1906 International Exhibition


A timeline of events from the late 19th and early 20th centuries providing a historical and social context in which the New Zealand International Exhibition took place. Included are key occasions and events that happened during the Exhibition.


5 May
Sweating Commission reports on long hours, low pay and exploitation of women and children in "sweated" industries such as clothing trade.


J. Ballantyne & Co. becomes the first store in Christchurch to be illuminated with electricity.
School of Nursing established at Christchurch Hospital, which offered a formal course of training for women nurses.
24 January
First Liberal Government takes office under Premier John Ballance. Liberal Party remained in power for 21 years, although Ballance himself died on 27 April 1893.
11 March
New Zealand Alpine Club founded by Guy Mannering and others.
21 April
Emily Hancock Siedeberg enrols as a medical student at the University of Otago. She graduates 5 years later to become the first NZ-trained woman doctor.
21 September
Factories Act passed.


14 April
Te Kotahitanga, the first Māori Parliament, established at hui of 96 chiefs at Waitangi. It aimed to unite the tribes politically and ensure the principles of the Treaty of Waitangi were upheld. It held its first meeting on 14 June.
16 April
New Zealand Rugby Football Union founded.
11 October
Shops and Shop Assistants Act passes.


Apirana Turupa Ngata graduates with a BA in political science, becoming the first Māori to gain a degree. He follows this degree with an LLB in 1897 and an MA in 1921.
1 May
Richard John Seddon becomes Premier, following death of Ballance from cancer on 27 April.
19 September
NZ becomes first self-governing nation in world to grant the vote to women.


18 January
New Brighton Pier opened.
31 August
Industrial Conciliation and Arbitration Act passes.
14 September
Mahuta Tawhiao Potatau Te Wherowhero becomes third Māori king.
17 September
Destitute Persons Act passes.
18 October
Factories Act, Abattoirs and Slaughtermen's Act, Government Advances to Settlers Act, Land for Settlement Act, Lands Improvement and Native Lands Acquisition Act passes.
23 October
Native Land Court Act passes.
29 October
SS Wairarapa is wrecked on the cliffs of Great Barrier Island, resulting in 121 deaths.
25 December
Mount Cook/Aoraki climbed for the first time.


23 April
Regular Lyttelton-Wellington Cook Strait ferry service inaugurated with the "Penguin".
12 August
The "Winton baby-farmer" Williamina Dean hanged for the murder of babies in her care. She is the only woman ever to be hanged in New Zealand.
17 November
Visit to Christchurch of Mark Twain.


26 March
New Zealand's worst mining disaster at Brunner Mine on the West Coast. After an explosion in the mine, 65 miners are killed, nearly half the underground workforce.
13 April
National Council of Women holds its first meeting.
18 April
The cantata "Hinemoa" by Alfred Francis Hill is performed during the Wellington Industrial Exhibition.
11 September
Female Law Practitioners Act passes, allowing women to practise as lawyers. In 1897, Ethel Rebecca Benjamin became New Zealand's first woman lawyer, but she received little support from her male peers. In December 1906, she came to Christchurch to manage a restaurant at the Exhibition.
12 October
Infant Life Protection Act passes.
5 November
District nursing service, founded by Sibylla Emily Maude, opens in Durham Street. In 1901, the District Nursing Association which still bears Nurse Maude’s name was founded.


Council restricts cyclists to a speed of 8mph. The same year, the first Metropolitian Cycle Show was held.
29 January
Conference at Te Aute College leads to the formation of the Te Aute Students' Association, later known as the Young Māori Party. It was led by Apirana Turupa Ngata and Peter Henry Buck.
Benjamin Woolfield Mountfort designed clock-tower erected on corner of High, Lichfield and Manchester Streets to mark diamond jubilee of Queen Victoria. The clock-tower now stands on the corner of Victoria and Salisbury Streets.
22 December
Victoria College (now Victoria University of Wellington) founded, named after the Queen to mark her diamond jubilee.


14 January
"Great Peninsula Fire" destroys much of the bush on Banks Peninsula.
Nicholas Oates of Christchurch imports first car into the South Island; first car had been imported into New Zealand on 19 February 1898.
1 November
Old-Age Pensions Act passes.
5 November
Shearers' Accommodation Act passes.


