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Labour Party


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(New Zealand) A major political party in New Zealand. It was formed in 1910 out of the trade union movement but was rivalled by the militant Red Feds. Re‐formed in 1916, the Party supported compulsory industrial arbitration and constitutional change. Its policies favoured nationalization of much industry and state leasehold of land, and these were further modified before it won office in 1935 under Michael Savage. The first Labour government (1935–49) effected radical change, stimulating economic recovery through public works, state support for primary produce marketing, and minimum wages. It introduced social security, including free medical care. In World War II the Labour government declared war on Germany, introduced conscription for military service, and entered strongly into collective security arrangements. The Labour Party held office again (1957–60, 1972–75, 1984–90). Under its Prime Minister David Lange (1984–89) it carried its non‐nuclear policy to the point of banning all nuclear‐powered or nuclear‐armed ships. The party was decisively defeated in the general election of October 1990, at a time of severe economic difficulty. It returned to power in 1999 in coalition; the elections of 2002 and 2005 produced similar results.

Subjects: Contemporary History (Post 1945) — World History.


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