Story: Labour Party

Michael Joseph Savage's victory speech, 1935

'Now then, ladies and gentlemen.' In the era before television, the reassuring tones of Michael Joseph Savage, the first Labour prime minister, became familiar to the entire country through radio broadcasts. On 27 November 1935, soon after Labour's historic victory in the general election, Savage spoke to the nation over the 1YA radio station. Listen to this extract from his speech, about his hopes for Labour's term of government.

An iconic photograph of Savage can be seen on the wall above this family eating dinner. This same image could once be found in the houses of Labour supporters throughout the country.

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 (M. J. Savage – speech post-election victory, 27/11/35 by phone from 1YA/Reference number D468/2).


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Palmerston North City Library
Reference: 2010N_A175-67-1_004203

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How to cite this page:

Peter Aimer, 'Labour Party - First Labour government, 1935 to 1949', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, (accessed 9 December 2022)

Story by Peter Aimer, published 20 Jun 2012, updated 1 Jun 2015