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Labour Day


Cultural events are listed here with basic background details. For specific events, dates, and times, please see the Featured Events on the Cultural Calendar main page.




Labour Day commemorates the struggle for an eight-hour working day in Aotearoa, New Zealand. New Zealand workers were among the first in the world to claim this right, when in 1840, a carpenter named Samuel Parnell won an eight-hour day in Wellington. Labour Day was first celebrated in Aotearoa on 28th October 1890, on account of thousands of trade union members and supporters attending parades in the main centres. Government workers were given the day off to partake in the parade and consequently, many businesses closed for at least part of the day. 

October 28th further marked the first anniversary of the establishment of transport and mining unions. The fledging union movement was destroyed by subjugation in a trans-Tasman Maritime Strike in late 1890 but, in spite of this defeat, the first Labour Day was a great triumph. In the Capital City, Wellington, the event was highlighted by the special appearance of Samuel Parnell who was elderly at the time, and weeks later died. 

Key Terms: Fight for 8hour workday- 8 hours of recreation - Floats and Banners.


25th October every year.


Labour Day

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