1981 in New Zealand
- 1 Population
- 2 Incumbents
- 3 Events
- 4 Arts and literature
- 5 Sport
- 6 Births
- 7 Deaths
- 8 See also
- 9 References
- Estimated population as of 31 December: 3,194,500
- Increase since 31 December 1980: 18,100 (0.57%)
- Males per 100 females: 98.7
Regal and viceregal
The 39th New Zealand Parliament, led by the National Party, concluded, and in the general election the party was re-elected in the 40th New Zealand Parliament. Support for the government decreased, however, with the Labour Party receiving the largest portion of the popular vote.
- Speaker of the House - Richard Harrison.
- Prime Minister - Robert Muldoon
- Deputy Prime Minister - Brian Talboys then Duncan MacIntyre.
- Minister of Finance - Robert Muldoon.
- Minister of Foreign Affairs - Brian Talboys then Warren Cooper.
- Attorney-General - Jim McLay.
- Chief Justice — Sir Ronald Davison
Main centre leaders
- Mayor of Auckland - Colin Kay
- Mayor of Hamilton - Ross Jansen
- Mayor of Wellington - Michael Fowler
- Mayor of Christchurch - Hamish Hay
- Mayor of Dunedin - Clifford George (Cliff) Skeggs
- January - Nambassa five-day celebration of music, crafts and alternative lifestyles culture on 250-acre (100 ha) farm at Waitawheta Valley between Waihi and Waikino. Attendance 20,000.
- January - The second Sweetwaters Music Festival is held near Ngaruawahia.
- 27 April - The Mahon Report into the crash of Air New Zealand Flight 901 is released, in which Juctise Peter Mahon famously accuses Air New Zealand of telling "an orchestrated litany of lies".
- 3 May - The first newspaper published on a Sunday in New Zealand; initially called the New Zealand Times.
- May - The first ATM in New Zealand was introduced in Wellington by the Northern Building Society.
- July - Passports reintroduced for New Zealanders travelling to Australia. The Australian Royal Commission of Inquiry into Drugs says the exemption was exploited; travel had not required passports following the 1972 Trans-Tasman Travel Agreement.
- 13 July – The South African rugby union team ("Springboks") arrives in New Zealand to begin the 1981 Springbok Tour
- 25 July – 1981 Springbok Tour: The match between South Africa and Waikato at Rugby Park, Hamilton, is cancelled after 350 anti-apartheid protesters invade the pitch.
- 13 September – The Springbok rugby team leave New Zealand.
- 14 October – Christopher John Lewis attempts to assassinate Elizabeth II.
- The Kohanga reo scheme is established by the Department of Māori Affairs.
- The Food Act 1981 is passed into law.
- The Poor Knights Islands Marine Reserve is established
Arts and literature
- William Sewell wins the Robert Burns Fellowship
Winners are shown first and in boldface with nominees underneath.
- ALBUM OF THE YEAR: Dave McArtney & The Pink Flamingos - Dave McArtney & The Pink Flamingos
- Dennis O'Brien - Still in the same Dream
- Hammond Gamble - Hammond Gamble Band
- SINGLE OF THE YEAR: Coup D'État – Doctor, I Like Your Medicine
- Blam Blam Blam - No Depression in New Zealand
- Screaming Meemees - See Me Go
- TOP MALE VOCALIST: Dave McArtney (Dave McArtney & The Pink Flamingos)
- Deane Waretinei
- Hammond Gamble
- TOP FEMALE VOCALIST: Suzanne Prentice
- Jenny Morris
- Tina Cross
- TOP GROUP: Dave McArtney & The Pink Flamingos - Dave McArtney & The Pink Flamingos
- Coup DE'tat
- MOST PROMISING MALE VOCALIST: Dave McArtney
- Paul Schreider
- David Hollis
- Richard Eriwata
- MOST PROMISING FEMALE VOCALIST: Anne Dumont
- Celine Toner
- Jenny Morris
- MOST PROMISING GROUP: The Screaming Meemees
- Blam Blam Blam
- Pop Mechanix
- ENGINEER OF THE YEAR: Dave Hurley & Graham Myhre - Dave McArtney & the Pink Flamingos
- Graham Myhre – Remember the Alamo
- Gerry Smith – Still in the Same Dream
- PRODUCER OF THE YEAR: Bruce Lynch - Dave McArtney and the Pink Flamingos
- James Hall – Breaking in Another Day
- James Hall – Still in the Same Dream
- BEST COVER DESIGN: David Hollis – Caught Alive
- Mark Clare – Broadcast O.R
- Hal Chapman – Dave McArtney and the Pink Flamingos
- SPECIAL AWARD: Fred Smith - Services to the Recording Industry (particularly with regard to Copyright)
See: 1981 in music
Radio and television
- Feltex Television Awards:
- Best Drama: Mortimer's Patch
- Best Speciality: Sport on One - Sunday
- Best Entertainment: Radio Times
- Best Documentary: Moriori
- Best Children's: Video Dispatch
- Best Information: Country Calendar
- Best Current Affairs: Close Up
- Best Actor: Terence Cooper
- Best Actress: Glynis McNicol
- Best Script: Little Big Man Takes a Shot at the Moon
- Best Television Entertainer: Hudson and Halls
- Stan Hosgood Award for Allied Craft: Logan Brewer, Set designer for Hunters Gold, Gather Your Dreams, Children of Fire Mountain, I Pagliacci
See: 1981 in New Zealand television, 1981 in television, List of TVNZ television programming, Category:Television in New Zealand, Category:New Zealand television shows, Public broadcasting in New Zealand
- Paul Ballinger wins his second national title in the men's marathon, clocking 2:17:28 on 2 May in Rotorua, while Christine Munro claims her first title in the women's championship (2:56:04).