Maui Wiremu Piti Naera Pomare becomes the first Māori to qualify as a doctor, graduating from the Seventh Day Adventist college in Battle Creek, Michigan, United States of America.
11 March
Two trains crowded with workers from the Islington freezing works collide at Rakaia. Four people are killed and 22 injured.
5 October
First Boer War contingent leaves Lyttelton for South Africa; 10 contingents, about 6500 men served in South Africa over next 2 and a half years.
11 October
First Labour Day, marking the adoption of the concept of the 8-hour day.
6 November
Addington Raceway inaugural meeting.


McLeans Mansion in Manchester Street completed. Its 53 rooms make it the largest private house ever built in New Zealand.
13 October
Public Health Act and Manual and Technical Instruction Act pass.
18 October
Workers' Compensation for Accidents Act; Māori Councils Act, promoted by James Carroll, which set up regional committees to take over local government and health functions for Māori. The councils were ultimately unsuccessful.
20 October
Māori Lands Administration Act, which established boards controlled by Māori to administer the sale or lease of Māori lands.
1 November
Christchurch Jubilee Industrial Exhibition opens and runs until 31 January 1901.


1 January
Universal penny postage introduced.
22 January
Queen Victoria dies at Osborne House on the Isle of Wight and is succeeded by her son, Edward VII.
1 February
The Tourist and Health Resorts Department established. It is the first government-sponsored tourism organisation in the world.
10 June
Duke and Duchess of Cornwall and York, later George V and Queen Mary, begin tour of New Zealand, and are received with expressions of fervent loyalty from crowds.


30 May
Royal Commission recommends against federation with Australia. Federation had been fiercely opposed by Seddon.
11 June
Cook Islands and Niue incorporated into NZ.
12 September
Nurses' Registration Act passes. New Zealand nurses are the first in the world to be accorded State registration.
16 November
An earthquake damages the spire of Christchurch Cathedral for the 3rd time. It is rebuilt in wood and metal, instead of stone.
21 December
Robert Falcon Scott leaves from Lyttelton for Antarctica aboard the "Discovery". He returned from this, his first Antarctic expedition on 1 April 1904.


27 June
NZ flag gazetted.
9 November
SS Elingamite wrecked at Three Kings Islands during a voyage from Sydney to Auckland. 28 passengers and 17 crew die.


22 January
First meeting of Christchurch Tramway Board. Its first chairman is William Reese, later Executive Commissioner for the Exhibition.
31 March
Richard William Pearse makes his first flight in the flying machine he invented.
1 April
Sydenham, Linwood and St. Albans amalgamate with City to form Greater Christchurch. Henry Francis Wigram becomes first mayor.
24 May
Empire Day celebrated for first time.
25 May
Statue of Queen Victoria unveiled in Market Square, renamed Victoria Square.
30 June
Governor's speech from the throne to Parliament provides first intimation that an international exhibition "on an extensive scale" is to be held in NZ "at no distant date … [because it] would be to the advantage of agriculture, commerce and the industries of the colony"..
11 August
The Premier, Richard John Seddon repeats suggestion that an exhibition should be held in his financial statement for year. Such an exhibition is necessary if full justice is to be done to the settlement and development of the colony, its resources, manufactures, commerce, "grand, unique and beautiful scenery", arts and products.
4 September
Canterbury Automobile Association founded.
1 November
Christchurch-Invercargill rail express opens.
18 November
State Fire Insurance Act passes. State Insurance offices opened in 1905.
23 November
Government grants free places in secondary schools to all students who have passed the Std 6 Proficiency Examination.


22 April
Avon Pine Sanatorium in New Brighton Road at Wainoni opens. Consumption cases were treated by the open-air method.
16 May
Motor bus service to Timaru begins.
12 July
Seddon once again raises the question of an exhibition in his financial statement, which includes £1000 for initial expenses.
T. E. Donne scouts in US and Europe for exhibitors.
1 November
Consecration of Christchurch Cathedral.
5 November
Midwives Act, which provides for the State registration of properly trained midwives in a bid to reduce infant mortality.
17 November
Meeting called by the mayor, C.M. Gray, for delegates from interested Christchurch bodies, including the City Council, Chamber of Commerce, Canterbury Industrial Association, Agricultural and Pastoral Association, and Trades and Labour Council. The meeting passed a resolution of support for the Exhibition.


