1871 - 1872 - 1875 - 1877 - 1887 - 1889 - 1890 - 1891 - 1892 - 1893 - 1894 - 1895 - 1896 - 1897 - 1898 -
1902 - 1903 - 1905 - 1907 - 1908 - 1909 - 1911 - 1912 - 1913 - 1914 - 1915 - ==============================================================================
1871--The South Canterbury AAC, New Zealand's first club, is formed (but is not affiliated to the NZAAA until the 1930s). Until now professional athletics has held sway, but a steadily growing number of deserters from the cash ranks will accept the mandatory two-year standdown in order to convert to amateurism.
Many will become our top amateurs, though sometimes barred from participation in the Commonwealth and Olympic Games because of their past.
1872--[Mar09] The Christchurch A & P Grounds are the scene of the first amateur sports meet in New Zealand, 23 years after the world's first properly organised meet. H H Manning wins the 100y (11.1s), 200y (24s), putting the stone (31ft 3 1/2in), and 440y hurdles (69s) over 3ft 6in hurdles and a water-jump 12ft wide!
1875--[Feb03] The Wellington AAC is founded. It becomes the strongest club in the country and continues as the oldest until disbanded in 1965. It is revived in 1996.
1877--[Sep01] The Auckland AAC is founded. By 1987 it will be the oldest club extant in New Zealand.
1887--[Jul29] Clubs in Canterbury, Otago, and Hawke's Bay form the NZAAA (New Zealand Amateur Athletic Association). Southland writes that it will be pleased to join, but Auckland refuses.
[Oct01] A Napier shot putter, A G Sheath, sets the first New Zealand amateur athletic record.
[Oct28] A Christchurch meet includes the first New Zealand championship events for amateurs. They are the 440y (A B Williams 53.8s), one mile (Peter Morrison 4m 30.4s), and long jump (T D Harman 20ft 0in), and all result in New Zealand records. The athletes represent their clubs.
1889--[Dec14] Jack Hempton claims New Zealand's first world record by running 100y in 9.6s, 0.2s under the world's fastest time. It is disallowed on account of wind assistance (rule 163).
1890--[May31] A nine-man team competes in Sydney, winning seven of eleven events. Among the winners is Leonard Cuff, secretary of the NZAAA and destined to play a pioneering role in the Olympic movement.
1891--[Aug12] On returning to England Godfrey Shaw, having lost all his New Zealand titles and records, runs a world's best time of 57.2s for the 440y hurdles.
1892--[Feb06] Hempton equals the world's best time of 9.8s for 100y for the third time in three weeks. Peter (440y) and Derisley Wood (three miles) become the first siblings to win New Zealand titles.
[Jun] A collection among clubs throughout New Zealand (including Rugby, rowing, and other sports) enables a team of five including Hempton to visit England and France. Harold Batger makes a French record (400m hurdles) and the NZAAA a profit of fourpence.
[Aug19] At its annual meeting the NZAAA decides against the proposed Australian and New Zealand championships.
1893--[Nov09] New Zealand competes at the first A&NZ championships and Tim O'Connor (shot put) becomes our first champion. This year the NZAAA receives 124 applications from athletes to convert to amateurism.
1894--Leonard Cuff accepts Baron Pierre de Coubertin's invitation to join the IOC (International Olympic Committee).
1895--[Mar05] The NZAAA resolves to investigate the alleged misconduct of certain Auckland club athletes at the NZ championships.
1896--[May09] Arthur Holder, a former professional, becomes the first to set world records (i.e. fastest times) in two events (300y and 440y hurdles).
1897--[Feb11, 13] Arthur Holder wins the 250y (record), 440y, 120y hurdles (record), and 440y hurdles (record) to become the first winner of four titles at a New Zealand championship meet; he is also second by inches in the 100y.
A "pedestrian starting machine" is used very successfully in handicap races (rule 162).
C C Laurie is disqualified in the pole vault because his pole has three spikes instead of one (rule 183).
