1990 in New Zealand

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1990 in New Zealand

New Zealand celebrated its sesquicentennial, 150 years since the signing of The Treaty of Waitangi.

In the general election in October, National was elected in a landside victory.

GDP was $40.2 billion, unemployment was at 7.4% (March) and the exchange rate was 1 NZ$ per US$1.6750. This year New Zealand produced 8,000 million kWh of electricity.


  • Estimated population as of 31 December: 3,410,400[1]
  • Increase since 31 December 1989: 40,600 (1.20%)
  • Males per 100 females: 97.3


Regal and viceregal[edit]


The 42nd New Zealand Parliament continued, until the General election, held 27 October. The governing Labour Party was defeated. and The National Party, led by Jim Bolger, formed the new government.

Parliamentary opposition[edit]

Main centre leaders[edit]







  • 30 April: One and two cent coins are withdrawn from legal tender.









Arts and literature[edit]

See 1990 in art, 1990 in literature, Category:1990 books


New Zealand Music Awards[edit]

Winners are shown first with nominees underneath.[4]

  • Album of the Year: The Chills – Submarine Bells
    • Brian Smith - Moonlight Sax
    • Straitjacket Fits - Melt
  • Single of the Year: The Chills – Heavenly Pop Hit
    • Margaret Urlich - Number One
    • Ngaire - To Sir With Love
  • Top Male Vocalist: Barry Saunders
    • John Grenell
    • Barry Saunders
  • Top Female Vocalist: Margaret Urlich
    • Patsy Riggir
    • Aishah
  • Top Group: The Chills
    • Straitjacket Fits
    • Fan Club
  • Most Promising Male Vocalist: Guy Wishart
    • Alan Galloway
    • John Kempt
  • Most Promising Female Vocalist: Merenia
    • Ngaire
    • Caroline Easther
  • Most Promising Group: Strawpeople
    • Merenia & Where's Billy
    • D-Faction
  • International Achievement: Fan Club
    • The Chills
    • Margaret Urlich
  • Best Video: Niki Caro - Bad Note for a Heart (Straitjacket Fits)
    • Paul Middleditch - One Good Reason (Strawpeople)
    • Lance Kelliher - Don’t Let Me Fall Alone (The Fan Club)
  • Best Producer: Ian Morris - Heartbroke
    • Carl Doy - Moonlight Sax (Brian Smith)
    • Murray Grindlay - Welcome To Our World
  • Best Engineer: Strawpeople – Hemisphere
    • Ian Morris - Heartbroke (Rikki Morris)
    • Murray Grindlay - Welcome To Our World
  • Best Jazz Album: No Award
  • Best Classical Album: Dame Kiri Te Kanawa / Nszo — Kiri's Homecoming
    • Dame Malvina Major - Malvina Major
    • Kiri Te Kanawa/NZSO - Kiri at Aotea
  • Best Country Album: The Warratahs - Wild Card
    • John Grenell - Welcome To Our World
    • Bartlett/ Duggan/ Vaughn - Together Again
  • Best Folk Album: Rua — Commonwealth Suite
    • Martha Louise - Changing Tides
    • Iain Mitchell/Paul Yielder - Every Man And His Dog
  • Best Gospel Album: Cecily Phio — Light in the Darkness
    • Sound Ministry - Lead Me to the Rock
    • Scripture in Song - We Will Triumph
  • Best Polynesian Album: Herbs – Homegrown
    • National Maori Choir - Stand Tall
    • Te Mokai - Totara Tree
  • Best Songwriter: Martin Phillips — Heavenly Pop Hit (The Chills)
    • Shayne Carter - Bad Note for a Heart (Straitjacket fits)
    • Barry Saunders - Wild Card
  • Best Cover: John Collie – Melt (Straitjacket Fits)
    • Steve Garden/ Giles Molloy/ Kim Wesney - State of the Harp
    • Marc Mateo/ John Pitcairn - Hole
  • Outstanding Contribution to the Music Industry: Murdoch Riley

Performing arts[edit]

Radio and television[edit]

  • 1 January: Avalon becomes a separate limited liability company.
  • 5 February: The Auckland Television Centre is opened by Elizabeth II.
  • May: TV3 goes into receivership but continues broadcasting.
  • May: Sky Television launches with three channels.
  • May: CTV takes over TVNZ's Christchurch assets. [1]

See: 1990 in New Zealand television, 1990 in television, List of TVNZ television programming, Category:New Zealand television, TV3 (New Zealand), Category:New Zealand television shows, Public broadcasting in New Zealand


See: Category:1990 film awards, 1990 in film, List of New Zealand feature films, Cinema of New Zealand, Category:1990 films


Once Were Warriors published.

Appointments and awards[edit]

Penny Jamieson, Anglican Bishop of Dunedin, was ordained the first women Diocesan bishop in the world.



  • Tom Birnie wins his first national title in the men's marathon, clocking 2:17:33 on 3 March in New Plymouth, while Jillian Costley claims her third in the women's championship (2:36:43).



New Zealand Open championship, held at the, was won by



Horse racing[edit]

Harness racing[edit]

Thoroughbred racing[edit]

Rugby union[edit]

Rugby league[edit]






See also[edit]


External links[edit]

Media related to 1990 in New Zealand at Wikimedia Commons