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The First National Government of New Zealand was the government of New Zealand from 1949 to 1957. It was a conservative government best remembered for its role in the 1951 waterfront dispute. It also began the repositioning of New Zealand in the cold war environment. Although New Zealand continued to assist Britain in situations such as the Malayan Emergency, it now became connected to Australia and the United States through the ANZUS agreement.
The 1951 New Zealand waterfront dispute was the largest and most widespread industrial dispute in New Zealand history. During the time, up to twenty thousand workers went on strike in support of waterfront workers protesting against financial hardships and poor working conditions. Thousands more refused to handle "scab" goods. The dispute, sometimes referred to as the waterfront lockout or waterfront strike, lasted 151 days—from 13 February to 15 July 1951.
The Malayan Emergency was a guerrilla war fought in pre- and post-independence Federation of Malaya, from 1948 until 1960. The belligerents were the Commonwealth armed forces against the Malayan National Liberation Army (MNLA), the military arm of the Malayan Communist Party (MCP).
The Australia, New Zealand, United States Security Treaty is the 1951 collective security non-binding agreement between Australia and New Zealand and, separately, Australia and the United States, to co-operate on military matters in the Pacific Ocean region, although today the treaty is taken to relate to conflicts worldwide. It provides that an armed attack on any of the three parties would be dangerous to the others, and that each should act to meet the common threat. It set up a committee of foreign ministers that can meet for consultation.
Domestically, the First National Government presided over a steady rise in the average standard of living, and by 1957 New Zealand was, in the words of the historian Keith Sinclair, "a materialist's paradise." In 1957, the National Party published a book entitled "A Record of Achievement: The Work of the National Government, 1949–1957,” detailing its accomplishments in office. Under National’s leadership, according to the publication, people now had more money, pensions, cattle, sheep, university scholarships, overseas trips, radios, washing machines, vacuum cleaners, electric toasters, houses, motor vehicles, and telephones. As summed up by Sidney Holland in a foreword, 'New Zealand is a happier, healthier and more prosperous nation'.
Sir Keith Sinclair, CBE was a poet and noted historian of New Zealand.
Sir Sidney George Holland was a New Zealand politician who served as the 25th Prime Minister of New Zealand from 13 December 1949 to 20 September 1957. He was instrumental in the creation and consolidation of the New Zealand National Party, which was to dominate New Zealand politics for much of the second half of the 20th century.
The Legislative Council of New Zealand existed from 1841 until 1951. When New Zealand became a colony in 1841 the Legislative Council was established as the country's first legislature; it was reconstituted as the upper house of a bicameral legislature when New Zealand became self-governing in 1852.
The suicide squad in New Zealand was a so-nicknamed group of New Zealand Legislative Councillors appointed in 1950 by Prime Minister Sidney Holland tasked with voting the New Zealand Legislative Council out of existence.
The Deputy Prime Minister of New Zealand is the second-most senior minister in the Government of New Zealand, although this seniority does not necessarily translate into power. The office was created as a ministerial portfolio in 1954. The officeholder usually deputises for the Prime Minister at official functions. The current Deputy Prime Minister is Winston Peters, the Leader of New Zealand First.
Rationing is the controlled distribution of scarce resources, goods, or services, or an artificial restriction of demand. Rationing controls the size of the ration, which is one's allowed portion of the resources being distributed on a particular day or at a particular time. There are many forms of rationing, and in western civilization people experience some of them in daily life without realizing it.
The Fletcher Construction Company Limited is a New Zealand construction company and a subsidiary of Fletcher Building. It and Higgins Contractors Ltd make up the Construction division of Fletcher Building. Fletcher Construction is widely recognised in New Zealand, and has delivered various iconic projects including constructing the Auckland Sky Tower.
Kawerau is a town in the Bay of Plenty region of the North Island of New Zealand. It is situated 100 km south-east of Tauranga and 58 km east of Rotorua. It is the seat of the Kawerau District Council, and the only town in Kawerau District.
This period marked a shift in New Zealand's foreign policy. Before World War II New Zealand lacked an independent foreign policy, instead opting to simply follow and support Britain. New Zealand's participation in World War II was part of this – Prime Minister Michael Joseph Savage had declared that 'where Britain goes we go', and New Zealand troops had fought almost exclusively in Europe rather than in the Pacific, where Japanese forces threatened New Zealand. At the start of the war it had been assumed that the Royal Navy would protect New Zealand, but the Fall of Singapore showed this to be a false assumption. New Zealand turned to the United States for protection. The beginning of the Cold War, and communist successes in China made many New Zealanders feel in need of this protection. New Zealand therefore entered the ANZUS pact with Australia and the United States, each pledging to defend the others if they were attacked. Fear of the communist threat from Asia also motivated the introduction of compulsory military training and New Zealand's participation in the Korean War and the Malayan Emergency. However, there was still considerable support for Britain, which led to New Zealand giving Britain moral support (but no practical help) during the Suez Crisis.
