2011 ASSLH conference – Reinstating ‘Casual Connelly’


Reinstating ‘Casual Connelly’: a Labour pioneer and the struggle for political rights for public servants in New Zealand

 Peter Franks



When the New Zealand Labour Party celebrated its 50th anniversary in 1966, Michael Connelly was the only living member of those who were elected to national office in 1916 when the party was founded. Connelly spent his early working life in the mines on the West Coast. He joined the railways in 1911 and became an active member of the Amalgamated Society of Railway Servants. He was national president of the union in 1923 and was vice-president when he was appointed to the Legislative Council in 1936. He was an MLC from 1936 to 1950 and a Dunedin city councilor from 1944 to 1959.  

Michael Connelly had the unusual distinction of being the subject of two acts of parliament and this is the main focus of my paper. In 1925 he was required to resign from his job with the railways when he stood as a Labour candidate for Parliament. With the party’s support he campaigned to get reinstated. This campaign highlighted the difficulties faced by Labour pioneers in standing up for their political beliefs, the attitudes of railways management to politically active employees and the Labour Party’s capacity to protect its activists. Connelly’s campaign was successful and the conservative government changed the law to provide for his reinstatement. In 1936 Connelly was appointed by the newly elected Labour government to the Legislative Council. Because he was a public servant, Connelly was disqualified from becoming a legislative councillor and the government passed a law to validate his appointment. After Connelly’s death, his son, the Labour MP Michael Connelly, donated his personal papers, including unpublished autobiographical notes, to the University of Canterbury library. This rich archive, which has been neglected by labour historians, is the main source for my paper.

Peter Franks is a mediator with the NZ Department of Labour. He worked for trade unions for 20 years as a journalist, researcher, administrator and advocate, including the Clerical Workers Association, the Seamen’s Union and the Council of Trade Unions. He is a former secretary of the Trade Union History Project and a committee member of the Labour History Project. He has published numerous articles on New Zealand labour history and is the author of Print and Politics (2001) and co-editor with Melanie Nolan of Unions in Common Cause: the New Zealand Federation of Labour 1937-88 (2011).



Michael Connelly – miner, railway worker and union leader – was one of the men and women who founded the New Zealand Labour Party. When the party celebrated its fiftieth anniversary in 1966, Connelly was the last living member to have been elected to national office at the party’s foundation.1 He had the unusual distinction of being the subject of two acts of parliament which affected his political rights. His story highlights the political discrimination historically faced by public servants. From 1858 to 1936 they were disqualified from political activities other than voting.2 Some were victimised? in 1907 the Railways Department sacked the Christchurch labour activist Jack McCullough, ‘for contumaciously taking an active and prominent part in politics …’.3 Public service unions campaigned to end political discrimination but were unsuccessful until Labour won office in 1935.4

Towards the end of his life, Connelly wrote autobiographical notes which were included in his personal papers donated by his son, the Labour MP Michael Connelly, to the University of Canterbury library. This rich archive, which has been neglected by labour historians, is the main source for this paper. Connelly, who was known to his friends as ‘Mick’, was born in Kakaramea in Taranaki in the North Island of New Zealand in 1887. When he was young his family moved to the West Coast of the South Island, where he went to school. His first job, as a teenager, was as a packer, carrying a 32kg load of stores to a mine by foot. This meant a 10km hike, much of it over a steep track. As an old man, Connelly wrote a vivid account of nearly slipping while crossing a swollen stream on a fallen tree trunk to save time on his journey. After a spell working as a labourer in Wellington, he returned to the West Coast and worked for the Paparoa Coal Company erecting machinery outside the mine. He became the union delegate for the outside staff.

In 1910 Connelly returned to Wellington and worked in labouring jobs. In February 1911 he started working for Thomas Dillon, a contractor who was building the Miramar wharf. A month later, he was sacked. The foreman had insisted that he work overtime one evening, Connelly refused and they got into a fight. He noted, with some satisfaction, that the foreman was off work for three days as a result. The reason he refused overtime was that he was to play in the band at Island Bay and a young tailoress, Agnes Aynsley, was to be present.5 The fight had two consequences that changed Mick Connelly’s life. The first was that he got a job with the Railways Department. Starting as a porter on 31 March 1911, he was a railway worker for nearly twenty-­five years. The second was that he continued courting Agnes. They were married on 24 October 1912 in Wellington.6

