Events of Northland

Lots of events have had an impact on Northland | Te Tai Tokerau. The information sources listed below have information on these events and offer different perspectives.

14 September 1975 photo of the Māori Land March leaving Te Reo Mihi Marae, Te Hapua.

Image: Participants in Māori Land March leaving Te Reo Mihi Marae, Te Hapua by Christian Heinegg. Collection: Alexander Turnbull Library. Ref: 35mm-87491-16-F.

Which events can I learn about?

Here are some events related to Northland you could find out about:

1807 or 1808

1807 or 1808
Beginning of the Musket Wars at the battle of Moremonui at Maunganui Bluff.

Find out about the Musket Wars
28 October 1835

28 October 1835
He Whakaputanga | Declaration of Independence signed at Waitangi by 34 rangatira.

Find out about He Whakaputanga
6 February 1840

6 February 1840
The Treaty of Waitangi | Te Tiriti o Waitangi was signed in the Bay of Islands by Hone Heke and other chiefs, before traveling the country and being signed by other chiefs around Aotearoa New Zealand.

Find out about the Treaty of Waitangi | Te Tiriti o Waitangi
1 July 1845

1 July 1845
Ōhaeawai Battle. This battle in the Northern War showed that fortified pā could stand up to cannon fire.

Find out about the Northern War
27 October 1902

27 October 1902
The SS Ventnor sinks off the Hokianga Coast on its way back to China with the bones of 499 Chinese Gold Miners for burial.

Find outa bout the sinking of the SS Ventnor
14 September 1975

14 September 1975
Fifty marchers left Te Hāpua, led by Dame Whina Cooper, beginning the land march (hīkoi) protesting the continuing loss of Māori land.

Find out about the Māori land march

Tips: These are just some examples of events you could research. You may have something different you're interested in finding out about. Just use words related to the event as your search terms in the resources below.

Northland resources

These are some websites and collections from Northland you can use to find out about things that have happened in the past.

Rediscovery: Far North District Library Local Histories Collections

Online access to photos, documents, maps and more about the Far North's past from Far North District Libraries. You can either browse or search the collections.

  • Enter a word related to an event in the search box, or

  • go to Browse all to browse the collection.

  • You can use Filter by and Format eg photograph, or Date to get fewer results.

  • Select an item to find out more about it.

Tips: Before searching it can be useful to come up with a list of words to use. These are sometimes called keywords. They can be the name of a person, place, or event you are researching.

Whangarei District Libraries Heritage Collection

This is an online collection of historical maps, photos, audio, and more about Whangarei and Northland.

  • Enter a word related to an event in the search box, or

  • go to Browse all to browse the collection.

  • You can use Filter by and Format eg photograph, or Date to get fewer results.

  • Select an item to find out more about it.

  • You can select Audio for oral histories with people about their lives.

Treaty of Waitangi

The Museum of Waitangi and Treaty Grounds are a good place to visit to find out about The Treaty of Waitangi | Te Titiri o Waitangi.

  • The museum includes displays on what led up to the Treaty signing.

  • Interactive displays let you look at people who signed the Treaty of Waitangi in different places in New Zealand.

  • To find out how to visit in person, from the menu choose Plan Your Day and then How to Get Here and Admission.

  • Or go to About Waitangi and History to read about the treaty.

Te Ruapakapeka

This site was put together by the Te Ruapekapeka Trust and the Department of Conservation. It has information out about the Northern War and the Battle of Te Ruapekapeka.

  • Select the tabs across the top to find out about The Northern War, The Battle of Ruapekapeka, and its legacy.

  • Each article has links to other articles at the bottom.

  • Or from the homepage, look down to the Video Library to look at what happened before, during, and after the battle, including a Māori perspective.

Butler Point Whaling Museum

This is a museum at Hihi in Doubtless Bay. It has information about whaling history.

The Kauri Museum

Located in Matakohe in Northland, the Kauri Museum is a good place to visit online or in person to find out about the kauri industry, including timber and kauri gum.

  • Go to Collections on the menu bar.

  • The Kauri gum collection shows images of polished gum.

  • Tudor Collins Photography has some photos of the kauri timber industry.

Te Ahu Museum

This museum has a large collection of early New Zealand Northland taonga.

  • Find the link to Explore the Collection.

  • Use keywords in the search field to explore the website.

  • Select an item to find out more about it.

