1840 in New Zealand
1840 is considered a watershed year in the history of New Zealand: The Treaty of Waitangi is signed, British sovereignty over New Zealand is proclaimed, organised European settlement begins, and Auckland and Wellington are both founded.
The estimated population of New Zealand at the end of 1840 is 80,000 Māori and 2,050 non-Māori.
Regal and viceregal
- Head of State — Queen Victoria
- Governor of New South Wales — Sir George Gipps
- Lieutenant-Governor — Captain William Hobson
Government and law
January — June
- 3 January — The Cuba arrives in Port Nicholson with a survey party to prepare for the New Zealand Company settlement.
- 22 January — The first shipload of New Zealand Company immigrants arrives in Wellington on the Aurora and lands at Petone, which they name Britannia.
- 29 January — Lieutenant-Governor Captain William Hobson arrives in the Bay of Islands. With Hobson are the members of the Executive Council, Colonial Secretary Willoughby Shortland, Colonial Treasurer George Cooper and Attorney-General Francis Fisher and the Legislative Council comprising the Executive Council and three Justices of the Peace.
- 5 February — Māori chiefs assemble at Waitangi to discuss the terms of the Treaty of Waitangi.
- 6 February — Hone Heke is the first to sign the Treaty of Waitangi at the Bay of Islands.
- 19 February — French settlers under the command of Captain C. Lavaud, unaware of the Treaty of Waitangi, depart France in the L’Aube on their way to Akaroa. (see 1838)
- 1 March — Governor Hobson suffers a stroke.
- 24 March — The first bank in New Zealand, the Union Bank, is opened in Britannia.
- 6 April — George Clarke is appointed Protector of Aborigines by Governor Hobson.
- 18 April — The New Zealand Gazette and Britannia Spectator prints its second issue in Britannia, becoming the first newspaper published in New Zealand. The first issue was printed in England the previous year. The paper publishes weekly, changing its name to The New Zealand Gazette and Wellington Spectator a few months later.
- 21 May — Governor Hobson proclaims British sovereignty over New Zealand.
- 15 June — The New Zealand Advertiser and Bay of Islands Gazette begins publishing in Kororāreka. The newspaper publishes its last issue on 10 December 1840. It was suppressed because of anti-government tendencies.
- 16 June — HMS Herald, Captain Joseph Nias, arrives at Port Underwood with Major Thomas Banbury to obtain signatures from southern chiefs to the Treaty of Waitangi. The final signatures are added the next day. Later in the month the Herald arrives in Stewart Island where Banbury formally takes possession of the island in the name of Queen Victoria.
July — December
- 14 July — The first hotel licence in New Zealand is issued to the Duke of Marlborough in Kororāreka.
- 10 August — HMS Britomart arrives in Akaroa.
- 11 August — Union Jack is flown over Akaroa.
- 13 August — William Brown and Logan Campbell take up residence on Browns Island (Motukorea).
- 15 August — French settlers on the L’Aube arrive in Akaroa.
- 16 August — The Comte de Paris arrives in Akaroa.
- 15 September — The Anna Watson arrives in the Waitematā Harbour from the Bay of Islands to establish a new capital for New Zealand.
- 18 September — The British flag is raised at the fort on Point Britomart on the southern shore of the Waitematā Harbour marking the foundation of Auckland.
- 20 October — 3,000 acres (12 km2) is purchased from local Ngāti Whātua chiefs for the Auckland settlement.
- St Peter's School, the first Catholic school in New Zealand, opened in Kororāreka.
- First post office in New Zealand is established in Kororāreka by William Hayes.
- 11 June: Percy Smith, ethnologist and surveyor (d. 1922)
- 13 September: Abner Clough, farm worker (d. 1910)
- (date not known, in India): William Fraser, politician
- 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 has collated estimates from a number of sources (extrapolating where necessary) at "Long-term data series". Archived from the original on 5 March 2008. Retrieved 14 March 2008., in particular "A1.1 Total population.xls". Archived from the original (Excel) on 5 March 2008. Retrieved 14 March 2008.
- Today in History | NZHistory
- Wises New Zealand Guide, 7th Edition, 1979. p. 499.
- Wises New Zealand Guide, 7th Edition, 1979. p. 486.
- Wises New Zealand Guide, 7th Edition, 1979. p. 4.
- Wises New Zealand Guide, 7th Edition, 1979. p. 472.
- New Zealand Encyclopaedia 1966: George Clarke Biography
- "New Zealand Gazette and Wellington Spectator". National Library of New Zealand. Retrieved 19 May 2008.
- "Chapter 2: Early Statistical Sources — 19th Century" (PDF). Statistical Publications 1840–2000. Statistics New Zealand. p. 13. Archived from the original (PDF) on 25 November 2007.
- Wises New Zealand Guide, 7th Edition, 1979. p. 388.
- Wises New Zealand Guide, 7th Edition, 1979. p. 457.
- Wises New Zealand Guide, 7th Edition, 1979. p. 149.
- Wises New Zealand Guide, 7th Edition, 1979. p.405.
- Wises New Zealand Guide, 7th Edition, 1979. p. 45.
- "History — Auckland City". The Viaduct. Archived from the original on 11 April 2008. Retrieved 17 May 2008.
- Wises New Zealand Guide, 7th Edition, 1979. p. 18.
- Dinah Holman, Newmarket Lost and Found, 2nd edition, The Bush Press of New Zealand, Auckland, 2010, p. 247.
Media related to 1840 in New Zealand at Wikimedia Commons