1916 – 2016: One Hundred Years of Labour

The Waihi Strike set the scene for Labour

The defeat of the Waihi Strike set the scene for Labour

By Martin Gregory


I might state that the museum up on the hill known as Parliament House has little attraction for me but if that machine can be used to benefit the working man and foster industrial organisation, I am in favour of it.

W E Parry, January 1913,President of the Waihi Worker’s Union 1909-1912, Minister of Internal Affairs 1935-1949


The party named the New Zealand Labour Party came into being at a meeting on 7 July 1916. This event was little more than a name change of the Social Democratic Party, whose annual conference began the day before. In May the SDP National Executive had recommended the change and to invite the right-wing remnants in the Labour Representation Committees, who had hitherto remained outside the SDP, to join. Eleven out of thirteen of the first Labour Party Executive, and the top officers, were SDP members. The Labour Party formally came into being in 1916, but its real political origins, as the SDP, go back to events of 1912 and 1913. [Read More…]

Recent articles


Introducing Gramsci

By Josh Parsons Antonio Gramsci was an Italian Marxist, active in the 1910s and 20s before his imprisonment by the Italian state under Mussolini. It was while he was imprisoned that Gramsci made his most well-known contributions to Marxist theory, including the key concept of hegemony. Gramsci’s contributions are valuable not only theoretically, but for the many practical […]

Deborah Littman

How do we win the Living Wage?

By Casbean Lee   On July 6th, Living Wage campaigner Deborah Littman spoke to an assembly of faith groups, unionists, students and other activists gathered at Saint Peter’s Church in Wellington. Much of what Littman presented was encouraging. Her experiences as part of successful living wage campaigns within London and Vancouver offer hope to New […]

Resisting the pro-police backlash after Dallas

by Nicole Colson THE POLICE KILLING of two Black men–Alton Sterling in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, and Philando Castile in Falcon Heights, a suburb of the Twin Cities in Minnesota–last week horrified people around the world and brought protesters into the streets in large numbers across the country to proclaim that Black Lives Matter. Yet just […]

Making history or maintaining the status quo?

by Elizabeth Schulte THERE’S NO denying that women could use a “historic” breakthrough. We could use quite a few, if anyone is offering. Contrary to those who argue that we live in a post-feminist era, where sexism is a thing of the past, women are still, by almost any measuring stick, unequal to men in […]


Debating the Brexit

by Martin Gregory   Around the world socialists are digesting the outcome of the UK referendum vote to leave the European Union. British socialists, and their international co-thinkers, were divided on the referendum question both between and within their organisations. The debate continues here. Martin replies to Tom Bramble’s analysis in Red Flag.   Tom […]

Rally 1

After the Brexit: Fighting Racism

Kevin Hodder sent these notes from London:   I awoke in London to a shock. Travelling from New Zealand and only briefly abroad, I only had a relatively tenuous grasp on the debates going on in the UK around the “Brexit” vote.   The details of these debates are not for me to cover. Irrespective […]

ISO Statement: Attempted sexual assault in Dunedin

Statement from the Dunedin Branch, International Socialist Organisation On Friday, June 3, Taneroa (Cedric) Paratene attempted to assault a bar worker in Dunedin. The worker was closing up for the night. Taneroa was the last person in the bar. The worker called a taxi for him. He tried to block her from leaving, saying “It’s […]

Geldof Farage

Should workers in Britain vote to Leave the EU?

by Martin Gregory The referendum on Britain’s continued membership of the EU takes place on Thursday 23 June. Aotearoa has been touched by the referendum in a couple of ways. Winston Peters has not hesitated to give the British the benefit of his advice. Rightwing, anti-immigrant populist that he is, Peters is for a Brexit. […]

From the archive

Anzac Day: Against the Carnival of Reaction

mobiliseagainstthewarOn Anzac Day 1967, at the height of New Zealand involvement in the ‘American War’ in Vietnam, with New Zealand troops taking part in the suppression of the Vietnamese struggle for national liberation, members of the Progressive Youth Movement in Christchurch tried to lay a wreath following the dawn service in memory of those killed by imperialism in Vietnam. They were arrested and charged with disorderly behaviour. Feminists a decade later faced down a media-driven public outcry when they laid wreaths to the victims of sexual violence during war.

Lest we forget? It’s more like lest we remember. Anzac Day serves as a carnival of nationalist reaction, a day of public ritual aimed at promoting forgetting: forgetting the real legacy of New Zealand imperialism and militarism in favour of a sentimental nationalism, an anti-political celebration of national unity. [Read More…]


Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 95 other followers