Kurow to celebrate birth of social security

August 1, 2008

Kurow is preparing to celebrate the birth of social security which began in the town in the 1930s.

The 1938 Social Security Act developed from the medical benefits scheme for depression workers on the Waitaki hydro dam project at Kurow a few years earlier.

The act was developed by the local minister, Reverend Arnold Nordmeyer, headmaster Andrew Davidson and Dr David McMillan assited by a committee of locals. The success of the scheme convinced Nordmeyer and McMillan to stand with the new Labour leader, Michael Joseph Savage and became part of New Zealand’s first Labour Government.

Celebrations On Augsut 12 will include the launch of Nordy – Arnold Nordmeyer – A political Biography, by Mary Logan; and the official opening of the first stage of the National Museum of Social Security; the 1938 themed visitor information centre at the town’s museum; the Social Security Heritage Trail and the visitor information booklet Birth of Social Security – How It All Began.


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