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Conventions and Incentives New Zealand
Conventions and Incentives New Zealand

about new zealand - Our History

It is said that around 800 AD a Polynesian explorer named Kupe discovered New Zealand. Many people arrived in large Waka (canoes) from Kupe’s home country Hawaiki (an island in today’s French Polynesia named Ra’iatea), bringing their distinct Polynesian culture with them. They called the land Aotearoa - land of the long white cloud.

European discovery was much later, in 1642. Dutch explorer Abel Tasman sighted the west coast of New Zealand, but was dissuaded from landing for longer when members of his crew were captured, killed and eaten!

In 1769, Captain James Cook, on his boat the Endeavour, circled the North and South Islands. Rather than being put off by violent contact with the Maori people, he was inspired by their courage and saw the possibilities for this new land. Captain James Cook claimed it for Great Britain.

The British began colonising New Zealand in the 1830’s, putting the country under the rule of New South Wales in Australia until 1841. As more settlers arrived into New Zealand however, the country demanded its own rule to deal with land deals and disputes between Pakeha settlers and local Maori.

In 1840, the Treaty of Waitangi was signed to clarify who governed the land, with the British offering protection from the British Empire in exchange for land. Yet tension continued to build, with wars eventually breaking out, often over land, in Northland, TaranakiWaikato and on the East Coast of the North Island. The battles eventually died out by around the 1870s.

In the early 1900s, New Zealand still fell under the dominion of the British Empire, but by 1947 it had gained its independence. The discovery of gold in the late 1800s drove many new immigrants to New Zealand and many gold mining townships sprung up. After the 'gold rush' had waned, many settlers took up various forms of farming, with the aim of creating a country that could operate in its own right.

New Zealand society in the 1900s pioneered many social reforms, including being the first country to give women the vote. We sought to encourage a classless society.

Legend has it that New Zealand was fished from the sea. Fact has it that New Zealand was the last land mass on earth to be discovered, making New Zealand the youngest country on earth.


Incorporate our fascinating history into your New Zealand conference or convention! In every reigon of New Zealand, there are wonderful historic venues to discover. For a conference in Wellington, you could include a tour of the exceptional Te Papa Museum or tour our Parliament building, known as The Beehive! In Northland, you could take a tour of the sacred Waitangi Treaty Grounds, for an inside look into the treaty which formed New Zealand as a country, or feel the sacred presence inside a carved Maori meeting house (marae.) The options are truly endless, and will make for a memorable and unique New Zealand conference.