national party

Events In History


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.

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  • 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 repression but

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.

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  • Page 3 - The state steps in and outThe 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 Zealand

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.

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

The New Zealand Legion

  • The New Zealand Legion

    The year 1933 witnessed an unprecedented eruption of protest amongst urban businessmen and professionals in New Zealand. The most prominent manifestation of this protest was a radical conservative movement named the New Zealand Legion.

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  • Page 7 - DeclineInternal divisions and resignations over policy had considerably sapped the New Zealand Legion’s strength by the beginning of


  • Holland, Sidney George

    Holland became PM in 1949. A year later he abolished the Legislative Council, and in 1951, after winning the Waterfront Dispute, he increased his majority in a snap election.

  • Holyoake, Keith Jacka

    ‘Kiwi Keith’ Holyoake, the first officially designated deputy PM (1954) was our third-longest serving leader.Although criticised for sending troops to the Vietnam War, he is now seen as ‘the most dovish of the hawks’, doing the bare minimum to keep America happy.

  • Marshall, John ('Jack') Ross

    ‘Gentleman Jack’ Marshall, for long – too long, he felt towards the end – Keith Holyoake’s deputy, spent mere months as PM, but served Cabinet well for two decades.

  • Muldoon, Robert David

    Rob Muldoon was one of our most polarising PMs, the voice of ‘the ordinary bloke’ to supporters and a dictatorial bully to critics.

  • Bolger, James Brendan

    New Zealand’s most openly republican PM, Jim Bolger presided over major electoral reform and Treaty of Waitangi settlements and outflanked Cabinet opposition to funding the new national museum.

  • Shipley, Jennifer Mary

    New Zealand’s first woman PM, Jenny Shipley came to power in 1997 after staging a carefully planned coup against Jim Bolger.

  • Key, John Philip

    John Key’s prime ministerial parliamentary apprenticeship is the shortest since David Lange’s. Like Lange, he is one of the few recent PMs without prior Cabinet experience.

  • English, Simon William (Bill)

    Like Jack Marshall, Bill English served a long and distinguished political apprenticeship prior to becoming PM

  • Christopher Luxon became New Zealand’s 42nd prime minister after serving one of the shortest political apprenticeships in the country’s history.