- - - - - - - - - - - - -

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Ordinary law

In the Convention of Aliwal North of February 1869, the boundaries of Lesotho were laid down in their present form... Britain found it convenient to annex Lesotho to the Cape Colony... the Cape Colony soon began to apply to Lesotho the same laws and methods which it found convenient for administering other areas already annexed by force.

Matters came to a head with the imposition of the "Peace Preservation Act", by which all fire-arms were to be surrendered. Within a few months the whole countryside was in open rebellion.

The Gun War of 1880-81 cost the Cape Government dearly in men and money. Civil strife created further administrative problems. By 1883 chronic misgovernment induced the Cape Government to request Britain to restore direct rule over Lesotho, in return for which it was even prepared to pay any deficit in the annual recurrent budget.

In this way, as a direct consequence of the Gun War, the Basotho won the right to have their country administered separately from other parts of southern Africa. British rule was resumed in 1884, a major step in the sequence of events which led ultimately to the granting of independence by Britain in 1966.

By the 1890s just one major bastion of Māori de facto autonomy remained: the vast Urewera region in the eastern North Island... In 1871-1872 the Native Minister, Sir Donald McLean, appears to have formally recognised the area's regional autonomy...

During the 1870s and 1880s the Urewera tribes, united as the "Union of Mataatua", managed their affairs through a Council, established in 1872 and known as Te Whitu Tekau (Seventy)... The Union did its best to keep the colonial State at arms length. Roads, surveys, land sales, leases and mineral prospecting were banned. Europeans could not enter the area without permission, and if they did they were firmly escorted beyond the borders.
The Union, however, was "a peaceful organisation" and did not seek confrontation with the government... the Native Land Court was going to break into the core Tuhoe territories. It may have been this threat... which led the chiefs of Te Urewera... to enter into negotiations with Seddon, the Liberal Prime Minister, in 1895...

In effect the Urewera tribes made a cession of their de facto sovereignty in return for certain promises made by the government of the day on behalf of the Crown. The main points supposedly agreed to, as identified by Seddon, were:
(a) an external survey of the Urewera block;
(b) internal subdivisions to be carried out by a Commissioner, rather than the Native Land Court; and
(c) the establishment of a process of self-government through a General Committee representing the various iwi and hapū of the region.

The Urewera District Native Reserve Act was passed on 12 October 1896. The Act is described in its Long Title as "an Act to make provision for the ownership and local government of the Native lands in the Urewera District".
The Preamble states:
Whereas it is desirable in the interests of the Native race that the Native ownership of the Native lands constituting the Urewera District should be ascertained in such manner, not inconsistent with Native customs and usages, as will meet the views of the Native owners generally and the equities of each particular case, and also that provision should be made for the local government of the said district...

The guarantees of 1896 were soon forgotten as the Native Land Court was introduced to the region and the Crown embarked on an aggressive programme of undivided share-buying of the Urewera block. Most of the region passed into Crown title during a massive title consolidation scheme during the 1920s.

An Act to facilitate the Settlement of the Lands in the Urewera District...
WHEREAS the [Maori] lands within the district referred to in Schedule 1 to this Act have for a number of years been under special administration, and it is now desirable to apply the ordinary law thereto... hereby repealed... The Urewera District [Maori] Reserve Act 1896.


At 30/10/07 12:50 pm, Anonymous CECIL said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

At 30/10/07 2:05 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

great post tim, could you just clear up the bit that justifies setting off naplam and training for a war against white people?

At 30/10/07 2:33 pm, Anonymous TINO RANGATIRATANGA said...

Venue: Lecture Theatre 401, Faculty of Engineering, 20 Symonds Street

Public lecture by Stephen Chan, Professor of International Relations, The University of London,Foundation Dean of Law and Social Sciences, School of Oriental and African Studies.

What are the factions in the ANC? Would Zuma be as bad as all that? Will the blind spots over issues such as HIV continue? What does the succession mean for the Southern African region, Africa, and the wider world?