[Oct] The AAU (Amateur Athletic Union of Australia and New Zealand) is formed between New Zealand, New South Wales, Victoria, and Queensland. Three contests have already been held under an agreement between the first three. The word "Australasian" later falls into disfavour here, "championships of Australia and New Zealand" being less unacceptable.
1898--[Jan22] The track at Wellington's Basin Reserve is found to be short by 24y per lap.
[Dec07] W H Madill wins the first contest with a hammer using a flexible wire (rule 191).
1901--[Jan01] William Simpson wins the three miles at Sydney in what is called the "Commonwealth Sports".
[Dec16] The AAU debates whether to affiliate with the 'International Athletic Union'. (But see July 1912.)
1902--[Feb19] Lachie McLachlan sets a world professional record for 220y of 21.4s; the NZ amateur record does not reach that level until 1950.
[Mar31] First New Zealand University championships.
[Jul05] George Smith is the first NZ-born athlete to win a British (AAA) title (120y hurdles), after having recently equalled the world's best time, and is reported as "not trying".
[Dec29] The NZAAA approves a system of Centres.
[Dec31] Otago clubs are the first to move (though Auckland later claims its centenary was 2002Nov20).
1903--[Oct14] Christchurch hosts the first New Zealand cross-country championship, won by P Malthus. Though a date and venue are approved for 1904 the race is not held again until 1909.
[Dec03] NZAAA decides to meet the amateur cycling authorities to try to 'purify' their sport.
1905--[Mar11-] Alfred Shrubb (England) and Arthur Duffey (US) are the first visiting athletes from beyond Australia. Both are later banned from amateur competition for accepting cash rewards. (In 1986 Cecil Smith wrote that Shrubb "had been declared a professional in 1905 because he accepted a boat ticket to compete in New Zealand without permission.")
[Mar17] Hector Burk becomes the first athlete to emulate his parent (Billy Burk) and win a New Zealand title.
[Sep16] The NZAAA hears from a special committee that its affairs are being conducted in a loose and unbusinesslike way.
[Nov17] The NZAAA's new president is William Atack, reputedly the first man to referee a Rugby match using a whistle. A motion to move the headquarters from Christchurch to Dunedin fails 5:7.
[Nov27] The Canterbury centre expresses disapproval of sports bodies holding meetings in hotels.
1906--[Mar23] Nelson clubs seek to form a centre. Wellington replies that it will be pleased to help when Nelson forwards its subscriptions outstanding since 1903.
[May26] Guy Haskins is the first to win a supreme intercollegiate title (ICAAA one mile) in the United States.
1907--[Jan01] The first Wellington centre championships, and Harry Kerr sets an Australasian record for the one mile walk but the AAU declines it - not because he has infringed the rules today, but because he is disqualified twice at the subsequent NZ championships.
[Jan25-26] The NZAAA (President Atack and two others) meets the professionals' union to discuss proposals for reciprocity.
[Feb22] A conference of centres recommends the resumption of annual cross-country championships. They do not want to secede from the AAU but favour
(6:4) reciprocity with the professionals; after a lengthy discussion on reconstituting the NZAAA council (who are excluded) three members of it then threaten to resign. Rumours regarding centres claim that Auckland is practically extinct, Southland is still in its infant struggles, Canterbury has just got its finances sound, while Wellington and Otago have very little to spare.
[Sep01] The hammer-throw circle is reduced from 9ft to 7ft (rule 187).
[Dec] Bamboo vaulting poles are imported from Japan by the NZAAA (rule 183).
1908--[Jan] The NZAAA proposes to the AAU meeting in February that 'a new set of walking records be established as "new style", existing records being retained as "old style"' (rule 230); and in the pole vault, that 'climbing the pole shall be considered a foul jump' (rule 183).
[Feb01] Len McKay wins the first national championship for a combined event (actually a pentathlon).
[Feb] A Wellington centre meeting resolves that NZAAA headquarters should move from Christchurch. The 'Canterbury Times'- edited by William Atack - is furious, claiming that Wellington has not enough ability to run the NZAAA and that the whole agitation is being engineered by friends of Kerr, McKay, and another who have been omitted from the A&NZ team; it suggests that Wellington people would get 'heads caved in'.
