Thus it was the first major country to give indigenous peoples the vote as well as all women. New Zealand 'was' probably the most democratic country in the world.
Cut to today, November 2014 and we have lost our way, the global malaise of a dumbed down society has burrowed its way into the lobotomised minds of our
once cherished (nearly) egalitarian NZ society.
What we have now is a circus, of one-liners, promises, innuendo, double entendre, slush money and an orchestrated litany of unconscious parody, masquerading as truth and good will.
Main stream media, MSM, is totally controlled by market forces of the status quo that tell us of a bright future and when we look at the other British Commonwealth countries, at Australia, Canada, and Britain -- all have conservative governments, we realise just how clever the media is at manipulating our minds.
There is little critical analysis anymore; frightened academics have run for cover, the civic elders remain silent, the pillars of society have retired into lavish accommodation, the business leaders ALMOST NEVER rock the boat, and many of the kaumatua are now part of the Maori brown table.
Where once NZ was the envy of the world, where co-ops were the founding system of farming and business, where we had compassionate welfare for the disadvantaged, where free education and health were the priority of the nation. Many banks were owned by the people, via the Government or Trust organisations. The same for insurance of homes, factories, cars and lives. We had many Mutual Insurance Societies which had no shareholders other than the policy holders and insured. We could get Government loans as well as Government housing, or join Building Societies. Liquor was distributed by trusts that then shared the profits with volunteer community organisations. Accident and sickness covered virtually every person in the nation. We were up there with our cousins in Scandinavia.
Now look at where we are today … Dirty politics - subversive email campaigns, hate filled invective fills the blogosphere. Underneath our daily lives a torrent of deception, is breaching into our collective consciousness. All is not well in the ship of kiwland. Mutiny is in the air, the Captain has been found to have been lying to both the crew and the passengers, whilst offshore pirates are sneaking on board, and deviousness is everywhere.
Yes, we have now have no true leadership, no mana, no ideas, nothing ecologically sustainable from the National government … Instead we get acerbic one-liners, smart jibes and disconnection. We seldom, if ever, hear about the biosphere, the acidic oceans, Fukushima, the future of children, the future of grandchildren, or the ecosystems - the future of our planet as a super organism, that freely gives us a body to grow into, air to breath, water to drink and a food chain that is now being patented and controlled. Even water is now being bought up by global corporations as well.
Breathe deeply, for this air is still free (if somewhat polluted) and it is also the invisible force that all 7.5 billion plus share. Without it, we would all be flat on the ground in our death throes - panicking after a minute of not having it.
However there is another way -- with people power. Remember New Zealands landmark legislation -- becoming a Nuclear Free country back in 1987? By the end of 1984, all Nuclear powered and armed ships were banned from NZ waters and 40 local authorities throughout NZ had nuclear-free policies and by 1987 up to 72 per cent of the population were living in 105 locally declared nuclear-weapon-free zones. Which gave the Labour Government the mandate to pass this into Law.
This today is also happening with regard to enabling GE Free Zones and keeping GMOs out of the NZ environment. Currently the whole of Northland is a GE and GMO free zone, enshrined into local council laws. Because Northland is peninsular, the only land bridge from the rest of the North Island (Te Ika a Maui) is a kilometre land isthmus situated at Tamaki in Auckland.
The aim now is to have Auckland be the gatekeeper and pass local bylaws to have Auckland become GE and GMO free also. A small band of very dedicated activists are diligently doing their best to educate council officials of the downside of GE and encourage the Auckland Council to become GE and GMO free as soon as possible, so as to make sure Northland becomes a sanctioned ark if for some nefarious reason GE and GMO ingredients are released into NZs environment.
Hawke's Bay primary producers are also wanting their area to become GE free too and are engaged in a battle with Central Government on this. It is ongoing and frustrating, because localising our democracy is something that big government does not like.
Bear in mind that the current National Govt, in bed with biotech firms and certain NZ scientists with questionable ethics would dearly like GE material in our dairy, horticulture and mixed cropping activities which from an environmental standpoint, would totally destroy NZ's already tawdry image of being clean and green.
Now other groups are coming together to strategise and have Councils become climate change aware and take action to limit greenhouse gas emissions so that in the near future, Councils across our country will follow in the same footsteps as our nuclear free zone legislation.
So there is hope, providing the TPPA, Transpacific Partnership Agreement does not come over the top of all this and completely smother local initiatives, with the threat of gargantuan law suits and worse.
New Zealand has always prided itself on being close to an egalitarian society, and we continue to work towards this even as the corporate juggernaut (hovers over) and endeavours to plough us over as of this moment.
So yes, lets share breath and inspiration and be grateful and thankful for its invisible life-giving qualities. Because, it is the environment that sustains us with air, water and food not the economy.
Post Script Mid May 2016.
Nothing has really changed for the good other than the fact that for many years and before, from 2000 to around 2009 NZ was according to Corruption Perceptions Index of Transparency International as the most honest country to do business with. In the last few years we have fallen down to number 3 and with the recent goings on with the Panama leaks, there is no doubt that our Prime Minister, who has a terrible track record of obfuscation, half truths, and 'forgetfulness' that when the next global assessment comes out we will be further on down the list. "You will know them by the fruits they bear." Mathew 7:15-20
Note that Canada finally threw out the conservative government that was was bed with the Neo Con, Neo Liberal agenda where the winner takes all.
I wonder if their new PM will be able to withstand the threats that will be coming his way and be able to make Canada more independent and sovereign - yet still be a global player for goodwill.