Continuing transformation: the structure, composition, and functioning of the New Zealand Labour Party in the Auckland region, 1949-70

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dc.contributor.advisor Professor Robert Chapman en Gustafson, Barry. en 2007-12-11T21:43:28Z en 2007-12-11T21:43:28Z en 1973 en
dc.identifier.citation Thesis (PhD--Political Studies)--University of Auckland, 1973. en
dc.identifier.uri en
dc.description.abstract Throughout the Western democracies since 1945, many Socialist and Labour Parties have apparently emulated organisationally their more conservative and often more successful middle-class rivals and have experienced what L.D. Epstein has termed 'contagion from the right'. This thesis sets out to examine this proposition in relation to what happened between 1949 and 1970 to the New Zealand Labour Party, specifically in the twenty-two electorates which, at the time of the 1969 election, comprised the Auckland Region of the Party. Data was gathered by a variety of methods which included the use of four different questionnaires; interviews; correspondence with all the Labour Members of Parliament in the Region; exhaustive research into Head Office records, which included membership returns, annual financial statements from branches, correspondence files, Conference records, and N.Z. Executive minutes; detailed examination of branch minute books; the utilisation of the records of the Auckland Regional Council, the defunct Auckland Labour Representation Committee, and various electorate organisations; and field and participant observation. A variety of approaches was used also in processing and presenting the data: descriptive, quantitative, comparative, and deductive. Part I describes and analyses the quantitative and qualitative changes in structure, composition and functioning that took place between 1949 and 1970. Part II compares the white-collar with the manual-worker branches, members, and activists in 1969 and 1970, Throughout, there is an attempt to explain what caused the various changes and to suggest what happens to a Labour Party as its membership becomes more white-collar in composition. The Appendices, which are contained in a second volume, include detailed statistical tables and figures and copies of the four questionnaires. Volume II also contains the Bibliography. It was found that, in response to the changing realities of its social, economic, and political environment, the N.Z.L.P. had altered considerably in the period studied. The changes were not mimetic but organic. The society changed dramatically. The composition of the Party - first at the Parliamentary level and later at the primary level - inevitably and at first imperceptibly changed also. The white-collar proportion of the Labour Party's membership in the Region studied rose from 15 per cent in 1949 to 51 per cent in 1970. The Party at the grass-roots level functioned mare and more in ways related exclusively to winning elections and showed a declining concern with ancillary social and solidarity considerations. Membership, branch meeting activity, and fundraising at the branch level, all declined dramatically. Significantly, branch activity increased only in regard to Annual Conference participation. The changes in society, which led to a change in the composition and policies of the Party, in turn altered the ways in which the Party functioned. Subsequently reluctant recognition of those changes resulted in an increasingly conscious attempt to formally restructure the Party in the direction it was being carried. The major conclusion reached in this dissertation is that a political party, if the N.Z.L.P. can be taken as an example of a more general trend, is so inextricably interdependent with its social environment that significant changes in society must inevitably be reflected in the composition of the Party and in the ways in which the Party functions. Those changes in composition and functioning in part constitute and in part impel both attitudinal and organisational changes which amount to a continuing transformation of the Party itself to accord with the new social realities. en
dc.format Scanned from print thesis en
dc.language.iso en en
dc.publisher ResearchSpace@Auckland en
dc.relation.ispartof PhD Thesis - University of Auckland en
dc.relation.isreferencedby UoA217322 en
dc.rights Items in ResearchSpace are protected by copyright, with all rights reserved, unless otherwise indicated. en
dc.rights.uri en
dc.title Continuing transformation: the structure, composition, and functioning of the New Zealand Labour Party in the Auckland region, 1949-70 en
dc.type Thesis en Political Studies en The University of Auckland en Doctoral en PhD en
dc.subject.marsden Fields of Research::360000 Policy and Political Science::360100 Political Science::360101 New Zealand government and politics en
dc.rights.holder Copyright: The author en
pubs.local.anzsrc 1606 - Political Science en Faculty of Arts en

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