The Labour Party is New Zealand’s oldest political party. On 7 July 2016 it celebrates a hundred years of commitment to democracy, social justice and economic development—a commitment that has often made for precarious balancing acts. First in government from 1935–1949, Labour set the terms of economic and social policy for over 40 years only to then struggle to define itself during the 1950s and 60s. After single terms in government in the late 1950s and early 1970s, Labour experienced the 1984 Lange government’s radical Rogernomics policies which threatened to destroy the party even as the anti-nuclear policy was warmly applauded. Helen Clark’s nine-year reconciliation of social democracy and globalisation followed, proving across the century that Labour has consistently represented a broad-based party of reform.
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Victoria University Press