18 January
Meeting at Christchurch City Council Chambers of about 100 Christchurch citizens, chaired by mayor C.M. Gray. Resolution in support of Exhibition passed. General Committee appointed.
12 February
Catholic Basilica opens.
13 February
Meeting between mayor and Premier Seddon to discuss Exhibition.
Debate over choice of north or south Hagley Park for exhibition.
14 March
Domain Board meeting to discuss Hagley Park site.
15 March
Canterbury Chamber of Commerce meets to discuss Exhibition.
29 March
Secretary appointed: E. J. Righton.
11 April
North Hagley Park site chosen.
Royal Exchange Building opens in the Square. It featured the first passenger lift in Christchurch.
12 May
Executive Committee holds its first meeting.
29 May
First St Helens Hospital opens in Wellington. Christchurch St. Helens opened in 1907.
2 June
Opening of the Papanui Line by the Christchurch Tramway Company.
6 June
First electric trams in Christchurch.
14 June
William Pember Reeves, the architect of much of the Liberal Government's social legislation, appointed NZ's first high commissioner to London. He had been NZ's Agent-General in London since 1896.
26 July
King Edward Barracks opens.
1 August
J. Campbell begins work on developing the grounds and gardens of Hagley Park to represent "an old English woodland scene".
16 Sept-31 December
"The Originals" All Black tour of United Kingdom.
24 September
Edward Lionel Terry murders Joe Kum Yung in Wellington to gain publicity for his views on alien immigration and his belief in racial segregation. He is diagnosed as schizophrenic and spends the rest of his life in the Sunnyside and Seacliff mental hospitals.
30 October
Workers' Dwellings Act passes.
31 October
NZ International Exhibition Empowering Act passes.
Robert Allan, who had been president of the 1900-1 Canterbury Jubilee Industrial Exhibition, and of several earlier Canterbury Industrial Association exhibitions, appointed Executive Commissioner, in association with G.S. Munro.
Authorisation of construction of a railway from Riccarton station to the Exhibition grounds in Hagley Park, for the transport of building materials and later, for visitors. The railway was opened on 5 December.
18 December
Seddon lays foundation stone for buildings. Main building to be designed by Joseph Clarkson Maddison and built by J. & W. Jamieson. Machinery Hall designed by F. C. Barlow to be built by W. W. Smith. See the architects' drawings.
26 December
Loop tramway line approved. It will connect the existing tramline to the Exhibition site at Hagley Park.