At 30/10/07 2:36 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The succession battles in South Africa: After Mbeki, what?

30 October 2007


Sorry I can't make it?

At 30/10/07 2:45 pm, Anonymous $1000 fees refund? said...

Source: R. Miller (ed.), New Zealand Politics in Transition, Oxford University Press, 1997.


Barry Gustafson

In general and at the risk of over-simplifying a situation that was always more diverse and complex than many have suggested, it is arguable that two words largely sum up New Zealand politics in the forty years after the end of the Second World War in 1945: security and consensus. After decades of depression and war the overwhelming majority of New Zealanders wanted security (economic, strategic and social) in times of sickness, old age or unemployment. There was a consensus shared by most of the population and both major political parties, National and Labour, not only about these desirable objectives, but also as to how that security was to be achieved. By 1984, however, New Zealand society had become more diverse, the political culture was in a state of flux, and the two established parties were in search of new solutions to the country’s growing economic problems. New Zealand’s long period of political consensus had come to an end.

The Party System
After the amalgamation of the Reform and United (formerly Liberal) parties into the National party in 1936 New Zealand effectively had a polarised two party system, unlike the three party system that had existed since the First World War. It took National thirteen years to replace the first Labour government, but once it did National was to dominate New Zealand politics for the following thirty-five years. Between 1949 and 1984 Labour only held office for two single terms: 1957 to 1960, when Labour led by Walter Nash had the barest of majorities; and 1972 to 1975, during which Norman Kirk and Wallace (Bill) Rowling led a single term Labour government. The other twenty-nine years produced the National governments of 1949 to 1957 (under Sidney Holland and briefly Keith Holyoake), 1960 to 1972 (Holyoake and, for a few months, John Marshall), and 1975 to 1984 (Robert Muldoon).
Labour was weakened, particularly in the 1950s, by two traumatic negative events; the 1951 waterfront dispute and the 1958 ‘Black Budget’, both of which were manipulated and exploited to maximum advantage by National. As well as being discredited by these two events, Labour was internally divided. On both occasions it lost the support of many voters and also of significant numbers of party activists and affiliated unions. After 1958 Labour slowly began to cast off the former trade union image and rebuild itself into a more middle-class, social democratic party.
National’s long dominance of the executive and legislature was not a true reflection of voters’ preferences. After 1951 no party received over half the votes cast at any election and, indeed, in 1978 and 1981, although National retained a majority of seats in parliament and, therefore, Muldoon remained Prime Minister, Labour actually gained more votes at both elections. National’s dominance resulted partly from the first-past-the-post (FPP) electoral system and the fact that its superior organisation helped it repeatedly to win the crucial suburban and small town marginal seats, and partly from the existence from 1954 of the Social Credit (from 1985 renamed Democratic) party, which allowed voters to protest against the National government without switching allegiance to Labour.
The Social Credit share of the valid vote blunted the swing to Labour in 1954, when Social Credit gained 11.3 per cent; 1966 polling 14.5 per cent; and 1978 and 1981 when it recorded 16.1 and 20.7 per cent respectively. Because of the electoral system those votes for Social Credit did not translate into seats. In a proportional electoral system Social Credit in 1981, for example, would have gained not the two seats it did — Bruce Beetham in Rangitikei and Gary Knapp in East Coast Bays — but at least nineteen MPs and would have held the balance of power between Muldoon’s National and Rowling’s Labour parties. Indeed, Social Credit would also have decided which of the two major parties became the government three years earlier in 1978 and the resulting decisions made about New Zealand’s economy, society and foreign relations between 1978 and 1984 might well have been very different from those of the Muldoon government.
Social Credit did, however, help destabilise the two party system and it weakened the division of New Zealand’s voters into two distinct and committed partisan blocs. Increasingly also the politicians reached across the political centre, sometimes as Muldoon did by attracting non-traditional voters, which confused and even infuriated some traditional party supporters. That dealignment was to become even greater after 1984. While most New Zealanders between 1945 and 1984 thought of themselves politically as being either Labour or National supporters, that support became less uncritically partisan.
There were, of course, always minorities who were opposed to the two major parties. On the left of politics various small Marxist parties existed from the formation of the New Zealand Communist Party (CPNZ) in 1921. After 1945, and especially after 1960, the CPNZ split several times, reflecting the disintegration of international socialism and particularly the Sino-Soviet dispute. When the CPNZ leadership chose to support China rather than the Soviet Union, a group of Communist trade union leaders in New Zealand formed a pro-Soviet Socialist Unity Party in 1966. Another group influenced by Castro’s Cuba formed the Socialist Action League in 1969. When the CPNZ later accused the Chinese of betraying socialism and aligned the CPNZ with Albania, pro-Chinese New Zealand Communists formed the Workers’ Communist League in 1980. Although all very small parties their core membership, were very committed and active and between the 1950s and 1980s, though never electorally important, exercised an influence quite disproportionate to their numbers in the trade union, peace, women’s, and anti-racist movements.
Other small parties also emerged as the electorate became more destabilised in the 1970s and 1980s, often expressing frustration at the traditional, larger parties’ unwillingness to address certain specific policy areas. In 1972, for example, a young journalist, Tony Blunt, and others who were concerned for the environment and other largely non-economic issues formed the Values Party whose agenda was quickly, though only partially, taken up by National, Labour and Social Credit. In 1979 the former Minister of Maori Affairs (1972 to 1975) formed the Mana Motuhake party after resigning from the Labour caucus which he accused of taking its Maori support for granted. The other new party to emerge was the New Zealand Party. It was set up in 1983 by a Wellington businessman, Robert Jones, who was by then bitterly opposed to Muldoon, whom he had once supported, and the economic interventionist policies of the National government. Jones also had serious concerns about New Zealand’s education and defence policies and National’s generally anti-libertarian attitudes. Although Labour would have won the 1984 election anyway, Jones and the New Zealand Party’s intervention turned a National defeat into a rout.

