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No alcohol license poster from 1911


This New Zealand Alliance poster was used in the prohibition campaign leading up to the first national referendum in 1911. It refers to the 1908 local licensing polls in which, according to the poster, 60 out of 76 electorates voted by a majority in favour of continuance. It claims that 'The eyes of the world are upon us!' as the first national referendum approaches.

As temperance supporters pointed out, the three-fifths threshold required under the no-license legislation made it difficult to achieve local prohibition. Many more electorates would have gone ‘dry’ if only the bare majority had been required to close the pubs: the 12 dry districts in 1908 could have become 50 (but not 60 as suggested in this poster).


Alexander Turnbull Library
Reference: Eph-C-ALCOHOL-Prohibition-1911-03
Permission of the Alexander Turnbull Library, National Library of New Zealand, Te Puna Matauranga o Aotearoa, must be obtained before any re-use of this image

How to cite this page

No alcohol license poster from 1911, URL:, (Manatū Taonga — Ministry for Culture and Heritage), updated