Story: Exhibitions and world’s fairs

Onward New Zealand!

Dan Sullivan, minister of supply in the first Labour government of 1939, narrates with great enthusiasm the 'pageant of progress' that he sees represented by the Centennial Fair at Rongotai, Wellington, which ran from 1939 to 1940. The film shows the modernist architecture of the fair's buildings, the heroic statues of Māori explorer Kupe and European pioneers, the courts of participating countries of the British Empire, the very large government court, the representation of New Zealand's industrial achievements and transport system, and brief shots of Playland – the amusement park which attracted thousands to the fair. The ideas of progress and pioneer-worship that lay behind the fair is expressed in Sullivan's commentary.

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How to cite this page:

Jock Phillips, 'Exhibitions and world’s fairs - New Zealand exhibitions, 1900 onwards', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, (accessed 4 December 2023)

Story by Jock Phillips, published 22 Oct 2014