1838 in New Zealand
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Regal and viceregal
- Head of State — Queen Victoria
- Governor of New South Wales — Sir George Gipps, having been appointed on 5 October 1837, arrives in Sydney on 23 February.
Government and law
- 10 January
- 13 January — Bishop Pompallier celebrates the first Catholic mass on land in New Zealand at the home of Thomas and Mary Poynton at Totara Point.
- 2 August — Jean Langlois completes the purchase of Banks Peninsula from local Māori and makes a downpayment of goods to the value of 150 francs. Captain Cecille of the Héroine raises the French flag and proclaims French sovereignty over Banks Peninsula.
- The Reverend Alfred Nesbitt Brown re-opens the Anglican mission at Tauranga. (see also 1836 & 1837)
- Three Gisborne Māori, having had Christian instruction in the Bay of Islands, return as catechists.
- 6 October (in Scotland): John McKenzie, politician.
- (unknown date, in Yorkshire England): Henry Hirst, politician.
- Wises New Zealand Guide, 7th Edition, 1979. p. 145.
- "Tauranga City History". Archived from the original on 28 September 2007. Retrieved 8 October 2007.
- Wises New Zealand Guide, 7th Edition, 1979. p. 422.
- New Zealand Encyclopaedia 1966: Brown Biography
- Wises New Zealand Guide, 7th Edition, 1979. p. 113.