Point of View

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Tono kōrero mai

Point of View - The Communist Movement in New Zealand.
A radio documentary presented and produced by Ian Hay Campbell.

The communist movement in New Zealand is fifty years old and the programme looks at its accomplishments, its present situation and at its capacity to make an impact on New Zealand political life in the future.

Archival recording of Vladimir Ilyich Lenin.
Bert Roth, Labour Party historian, talks about the origins of the Communist Party in New Zealand in Christchurch, with input from West Coast miners.
Bruce Brown, Labour Party historian, talks about the party's growth and relationship with the newly-formed Labour Party in the 1920s.
The two fell out during the Depression of the 1930s.

Former Communist Party member Conrad Bollinger talks about the effect of the Depression on politics. He says returned servicemen were drawn to the party due to their war experiences.
The Cold War, the Korean War and the death of Stalin impacted New Zealand communists - comment by Conrad Bollinger.
The party split over the question of China.

Bert Roth says in 1971 there are five different communist groups in New Zealand and outlines them: the official Communist Party based in Auckland and aligned with China, the Socialist Unity Party affiliated with Moscow and the Soviet Union, a breakaway group in Wellington also calling itself the Communist Party, two Trotskyite groups, including the Socialist Action League, also in Wellington.

Vic Wilcox, general secretary of the Communist Party in New Zealand comments on whether his group is subversive. Bill Andersen of the Socialist Unity Party talks about the difficulty of getting fair representation in the media for his group.

Political scientist Robert Chapman of Auckland University talks bout how communist groups are viewed by the public in New Zealand and why it is unlikely they will be seen in a different light. He says their perceived loyalty to foreign powers is a major obstacle for most people.

Vic Wilcox and Bill Andersen speak about what their groups' achievements have been.
Bert Roth estimates membership numbers of the communist parties in 1971 - in total not more than 400.

Political scientist Professor Brookes of Victoria University speaks about the tendency for the groups in New Zealand to become even more radical than communist parties overseas. He says politically the party is unimportant but in industrial relations, the influence of trade unionists who are party members is a factor in union militancy.

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Year 1971

Reference number 23825

Media type AUDIO

Collection Sound Collection

Credits RNZ Collection
HAY-CAMPBELL, Ian, Producer
LENIN, Vladimir Ilyich, Speaker/Kaikōrero
Roth, Herbert Otto, 1917-1994, Speaker/Kaikōrero
BROWN, Bruce, Speaker/Kaikōrero
Bollinger, Conrad, 1929-, Speaker/Kaikōrero
Andersen, Bill, Speaker/Kaikōrero
Wilcox, Vic, 1912-1989, Speaker/Kaikōrero
Chapman, Robert McDonald, Speaker/Kaikōrero
Brookes, Ralph Herbert, 1924-1978, Speaker/Kaikōrero

Duration 00:21:29

Date 27 Mar 1971

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