Early union and political activities

After he joined the Railways, Connelly became active in the Amalgamated Society of Railway Servants (ASRS), New Zealand’s largest trade union. In 1913 he defeated two other candidates for the position of secretary of the Thorndon branch. Connelly won 82 votes against 78 for one of his opponents and 74 for the other. ‘So you can see what a small margin I had to launch me on the way in the Industrial Movement,’ he wrote later.7

The New Zealand Labour Party was formed at a conference in Wellington in July 1916. An executive was elected and a Wellington-­based advisory committee was appointed to sit with the executive. Connelly was one of five members of the advisory committee. The Thorndon branch of the ASRS was an important affiliate of the party and Connelly represented the union on the Wellington Labour Representation Committee (LRC).8

During World War I Connelly had his first brush with the management of the Railways Department. His job required him to shunt railway wagons from the Wellington wharf back to the railway yards. The wharves were under military guard but watersiders showed their opposition to the war by chalking slogans on the wagons. Examples were: ‘Your enemy is not in Europe, he is in New Zealand’, ‘This war is a war for the profiteers’ and ‘Strike on the job’. One morning Connelly was called to see the Goods Agent, a Mr Young, who asked him if he had seen the slogans and if he had written them. Connelly said he had not written them. ‘Don’t you think you should have rubbed the writings off the trucks?’ Young asked. Connelly replied that he had neither the time nor was it his duty. ‘I heard you had leanings in that direction, Connelly’, replied Young. ‘I repeat, I had nothing to do with the writings’, Connelly replied, ‘but surely a man can think what he likes’.9 As Connelly later wrote:

Victimisation was prevalent in those days, particularly so in … the public service. Political activities of any nature whatever were frowned upon. A sure method of ending a member’s activities locally … was to find it necessary to transfer the person concerned to another district. The upset of the member’s family life and the loss he sustained in such transfers were ignored and appeals for reconsideration were disregarded.10 

In June 1918 the Railways Department transferred Connelly to Greymouth on the West Coast of the South Island. His new job was as a guard. There is no evidence to suggest that he was particularly unhappy about this transfer. Greymouth was the home-­town of Agnes’s large family, and Harry Holland (later leader of the Labour Party) had just won a by-­election and become MP for Grey. Selected as an ASRS delegate to the Grey LRC, Connelly was elected vice-­ president in 1919.11 He took a leading part in negotiations to make the Grey River Argus the first Labour daily newspaper in New Zealand12 and he became a director of the paper.13 In 1920 he was elected chairman of the Greymouth branch of the ASRS and, later that year, he topped the poll as one of the northern South Island delegates to the ASRS national conference. The Argus praised him as ‘a most energetic and able advocate of the rights of railwaymen …’.14 In February 1921 the conference elected him to the national executive of the ASRS.15

Connelly was not alone in his political activity. After the family moved to Greymouth, Agnes became a contributor to the Maoriland Worker, a Labour weekly, writing under the non-­de-­plume ‘Little Mother’. Connelly was proud of his wife’s articles:

Little Mother’s articles were based on and were a criticism of the low standard of living and social conditions of those unfortunate to be in the lower income group. One of the characteristics of these writings was the amount she was able to arouse for the working people. Thus, the deep feeling expressed claimed the attention of readers.16

The 1924 railway strike

In 1922 Connelly was transferred under protest to the isolated town of Omakau in Central Otago. He was still in the South Island but was in a different district of the ASRS. Despite this, he was re-­elected as a national conference delegate and as a national executive member. The union’s president resigned and Connelly was appointed to the position. He was president at a difficult time for railway workers. In 1923 the conservative Reform government cut the pay of state servants. The ASRS agitated for the cuts to be restored, through deputations, petitions and protests. The government established a Railway Wages Board to deal with the union’s claims but the ASRS withdrew because of the failure of the chairman, H. D. Acland, a Christchurch lawyer, to act as a mediator.17 The union held a strike ballot and its members voted three to one for action. The strike began at Easter 1924.

