1907 in New Zealand

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1907 in New Zealand
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The New Zealand Observer (1907) shows Prime Minister Joseph Ward as a pretentious dwarf beneath a massive ‘dominion’ top hat. The caption reads: The Surprise Packet:
Canada: "Rather large for him, is it not?"
Australia: "Oh his head is swelling rapidly. The hat will soon fit."

There are celebrations throughout the country this year as New Zealand changes from colony to independent dominion status by proclamation of Edward VII on 26 September. In Wellington on 11 December there is a great sensation when the tinder-dry Parliament buildings burn to the ground.


Regal and viceregal[edit]


The 16th New Zealand Parliament

Parliamentary opposition[edit]

Main centre leaders[edit]


  • The Tohunga Suppression Act is passed by parliament, sponsored by Māui Pōmare.
  • Rua Kenana, a self-proclaimed prophet, establishes a religious community at the foot of Maungapōhatu, the sacred Tūhoe mountain in the Ureweras.
  • The Colonial Secretary’s Office is renamed the Department of Internal Affairs.
  • St Paul's Church in Dunedin is consecrated by Bishop Churchill Julius.
  • Highest ever recorded flooding along the Taupo, Tongariro, Waipa, and Waikato river systems.
  • Prime Minister Joseph Ward is appointed to the Privy Council.
  • James Mills, a prominent businessman, ship-owner and politician becomes the first person born in New Zealand to be knighted (Knight Bachelor).


  • Dr Sir Frederick Truby King establishes the Royal New Zealand Society for the Health of Women and Children which later becomes The Royal New Zealand Plunket Society, known simply as Plunket. The society established Plunket Rooms throughout the country and provides specially trained nurses to advise and assist New Zealand mothers free of charge.
  • The first Home of Compassion is opened, at Island Bay in Wellington, by Mother Suzanne Aubert who had founded the congregation of the Sisters of Compassion in Jerusalem on the Whanganui River in 1892.
  • The country's first dental school opens at Otago University. The first dean is Sir Henry Percy Pickerill, a pioneer of reconstructive surgery of the jaw and face.

Arts and literature[edit]

  • The School Journal, an education resource distributed to schools throughout New Zealand, is introduced.
  • Frances Hodgkins holds her first solo exhibition, in London.
  • Publishing firm A.H. & A.W. Reed is established in Dunedin.
  • The House of Royal Doulton produces Kia Ora, a ceramic series of New Zealand themes, which become a collectors' item.

The sciences[edit]

  • Thames astronomer John Grigg discovers his third comet, all of which are named after him.
  • Pioneer aircraft designer Richard Pearse finally patents details for his wings and aircraft controls.

Flora and fauna[edit]


  • 26 September: The first issue of The Dominion newspaper (now the Dominion Post) is published in Wellington to mark the occasion of New Zealand becoming a Dominion.
  • After 36 years of publication, the authoritative weekly paper, the New Zealand Mail, closes.


  • December: The Maori II, a triple-screw steamer which is the first purpose-built, inter-island ferry in the country, makes its first run between Lyttelton and Wellington.


Boxing (amateur)[edit]

National amateur champions

  • Heavyweight - J. Lloyd (Christchurch)
  • Middleweight - J. Gilmour (Christchurch)
  • Lightweight - R. Mayze (Christchurch)
  • Featherweight - E. Sanderson (Auckland)
  • Bantamweight - B. Tracy (Wellington)


  • Inaugural year of Plunket Shield, won by Canterbury.
  • The MCC tour the country, losing to New Zealand at the Basin Reserve, but winning at Lancaster Park.


The 20th National Chess Championship was held in Christchurch, and was won by W.S. Viner of Perth (overseas players were allowed until 1934) [3]



  • The Challenge Shield is introduced.

Horse racing[edit]

Harness racing[edit]

Thoroughbred racing[edit]


  • Women's basketball, now called Netball, is introduced to the country by J. C. Jamieson when a demonstration match between Eden and Epsom is played in an Auckland paddock.


The Collins Challenge Shield is introduced by the National Rifle Association.


William Webb of Wanganui defeats Australian Charles Towns on 3 August for the World Professional Sculling Championship, the first world rowing title won by New Zealand.

Rugby union[edit]

  • Auckland defend the Ranfurly Shield against Buller (21-0), Hawkes Bay (12-3) and Wanganui(6-5).
  • The All Blacks tour Australia, winning both tests. They also play Wellington.
  • A record crowd of 52,411 packs the Sydney Cricket Ground for the All Blacks v NSW match.

Rugby league[edit]

  • The All Golds New Zealand league team tours Britain, before a match has been played or a club has been formed in New Zealand.


Provincial league champions:[7]

  • Auckland: Auckland Corinthians
  • Canterbury: Burnham Industrial School, Christchurch Celtic (shared)
  • Otago: Northern Dunedin
  • Southland: Nightcaps
  • Taranaki: New Plymouth
  • Wellington: Wellington Swifts




See also[edit]


  • Gordon McLauchlan (1992). The Illustrated encyclopedia of New Zealand. David Bateman Ltd, Glenfield, NZ. ISBN 1-86953-007-1. 
  1. ^ Statistics New Zealand: New Zealand Official Yearbook, 1990. ISSN 0078-0170 page 52
  2. ^ "Elections NZ - Leaders of the Opposition". Retrieved 2008-04-06. 
  3. ^ List of New Zealand Chess Champions Archived 14 October 2008 at the Wayback Machine.
  4. ^ edited by A. H. McLintock (1966). "Men's Golf - National Champions". An Encyclopaedia of New Zealand. Te Ara - The Encyclopedia of New Zealand. Retrieved 2009-02-13. 
  5. ^ List of NZ Trotting cup winners
  6. ^ Auckland Trotting cup at hrnz.co.nz Archived 17 June 2009 at the Wayback Machine.
  7. ^ "New Zealand: List of champions". Rec.Sport.Soccer Statistics Foundation. 1999. 
  8. ^ rulers.org

External links[edit]

Media related to 1907 in New Zealand at Wikimedia Commons