Events of Southland

The following resources explore a number of historical events that have had an impact on Southland | Murihiku and can offer some different perspectives.

Photo of 3 houses submerged in water at the peak of the 27 Jan 1984 flood. Taken on Half Mile Road, Tūātapere.

Image: Tūātapere Events - 40th Anniversary of 'Black Friday' Floods, Tūātapere Township & surrounds, 27 Jan 1984 by Lindsay Faulkner. Collection: Central and Western Murihiku Southland Archive on DigitalNZ.

Which events can I learn about?

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


Arrival of Waitaha iwi, specifically to Bluff. Followed by Ngāti Mamoe and Ngāi Tahu.

Find out about Māori migration

Arrival of first Europeans and sealers.

Find out about sealing

Minnie Dean hanged.

Find out about crime

Floods devastate Southland.

Find out about the 1984 Southland Floods

Ngāi Tahu Claims Settlement Act passed.

Find out about the Ngāi Tahu Claim

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.

Southland resources

The following resources explore a number of historical events that have had an impact on Southland Murihiku and can offer some different perspectives.

Invercargill Library Archives

Discover a wide range of historical records and digitised material. You can also listen to oral history extracts.

  • Enter your keywords in the search bar.

  • Use the Filters to get the results you want.

  • Select an item to read or look at.

  • Some items can only be looked at by contacting the archivist and viewing them in the library.

Ngāi Tahu

This is the website of Ngāi Tahu. It has information about the history of the iwi, the Waitangi Tribunal, and Ngāi Tahu Settlement.

  • Go to the Ngāi Tahu tab

  • Under History, choose Ngāi Tahu Settlement.

  • Choose a topic from the list to find out more.

Since Writing You Last

This website has letters written by soldiers from Southland who served in World War 1.

  • Select the name of a soldier from the top menu.

  • Select the link to the soldier's letters.


The Ngāi Tahu Archive which is made up of collections of tribal significance. This includes maps, photographs, biographies and audio-visual material.

  • Enter an event or keyword into the search bar.

  • Choose an item to find out more.

General New Zealand resources

These websites have good information about the history of Southland.

Te Ara: The Encyclopedia of New Zealand

Te Ara answers all questions about the people, environment, history, culture and society of New Zealand. There is a lot of information and pictures about Southland and Invercargill.

  • Enter a keyword related to an event in the search bar.

  • Select stories or images from the menu on the left.

  • Select an item to read or look at.


NZHistory is a great website for information about New Zealand Aotearoa. If we go all the way down the page we can see that the website belongs to the Ministry for Culture & Heritage, so the information is well-researched and reliable.

  • Search for keywords related to an event.

  • Select articles and events, images, biographies or women together search, from the menu on the right.

  • Select an item to read or look at.

Tips: We like sites that are from government or other reputable organisations, because we can trust the information. You can sometimes tell these sites by their web address – they might have .gov or .edu in their address – or by looking at their About us or Contact pages.

Papers Past

Searchable collection of early NZ newspapers, letters, diaries and magazines digitised by the National Library and partners. Great site to use to find primary sources related to New Zealand.

  • Select Newspapers, Magazines and Journals or Letters and Diaries from the menu.

  • Enter your keywords in to the search bar.

  • Enter dates for the event if you know them.

  • Select an item to look at.

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.


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.

  • 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.

National Library of New Zealand

The National Library collects New Zealand's documentary taonga in words, sounds and pictures. They have content that is available online and some resources that can only be looked at in the library in Wellington.

We recommend starting off with a website search as this will search the National Library catalogue, the Alexander Turnbull catalogue, and more.

  • Enter your keywords in the search bar.

  • Use the Filters to get fewer results.

  • Filter by Type if you're looking for images, audio, or books etc.

  • The Availability filter lets you choose if you want items that are available online.

  • Filter by Date for when things were published.

  • You can also filter by Subject.

  • Select an item to look at.


Here are a few books about events held in Southland for you to look for at your school or local library. Your local librarian is a great person to ask for the best books about your local area.

SCIS no: 5496541

More about Southland

People of Southland

Here are some sources you could look at if you'd like to find out about individual people or groups of people from Southland.

Learn about people of Southland

Places of Southland

There are many places that are significant to Southland, known as Murihiku in Te Reo Māori. The following websites and museums have information about the history of places in Southland | Murihiku.

Learn about places of Southland