Story: Referendums

Liquor licensing: anti-prohibition (2nd of 2)

Liquor licensing: anti-prohibition

This poster promoting 'continuance' (keeping alcohol legal) was produced by New Zealand Breweries around 1922. The sturdy ex-soldier, represented as a manly, responsible drinker, rejects the water offered to him by the weedy 'wowser', a prohibitionist who bears a resemblance to Uncle Sam (a personification of the United States). The poster opposes the system of prohibition in force in the US from 1920 to 1933. It implies that continuance guarantees soldiers the freedoms they fought for. The prohibition vote remained strong in New Zealand in the 1920s, but the failure of American prohibition was a factor in the decline of support for it during the 1930s.

Using this item

Alexander Turnbull Library
Reference: Eph-D-ALCOHOL-Continuance-1920s-02

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:

Nigel Roberts, 'Referendums - Prohibition referendums', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, (accessed 23 February 2024)

Story by Nigel Roberts, published 20 Jun 2012, reviewed & revised 30 Aug 2016, updated 1 Dec 2020