The Rise of Socialism in New Zealand
Name:

1890 to 1916
Why Socialism in New Zealand?
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The external essay standard AS29134 asks you to explain the significance
of an...
New Zealand in 1890
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New Zealand was a British colony.
It was mainly British, the majority being English
alt...
The Migrants: Push and Pull
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Early attempts at migration had sought to
bring a particular type of migrants.
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Here and There

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Samuel Parnell & the 40 hour week.
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On the voyage form GB Parnell, a builder was asked to
build a shop. The...
Mateship in the Bush Frontier
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Most early migrants wanted land.
In GB only the wealthy owned land.
In ...
The Rimutaka Hill Road 1870’s

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The future State Highway 2 through
the Wairarapa

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The road into Featherston

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Bush Clearance

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Takaka Nelson 1860’s

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Small scale farming
• What does this picture tell us about the type
of farming practiced in New Zealand…?

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Bush Clearance, Taranaki Farm
• What words would you use to describe this
scene?
• What does this tell us about the ‘scale...
Taranaki Dairy Farm 1900

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Harvesting Wheat

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Giles Family, north Canterbury
• What does this picture tell us about life on
farms in the 1880’s?

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Timber, Bullocks and a Corduroy road

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Crosscut sawing a Kauri

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Pit sawing Kauri
• Pit sawing meant men had to have a great
deal of trust in their workmates.
• What question(s) would you...
Kauri Drivin Dam after triggering

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Kauri log boom

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A Scow transporting Kauri Logs

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Water Sluice for Gold Mining.

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Sluicing gravel for gold.

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Gold mining

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Teviot Station at Tuapeka
• What does this picture tell us about the
operation of Teviot Station?

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Belfast Freezing Works

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The Long Depression 1878-1892
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In the 1860’s NZ had prospered.
Cheap land and high farm prices saw many...
The downward spiral (Recession become a
Depression)
International prices
for wool fall. This signals
a general decline in
...
Conservative Government, Conservative policies.
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Governments tend to reflect the type of people
who elect ...
The Franchise(s) and Electoral Equality
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1840 New Zealand was administered by the Governor
and a chosen cab...
Trade Unions: defending workers
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The idea of Unions was exported
from Britain.
Unions began in the 1850’s, bu...
The ‘Sin of Cheapness’
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•

•

•

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As the number of factories grew so did
demand for labour and despite lower
rates pai...
The 1890 Maritime Strike
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The Wharves and Shipping were the
lifeblood of New Zealand’s trade.
By 1890 expor...
The Liberals
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After losing the 1890 Maritime Strike, Unions chose to
support the Liberals against the Cons...
Richard Seddon

37
A “Social Laboratory”
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Under the Liberal Government 1893-8 New
Zealand earned a reputation as a “Social...
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The Liberals: their Acts of Parliament

1891 Land and Income Tax Assessment Act: taxed land espec...
Political Equality = Social Change: Suffrage
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The campaign began in the late 1880’s when attempts
at Tempe...
The Summit

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42
Labour: Arbitration & Conciliation
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The rise of Unions and Collective Bargaining
had led to considerable Ind...
Social Welfare: Pensions
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In Victorian societies the view was held that the poor
were poor because they di...
Defying the Arbitration Act.
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From 1900 Unions began to feel that the Act was being
used against them.
In...
The Maoriland Worker
• It contained traces of
the new Unionism along
with a sprinkling of
Christian Socialism.
• It regula...
The Socialist Threat
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By the 1890’s more and more countries
found themselves under threat from the
evils o...
Liberals v. Reform and Unions
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The Liberals under Joseph Ward, won again in 1908 but
were only a shadow of th...
The 1912 Waihi Strike
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The Arbitration Act no longer seemed to work for the
Unions.
Tribunal Judgements...
Strikers Meeting 20 May 1912
th

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Strikers march 23 May 1912
rd

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Wives and Families in support 23rd May 1912

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Socialist Party march in support of the strike

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Strikers meet at the Union Hall 1912

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Strikers outside the Waihi Union Hall

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Arbitrationists (Scabs) await a police escort.

