Social Welfare & the state
The state’s role in New Zealanders’ lives changed radically in the 20th century.
Until 1935, people mostly looked after themselves – with some help from private charities and churches. Then the 1935 Labour Government responded to the Depression by expanding state services. These grew steadily under successive governments.
In the 1980s, the state was labelled intrusive, oversized, and inefficient. Governments sold state assets, deregulated the economy, and privatised some social services. Self-reliance was again encouraged.
Find out about 20th century items in Te Papa's collections.
Can you survive in the early 20th century, identify famous New Zealanders, and guess which decade you're in?
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