What Did New Zealand Do First?
Despite being one of the last large landmasses to be turned into a nation, New Zealand is a nation of firsts. It is a leading country in social achievements, as well as a few awesome adrenaline activity inventions. In this list, we’ll go through some of New Zealand’s firsts so you can impress everyone you know with your New Zealand knowledge. So what exactly did New Zealand do first? What happened in this country before anywhere else in the world?
For more fun facts to add to your New Zealand encyclopedia, check out the 10 Things You Did Not Know About New Zealand and New Zealand in Numbers.
First Votes for Women
In 1893, New Zealand became the first country to grant women the right to vote in parliamentary elections. It was 25 years before USA and UK followed suit.
First Bungy Jump
AJ Hackett and Henry van Asch did a few experimental jumps with bungy cords. One thing leads to another, and they set up the first commercial bungy jump on the Kawarau Bridge, near Queenstown. See where you can take the leap yourself in our 7 Epic Places to Bungy Jump in New Zealand.
First to Climb Mt Everest
New Zealander, Sir Edmund Hillary, was the first to reach the summit of Mt Everest the highest mountain in the world. His face marks the NZ$5 note.
First to Step on Antarctica
New Zealander, Alexander von Tunzelmann, was amongst the first crew to step onto Antarctica.
First Country to Have Three Women in Power Simultaneously
The Prime Minister (Helen Clark), the Governor-General (Dame Siliva Cartwright), and the Chief Justice (Sian Elias).
First Country to Introduce the 8-hour Work Day
Errr… thanks, New Zealand. Why couldn’t it be one-hour work days? Labour Day is a public holiday to commemorate this, introduced in 1899.
First World Heritage Site… in the Sky
The International Dark Sky Association declared the sky above the Mackenzie region in the South Island as the first International Dark Sky Reserve for its clear skies. Perfect for stargazing!
First Transgender MP
In 1999, Georgina (originally George) was the first transexualMP in the world. She was voted by the good people of Wairarapa.
First Powered Flight
But wait, wasn’t that the Wright brothers (USA)? They made the first documented flight. However, 8 months earlier Richard Pearse made a flight with a homemade aircraft. But the camera-shy Pearse didn’t want to record it with officials.
First Jet Boat
The first jet boat was invented by Kiwi, William Hamilton, in 1954. It became a commercial adrenaline activity in 1964 on the Shotover River near Queenstown. Find out where you can hop into one of these speedy things in the 17 Places to Jet Boat in New Zealand.
Aims to be the First Country with 100% Renewable Energy
one of the leading countries in renewable energy, NZ aims for 100% renewable energy by 2025. Hurry up, New Zealand!