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Arbitrationists march to work at Waihi under guard.

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“Black Tuesday” Waihi Nov 12th 1912

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Fred Evans

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“Socialism, Syndicalism and Anarchy”
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Internationsally unions were seen as
Socialists – enemies society.
The U...
Unity Conference 1913

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The Great Strike of 1913.
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By 1900 refrigeration had created a
national system based around the
farming of sheep ...
Town vs Country
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About 1912 New Zealand became an urbanised
Society.
Traditional (Rural) society felt th...
Crushing the Unions: Bring on the Cossacks
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The Strike quickly grew from a minor dispute
between the ship...
Mounted Specials at Mt Cook Gaol

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Stables at Mt Cook

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Specials at rest, Buckle Street.

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Specials pose with their batons

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Mounted Specials – the Batons were made in Courtney Place

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Masseys “Cossacks”

Many ‘Specials’ had fought in South Africa and were part of the Territorials
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Specials at Mt Cook.

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Soldiers guarding Buckle Street

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The army guarding the approaches to Buckle St.

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Mounted Specials in Hanson Street

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Police escort protesters to the wharf

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Crowd outside Queens Wharf.

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Crowd at Queens Wharf, 5th Nov?

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Some of the Ships awaiting off load

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Specials at Shed 17 and 21

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Foot Specials on the Wellington Wharves

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Many locals were recruited as ‘foot’ specials, many came from Victoria Univers...
Specials protect unloading at Queens
Wharf

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Specials at Waterloo Quay

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Crowd at Waterloo Quay

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Strikers met at Post Office Square

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Mounted Police at Mercer Street prepare to charge

86
War in Wellington
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“Wellington had become an armed camp. At
night the sinister sound of massed hoof beats
co...
“Battle” of Featherston Street Nov 5 1913

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Newly registered Union ‘Scabs’ unloading in Nelson

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BY 10th November 10,000 Auckland workers were on strike

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1,900 Specials encamped Auckland Domain

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The Unions Defeated
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Initially the Unions held the upper hand.
But by December 1913 the Unions were
strugg...
Why did it fail?
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The strike failed because most businesses were small
and their working relationships more ...
What was the outcome of these strikes?
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The “Red Feds” were for a short time
excluded from many sites but ...
Socialism and WWI
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Socialists were against the War. (or any
war)
They could not see any reason why workers
...
The Conchies
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Many men refused to serve in the war,
they were ‘conscientious objectors’.
Some objected on ...
Why was the strike significant?
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It was a demonstration of the growing demand for
equality in both New Zea...
Their Significance to People
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The 1913 Strike was an opportunity for the “Red Feds” to confront the
Government a...
Perspective Assessment: Group Work
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Identify the groups that would be best to interview
– Get the widest range of...
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Level 2 History: The rise of socialism in nz

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The rise of Socialism in New Zealand from the late 1880's, the Liberal Party and its legislation and the Union Movements attempts to defend their members at Waihi (1912) and in Wellington.(1913)

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Level 2 History: The rise of socialism in nz

