Story: Elections and campaigns

First citizens-initiated referendum, 1995

First citizens-initiated referendum, 1995

Firefighters fought reduction in their numbers with a citizens-initiated referendum, the first of its kind, held in 1995. They are shown here presenting the petition calling for the referendum to Helen Clark, the leader of the opposition Labour Party. Although support for retaining firefighter numbers was very high – 88% – voter turnout was low. Citizens-initiated referendums are not binding, and the government went ahead with its proposal.

Using this item

Alexander Turnbull Library, J. E. Tait Collection (PA-Group-00122)
Reference: JET-1584-13-F
Photograph by Jim Tait

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.

All images & media in this story

How to cite this page:

Bryce Edwards, 'Elections and campaigns - Elections', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, (accessed 27 January 2022)

Story by Bryce Edwards, published 20 Jun 2012, updated 1 Jul 2016