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Timeline: 1930s

17 February 1930

5 July 1931

October 1931

  • Peter Rule is born (Gisborne). After his death, the Rule Foundation was established to advance the health, well-being and visibility of rainbow New Zealanders. Link: Rule Foundation

February 1933

  • The Nazi Party launches a purge of gay clubs, publications and groups (Germany). Link: Wikipedia

26 March 1933

  • Broadcaster Henare te Ua is born (New Zealand)

6 May 1933

  • Members of the German Student Union attack the Institut fur Sexualwissenschaft (Institute of Sexology) (Berlin, Germany). The attack follows a two-month Nazi purge of gay clubs and the banning of gay groups and publications. Link: Wikipedia

10 May 1933

  • Mobs of Nazi supporters burn books, including those taken from the Institut fur Sexualwissenschaft (Institute of Sexology) (Germany). The burning of books happens throughout Germany. Most notable is the book burning by students in Berlin's Opernplatz of over 25,000 volumes. Links: Papers Past, Wikipedia

9 June 1933

  • Te Ahurangi Matene (a.k.a. Rosanna Laihae) appears in court charged with falsely representing himself to be a woman (Auckland). Matene's lawyer submits that Matene had every intention of paying money owing, and so therefore a fraud charge could not stand. The case is dismissed. Link: Papers Past

1 July 1934

  • Ernst Roehm, an early Nazi leader and co-founder of the Sturmabteilung (SA) is executed (Germany). Links: Wikipedia, Papers Past

8 November 1934

  • Effie Pollen dies (aged 55) (Christchurch). Pollen is buried at Karori Cemetery in Wellington. Link: Probate


  • The Prisons Department report 1934/35 is tabled in Parliament (New Zealand). The report notes (p.7) that homo-sexual prisoners in New Plymouth are segregated and "the majority of them are either emotionally unstable or suffering from some degree of mental abnormality.". Link: Prisons Department report

11 April 1935

  • Entrepreneur Tony Katavich is born (Auckland). Katavich would later create the OUT! business empire with Brett Sheppard. Link: GayNZ

15 April 1935

  • Eric Mareo murders his wife Themla Mareo (Auckland). Themla was also in a relationship with dancer Freda Stark. Links: Papers Past, Te Ara

16 April 1935

14 May 1935

  • Physician and sexologist Magnus Hirschfeld dies (Nice, France). Hirschfeld dies of a heart attack on his 67th birthday. Link: Wikipedia

11 September 1935


  • The Prisons Department report 1935/36 is tabled in Parliament (New Plymouth). The report notes (p.22) "the desirability of keeping the mental outlook of the homo-sexual prisoners detained here as bright and sound as possible [...] Many evening entertainments and lectures have been provided by members of the public [...] It is helpful to see each prisoner trying his very best to excel. It is felt that these exercises and the effort put into the preparation of songs, music, recitations for concerts have an uplifting effect on the men.". Link: Prisons Department report

26 February 1936

  • Eric Mareo is found guilty of murdering Themla Mareo (Auckland). Mareo is sentenced to death. His sentence is later commuted to life imprisonment on 5 August 1936. Links: Papers Past, Te Ara

5 July 1936

5 August 1936

  • Eric Mareo's death sentence is commuted to life in prison (New Zealand). Mareo was earlier found guilty and sentenced to death for the murder of his wife Thelma Mareo. Link: Papers Past

26 September 1936

  • Phillip Stewart is arrested in an Auckland hotel "dressed as a girl" (Auckland). Link: Papers Past

10 October 1936

  • Entrepreneur and activist Carmen Trevor Rupe is born (Taumarunui). Link: Time Out Sydney


  • The Prisons Department report 1936/37 is tabled in Parliament (New Zealand). The report notes (pp.13-14) that "the Rotary Club have paid fortnightly visits and have provided first-class entertainment. The fact that homo-sexual prisoners are allowed to see an audience from the outside world and listen to their effort to uplift and benefit them has a wonderful anti-depression effect. Men here are encouraged to take an active part in entertainments, and it is decidedly noticeable what a beneficial effect it has on their demeanour. At first they are shy, nervous, and backward, but this gradually wears off, and in time they are able to stand before an audience and do their part in a manly way.". Link: Prisons Department report

9 October 1937

  • Prime Minister M.J. Savage unveils a statue dedicated to "Harry" Henry Holland (Wellington). The nude male figure in Bolton Street Cemetery has been described in a variety of ways, from representing "emancipated youth looking upwards to higher things" to "an extremely buff, naked dude gazing out over his beloved Wellington." A local rainbow walking tour in the 1990s described the work as "the most homoerotic piece of outdoor art in Wellington, and second in Aotearoa only to the Eros outside Auckland Hospital.". Link: Bolton Street Cemetery


  • Author William Taylor is born (New Zealand). Link:

10 June 1938

  • Eugenia Falleni dies following injuries sustained in an accident (Sydney, Australia). The previous day Falleni had stepped off the pavement in front of a motorcar. Link: Wikipedia