  1. 1. The Rise of Socialism in New Zealand Name: 1890 to 1916
  2. 2. Why Socialism in New Zealand? • • • • • • The external essay standard AS29134 asks you to explain the significance of an event to New Zealand. A major historical force was socialism which demanded equality and fairness and a redistribution of wealth. Emerging from the social deprivation of the Industrial Revolution socialism called for equal treatment for all, for a sharing of wealth and for a welfare net. New Zealand had a growing reputation for egalitarianism. In New Zealand the forces for change were also seeking reform. The key to this is what were the forces of change and how did each country deal with these demands for change? 2
  3. 3. New Zealand in 1890 • • • • • • New Zealand was a British colony. It was mainly British, the majority being English although a significant number were now New Zealand born. All of its systems of Government and Justice originated in Britain. In the 1896 census there were only 42,000 Maori. Most settlers had migrated to New Zealand to escape the social and economic restrictions of the ‘old country’. This combined with the work ethics of ‘Mateship’ led to a desire for egalitarianism and social justice. 3
  4. 4. The Migrants: Push and Pull • • • • • • • Early attempts at migration had sought to bring a particular type of migrants. In 1850 the Wakefield schemes targetted specific groups within Britain. They had sought a ‘slice’ of British society, including all social classes. This did not happen and most of the migrants were working or middle class. Many had some level of education. Many of them wanted better working conditions than they had left behind. Most wanted their children to have more opportunities than they had had. 4
  5. 5. Here and There 5
  6. 6. Samuel Parnell & the 40 hour week. • • • • • • On the voyage form GB Parnell, a builder was asked to build a shop. The employer offered the same conditions as applied in Britain. (Start at 6am, a 12 hour and a 6 day week) 'There are,' he argued, 'twenty-four hours per day given us; eight of these should be for work, eight for sleep, and the remaining eight for recreation and in which for men to do what little things they want for themselves. I am ready to start to-morrow morning at eight o'clock, but it must be on these terms or none at all.‘ 'You know Mr. Parnell,' Hunter persisted, 'that in London the bell rang at six o'clock, and if a man was not there ready to turn to he lost a quarter of a day.' 'We're not in London', replied Parnell. Other employers tried to impose the traditional long hours, but Parnell met incoming ships, talked to the workmen and enlisted their support. The eight hour working day thus became established in the Wellington settlement and around the country. Since the 1890’s labour day was celebrated as a holiday. 6
  7. 7. Mateship in the Bush Frontier • • • • • • • • • Most early migrants wanted land. In GB only the wealthy owned land. In NZ owning land was seen as the path to prosperity. This meant purchasing and breaking in land for farming or working in the ‘Bush’. The work was dangerous and male orientated. In the “Bush frontier’ men often lived and worked in ‘gangs’. Some stayed together for decades. Neighbours often assisted each other in large projects. The frontier developed a particular type of male-centric society with values based upon hard work, honesty and the equal treatment of all. Dishonesty or shirking were anathema to a good society 7
  8. 8. The Rimutaka Hill Road 1870’s 8
  9. 9. The future State Highway 2 through the Wairarapa 9
  10. 10. The road into Featherston 10
  11. 11. Bush Clearance 11
  12. 12. Takaka Nelson 1860’s 12
  13. 13. Small scale farming • What does this picture tell us about the type of farming practiced in New Zealand…? 13
  14. 14. Bush Clearance, Taranaki Farm • What words would you use to describe this scene? • What does this tell us about the ‘scale’ of farming? • What appears to be holding development back? 14
  15. 15. Taranaki Dairy Farm 1900 15
  16. 16. Harvesting Wheat 16
  17. 17. Giles Family, north Canterbury • What does this picture tell us about life on farms in the 1880’s? 17
  18. 18. Timber, Bullocks and a Corduroy road 18
  19. 19. Crosscut sawing a Kauri 19
  20. 20. Pit sawing Kauri • Pit sawing meant men had to have a great deal of trust in their workmates. • What question(s) would you ask of the people in this picture? 20
