This photograph of a school assembly at the Avondale Technical High School in the late 1940s shows students standing to attention with their hands behind their backs, while the teaching staff stand above them on the stage. It conveys powerfully the authoritarianism that American commentator David Ausubel observed in New Zealand society a decade later. He believed that this undermined true graciousness, and that New Zealanders were only polite because they were forced to bow to authority.
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Archives New Zealand - Te Rua Mahara o te Kāwanatanga
Reference: AAQT 6539/A2363
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