VII. The Contemporary Period, 1945–2000 > H. The Pacific Region, 1944–2000 > 4. New Zealand, 1945–2000 > 1947
  The Encyclopedia of World History.  2001.
Ratification of the Statute of Westminster (passed in Britain in 1931) confirmed New Zealand's independent status.  1
Reflecting cold war concerns, Labour imposed national service conscription, after a referendum (Aug. 3) in which a large number of people did not vote.  2
The National Party took charge of the government, with Sidney Holland as prime minister. National dominated postwar politics, although it did not substantially change the institutions set up by the first Labour government.  3
The government removed controls on rents and land prices, as well as on imports. The Korean War increased wool prices, leading to an economic boom. The Legislative Council was abolished, leaving New Zealand with a single-chamber Parliament.  4
Signing of the ANZUS treaty—a mutual defense pact between New Zealand, Australia, and the U.S. A waterfront dispute led to major conflict between unions and government, and in February the government declared a state of emergency, which lasted until July. A snap election was won by the National Party.  5
Creation of the Maori Women's Welfare League, one of the first national Maori organizations.  6
In the general election, National was reelected. New Zealand joined the Southeast Asia Treaty Organization (SEATO). This committed the country to security involvement in Southeast Asia. Involvement in SEATO was important in foreign policy in the 1950s and 1960s, but it was no longer operative in the late 1970s.  7
Labour won the election, led by Walter Nash, instituting tax rebates and housing loans; but an austere budget in 1958, which sought to reduce imports with higher sales taxes, damaged its political fortunes.  8
The exclusion of Maoris from the New Zealand rugby tour to South Africa caused protests.  9
Nov. 26
Reflecting public discontent at Labour's economic policies, National won the general election, and Keith Holyoake became prime minister. National stayed in power throughout the 1960s, being reelected in 1963, 1966, and 1969. New Zealand enjoyed comparative prosperity and stability during the 1960s.  10
The Encyclopedia of World History, Sixth edition. Peter N. Stearns, general editor. Copyright © 2001 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Maps by Mary Reilly, copyright 2001 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.