Story: Empire and Commonwealth

With Britain in time of war

For most New Zealanders, commitment to Britain did not depend on their political beliefs – both conservative and reform-minded New Zealanders saw themselves as part of Britain's colonial family. In this 1939 radio broadcast, Prime Minister Michael Joseph Savage affirms that relationship on the eve of the Second World War. Saying 'Where she goes, we go, where she stands, we stand,' he assures those listening that New Zealand and Britain 'march forward to a common destiny'. The photo shows Savage on election night 1935, when he became the country's first Labour prime minister.

Sound file from Radio New Zealand Sound Archives Ngā Taonga Kōrero. Any re-use of this audio is a breach of copyright. To request a copy of the recording, contact Sound Archives Ngā Taonga Kōrero (Rt. Hon. Michael Joseph Savage broadcasts to N.Z. outbreak of war. 1939-09-05/Reference number sa-d-00409-01-s01-pm).

Using this item

Alexander Turnbull Library, C. A. Jeffery Collection
Reference: 1/2-051739-F

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.

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How to cite this page:

W. David McIntyre, 'Empire and Commonwealth - War and empire', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, http://www.TeAra.govt.nz/en/speech/33231/with-britain-in-time-of-war (accessed 17 October 2019)

Story by W. David McIntyre, published 20 Jun 2012