa, hill forts and defensive settlements.
  From Quiz: A Short History of New Zealand
11 What disaster happened on Christmas Eve 1953?
Answer: Tangiwai rail disaster

Late in the evening of Christmas Eve 1953 the Wellington to Auckland express derailed sending the locomotive and the first 6 carriages into the Whangaehu River killing 151 passengers and crew. The cause for the accident was a tephra dam on nearby Mt Ruapehu that had given way sending mud and debris down the river and destroying one of the piers of the bridge just moments before the train arrived. The bridge collapsed.
  From Quiz: Events in New Zealand History
12 The treaty of Waitangi was signed on what day?
Answer: February 6 1840

The Treaty of Waitangi is a document signed by Maori chief and British representatives of the Crown agreeing that the country would be under British sovereignty.
  From Quiz: Big Moments in NZ History
13 The sea between Australia and New Zealand is named after the first European to arrive. In 1642 he sailed up the Western coast of the New Zealand. What was his nationality?
Answer: Dutch

Abel Janszoon Tasman (1603-1659) is credited with being the first European explorer to see New Zealand, Tasmania, Tonga and Fiji. One of the ways he is remembered today is in the naming of such landmarks as the Tasman Sea, Mount Tasman and the Tasman Glacier.
  From Quiz: A Brief History of New Zealand
14 In 1849, the Enderby Settlement was established as a British colonial outpost. It was abandoned only three years later. What was the main purpose of the settlement?
Answer: To provide Britain with a permanent whaling station in the Southern Ocean

The first European to come across the islands, between 1806 and 1808, was Abraham Bristow, master of the Enderby whaling company's ship 'Ocean'. With the support of the 1840 British Antarctic Expedition's Sir James Ross, a plan was drawn up to establish a settlement to advance British whaling. The Southern Whale Fishery Company was set up to carry the plan out and was granted a Royal Charter in 1849.

Though prospects for the settlement were described in glowing terms by its promoters, the colony soon failed; houses were built at Port Ross but the planned township of Hardwicke was never even built. In 1999, the then British High Commissioner to New Zealand described the settlement as being 'among the smallest, shortest-lived and most remote of all British colonies'.

(Ed. Dingwall, P.R., 'Enderby Settlement Diaries', 1999, Wellington: Wildpress & Pakuranga: Wordsell Press)
  From Quiz: Sub-Antarctic - The Unlucky Enderby Settlement
15 In which year did Jenny Shipley stage a successful coup against Prime Minister Jim Bolger - while he was overseas - and become the first female Prime Minister of New Zealand?
Answer: 1997

Mrs Shipley apparently believed that Jim Bolger allowed the Government's coalition partners, New Zealand First - and, in particular, its leader, Winston Peters - too much influence, and managed to get a majority of National Party MPs to agree with her. Mr Bolger saw the writing on the wall and resigned on his return. However, Mrs Shipley had problems holding the party together following her elevation to the top job, and the National Party appeared to implode, handing Labour a relatively easy win at the 1999 election. She was, in turn, ousted as leader by Bill English in 2001 and soon retired from Parliament.
    Your options: [ 1997 ] [ 1998 ] [ 1996 ] [ 1999 ]
  From Quiz: Aotearoa IV - The Political Landscape
16 In the 1870s, in the Taranaki region Chinese-born entrepreneur Chew Chong (Chau Tseung) discovered something that he purchased from pioneering farmers and that saved many of them from financial ruin. What was it?
Answer: Edible fungus

He found an edible fungus, Auricularia polytricha (Wood ear, Taranaki wool, Black Gold). It was similar to a Chinese species (Muk'u) and on sold through Dunedin merchant Choie Sew Hoy to California, Australia and China. He was born in southern China in 1828 and came to Taranaki via the gold rush regions of Australia and Otago(NZ). He set up a chain of stores in Taranaki. He later went on to pioneer factory production of dairy products in the Taranaki region. He designed a cooling system for storing cream and his penchant for order meant he was the first to market butter in the standard one pound block. He was inducted into the NZ Business Hall of Fame 70 years after his death in 1920 at age 92.(There were no native mammals to get furs or deer velvet in large amounts. Moas were already extinct by this time).
  From Quiz: Early Kiwi Farming
17 In 1838 Captain Langlois purchased Banks Peninsula from the local Maori tribe and returned to France to finance a colonial settlement expedition. He duly returned aboard which ship?
Answer: Comte de Paris

