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The Kirk years

Written By: - Date published: 10:13 am, November 2nd, 2012 - 12 comments
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And now for something completely different – The Fabians are hosting an all-day seminar on the Kirk years in Auckland tomorrow at the Dorothy Winstone Centre at Auckland Girls Grammar, starting at 9:30am. Click through to see a great line-up of speakers and registration information. All welcome.

Kirk Legacy
9.30AM | Introduction to the Kirk Legacy Event Gerrard Hill \ Historian

9.45AM | The Early Years David Grant \ Historian


10.45AM | Big Norm, Big Labour and Big Ideas Colin James \ Media Commentator

11.15AM | Mururoa and Nuclear Power Kennedy Graham \ Green MP

11.45AM | The Campaigns Hamish Keith \ Media Commentator • Bob Harvey \ Politician

12.30PM – LUNCH

1.15PM | Waitangi Tribunal & Mana Motuhake Hon Nania Mahuta \ Labour MP

2.15PM | ACC and Sir Owen Woodhouse David Shearer \ Leader of the Opposition

Andrew Little \ Labour MP

2.30PM | Springbok Tour Rev Bob Scott \ Retired • Mike Law \ Senior Lecturer


3.00PM | The Women’s Movement Dr Margaret Hayward \ Historian

3.45PM | The Challenge of the Kirk Legacy Hon Bob Tizard \  Judy McGregor

Margaret Hayward \ Chris Trotter

4.15PM | The Future: Labour Takes Up the Challenge Jacinda Ardern \ Labour MP

A PDF copy of the programme can be downloaded here.
Cost (to cover speakers airfares etc) $25 ($15 for unwaged, gold card and students).
Prebooking for this event is essential – a large number missed out on The Voyage, so get in early. Tickets will be issued. Further information can be obtained from Paul.
            November 3rd, 2012  9:30 AM                              through                                                                           4:30 PM                   
16 Howe St Dorothy Winstone Centre Gate 2, Auckland Girls Grammar School Auckland, AUK 1011 New Zealand
Event Fee(s)
Standard Fee $ 25.00
Unwaged, Students & Gold Card holders $ 15.00

12 comments on “The Kirk years ”

  1. Kevin Welsh 1

    Norman Kirk provided my first political memory. I was 9 and my Dad came in an woke my brother and I and told us Norman Kirk had died. He was quite upset about it.

    • North 1.1

      As I type Norman Kirk looks across the room from a framed Tourist & Publicity Department photograph.

      How I remember 9.00 pm on that Saturday evening in August 1974. The anguished, tearful voice of my Depression kid mother – “…….what are we going to do ?”

      Disturbing that what we have done is to swallow the con-trick of shallow, narcissistic batshit, marketed as gold.

  2. As Maori people said at the time “A great Kaori tree has been felled.
    Electioneering in Tory Cambridge he made a speech that bought cheers and applause from the locals . A moment of pride to this Leftie living in Tory Land,

  3. Mike.
    I’m hoping that the Fabian Society spreads around the country and eventually affiliates to the Labour Party similar the UK Fabians. They could well be a needed “ginger group’ in the coming year do you notthink

  4. Tiger Mountain 4

    The past is a different country old chaps and gals, the only useful purpose of such a nostalgia fest would be to convince current LP members that decision making and electoral processes should be the responsibility of annual conference and members at large rather than the caucus and the parliamentary wing.

    Having said that, go Big Norm! The last NZ leader I felt proud of until Hone Harawira.

    • Colonial Viper 4.1

      The strength that tradition, culture and history give are making a come back Tiger. You are nothing if you know not your whakapapa.

    • North 4.2

      Hear hear !

      Who, even within right-wing ranks, would react with genuine mourning were it to happen today ?

    • JonL 4.3

      Me too – although, for a while, I thought David Lange had the “right stuff”….

  5. Jenny 5

    According to Kirk’s personal secretary, Margaret Hayward.

    The Labour leader wanted to release a statement in reply saying that New Zealand should sever all sporting contact ties with South Africa.

    Bill Rowling told Kirk such a statement, “would finish us.”

    Hugh Watt, Warren Freer, Bill Rowling all argued against Kirk giving such a response. They proposed a lesser response instead. Hayward said it was strange to hear Kirk, who had always argued the virtues of leaving room for manoeuvre, arguing for a hardline statement in reply to Marshall, “that unless guarantees are given the team will be selected on merit, regardless of colour, it should not be invited to New Zealand.”

    After heated debate in the shadow cabinet, Kirk released the lesser statement, which read; “There will be great responsibility on Mr Marshall to show that his bridge building does not turn out be merely building of one way bridges……”

    One cannot help but wonder how a politician of Kirk’s stature would handle the issue of Climate Change.

    In government Kirk was even stronger on Apartheid regime, effectively stopping the rugby union from bringing any sports team by that regime here.

  6. Colonial Viper 6

    Anyone go to this event today?

  7. millsy 7

    We probably should also list:

    Breakup of NZBC and the establishment of South Pacific Television (ie TV2), along with the introduction of colour TV — SPTV being regarded as an innovative TV service which put some good stuff out.

    Approval of Auckland’s rail electrification — all set to go until it was canned under the Muldoon government in 76 — would have transformed Auckland.

    The Domestic Purposes Benefit — which liberated women and children from unhappy marriages and unsafe living arrangements

    I think there was also the community colleges, which later on became our regional polytechnics — from what I had read, they were set up to offer a wide range of educational options to a cross section of the community

    Im not too sure what else, but the Kirk government had a wide range of reforms and initatives drawn up, including (just thought of it now), restructuring health services into something like today’s DHB’s.

    Anyone else care to put up some other Kirk government policies that they know of?

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