In the period between the first European landings and the First World War, New Zealand was transformed from an exclusively Māori world into one in which Pākehā dominated numerically, politically, socially and economically.
Although William Hall-Jones merely warmed the seat while Richard Seddon’s designated successor, Sir Joseph Ward, returned from Europe, he was the first leader to enter office as prime minister, not premier.
Celebrated on the fourth Monday in October, Labour Day commemorates the struggle for an eight-hour working day, a right that carpenter Samuel Parnell had famously fought for in 1840. Our first Labour Day was held on 28 October 1890, and it has been a statutory public holiday since 1900.
A world first, the Act gave a small means-tested pension to destitute older people who were 'of good moral character'; Chinese were specifically excluded. It was one of the major achievements of Richard Seddon's Liberal government.
Henry George (Harry) Ell was raised on the family farm at Halswell near Christchurch. From 1881 to 1884 he served at Parihaka as a volunteer in the Armed Constabulary. He also worked in the printing trade, then as a salesman and surveyor.