[Apr10] The 'NZ Council' has decided to accredit Kerr and hurdler Henry Murray as NZ representatives to the 'Olympian Games' provided enough money (about £200) is raised by the public; it also hopes to secure Guy Haskins, at present running brilliantly in America. The Wellington centre defeats the proposal, one speaker saying the public is now sick of cadging.
[Apr15] A Wellington meeting chaired by mayoral candidate Dr A K Newman forms a committee to raise funds for the Olympic team.
[Jul14-] New Zealand athletes compete for the first time in the Olympic Games, three representing Australia-New Zealand and one Great Britain. Haskins is entered in three events but does not show. Harry Kerr (a former
professional) wins bronze - our first Olympic medal.
[Oct15] Otago's AGM resolves unanimously that NZAAA headquarters should move to Wellington and the chairman says the centre is prepared to secede if its wishes are not satisfied. President Atack, backed by the council, refuses Wellington's seven nominations to the council, claiming council members must reside in the same city as NZAAA headquarters.
[Nov19] At their AGM the council refuses (3:2) to forward Wellington's appeal to the AAU, President Atack (who uses his casting vote) saying they have for years fought Australian attempts to rule New Zealand, and will continue to.
[Nov21, 28, Dec05] Wellington's "Evening Post" claims Mr Atack is an autocratic Czar who wants the NZAAA in Christchurch for ever and will cause a schism in the sport. Canterbury and Otago centres, against the wishes of Wellington, Otago, and Southland, want a deal with the professionals; the result has been a vendetta and nothing but trouble for three seasons between the council and the majority of centres.
[Dec01] Chairman R W McVilly tells the Wellington centre meeting there is nothing parochial in their actions and the question of headquarters has never been discussed; but the council later produces Wellington's own circular to the contrary.
[Dec05] The disaffected centres (Wellington abstaining) resolve, "Whereas no constitutional governing body controlling amateur athletics at present exists in NZ . . . this conference of delegates representing 37 clubs (out of the 50) forthwith proceed to establish an executive . . . to hold office until the next conference of delegates, to report to the AAU and ask it to officially recognise them.
[Dec07] An Auckland report says its centre is unsympathetic to secession, and now a rupture has occurred it will stand by the 'governing body'.
[Dec09] AAU president Richard Coombes says the dispute should have been sent to the AAU for an opinion or ruling so he will call a meeting accordingly, but that the AAU can recognise only the present council,
[Dec10] A new council is formed in Wellington and the old one meets in Christchurch - both denying the other's right to exist.
1909--[Jan04] The AAU suspends its relationship with the NZAAA pending instructions from the Australian states.
[Jan25, Feb05] Two centres both agree (Otago with the new council and Canterbury with the old) to conduct the national championships.
[Mar20] In Dunedin a conference of all five centres resolves (11:1) that both councils give up all claims and hold a fresh election, and (8:5) that the headquarters be in Wellington; also each centre will appoint its own two delegates to the council.
[Apr20] Mr Atack declares the Dunedin decisions illegal because prior notice was not given. Nominations for the new NZAAA are complete - Messrs Bridge, Chaffey, Davies, Davis, Larkin, Marryatt, Newman, Pollock, Robinson, and Thompson.
[Apr22] Canterbury stands by the centres' decision and snubs the old council.
[Apr28] Dr A K Newman, the new NZAAA president, is elected mayor of Wellington.
An incomplete list of past presidents since the founding of the NZAAA
1890-91 JHB Coates (Auckland)
1891-92 F Wilding (Christchurch)
1893-94 Dr WS Roberts (Dunedin)
1894-95 F Logan (Napier)
1895-96 F Wilding (Christchurch)
1896-97 JF Logan (Auckland)
1897-98 W Empson (Wanganui)
1898-99 J Sinclair Thomson (Dunedin)
1900-01 CE MacCormick
1905-06 JF Grierson (W G Atack? see Nov '05)
1908-09 W G Atack (Christchurch)?