The other railway unions -­-­  the Engine-­Drivers, Firemen and Cleaners Association and the Railway Officers Institute – opposed the strike. While the opposition Liberal and Labour parties supported the ASRS, the government rejected their demands and took a hard line against the union. ‘The government, for the first time in an industrial dispute, used expensive display advertising in the daily press to rouse public feeling against the strikers. “Are the Railways to Run in the interests of the Public or for the Benefit of the Amalgamated Society of Railway Servants?” read the heading of one such advertisement. “Are the Railwaymen Entitled to a Living Wage?” asked the society in its reply’.18 After a week, the executive called the strike off. Connelly told the press the decision had been made because, if it had continued, ‘[t]he country would have been faced with a large industrial upheaval, and the responsibility for precipitating such a step was too serious …’.19 This was an excuse. In his autobiographical papers Connelly acknowledged that the strike was called off because support from members was dissolving. ‘Quite a few of the officers and members were opposed to the strike and after about eight days the men became unsettled when they saw some of the trains starting to run. I could see that it would be impossible to hold the men in the face of this and the continued propaganda from the press and other sources …’.20 The Reform government punished the ASRS for the strike. While it agreed to safeguard the strikers’ superannuation, the government increased railway workers’ hours from 44 to 48 a week and removed some overtime payments. The ASRS was forced to disaffiliate from the radical Alliance of Labour, the more radical of the competing central organisations of workers. Finally, the government gave official recognition to the Railway Tradesmen’s Association, a breakaway union. ‘Far from regaining a restoration of the wage cuts, the railwaymen now had to work longer hours for the same wages’.21

There was a storm of protest among ASRS members, who blamed the executive for the humiliating outcome of the strike. Connelly visited many union branches around the country and faced many hostile meetings:

One of the largest was held in the Trades Hall in Christchurch and in this meeting several prominent ASRS leaders, who were opposed to the strike and later made press statements criticising the Executive, were present. The Meeting was hostile and I had a hand in making it hectic, because I purposely attacked these people personally from the platform for the way they fed the press after the strike was called off. Of course this was resented by many including the persons concerned and it took some time for the Chairman, R. Bultitude to restore order. I had previous to the meeting, informed him what I proposed to say and do.22

However Connelly became the fall guy for the strike. The 1925 ASRS conference voted by 11 to 10 to censure the executive for calling it.23 R. Hampton, a Christchurch member, challenged Connelly for the presidency and won by a crushing 4934 votes to 2191. The Evening Post crowed that the result was ‘held to be an indication of the attitude of the railwaymen towards those who led them into the strike last Easter.’24 Connelly was beaten but not bowed. He wrote in his autobiographical papers:

The irony of all this, as far as I was concerned, was that Branches of the ASRS who gave large majorities in favour of strike action, subsequently gave almost equally large majorities for my opponent, who was opposed to the strike, when the presidential election was held. This lesson was one that I shall never forget and I would not again call a strike under similar conditions. It is true that the conditions for a successful strike were not present – there being at that time a surplus of labour available and nobody wanted to be out of work. Although I was defeated by a large majority at that time I later was again elected to the Executive and only missed gaining the Presidency in one election by a margin of 26 votes out of a total of 10,000 poll. However I became vice-­president and was holding this office at the time that I was appointed to the Legislative Council on the 10th March, 1936.25

Forced to resign for standing for Parliament

Later in 1925 Connelly faced a greater personal challenge when he was forced to resign from his job. After being selected as the Labour candidate for Chalmers in the general election, he wrote to the Railway Board asking for six weeks leave without pay so he could campaign. Management’s stated policy was ‘all in the direction of affording every opportunity for members to attain the higher position in the service and the State’, Connelly wrote, ‘I trust the Board will recognise in this application a genuine attempt on the part of one of its employees to take advantage of such a policy …’.26 This was very much tongue-­ in-­cheek because the law prohibited public servants from standing for Parliament. As recently as 1922, the Reform government had introduced a bill to remove this disqualification (with qualifications). Passed by the House of Representatives, the bill had been thrown out by the Legislative Council.27

In a curt reply, H. P. West, the District Traffic Manager in Dunedin, told the Station Master at Omakau:

Please inform Guard M. Connelly that the Legislature Act 1908 provides that no civil servant shall be qualified to be elected to Parliament and as Connelly is a civil servant he is, therefore, disqualified. In the circs. his application for leave to contest a seat at the forthcoming Parliamentary Election must be declined.28

Connelly wrote back ‘reluctantly resigning’ with effect from 3 October 1925.29  ‘[T]he Railway Board advises that resignation must be submitted unconditionally’, West replied, ‘and that as house is required by your successor you must vacate it immediately’.30

