New Zealand labour history


This site documents the history of the industrial labour movement in New Zealand, particularly before 1940.  Originally the site was set up by both Kath Clark and myself David Verran, and I am continuing that work.  Note that Union Directories focus mainly on the period to the late 1930's, when the New Zealand Federation of Labour was formed, while Union Histories cover some particular unions to 1993.  The anti-union 1991 Employment Contracts Act caused a watershed in New Zealand industrial relations, and the organised labour landscape altered substantially.  The 2000 Employment Relations Act attempts to remake some of the lost ground suffered by working people and their unions.

This site is also in memory to both Bert Roth and longtime union activist and socialist Bill Andersen, who died 19 January 2005.

Jon Henning has written fascinating accounts of the New Zealand Company and wages in early New Zealand and of the minimum wage.

Those interested in New Zealand labour history can join the Trade Union History Project, via The Treasurer, TUHP, P.O. Box 27-425, Wellington. See also the Auckland Labour History Group

If you have any comments or feedback, please email

This site was last modified on 27 March 2009.