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.
Te whakamahi i tēnei tūemi
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.