9 January
First traverse of Mount Cook, expedition led by Peter Graham.
20 January
Whirlwind wrenches unfinished framework of Exhibition buildings from its fastenings, causing £700 worth of damage.
D. C. McIntyre appointed travelling representative for the Exhibition, touring New Zealand to raise interest and to assist in developing the provincial courts. In August, he is appointed Director of Exhibits.
9 March
Heavy gale brings down one of the towers.
30 March
Professor John Macmillan Brown selects the winning Exhibition Ode, written by Johannes Carl Andersen. Later, the Ode was set to music by Alfred Francis Hill.
26 April
Meeting of delegates to discuss North Canterbury court.
29 April
New Zealand census taken. Total population: 888,578, with 31.5% aged under 15 and only 4.6% over 65. Population of Christchurch area: 67,878. Māori population: 45,700, increasing again after reaching its nadir in 1896. Native-born population: 68.26%. Literacy: 83.5%. 323,841 men in employment, 25% in primary production and 22% in industrial fields; 75,244 women in paid employment, the largest sector being domestic service..
John Hall, former New Zealand premier, appointed as mayor in Exhibition year.
8 May
Regulations passed for management of Exhibition. George Samuel Munro is appointed chairman of Commissioners, Robert Allen is vice-chairman and Donald George Clark accountant.
10 June
Death of Premier Richard John Seddon; memorial service held in Cheviot in January 1907 and memorial unveiled.
12 June
Construction of main building progresses.
End of June-early July
First ferns planted in Fernery.
Alfred Francis Hill appointed by government to conduct orchestra after public protest about the Entertainment Committee's earlier appointment of Arundel Orchard of Sydney.
6 August
Joseph Ward becomes premier.
Robert Allan resigns as executive commissioner on grounds of ill health. W. Reece and G.T. Booth appointed co-Executive Commissioners, with G. S Munro as chairman. D. C. McIntyre, appointed Director of Exhibits.
1-10 September
Debate over price of season tickets. The Government sets a rate of 2 guineas for an adult male, 1 guinea for an adult female and half a guinea for children. There is a 25% discount for families. In the end, 8,123 season tickets are sold. The price of entry for a single visit to the Exhibition is one shilling.
19 September
Government authorises payment for 56 musicians for the orchestra. Hill's selection includes 5 women.
19 September
Organ being erected in Concert Hall.
First Christchurch-Timaru cycle race.
Main building and machinery hall near completion.
27 September
Debate over liquor on the Exhibition site ends with decision for prohibition. Inspector Gillies of the Christchurch police later said that the refusal of the Licensing Board to grant a liquor licence to the Exhibition undoubtedly contributed to the good order which prevailed both within the grounds and around the city.
1 October
Orchestra begins rehearsals.
2 October
Tender for running the Exhibition restaurant let to Mr Rod of Wellington on a royalty basis. Interest in the tender was slight, because the restaurant was not permitted to sell liquor. There were also several tearooms on site, which were far more popular with tenderers.
8 October
Office staff moves into Exhibition building.
12 October
Cyclorama of Gettysburg erected. It measures 360 feet by 50 feet and weighs 5 tons. The cost of painting the picture is said to be £12,000.
13 October
James Carroll, the Native Affairs minister, visits the site and the Māori Pa.
15 October
Trial of loop tram line. Trams for the Exhibition site ran with the destination EXHIB..
20 October
South Island Landless Natives Act passes.
22 October
Post office opens on Exhibition site.
23 October
Telegraph office opens on Exhibition site.
30 October
Dinner hosted by the President of the Exhibition for the editors of the colony's newspapers.
31 October 
Party of 26 Cook Islanders arrives in Christchurch to stay at Pa.
First State houses opened in Sydenham.
1 November
Exhibition opened by Governor, Lord Plunket.
The Exhibition Ode, with words by Johannes Carl Andersen and music by Alfred Francis Hill is performed to great acclaim by the orchestra and choir.
A military display, a parade of mounted troops and the trooping of the colours follows.
A banquet hosted by the Governor is held in the evening.
1 November
Commemorative Exhibition stamps placed on sale at Exhibition Post Office. The 1/2d, 1d and 3d stamps went on sale on 1 November; the 6d stamp followed on 16 November.
2 November
Foundation stone laid for Seddon Memorial Technical College (now Christchurch Polytechnic).
2 November
Chamber of Commerce holds a reception for the Governor, the Premier, the Exhibition commissioners and prominent overseas guests, including Sir John Eldon Gorst.
3 November
First organ recital given by John Christopher Bradshaw.
