In the early years of the Second World War the Communist Party campaigned against what it saw as an 'imperialist war.' Police kept a close eye on the party as a subversive organisation. The Communist Party newspaper, the People's Voice, was banned. On 30 May 1940 police entered the Communist Party printery in Auckland and smashed up the machinery with sledgehammers. During 1940, 45 people, mostly communists, were convicted of subversion and imprisoned. Many other communists were charged with a variety of misdemeanours. In June 1941, following the Nazi invasion of the Soviet Union, the Communist Party of New Zealand changed its policy to one of ardent support for what it now called a 'people's war'. The police, however, continued to keep a watchful eye on party activities.
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