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|Founded||7 April 1912|
|Dissolved||7 July 1916|
|Preceded by||Labour Party (1910)|
|Succeeded by||Labour Party|
|International affiliation||International Socialist Bureau|
The United Labour Party (ULP) of New Zealand was an early left-wing political party. Founded in 1912, it represented the more moderate wing of the labour movement. In 1916 it joined with other political groups to establish the modern Labour Party.
The United Labour Party has its origins in the first Labour Party, a distinct organisation from the modern one. The first Labour Party had been established in 1910 after the perceived failure of its predecessor, the Independent Political Labour League. The Labour Party represented the moderate wing of the labour movement, with the Socialist Party representing the more radical faction.
By 1912 there was growing recognition that the division of the labour movement was costing votes, and a "unity conference" was called. The Socialists and the associated Federation of Labour (the "Red Feds") refused to attend, however, saying that they would continue to advocate their more hard-line positions. As such, the Unity Conference consisted only of the Labour Party, various moderate trade unions, and independent labour candidates.
At the conclusion of the conference, it was agreed that the Labour Party, the moderate unions, and a number of independents would together form a new party. The new group was called the United Labour Party. The outcome of the conference was slightly disappointing for its organisers, as it had been hoped that the Socialists would join, but hopes for the new party were nevertheless high.
Later the same year, the Waihi miners' strike occurred. The labour movement was split, with hard-liners praising the strikers and moderates condemning the action as dangerous and misguided. The United Labour Party took the latter path, believing that cautious negotiation was more effective than militant action. The strike was eventually suppressed by the government of William Massey, with one miner being killed.
The strike created much disunity in the labour movement, and many believed that active measures were necessary to bring the movement closer together. As such, another "Unity Conference" was called in 1913. This time, the Socialist Party was willing to attend. After extensive negotiations, it was decided that the labour movement should speak with a single voice, and that the United Labour Party and the Socialist Party should merge. The new party would be called the Social Democratic Party. The union elements of the United Labour Party would be merged with the Socialist-affiliated Federation of Labour to produce the new United Federation of Labour.
Some members of the United Labour Party did not accept the decision to merge, however. Of particular concern to them was a clause in the Social Democratic Party's charter that obliged it to support strikes in certain circumstances. These members decided to remain outside the Social Democrats, and continued to use the United Labour label. They became unofficially known as the United Labour Party Remnant. The Remnant officially repudiated the more Marxist tendencies that the Social Democrats had inherited from the Socialist Party, and promoted arbitration as a better alternative to strike action. The Remnant considered itself to be vindicated when, later in the year, the Social Democrats were thrown into disarray by a heavy-handed government response to dockworkers' and miners' strikes. In the 1914 elections, the United Labour Party Remnant won three seats in Parliament, with the victorious candidates being Alfred Hindmarsh, Bill Veitch, and Andrew Walker while the Social Democrats won two seats, and a labour-aligned independent John Payne won another seat.
Despite the differences between the United Labour Party Remnant and the Social Democrat Party, the two worked together in Parliament after the 1914 election. Alfred Hindmarsh of the United Labour Party served as the leader of the six labour-aligned MPs.Gradually, this increased co-operation caused the ULP Remnant and the SDP to conclude that full unification was not impossible, and in 1916, the two finally came together (along with various independents) to form the Labour Party, which still survives today.
The New Zealand Labour Party, or simply Labour, is a centre-left political party in New Zealand. The party's platform programme describes its founding principle as democratic socialism, while observers describe Labour as social-democratic and pragmatic in practice. The party participates in the international Progressive Alliance.
Socialism in New Zealand had little traction in early colonial New Zealand but developed as a political movement around the beginning of the 20th century. Much of socialism's early growth was found in the labour movement.
The Social Democratic Party of New Zealand was an early left-wing political party. It existed only a short time before being amalgamated into the new Labour Party. During its period of existence, the party held two seats in Parliament.
The Reform Party, formally the New Zealand Political Reform League, was New Zealand's second major political party, having been founded as a conservative response to the original Liberal Party. It was in government between 1912 and 1928, and later formed a coalition with the United Party, and then merged with United to form the modern National Party.
The Waihi miners' strike was a major strike action in 1912 by gold miners in the New Zealand town of Waihi. It is widely regarded as the most significant industrial action in the history of New Zealand's labour movement. It resulted in one striker being killed, one of only two deaths in industrial actions in New Zealand.
The Independent Political Labour League (IPLL) was a small New Zealand political party. It was the second organised political party to win a seat in the House of Representatives, and was a forerunner of the modern Labour Party.
The original New Zealand Labour Party was a short-lived left-wing political party in New Zealand. It is a predecessor of the modern Labour Party.
Henry Edmund Holland was an Australian-born newspaper owner, politician and unionist who relocated to New Zealand. He was the first leader of the New Zealand Labour Party.
William Andrew Veitch was a New Zealand politician. He began his career in the labour movement, but was a strong opponent of socialism, and rejected the militant views held by many of his colleagues.
The 19th New Zealand Parliament was a term of the New Zealand Parliament. It opened on 24 June 1915, following the 1914 election. It was dissolved on 27 November 1919 in preparation for 1919 election.
Patrick Charles Webb was a New Zealand trade unionist and politician.
Alfred Humphrey Hindmarsh was a New Zealand politician, lawyer and unionist. He died in the 1918 influenza epidemic.
Andrew Walker was a New Zealand politician of the United Labour Party and then the Labour Party from Dunedin.
Walter Thomas Mills (1856–1942) was an American socialist activist, educator, lecturer, writer, and newspaper publisher. He is best remembered for the role he played in the Socialist Party of America during the first decade of the 20th Century as one of the leaders of the organization's moderate wing. He also was a key actor in the labor movement of New Zealand as a founder of the United Labour Party in 1912. He returned to the United States in 1914 with the advent of World War I and worked unsuccessfully to keep the country out of the bloody European conflict, eventually leaving the socialist movement in the 1920s.
Frederick Riley Cooke was a New Zealand tailor, socialist and trade unionist.
Elijah John "Jack" Carey was a New Zealand waiter, trade unionist and soldier.
The New Zealand Labour Party leadership election, 1919 was held on 27 August 1919 to choose the next leader of the New Zealand Labour Party. The election was won by Grey MP Harry Holland.
John Glover was a New Zealand politician and trade unionist. He was an organiser and candidate for the United Labour, Social Democratic Party then the Labour Party serving time in local government.
The 1915 Wellington City mayoral election was part of the New Zealand local elections held that same year. In 1915, elections were held for the Mayor of Wellington plus other local government positions including fifteen city councillors. John Luke, the incumbent Mayor, retained office tallying just ten votes fewer than he did two years earlier. The standard first-past-the-post electoral method was used to conduct polling.
In April 1912 and July 1913, two "unity conferences" were held to discuss and determine the future of organised labour in New Zealand. The events mainly centred around the debate over whether industrial action or political activity should be the means of achieving the aims of workers and additionally to unite the "moderate" and "militant" factions within the labour movement. Whilst neither conference fully unified the labour movement, it laid a framework of co-operation that would later assist during the creation of the current New Zealand Labour Party in 1916.
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