1856 in New Zealand
After several previous attempts, New Zealand finally achieves "Responsible Government", with a majority of the members of the House of Representatives supporting the Government.
The estimated population of New Zealand at the end of 1856 is 58,300 Māori and 45,540 non-Māori. The total population reaches the 100,000 mark during the year.
Regal and viceregal
Government and law
- Speaker of the House — Sir Charles Clifford
- Colonial Secretary — Henry Sewell becomes New Zealand’s first Colonial Secretary on 7 May. The Sewell Ministry is defeated on 20 May and he is replaced by William Fox. The Fox Ministry is in turn defeated on 2 June and Fox is replaced by Edward Stafford's Stafford Ministry.
- Colonial Treasurer — Dillon Bell becomes the first Colonial Treasurer on 7 May. When the Sewell government is defeated on 20 May he is replaced by Charles Brown. When the Fox government is defeated on 2 June Brown is replaced by William Richmond
- Chief Justice — William Martin
- 31 July — By Royal Charter, Christchurch is proclaimed New Zealand's first city.
- 18 September — The Wanganui Chronicle publishes its first issue. The paper starts as a fortnightly publication, moves to tri-weekly in 1867, and then to daily in 1871. It continues today[update].
- 11 December — The Auckland Examiner begins publishing. It continues until 1861.
- 26 December — The Otago Colonist publishes its first issue. The newspaper changes its name to The Colonist in 1862 and is absorbed into the Daily Telegraph at the beginning of 1863.
Arts and literature
- A choral society performance of Handel's Messiah is given in Auckland. This the first known performance by such a musical ensemble in New Zealand.
- A Harmonic Society is formed in Dunedin in this year (or possibly earlier).
Appointments and awards
The Diocese of New Zealand is split in two with the creation of the Diocese of Auckland and the Diocese of Christchurch. Bishop Selwyn continues as the Primate of New Zealand with the duties of Archbishop.
- Primate of New Zealand – George Selwyn (Bishop of New Zealand)
- Bishop of Christchurch — Henry John Chitty Harper
- 10 October: Florence Young, missionary.
- Arthur Brown, Mayor of Wellington.
- List of years in New Zealand
- Timeline of New Zealand history
- History of New Zealand
- Military history of New Zealand
- Timeline of the New Zealand environment
- Timeline of New Zealand's links with Antarctica
- New Zealand Parliament - Parliament timeline
- Statistics New Zealand has collated estimates from a number of sources (interpolating where necessary) at "Long-term data series". Archived from the original on 2008-03-05. Retrieved 2008-03-14., in particular "A1.1 Total population.xls" (Excel). Archived from the original on 2008-03-05. Retrieved 2008-03-14.
- Christchurch: a chronology - 1856
- "Wanganui Chronicle". New Zealand Electronic Text Centre.
- "Chapter 2: Early Statistical Sources — 19th Century" (PDF). Statistical Publications 1840–2000. Statistics New Zealand. p. 11. Archived from the original on 25 November 2007.
- "Chapter 2: Early Statistical Sources — 19th Century" (PDF). Statistical publications 1840–2000. Statistics New Zealand. p. 12. Archived from the original on 25 November 2007.
- Te Ara: Encyclopedia of New Zealand 1966 - Music:General History
- Anglican Diocese of Christchurch: History
Media related to 1856 in New Zealand at Wikimedia Commons