The sinking of the Rainbow Warrior, codenamed Operation Satanic, was an operation by the "action" branch of the French foreign intelligence services, the Direction Générale de la Sécurité Extérieure (DGSE), carried out on July 10, 1985. It aimed to sink the flagship of the Greenpeace fleet, the Rainbow Warrior in the port of Auckland, New Zealand, to prevent her from interfering in a nuclear test in Moruroa. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sinking_of_the_Rainbow_Warrior
The South African rugby team, AKA The Springboks, toured New Zealand in 1981. They had only white Africans in their team, not allowing any Black people to play international rugby. This racism caused controversial disagreement and conflict in New Zealand. Flour bombs were dropped on the rugby players, car windows were smashed and huge gangs of people were running around the streets causing havoc. There were different opinions over New Zealand some just wanting to watch the great game of rugby, whereas others didn't want this racist team playing in New Zealand.
The Wahine disaster occurred on 10 April 1968 when the TEV Wahine, a New Zealand inter-island ferry of the Union Company, foundered on Barrett Reef at the entrance to Wellington Harbour and capsized near Steeple Rock. Of the 610 passengers and 123 crew on board, 53 people lost their lives. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wahine_disaster
In 1953, at the age 33, Edmund Hillary and Tensing Norgay became the first climbers to climb, and reach the summit, of Mt Everest. He continued to help in Nepal through the Himalayan trust, which he founded. Through his help, schools and hospitals were set up in the remote Himalayas.
An influenza epidemic was sweeping around the world. It was known as the Spanish Flu, or the 'plague of the Spanish Lady', but the infection did not begin in Spain. Between one third and a half of the population of New Zealand was infected with the flu. In some places the death rate was as high as 80% of the town's population, while in others there were very few deaths. http://christchurchcitylibraries.com/kids/nzdisasters/influenzaepidemic.asp
Sir Ernest Rutherford was a scientist born in 1871 in Spring Grove, Nelson. He was educated in New Zealand until he left to Cambridge University. He elected to work with Professor J J Thomson of Cambridge University's Cavendish Laboratory and was Cambridge University's first non-Cambridge-graduate research student. he split the atom in 1917 and was the worlds first successful alchemist.