  • Or go to Far North Stories for stories about the Far North's past.

Far North District Libraries

This is the catalogue for the Far North District Libraries. You can search for books to borrow or read in the library.

  • Enter a word related to an event in the search box.

  • Select a book to find out more and which library it can be found at.

Whangarei District Libraries

Whangarei District Libraries have lots of items about the history of the Northland area.

  • Go to Heritage, then Northland Heritage to find what types of information they have.

  • Visit the Northland Room at Whangārei Central Library to look at some items in person.

General New Zealand resources

These websites have good historical information about all of New Zealand, as well as Northland.

Te Ara The Encyclopedia of New Zealand

Te Ara is an excellent starting point for all questions about New Zealand Aotearoa. If we go down to the bottom of the page we can see that the website belongs to the Ministry for Culture & Heritage, so the information is well-researched and reliable.

  • Search using words that are related to something that happened in the past.

  • Choose an article to read.


NZHistory is a website from the Ministry of Culture & Heritage with information about people, places, and events in the history of Aotearoa New Zealand.

  • Search this website by using words related to an event.

  • You could go to Culture and Society to find the Memorials Register to view the Northland memorials map.

  • This page has links to memorials built to commemorate different wars.

Tips: We like sites like this because they’re reliable. You can tell because of their web address – they have either .govt or .ac, meaning they are from government or educational organisations. They’re also New Zealand sites, so relevant for us.

Papers Past - Newspapers

This is a searchable collection of early NZ newspapers (19th and 20th centuries) by the National Library and its partners.

  • Search using keywords related to an event.

  • Or you can browse newspapers from Northland by going to the tab By Region.

  • Then select Northland.

  • Select a newspaper to choose one to read or search within.

Tips: If your keyword doesn’t work, try thinking of other words you could use. Sometimes there are different names or spellings for words. Or they could have changed over time.

The Aotearoa History Show

This video podcast from Radio New Zealand tells the story of Aotearoa New Zealand from when the land was formed to today.

  • Select an episode to watch or listen to.

  • Look under the video for the topics that the podcast covers.

He Tohu

This website is the best place to find out about He Whakaputanga | Declaration of Independence, Te Titiri o Waitangi | Treaty of Waitangi, and the Te Petihana Whakamana Pōti Wahine | Women's Suffrage Petition.

  • Look down the page to the heading The story of the documents.

  • Choose a document to explore the information about it.

  • Text is available in English and Te Reo.

Tuia Matauranga

This website highlights local people, places, and events that have helped shape Aotearoa.


This is a search site that focuses on Aotearoa New Zealand's history and brings together results from lots of different websites such as New Zealand libraries, museums, universities, and government sites all at once.

  • Use search words about people, places or events in Northland.

  • You can view a range of videos, audio, articles and images, and more on your topic.

Te Arawhiti | The Office for Māori Crown Relations

This government website has information about Treaty of Waitangi settlements.

  • Select Te Kāhui Whakatau (Treaty Settlements).

  • Then choose Find a Treaty settlement.

  • Look down the page to find the Deeds of Settlement for the iwi you're looking for.

  • The summary documents are good to start with and have an overview and historical background.

Visit Heritage

This site coms from Heritage New Zealand. It has information about the Treaty of Waitangi signing at the Māngungu Mission Station.

Department of Conservation (DOC)

The Department of Conservation (DOC) is the government website about preserving the natural and historical places of New Zealand. You can see it’s a government site by looking at the About us or Contact links at the top of the page.

Science Learning Hub

This website is great for science topics for New Zealand students. It has articles, activities and videos and was put together by the University of Waikato and Curious Minds (NZ). It has information about how the star chart was put together and how to use it.

Instructional Series: School Journal

This is an online version of the School Journal. It has articles about Northland history.

  • Use keywords to search for Northland articles.

  • You will see icons below the articles.

  • Choose Text to download a copy of the article to read.


Your local or school library will have books about Northland's histories, here are some we found:

More about Northland

People of Northland

Here are some sources you could look at if you'd like to find out about individual people or groups of people from Northland | Te Tai Tokerau.

Learn about people of Northland

Places of Northland

There are many places that are significant to Northland | Te Tai Tokerau. This page will recommend resources to find out about the first capital of New Zealand (Russell | Kororāreka) and other places important to the history of Northland.

Learn about places of Northland