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Timeline: December

December 1836

  • Missionary William Yate leaves New Zealand (New Zealand). Yate leaves for England after an inquiry into allegations of sexual activity with some of his male pupils. Link: Te Ara

December 1973

  • Circle publication begins (Wellington). Published by Sisters for Homophile Equality (SHE), it is later renamed Lesbian Feminist Circle

December 1979

  • Nelson Gay Society is formed (Nelson). The Society grew out of the Nelson Gay Welfare Group
  • Puss-in-Boots bar is picketed for excluding lesbians and gays (New Zealand)

December 1980

  • Lesbians paste up anti-Christmas posters (Wellington). Posters appear in Wellington and Hastings

December 1994

  • The High Court rules that post-operative transsexuals can marry in their adopted sex (New Zealand)

December 2008

  • The Rule Foundation is established (New Zealand). Named after Peter Rule, the Foundation is established to advance the health, well-being and visibility of rainbow New Zealanders. Link: Rule Foundation

1 December 1924

  • Music teacher John Leslie Lander dies in New Plymouth Prison (New Plymouth). Lander had been sentenced to life imprisonment in 1915 for committing an unnatural offence, plus 10-years hard labour for indecent assault. He was known to have epileptic fits. His death was recorded as heart failure following a fit. Link: Papers Past

1 December 1976

  • Matthew Shepard is born (Wyoming, United States of America). Shepard was murdered in October 1998 in Wyoming by Aaron McKinney and Russell Henderson. Link: Wikipedia

1 December 1988

  • Television news report: the first World AIDS Day is marked in New Zealand (New Zealand). Eyewitness news, ref F95421. Link: Nga Taonga Sound & Vision
  • The first World AIDS Day is held internationally
  • The New Zealand AIDS Memorial Quilt is launched on World AIDS Day (Wellington). Inspired by the NAMES Project, the New Zealand quilt is established by the People With AIDS Collective. The first panel is presented by Daniel Fielding for his partner Peter Cuthbert who had died in October 1988. Link: NZ AIDS Memorial Quilt

1 December 1989

  • Television news report: the New Zealand AIDS Memorial quilt displayed on World AIDS Day (New Zealand). The report is taken from a news compilation tape. The footage will most likely be from 1 December 1988 or 1989. Ref F44883. Link: Nga Taonga Sound and Vision
  • Television news report: World AIDS Day is marked around New Zealand (New Zealand). Interviewees include Darren Horn, Bev Jelicich and Dr Mike Pohl. Eyewitness news, ref: F98109. Link: Nga Taonga Sound & Vision

1 December 1991

1 December 1992

  • World AIDS Day is commemorated (Auckland). Since World AIDS Day 1991, 43 people had died in New Zealand from AIDS-related complications. Father Michael Bancroft leads the first ever AIDS requiem mass in New Zealand. Link: New Zealand AIDS Memorial Quilt

1 December 1993

  • World AIDS Day is commemorated (Dunedin). The New Zealand AIDS Memorial Quilt is displayed in St Paul's Cathedral in Dunedin to mark World AIDS Day. The quilt remains on display for a week. Link: New Zealand AIDS Memorial Quilt

1 December 1994

  • Worlds AIDS Day is commemorated (New Zealand). In Auckland, the New Zealand AIDS Memorial Quilt is is carried outspread down Queen Street for an unfolding ceremony. The global theme of the day is: AIDS and the family. Link: New Zealand AIDS Memorial Quilt

1 December 1995

  • World AIDS Day is commemorated (Auckland). This year's theme is: shared rights, shared responsibility. In Auckland, the Quilt and Baton of Hope march is held. The Quilt is carried up Queen Street with 400 placards representing people who have died from AIDS related conditions in New Zealand. Events also take place in Blenheim, Christchurch, Dunedin and Nelson. Links:, New Zealand AIDS Quilt

1 December 1996

  • World AIDS Day is commemorated (New Zealand)

