List of massacres in New Zealand

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The following is a list of events that have been called massacres that have occurred in New Zealand (numbers may be approximate). Massacres considered part of the campaigns of the New Zealand Wars are listed separately.


Name Date Location Deaths Method Notes
Christchurch mosque shootings 15 March 2019 Christchurch, Canterbury 51 Firearms 51 killed and 40 injured. Occurred at two mosques in Christchurch: Al Noor Mosque and Linwood Islamic Centre. Brenton Harrison Tarrant pleaded guilty to murder and engaging in a terrorist act, and was sentenced to life imprisonment without parole.[1][2][3]
Raurimu massacre 8 February 1997 Raurimu, King Country 6 Firearm (sawn off single-barrelled shotgun) Also 4 wounded. Stephen Anderson found not guilty of murder by reason of insanity.[4][5]
New Empire Hotel arson 4 February 1995 Hamilton 6 Fire Alan Wayne Lory convicted of manslaughter.[6]
Bain family murders 20 June 1994 Dunedin 5 Firearm (.22lr semi-auto) David Bain convicted, but acquitted in a re-trial.
Ratima family murders 26 June 1992 Masterton 7 Hammer, knife Raymond Wahia Ratima convicted of murder.[7]
Schlaepfer family murders 20 May 1992 Paerata, Auckland Region 7 Shooter (Brian Schlaepfer) among dead.[8]
Aramoana massacre 1314 November 1990 Aramoana, Otago 14 Firearm (scoped semi-automatic rifle)[9] 3 (unofficially 4) injuries. Shooter (David Gray) among dead.
Noema Rika murders 27 May 1951 Ōtaki, Kapiti Coast 5 Shooter (Rika) among dead
Featherston prisoner of war camp riot 25 February 1943 Featherston, Wairarapa 49 80 wounded
1941 Kowhitirangi shootings 820 October 1941 Kowhitirangi, West Coast 8 Shooter (Stanley Graham) among dead
Henare Hona murders 21 October 1934 Morrinsville, Waikato 6 Shooter (Hona) among dead
Himatangi massacre 6 September 1929 Himatangi, Manawatu 8 Unsolved shooting and arson, possibly murder/suicide[10]
Waikino schoolhouse shooting 19 October 1923 Waikino, near Waihi 2 Firearm (.32-cal pistol), also armed with 3 sticks of gelignite (not used) Also 6 others wounded. Local farmer John Christopher Higgins sought revenge over alleged persecution[11][12]
Invercargill Tragedy 8 April 1908 Invercargill 7 Stove scraper, firearm Killer (James Reid Baxter) among dead
Maungatapu murders 21 February 1866 Maungatapu, Tasman 5 Three members of a gang led by Richard Burgess were hanged for the murders
Finnigan family murders September 1865 Otahuhu, Auckland 4 or 5[13] Also spelt Finnegan in contemporary sources. James Stack was convicted and hanged in April 1866
Maketū Wharetōtara murders 1841 Kororareka, Northland 5 Maketū Wharetōtara, also known as Wiremu Kīngi Maketū, became the first person officially executed in New Zealand (7 March 1842)[14][15]
Invasion of the Chatham Islands and Moriori genocide November 1835 Chatham Islands 2000 Part of the Musket Wars The Moriori genocide was the systematic mass murder, ethnic cleansing, enslavement and cultural annihilation of the Moriori people, the indigenous ethnic group of the Chatham Islands (Rēkohu), by invaders from the mainland New Zealand iwi of Ngāti Tama and Ngāti Mutunga, from November 1835 for a disputed time onward.
Siege of Pukerangiora[16] November 1831 Waitara River, Taranaki 1200 Part of the Musket Wars
Boyd massacre December 1809 Whangaroa Harbour, Northland 66
Revenge attacks following death of Marion du Fresne 13 June 1772July 1772 Bay of Islands, Northland 250
Death of Marion du Fresne 12 June 1772 Bay of Islands, Northland 26

Massacres during the New Zealand Wars[edit]

The following is a list of events that have been called massacres that occurred as part of the New Zealand Wars (numbers may be approximate):

Name Date Location Deaths Notes
Opepe Massacre 7 June 1869 Taupo 9 Part of Te Kooti's War
Mohaka massacre 10 April 1869 Mohaka, Hawke's Bay 68 Part of Te Kooti's War
Pukearuhe massacre 13 February 1869 Pukearuhe, Taranaki 8 Attack on Pukearuhe Redoubt by a Ngāti Maniapoto war party
Ngatapa massacre 5 January 1869 Ngatapa, Gisborne 120 Part of Te Kooti's War
Poverty Bay massacre 10 November 1868 Poverty Bay, Gisborne 54 Part of Te Kooti's War
Rangiaowhia massacre 21 February 1864 Rangiaowhia, Waikato 11 Part of the Waikato War
Gilfillan family killings 18 April 1847 Wanganui 4 An act of utu (revenge) for the killing of a Māori chieftain during the Wanganui Campaign
Wairau Affray 17 June 1843 Tuamarina, Marlborough 26 8 wounded


  1. ^ "Deadly Christchurch mosque shootings: 49 dead after 'well-planned' attack". Radio New Zealand. 15 March 2019.
  2. ^ Rawlinson, Kevin; Hunt, Elle; Weaver, Matthew; Zhou, Naaman; Lyons, Kate; Martin, Lisa (15 March 2019). "New Zealand shooting: suspect due in court after 49 killed – latest updates". The Guardian.
  3. ^ "Police with the latest information on the mosque shootings". Radio New Zealand. 17 March 2019.
  4. ^ @AnnaLeask, Anna Leask Anna Leask is senior police reporter for the New Zealand Herald (3 February 2017). "Raurimu 20 years on: the madman, the massacre and the memories". The New Zealand Herald.
  5. ^ "". Retrieved 15 March 2019.
  6. ^ "Killer out for Christmas". Stuff (company). 20 December 2009. Retrieved 29 December 2018.
  7. ^ "Four more years for mass murderer Raymond Ratima". Stuff (company). 11 October 2017. Retrieved 29 December 2018.
  8. ^ "Day of slaughter on family farm". The New Zealand Herald. 18 May 2007. Retrieved 29 December 2018.
  9. ^ "David Gray kills 13 at Aramoana, 13 September 1990," New Zealand History,
  10. ^ McKinnon, Malcolm. "Himatangi murders". Te Ara. Retrieved 25 February 2020.
  11. ^ "Revisiting a dark day: A mass school shooting in New Zealand". Stuff (company). 28 December 2018. Retrieved 27 December 2018.
  12. ^ "Murder in a small Kiwi school". Stuff (company). 23 December 2012. Retrieved 27 December 2018.
  13. ^ "Welcome to". Retrieved 15 March 2019.
  14. ^ "An early tragedy", Te Ara: The Encyclopedia of New Zealand, 22 April 2009. Retrieved 5 October 2015.
  15. ^ Oliver, S. "Maketu Wiremu Kingi", Te Ara: The Encyclopedia of New Zealand, 30 October 2012. Retrieved 7 October 2015.
  16. ^ Smith, Percy S. "Fall of Puke-Rangiora Pa, 1831 (Second siege)". NZETC.