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New Zealand Seamen's Union, Auckland Branch records.

Identifier: MSS-Archives-D-8

Scope and Contents

Records of the Auckland Branch of the Union. The collection includes correspondence, minutes, reports and memoranda. Also contained in the collection are minutes, 9 May 1914 - 14 February 1915, of the Auckland Seamen and Firemen's Industrial Union of Workers Executive. This scab union was formed during the 1913 waterfront strike, and ceased to exist when it was absorbed by the Auckland Local Federated Seamen's Industrial Union of workers, which was affiliated to the Federated Seamen's Union of New Zealand.


  • 1900 - 1962


Conditions Governing Access

Not restricted.

Biographical / Historical

The New Zealand Seamen's Industrial Union of Workers was formed as the Federated Seamen's Union of New Zealand in 1880 with branches in Auckland, Wellington and Dunedin. After a strike in 1890, the Auckland Branch, lacking in leadership ceased to exist and was not re-established until 1897. In the interim a short lived Seamen's and Fireman's Union was formed under the guidance of the Auckland Trades Council. In July 1913, the Union's General Secretary, W.T. Young, was elected President of the newly created United Federation of Labour. Right wing elements in the Union, notably in Auckland and Dunedin, were opposed to Young's association with Red Feds within the Federation and were able to prevent the union affiliating with the new association. With the outbreak of the waterfront dispute in October 1913, the Seamen's Union inevitably became involved, partly because of membership sympathy with the watersiders and because of Young's influence. During the dispute the ship-owners managed to get a scab Seamen's Union going in Auckland, the only one in the country. The Auckland Seamen's and Firemen's Union was formed in November 1913 and existed for about a year, after which its members were gradually absorbed by the Auckland Branch of the Seamen's Union. In 1964 the Auckland Branch's long standing secretary, T. Anderson, who had been in office since 1917, died. Upon his death it was found that he had misappropriated Branch funds over a number of years. In December 1989 the Union amalgamated with the Federated Cooks and Stewards of New Zealand and the North Shore Ferry Employees to form the New Zealand Seafarers Union. Bollinger, Conrad. Against the wind; the story of the New Zealand Seamen's Union. New Zealand Seamen's Union, Wellington. 1968.


2.6 metres (30 boxes)

Language of Materials


Immediate Source of Acquisition

Transferred from the Auckland Seamen's Union office, 1966.

Related Materials

Related archival material held at MSS & Archives 91/3.


NRAM A893.

Inventory of the records of the Auckland Branch of the New Zealand Seamen's Union.
M. D. Coleman
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Code for undetermined script
Language of description note

Repository Details

Part of the Special Collections, University of Auckland Repository

5 Alfred Street
Private Bag 92019
Auckland 1142 New Zealand