Brendan Tuohy

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Brendan Tuohy

Brendan Tuohy was chairman of the Socialist Party of Aotearoa, New Zealand's "mainstream" communist party.

In 1989 Sam Murray and her partner Brendan Tuohy bought a house in Iwi Street (“No. 3”) in the Wellington suburb of Ngaio. Nearly 20 years later Sam and Brendan still lived there. Brendan Tuohy is the brother of Conal Tuohy.


Brendan Tuohy, completed a BA in computer science in 1982 at Massey University, although he actually did his third year at Otago University.


Early 2000s Seafarers, Socialist Party of Aotearoa, at Willowhaven Holiday Park in Rotorua (owned by the Wood Industires Union of Aotearoa).


Glen Andersen, Jim Jones, Odette Shaw, Gerry Hill, Maxine Gay, Brendan Tuohy, Dave Morgan, Jennifer Francis, Bill Andersen, Pat Brown, Trevor Noel, Warren Brewer.

Supporting Sam Murray's thesis

Sam Murray, earned a PhD in 2001 (Anthropology) from Massey University.

"Terra Aquarius - A Marxist Ethnography of the Alternative Lifestyle in Nimbin." Supervisor Professor Jeff Sissons.

She thanked her Reddfish partners Brendan Tuohy, Conal Tuohy, Miriam Tuohy, Greg Ford, Harry Nowell, Spike Thomas. Ian Rotheram scanned photos for the thesis.[1]

Member of Young Workers Alliance

In 1985, he was a member of the the Socialist Unity Party youth wing, Young Workers Alliance.

In 1987, he was still identified as being a member of the above.[2]

Extensive Soviet links

In 1985, Tuohy was invited as a guest to the 20th congress of the Young Communist League (Komsomol) in Moscow.

In 1987, he attended the Komsomol Congress in the Soviet Union.

Involvement with Soviet aligned SUP

On April 20, 1986, he contributed an article to the Soviet aligned Socialist Unity Party newspaper the Tribune, concerning the New Zealand Post Office. [3]

On January 15 1987, Tuohy was identified as a computer expert with the SUP.

By 1988, Tuohy was certainly a member of the SUP. On Labour Weekend, he attended the Party's 8th National Conference.

In 1988, Tuohy was, according to some documents written by SUP member George Jackson, on a proposed membership list as part of a commission on the National Question. The term National Question is Leninist in origin, and refers to the deliberate stirring up of indigenous peoples and/or racial minorities, by exploiting their grievances - both real and imagined - so as to supplant the old political order, and replace it with an extreme left-wing social and political system.

In 1989, Tuohy wrote an article for the Tribune on the US military presence in Japan. [4]

On March 12 1990, he had become the "chairperson" of the Wellington branch of the SUP.

In 1991, Tuohy wrote an article for the Tribune's Forum entitled "New productive forces ripe for revolution." In it he wrote: "Of course our task is not to "foment revolution" a la Communist Party of New Zealand, waving little red flags and shouting r-r-r-revolutionary slogans. But neither should we consign the revolution to the glorious but distant future and become indistinguishable (except in words) from the social-democratic reformers of capitalism. We have to combine helping the productive forces to develop with building the revolutionary perspective and our militant class organisations."

By 1991, Tuohy was an SUP Wellington branch Executive member.

Work with TUEA

On January 15, 1987, Tuohy was appointed temporarily as a computer consultant for the Trade Union Education Authority in New Zealand - indeed he was a computer expert with the Socialist Unity Party - and he also notes that he had worked part-time for TUEA from 1987-1994. In that same time-span, he also worked for the Council of Trade Unions.

