The November 1908 licensing poll saw Masterton electorate introduce ‘no-license' and vote itself ‘dry’. Its 15 pubs closed on 1 July 1909, and remained closed until the town voted to restore liquor licenses in 1946.
Temperance was one of the most divisive social issues in late-19th and early-20th
century New Zealand. Social reformers who argued that alcohol fuelled poverty,
ill health, crime and immorality nearly achieved national prohibition in a series of hotly contested referendums.