Story: National Party

Championing private enterprise

Championing private enterprise

During the 1949 election the National Party tapped into public resentment about the level of state control in daily life – controls imposed during the Second World War – and promised to lift such restrictions and champion private enterprise. The cover of this National Party booklet, produced before the election, uses the image of an archetypal local grocer to assert that competition generated by private enterprise benefits consumers through lower prices. The message struck a chord and National won the election in a landslide.

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Alexander Turnbull Library, Arthur Nelson Field Papers
Reference: MS-Papers-8615-139

Permission of the Alexander Turnbull Library, National Library of New Zealand, Te Puna Mātauranga o Aotearoa, must be obtained before any re-use of this image.

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How to cite this page:

Colin James, 'National Party - Formation and rise', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, (accessed 27 September 2023)

Story by Colin James, published 20 Jun 2012, updated 1 Jul 2020