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Clips (7)

  1. The first of six parts of this full length documentary.

  2. The second of 6 parts of this full length documentary.

  3. The third of 6 parts of this full length documentary.

  4. The fourth of 6 parts of this full length documentary.

  5. The fifth of 6 parts of this full length documentary.

  6. The sixth of 6 parts of this full length documentary.

  7. The credits from this documentary.


In 1951, New Zealand temporarily became a police state. Civil liberties were curtailed, freedom of speech denied, and the Government used force against its own citizens. This film tells the story of the infamous lockout of waterside workers and the nationwide strike which followed. The film won Best Documentary and John Bates was named Best Director, Documentary, at the 2002 New Zealand Television Awards.


A perspective by Costa Botes 22.08.2008

Producer-Director John Bates says the 50th anniversary of the events of 1951 both inspired and facilitated the production of his film. A comparatively enlightened commissioning regime recognized the ...

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Credits (5)

 John Bates
 Paul Richards
 John Ramsay

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Comments (3)

 Leo Te Kira

Leo Te Kira

I cant believe how much 61 year old film footage helped me understand the level pf treachery the Port of Auckland is capable of this week, 61 years later. It also now concerns me what the National Party and Prime Minister may be willing to condone from th Port this week.

I just cant believe it.

 Gerard Hill

Gerard Hill

This is an important documentary . for 50 years the truth was hidden .this documentary breaks that terrible silence . All power to john Bates and his crew . i hope before long it is available to buy as DVD



I am so pleased to see this doco available on line. I have used it for teaching purposes for some years and students are always taken by the powerful story. They often comment "why are we not taught this in school". Recently my copy "disappeared" So really pleased I can again show this important chapter of our history. Thank you

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Included in:

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 Labour Day Collection


I saw families broken up, I saw brother fighting brother, marriages breaking up, the whole thing was a very very bitter pill to swallow. And then to branded as an enemy of the country when only just a few years earlier they waved flags and called you a hero, was pretty difficult to take. 


2002 TV Guide New Zealand Television Awards
Best Documentary
Director - Documentary: John Bates