Canterbury Jockey Club spring meeting and NZ Cup.
6 November
Lord and Lady Plunket and their daughter visit Exhibition courts, accompanied by Joseph Ward.
7 November
Opening day of Canterbury Agricultural & Pastoral Association "Exhibition Show".
9 November
Second largest attendance day: 45,348 visitors.
10 November
The Government settles the on-going friction between the Exhibition commissioners and the chairman G.S. Munro, by appointing Munro as general manager, responsible to the Minister in charge of the Exhibition, William Hall-Jones, who will the one to make final decisions. According to the Press, the "autocratic" Munro will henceforth have to carry out the instructions of others, instead of behaving like an "absolutist Russian Czar" (editorial, 16 Nov. 1906).
13 November
Sir John Gorst entertains the Māori and Cook Islanders from the Pa to luncheon.
15 November
Party of 25 Fijians led by Ratu Ifereimi arrives, to perform fan, club and spear dances, and hold kava-drinking ceremonies.
17 November
North Canterbury Public Schools Amateur Athletics Association meeting.
17 November
First of the weekend trippers arrive. Package tours were arranged by the Union Steam Ship Company on steamers leaving from Dunedin and Wellington on Friday evening and returning on Saturday evening. The cost of the return trip : £1..
19 November
Concert featuring soprano Liane Richards, which attracts the largest audience for a musical event yet.
23 November
Pupils from St Albans School visit Exhibition free of charge. Sir John Hall donated money from his private fortune to enable as many school children as possible to go to the Exhibition. Pupils from Christchurch East School visit on 28 and 29 November and students from many Canterbury schools follow in the coming weeks.
24 November
First public performance by the Fijians.
27 November
First really wet day. The Exhibition has "a rather melancholy air", its corridors and avenues almost "silent wastes" (Star, 27 November).
29-30 November
Concerts by Dunedin Orchestral Society, conducted by James Coombs. Soloists are R. Hudson and Courtney Hood.
4 December
3-night season begins in the Concert Hall of performances of the comedy, "A Pair of Spectacles", by the Napier Dramatic Society.
5-6 December
Rose show, organised by Canterbury Horticultural Society.
6 December
Māori and Cook Islanders at Te Araiteuru Pa officially welcome the Fijians during a ceremonial visit. Groups give a combined performance of dances and songs.
8 December
Children's creche opens.
10-15 December 
Elocution and musical competitions.
12 December
Arrival of party of 7 Niueans.
12 December
Electric lift in southern tower opens to public. It is used by 84,806 passengers over the next 4 months. Mr A. Baker of St. Albans wins a prize for making the nearest correct guess to this total.
13 December
26 Fijian fire walkers of Sawau tribe of Benga arrive, led by Kalebi. They gave the first of their 4 public performances on 17 December.
13 December
Football match between a team of Christ College students and a team of Māori from the Pa.
13-14 December
Exhibition of cookery, laundry and dairy-products in connection with competitions of Home Industries Section.
14 December
Daughter of Te Arawa carver, Rangawhenua and his wife, Raiha, who was born at the Pa in October, baptised on the marae by Bishop Churchill Julius, assisted by Hemana Taranui. The baby was named Arai-te-uru..
14 December
Wellington Cadet Band arrives for a week, to give performances in the Concert Hall and around the Exhibition grounds.
18 December
6,607 visitors to Exhibition, the lowest daily attendance in the 5 and a half months of opening.
19-20 December
"Caste", performed by the Caste Comedy Company in the Concert Hall.
20 December
"At Home" hosted by the Fijian commissioner, Leslie Brown and his wife at the Fijian encampment for 300 guests, including the Governor, Lord Plunket.
20 December
Second performance by Fijian firewalkers, attended by the Governor, Lord Plunket who makes a special trip to Christchurch for the event.
20 December
Demonstration by Mr Jacques of canning and bottling at the Department of Agriculture court. Another demonstration is given on 2 January and they continue at various times during the following months.
25 December
after some debate, the Exhibition opens only from 2pm on Christmas Day. Some think it should be closed all day and others that it should remain open during its usual hours.
26-27 December
Military tournament in sports grounds.
29 December
Pioneer Amateur Bicycle and Athletics Club meeting at the sports grounds.
31 December
Exhibition remains open until 12.30am on New Year's Day. Exhibition of fancy diving by Mr Cavill at Wonderland. Concert by the Christchurch Liedertafel. Fireworks display begins at 10.30pm, organised by Mr White of Messrs James Pain and Co. of London..


