Labour History Project AGM: ‘1970s Protest photos New Zealand project’

Monday 17 July 2023, 5:30pm to 7pm

Taiwhanga Kauhau — Auditorium, (lower ground) National Library Wellington. Entrance on Aitken Street or on Zoom.

At the Labour History Project Annual General Meeting, the winner of the Bert Roth Labour History Award will be announced. This will be followed by Hilary Watson and Keith Stewart speaking about the 1970s Protest photos New Zealand project.

Photographs of political action in 1970s New Zealand

At the Labour History Project Annual General Meeting, the shortlist for and winner of the Bert Roth Labour History Award will be announced.

Following the AGM, Hilary Watson and Keith Stewart will speak about the digitisation project, website, and exhibition, 1970s Protest Photography New Zealand,at Te Auaha Gallery. The project aimed to preserve and share photographs taken during political action in the 1970s. The project includes work from nine photographers — Gil Hanly, John Johnstone, John M Miller, Morrie Peacock, Patricia Sarr, Chris Slater, Keith Stewart, Hilary Watson, and Ans Westra.

1970s Protest Photos NZ

Meeting agenda

  • 5.30pm — Drinks and food
  • 6pm — AGM & Bert Roth Awards
  • 6.30pm — Talk by Hilary Watson and Keith Stewart

Can’t make it in person?

Can’t make it in person? This event will also be delivered using Zoom. You do not need to install the software in order to attend, you can opt to run Zoom from your browser.

Register if you’d like to join this talk and we’ll send you the link to use on the day.

The Labour History Project

The Labour History Project is an organisation dedicated to researching, recording, preserving, and promoting Aotearoa New Zealand’s working-class history.

The Bert Roth Award

The Bert Roth Award for best work in New Zealand labour history is given annually to an outstanding contribution to the field of labour history in the previous calendar year — an event, a publication, a film, an article or, conceivably, a sustained body of work over a long period of time.

Previous winners include Julia Laite for The Disappearance of Lydia Harvey, (Allen & Unwin, 2021), Noel O’Hare for Tooth and Veil: The Life and Times of the New Zealand Dental Nurse (Massey University Press, 2020) and ATL curator Jared Davidson for Dead Letters: Censorship and subversion in New Zealand 1914-1920, (Otago University Press, 2019).

The award is named for librarian, writer and historian Herbert Roth (1917-1994), whose collection is now held in the Alexander Turnbull Library.

Herbert Roth collection

About the speakers

Hilary Watson was first involved in protest action while at school at Hutt Valley High in 1968. Then at Victoria she was a photographer at Salient. After graduating she took photographs for community newspapers, union newspapers, Working Women, and for the Wellington Media Collective. Her working life included roles as a primary teacher, editor at Newspapers in Education at The Dominion and Evening Post, teacher and journalist in India and Vietnam, and manager of the English Language Training for Officials Programme at Victoria University.

Keith Stewart, originally from Wairoa, was a photographer for Salient while studying at Victoria University in early 1970s. He continued to take photos while working on the BNZ building site in Wellington from 1974 to 1984 where he was a union delegate for the Labourers Union and Site Safety Supervisor. This led to a 30-year career in workplace accident prevention starting with a role at ACC as a safety advisor, and finishing as Chief Inspector of Investigations. He was awarded a Safeguard Lifetime achievement award for contribution to health and safety in New Zealand. In his retirement he is devoting a lot of time to adding protest photos to the 1970s Protest Photos NZ website.

More information can be found here.