Pat Kelly

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Pat Kelly

WMLO union influence

Wellington Marxist-Leninist Organisation was active and influential in Wellington Trades Hall, where it had “the leading hand” in its relationships with prominent unionists, such as Pat Kelly and Graeme Clarke, the latter of whom was in fact a member. [1]

The Paper

All through the ’70s, Mike Law edited HART News and in 1974 was business manger for the allied Maoist publication “The Paper”. Other helpers or contributors to “The Paper” included, Rona Bailey, Alick Shaw, Peter Franks, Terry Auld, Robert Reid, Lisa Sacksen (all future members of the Workers Communist League) future Air NZ board member Rob Campbell, future Race Relations Conciliator Joris de Bres, unionist Pat Kelly, Principal Family Court judge Peter Boshier, journalist Gyles Beckford, writer Tony Simpson and HART leader Trevor Richards.


Pat Kelly was for a short time a member of the Socialist Unity Party.

Compact Group

The Compact Group consisted of Rex Jones, Owen Harvey, Mark Gosche, Maryan Street, Pat Kelly.

Lucky miss

Graeme Clarke, Henry Stubbs and Graham Kelly were among a small group of unionists who walked past a bomb at Wellington Trades Hall 20 minutes before it went off at 5:19pm on March 27, 1984, killing caretaker Ernie Abbott.

The three men attended the 30th anniversary memorial service for Mr Abbott in the foyer of Trades Hall in Vivian St March 2014.

Immediately before the bombing they had attended the regular monthly meeting of the management committee of the Federation of Labour's Wellington District Trades Council.

The meeting was chaired by the late Pat Kelly and Mr Clarke, then the secretary of the Wellington District Council of the Federation of Labour, recalled last night how he and President Mr Pat Kelly had walked past the suitcase bomb when they left the building before going on to attend another union meeting at Fraser House in Willis St.

"While we sat in the room [at the Trades Hall meeting] a bomb was sitting outside. If it had gone off earlier it could have taken away the whole of the management committee of the Wellington Trades Council.

"It is with some good fortune that I am here today because when we left, I left with Pat Kelly, we walked out the door with arms full of leaflets.

"Pat saw the suitcase but our arms were too full to pick up the suitcase, which had nothing to do with us," Mr Clarke said.

At the meeting the three men had planned a campaign against Prime Minister Rob Muldoon's wage freeze.[2]