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Browse the 1966 Encyclopaedia of New Zealand
Graphic: An Encyclopaedia of New Zealand 1966.


This information was published in 1966 in An Encyclopaedia of New Zealand, edited by A. H. McLintock. It has not been corrected and will not be updated.

Up-to-date information can be found elsewhere in Te Ara.




The motto of the Women's Christian Temperance Union is “For God, Home and Humanity”, and its original platform consisted of “Peace, Purity, and Prohibition”. The movement began in New Zealand in 1885 with the arrival from the United States of Mrs M. C. Leavitt, who brought with her a petition to be signed by women in all parts of the world urging their governments to introduce the prohibition of alcohol. Branches were soon established, the condition of membership being a pledge to abstain from all intoxicating liquors. The union has also been associated with a number of other reforms, including women's franchise, the purity of the home, the teaching of religion in schools, and welfare work, particularly amongst seamen. Its headquarters are in Wellington. There are 76 branches. It is affiliated to the National Council of Women and has given support to the Pan-Pacific and South-East Asia Women's Associations, as well as the New Zealand Alliance.

by Pamela Somers Cocks, M.A., DIP.N.Z.L.S., Archivist, Wellington.