Throughout history the places we have used to gather, speak, and make ourselves heard have not always been actual public squares.
Ngāti Whātua occupation of Bastion Point, 1978 – Robin Morrison, Auckland War Memorial Museum Tāmaki Paenga Hira. PH-1992-5-RM-N10-1
At times “the public square” has been a street, a beach, a civic building, a contested plot of land, a community hall.
Massey’s Cossacks turning on to Adelaide Rd, Wellington, during the 1913 Waterfront Strike – Alexander Turnbull Library, Wellington, New Zealand
700 carpenters march down Queen Street to protest their unemployment dispute with the Master Builders’ Association, 1949 – Alexander Turnbull Library, Wellington, New Zealand
These images illustrate just a few of the moments in our history where ordinary spaces have been electrified with purpose by groups of passionate New Zealanders.
Demonstration against the proposed SIS Amendment Act, 1977 – Alexander Turnbull Library, Wellington, New Zealand
Even as we encounter the mundane reality of these ordinary spaces after the noise has diminished, we hold to the knowledge that we live in a society where the everyday has been shaped by the passionate debates of those who have gone before us.
Anti-apartheid demonstrator Daniel Morgan-Lynch, 1981 – Peter Avery, Alexander Turnbull Library, Wellington, New Zealand