labour party

Events In History

Articles

The 1951 waterfront dispute

  • The 1951 waterfront dispute

    The 1951 waterfront dispute was the biggest industrial confrontation in New Zealand’s history. Although it was not as violent as the Great Strike of 1913, it lasted longer – 151 days, from February to July – and involved more workers.

    Read the full article

  • Page 2 – Countdown to confrontation

    New Zealanders generally accepted the hardships and restrictions of the war years as necessary in the fight against fascism. After the war, though, many began to demand a

  • Page 4 – Division and defeat

    The watersiders’ militancy had isolated them from most unionists and Walter Nash’s Labour Party Opposition sat uncomfortably on the fence, denouncing government

State housing

  • State housing

    New Zealand's first state house was formally opened on 18 September 1937. But the government has provided rental housing for New Zealanders for more than a century. Explore the history of this country's various state housing schemes and their contribution to the New Zealand way of life.

    Read the full article

  • Page 3 – The state steps in and out

    The National government introduced full market rents in 1991 to reduce the state role in housing provision. From the start, public debate over state housing policy in New

  • Page 4 – Designing communities

    Community has many different meanings. People might live in a particular community, but have little contact with their neighbours, preferring instead to pursue their social

The 1970s

  • The 1970s

    The 1970s were an era of economic and social change. Global oil shocks hit the New Zealand economy hard, while protests against the Vietnam War and nuclear testing continued. A new generation of activists raised questions about race relations, sexuality and the welfare system in New Zealand.

    Read the full article

  • Page 2 - OverviewSummary of what NZ was like in the 1970s, including our population, economy, popular culture, protest issues, politics and sporting

Homosexual law reform

  • Homosexual law reform

    The homosexual law reform campaign moved beyond the gay community to wider issues of human rights and discrimination. Extreme viewpoints ensured a lengthy and passionate debate before the Homosexual Law Reform Act was passed 27 years ago, in July 1986.

    Read the full article

  • Page 4 - Reforming the lawTo bring about change in the law, the gay movement needed a parliamentary champion. It found one in Member of Parliament Fran

1981 Springbok tour

  • 1981 Springbok tour

    For 56 days in July, August and September 1981, New Zealanders were divided against each other in the largest civil disturbance seen since the 1951 waterfront dispute. The cause of this was the visit of the South African rugby team – the Springboks.

    Read the full article

  • Page 4 - Stopping the 1973 tourKeeping sport and politics separate was becoming increasingly difficult. In July 1969 HART (Halt All Racist Tours) was founded by University of Auckland students with the specific

New Zealand in Samoa

  • New Zealand in Samoa

    New Zealand was ill-equipped to cope with the Western Samoa mandate allocated by the League of Nations in 1920. The Mau movement's passive resistance culminated in the violence of 'Black Saturday', 28 December 1929, which left 11 Samoans and one New Zealand policeman dead.

    Read the full article

  • Page 8 - Towards independenceOn 4 June 2002 Prime Minister Helen Clark offered 'a formal apology to the people of Samoa for the injustices arising from New Zealand's administration of Samoa in its earlier

The 1913 Great Strike

  • The 1913 Great Strike

    The Great Strike of 1913 was in fact a series of strikes between mid-October 1913 and mid-January 1914. It was one of New Zealand’s most violent and disruptive industrial confrontations.

    Read the full article

  • Page 7 - The defeat of the 1913 strikeThe seizure of the wharves in Wellington and Auckland greatly reduced the strikers’ industrial power. Similar takeovers by ‘scab’ arbitration unions soon happened in other

Biographies

  • Kirk, Norman Eric

    In 1972 Norman Kirk broke National’s 12-year-long grip on the Treasury benches and became Labour’s first New Zealand-born PM.

    Read more...
  • Nash, Walter

    At almost 76, Walter Nash was New Zealand’s oldest incoming PM and the last foreign-born one. He had two wives, Lotty, and Parliament. He was still an MP when he died aged 86.

    Read more...
  • Savage, Michael Joseph

    Michael Joseph Savage, New Zealand’s first Labour PM, was probably also it's best-loved. His avuncular image hung in the homes of the Labour faithful for decades.

    Read more...
  • Holland, Henry Edmund

    Harry Holland was an Australian-born radical who led the Labour Party from 1919 until his death in 1933. Holland's socialism was described as 'emotional, not intellectual'. He believed socialism would overcome society's problems.

    Read more...
  • Lange, David Russell

    Seven years and one stomach-stapling operation after entering Parliament in 1977, David Lange became PM at the age of 41.

    Read more...
  • Lee, Alfred Alexander

    A charismatic ex-soldier, orator and propagandist, John A. Lee was a dynamic figure in the Labour Party from the 1920s until 1940, when he was expelled for attacking the leadership of M.J. Savage.

    Read more...
  • Rowling, Wallace Edward

    Norman Kirk’s death in office brought Bill Rowling to the prime ministership unexpectedly in August 1974. A member of an old Tasman Bay farming family, and a teacher by training, he had been finance minister since 1972.

    Read more...
  • Palmer, Geoffrey Winston

    Geoffrey Palmer, the hardworking, loyal deputy who became PM when David Lange resigned dramatically in August 1989, knew that Labour was doomed. ‘What I got from Lange was a hospital pass.’

    Read more...
  • Moore, Michael Kenneth

    In September 1990, just weeks from an election Labour seemed certain to lose, the caucus made Mike Moore New Zealand’s third PM in 13 months.

    Read more...
  • Clark, Helen Elizabeth

    Jenny Shipley may have been our first female PM, but Helen Clark was the first elected one. In 2008 she became our fifth longest-serving PM and Labour’s first to win three consecutive elections.

    Read more...
  • Rātana, Iriaka Matiu

    The first Māori woman to be elected to Parliament, Iriaka Matiu Rātana was a passionate advocate for the welfare of her people.

    Read more...
  • Howard, Mabel Bowden

    In 1947, 14 years after Elizabeth McCombs had become the first woman MP, and more than half a century after women had won the vote, Mabel Howard became New Zealand’s first woman Cabinet minister.

    Read more...