Old New Zealand

...Capital Punishment...

In total there were 83 executions in New Zealand between 1842 and 1957. All but one were for the crime of murder (one for treason) and all were carried out by hanging. The death penalty for murder was abolished in 1961 and for treason in 1989 (Abolition of the Death Penalty Act, 1989).

The first official execution in New Zealand took place on 7 March, 1842. Maketu Wharetotara, the 17 year old son of a Ngapuhi chief had been found guilty of murdering five people at Motuarohia in the Bay of Islands. Walter Bolton who had poisoned his wife was the last to be executed on 18 February 1957. In 1869 Hamiora Pere became the only person ever to be executed in New Zealand history for the crime of treason. The only woman ever hanged in New Zealand was Minnie Dean, the notorious Winton Baby farmer, in 1895. Doubts remain to this day regarding her guilt.

10 Notorious Murders