In 1840 the Comte de Paris arrived in Akaroa and had 63 settlers on board and was escorted by the French frigate L'Aube. HMS Herald was around at the time and actually reached Akaroa before the French settlers and signed the local Maori tribe under British sovereignty. The other answers were just made up.
    Your options: [ Josephine ] [ Comte de Paris ] [ HMS Herald ] [ La Fleur de Lys ]
  From Quiz: Akaroa and the French
18 When Captain Cook visited New Zealand in 1769, he was looking for the fabled Great Southern Continent rumoured to lie between Tahiti and New Zealand. But what was his primary reason for being in the Pacific at all?
Answer: To observe a transit of Venus

Cook's voyage was an amazing feat for the times. The Royal Society, led by Edmund Halley (of comet fame), had persuaded the King to sponsor a scientific voyage to the South Pacific with the specific purpose of observing the transit of Venus which would occur in 1769. The reason for this was that Halley had determined that if the time that the transit took could be measured at various places in the world, then it should be possible to calculate the actual distance, in miles, from Earth to Venus through the use of parallax. While it was a good idea, the calculation turned out to be impossible because of errors in measurement. But that did not detract in any way from the huge overall scientific value of Cook's voyage in terms of increased knowledge of world geography and botany.
  From Quiz: Early New Zealand History
19 Where was gold first discovered in the South Island?
Answer: Collingwood

Again, the amount of gold found never really came to anything. The Collingwood discovery was in the early 1850s, and no one got very excited about it.
  From Quiz: The New Zealand Gold Rush!
20 Abel Tasman discovers the South Island of New Zealand
Answer: 1642

In August 1642, Tasman sailed from Batavia (Jakarta, Indonesia) to explore the great unknown east of the Cape of Good Hope, southern Africa. He sailed west to Mauritius, then due east rounding the southern tip of what is now Tasmania and named it Van Diemen's Land. He recognised it was an island when he reached Bass Strait. He was looking for a large land mass, not islands, so he continued east with the roaring forties to help him. On 13 December 1642 Tasman sighted land on the northwestern coast of the South Island though it was not called this at the time. This was the first sighting of New Zealand by Europeans.

Tasman sailed north and anchored in what is now known as Golden Bay. He encountered Maori waka (canoes), but it was not a friendly encounter and four sailors were killed. Tasman named the place Murderers Bay and sailed on. Tasman sailed north believing he had found the western side of the Terra Australis land mass. When he reached Cook Strait, he mistook it for a bight and called it "Zeehaen's Bight". He kept on sailing, naming small islands north of the tip of the North Island before sailing back to Batavia via Tonga and Fiji.
  From Quiz: A Short History of New Zealand
21 When Mt Tarawera erupted in 1886 what tourist attraction, sometimes known as the eighth wonder of the world, was thought to have been destroyed?
Answer: The Pink and White Terraces

Shortly after midnight on 20 June 1886 Mt Tarawera, 24 km form Rotorua, exploded killing an estimated 120 people, burying Maori villages and destroying the famous Pink and White Terraces. In recent years it has been discovered that the terraces were likely not destroyed but buried by the eruption. There is speculation on this theory by experts and there is a possibility the area could be excavated and restored for public viewing.
  From Quiz: Events in New Zealand History
22 What was the name of the cyclone that did millions of dollars of damage to the eastern part of the North island in 1988?
Answer: Bola

After leaving Fiji and Vanuatu in its destructive wake, Cyclone Bola hit the Gisborne area the hardest destroying crops and causing extensive erosion. Parts of the North Island reported rainfall close to twice its annual average.
  From Quiz: Big Moments in NZ History
23 The first person to circumnavigate New Zealand and make accurate maps was Captain James Cook. He named an area near his initial landing site after the member of his crew who first caught sight of land. What is that place called today?
Answer: Young Nick's Head

Knowing that he was close to his goal, Captain Cook had offered the reward of a gallon of rum to the first member of his crew to sight land. That must have been quite a prize for Nicholas Young, the 12 year old surgeon's boy.