- The 88th New Zealand Chess Championship is held in Christchurch. There is a three-way tie between Ewen McGowen Green, Ortvin Sarapu, and Vernon A. Small .
- 1 February: Australian Trevor Chappell bowled an underarm delivery to batsman Brian McKechnie in a One-day International cricket match, the third of five matches in the final of the Benson & Hedges World Series Cup.
- 13 June: The All Blacks beat Scotland 11-4 at Carisbrook
- 20 June: The All Blacks beat Scotland 40-15 at Eden Park
- 15 August: The All Blacks beat South Africa 14-9 at Lancaster Park as part of the 1981 Springbok Tour
- 29 August: The All Blacks lost 12-24 to South Africa at Athletic Park as part of the 1981 Springbok Tour
- 12 September: The All Blacks beat South Africa 25-22 at Eden Park as part of the 1981 Springbok Tour
- 24 October: The All Blacks beat Romania 14-6 in Bucharest
- 14 November: The All Blacks beat France 13-9 in Toulouse
- 21 November: The All Blacks beat France 18-6 in Paris
- The North vs South match is played in Dunedin and won by North, 10-4
- The All Whites qualify for the 1982 Football World Cup
- New Zealand National Soccer League won by, Wellington Diamond United
- The Chatham Cup is won by Dunedin City who beat Mount Wellington 3—1 in the final.
- 5 January: Corey Flynn, rugby player.
- 10 January: Hayden Roulston, professional cyclist.
- 21 January: Jason Williams, rugby player.
- 27 January: Tony Woodcock, rugby player.
- 29 January: Jake Adams, musician.
- 12 February: Daniel Braid, rugby player.
- 21 February: Tainui Tukiwaho, Actor.
- 6 March: Tim Brown, soccer player.
- 20 March: Jamaal Lolesi, rugby league player.
- 25 March: Mose Tuiali'i, rugby player.
- 27 March: Sione Faumuina, rugby league player.
- 30 April: Ali Williams, rugby player.
- 4 May: Kate Elliott, actor.
- 6 May: Jodi Te Huna, netball player.
- 10 May: Lloyd Stephenson, field hockey player.
- 19 May: Jamie How, cricketer.
- 25 May: Shelley Paikea, singer.
- 25 May: Matt Utai, rugby league player.
- 25 May: Motu Tony, rugby league player.
- 2 June: Brad Mika, rugby player.
- 9 June: Dean Couzins, field hockey player.
- 19 June: Moss Burmester, swimmer.
- 28 June: Demetrius "Savage" Savelio, rapper.
- 3 July: Tevita Latu, rugby league player.
- 31 July: Paul Whatuira, rugby league player.
- 31 July: Scott Talbot-Cameron, swimmer.
- 3 August: Daniel Koprivcic, soccer player.
- 6 September: Te Atirau Paki, television presenter.
- 22 September: James Stosic, rugby player.
- 27 September: Brendon McCullum, cricketer.
- 29 September (in Germany): Shane Smeltz, soccer player.
- 29 October (in Sydney): Jamie Waugh, writer.
- 24 November: Ian Butler, cricketer.
- 10 December: Caleb Ross, actor.
- 10 December: Conrad Smith, rugby player.
- 20 December: Leo Bertos, soccer player.
- 29 January: J. A. W. Bennett, literary scholar.
- 23 March: Beatrice Tinsley, astronomer.
- 21 December: Iriaka Matiu Ratana, politician.
- Keith Murray, architect and ceramic designer.
- List of years in New Zealand
- Timeline of New Zealand history
- History of New Zealand
- Military history of New Zealand
- Timeline of the New Zealand environment
- Timeline of New Zealand's links with Antarctica
- Statistics New Zealand:Historical Population Estimates[permanent dead link]
- 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". Archived from the original on 17 October 2008. Retrieved 6 April 2008.
- "The cash machine has been around for 50 years". Stuff (Fairfax Media). 27 June 2017.
- "Awards 1981". Listing. NZ Music Awards. Archived from the original on 29 October 2013. Retrieved 28 September 2012.
- List of New Zealand Chess Champions Archived 14 October 2008 at the Wayback Machine
- "List of NZ Trotting cup winners". Archived from the original on 22 February 2012. Retrieved 6 May 2009.
- Auckland Trotting cup at hrnz.co.nz Archived 17 June 2009 at the Wayback Machine
- Palenski, R. and Lambert, M. The New Zealand Almanac, 1982. Moa Almanac Press. ISBN 0-908570-55-4
- "New Zealand champion shot / Ballinger Belt winners". National Rifle Association of New Zealand. Archived from the original on 25 January 2015. Retrieved 11 October 2014.
- Chatham Cup records, nzsoccer.com Archived 14 March 2009 at the Wayback Machine
- "Hayden ROulston profile". Archived from the original on 6 January 2008. Retrieved 25 March 2008.
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