'Practical utopians'

Rochdale consumer co-operatives in Australia and New Zealand

Nikola Balnave*, Greg Patmore

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

6 Citations (Scopus)


Rochdale consumer co-operatives have played an integral role in the lives of many people in particular localities in Australia and New Zealand, hut have been largely overlooked by labour historians in both countries. While the Rochdale movement was more advanced in Australia than New Zealand, at no point did the movements in the two countries reach the same heights as their counterpart in Britain. A preliminary examination of the movements in Australia and New Zealand demonstrates that Rochdale co-operatives in both countries had similar 'waves of interest' and obstacles to their advancement. While the movement has collapsed in both countries, a number of Rochdale consumer co-operatives survive in rural areas of Australia, chiefly by drawing upon a reciprocal loyalty relationship with the local community.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)97-110
Number of pages14
JournalLabour History
Issue number95
Publication statusPublished - 2008
Externally publishedYes

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