World War II, also known as the Second World War, was a global war that lasted from 1939 to 1945. The vast majority of the world's countries—including all the great powers—eventually formed two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis. A state of total war emerged, directly involving more than 100 million people from over 30 countries. The major participants threw their entire economic, industrial, and scientific capabilities behind the war effort, blurring the distinction between civilian and military resources. World War II was the deadliest conflict in human history, marked by 50 to 85 million fatalities, most of whom were civilians in the Soviet Union and China. It included massacres, the genocide of the Holocaust, strategic bombing, premeditated death from starvation and disease, and the only use of nuclear weapons in war.
Michael Joseph Savage was a New Zealand politician who served as the 23rd Prime Minister of New Zealand, heading the First Labour Government from 6 December 1935 until his death.
The Royal Navy (RN) is the United Kingdom's naval warfare force. Although warships were used by the English kings from the early medieval period, the first major maritime engagements were fought in the Hundred Years War against the Kingdom of France. The modern Royal Navy traces its origins to the early 16th century; the oldest of the UK's armed services, it is known as the Senior Service.
The government maintained the welfare state created by the previous, Labour, government due to its popularity with voters. However some modifications were made, such as allowing state housing tenants to purchase their homes and enabling families to capitalise their family benefits to buy a house. The Lead Process Regulations, issued in 1950, were aimed at safeguarding factory workers "whose work brings them into contact in any way with lead or compounds containing over a specified proportion of lead."That same year, the suspensory loan was introduced, a subsidy towards the construction of a home which was repayable if the house was sold within seven years. A year later, universal superannuation was doubled, and a noncontributory social assistance scheme for the underprivileged was introduced. In 1954, widows' benefit was extended to deserted wives after divorce in some cases.
The National Party was formed in 1936, after the Labour Party took office for the first time, displacing the Liberal-Reform coalition. The Liberal and Reform parties (along with the Country Party) officially merged into the National Party, initially basing themselves on opposition to Labour and its welfare state policies. However the popularity of these policies soon became evident, and National began to moderate its opposition, promising that it would not abolish the welfare system Labour had enacted.
By 1949, Labour had been in power for 14 years. Labour's interventionist ethos combined with the economic restrictions caused by World War II meant that the economy was highly regulated and consumer choice limited. National campaigned on the promise that it would keep the overall structure of Labour's welfare state while moderating it to reduce the power of trade unions, increase consumer choice and generally abolish unnecessary regulation. On a relatively small swing, National gained eight seats and became the government for the first time.
This was a snap election called after the 1951 waterfront dispute. The dispute was an industrial conflict between the dockworkers' (watersiders') union and the Waterfront Industry Commission, representing employers. Union members had refused to do overtime and had been locked out of the wharves. The dispute lasted from February to July – 151 days. During this time the army was brought in to work the wharves. Prime Minister Sidney Holland argued that militant unions should not be allowed to disrupt the shipping of New Zealand's vital agricultural exports, and the government enacted a range of drastic measures aimed at crushing the union. It was illegal to publish anything in support of the union, or to provide food or other support for the watersiders. The Labour opposition equivocated on the issue, with leader Walter Nash annoying both sides by saying he was 'neither for nor against' the watersiders. The 1951 election was called to provide the government with a mandate for its actions during the strike. This was a successful move, as the government was returned with an increased majority.
Although National's share of the vote declined significantly from its 1951 levels, it was able to retain its hold on government. This was primarily because both it and Labour had lost votes to the new Social Credit party. With the economy booming, National campaigned on a platform of 'steady as she goes' – simply maintaining the status quo.