"Edmonds cookery book" first published. This New Zealand icon, which has been republished in many new editions over the years, is still New Zealand's best-selling non-fiction work.
1-2 January
Gathering of the Clans organised by New Zealand Scottish Society at sports grounds.
3-5 January
Dog show.
7 January
Fireworks display, by Messrs Pain and Co. A free fireworks display is held every Wednesday evening, with the last show on Easter Monday, 1 April. On 2 March, the first of three daylight fireworks shows is held at 5pm. The third and final show is on 30 March.
7 January 
Organ recital by T.H. Massey of Sydney.
9 January
First concert by Besses o'th' Barn band, a working class band of about 36 players from a small town near Manchester. The band gives two seasons of a fortnight each in January and March (28 February-14 March) and prove immensely popular.
9-10 January
Carnation and sweet-pea flower show.
11 January
Departure of the Cook Islanders from the Pa.
16 January
"Sweated Industries" exhibition opens in Department of Labour court.
17 and 19 January
Axemen's Carnival.
21, 22, 23 January
Performances by Auckland Orchestral Society, conducted by Herr Wielaert, with his wife, soprano Madame Wielaert as soloist.
21, 23, 24, 26 January
Athletics championships.
24 January
Tom Pollard, director of entertainments, presented with a gold watch and chain, and an illuminated address by "his friends of the side-shows and entertainments", as a mark of their esteem.
26 January
1,000,000th visitor, who is Miss Alice Jennings of Christchurch. She is presented with a gold watch the mark the occasion.
Last week of January
Exhibition Orchestra presents a 6-performance season in Wellington, the final concert being on 31 January.
1 February
Government introduces a range of cheap rail fares to encourage New Zealanders to visit Christchurch. For £1 or less, people could make a return trip from as far away as Pahiatua and Napier. As The Press noted, this meant that for 4 or 5 pounds, a visitor could spend a week in Christchurch and visit everything worth seeing and hearing at the Exhibition.
4 February
Fire at stall of Sargood, Son & Ewen. An inquiry is held to investigate the electrical installations.
4 February
1d stamp sells out. The 1/2d stamp had sold out some time earlier.
6-7 February
Begonia flower show.
11-16 February
Brass bands competitions, with Lieutenant Bentley of New South Wales as principal judge.
19 February
Dental School opens in Dunedin.
21 February
Baby show begins, with about 400 entries.
21 February
Canterbury Christian Endeavour Union entertainment in the Concert Hall.
25-27 February
Sidney Wolfe's Dunedin Choral Society concerts.
Slaughtermen's strike in Christchurch, in protest at being fined by the Arbitration Court. This strike marks the first serious disruption of the arbitration system established in 1894.
6-7 March
Dahlia and fruit show.
8 March
Pet show begins, under auspices of Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals.
9 March
Canterbury Automobile Association motorcade and display at the sports grounds.
14 March
Final concert by Besses o'th'Barn Band. The conductor, Alexander Owen, was presented with a farewell gift by Mr Siddall of the Woolston Brass Band in gratitude for the musical treats the band had provided.
14 March
1,500,000th visitor is Miss Dora Burak of Christchurch.
16 March
Canterbury College annual sports meeting at the sports ground.
18-23 March
Fire Brigade demonstration at the sports ground.
20 March
Foundation stone laid for Cashmere Sanatorium.
21 March
Judging of the District Court competitions. Display of balloons by Messrs James Pain and Co. of London. Grand parade of school cadets.
22 March
Frederick Kenneth Gourlay, aged 7, is killed by a motorcycle while playing on New Brighton beach. The New Brighton Borough Council asks the Marine Department to "prohibit furious motoring on the beach within the precincts of the borough"
23 March
Turakina Girls' College party arrives in Pa for second visit, to give poi dancing exhibitions each afternoon.
25 March
Christchurch Sheep Dog Trial Club annual competitions at sports ground.
28 March
Organ recital by H. Gregson.
28 March
Foundation stone laid for additions to Christchurch Girls' High School, needed to accommodate the school's increasing roll.
30 March
Fire in Manawatu Provincial Court, quickly put out by the Exhibition's "exceptionally efficient corps of firemen"
1 April (Easter Monday)
Dunedin Philharmonic Society concert, with soloist Maitland Gardner..
Band of Hope Demonstration.
9 April
British Court begins dismantling its exhibits.
12 April
Old age pensioners are admitted to the Exhibition free of charge. Organ recital by Dr Gale of Knox Church, Dunedin..
