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Support "Local People For Local Jobs"

Business Community Urged To Support "Local People For Local Jobs"

Deputy Alliance leader Sandra Lee has marked the 50th anniversary of the start of the 1951 Lockout today (Thursday) with a call for the business community to support "local people for local jobs" when all other hiring factors balance out.

Ms Lee said that in the half century since the Lockout, the jobs of many New Zealanders, not just those on the waterfront, had come under increasing threat from cheap labour sourced from beyond local communities.

She said increasing casualisation of the workforce in some sectors had also undermined worker confidence in job security.

"Businesses operating in this country must have and be seen to have a genuine stake in local communities or suffer the consequences of a consumer backlash against globalisation," Ms Lee said.

"The Alliance pressed for the setting up of the government's jobs machine, Industry New Zealand, to help provide companies with that genuine stake," she said.

"We also support overseas investment when it's in our national interest, for example by creating jobs, introducing new technology or boosting our exports without negative consequences.

"But the Alliance will also never hesitate to stand beside New Zealanders defending their jobs against increased casualisation or the displacement of local workers by cheap imported labour," Ms Lee said.

"I am aware that some are drawing parallels between the 1951 dispute and the current Carter Holt Harvey waterside dispute," she said.

"The Labour-Alliance government has encouraged all parties to the current dispute to talk through their concerns, and a mediator has been provided to assist.

Ms Lee said the Employment Contracts Act set the scene for contracting out and competitive undercutting in North Island ports.

She said the Employment Relations Act would over time provide workers with the tools to rebuild in those ports.

In the meantime, she said, it provided a strong focus on good faith and mediation to assist the resolution of the Carter Holt Harvey waterside dispute.

Ms Lee is the daughter of a watersider locked out in the 1951 dispute.

She will be on one of the panels of "Lockout '51, 50 Years On", a two day seminar held during 16-17 February at the Wellington Town Hall, organised by the Trade Union History Project.


The Trade Union History Project Labour History Seminar for 2001 marks the 50th anniversary of the 1951 Waterfront Lockout.

1951 remains an event of dramatic consequence in New Zealand History. This Seminar coincides with the beginning of the Waterfront dispute, which lasted for 151 days and led to widespread industrial unrest and supporting strikes.

The Government’s response was ruthless and anti-democratic; the effect on workers and their families was dramatic and long-lasting.

The seminar will provide an opportunity for open discussion on the 1951 Lockout by combining historians’ reflections with the memories of participants.

There will be ample opportunity for discussion from the floor.

16 – 17 February 2001

Friday 16 February

1.00 pm Registration

Session 1 The Context
1.30 – 3.00 pm

Noel Woods: Former Sec. of Labour
Redmer Yska: Journalist and author
Anna Green: Historian and author
Chair: Pat Walsh

3.00 pm Afternoon Tea

Session 2 Strategy
3.30 – 5.00 pm

Bruce Brown Former diplomat & Pvt. Sec.
To Walter Nash
Ken Douglas Former wharfie & Pres. CTU
Bill Andersen ‘51 veteran
Chair: Richard Hill

5.30 pm Book Launch
British Capital, Antipodean Labour: Working the NZ Waterfront, 1915-1951 by Anna Green. Publisher: University of Otago Press. Launcher: Ross Wilson

Saturday 17 February

Session 3 The Regulations and the Propaganda War
9.00 – 10.30 am

Rona Bailey ‘51 veteran
Dick Scott Journalist and author
Chair: Jock Phillips

10.30 pm Morning Tea

Session 4 The Battle Spreads
11.00 am – 12.30pm

Harry Black Australian ’51 veteran
Bill Martin ‘51 veteran
Arthur Quinn Railway unionist
Chair: Colin Hicks

12.30 pm Lunch

Session 5 The Home Front
1.30 – 3.00 pm

Kathryn Parsons Librarian
Hon Sandra Lee MP Daughter of wharfie
Judith Fyfe Oral historian
Renee Niece of wharfie/Playwright
Maureen Birchfield Daughter of striker
Chair: Melanie Nolan

3.00 pm Afternoon Tea

Session 6 The Legacy
3.30 – 5.00 pm
Ted Thompson ‘51 veteran
John Whiting Wgton. Br. Sec NZWWU
Chris Kenny Former Pres Wgton Br. NZWWU
Dave Morgan Pres. NZ Seafarers
Kerry Taylor Historian
Chair: Ross Wilson

7.00 pm ’51 Reunion Dinner

TUHP is grateful for the financial support of the Industrial Relations Centre, Victoria University of Wellington, and the PSIS, for this seminar.

Trade Union History Project
PO Box 27-425, Wellington, New Zealand

The Trade Union History Project was founded as a non-profit organisation in 1987 with the aim of promoting greater and wider understanding of the history of trade unions and working people in New Zealand, and to document that history.

To further its aims, the Project offers assistance with preserving and arranging labour movement material, and offers financial grants towards research, publications and oral history.

Its achievements to date include a video Shattered Dreams, documenting the 1951 Lockout. Seminars and exhibitions have explored aspects of labour history as have numerous written publications and oral histories.

Two important oral history projects were completed in 1999. The first focused on 30 trade unionists, mostly men, who were paid or honorary officials in their unions. The second, Wahine Toa, [Women of strength]: the changing role of women in NZ trade unions, focused on 10 women who were still working in the union movement and whose involvement had been through the greatest period of change from 1970 onwards.

’51 Exhibition
The Film Centre,
Cnr Jervois Quay and Cable St, Wellington

The NZ Film Archive, in conjunction with the TUHP, is mounting an exhibition and public screening programme at the Film Centre to mark the 50th anniversary of the Waterfront Lockout.

The Exhibition will span 10 weeks from early March to late May 2001.

Exhibits will include memorabilia, photographs and text - cartoons and media representations, and the most comprehensive film coverage yet attempted.

During the 10 weeks of the Exhibition, expect a public screening programme that pulls no punches. Each screening will be introduced or postscripted by a guest speaker.

The programme will include a full public screening of the excellent TUHP production, Shattered Dreams, with its detailed assessment of the 1951 Lockout; rarely seen propaganda from both sides of the divide; and political and media treatment of the union movement before, during and after 1951.

Trade Union History Project
(TUHP logo)

Labour History Seminar

50 Years on

Friday-Saturday 16-17 February, 2001

Air New Zealand Suite
Wellington Town Hall
Wakefield Street, Wellington

Registration Form



Phone__________ Email_________________

Please tick appropriate box
Waged $50 _
Un-waged $30 _

This includes Saturday lunch, morning/afternoon teas, and the Friday book launch.

‘51 Reunion Dinner $35 _

Note: The dinner is a separate cost.

Total enclosed: $_________

Please return with payment to:

Lockout Seminar
Trade Union History Project
PO Box 27-425

Make cheques payable to Trade Union History Project.
TUHP Membership form




Phone: Home: _______Business: ______


TUHP Membership
Please tick appropriate box
Individual member: $10.00 _
Corporate member: $50.00 _

Donation $ _
Total enclosed: $_________

Post to: The Secretary Trade Union History Project
PO Box 27-425

Make cheques payable to Trade Union History Project

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