January: The Māori language magazine, The Maori Messenger or Te Karere Maori resumes publication with a change to the Māori title. It stopped publication the previous year. Under this name, it continues until 1861.
23 January: The 1855 Wairarapa earthquake causes extensive damage but few deaths. The quake, estimated at magnitude 8.2, raises parts of the Wellington harbour foreshore by as much as 6 metres.
April: James McKenzie is found guilty of stealing 1000 sheep and sentenced to five years hard labour in Lyttelton. He is pardoned the following year.