Questions of Sovereignty: Just who does have the final say in N.Z…

Questions Of Sovereignty: Who Has The Final Say In New Zealand? – And Should We Be Frightened Of Finding Out?

Day 506: On 25 May 1978 a massive Police operation, backed by the NZ Army, evicted 218 protesters from their occupation village on Bastion Point. This was the last time a Kiwi prime minister unequivocally answered the question: “Who has the final say in New Zealand?”


ONLY A FOOL would attempt to portray sovereignty as an unimportant issue. (See The NZ Herald, Editorial, 11/2/15) It takes a special sort of smugness and a huge amount of ignorance to suggest that “practical” people don’t really care who has (or should have) the final say in their country. Only someone for whom the idea of not having the final say is genuinely inconceivable would make so absurd a claim. And only someone with no real knowledge or understanding of the past could possibly believe that sovereignty is ever acquired cheaply or relinquished lightly.


The question of precisely where sovereignty is located in New Zealand is by no means an easy one to answer. Indeed, it has been many years since anyone seriously tried. The first instinct of our politicians, bureaucrats, and even of our police officers, whenever the question of sovereignty raises its deeply problematic head, is to fudge, fudge, fudge, and, if necessary, fudge again.


The last time a New Zealand political leader unequivocally asserted the indivisible sovereignty of the post-colonial Settler State was Rob Muldoon. Faced with the refusal of Ngati Whatua protesters to abandon their 506-day occupation of Auckland’s Bastion Point, Prime Minister Muldoon ordered their forcible eviction.

Read more here:


Acknowledgements: Chris Trotter

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