Involvement in political issues by people living in the Te Aroha district
Hart, P. (2016). Involvement in political issues by people living in the Te Aroha district. (Te Aroha Mining District Working papers, No. 125). Hamilton, New Zealand: University of Waikato, Historical Research Unit.
Permanent Research Commons link: https://hdl.handle.net/10289/10459
As only a minority of residents were enthusiastically interested in national political issues, efforts to encourage debates about such issues by forming clubs largely failed. There was much more interest in local politics, where many of the conflicts were personal rather than political. Many illustrations are given of the fervent patriotism of residents and of their loyalty to queen and empire, which included support for all the empire’s wars. Both the Boer War and the First World War provoked much patriotic fervour, those who did not fight doing their best to assist the cause of empire by fund-raising. In the former war, disapproval of ‘pro-Boers’ was common, but the right of ‘non-Britishers’ to dissent was supported by some residents. When the Dreyfus affair was at its height, Te Aroha achieved considerable notoriety for its method of supporting this unjustly accused man. Concerning Ireland, many supported the downtrodden Irish by contributing funds to assist evicted peasants. Examples are given of those who supported the liberal and conservative sides in national politics. Some of those involved in the mining industry stood for parliament before withdrawing in favour of more prominent politicians, and 13 investors became Members of Parliament.
Historical Research Unit, University of Waikato
© 2016 Philip Hart