...Working week reduced to 40 hours.
1937. Health. Free Milk introduced into schools.
1938 Social Security Act establishes revised old age pensions and a national health service.
...Housing. Housing Construction Department built first houses in Miramar, Wellington.
...The Works Department's Housing Division took over and by 1944, 15,500 house and flats were built.
1939 Taxes. A social security contribution introduced on individual and company income.
...the incomes of both husband and wife were combined for tax assessment purposes. This was abolished in 1960.
1940 Michael Joseph Savage died on 27 March 1940. FRASER GOVERNMENT. Peter Fraser was chosen as Prime Minister.
1945 New Zealand founder member of the United Nations.
1946 Universal Family Benefit of one pound a week.
1947 New Zealand Parliament adopts the Statute of Westminster recognising New Zealand as a fully independent state, although owing allegiance to the British King.
1949 Hilda Ross became National Party's first woman Cabinet Minister.
...30 November. HOLLAND GOVERNMENT. Labour's 14 years in power ended with the election of a National Government headed by Sidney Holland (Later Sir Sidney Holland).
1950 Upper House of Parliament abolishes itself
1951 Protracted 151 day waterfront dispute destroys many strong nation-wide unions.
1957 20 September. HOLYOAKE GOVERNMENT. Keith Holyoake succeeded Sir Sidney Holland on his retirement.
...30 November. NASH GOVERNMENT. The Labour Party with Sir Walter Nash as Prime Minister narrowly defeated the National Government.
1958 Taxes. Finance Minister Nordmeyer brought down his "Black Budget".
...The Family Benefit Act allowed capitalisation towards housing purchase.
1960. HOLYOAKE GOVERNMENT. A National Government with Keith Holyoake as Prime Minister defeated Labour.
1961 Capital punishment abolished.
1963 National Government, under Keith Holyoake re-elected.
1965 New Zealand/Australia Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) signed.
1967 Currency. Decimal currency introduced.
...Referendum allows hotels to open to 10/11 pm.
1968 National Government under Keith Holyoake re-elected.
1969 Vote for 20 year olds.
1972 The Social Welfare Department established combining the Child Welfare Division of the Education Department and the Social Security Department.
...7th February. MARSHALL GOVERNMENT. Keith Holyoake retired as Prime Minister and was replaced by his deputy, John Marshall.
...KIRK GOVERNMENT. A Labour Government swept into power with Norman Kirk as Prime Minister.
1973 UK joins the EEC, New Zealand has to negotiate entrance for butter/cheese/meat.
1974. The Housing Corporation formed.
...31 August. ROWLING GOVERNMENT. Norman Kirk died suddenly to be succeeded by the former Finance Minister, Wallace (Bill) Rowling.
1975 MULDOON GOVERNMENT. A National Government with Robert Muldoon (later Sir Robert Muldoon) as Prime Minister elected.
1978 National Government re-elected under Robert Muldoon.
1981 National Government elected
1982 Economic Relationship (CER) signed with Australia, described internationally as one of the "cleanest" free trade agreements in the world.
...One year long wage and price and rent freeze imposed, but lasts until 1984.
1983 Women. Twelve women, a record number, were elected to Parliament. Two were appointed Cabinet Ministers.
1984 14 June. National Government back-bencher Marilyn Waring, denied the opportunity to speak in Parliament on the disarmament and arms control bill, notified she was withdrawing from the caucus and would vote against the Government on the issue of nuclear ships visiting New Zealand. The Government no longer assured of a majority on all major policy matters, Prime Minister Muldoon called an early election.
...July 14. LANGE GOVERNMENT. An early elections, saw a Labour Government with David Lange as Prime Minister. In 1985 Lange had replaced Bill Rowling as Labour's leader.
1985 Archbishop Paul Reeves became first Governor-General of part-Maori origin.
Labour Finance Minister Roger Douglas starts de-regulation and other major reforms to turn-round.the economy.
1986 Taxes, Goods and Services Tax introduced on nearly everything, simultaneously with