Faced with the loss of both his home and his livelihood, Connelly appealed for help from a seemingly unlikely quarter, his nemesis in the 1924 strike, the railways minister Gordon Coates who had become Prime Minister in early 1925 after the death of William Massey. After West’s initial reply to Connelly, Harry Holland asked Coates an urgent question in Parliament about the position of public servants who were standing as election candidates. Holland said that at the 1922 election, some had been re-­employed but six to eight weeks after the election, and asked if public servant candidates would be reinstated or re-­ engaged immediately after the election if they were not successful. He also asked if the government would legislate so they could retain their rights to superannuation. Coates said that in the past the Railways Department had allowed ‘casual men’ to become candidates and had re-­employed them after the election. He said Massey had supported the re-­employment of public servant candidates and had ‘promised to endeavour to think out some way so that permanent men would not lose either employment or superannuation’. Coates suggested that the government would legislate to make this possible.31 Connelly telegrammed Coates saying that the department’s insistence that his family leave their home immediately was at variance with the prime minister’s reply to Holland.32 He received a further memo from West saying his resignation had been accepted and he was required to vacate the house.33 Within days this was contradicted by a telegram from Coates: ‘… in the special circumstances arrangements are being made to permit you to retain railway house until expiry of leave on retirement about 5th or 6th approx’.34

In a personal triumph for Coates, the Reform Party swept back into office at the 1925 general election. It won 55 of the 80 seats in Parliament compared to 12 for Labour and 12 for National (the former Liberal Party).35 James Dickson, the Reform MP for Chalmers, beat Connelly by 4321 votes to 2728.36

The battle for reinstatement

Connelly wrote to West applying for reinstatement as a guard.37 There was no statutory authority to allow this, West replied. ‘Arrangements will be made, however, to place you as a Casual Labourer at Dunedin Goods’.38 Connelly tried again. He wrote to J. Miller, the Dunedin Goods Agent, pointing out that others who had left the Railways had been reinstated to their positions, including men who had been out of the service longer than him. ‘The present position which I hold causes me to suffer a reduction of 2/6d per day – this after 12 years service’, Connelly concluded.39 The reply came from West via Miller: ‘Please inform Casual Labourer M. Connelly it is regretted there is no statutory authority to enable the Department to reinstate him in his old position.40

The Labour Party continued to press for legislation to help public servants who had lost their jobs because they had stood for Parliament. Unlike the Railways management, Coates, who remained Minister of Railways, was personally sympathetic. While he had been praised by the press and his party for his hard-­line stand in the 1924 strike, Coates had found the negotiations with the railway workers stressful and had privately acknowledged they had legitimate grievances.41 After the 1924 strike was over he told Parliament that ‘… so far as any dealings I have had with Mr Connelly are concerned I have found him perfectly straight-­forward …’.42

In August 1926 the government included in the Railways Amendment Bill a provision allowing for the permanent reappointment of those who had resigned to become candidates at the 1925 election. The bill also provided that they would have continuous service for superannuation purposes. Labour MPs argued that justice would not be done until public servants had the same rights to stand for political office as other citizens. However they thanked Coates for bringing in the bill. Holland highlighted Connelly’s situation (although he did not name him) and made it clear that he was at the centre of the legislation:

The one case I have in my mind – there are others, I suppose – was that of a railway guard who stood as a candidate and was unsuccessful. He was a man of no small ability, and one whom the Railways Department ought to be proud to have in its employment. He was reappointed after the election, but not as a guard. I think he was given employment in the workshops or sheds … with a reduction of 2s 6d a day. That was a most serious matter for a married man with four children? and it was made quite impossible for him and his wife to keep their family on the reduced wages.43

It took another sixteen months before Connelly was reinstated to his former position. After the amendment act was passed, he applied to West to be reinstated in the position of Guard, Grade 2.44 Some six weeks later Miller replied that he would be reappointed to this position but ‘on the distinct understanding that he shall be classified in the Classification List below the last member promoted to Grade 2 of Division 2 immediately prior to Connelly’s reappointment being confirmed’.45 The effect of this was that Connelly lost seniority, which was critical to railway workers’ prospects for future promotion. In December 1926 Miller advised that Connelly would be ‘placed on the “Spare” staff, Dunedin, until nominated to fill a vacancy’.46 Connelly continued to argue about the conditions around his reinstatement.47 A feature of this correspondence was the disparaging way in which Connelly was addressed, often in the third person, as ‘Casual Connelly’.