  21. 21. Kauri Drivin Dam after triggering 21
  22. 22. Kauri log boom 22
  23. 23. A Scow transporting Kauri Logs 23
  24. 24. Water Sluice for Gold Mining. 24
  25. 25. Sluicing gravel for gold. 25
  26. 26. Gold mining 26
  27. 27. Teviot Station at Tuapeka • What does this picture tell us about the operation of Teviot Station? 27
  28. 28. Belfast Freezing Works 28
  29. 29. The Long Depression 1878-1892 • • • • • • • • • In the 1860’s NZ had prospered. Cheap land and high farm prices saw many farmers borrow heavily on future earnings. In the 1870’s wool prices fell, gold began to become scarcer and the rabbit plague destroyed many farms in the South. The Bank of Glasgow had lent heavily to both NZ public and private investors. In 1878 the Bank of Glasgow collapsed. Other banks also suffered. Its international investments were recalled creating a worldwide depression. The Government was heavily in debt which did not encourage business leaders. In 1882 the Australian market for NZ wheat also collapsed. Economic downturn led to Political instability. 29
  30. 30. The downward spiral (Recession become a Depression) International prices for wool fall. This signals a general decline in commodity prices. As suppliers incomes fall they also cut costs employing fewer workers and cutting back on spending Public & Private Retrenchments continue. Business confidence is low so little is invested in new ventures – people prefer to keep their money. (Banks fail) Farmers incomes fall, they cut costs by employing fewer labourers and cutting back on spending. Lenders (banks) demand loans be repaid. Reduced tax revenue forces the Government to reduce spending, especially in employment and supplies. (Retrenchment) Negative growth in 3 consecutive quarters is an ECONOMIC DEPRESSION 30
  31. 31. Conservative Government, Conservative policies. • • • • • • • Governments tend to reflect the type of people who elect them. While the franchise was limited to the wealthy the Government and its policies favoured them. Since most of the voters were farmers of manufacturers, laws tended to support them. From 1860 to 1891 the Government was conservative in its policies and its legislation. Politics however began to change, the franchise was expanded and by the 1890’s more politicians owed their support to urban workers and later to the female vote. After the 1890 Maritime Strike, Labour Unions began to look towards Parliament to create change. The Liberals were the first to benefit from this support. 31
  32. 32. The Franchise(s) and Electoral Equality • • • • • • • 1840 New Zealand was administered by the Governor and a chosen cabinet. 1852 – First Election: Voting for Males aged 21 who own or rent land (£50 Rural £10 Urban). Maori disenfranchised through communal ownership. 1860 – Franchise extended to (Gold)Miners. 1867 - 4 Maori Seats established. A ‘short term’ measure. 1879 - Franchise broadened – land ownership requirement abolished. All males over 21 may vote. 1889 – Representation Act establishes a country quota. (Smaller constituencies). Favoured farmers. – Ends Plural voting. 1893 – Women receive the Vote. – Effective Universal Suffrage. – Women would not receive the vote in the US and GB until after WWI. 32
  33. 33. Trade Unions: defending workers • • • • • The idea of Unions was exported from Britain. Unions began in the 1850’s, but they were few and far between. Governments were openly hostile to them. From 1876 the Trades Council in Auckland was able to co-ordinate Union activities in areas of common concern. Most laws actually favoured the employer, until the 1878 Trade Union Act they had no legal standing. The Long depression made it harder for workers as wages and conditions were driven down. 33
  34. 34. The ‘Sin of Cheapness’ • • • • • As the number of factories grew so did demand for labour and despite lower rates paid to women, many saw more opportunities in this work than in Service. In 1889 Dunedin Reverend Waddell preached his sermon on the ‘Sin of Cheapness’. (Think ‘The Warehouse’) Hours were long and pay was usually low. (Piece)Work was often taken home to fulfill quotas. Few factories complied to any standards and were very dangerous to work in. (No Social Welfare) It was amongst women that the first Unions began to flourish. 34