12 April
A.L. Baird, general manager of Wonderland, entertains his 80 staff to tea at the tea house. Presentations are made to Baird and the chief cashier, Mr Edinger.
12 April
D. C. McIntyre, the Director of Exhibits, about whom rumours of financial irregularities have been circulating for several days, leaves New Zealand under an assumed name on board the Turakina. There is some suggestion that he has accepted bribes with regard to the awarding of prizes, medals and certificates but the Government says there is insufficient evidence to justify refusing him permission to sail.
14 April
John Hall makes his only visit to the Exhibition. He uses an invalid's chair and stays for about 3 hours. The Minister of Native Affairs, James Carroll, visits the Māori Pa on the same day and is welcomed onto the marae in lavish style.
15 April
Christchurch citizens are granted a whole holiday in order to attend the final day of the Exhibition, which remains open until midnight. The Exhibition closing ceremony, with a military and naval display, is attended by 46,852 people, the largest attendance on any day of the Exhibition. Mardi Gras festivities, confetti battles and a "23 Skidoo Night" are organised, to the alarm of police who expect horseplay and rowdiness might get out of hand. However, although some damage is caused, especially to the flower beds, the atmosphere remains good-tempered.
16 April
The public are admitted to the grounds and side-shows at half-price, the proceeds to be shared among the Exhibition attendants. Wonderland also runs a benefit day for its staff, who share all the day's takings. Valedictory banquet given by the Mayor for the Exhibition commissioners and officials.
20 April
Post and telegraph offices on Exhibition site close.
29 April
Auction of the fittings from the Exhibition buildings.
"New Zealand school journal" begins publication. This periodical is still current and is used as a teaching and reading aid in New Zealand primary schools.
14 May
Royal New Zealand Plunket Society, an organisation offering advice in mothercraft and babycare, founded by Frederic Truby King.
Anthony Frederick Wilding wins Wimbledon men's doubles title with Norman Brookes. They follow this victory with defeats in July of the United States and then the British Isles to win the Davis Cup for Australasia. Wilding was a member of the Australasian team which successfully defended the Davis Cup trophy in 1908 and 1909 and he went on the win the Wimbledon men's singles title each year from 1910 until 1913.
25 June
Death of John Hall.
25 June
Domain Board refuses to allow Wonderland to remain in Hagley Park. The Press declares that it would be a "hideous blot … on a delightful piece of sylvan scenery" and that anyway, the entertainment offered is "not especially healthy or refined".
6 July
D. C. McIntyre, director of Exhibits, arrested in Montevideo. It is reported that his private financial difficulties led him to leave NZ, rather than any irregularities in his Exhibition role.
19 July
Richard William Pearse files the patent for his flying machine.
27 August
Demolition of dome, pulled down by Mr Swanston's traction engine.
5 September
Last tower pulled down; public watches from Park Terrace. The broken timbers are sold for firewood.
24 September
Tohunga Suppression Act passes.
26 September
New Zealand becomes a Dominion.
November 1907
Fire destroys Kaiapoi Woollen Mills factory in Cashel Street.
14 December
First Plunket Shield cricket match at Lancaster Park (now Jade Stadium Christchurch). Canterbury plays Auckland and Auckland wins!.
28 December
Last proven sighting of huia bird, now extinct.


Christchurch Orchestral Society founded, with Herr Benno Scherek as conductor. The performances of the Exhibition Orchestra inspired this step.
Railway through Hagley Park built to carry construction materials and visitors to the Exhibition site removed.
New Zealand population passes 1 million.
1 January
Shackelton expedition in the 'Nimrod' leaves for Antarctica, watched by a crowd of 50,000 people.
11 February
Colosseum becomes first picture theatre in Christchurch.
Domain Board continues to haggle with the government over the restoration of Hagley Park and payment of compensation. According to The Press (18 February 1908, p. 6), Hagley Park looks like a badly ploughed field covered with bits of glass and metal, piles of rocks, hillocks and hollows.
14 July
Harry Kerr becomes the first New Zealander to win an Olympic medal, a bronze in the 3500m walk at the Olympic Games in London.
Early December
Ernest Rutherford awarded the Nobel prize in chemistry for his work on radioactive material.