In the mid ’80s, Mike Law was working at Centre for Continuing Education, at the University of Waikato. Shortly after Labour’s 1984 election victory, he was appointed chairman of of a four person Task Force on Trade Union Education. His three colleagues were;

This Taskforce led to the establishment of the Trade Union Education Authority. Until it was abolished by the Bolger Government, TUEA served as a taxpayer funded propaganda vehicle for the SUP. Known Party supporters who were paid or subsidised by TUEA include; Graeme Whimp, Hazel Armstrong, Ros Goldsbrough, Brendan Tuohy, Joe Tepania, Gary Reading, Sam Murray and Marilyn Kohlhase.

Workers Communist League supporters on the payroll or in receipt of TUEA subsidies include; Graeme Clarke, David Steele and Therese O'Connell.

Other union activities

In 2006, Tuohy was an activist in the Clerical Workers Union.

He is now working as a member of a collective specialising in union IT.

Contributer to left-wing publication

In 1987, Tuohy contributed an article to the publication Socialist Politics, concerning Perestroika - (which refers to political and economic reforms under Gorbachev in the Soviet Union) - and World Peace.[5]

Questioned by Stalinists

In 1991, Tuohy was surveyed by the Stalinist Communist Party of New Zealand's Peoples Voice to determine whether or not he supported the so-called "Day of Action"; but he declined to give an on-the-record answer.[6]

Computer skills in furtherance of socialism

In 1994-6, the electoral roll identifies Tuohy as a Computer Consultant. In furtherance of his interest in computers, he stated, in 1997, that according to the ReddFish Website, he was one of the founders of ReddFish in 1987, and noted that he had worked full-time for them since 1991. ReddFish is a computer consultancy and software company run as a socialist collective by members of the Socialist Party of Aotearoa. Tuohy's brother Conal is also lnvolved with ReddFish.

He also states that, over the years, he has worked on quite a few different computer systems in quite a few languages, maybe 20. Too, he says that he has been "waiting for the internet" all his life.

Passion for Marxist literature

In 1997, Tuohy noted: "I've got an extensive library, focusing particularly on Marxism (including the collected works of Marx, Engels and Lenin) and other social sciences. I've read every book on my shelf, many several times."

On Marxjour internet list

In 1998, Tuohy was identified as being on the Marxjour internet list.

Tuohy and the Socialist Party of Aotearoa

In 1997, Tuohy stated that he was a member of the Socialist Party of Aotearoa.

In 2001, he was part of a SPA delegation to the Communist Party USA Conference in Milwaukee. [7]

In 2002, Tuohy was both the Vice President and Wellington contact for SPA.

By July 2005, he was the Chairman of SPA and in that capacity, sent a message to the Convention of the CPUSA.

Editor of Marxist publications

In 2003, Tuohy was on the Editorial Board of The Spark, the journal of the Trans Tasman Socialist Secretariat.

In December 2004, he was also the new editor of the publication the Red Flag.

Australian visit

CPA official Peter Symon, Warren Brewer, Brendan Tuohy and CPA President, Hannah Middleton

In early 2006 Communist Party of Australia hosted a delegation from the Socialist Party of Aotearoa . Party Secretary Warren Brewer and Chair Brendan Tuohy ’s March visit heralded a strengthening of trans-Tasman co-operation between communist forces.

During their week-long visit the New Zealanders held talks with trade unionists in Sydney, Newcastle and Wollongong, and spoke at public forums with the theme: “Industrial Relations — learning from New Zealand’s disaster”.

They were also invited to the CPA Central Committee meeting where formal greetings were exchanged.[8]

NZ Committee to Free the Cuban Five

Circa 2009, the list of Initiating Members and Supporters of the New Zealand Committee to Free the Cuban Five, included Brendan Tuohy, Chair, Socialist Party of Aotearoa.[9]



  1. [1]
  2. Tribune August 6 1987
  3. Tribune April 20 1986
  4. Tribune November 27 1989
  5. Socialist Politics Number 2 1987
  6. Peoples Voice September 23 1991
  7. Red Flag August 2001
  8. CPA’s Guardian of 12.4.06
  9. Initiating Members and Supporters of the NZ Committee to Free the Cuban Five