  35. 35. The 1890 Maritime Strike • • • • • • • The Wharves and Shipping were the lifeblood of New Zealand’s trade. By 1890 export of meat, wool and dairy products were becoming our largest export industry. The Unions wanted to improve their wages and conditions. They chose to support a strike in Australia by closing our wharves as well. There was little public support and the Government took the upper hand. Scabs were employed to break the strike. A strike of several weeks was broken and the Unions were left severely weakened. 35
  36. 36. The Liberals • • • • • • • • After losing the 1890 Maritime Strike, Unions chose to support the Liberals against the Conservatives. The Liberal’s wanted a strong central Government. Government should treat everyone equally. To care for the Disadvantaged. Where Monopolies existed they should be able to intervene. They wanted to encourage people to stay in the country (rural areas) by breaking up the Big Estates. The previous Conservative Governments had supported Wealth and Privilege over Democracy. They wanted Labour Reform and created a Bureau of Industry (the Labour Department) 36
  37. 37. Richard Seddon 37
  38. 38. A “Social Laboratory” • • • • • • • • • Under the Liberal Government 1893-8 New Zealand earned a reputation as a “Social Laboratory”. Laws passed during this period seemed aimed at creating a “better world”. Equality was created through Universal Suffrage. Workers conditions were protected in factories and shops (Acts). Collective bargaining was allowed and created a settled Industrial climate. Social Welfare began with the Pension. Many felt New Zealand was leading the world in Social, Economic and Political equality. This became a point of pride for many. A progressive NZ had created a better world for the working man. 38
  39. 39. • • • • • • • • • • • • The Liberals: their Acts of Parliament 1891 Land and Income Tax Assessment Act: taxed land especially absentee landlords. 1892 Land for Settlements Act: Set aside £50K to buy large estates. 1892 Lease in Perpetuity Act: Allowed existing Leasers a 999 year lease on their land. 1892 Compulsory Purchase: Allowed government to buy land 1893 Local Option Act: Allowed Local voters to decide on Prohibition in their districts. 1893 Advances to Settlers Act: Allowed farmers to lend cash to improve their farms. 1893 Government Electoral Bill: gave Women the Vote 1894 Bank of New Zealand Guarantee Act: Gave the Government power to appoint its President and Auditor in return for a Guarantee that saved it. 1894 Factory Act: Required factories be registered and inspected, setting minimum health standards. 1894 Shop and Shop Assistants Act: Regulated work and conditions in shops. 1894 Industrial Arbitration and Conciliation Act: Set up to settle industrial disputes, its decisions were binding on both parties. 39 1898 Old Age Pension: Paid a pension to those of ‘good’ character.
  40. 40. Political Equality = Social Change: Suffrage • • • • • • • • The campaign began in the late 1880’s when attempts at Temperance failed. The WCTU led by Kate Sheppard sought to effect social change through the franchise. Alcohol was their target. At first temperance later Prohibition. By denying women the vote, it was claimed the Government had classed them with juveniles, lunatics and criminals. The franchise department of the WCTU took the three major petitions to Parliament in 1891 to 1892. The petitions were presented by Sir John Hall, supported by Alfred Saunders, John Ballance and Robert Stout. Many of middle class men were teetotalers. In 1893 despite interference by Seddon Suffrage was passed. Sir John Hall 40
  41. 41. The Summit 41
  42. 42. 42
  43. 43. Labour: Arbitration & Conciliation • • • • • • The rise of Unions and Collective Bargaining had led to considerable Industrial unrest in 1880’s. This had eventually led to the 1890 Maritime Strike. Losing this confrontation led the Unions to seek political support in the Liberals. The 1891 election saw the most urban electorates swing across to the Liberals. William Pember Reeves sought to stop unnecessary confrontation when he introduced the 1894 Industrial Arbitration and Conciliation Act. Now Unions and Employers were forced to accept decisions by a tribunal when negotiation broke down. 43
