Land girls, World War II
Mrs Eleanor Roosevelt with members of the Women's Land Service (land girls) and triplet lambs, Rotorua, New Zealand 1943, Photograph by John Pascoe (1908–72), New Zealand, courtesy of Alexander Turnbull Library, Wellington, New Zealand (1/4-000552-F)
As World War II progressed, many young New Zealand women volunteered for organisations supporting the war effort, like the Women's Land Service. Others were 'manpowered' – directed to work in essential industries on the home front.
Some women were put in jobs traditionally carried out by men, like engineering and making munitions. People already working in essential industries had to keep doing so, often for low pay.
Some essential jobs were unpopular, like those in mental hospitals and food canneries. To avoid them, many women sought out specific work, or volunteered for the armed forces. Women with children were exempt from manpowering.