Security and Consensus
Some historians have suggested that, after 1890 and prior to 1984, there were two great watersheds in New Zealand history; the progressive achievements of the first Liberal government (1891 to 1912) and the first Labour government (1935 to 1949). Each of those governments restructured the economy; passed radical social welfare legislation; balanced embryonic nationalism with a clear commitment to collective security in alliance with a major protective great power (Britain before 1941 and the United States after); and facilitated considerable upward social mobility through educational opportunity and state encouraged farm ownership schemes.
In fact, although there was change during the period of 1890 to1984, it was largely at the level of quantitative detail, not a fundamental qualitative change in values, perceptions, policies or outcomes. The 1935 Labour government did not provide a dramatically different direction, but consolidated and extended what the Liberals had started almost half a century before. That legacy of consensus was subsequently amended but not rejected until 1984. When National first came to power in 1949, it largely accepted what Labour had done to the economy and social security system. Instead it argued that it would be a better manager of the reforms.
It must be remembered that National was formed from the remnants of the old Liberal and Reform parties, both of which had been known for their pragmatic interventionism. While National talked a lot about freedom, individualism, a competitive economy, and a minimum of bureaucratic intervention, restriction and regulation, in practice it was a very interventionist government. Farmers received subsidies and tax incentives; domestic manufacturers were protected from foreign competition; and importers, many of whom held prominent positions in the National party and enjoyed exclusive licenses which made them rich. The Muldoon government was not as different from the Holland and Holyoake governments as some of Muldoon’s critics would have one believe.
The economic orthodoxy accepted in New Zealand between 1945 and 1984 was ‘Keynesianism’, named after its most prominent proponent, the British economist John Maynard Keynes. Keynesians believe that markets cannot automatically maintain stable activity at full potential and that where the market is clearly failing to foster growth, or cope with a temporary economic crisis, or deal with social inequalities, then the government should intervene to achieve the desired result.
New Zealand was seen for the first two-thirds of the century as a prosperous but fragile dependent economy with one major export, agriculture, and one dominant market and source of investment, Britain. Not until Britain entered the European Community in the 1970s did New Zealand finally grasp the fact that this relationship with Britain was ending and that New Zealand had to diversify rapidly both its exports and its markets.
While few objected to such diversification, there was growing debate over the concurrent push towards import substitution during the 1950s, 1960s and 1970s, culminating in the Muldoon government’s ‘Think Big’ strategy to develop between 1975 and 1984 liquid fuels, aluminium, and steel industries.
Prior to 1984, the economy was subject to high levels of government intervention and regulation. Manufacturers and wage-earners were protected by import controls and farmers were encouraged to produce and be protected from fluctuations in overseas markets by subsidies, tax incentives, and producer boards. The banking system and value of the currency were tightly controlled.
Despite the high level of agreement over economic priorities and policies, foreign and affairs and defence were experiencing a gradual breakdown of consensus. While in the 1940s and 1950s few questioned New Zealand’s general alignment with the western democracies against communism, and especially New Zealand’s enthusiastic membership of ANZUS and antagonism towards the Soviet Union and the People’s Republic of China, by the 1960s a significant, vocal and active minority of New Zealand public opinion was opposing the US involvement in the Vietnam War and, more importantly, New Zealand’s participation as a US ally.
In May 1965 the Holyoake National government, not without a great deal of reluctance and anguish, responded to United States and Australian pressure and agreed to send combat troops to Vietnam. The contribution was seen as a premium on the ANZUS alliance insurance policy for New Zealand’s defence, but payment was kept to a minimum. Only 3,500 New Zealand volunteers served in Vietnam between 1965 and 1972 and never more than 550 at a time. Casualties comprised 35 dead and 187 wounded. Limited though New Zealand’s involvement was, however, it seriously divided New Zealand. Many younger people were particularly horrified by the depraved brutality which was exposed each night on television. The widespread protests which drew tens of thousands of New Zealanders into the streets were not confined to New Zealand’s involvement, but attacked the United States and the war itself. Although National’s victories at the 1966 and 1969 elections appeared to be endorsements of its policy of keeping troops in Vietnam, the troops were being brought home even before the election of the Kirk Labour government in 1972. The legacy of Vietnam, however, was an end to the bipartisan approach to foreign and defence policies which had existed for the first twenty years after the war.