  44. 44. Social Welfare: Pensions • • • • • • • • In Victorian societies the view was held that the poor were poor because they did not work hard enough. One aspect of every frontier society was the large number of men. (Miners, Bush Workers etc) With no immediate or wider family to call on they relied upon charity to care for them as they grew old. By the 1890’s the number of “Indigents” threatened to overwhelm the local charitable organisations. The Liberals encouraged by Seddon, introduced a “universal’ pension. It excluded those of “poor character” and the Chinese. Maori were excluded because they lacked the birth certificates. In 1898 NZ was the first nation to introduce such a measure. 44
  45. 45. Defying the Arbitration Act. • • • • • • • • From 1900 Unions began to feel that the Act was being used against them. In 1906 the Auckland Tram Drivers went out on the first illegal strike. Wellington Slaughtermen soon followed and won a pay rise. In 1908 the Blackball Miners forced the Mine Co. to double their lunch break to 30 minutes after a 3 month strike. “Right Minded New Zealanders were pitted against Socialist Union Agitators”. The Miners Federation became the Federation of Labour. By 1910 Watersiders, Shearers and Tramwaymen had also affiliated. (joined) The Federation of Labours journal was called the Maoriland Worker. 45
  46. 46. The Maoriland Worker • It contained traces of the new Unionism along with a sprinkling of Christian Socialism. • It regularly condemned the effects of capitalism. 46
  47. 47. The Socialist Threat • • • • • • By the 1890’s more and more countries found themselves under threat from the evils of Socialism and Unionisation. Socialist wanted better conditions, better pay through a fair distribution of wealth. The US based organisation International Workers of the World (Wobblies) led these calls. The 1905 Revolution in Russia was driven by these sentiments and almost toppled the Tsars Government. World wide unions were coming under attack from Employers, the Media and Governments as enemies of the established order. Union members were harassed and attacked, beaten and jailed. Who has benefited from the ‘product of labour’? 47
  48. 48. Liberals v. Reform and Unions • • • • • • The Liberals under Joseph Ward, won again in 1908 but were only a shadow of their former selves. Ward relied on Union support and was unwilling to confront the Unions. In the next 4 years Unions made more demands that were resented by the Employers. By deregistering from the Arbitration Act they could freely strike. In 1912 the Reform Party under Massey defeated the Liberals with support from both social Conservatives and Farming lobbies. Immediately the Government took a harder line against Unions. 48
  49. 49. The 1912 Waihi Strike • • • • • • • • • The Arbitration Act no longer seemed to work for the Unions. Tribunal Judgements lacked consistency and decisions often favoured the Employers. When a dispute over wages failed to reach a resolution the Employer attempted to bypass the existing Union by creating a new Union. Under the Act any settlement with new Union would become binding on all workers on the site. The Unions called a strike. The Employers brought in Scabs to work. Violence erupted. In a final incident an attack on the Union Hall led the wounding of a constable and the death of a Unionist. The Strikers &Union supporters were driven from the town. 49
  50. 50. Strikers Meeting 20 May 1912 th 50
  51. 51. Strikers march 23 May 1912 rd 51
  52. 52. Wives and Families in support 23rd May 1912 52
  53. 53. Socialist Party march in support of the strike 53
  54. 54. Strikers meet at the Union Hall 1912 54
  55. 55. Strikers outside the Waihi Union Hall 55
  56. 56. Arbitrationists (Scabs) await a police escort. 56
  57. 57. Arbitrationists march to work at Waihi under guard. 57
  58. 58. “Black Tuesday” Waihi Nov 12th 1912 58
  59. 59. Fred Evans 59
  60. 60. “Socialism, Syndicalism and Anarchy” • • • • • Internationsally unions were seen as Socialists – enemies society. The United Federation of Labour (UFL) was created in July 1913 at the Unity Conference . 400 Delegates represented 60,000 workers. The Employers Federation responded by created a “defence’ fund to “oppose extreme agitation, syndicalisers and revolutionary socialists”. Massey’s government made it clear they would support any assault on militant unionism. 60
  61. 61. Unity Conference 1913 61
  62. 62. The Great Strike of 1913. • • • • By 1900 refrigeration had created a national system based around the farming of sheep & cattle, their processing, transportation and export to overseas markets. Impediments (Strikes) to this system threatened the entire economy. Unions controlled both transportation by rail and sea. When trouble began on the Wellington wharves, Massey was determined to crush the challenges to good order. (and profit). 62
