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Labour Weekend Festival, 1990 | by Archives New Zealand
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Labour Weekend Festival, 1990

Labour Day commemorates the struggle for an eight-hour working day, and has been celebrated in New Zealand every year since 28 October 1890. New Zealand workers were among the first to win the eight-hour day when, in 1840, the carpenter Samuel Parnell refused to work more than eight hours:


Early Labour Day parades drew huge crowds in places such as Palmerston North and Napier as well as in Auckland, Wellington, Christchurch and Dunedin. Unionists and supporters marched behind colourful banners and ornate floats, and the parades were followed by popular picnics and sports events:



On 20 October 1990, the Trade Union History Project organised a festival as part of the 1990 Centennial celebrations. As the poster above notes, this included a march, film festival, conference, book launch, art exhibition, and numerous other events on labour history. Today the non-profit organisation continues this work as the Labour History Project (



The poster itself was designed by Dave Kent, and comes from a series of 1990 Commission posters:



Archives Reference: ABLG W3781 Box 13/ 90



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Taken on October 5, 2015