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Six Oclock Swill

Events In History

9 October 1967

Fifty years of six o’clock closing of pubs had ended two days earlier, after a referendum convinced the government to change the antiquated licensing law.

2 December 1917

Six p.m. closing of pubs was introduced as a temporary wartime measure. It ushered in what became known as the 'six o'clock swill', in which patrons drank their fill before closing time. The practice was to last for 50 years.


Assisted immigration, 1947-75

New Zealand is a country of immigrants. Wave after wave of peoples have settled here: Polynesian, British, European, Asian. Read the full article

Page 5 - Life in New Zealand

After they arrived, each assisted immigrant was given a letter of welcome from Bert Bockett, the Secretary for Labour, which outlined the assistance which the Department would

Food in the 20th century

The pavlova - that frothy, baked confection of egg whites and sugar - has long been seen as an icon of New Zealand cuisine; its place of origin has been debated with Australians for just as long in one of the many instances of trans-Tasman rivalry. Read the full article

Page 2 - Dining out

 Before the 1960s, New Zealanders had a limited choice both of venue and of food if they wanted to dine

1947 Greymouth beer boycott

What would it take for West Coasters to boycott their beloved beer? Greymouth hotel-keepers found out in 1947, when an organised attempt to raise the price of beer sparked one of the most effective consumer boycotts ever seen in New Zealand. Read the full article

Page 2 - Pub culture

Between 1919 and 1967 all public hotels in New Zealand officially closed at 6 p.m., but these hours were only nominally observed on the West Coast.

Armistice Day

After four terrible years, fighting in the First World War finally ended with the signing of an armistice between Germany and the Allies on 11 November 1918. New Zealanders celebrated enthusiastically, despite having recently celebrated the surrenders of the three other Central Powers and the premature news of an armistice with Germany. Read the full article

Page 7 - New Zealand in 1918

Some facts and stats about New Zealand in the year the First World War

Temperance movement

Temperance was one of the most divisive social issues in late-19th and early-20th century New Zealand. Social reformers who argued that alcohol fuelled poverty, ill health, crime and immorality nearly achieved national prohibition in a series of hotly contested referendums. Read the full article

Page 4 - Voting for prohibition

The First World War period brought total or partial prohibition to several countries: New Zealand came within a whisker of joining

The 'six o'clock swill' at the Porirua Tavern in 1967