1913: 'The great strike'
Disagreements between unionists and politicians sparked many industrial struggles in Wellington through the 20th century. The general strike of 1913 was of such magnitude that it was dubbed 'the great strike.'
The great strike remains the largest outbreak of civil unrest ever seen in New Zealand. Lasting three weeks, it sparked major clashes between workers and police on the streets of Wellington.
On 29 October 1913, more than a thousand strikers broke through the gates of the Basin Reserve, where they held a protest meeting.
In an unpopular move, hundreds of civilians, many from outlying districts, were sworn in as 'special constables' to quell the strikers. After the arrests of many of the union leaders, the great strike came to an end.