1 December 1997

  • The domain name is registered (New Zealand). NZAF is short for the New Zealand AIDS Foundation

1 December 2004

  • The Civil Union Bill 2004 passes its second reading in Parliament (New Zealand)

1 December 2005

  • The first ILGA Pacific conference is held (Auckland). Link: ILGA

1 December 2006

  • A conference to mark the 20th anniversary of homosexual law reform is held (Wellington). The 20 Years On - Homosexual Law Reform Conference is hosted by LAGANZ at the National Library. Link: LAGANZ

2 December 1897

  • Writer and educator Rewi Alley is born (Canterbury region). Links: Wikipedia, Te Ara

2 December 1971

  • Television current affairs: a look at prostitution in New Zealand (New Zealand). On Camera, ref TZP86607. Link: TVNZ

2 December 1995

  • The first Freedom dance party takes place (Christchurch). The event is held at the Ministry for "lesbians, gays, bisexuals and their friends.". Link:

2 December 2003

  • Television news report: World AIDS Day is marked internationally (worldwide). TV3 news, ref: F61163. Link: Nga Taonga Sound & Vision

2 December 2004

  • Media report that a trans woman burglar is sent to a male prison (New Zealand)
  • Television news reports: World AIDS Day and HIV/AIDS in the Pacific (New Zealand). Interviewee Maire Bopp from the Samoan AIDS Foundation. TV3 news, ref F84528. Link: Nga Taonga Sound & Vision

2 December 2006

3 December 1910

3 December 1982

  • Television: faux studio interview with 'Katherine Mansfield,' played by Cathy Downes (New Zealand). ref: TZP1048911. Link: Nga Taonga Sound and Vision

3 December 1995

  • The Coming Out Day parade takes place (Auckland). The parade begins at 2pm from Three Lamps Plaza, goes along Ponsonby Road and ends at Western Park. The 1994 parade attracted approximately 3,000 people. Links:, Wikipedia
  • The AIDS Media Awards take place (Auckland). The New Zealand AIDS Foundation event is hosted by Ginette McDonald and Anita McNaught. It also features Michael Parmenter performing a dance from his work A Long Undressing. The event is held at the Sheraton Auckland Hotel and Towers. Link:

3 December 1999

  • Jason Meads and Stephen Smith are found guilty of murdering teenager Jeff Whittington (Wellington). Link: Wikipedia

3 December 2004

  • The Waikato Times publishes an Allan Charles Hawkey cartoon on the Civil Union Bill (Waikato region). The cartoon text reads "The Civil Union Bill is still very discriminatory. Giraffes do not even rate a mention.". Link: Alexander Turnbull Library

3 December 2007

  • During his trial, Ashley Arnopp pleads guilty to the murder of Palmerston North man Stanley Waipouri. (Palmerston North). Arnopp's co-accussed, Andre Gilling maintains his innocence. Link: Gay NZ

4 December 1835

4 December 1912

  • James Townsley (a.k.a. Evelyn Hartwood) is jailed for 5 years (Sydney, Australia). Referred to as the "king of burglers" in South Australia, Townsley is also known for his skill at female impersonation. He is jailed for escaping custody in Adelaide. Link: Papers Past

4 December 1970

  • Television news report: unsuitable books found in children's section of department store (Auckland). This Day, ref TZP86812. Link: TVNZ

4 December 1986

  • Newspaper report: USA Salvation Army funding anti-homosexual reform campaign in New Zealand (San Francisco, United States of America). Links: Bay Area Reporter (1), Bay Area Reporter (2)
  • Television news report: HIV prevention - providing clean needles to people who inject drugs (New Zealand). Eyewitness news, ref F132362. Link: Nga Taonga Sound & Vision

4 December 1991

  • Television news report: launch of Kids with AIDS support group and trust (New Zealand). Interviewees include Jeremy Miller and his parents Katrina Miller and Howard Miller. Holmes, ref F107907. Link: Nga Taonga Sound and Vision