Finally he protested again to Coates. The prime minister’s secretary wrote to assure Connelly that Coates had been unaware of the conditions because he had been overseas:

It is his intention to reinstate you to the position on the Classification List where you would have been had you remained in the Service, and instructions will be given to the Railway Board to adjust same in the next issue of the Classification List. 48

A comparison between Connelly’s ranking on the Railways Department’s classification lists for 1925 and 1928 shows that Coates was true to his word.49

After his reinstatement, Connelly continued to fight for political rights for public servants. In 1932 he told the Dunedin branch of the Post and Telegraph Employees’ Association that he hoped ‘the day was not far distant when one of the greatest blots in their Legislative history would be removed – the decree that Public servants must not take part in political life …’.50 The next year Connelly was part of an ASRS delegation that met the prime minister, George Forbes, to call for full political rights and the repeal of section 59 of the Finance Act 1932, which gave the government the power to dismiss public servants for subversive conduct.51 Asked what he meant by full political rights, Connelly replied: ‘The rights and privileges enjoyed by other sections of the community … we are citizens first and then public servants’. Forbes said he did not think the majority of public servants desired full political rights and under section 59 the government had simply taken the same power as private employers.52

In March 1935 the Railways management declined Connelly’s request for permission to stand for the Otago Harbour Board, ‘having regard to the fact that the … Board is closely connected with the transport industry …’.53 Connelly stood for nomination as the Labour candidate for Chalmers in the 1935 election. He was defeated in a postal ballot but the successful candidate died? Connelly was then appointed as the Labour candidate. After an objection from the Port Chalmers branch of the party, it was decided to hold a new ballot.54 Connelly was again unsuccessful.

Appointed to the Legislative Council

In November 1935 the Labour Party trounced the conservative government in the general election, winning fifty-­five of the eighty seats in Parliament. Connelly was one of fourteen new members appointed to the Legislative Council, the upper house of Parliament, in March 1936. The Standard, the Labour weekly, said those appointed included ‘some of the pioneers of the Labour Movement in the Dominion …’. It said Connelly had:

a great record both as an industrial leader and as a worker in the political Labour Movement … He is a forceful and convincing speaker with a breadth of knowledge which should prove most helpful in the Legislative Council. 55

However, there was a hiccup. Connelly was ineligible because of his old enemy, the Legislature Act, which said that no-­one could be appointed to the council if they had been a public servant within the preceding six months. Although Connelly had resigned from the Railways Department he was still caught by this provision. One of the first legislative acts of the new Labour Government was to pass the Michael Connelly Appointment Validation Act 1936.56

‘Casual Connelly’ was now the Hon. Michael Connelly MLC. In a sharp change in position, the Railways Department’s official journal hailed his achievement:

The first member of a Government Department to be appointed to the Legislative Council, the Hon. M. Connelly, was, for 25 years, in the Railway service … His appointment will be welcomed as it will afford him an opportunity to apply his knowledge of economic and social questions in a wider field for the benefit of his fellows.57

In August 1936 the long campaign for political rights for public servants was won when the Labour government passed the Political Disabilities Removal Act.58 Connelly did not speak in the brief debate in the Legislative Council. However, he was outspoken about the deficiencies of Railways management in the debate about the Labour government’s move to abolish the Railways Board, which had been established in 1931 to replace ministerial control. He damned the board for the disdainful way it had treated deputations from the ASRS and other unions and attacked the way the board had treated staff:

… I know that during the period of Board control there was a fear complex in the Railway Service. The men were afraid to say anything in case some action might be taken against them … quite a number of promising young men were sacked by the Board for making slight mistakes … right throughout the Service, even among the higher officers, the action of the Board in punishing them in that way was strongly resented.59

On a visit to Queensland, New South Wales and Victoria the following year, Connelly was ‘continuously plied with questions concerning New Zealand’s social and industrial legislation’: he met railway workers and addressed meetings of railways union delegates who were ‘intensely interested’ in the Labour government’s decision to introduce a 40-­hour week for railway workers at existing rates of pay:

Representatives of the railwaymen repeatedly expressed their enthusiasm for our Government’s action in giving the staff more recuperative leisure and affording wonderful opportunities for the young men to obtain permanent work which they had previously been denied. 60

Michael and Agnes Connelly continued to be active in the Labour Party in Dunedin. He was an executive member of the Otago LRC while Agnes chaired the Dunedin Women’s Branch of the party for over ten years. During World War II she was a member of the Women’s War Service Auxiliary and was appointed to the Central Rehabilitation Committee which was in charge of demobilisation after the war. She was the only woman on the committee. In 1947 Agnes was awarded an MBE.

