Strikers at Post Office Square, Wellington, 1913

A crowd of strikers and supporters listen to a speaker in Post Office Square, Wellington, during the 1913 strike. The speaker may be Harry Holland, editor of the Maoriland Worker.

Post Office Square was the venue for major strike meetings and speeches by unionists and radicals. The Harbour Board offices and Queen’s Wharf gates were on the seaward side of the square. On the south side of the square, facing the Harbour Board offices, was the Queen’s Chambers building, in which the watersiders’ and seamen’s unions had their offices.

 On 26 October there was a mass meeting in Post Office Square, after which the crowd marched to the Basin Reserve. Finding the gates locked, the crowd tore them down and held their meeting anyway.

On 30 October Post Office Square and Hunter Street were the site of an intense battle between strike supporters and mounted special constables. Fighting broke out when mounted regular police led the specials directly into the massed crowd. Batons were wielded and stones thrown, and at least one special constable fired his revolver. Fortunately, no one was killed.

See more images of Post Office Square during the strike (Flickr)

Community contributions

1 comment has been posted about Strikers at Post Office Square, Wellington, 1913

What do you know?

Joseph Smith Anonymous

Posted: 27 Mar 2021

My granddad was a major player in this fight. He was well respected and had a great respect amoung his peers .. He got given a metal badge in honer of his efforts in the great struck and I was just wondering if everyone got one ?