You are using an older browser version. Please use a supported version for the best MSN experience.

Kiwis mark 100 years since sedition cases

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 14/12/2016

One hundred years have passed since New Zealand's first significant World War I sedition case ended with the jailing of a man.

Bob Semple was sentenced on December 15, 1916, to one year in a Christchurch jail for a seditious utterance.

He would later become a cabinet minister in the first Labour government.

To mark Mr Semple's sentencing, Auckland and Christchurch residents on Thursday plan to hold re-enactments of the World War I sedition arrests, scripted by playwright Dean Parker.

Altogether 67 New Zealanders were jailed for speaking out against World War I or military conscription.

In addition to Mr Semple, these included future New Zealand Prime Minister Peter Fraser, who was also jailed in December 1916, and three other members of his cabinet, Tim Armstrong, Jim O'Brien and Paddy Webb.

Ironically, Mr Fraser was Prime Minister when New Zealand later reintroduced conscription during World War II.

Those taking part in the Auckland ceremony at Mt Eden prison, include the Labour History Group, Quakers and Women's International League for Peace and Freedom.

The Disarmament and Security Centre has sponsored the Christchurch event outside the Canterbury Museum.

image beaconimage beaconimage beacon