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Wilfred (Bill) McAra papers relating to the building industry in New Zealand.

 Collection
Identifier: MSS &-Archives-D-11
This collection comprises drafts, research notes, reports, minutes, newspaper clippings and files relating to the building industry in New Zealand accumulated by Wilfred (Bill) McAra during the period 1935 to 1946.

The papers in this collection are rather a mixed bag, some items relate more to material held in MSS & Archives D-10: Papers relating to the Building Investigations Committee of the Wellington Branch of the Carpenters Union, and MSS & Archives D-6: Records of the New Zealand Building and Allied Trades Federation, than they do to each other.

In addition, prior to the preparation of this inventory in 2010 there were some twelve very thick folders of material labelled miscellaneous rough notes in this collection. While from an archival perspective it would have been preferable to be able to arrange and describe the contents of these folders in more detail, the undated, unfinished and unsorted nature of the material made the task difficult. Material which was easily identifiable as drafts for specific publications or pertaining to the work of various committees of which McAra was a member were separated out and described individually, a proportion of the material however defied description and has been left as folders of miscellaneous rough notes.

If nothing else these miscellaneous rough notes reflect McAra’s propensity not only to make notes on any piece of paper which came to hand but to keep every draft and scrap of paper.

Among the material in this collection are two files of semi official correspondence created by Graham W. Massingham (1884 -1947). These files document the establishment of an employment finding service in 1934 by Massingham under the control of the Unemployment Board, which in May 1936 became the State Placement Service.

McAra took over Massingham’s duties at the Wellington Placement Office in Sept 1939 (see MSS & Archives A-139, item 1/8). In a letter to McAra, written in Nov 1939, Massingham outlines his part in the establishment of the State Placement Service and notes that The history of developments is best studied in the files of my weekly reports and correspondence now in your possession (MSS & Archives 94/4, item 253), perhaps referring to the two files found here. Other papers which originated with Massingham can be found in MSS & Archives A-139: Wilfred McAra papers, 1913 to 1970, series 8.

Dates

  • 1934 - 1947

Creator

Extent

1 metre (11 boxes )

Biographical / Historical

During the period 1935-1946 McAra was employed first by the State Placement Service and then as an organiser for the Wellington Branch of the Amalgamated Carpenters and Joiners Union. McAra also played an instrumental part in the formation of the New Zealand Building and Allied Trades Federation and several committees assigned the task of examining aspects of the Building Industry in New Zealand.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

These papers were donated to The University of Auckland in 1969 by Wilfred (Bill) McAra.

Related Materials

Related collections

The University of Auckland holds a number of other collections which contain the papers of Wilfred McAra. These include,

MSS & Archives A-9: Communist Party of New Zealand records, 1924 – 1972.

MSS and Archives A-139: Wilfred (Bill) McAra papers, 1913 - 1970.

MSS & Archives 94/4: Wilfred (Bill) McAra, papers 1929 – 1988.

MSS & Archives 89/25: Wilfred (Bill) McAra and Diana Wilsie papers, 1965 – 1977.

MSS & Archives D-5: Wilfred (Bill) McAra papers relating to industrial relations on the New Zealand waterfront, 1946 – 1953.

MSS & Archives D-6: Wilfred (Bill) McAra papers relating to the New Zealand Building and Allied Trades Federation, 1939 – 1945.

MSS & Archives D-10: Wilfred (Bill) McAra papers relating to the Building Investigations Committee of the Wellington branch of the Carpenters Union, 1937 – 1947.

General

Further materials

Martin, J.E. (John E. Martin), Holding the balance: a history of New Zealand’s Department of Labour, 1891 – 1995r. Christchurch, New Zealand: Canterbury University Press, 1996.

Ridler, A.J. (Arthur James), The state placement service of New Zealand: handbook, Wellington: Government Printer, 1937.

For a contemporary look at the work of the State Placement Service it is worth viewing:

Regained horizon, New Zealand National Pictures, New Zealand, 1937. (Film shows examples of the good works of the State Placement Service). [Film Archive, Auckland 2008.9340]
General NRAM A860.

Source

Creator

Title
Inventory of the Wilfred (Bill) McAra papers relating to the building industry in New Zealand, 1934-1947.
Status
completed
Author
Katherine Pawley
Date
2010
Description rules
dacs
Language of description
English

Revision Statements

  • December 2012.: Input into the Archivists' Toolkit by Katey Weizel

Repository Details

Part of the Special Collections, The University of Auckland Repository

Contact:
5 Alfred Street
Private Bag 92019
Auckland 1142 New Zealand