That was the 6th of October 1769. It is now thought likely that Young Nick probably saw the peak of Mount Arowhana, rather than the headland which bears his name.
  From Quiz: A Brief History of New Zealand
24 Here's a fact every little Kiwi learns at primary school: The Treaty of Waitangi was a treaty established between the British Crown and prominent Maori chiefs of the North Island. On which date was it signed?
Answer: 6 February, 1840

    Your options: [ 7 February, 1841 ] [ 6 February, 1841 ] [ 6 February, 1840 ] [ 7 February, 1840 ]
  From Quiz: I Heard it in My History Class
25 Charles Enderby was head of the London whaling firm, Enderby and Company, and was appointed resident Lieutenant Governor of the colony. When the settlement was abandoned, what was the fate of his residence in the islands, Government House?
Answer: It was dismantled, taken to Sydney, and auctioned

The 14-room building, which had been constructed in England, was sold at auction in Sydney in October 1852. For some time prior to the disbanding of the colony, Charles Enderby was subject to investigation by Special Commissioners for alleged absence from post and giving erroneous information about the settlement's climate and production. They forced him to resign as Chief Commissioner for the company and as Lieutenant Governor. Enderby threatened to shoot anyone who tried to remove him from Government House, but later backed down.
  From Quiz: Sub-Antarctic - The Unlucky Enderby Settlement
26 How many kilometres did William Hulke walk his Jersey cow, Jenny, in 1876 to introduce the breed to the Taranaki region?
Answer: 250 km

He led her by a halter from Marton to his Bell Block farm to kick start New Zealand dairy farming. Prior to this English shorthorn had been the preferred breed.
  From Quiz: Early Kiwi Farming
27 The Treaty of Waitangi was first signed on February 6, 1840. It was essentially a formal colonisation of New Zealand by the British Crown. Why did Britain decide to colonise New Zealand?
Answer: All of these

It has been claimed, however, that New Zealand was not a sovereign nation at the time because it lacked a central government. This, theoretically, therefore made the Treaty null and void -- even as it was signed -- because international treaties could only be reached between sovereign nations. Whatever the literal truth of this claim, the Treaty has always been regarded and treated in law as valid.
    Your options: [ All of these ] [ Interest by France and the United States in claiming New Zealand as a colony ] [ The general lawlessness of Europeans living in New Zealand, and the need for formal governance ] [ Formalising the Crown's recognition of New Zealand as an independent country ]
  From Quiz: Early New Zealand History
28 Where was gold first discovered in Otago? For those of you simply guessing, Otago was where the main "rush" occurred during the 1860s.
Answer: Otago Peninsula

The find on Otago Peninsula, again very small, was geologically atypical. No one is quite sure why there was any gold there at all!
  From Quiz: The New Zealand Gold Rush!
29 Captain James Cook lands on the North Island
Answer: 1769

While Tasman discovered New Zealand, he was not the first European to make landfall. It took another 127 years for that to occur when Captain James Cook landed on the north bank of the Turanganui River, near what is now the city of Gisborne. However, the initial encounter did not go well when one of Cook's crew mistook what was probably a ceremonial challenge for what he believed to be an attack resulting in the indigenous man being shot and killed.

A second encounter was more successful as Cook brought with him Tupiai, a Tahitian priest who was able to converse with the Maori. The peaceful exchange was spoilt when Te Rakau, a chief, was killed trying to exchange weapons which was misunderstood. However, Tupiai proved valuable on subsequent Endeavor landings where Maori were present. Tupiai understood the complex customs of the indigenous peoples and was a suitable translator for Cook. After Cook left, the "Endeavour" was remembered by Maori as 'Tupaia's ship'. The Tahitian priest who was regarded as a tohunga from Hawaiki, had more influence on the local people - than Cook or any other European on board.

