- Women rate-payers given the right to vote in local body elections.
- Provincial governments abolished and replaced by local government through county and borough councils.
- Education Act passed to provide free primary education for every child.
- Women ‘householders’ (that is, all adult women) given the right to vote in and stand for school committees and education boards.
- All males over the age of 21 years given the right to vote to elect members of parliament.
- Term for parliament reduced to three years.
- First general election held under universal male suffrage.
- ‘Country quota’ introduced, allowing country electorates to have fewer numbers of voters than city electorates.
- £10 poll tax imposed on new Chinese arrivals (increased to £100 in 1896).
- Invasion of Māori village at Parihaka.
- First election on one-man, one-vote basis (voters no longer able to vote in more than one electorate even if property owned in other electorates).
- First example of ‘special votes’, allowing a seaman to vote for a candidate in the electorate where he was registered even if he was not in that electorate on polling day.
- 74 MPs elected.
- John Ballance becomes premier of New Zealand’s first Liberal government.
- Also attempts to form first national political organisation in New Zealand.
- Kate Sheppard founds Women’s Franchise League to fight for votes for women.
- First Kotahitanga Māori parliament meets.
- Naturalisation legislation excludes Chinese.
- Electoral Act introduces major changes in New Zealand politics.
- Women given the right to vote to elect members of parliament (first country in the world).
- Māori women win right to vote for members of the Māori Parliament, as well as the general Parliament.
- James Carroll (Ngati Kahungunu) becomes first Māori to win a general (European) seat.
- Richard John Seddon becomes Prime Minister.
- Elizabeth Yates becomes first woman mayor (Onehunga) in the British Empire.