A member of the Legislative Council for fourteen years, Connelly served as chairman of committees. He was not reappointed by the National government, which abolished the council in 1950. Connelly was a Dunedin city councillor (1944-­59), a director of the Dunedin Savings Bank (1941-­54, 1958-­63) and of the State Advances Corporation (1958-­63), a member of the Fire Service Council (1949-­66) and chairman of the New Zealand Urban Fire Authorities Association (1950 to 1964).61 He was awarded a CBE in 1960. After Agnes’ death, Connelly moved to Christchurch to be closer to his children. He died there in October 1970, aged 83.62


Many of the pioneers of political and industrial Labour in New Zealand had to suffer for their beliefs. Connelly faced the constant disapproval of his employer for his union and party activities. The Railways Department’s management was unbending in its treatment of him and, at times, seemed determined to humiliate him. Connelly was courageous in standing up for his political beliefs. Although he became the scapegoat for the unsuccessful 1924 strike, he strongly defended his position within the ASRS. By standing as a Labour candidate in the 1925 election, he deliberately defied the law that forbade public servants from doing so.

Although Connelly was successful in getting reinstatement after the 1925 election – with the Labour Party’s support – he and his family endured considerable hardship. For over a year his earnings were cut by 15 shillings a week, around $65 a week in today’s money. Harry Holland highlighted the Connelly family’s situation in Parliament. While Connelly kept the correspondence about his reinstatement, he did not write about this episode in his autobiographical papers. His stance emphasised the injustice of the law and helped to win equal political rights for public servants.

Connelly believed passionately that lower income workers ‘must play an important role in the distribution of the country’s income and the direction of the country’s affairs’.63 After the election of the first Labour government, he had the opportunity to represent his class as a member of parliament, a city councillor and a director. He continued to be a man of principle. Some of his papers were embargoed for twenty years. They include a letter from the Rev. Hugh O’Neill of the Holy Cross College berating Connelly, who was a Catholic, for attending a meeting in support of medical aid for the Spanish Republic. ‘According to the Catholic view, this latter is aid for the Reds in Spain, i.e. aid for those who would make of Spain another Russia’, O’Neill wrote. Connelly’s reply was polite but firm: ‘Apart from any question of Fascism or Communism’, he replied, ‘I cannot help feeling that anything that can be done to alleviate the sufferings of the unfortunate people in Spain in their hour of trouble, irrespective of what side they are on, is an act of charity’.64


