21 July 2017 – 1 October 2017

Dissent is a powerful new temporary exhibition about opposition to the First World War in New Zealand.

In 1914, most New Zealanders supported our country’s involvement in the war. There were only a small minority of dissenters. However, as the casualty lists grew and the death toll was reported in local newspapers, New Zealanders felt the effect of this prolonged and brutal conflict.

Some soldiers became disillusioned, writing home to warn others not to enlist. Conscription was introduced (1916) and opposition grew. Waikato iwi leaders refused to support the war, and several MPs of the newly-formed Labour Party spoke out. Over 32,000 men indicated they were not willing to serve in the military. Nearly 300 were imprisoned. Of these, 14 men were forcibly dispatched to the war, with four subjected to the notorious Field Punishment No. 1.

Dissent, a ten-minute audio-visual show produced by Story Inc., and funded by the Lottery Grants Board, gives The Great War Exhibition a chance to tell the stories of a different type of courage. The courage to oppose the war. The exhibition includes a replica of the Peace Action Wellington sculpture that was placed on Wellington’s waterfront on Anzac Day 2016.

Dissent is open until  October, followed by the next temporary exhibition, Passchendaele. General admission charges to The Great War Exhibition apply. For more information about Dissent, including television and radio coverage, and behind the scenes  ‘making of Dissent‘, click here.