- Estimated population as of 31 December: 2,663,800
- Increase since 31 December 1964: 46,800 (1.79%)
- Males per 100 females: 100.7
Regal and viceregal
The 34th Parliament of New Zealand continued, with the 2nd National government in power.
Main centre leaders
Arts and literature
See 1965 in art, 1965 in literature, Category:1965 books
Loxene Golden Disc Ray Columbus & The Invaders – Till We Kissed
See: 1965 in music
Radio and television
- Television in the "four main centres" (Auckland, Wellington, Christchurch and Dunedin) is now broadcast seven nights a week. Broadcasting now totals 50 hours a week.
- There are 300,000 television licences. 
- New Zealand Television Workshop awards:
- Best Factual: Compass
- Best Light Entertainment: In the Groove
- Best Children's Series: Junior Magazine with Jasmine
See: 1965 in New Zealand television, 1965 in television, List of TVNZ television programming, Category:New Zealand television, Category:New Zealand television shows, Public broadcasting in New Zealand
See: Category:1965 film awards, 1965 in film, List of New Zealand feature films, Cinema of New Zealand, Category:1965 films
- Raymond Puckett wins his fifth national title in the men's marathon, clocking 2:24:26.8 on 13 March in Dunedin.
- The 72nd National Chess Championships are held in Wellington. The winner is J.R. Phillips of Wellington
- The Chatham Cup is won by Eastern Suburbs of Auckland who beat Saint Kilda 4—1 in the final.
- Provincial league champions:
- Bay of Plenty: Rangers
- Buller: Granity Athletic
- Canterbury: Christchurch City
- Hawke's Bay: Napier Rovers
- Manawatu: Kiwi United
- Marlborough: Woodbourne
- Nelson: Rangers
- Otago: St Kilda
- Poverty Bay: Eastern Union
- South Canterbury: West End
- Southland: Invercargill Thistle
- Taranaki: Moturoa
- Wairarapa: Masterton Athletic
- Wanganui: Wanganui Athletic
- Wellington: Diamond
- West Coast: Cobden-Kohinoor
- The Northern League is formed, incorporating top teams from Northland, Auckland, Franklin and Waikato. The first League champions are Eastern Suburbs of Auckland.
- 10 January: John Radovonich, field hockey player.
- 11 February: Eric Rush, rugby union and rugby sevens player.
- 14 February: Zinzan Brooke, rugby player.
- 15 February: Jamie Smith, field hockey player.
- 15 March: Robyn Malcolm actor
- 4 April: Gail Jonson, swimmer.
- 8 April: Michael Jones, rugby player.
- 22 April: Carmel Clark, swimmer.
- 28 May (in Britain): Alan Henderson, bobsleigh pilot
- 28 June: Duane Mann, rugby league player.
- 29 July: Paresh Patel, field hockey player.
- 31 August: Willie Watson, cricketer.
- 1 September: Tania Roxborogh, writer.
- 7 September: Tea Ropati, rugby league player.
- 21 September: Belinda Cordwell, tennis player.
- 26 October: Ken Rutherford, cricketer.
- 24 November: Nyla Carroll, long-distance runner.
- 18 December: Anna Doig, freestyle and butterfly swimmer.
Media related to 1965 in New Zealand at Wikimedia Commons