[Nov27] The "Evening Post" claims that each member of the old council has been paid two 10-guinea bonuses in the last six months.
1909 [continued]--The AAA (England) rules that athletes jumping the finish tape are to be disqualified; and also for falling at the finish, unless their whole body crosses the line before the second finisher (rule 164).
[Jul14] Professionals run a "marathon" race from Riverton to Invercargill in 3h 22m 30s.
[Sep09] NZ cross-country championships resume after a six-year lapse.
[Oct11] Union Harriers of Invercargill claims the Southland centre is dead but the NZAAA says, 'No, only dormant'.
[Nov09] Harry Thompson wins the first official marathon event (2h 58m 23s at Wellington).
[Dec] The Southland centre rules that because a ton of coal cannot be engraved it is not a permissible trophy.
1911--[Mar18] The first men's triple-jump championship.
[Jun24] Guy Haskins, Ron Opie, and Billy Woodger compete at London in a "Festival of Empire" meet, to test the feasibility of a sports gathering among British Empire countries along the lines of the Olympic Games.
[Sep04] A separate NZ Olympic team is discussed by the NZAAA but a decision is held over.
[Oct18] The Festival of Empire Sports Committee, chaired by A A Marryatt, meets at Wellington and forms itself into the Olympic Games Council of NZ (wrote John Clark).
[Dec27] Ron Opie (100y, 220y, and 440y) becomes our first and only triple gold medallist at one A&NZ championship meet.
1912--[Mar] Seven athletes have been nominated for the Olympic Games but Gerald Keddell and Harry Kerr cannot leave their work, W G Harding has not replied, and Ron Opie is unsure. The Olympic Council most wants Keddell but only Neville Hill is selected.
[Mar21] The Australian professionals, Jack Donaldson and Arthur Postle, are sued for breaching a contract to run for the Otago Caledonian Society, but pay £50 and the case is dropped.
[Jul17] The IAAF (International Amateur Athletic Federation) is founded in Stockholm.
[Aug10] Otago becomes the first centre to achieve the perfect score of 10 points in the national cross-country championships.
[Sep09] The NZAAA resolves, "this council strictly opposed to separate representation for NZ" and sends a copy to the Olympic Council, which in August deferred the question to a later meeting.
Peter Buck (Te Rangi Hiroa) is the first national champion (long jump, 1900, 1903) of any race to attain Cabinet rank. (He is later a world-renowned anthropologist, a war hero, and is knighted.)
1913--[Sep08] A cable from the IOC says it is impossible to form a British Empire team for the Olympic Games.
[Dec04] E R Caughey, George L Parker, James A Power, and Rurie R (Dink) Templeton arrive from the United States, making up the first overseas team to tour New Zealand. They will be followed by other US teams in 1923, 1926, 1931, 1947, and 1955, by a South African team in 1922, two Finns in 1935, two Japanese in 1937, and a great many individuals and mixed contingents, especially after 1960.
[Dec06] Templeton introduces the 'slide' pole vault box, which is accepted in NZ but disallowed by the AAU because it is not mentioned in the rules (rule 183). Caughey nestles the shot against his neck, another innovation for NZ (rule 188).
1914--[Jan14] Wellington mayor J P Luke announces he will push for a permanent athletic ground.
[Oct05] The NZAAA is asked by the (professional) NZ Athletic & Cycling Union to support it against Auckland's breakaway Northern Athletic Union.
[Nov23] The NZAAA's annual meeting appoints a committee on the proposed NZ secondary schools' championships (see 1973).
1915--[Feb08] The NZAAA rules the military sports at Trentham on Jan30 with cash prizes were professional and suspends all officials and athletes, but later lifts the bans because the Imperial officers misunderstood NZ rules.
1916-1919--New Zealand championships are suspended during World War I.
Regretably, Peter passed away before completing parts two and three.
veteran (a.k.a. Master)
* NB: when IAAF rules changed, there has often been a delay before
New Zealand followed suit, especially in the early years.