4 December 2003

  • Television news report: Pharmac refuses to subsidise HIV medication (New Zealand). Interviewees include Matt Whyte, Richard Meech, Wayne McNee and Annette King. One news, ref: F61189. Link: Nga Taonga Sound & Vision

5 December 1984

  • Television: protest by anti-pornography lobby against Arthur Everards film censorship standards (New Zealand). ref: TZP12626. Link: Nga Taonga Sound and Vision

5 December 1986

5 December 1991

  • Television news report: a viewer responds to the new Kids with AIDS support group (New Zealand). Holmes, ref F107913. Link: Nga Taonga Sound and Vision

5 December 1998

  • The Awhina World AIDS Day variety concert is held (Wellington). The concert takes place in Soundings Theatre at Te Papa, with funds raised going to the Awhina Centre. Link: Te Papa

6 December 1983

  • Television: Customs Department have been opening Out magazine's mail (New Zealand). ref: TZP128095. Customs Department have been opening Out's mail, to the outrage of the gay magazine's publisher. Link: Nga Taonga Sound and Vision

6 December 2004

  • The Otago Daily Times publishes a Garrick Tremain cartoon on marriage (Otago region). The cartoon text reads "The fact is!.. Marriage is a blessed sacrament... A treasured institution! And you can't tell me that these gays and things...Will treat their marriages with the devotion and respect... That I've treated all mine!". Link: Alexander Turnbull Library

6 December 2007

  • There is a hung jury in the murder trial of Andre Gilling. (Palmerston North). Gilling, along with Ashley Arnopp, is on trial for the 2006 killing of Palmerston North man Stanley Waipouri. Co-accused Ashley Arnopp, 20, earlier changed his plea to guilty. Link: Gay NZ

7 December 1977

  • Television: discussion about the introduction of the massage parlours Bill (New Zealand). ref: TZP25601. Link: Nga Taonga Sound and Vision

7 December 1991

  • The first Devotion dance party is held (Wellington). The party is held at the Overseas Passenger Terminal. Tickets cost $20-$25. The party was headlined by DJ Clinton Smiley, aka Jason Harding. Link:

7 December 2003

  • Two people announce that they are now straight after years as homosexuals. (New Zealand). The interview was screened on 20/20, TV3

9 December 1995

  • The controversial Robert Mapplethorpe Retrospective exhibition shows at the City Gallery Wellington (Wellington). City Gallery Director Paula Savage said "His work documents a pre-AIDS era in New York when homosexuality was given a social acceptability unseen for decades, perhaps centuries, and gay cultural blossomed." The exhibition runs from 9 December 1995 - 20 February 1996. Links:, Wikipedia, City Gallery

9 December 2004

  • The Civil Union Act is passed The Act gives same-sex couples an equivalent to marriage. The legislation is passed 65 ayes/55 noes. Link: Parliament

9 December 2021

  • The Births, Deaths, Marriages and Relationships Bill passes its third and final reading (New Zealand). The Bill unanimously passes its third and final reading. Link:

10 December 1924

  • The Society for Human Rights is formed (Chicago, United States of America). The Society is the oldest documented homosexual organisation in the USA. Link: Wikipedia

10 December 2011

  • Phillip Cottrell is assaulted while working home and subsequently dies, Wellington

12 December 1983

  • The Laetus Social Club ends (New Zealand)

12 December 2021

  • The first case of the COVID-19 Omicron variant was identified in New Zealand (Christchurch). Link: RNZ

13 December 1915

13 December 1917

  • Morals campaigner Keith Hay is born (Hastings). Hay was a founding member of the Coalition of Concerned Citizens, a group that was behind the large anti homosexual law reform petition. Link: Te Ara

13 December 1984

14 December 1984

  • Television: Blood Foundation announces campaign to prevent spread of AIDS (New Zealand). ref: TZP132460. Link: Nga Taonga Sound and Vision