The major issue in this election was the introduction of PAYE (pay as you earn) income tax. Although both parties were committed to the introduction of the system, they differed in terms of how the changeover from the previous system would be managed. National proposed a complicated rebate system while Labour simply promised a £100 rebate for all taxpayers on the commencement of the new system. Although denounced by National as a bribe, Labour's proposal was the more popular. In addition, National was suffering from leadership problems. Holland appeared old and frail, even compared to Labour leader Walter Nash, who was actually eleven years older. Holland was persuaded to step down from the leadership in favour of Keith Holyoake, but the transition occurred too soon before the election, and Holyoake had little time to establish his leadership. Labour was able to win 4% more of the vote than National, and a slender two seat majority.
|Election||Parliament||Seats||Total votes||Percentage||Gain (loss)||Seats won||Change||Majority|
Sidney Holland was the Prime Minister for most of the government's term, from 13 December 1949. On 20 September 1957 – less than three months before the election – he stepped down in favour of Keith Holyoake, who was only Prime Minister to 12 December 1957.
|Deputy Prime Minister||Keith Holyoake||1949–1957|
|Minister of Defence||Tom Macdonald||1949–1957|
|Minister of Education||Ronald Algie||1949–1957|
|Minister of Finance||Sidney Holland||1949–1954|
|Minister of Foreign Affairs||Frederick Doidge||1949–1951|
|Minister of Health||Jack Watts||1949–1951|
|Minister of Justice||David Thomson||1975–1978|
|Minister of Māori Affairs||Ernest Corbett||1949–1957|
|Minister of Railways||William Goosman||1949–1954|
|Minister of Works||Bill Sullivan||1949–1957|
Sir Keith Jacka Holyoake was the 26th Prime Minister of New Zealand, serving for a brief period in 1957 and then from 1960 to 1972, and also the 13th Governor-General of New Zealand, serving from 1977 to 1980. He is the only New Zealand politician to date to have held both positions.
The New Zealand National Party, shortened to National or the Nats, is a centre-right political party in New Zealand. It is one of two major parties that dominate contemporary New Zealand politics, alongside its traditional rival, the New Zealand Labour Party.
Sir John Ross Marshall, generally known as Jack Marshall, was a New Zealand politician of the National Party. He entered Parliament in 1946 and was first promoted to Cabinet in 1951. After spending twelve years as Deputy Prime Minister, he served as the 28th Prime Minister for most of 1972.
Harry Robson Lake, a New Zealand politician, served as Minister of Finance for six years in the second National government, in the 1960s. He died of a heart attack when only 55 years old.
The 1949 New Zealand general election was a nationwide vote to determine the shape of the New Zealand Parliament's 29th term. It saw the governing Labour Party defeated by the opposition National Party. This marked the end of the First Labour government and the beginning of the First National government.
The 1951 New Zealand general election was a nationwide vote to determine the shape of the New Zealand Parliament's 30th term. The First National Government was re-elected, with the National Party increasing its parliamentary majority over the opposition Labour Party.
The 1957 New Zealand general election was a nationwide vote to determine the shape of the New Zealand Parliament's 32nd term. It saw the governing National Party narrowly defeated by the Labour Party. The 1957 elections marked the beginning of the second Labour government, although this administration was to last only a single term.
The following lists events that happened during 1950 in New Zealand.
The following lists events that happened during 1951 in New Zealand.
The following lists events that happened during 1957 in New Zealand.
Sir Leslie Knox Munro was a New Zealand lawyer, journalist, and politician of international standing.
The Second National Government of New Zealand was the government of New Zealand from 1960 to 1972. It was a conservative government which sought mainly to preserve the economic prosperity and general stability of the early 1960s. It was one of New Zealand's longest-serving governments.
The Second Labour Government of New Zealand was the government of New Zealand from 1957 to 1960. It was most notable for raising taxes on alcohol, cigarettes and petrol, a move which was probably responsible for the government lasting for only one term.
Mount Victoria is a former New Zealand electorate, centred on the inner-city suburb of Mount Victoria in the southern suburbs of Wellington. It existed from 1946 to 1954, and was represented by one Member of Parliament, Jack Marshall.
The 31st New Zealand Parliament was a term of the New Zealand Parliament. It was elected at the 1954 general election on 13 November of that year.
Indonesia–New Zealand relations are foreign bilateral relations between Indonesia and New Zealand. Having common interests as democracies and neighbours in the Asia Pacific region, New Zealand and Indonesia are viewed as natural partners. Both countries are members of APEC. Indonesia and New Zealand officially established diplomatic relations in 1950. New Zealand has an embassy in Jakarta and Indonesia has an embassy in Wellington.
The Brooklyn by-election 1951 was a by-election held in the Brooklyn electorate in Wellington during the 29th New Zealand Parliament, on 17 February 1951.
The New Zealand National Party leadership election 1957 was held to choose the next leader of the New Zealand National Party. The election was won by Pahiatua MP Keith Holyoake.