  63. 63. Town vs Country • • • • • • • • • About 1912 New Zealand became an urbanised Society. Traditional (Rural) society felt threatened. Unions (Syndicalists) were seen as a symbol of that threat. Massey hoped to use the Farmers Union against the Militant Unionists. Initially rural volunteers showed little interest in becoming involved. Later they called upon 25,000 strong Territorial forces. Thousands of “Mounted Specials”, and hundreds of foot answered this call. Many of the farmers felt they had a duty to defend the nation from the socialists. Strikers grew to hate the “Specials” and almost all violence was aimed at them. 63
  64. 64. Crushing the Unions: Bring on the Cossacks • • • • • • • • The Strike quickly grew from a minor dispute between the shipwrights and the Union Steamship Company. Months of negotiation proved fruitless. The Shipwrights then affiliated (joined) with the Wellington Watersiders . Returning from a stop work meeting in October the shipwrights were locked out. Scabs were employed. The strike then escalated. Soon wharves all around the country were closed. The Employers were determined to crush the United Federation of Labour. Massey wanted to use his Rural supporters. To force the issue. 64
  65. 65. Mounted Specials at Mt Cook Gaol 65
  66. 66. Stables at Mt Cook 66
  67. 67. Specials at rest, Buckle Street. 67
  68. 68. Specials pose with their batons 68
  69. 69. Mounted Specials – the Batons were made in Courtney Place 69
  70. 70. Masseys “Cossacks” Many ‘Specials’ had fought in South Africa and were part of the Territorials 70
  71. 71. Specials at Mt Cook. 71
  72. 72. Soldiers guarding Buckle Street 72
  73. 73. The army guarding the approaches to Buckle St. 73
  74. 74. Mounted Specials in Hanson Street 74
  75. 75. Police escort protesters to the wharf 75
  76. 76. 76
  77. 77. Crowd outside Queens Wharf. 77
  78. 78. Crowd at Queens Wharf, 5th Nov? 78
  79. 79. Some of the Ships awaiting off load 79
  80. 80. Specials at Shed 17 and 21 80
  81. 81. Foot Specials on the Wellington Wharves 81 Many locals were recruited as ‘foot’ specials, many came from Victoria University
  82. 82. Specials protect unloading at Queens Wharf 82
  83. 83. Specials at Waterloo Quay 83
  84. 84. Crowd at Waterloo Quay 84
  85. 85. Strikers met at Post Office Square 85
  86. 86. Mounted Police at Mercer Street prepare to charge 86
  87. 87. War in Wellington • • • • • • “Wellington had become an armed camp. At night the sinister sound of massed hoof beats could be heard ...... as hundreds of “specials” wended their way back to Buckle Street.” The streets of Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch would echo to the sounds of riot and rebellion. Fighting included clubs, stones, bottles and eventually rifles and pistols. Gunfire was exchanged across Taranaki Street. Soldiers manned machine guns outside Government buildings. Strike leaders did not encourage attacks on the Police but the Cossacks. 87
  88. 88. “Battle” of Featherston Street Nov 5 1913 88
  89. 89. Newly registered Union ‘Scabs’ unloading in Nelson 89
  90. 90. BY 10th November 10,000 Auckland workers were on strike 90
  91. 91. 1,900 Specials encamped Auckland Domain 91
  92. 92. The Unions Defeated • • • • • • • • Initially the Unions held the upper hand. But by December 1913 the Unions were struggling. Scabs were quartered on the wharves, or on ships making them difficult to reach. The wharves were defended by lines of Specials. Massey’s ruthlessness and the ever present Specials wore them down. Union leaders were jailed and imprisoned as were some strikers. In Wellington they were forced out of the Opera House to the Olympia Skating Rink. Unable to stop the loading of ships and losing public support they were forced to call off the strike action. 92
  93. 93. Why did it fail? • • • • • • • The strike failed because most businesses were small and their working relationships more personal. Workers and Employers often worked together. Most workers were not as a group unhappy enough to support a total strike. The Unions lacked the organisation and ability to wage a long campaign. Unions lacked the political support in Parliament. Mainstream Media were almost completely against the strike. Finally when scabs were employed on board the ships, (Freyberg = stokers etc.) the strike was broken. 93
