Story: Intelligence services

Special Branch constable's report on waterfront dispute meeting

The 1951 waterfront dispute between waterside workers and their employers lasted for 151 days, from February to July. On 21 February the government declared a state of emergency. Throughout the dispute the Special Branch of the New Zealand Police tried to monitor the activities of the locked-out workers and their supporters. This report from Constable L. W. Wise describes a meeting of the Auckland Waterside Women's Auxiliary, a support group for the Watersiders' Union. Wise was soon recognised, illustrating the difficulties of operating undercover in the small society of 1950s New Zealand. A number of those attending the meeting were subjects of the Special Branch's 'subversive history' sheets. The 'Gordon Harold Anderson' identified in the report was Bill Anderson, a prominent communist and a union leader from the 1950s through to the 1990s.

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Archives New Zealand - Te Rua Mahara o te Kāwanatanga
Reference: ADMO W5595 21007 Box 1 25/9/20/1 1

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How to cite this page:

Peter Clayworth, 'Intelligence services - The Cold War, 1945 to 1984', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, (accessed 7 July 2022)

Story by Peter Clayworth, published 20 Jun 2012