Story: Rural workers

Māori shearers

Māori shearers

Two shearers machine-shear sheep while a rouseabout (or ‘rousie’) gathers up the fleece, in 1949. Māori shearing gangs were more likely than others to be extended-family groups, with women and children also working. Machine shears allowed shearers to clip more sheep per day, so after their introduction, shearing-gang sizes decreased.

Using this item

Alexander Turnbull Library, New Zealand Free Lance Collection (PAColl-0785)
Reference: PAColl-6303-29

Permission of the Alexander Turnbull Library, National Library of New Zealand, Te Puna Mātauranga o Aotearoa, must be obtained before any re-use of this image.

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How to cite this page:

Carl Walrond, 'Rural workers - Itinerant workers', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, http://www.TeAra.govt.nz/en/photograph/17202/maori-shearers (accessed 13 August 2020)

Story by Carl Walrond, published 24 Nov 2008