On nuclear weapons and testing, particularly by the French in the Pacific, and on apartheid in South Africa, particularly with reference to All Black and Springbok rugby tours, New Zealand society and politics were also clearly not characterised by consensus from the 1950s. From the late 1950s a growing number of New Zealanders became active opponents of the obscene apartheid system in South Africa. They were particularly offended by the periodic rugby games between the Springboks, who were a team drawn largely from Afrikaaner South Africans who were arrogant racists, and New Zealand All Black teams from which Maori were omitted solely on racial grounds. Some of New Zealand’s greatest players were never selected if the opponents were South Africa. In 1960 thousands of New Zealanders at meetings and marches in the main streets of cities such as Auckland protested with the slogan ‘No Maoris, no tour’ but the tour of South Africa went ahead anyway. The issue continued to divide New Zealanders throughout the 1960s and 1970s even when as in 1970 the South Africans offered to label Maori players ‘honorary whites’. Finally, the Kirk Labour government in 1973 reversed an election promise of the previous year and forced the New Zealand Rugby Union to cancel a tour of New Zealand by a racially-selected Springbok team. Muldoon allowed such a tour in 1981, which saw extraordinary street violence and battles between protesters and police and protesters and rugby fans. New Zealand was divided to an extent and to a degree of bitterness rarely seen before or since in its history. It was clear by the end of the tour that there would never be another one. The National government may well have won votes and seats in rural New Zealand but it certainly lost them in the cities and suburbs at the election held a few months later.
On the issue of social security the consensus remained intact throughout the period. Before 1984 there was no real challenge or alternative in health, education, or the care of the young, the sick, the aged, the unemployed. Politicians argued over the details and costs of delivery, but not over the structure of the system or the universal rights of all citizens to equal and adequate access. Deep divisions of opinion did not emerge until after 1984 on the morality, desirability and sustainability of social security. Nor was it seriously questioned that there should be co-operative rather than individual provision of education, health and welfare, where each person as a responsibility of citizenship contributed through the tax system according to his or her ability and then as a right of citizenship received according to his or her need.
Labour established the basis of the modern welfare state in New Zealand with its Social Security Act of 1938, which was intended to secure ‘everybody from infants in their cots to old men and women .... orphans, invalids and those unable to think or work for themselves’ and to take away as far as possible fear caused by ‘the ills of life and the inexorable advances of old age’. One of Labour’s major achievements was to make secondary education available to all children. Subsequently, in 1958 Labour introduced three per cent housing loans and capitalisation of the child allowance to enable young couples on lower incomes to buy or build a home. National, which favoured a property-owning democracy, subsequently encouraged many state tenants to buy the homes they previously rented from the State.
Labour was not the only party during this period prepared to extend the welfare state. National also sought throughout the years until 1984 to maintain full employment, fund adequately a public health system, and extend educational opportunity. During the 1960s and 1970s it rebuilt and dramatically expanded the four existing universities and constructed three new ones. National was also responsible for other social initiatives. The Holyoake government, for example, created the post of Ombudsman in 1962 to investigate complaints against government departments. A Race Relations Act outlawing racial discrimination was passed in 1971. In 1972 the Equal Pay Act was passed to remove gender discrimination in the private workplace and the same year the Accident Compensation Scheme was established. National was also responsible for introducing an emergency domestic purposes benefit in 1968, setting up the National Superannuation Scheme in 1976, and passing the Human Rights Commission Act of 1977, the Maternity Leave Protection Act of 1980 and the Domestic Protection Act of 1982. In environmental matters the National party was at first very farsighted, passing a National Parks Act in 1952 and subsequently in the following twelve years creating six new large national parks. But it greatly damaged its reputation with conservationists with its refusal to safeguard Lake Manapouri in the early 1970s and its decision to press on recklessly with the building of the Clyde High Dam in the 1980s.

