Story: Ports and harbours

Wellington Waterside Workers' Union

Wellington Waterside Workers' Union

The waterfront has featured strongly in every one of New Zealand’s main industrial disputes. The wharfies (watersiders or longshoremen) had a distinct subculture and a pride in their heritage, as shown by the dates of the famous disputes on this banner. Since the 1970s, the use of containers and changed work practices have vastly reduced the number of people working on the wharves.

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Maritime Union of New Zealand
Photograph by Melanie Lovell-Smith

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How to cite this page:

Gavin McLean, 'Ports and harbours - 19th- and 20th-century changes', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, http://www.TeAra.govt.nz/en/object/6029/wellington-waterside-workers-union (accessed 14 August 2020)

Story by Gavin McLean, published 12 Jun 2006, updated 30 Jul 2015