1   Michael Connelly, ‘Recollections of Labour’s Early History’, New Zealand Labour Party Journal, April 1966, 145.
2   Alan Henderson, The Quest for Efficiency: The origins of the State Services Commission (Wellington: State Services Commission, 1990), 30.
3   Melanie Nolan (ed), War & Class, The Diary of Jack McCullough (Wellington: Dunmore Publishing, 2009), 21.
4   See, for example, Bert Roth, Remedy For Present Evils, A History of the New Zealand Public Service Association from 1890 (Wellington: NZ Public Service Association, 1987) and Bert Roth, Along the Line, 100 Years of Post Officer Unionism (Wellington: NZ Post Office Union, 1990).
5   Connelly was an enthusiastic bandsman and a founding member of the Port Nicholson Silver Band in Wellington, which became one of New Zealand’s leading brass bands. Evening Post, 10 March 1936.
6   Michael Connelly, ‘Autobiographical Papers’, MB-­96 3/1, Macmillan Brown Library, University of Canterbury (MB).
7   ‘Autobiographical Papers’, MB-­96 3/1, MB.
8   NZLP Journal, April 1966, 145.
9   ‘Autobiographical Papers’, MB-­96 3/1, MB.
10   NZLP Journal, April 1966, 145.
11   Grey River Argus, 1 April 1919.
12   Obituary, The Press, 31 October 1970.
13   Grey River Argus, 29 December 1919.
14   Grey River Argus, 22 December 1920.
15   Ashburton Guardian, 19 February 1921.
16   ‘Autobiographical Papers’, MB-­96 3/1, MB.
17   Evening Post, 11 April 1924.
18   Bert Roth and Janny Hammond, Toil and Trouble, The Struggle for a Better Life in New Zealand(Auckland, Methuen, 1981), 108.
19   Evening Post, 30 April 1924.
20   ‘Autobiographical Papers’, MB-­96 3/1, MB.
21   Roth and Hammond, Toil and Trouble, 108.
22   ‘Autobiographical Papers’, MB-­96 3/1, MB.
23   Evening Post, 20 February 1925.
24   Evening Post, 26 March 1925.
25   ‘Autobiographical Papers’, MB-­96 3/1, MB.
26   Memo from M. Connelly to Railway Board, 7 September 1925, ‘Legislation and correspondence – related to Connelly’s political career’, MB-­96 17/3, MB.
27   Henderson, The Quest for Efficiency, 136.
28   Memo from H. P. West, 22 September 1925, MB-­96 17/3, MB. This memo was preceded by a telegram dated 19 September 1925.
29   Memo from M. Connelly, 21 September 1925, MB-­96 17/3, MB.
30   Memo to M. Connelly from H. P. West, 8 October 1925, MB-­96 17/3, MB.
31   New Zealand Parliamentary Debates (NZPD), Vol. 208, 608.
32   Telegram from M. Connelly to Gordon Coates, 8 October 1925, MB-­96 17/3, MB.
33   Memo from West to Connelly, 10 October 1925, MB-­96 17/3, MB.
34   Telegram from Coates to Connelly, 13 October 1925, MB-­96 17/3, MB.
35   Michael Bassett, Coates of Kaipara (Auckland: Auckland University Press, 1995), 102.
36   Evening Post, 11 November 1925.
37   Memo from Connelly to West, 4 November 1925, MB-­96 17/3, MB.
38   Memo from West to Connelly, 24 November 1925, MB-­96 17/3, MB.
39   Memo from Connelly to J. Miller, 21 December 1925, MB-­96 17/3, MB.
40   Memo from Miller to Connelly, 26 January 1926, MB-­96 17/3, MB.
41   Bassett, Coates of Kaipara, 88.
42   Evening Post, 26 August 1924.
43   NZPD, Vol. 210, 928.
44   Memo from Connelly to West, 6 September 1926, MB-­96 17/3, MB.
45   Memo from Miller to Connelly, 19 October 1926, MB-­96 17/3, MB.
46   Memo from Miller to Connelly, 20 December 1926, MB-­96 17/3, MB.
47   Memo from Connelly to Stationmaster, Dunedin, 8 January 1927 and memo from Acting Stationmaster to Connelly, 12 January 1927, MB-­96 17/3, MB.
48   J. Hunter, Official Secretary to J.G. Coates, to Connelly, 20 December 1927.
49   ‘Members of the Railway Department. List setting out in order of classification the name, status, and pay of each member, probationer, and apprentice, and the number of years he or she has been in the service of the Department on 1st April, 1925’, Appendices to the Journals of the House of Representatives, D-­3, 1925, 52. ‘List of Persons employed in the Railways Department on the 1st April, 1928’, Supplement to the New Zealand Gazette of Thursday, August 16, 1928, Wellington, Thursday, August 16, 1928, 2554.
50   Evening Post, 10 September 1932.
51   Henderson, The Quest for Efficiency, 135-­6.
52   Evening Post, 15 February 1933.
53   C.L. Pope, Stationmaster, Dunedin, to Connelly, 11 March 1935, MB-­96 17/3, MB.
54   Evening Post, 15 May 1935.
55   Standard, 11 March 1936.
56   Evening Post, 20 March 1936.
57   New Zealand Railways Magazine, 1 July 1936.
58   Evening Post, 6 August 1936.
59   NZPD, Vol. 244, 442-­3.
60   Evening Post, 1 April 1937.
61   ‘Autobiographical Papers’, MB-­96 3/1, MB.
62   The Press, 31 October 1970.
63   ‘Autobiographical Papers’, MB-­96 3/1, MB.
64   Hugh O’Neill to Connelly, 2 August 1937. Connelly to O’Neill, 4 August 1937. ‘Correspondence – to and from Connelly, embargoed until 1990’, MB-­96 249/50, MB.