Societal Change
During the postwar period New Zealand society was undergoing significant change. By 1984 the political culture had become more individualistic; more heterogeneous both ethnically and ethically; less conformist and less egalitarian; more concerned with equality of opportunity than fair outcomes; and convinced that finite government income needed to be targeted according to need, not distributed universally according to citizenship. New Zealand society had started to become more urbanised and industrialised and far less homogeneous than it was in 1945. Demographically there were more immigrants not only from Europe, Australia and North America but also from the Pacific Islands, Asia and Latin America. Moreover, the electorate as a whole was better educated and more affluent. There were more white-collar workers, a diminishing proportion of manual workers, and many more people owned property than in previous generations. Social habits changed markedly with the increasing access of New Zealanders to automobiles, the growth of suburbia, and the advent of television. Television was to have an increasingly marked effect on political perceptions and outcomes as well as recreation and culture.
The number and percentage of New Zealanders, especially younger New Zealanders, of Maori origin increased rapidly. Concurrently the Maori became more urbanised, more visible, more vocal. There was a growing awareness of the significance of the Treaty of Waitangi and of unresolved Maori greviences especially over the unjust loss of their land. The Maori demand for greater recognition from pakeha society and especially pakeha decisionmakers and more effective participation in decisionmaking was matched by a concurrent challenge to the patriarchal nature of New Zealand society and politics. Maori women organised effectively through the Maori Women’s Welfare League formed in 1951. One of its founding members, Whina Cooper, subsequently in September 1975 led a major land march to publicise the hope that not one more acre of Maori land would be alienated.
Women increasingly asserted, though with limited success, their rights to tertiary education, access to the professions and management, liberation from patriarchal dominance and domestic drudgery and fairer political representation. The birth control pill, which largely removed the fear of unwanted pregnancy, was a major factor in emancipating women, changing social attitudes and patterns and enabling them to pursue independent careers. The Women’s Electoral Lobby (WEL), for example, was established in 1975, the same year as a United Women’s Convention in Wellington attended by over 2000 women. Among other things, WEL drew attention to the absence of women from the legislature. Before the 1984 election only twenty women had been elected to parliament, thirteen Labour and seven National MPs, and only two, Labour’s Mabel Howard and National’s Hilda Ross had become cabinet ministers.
Both Labour and National governments prior to 1984 were happy to govern a pluralistic society in which the major sectors of society were recognised and involved in decision-making at the corporate level. The leaders of the farmers, manufacturers, employers and trade unions were constantly consulted by the politicians and civil servants and legislation and regulation were used to intervene frequently in the economy and to resolve conflicts between or among the interest groups. The state was no mere referee but a major player, with its own vested interest and agenda particularly in stabilising society and maximising production and export receipts. Some observers believed that New Zealand politics during this period was too consensual and that, in an attempt to maintain stability and security, hard decisions relating to the restructuring of the economy were delayed disastrously. Others felt that politicians lacked vision and/or courage and even if they recognised the imperatives for change feared voter backlash. Successive political leaders, it appeared to many, concentrated on short-term election winning tactics rather than bold strategies designed to rescue a decaying economy and an increasingly obsolete, wasteful and counter-productive welfare state which was locking many into an intergenerational dependency trap while failing to meet the needs of others.