Cook's further landings were generally more peaceful and further north in Mercury Bay on the Coromandel Peninsula, Cook claimed possession for Great Britain. Cook circumnavigated the North Island on his first voyage and proved it was not part of the larger land mass Terra Australis.
  From Quiz: A Short History of New Zealand
30 On 21 February 2011 a large earthquake did billions of dollars of damage and killed 185 people. Where?
Answer: Christchurch

Just after mid-day on 2 February 2011, Christchurch city was hit by an earthquake measuring 6.3 on the Richter scale. Over half of the victims were killed when the CTV building collapsed and caught fire. An earthquake in 2010 had previously caused structural damage to some buildings which then suffered significant damage in the 2011 earthquake to the already weakened structures.
  From Quiz: Events in New Zealand History
31 The first Rugby World Cup final was played in 1987 between France and the New Zealand All Blacks. What was the score at the final whistle?
Answer: NZ win 29 - 9

The All Blacks were the first team to win the Rugby World Cup and were also the first to win it 3 times and defend it successfully. The name the All Blacks came from and misprint in an English newspaper. The reporter had said the NZ team played like all backs. The misprint said All Blacks and the name stuck.
  From Quiz: Big Moments in NZ History
32 On the 6th of February 1840 the most important document in New Zealand history was signed between representatives of the British Crown and about 40 Maori Chiefs. What is it called?
Answer: The Treaty of Waitangi

After the initial signing the Treaty was taken around the country and was eventually signed by over 500 chiefs.

Nearly two centuries later there is still disagreement about the exact meaning of the Treaty and whether the Crown met their obligations under the treaty.

This became so contentious that the Waitangi Tribunal was established in 1975 to investigate breaches of the Treaty and suggest appropriate compensation.
  From Quiz: A Brief History of New Zealand
33 In the 1996 Olympic Games in Atlanta, who won two gold medals for New Zealand - one in the 200m freestyle, and another in the 400m freestyle?
Answer: Danyon Loader

In 2006, New Zealanders were able to enjoy watching Danyon Loader perform with dancer Hayley Holt on Series Two of "Dancing With the Stars" (The New Zealand version of Britain's "Strictly Come Dancing"). They came third.

Incidentally, the other three Olympic swimmers all represented Australia at some point during the twentieth century.
  From Quiz: I Heard it in My History Class
34 When the first settlers aboard the Samuel Enderby arrived at Port Ross on 4th December 1849, they found a group of around 70 people already living on the islands. Who were these people?
Answer: Maori and Moriori

The Maori and Moriori settlers had travelled from the Chatham Islands (800km east of New Zealand and part of New Zealand since 1842) around seven years earlier on the brig Hannah to establish a community. (Though archaeological finds on the islands suggest Polynesian travellers had visited as early as 1350AD.) The European colonists immediately claimed ownership of the islands but the two groups apparently co-existed well. Maori leaders were appointed as special constables and there was also social interaction. In November 1851 Hannah Tawerangi, daughter of Chief Koro, married Robert Bishop, a seaman off the Brisk. The marriage was solemnized by Lieutenant Governor Enderby.

The new arrivals on the 'Samuel Enderby', the 'Brisk' and the 'Fancy' also totalled about 70 people, not including the ships' crews. In addition to the Medical Officer, there was a surveyor, storekeeper, and there were clerks, carpenters, coopers and labourers. About 16 women and 14 children were amongst those who landed in late 1849 and early 1850.
  From Quiz: Sub-Antarctic - The Unlucky Enderby Settlement
35 Bill Rowling became Prime Minister of New Zealand a few days after Norman Kirk died unexpectedly in 1974. However, "Bill" was a nickname, not his actual first name. Do you know what his given first name actually was?
Answer: Wallace

Poor Bill Rowling! Elevated to the premiership unexpectedly over the head of Hugh Watt, the Deputy Prime Minister, he found the hugely popular Norman Kirk a very hard act to follow. Mild-mannered and non-confrontational, at least in public, he was treated with derision and contempt by the new National Leader of the Opposition, Robert Muldoon. Mr Muldoon liked nothing better than a verbal knock-em-down-and-drag-em-out fight in the House. He also hated not getting a rise out of Bill Rowling. He once said of the PM that "You could see the cold shivers running around his body looking for a spine to run up. Unsuccessfully."

