In the first decade of the 20th century large numbers of Australian miners moved to the West Coast of the South Island. Many played key roles in New Zealand’s industrial and political labour movements. Australian-born unionist Paddy Webb helped mobilise the miners of Rūnanga during the 1913 general strike. Later he became a politician. In 1936, as a minister in the newly-elected Labour government, he returned to Rūnanga and addressed supporters outside the Rūnanga Miners’ Hall.
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