During the postwar period most New Zealanders accepted without question the two party system, although from the advent of the Social Credit party in 1954 a minority of voters, which grew to about 20 per cent by the late 1970s, rejected both Labour and National. But as long as successive governments reflected the values and policies of the consensus, most voters did not appear too worried by the lack of checks and balances which allowed successive governments to act as elected dictatorships, subject only to limits self imposed by the politicians’ awareness of and respect for what was acceptable democratic behaviour. Certainly, without a written constitution, a constitutional court, or an upper house in the legislature after the Holland National government abolished the Legislative Council in 1950, or the separation of executive and legislature, all the Prime Ministers between 1945 and 1984, and indeed after 1984 as well, could force through parliament legislation or rule by executive regulation without effective opposition between elections. Compared to the period after 1984, however, arbitrary power was used between 1945 and 1984 with relative restraint, although one can find abuses from time to time throughout the post-war period.
The fact that no party gained a majority of votes, despite sometimes winning massive majorities in terms of seats in parliament, at any election after 1951 raised questions about the legitimacy of successive governments’ mandates and also about the fairness and responsiveness to public opinion of the first-past-the-post electoral system. By the 1970s not only Social Crediters, who clearly had a vested interest, were suggesting a change to proportional representation, though it took another twenty years to achieve a version of it.
From 1957, when Labour’s Finance Minister, Arnold Nordmeyer, and several younger Labour ministers started to stress the need for change, accepted certainties and the consensus itself were questioned from time to time by a few politicians and tentative economic and political alternatives were suggested, considered and even cautiously and minimally introduced. But the slow and hesitant evolutionary change during the 1960s and 1970s did not result in a major qualitative systemic difference. For almost twenty-five years after 1960 New Zealand politics was dominated by three superb politicians who also happened to be essentially very cautious and conservative men: Holyoake, Kirk and Muldoon. Failure to reform quickly or radically enough undoubtedly worsened the situation and made more draconian the remedial actions taken after 1984. The post-1984 reform of New Zealand’s political culture, economy and society, however, required at least at the elite level, a totally new, ideologically based set of shared assumptions, perceptions, values, interests and strategies to those which prevailed before 1984. Because of the nature of the political system once that elite found itself in control of government the economic and social revolution it launched changed the nature of New Zealand, destroying probably irreversibly both the consensus and the, arguably ill-founded, sense of security that had prevailed over the previous fifty or even one hundred years.


Post a Comment

<< Home