1879 in New Zealand
Regal and viceregal
- Head of State — Queen Victoria
- Governor — The term of The Marquess of Normanby ends on 21 February. Sir Hercules Robinson takes up the appointment on 27 March.
Government and law
The general election is held between 15 August and 1 September; a law was passed to confirm the result in three electorates (Marsden, Northern Maori and Western Maori);  and to clarify the law about electoral petitions (1880). The 7th New Zealand Parliament commences.
- Speaker of the House — Maurice O'Rorke becomes Speaker when his predecessor, Sir William Fitzherbert, is appointed to the Legislative Council.
- Premier — John Hall replaces Sir George Grey on 8 October.
- Minister of Finance — John Hall replaces Sir George Grey on 8 October. Grey had taken up the post on 10 July after John Ballance had resigned on 1 July.
- Chief Justice — Hon Sir James Prendergast
Voting rights are extended to all males.
The term of parliament is reduced from five years to three years.
Main centre leaders
- Mayor of Auckland — Thomas Peacock
- Mayor of Christchurch — Henry Thomson followed by Charles Thomas Ick
- Mayor of Dunedin — Henry John Walter
- Mayor of Wellington — Joseph Dransfield followed by George Allen followed by William Hutchison
- 21 February: An explosion in the coal mine at Kaitangata kills 34 men.
- 30 March: The Ross Guardian ceases publication. It began in 1866.
Major race winners
- New Zealand Cup — Chancellor
- New Zealand Derby — Hornby
- Auckland Cup — Ariel
- Wellington Cup — Maritana
The first annual competition between clubs from different centres begins between Christchurch and Dunedin clubs.
- 26 July: The first union in New Zealand, Canterbury Rugby Football Union, is formed at Timaru, incorporating Christchurch, Christ's College, Temuka, North Canterbury, Eastern, South Canterbury, Ashburton, and Southbridge rugby clubs.
- 20 October: The Wellington Rugby Football Union is formed, initially consisting of the Wellington and Athletic clubs.
Ballinger Belt — Corporal W. Ballinger (Wellington)
- 18 January: Agnes Louisa Weston, politician (MLC).
- 30 August (in London): Maud Ruby "Daisy" Basham, radio personality.
- 15 June: Miriam Cummings (later Miriam Soljak), activist.
- 28 December: Claude Weston, politician.
- 2 February (in England): General Sir Thomas Pratt, commander British forces in NZ 1860–61.
- 3 March: Jerningham Wakefield, politician and pioneer settler.
- 24 April – John Munro, politician (b. 1798/99)
- 14 May: Henry Sewell, politician.
- 14 July: Thomas Outhwaite, first registrar of the Supreme Court.
- 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
- Romanos, J. (2001) New Zealand Sporting Records and Lists. Auckland: Hodder Moa Beckett. ISBN 1-86958-879-7
- "Elections Validation Act, 1879". New Zealand Law online.
- "Electoral Petitions Act, 1880". New Zealand Law online.
- New Zealand Parliament - Parliament timeline
- New Zealand History online: Today in History - 21 February
- "HOKITIKA. March 31". North Otago Times. 1 April 1879. p. 2. Retrieved 21 June 2008.
- List of New Zealand Chess Champions Archived 14 October 2008 at the Wayback Machine.
- Todd, S. (1976) Sporting Records of New Zealand. Auckland: Moa Publications. ISBN 0-908570-00-7
- edited by A. H. McLintock (1966). "RUGBY UNION FOOTBALL". An Encyclopaedia of New Zealand. Te Ara — The Encyclopedia of New Zealand. Archived from the original on 8 January 2009. Retrieved 2009-02-13.
Media related to 1879 in New Zealand at Wikimedia Commons