1972 in New Zealand
- 1 Population
- 2 Incumbents
- 3 Events
- 4 Arts and literature
- 5 Sport
- 6 Births
- 7 Deaths
- 8 References
- 9 See also
- Estimated population as of 31 December: 2,959,700
- Increase since 31 December 1971: 61,200 (2.11%)
- Males per 100 females: 99.7
Regal and viceregal
- Head of State - Elizabeth II
- Governor-General - Sir Arthur Porritt Bt GCMG GCVO CBE, followed by Sir Denis Blundell GCMG GCVO KBE QSO.
The 36th Parliament of New Zealand concluded. A general election was held on 8 December and saw the second National government defeated by a large margin, with the Labour Party winning 55 of 87 seats in Parliament.
- Speaker of the House - Roy Jack until 8 December, then Alfred Allen.
- Prime Minister - Keith Holyoake then Jack Marshall then Norman Kirk
- Deputy Prime Minister - Jack Marshall then Robert Muldoon then Hugh Watt.
- Minister of Finance - Robert Muldoon then Bill Rowling.
- Minister of Foreign Affairs - Keith Holyoake then Jack Marshall then Norman Kirk.
- Attorney-General - Dan Riddiford until 9 February, then Roy Jack until 8 December, then Martyn Finlay.
Main centre leaders
- Mayor of Auckland - Dove-Myer Robinson
- Mayor of Hamilton - Mike Minogue
- Mayor of Wellington - Frank Kitts
- Mayor of Christchurch - Neville Pickering
- Mayor of Dunedin - Jim Barnes
Arts and literature
See: 1972 in music
- Benny Award presented by the Variety Artists Club of New Zealand to Jon Zealando and Lou Clauson QSM.
Radio and Television
- The Broadcasting Authority in March grants the right to broadcast a second television channel to the private consortium Independent Television Corporation. After the election of the Labour Government in November, Norman Kirk announces the second channel will be run by NZBC.
- In September, the first live broadcast of an All Black match takes place. The All Blacks played against Australia. 
- Feltex Television Awards:
See: 1972 in New Zealand television, 1972 in television, List of TVNZ television programming, Category:New Zealand television, Category:New Zealand television shows, Public broadcasting in New Zealand
- Field events within New Zealand switch from imperial to metric measurements. Track events changed earlier in 1969.
- David McKenzie wins his fourth and last national title in the men's marathon, clocking 2:14:11.2 on 11 March in Dunedin.
- The 79th National Chess Championship is held in Hamilton, and is won by R.J. Sutton of Auckland (his third title).
- New Zealand National Soccer League won by Mt. Wellington AFC
- The Chatham Cup is won by Christchurch United who met Mount Wellington.
- Final 4-4 after extra time
- First replay 1-1 after extra time
- Second replay 2-1
- 3 January: Shaun Longstaff, rugby player
- 9 January: Gary Stead, cricketer
- 3 March: Peter O'Leary, soccer referee
- 27 March: David Bain, originally served 12 years for murder of his family, conviction quashed by Privy Council and subsequently found not guilty at retrial.
- 29 March: Paul Kent, swimmer
- 12 April: Jenny Shepherd, field hockey player
- 16 May: Matthew Hart, cricketer
- 3 June: Robert Kennedy, cricketer
- 7 June: Karl Urban, actor
- 21 June (in South Africa): Irene van Dyk, netball player
- 4 July: Craig Spearman, cricketer
- 12 August: Tony Marsh, rugby player
- 27 October: John Steel, swimmer
- 20 December: Jonathan Wyatt, long-distance runner
- Veeshayne Armstrong, television presenter.
- Brooke Howard-Smith, broadcaster.
- (in Britain): Warwick Murray, academic.
- (in Hong Kong): Jack Yan, publisher, designer and businessman.
- 2 March Billy Wallace, rugby player and All Black
- 4 March: Major-General Sir Harold Eric Barrowclough, former Chief Justice
- 14 April: Bert Hawthorne, motor racing driver
- 10 July: Charles Bowden, politician
- 8 August: Agnes Louisa Weston, politician (MLC).
- 8 October: Laurie Brownlie, rugby player and All Black
- 22 October: James Keir Baxter, poet
- 11 December: John Mills, cricketer
- 26 December Ronald Hugh Morrieson, writer
- Statistics New Zealand:Historical Population Estimates
- Statistics New Zealand: New Zealand Official Yearbook, 1990. ISSN 0078-0170 page 52
- Lambert & Palenski: The New Zealand Almanac, 1982. ISBN 0-908570-55-4
- "Elections NZ - Leaders of the Opposition". Retrieved 6 April 2008.
- "New Zealand and Chile". New Zealand Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade. Retrieved 27 August 2010.
- List of New Zealand Chess Champions
- List of NZ Trotting cup winners
- Auckland Trotting cup at hrnz.co.nz
- Chatham Cup records, nzsoccer.com