The following calendar recalls events, people and occasions which we think should be commemorated by New Zealanders during the course of each year. 

We would like to acknowledge the work of the producers of the Aotearoa Calendar who gave us the idea of a website list of commemorations in 2012 and helped us compile the list of dates and events. 

We would invite any who reads this list to send in their suggestions for additional dates and events which we might be able to add to this one as part of a project to deepen our knowledge of our history with the aim of making our an ever more peaceful and just nation.

January Commemorations

4:  Aotearoa named "New Zealand" by Dutchman, Abel Tasman (1642)

10: Bishop Jean-Baptiste Pompallier arrives in the Hokianga (1838)

13: Bishop Pompallier says the first Mass in New Zealand soil (1838)

17: First Wesleyan missionary arrives in New Zealand (1822)

19: Hone Heke cuts down the British flagpole at Kororareka for the third time (1845)

24: South Taranaki invaded by Imperial troops (1865)

30: Mahatma Gandhi assassinated (1948)

February Commemorations

2:  World Wetland Day

     First secondary school for girls established in Otago (1871)

6:  Waitangi Day. Te Tiriti o Waitangi first signed at Waitangi (1840)

10: Start of 1951 Waterfront Strike

11: Nelson Mandela freed after 27 years in prison (1990)

19: Release of imprisoned Parihaka leaders Te Whiti o Rongomau and Tohu Kakahi (1883)

22: Martial Law declared in Taranaki (1860)

27: Blackball Miners Strike (1908)

28: Occupation of Pakaitore Gardens, Whanganui (1995)

March Commemorations

1: Nuclear Free Pacific Day. Anniversary of the first hydrogen bomb test at Bikini Atoll (1954)

5: Government troops occupied the Waitara to begin the first Taranaki War (1860)

6: Government returned Waiheke Island to Maori (!860)

8: International Women's Day

16: My Lai Massacre, Vietnam (1968)

17: St Patrick's Day

      Waihopai protesters acquitted (2010)

20: New Zealand's first (Independence) flag (1834)

21: International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination (Race Relations Day). 

     Sharpeville Massacre, South Africa (1960)

27: Trades Hall Wellington bombed (1984)

28: Maori TV established (2004)

April Commemorations

2: Rua Kenana arrested (1916)

4: Martin Luther King assassinated (1968)

15: First two Maori MPs elected to NZ Parliament (1868)

20: NZ Government belatedly ratifies UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (2010)

21:  First Kohanga Reo established in Wainuiomata (1982)

29: Battle of Gate Pa (1864)

30: Waihopai Base Protest (2008)

May Commemorations

1: International Workers Day (May Day)

5: James Busby becomes official British resident (1833)

6: Waikato River Settlement Act (2010)

9: Remembrance Day World War II

10: All-white All Blacks leave for South Africa (1960)

13: National Party formed (1936)

22  Waikato-Tainui Deed of Settlement (1995)

26: Parihaka ploughing campaign begins (1879)

27: Australian Aborigines given full citizenship (1967)

June Commemorations 

June is also the month of Matariki, the indigenous new year.

1: Western Samoa gains independence from New Zealand (1962)

2: Potatau Te Wherowero becomes the first Arikinui (Maori King) (1858)

5: World Environment Day

8: Aotearoa declared Nuclear-Free (1987)

17: The Wairau Incident (1843)

20: World Refugee Day

28: HMNZS Otago sail to Mururoa to protest against French Nuclear tests (1973)

30: NZ Constitution Act passed (1852)

July Commemorations

1: Waitangi Tribunal recommends return of Takaparawha (Bastion Point) to Auckland Maori (1988)

5: Poll tax imposed on Chinese (1881)

7: NZ Labour Party formed (1916)

    NZ Maori Party formed (2004)

8: Hone Heke cut down British flagpole at Kororareka for the first time (1844)

10: "Rainbow Warrior" bombed by French agents at Auckland waterfront (1985)

       Te Puea and followers arrested for refusing conscription (1918)

12: British Imperial forces invade the Waikato (1863)

14: Cancellation of All Black Tour to South Africa (1985)

16: Kohimarama Hui (1860)

25: Waikato-Springbok rugby game cancelled (1981)

August Commemorations

1: Te Reo Maori becomes an official language (1987)

4: Cook Islands granted independence by New Zealand (1965)

6: Hiroshima Day (1945)

    South Pacific declared nuclear-free (1985)

9: Nagasaki Day

    International Day of the World's Indigenous Peoples

12: International Youth Day

26: First General Strike and beginning of Trade Union movement (1890)

28: NZ Bill of Rights passed (1990)

September Commemorations

1: Signing of the ANZUS Alliance (1951)

12: Final game of 1981 Springbok rugby tour, Auckland

13: NZ fails to sign Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (2007)

14: Maori Land March begins (1975)

21: International Day of Peace

29: Ngai Tahu Settlement signed (1998)

October Commemorations

2: International Day of Non-violence/Mahatma Gandhi's birthday

28: Declaration of Independence signed by the United Tribes of NZ (1835)

November Commemorations

5: Parihaka Day (1881)

11: Armistice Day (1918)

12: Waihi Miners Strike (1912)

December Commemorations

1 :  West Papua National Day - commemorates the first raising of the West Papuan national flag ("Morning Star") in 1961

10: Human Rights Day

23: First Christian missionaries arrive in New Zealand (1814)

25: Christmas Day