Compulsory Arbitration in New Zealand: The First Forty Years

James Holt

This book traces the history of one of New Zealand's most famous laws, the Industrial Conciliation and Arbitration Act of 1894. Holt explains how the law was enacted and how it was transformed by judges over the next forty years into something which had not been envisaged by W. P. Reeves and his fellow legislators. By not only resolving labour disputes but also fixing minimum wages, maximum hours and conditions of employment, the court achieved a pivotal influence on New Zealand economic, social and political life.


James Holt gained a PhD from Harvard University and taught for nearly twenty years in the History Department at the University of Auckland where he became an Associate Professor in 1970. He was the author of a number of books and articles on American history and labour relations.

January 1986, 210 x 135 mm, 248 pages
Hardback, ISBN 9781869400064, $45