  94. 94. What was the outcome of these strikes? • • • • • • • The “Red Feds” were for a short time excluded from many sites but began to work their way back into the Unions. It left behind an entrenched class based political system. (Melanie Nolan) It reinforced the growing urban/rural split especially in political support. The Reform Party was now the established party of rural NZ and social Conservatives. With the Liberals in decline the Unions realised they needed a new political ally. The Social Democratic Party (SDP) held out some hope, and it would eventually become the Labour Party in 1916. Many of the union leaders from 1908/12/13 would go on to become important political figures. (Holland, Semple, Fraser) 94
  95. 95. Socialism and WWI • • • • • • Socialists were against the War. (or any war) They could not see any reason why workers should become involved. The war seemed to be an argument between Governments about a trivial matter. (The assassination of Franz Josef) Increased Imperial rivalries reinforced by expanding armouries appeared to be for the benefit of large companies, not workers Increasing Nationalism also seemed designed to drag workers into believing in war as a good thing. Many Union leaders, including Holland, Semple and Fraser were imprisoned because of their opposition to the war. 95
  96. 96. The Conchies • • • • • • • • Many men refused to serve in the war, they were ‘conscientious objectors’. Some objected on religious grounds (Jehovahs Witnesses or Christians) Many refused because of their Political beliefs. (Mainly Socialists) Many socialists believed the war was a Capitalist War. It was fought to keep the rich, rich and was fought by the poor. (Workers). While there were volunteers this was only a small issue. After 2 years fewer were willing to go to war. Until 1916 this was not an issue, but Conscription made this illegal. 96
  97. 97. Why was the strike significant? • • • • • • • • It was a demonstration of the growing demand for equality in both New Zealand and around the world. It was an example of major changes in New Zealand’s demography. NZ had just become an Urbanised society and with it came a shift in emphasis. Urban workers demanded more rights and better wages. Such Socialist or “Communist” ideas threatened the traditional order. It was an example of the older established order fighting back. (Country Vs Town) It showed the power of the Government and its willingness to attack the Union movement. The Government used the law/changed the law and was prepared to employ the armed forces (Navy & Army) to enforce its will. 97
  98. 98. Their Significance to People • • • • The 1913 Strike was an opportunity for the “Red Feds” to confront the Government and regain the standing lost at Waihi the previous year. For the Reform Party it was a chance to reinforce their dominance over the Unions and to stop the march of Socialism in the Cities and return to more traditional values and standing. There were few in the country who were not effected. – Thousands of Mounted Specials descended onto the cities determined to enforce their values onto the weak and immoral city, leaving farms untended – For thousands of striking workers it was weeks of wages lost and families that went hungry, or accepted charity. While the strike lasted barely 6 weeks its effects were felt for decades. – Red Feds were jailed. – Many were unable to obtain work in their normal trades. – Unions left the Liberals and moved towards the SDP and later Labour. – Union Leaders would eventually lead the Labour Party to victory in 1935. 98
  99. 99. Perspective Assessment: Group Work • • • • Identify the groups that would be best to interview – Get the widest range of views. Identify 4-5 people who could be interviewed. For each person identify: – The group or trade they might be a member of. – Their age....? – Their family situation....? – Their level of education....? – What their view of the strike might be....? – Why would they hold this view.....? (See above) – How might the strike have effected them...? – What roles/actions they might have taken in the strike...? – Why might they have done this......? – How significant might they see the strike in their personal lives or for the country....? Eliminate the weakest candidate(s) .... KEEP THREE!!!! 99

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