1891 in New Zealand

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1891 in New Zealand

See also:

The following lists events that happened during 1891 in New Zealand.


Regal and viceregal[edit]

Government and law[edit]

Following their victory in the 1890 election the Liberal Government forms the 11th New Zealand Parliament, taking office on 24 January. This is the first time a single political party forms a government in New Zealand.

The new Liberal Government restricts future terms of appointment to the Legislative Council to 7 years. Previous appointments have been for life.

Parliamentary opposition[edit]

Leader of the OppositionJohn Ballance (Liberal Party) until 23 June, then John Bryce (Independent) until 31 August, then William Rolleston (Independent).[1]

Main centre leaders[edit]


  • 13 January — The first public phonograph performance in New Zealand is made at Christchurch.[2][3]
  • 17 March — The S.S. Alice is the first mechanically powered vessel to pass through Ohau Channel and the first to operate on Lake Rotoiti. Among the passengers are Governor Onslow and Lady Onslow.[4] (see also 1889)

Arts and literature[edit]




  • 12 August Godfrey Shaw sets the first (unofficial) world record by a New Zealander. He runs 57.2 seconds for 440 yards hurdles at the Isle of Man.[5][6]

National Champions, Men The 440 yards hurdles is held for the first time.

  • 100 yards — J. King (Wellington) Race won by W. Macpherson (Australia)
  • 250 yards — J. King (Wellington) Race won by W. Macpherson (Australia)
  • 440 yards — J. Hutchison (Auckland) Race won by W. Macpherson (Australia)
  • 880 yards — Derisley Wood (Canterbury)
  • 1 mile — Derisley Wood (Canterbury)
  • 3 miles — Derisley Wood (Canterbury)
  • 120 yards hurdles — Harold Batger (Wellington)
  • 440 yards hurdles — Harold Batger (Wellington)
  • Long jump — T. Upfill (Auckland)
  • High jump — tie J. Hume (Wellington) and E. Laurie (Auckland)
  • Pole vault — T. Upfill (Auckland)
  • Shot put — Timothy O’Connor (Auckland)


National champion: R.J Barnes of Wellington [7]


Horse racing[edit]

Harness racing[edit]

Thoroughbred racing[edit]

Season leaders (1890/91)[edit]

  • Leading flat jockey — G. Collelo

Lawn bowls[edit]

Dissatisfied with their remoteness from the national association the North Island clubs and those from Nelson form a separate Northern Bowling Association. National Champions[10]

  • Singles — G. White (Milton)
  • Fours — D. Campbell, W. Weir, D. Mackie and W. Carswell (skip) (Taieri)


The New Zealand Polo Association is formed from clubs in Auckland, Christchurch, Dunedin, Rangitikei, North Canterbury and Waikari.[6]

  • Savile Cup winners — Christchurch


National Champions (Men)

  • Single sculls — W. Bridson (Wellington)
  • Double sculls — Star
  • Coxless pairs — Wellington
  • Coxed fours — Wellington

Rugby union[edit]

Provincial club rugby champions include:

see also Category:Rugby union in New Zealand


  • Ballinger Belt — Private C. Kruse (Wanganui Rifles)


Provincial Champions:[11] — This is the first year any provincial championship is recorded. Auckland commenced in 1892.

  • Wellington: Petone Wanderers


National champions (Men)

  • 100 yards frestyle — H. Bailey (Auckland)
  • 440 yards frestyle — H. Bailey (Auckland)
  • 880 yards frestyle — H. Nicholson (Auckland)


National championships

  • Men's singles — J. Marshall
  • Women's singles — J. Rees
  • Men's doubles — R. Harman and F. Wilding
  • Women's doubles — K. Hitchings and E. Gordon



  • 20 July: (in London, England) Frederick Weld, politician and governor.

See also[edit]


  • Romanos, J. (2001) New Zealand Sporting Records and Lists. Auckland: Hodder Moa Beckett. ISBN 1-86958-879-7
  1. ^ "Elections NZ — Leaders of the Opposition". Archived from the original on 17 October 2008. Retrieved 6 April 2008. 
  2. ^ Christchurch City Libraries - Christchurch: A chronology
  3. ^ Sutherland, A. New Zealand Famous Firsts and Related Records. 1961
  4. ^ Woodenboatparade: S.S. Alice
  5. ^ Heidenstrom, P. (1992) Athletes of the Century. Wellington: GP Publications. ISBN 1-86956-044-2
  6. ^ a b Todd, S. (1976) Sporting Records of New Zealand. Auckland: Moa Publications. ISBN 0-908570-00-7
  7. ^ List of New Zealand Chess Champions Archived 14 October 2008 at the Wayback Machine.
  8. ^ Today in History | NZHistory
  9. ^ Auckland Trotting cup at hrnz.co.nz Archived 17 June 2009 at the Wayback Machine.
  10. ^ As the New Zealand Bowling Association at this time consists entirely of South Island clubs, the first truly "national" championships are not deemed to have begun until 1914.
  11. ^ New Zealand - List of Champions

External links[edit]

Media related to 1891 in New Zealand at Wikimedia Commons