14 December 1990

  • Television news report: working with AIDS babies in Romania (New Zealand). Interviewee Robyn Beckerleg. Holmes, ref F102458. Link: Nga Taonga Sound & Vision

14 December 1991

  • The Bring and Buy lesbian fair is held (Wellington)

14 December 1996

  • Teaser, a pre-Freedom dance party is held (Christchurch). The party is held at Bar Particular on 14 December 1996. Link:

14 December 2020

  • The NZ Blood Service relaxes restrictions on blood donation (New Zealand). The period for deferral for gay men is reduced from 12-months to 3-months. The same change also applies to sex workers who want to donate blood. Link: NZ Blood Service

15 December 1975

15 December 1985

15 December 2011

  • Carmen Rupe dies (Sydney, Australia). Link:
  • Willie Ahsee is sentenced to 5 years imprisonment for the manslaughter of Denis Phillips

15 December 2021

  • The COVID-19 border restrictions for the Auckland region are removed (Auckland). Travel throughout New Zealand opens up

16 December 1976

16 December 1999

  • The domain name is registered (New Zealand). Link: WhoIs

16 December 2004

  • Television news report: a Ghanaian man who lied about his HIV status has been jailed (New Zealand). The man lied about his status during an attempt to gain residency. One news, ref F84560. Link: Nga Taonga Sound and Vision

17 December 1913

17 December 1982

  • Television: Colin Moyle discusses how he wants to lead the Labour Party (New Zealand). ref: TZP47838. Link: Nga Taonga Sound and Vision

17 December 1997

  • The Court of Appeal turns down three lesbian couples' appeal against a High Court ruling against same-sex marriage (New Zealand)

19 December 2018

  • The Auckland Pride Board announces that it is working towards a grassroots-led Pride Parade (Auckland). The Board said that "with a more community-based funding model, we have the challenge and opportunity to be creative on what the actual proceeding will look like.". Link: Auckland Pride

20 December 1906

  • Bertha Victor (a.k.a Bert Rotciv) is arrested (Sydney, Australia). The NZ Truth headline reads "Boy Bertha, a Perplexing Puzzle.". Links: Papers Past, Te Ara

21 December 1984

  • Television news report: footage of New Zealand's first AIDS patient (New Zealand). The footage appears as part of a year-in-review programme. The man's sister is also interviewed. The footage was first broadcast earlier in 1984. Eyewitness news, ref F60412. Links: Nga Taonga Sound & Vision, University of Auckland

21 December 1991

  • The Dominion Dance is held at the Dominion Hotel (Wellington). The dance is organised by Dykes Out Of Debt (DOODS)

21 December 2021

23 December 1902

  • Civil libertarian Walter Scott is born (Canterbury region). Link: Te Ara

23 December 1993

  • MP Chris Carter (Te Atatu, Labour Party) comes out publicly (New Zealand). Carter becomes the first openly gay Member of Parliament in New Zealand. Links: Queer History NZ, Wikipedia

23 December 1995

  • The Dyke Ball takes place (Christchurch). Link:

23 December 1998

  • Television news report: fears that patients have come into contact with a worker who is HIV+ (New Zealand). One news, ref: F38793. Link: Nga Taonga Sound & Vision

23 December 2006

  • Stanley Waipouri is killed (Palmerston North). Link:

27 December 1987

27 December 2013

  • Entrepreneur Tony Katavich dies (Auckland). Katavich created the Out! business empire with Brett Sheppard. Link:

30 December 2004

  • Television news report: a former male sex worker who is HIV+ has been placed in a home in Canterbury (New Zealand). TV3 news, ref F84594. Link: Nga Taonga Sound & Vision

31 December 1985

31 December 1986

  • Television current affairs: the year in review (New Zealand). Lindsay Perigo presents a review of the major news stories - including homosexual law reform and Eve van Grafhorst. News, ref F92032. Link: Nga Taonga Sound and Vision