Holding the Balance: A history of New Zealand's Department of Labour 1891-1995

John E. Martin

(Out of print)

1996
$69.95
478pp
250 x 190mm
ISBN 0-908812-62-0

This comprehensive history of New Zealand's Department of Labour begins with the early years under the socialist Edward Tregear, when it was among the world's pioneeers of such institutions. The book examines government policy in depth in the crucial areas of employment, industrial relations, immigration and workplace conditions through the late nineteenth and twentieth centuries up to 1996. It looks at the wide range of further departmental activities, including barmaid registration, weights and measures, hostel accommodation and industrial training. John Martin also provides a vivid description of other fascinating measures such as the state farm of the 1890s, the first state housing scheme in the early decades of last century and the Home Aid Service for women after World War Two.

Extensively illustrated with many photographs and cartoons, Holding the Balance provides a scholarly yet highly readable account of one of the country's most wide-ranging government departments.