Labour Day Collection

Today is Labour Day in New Zealand. As such I thought it would be good to stop and consider exactly why we have a holiday on this day. Labour Day commemorates the struggle for an eight-hour working day. New Zealand workers were among the first in the world to claim this right when, in 1840, carpenter Samuel Parnell won an eight-hour day for workers in Wellington.

You can read more about his achievements in the Dictionary of New Zealand Biography.

“There are twenty-four hours per day given us… eight of these should be for work, eight for sleep, and the remaining eight for recreation and in which for men to do what little things they want for themselves”

To celebrate Labour Day, NZ on Screen has made a collection of NZ made films and television programmes available to watch on their website. The special Labour Day Collection incorporates documentaries such as Someone Else’s Country and In a Land of Plenty as well as the four part TV special Revolution. It also includes relevant episodes of Gliding On and Gloss which deal with worker’s rights as a theme.

I highly recommend you try to make some time to watch some or all of the material available at some stage. NZ on Screen is a magnificent and, in my view, underutilised resource archiving a mammoth amount of NZ made film and television. Many full length films and television episodes can be accessed from there which I’m sure would provide most New Zealanders with a sense of Kiwianic nostalgia.

Enjoy your holiday. And remember why you have it.

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