1855 in New Zealand

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1855 in New Zealand

See also:

The following lists events that happened during 1855 in New Zealand.


The estimated population of New Zealand at the end of 1855 is 59,500 Māori and 37,192 non-Māori.[1]


Regal and viceregal[edit]

Government and law[edit]

The 1st Parliament is dissolved on 15 September in preparation for the 1855 general election. The election starts on 26 October and concludes on 28 December. The 2nd Parliament is not formed until 15 April 1856.

There is neither an official Prime minister/Premier/Colonial Secretary or Finance Minister/Colonial Secretary in the government at this point in time. (see 1st New Zealand Parliament)


  • January: The Māori language magazine, The Maori Messenger or Te Karere Maori resumes publication with a change to the Māori title. It stopped publication the previous year. Under this name, it continues until 1861.[2]
  • 23 January: The 1855 Wairarapa earthquake causes extensive damage but few deaths. The quake, estimated at magnitude 8.2, raises parts of the Wellington harbour foreshore by as much as 6 metres.[3]
  • April: James McKenzie is found guilty of stealing 1000 sheep and sentenced to five years hard labour in Lyttelton. He is pardoned the following year.[4]
  • July: New Zealand's first postage stamps are issued.


Horse racing[edit]

The Canterbury Jockey Club holds its first meeting, at Riccarton Racecourse, including the Canterbury Cup (which is run in heats).[5]



See also[edit]


  1. ^ Statistics New Zealand has collated estimates from a number of sources (interpolating where necessary) at "Long-term data series". Archived from the original on 5 March 2008. Retrieved 2008-03-14. , in particular "A1.1 Total population.xls". Archived from the original (Excel) on 5 March 2008. Retrieved 2008-03-14. 
  2. ^ "Chapter 2: Early Statistical Sources — 19th Century" (PDF). Statistical publications 1840–2000. Statistics New Zealand. p. 11. Archived from the original (PDF) on 25 November 2007. 
  3. ^ Today in History | NZHistory
  4. ^ Lyttelton Times 18 April 1855.
  5. ^ Todd, S. (1976) Sporting Records of New Zealand. Auckland: Moa Publications. ISBN 0-908570-00-7