O’Brien held many roles during his long life – he had been a radar operator in the airforce, a businessman, a city councillor, and eventually the president of the World Peace Council. As a prominent politician he was elected during a time of change within both the Labour Party and within Aotearoa as a whole. In this lunchtime talk political historian, Jim McAloon, offers compelling insights into the social and political context in which Gerald O’Brien lived and worked. 

Jim McAloon is a professor of history at Te Herenga Waka—Victoria University of Wellington. He has a wide range of interests in the economic and social history of New Zealand and other places. For some years he’s taught a second year course in New Zealand political history, and has published a number of works in the field, including (with Peter Franks) Labour: The New Zealand Labour Party 1916-2016 (2016). 


  • Free


  • Thu 01 Dec


  • 12:00 pm — 1:00 pm


  • Victoria University of Wellington
  • Gate 3, Kelburn Parade
  • Wellington 6012