Story: Ideas in New Zealand

William Ranstead's Clarionettes

William Ranstead's Clarionettes

In 1900 a group of working-class socialists came to New Zealand following the lead of William Ranstead. Some are shown here before leaving England, with Ranstead in the middle row in a light-coloured suit. Ranstead was a belt manufacturer in Cheshire. He visited New Zealand in 1899 and was very impressed by the Liberals' legislation, especially compulsory conciliation and arbitration. He had taken over a newspaper, the Clarion, and published articles about  New Zealand as a 'socialist Canaan'. This attracted interest among working-class people, and 200 of them, known as 'Clarionettes', migrated to New Zealand. A number played an important role in helping to found the New Zealand Socialist Party the following year.

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Alexander Turnbull Library
Reference: 1/2-022490-F

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How to cite this page:

Jock Phillips, 'Ideas in New Zealand - Socialism', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, (accessed 8 December 2021)

Story by Jock Phillips, published 22 Oct 2014