The aftermath of the riots was obvious in the destruction on the streets and the Governments job to clear the mess it created for New Zealand.
HMNZS Sailors on duty, they are outside a looted tobacconists premises, Queen Street
It took several days for Auckland to get the windows replaced on Queen Street. To add to the expensive cost of replacing the windows, the price for insurance rates on plate glass had risen. Hundreds of people required hospitalization after being injured by the Auckland riots. A number of 35 looters had been arrested for vandalism and property damage. Many shops in Wellington that had their windows smashed and were looted became financially ruined, most of the store owners were uninsured for this type of damage. Four years after the initial riots in Christchurch, Mathison (a Labour party Government worker) became head of a board in charge of the tram system and in doing so reduced the working hours of tram workers. Overall in the year of 1932 ranging over Auckland, Wellington, Christchurch and Dunedin there were 85 protestors prosecuted and 72 protestors who were imprisoned. The statistic for arrests and imprisonments were so low, considering the many thousands of unemployed people who participated in the riots. The law enforcement would have had a difficult job containing the mass of protestors therefore struggling to make many more arrests. They would not have expected the mass riots and have the resources to cope with the vast amount of angry unemployed. Those who were leaders of the main organizations were arrested such as Jim Edwards who went into hiding for two months after the Auckland riots. The mayor of Auckland George Hutchinson called for many citizens to come forward to provide service for the police. This evoked hundreds of Aucklanders to step forward to provide a civil duty against the rioters.
Effects of the Queen Street riots -
Auckland Star, Volume LXIII, Issue 89, 15 April 1932, Page 8
Right wing political groups had emerged from the dismay of many New Zealanders and their views on how the different Governments responded to the social and economic factors of the riots.
In the years following the riots many right-wing political groups surfaced. These right-wing groups included the New Zealand Legion, The Social Credit Political League and the Democrat Party. These political groups appealed to mostly the professional and middle class citizens of the state who were dissatisfied by Coates ‘socialistic’ bill. The Social Credit Political League was a middle class protest development formed in 1934. However they were not a political organization instead they publicized their theories and ideologies of Major C.H. Douglas to help New Zealand recover and pull themselves out of this Depression. They blamed the collapse of purchasing power and the formation of low cost credit by the state. The New Zealand Legion was created to debate any government interference and civic reconstruction. The organisation was lead by a surgeon from Wellington; Dr Robert Campbell Begg. The Legion quickly gained 20,000 members however after the 1935 election the Legion was discontinued with many members not giving up their beliefs. The newly formed National Party gained a few of these members from the dispended Legion. Likewise the Democrat Party was established in 1934 by businessman William Goodfellow and secured 8% of votes in 1935, however they gained no seats. These radical right winged groups never really scratched the surface. A voice of radicalism though was gained for these groups through the 1932 riots. The editor of the Southland Times in May 1933 said “but that does not mean that the people of New Zealand are so firmly shackled to the political labels that they cannot evolve for themselves a movement which will give… this country a new national sense”. New Zealand was now becoming socially aware of different political voices.
This cartoon illustrates the New Zealand's Legion's beliefs of diverse party politics. They wanted national unity - National Opinion 1933
The press held paranoid thoughts, declaring that the Communist party had an effective focal point for the unemployed development.
The Communist Party of New Zealand (CPNZ) was a small-scale political group. The Communist Party did engage new members during the years of the Depression and lots of attention from the police. The riots caused the UWM and the blunt action it used, disgraced the Union in the views of the public. Many public members and unemployed believed that there was need to participate in a violent manner and that the riots were provoked by the UWM. The CPNZ’s open opposition to the Labour Party also gained some interest from citizens. Non communist and a pro Labour Party unemployed was composed in 1933 as the National Union of the unemployed (NUU) and was stronger the UWM by 1934. The CPNZ aim was to ease anguish but never wanted to question the state or the Labour Party’s reputation.
Fear was imposed in the people of New Zealand after the riots, the media emulated this fear of a ‘red menace’. The Observer disclosed after the Auckland riots “the real cause of last weeks turmoil can still be traced to those fomenters of discord, militant Communists and “Red” agitators” The Government tried to prevent these communist views by creating regulations to prevent those who have visited a communist country in the last three years into New Zealand.
This illustration plays on peoples fear of the red menace. it comes from a US propagandist publication.