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Although the NZFOL was an important economic player for most of its existence, its overall influence declined after the NZLP lost power in 1949.
Australian unionists, grappling with a conservative government and the major divisions within the ALP, looked enviously at the NZLP's achievements in the late 1930s.
(21) The New Zealand upper house behaved less consistently in this manner, but in the 1980s and 1990s its absence possibly facilitated radical economic deregulation by the NZLP and the Nationals.
The ALP and NZLP are each the oldest political party in their respective countries.
Similarly, the great 1913 strike in New Zealand, which also began in the maritime industry, played a pivotal role in finally overcoming divisions between moderates and militants to form the united NZLP in 1916.
The later emergence of the NZLP begs the question 'why?', especially since the New Zealand unions also experienced the shock of defeat in the 1890 Maritime Strike when it spread across the Tasman Sea.
The second factor delaying the emergence of the NZLP lay in divisions within the labour movement.
The first camp emerged from the 1904 conference of TLCs, which supported the formation of the Independent Political Labour League (IPLL), and was succeeded by the first national NZLP in 1910, and by the United Labour Party (ULP) in 1912.
(40) In contrast, whilst there were also splits in the New Zealand labour movement over conscription in World War I, the NZLP did not have the responsibility of government and consolidated its position as a result of its anti-conscription stance, which linked militants with moderate anti-conscriptionists.
A third critical factor which explains the later consolidation of the NZLP as an electoral force lies in the role of class structure and consciousness.
At the beginning of 2008 the ALP and NZLP had held office for almost identical total periods since their formation: 35.58 and 34.25 years respectively.
Both the ALP and the NZLP attained parliamentary office when they emerged with mass working-class electoral support, in 1910 and 1935 respectively.
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