Story: History

Michael Joseph Savage

Labour Prime Minister Michael Joseph Savage is seen here opening the head office of the new Department of Social Security on 27 March 1939. After suffering setbacks in the 1920s, the Labour Party was finally swept into power in 1935. The government set up a comprehensive welfare state to protect New Zealanders from what many had suffered in the depression. In his victory speech, Savage outlined the Labour Party’s vision of a decent standard of living and economic security for ordinary New Zealand working families.

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Alexander Turnbull Library
Reference: 1/4-049203-G

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.

Sound file from Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision, Radio New Zealand collection. Any re-use of this audio is a breach of copyright. To request a copy of the recording, contact Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision (M. J. Savage – speech post-election victory, 27/11/35 by phone from 1YA/Reference number D468/2).

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How to cite this page:

John Wilson, 'History - Liberal to Labour', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, (accessed 15 April 2024)

Story by John Wilson, updated 1 Apr 2020