Story: Labour Party

Depression-era election leaflet

Depression-era election leaflet

This 1931 Labour Party election leaflet shows a gang of relief workers (unemployed men carrying out state-created work in order to qualify for unemployment relief). They are dragging a harrow to prepare ground for planting – work usually carried out by draught horses. Former Premier Richard Seddon, whose Liberal Party was one of the forerunners of the Labour Party, watches the scene with sadness. For its first few decades the Labour Party was dominated by unionists and other representatives of low-income people, and favoured state intervention in the economy to address major economic and other problems. In later incarnations the party moved sharply away from this original vision.

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Alexander Turnbull Library
Reference: Eph-B-NZ-LABOUR-1931-01

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:

Peter Aimer, 'Labour Party - Ideology and the role of unions', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, (accessed 16 June 2024)

Story by Peter Aimer, published 20 Jun 2012, updated 1 Jan 2023