1 November 1898: the New Zealand Old-Age Pensions Act came into law, the first measure of its type in the British Empire.
The pension was modest (£18 a year), carefully means-tested, and had a racist element in its careful exclusion of "Chinese or other Asiatics". It was also limited to persons "deemed to be of good character"; no drunkards or fallen women allowed.
But for those fortunate enough to be eligible, the pension made the difference between destitution and a measure of security. It was the first stirrings of what eventually became New Zealand's social welfare system.