Bill Rowling and Labour lost the next election, but he was held in such high regard within his party that he retained the leadership for some time following the Government's defeat. He later became New Zealand's ambassador to the US and did an extremely competent job of minimising the impact of Labour's anti-nuclear legislation on New Zealand - United States relations.
  From Quiz: Aotearoa IV - The Political Landscape
36 The command of the French frigate L'Aube was a Capt. C.F. Lavaud. How does Akaroa commemorate this man?
Answer: Rue Lavaud - a street in Akaroa

Many of the street names of Akaroa demonstrate the French heritage. Rue Jolie, Rue Grehan, Rue Balguerie being other examples. If there ever was such a thing as a snail emporium, we would like to know more about it. All other answers are made up.
  From Quiz: Akaroa and the French
37 Who was the man who persuaded the Maori to sign the Treaty of Waitangi in 1840 and who, after the signing, become first Lieutenant-Governor and then Governor of the Colony of New Zealand?
Answer: William Hobson

Hobson was actually an Irishman who joined the Royal Navy and did well in it. His tenure as Governor was short however - he died in 1842 of a heart attack. He proved to be a fairly inept administrator. The leading colonists complained to the British government about this, and his recall was already on the way to New Zealand when he died, still officially the Governor.
  From Quiz: Early New Zealand History
38 What was the name of the location where gold in large quantities was first discovered in Otago?
Answer: Gabriel's Gully

Gabriel's Gully wasn't so much of a gully as a reasonably broad stream-cut valley. But I suppose the alliteration stuck! Within two months of the discovery, there were 11,000 people living and working in what had been a valley uninhabited by anything except a few sheep ...
  From Quiz: The New Zealand Gold Rush!
39 Treaty of Waitangi was signed
Answer: 1840

The Treaty of Waitangi was first signed on 6 February 1840 by Captain William Hobson as a representative and consul for the British Crown and by Maori chiefs from the North Island of New Zealand. The document is of fundamental importance to the history of New Zealand and its constitution. It played a major role in the interaction and treatment of the Maori people in New Zealand, and it was intended for Maori and Pakeha (white man) to live harmoniously. The treaty document is actually an agreement, not a treaty per se, as described in international law. It has no legal status on its own, however, it is legally effective when it is recognised in various subsequent New Zealand statutes. It aimed to establish a British Governor of New Zealand, recognise Maori ownership of their lands and possessions, and give Maori the same rights as British subjects. It was intended to ensure the Maori people had been heard when Lieutenant Governor Hobson declared British sovereignty over New Zealand three months later. The Maori version was signed by 530-540 Maori but only 39 signed the English version.

Despite good intentions, there were inconsistencies in the translation of the Maori version. These inconsistencies created much disagreement in later years, leading to the New Zealand Wars of 1845-72. After the wars, the treaty was effectively ignored by the NZ government. Consequently, the Maori people lost control of a great deal of land, sometimes through legitimate sales, but often by the squatting of settlers, unfair deals, and confiscation.

In the 1950s, Maori sought to use the treaty to argue for their sovereign rights and to reclaim their lost land. This culminated in the passing of the Treaty of Waitangi Act by the NZ parliament in 1975. This legislation established the Waitangi Tribunal as a permanent commission of inquiry. The tribunal's terms of reference include interpreting the treaty, investigating breaches and recommending redress when appropriate. Their findings are not binding by the government; however, reparations over $NZ1 billion have been paid out by the government. In the 21st century, the treaty is recognised as a founding document within the country's unwritten constitution. In 1973, Waitangi Day was proclaimed a national holiday to commemorate the treaty's signing.
  From Quiz: A Short History of New Zealand
40 Rugby is a big thing in New Zealand with many enthusiastic fans throughout the country. What rugby related event caused widespread disruption, riots and protests in 1981?
Answer: The Springboks Tour

The Springboks from South Africa went on tour in 1981, one of their destinations being New Zealand. Because of the apartheid regime in South Africa, many people believed it was unethical and they should not be allowed to play. The tour went ahead and this led to to riots and protests. The popularity of rugby union declined somewhat after this event and it wasn't until the All Blacks won the very first rugby world cup in 1987 that rugby regained much of its popularity.
  From Quiz: Events in New Zealand History
The rest of the questions and answers can be found in our quizzes here:
New Zealand History Quizzes