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New Zealand History

New Zealand - national flagNew Zealand - national flag

The flag was officially adopted in 1902, but dates from 1869, when it was used exclusively by government ships. The stars go back to a Maori national flag from the early 1800's. The four stars form the constellation Southern Cross. The Union Jack in the upper left corner should be reminiscent of New Zealand's ties to Britain.

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New Zealand - prehistory

The indigenous people of New Zealand, from whom the Maori originate, seem akin to the people of eastern Polynesia, from which immigration probably took place in the 1100's. The residents subsisted from the beginning by hunting, fishing, collecting shellfish and gardening. The root vegetables taro, kumara and yams were grown on terraces surrounded by stone dikes. The dog whose meat was valued was the only domestic animal. The hunt for the large moa birds, which could not fly, became fatal for the species and led to its extinction around 1500.

In the beginning, the settlement was linked to the coast, later it also spread to the interior. The most densely populated were the east coast of the South Island and the northern parts as well as the southern tip of the North Island. With the growing population, armed conflicts became frequent, and in the last centuries of prehistoric times, several thousand fortified villages were built on high terraces, pa 's. Before the arrival of Europeans, the use of metals was unknown.

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New Zealand - history

The first European in the area was the Dutch explorer Abel Tasman, who in 1642 named the islands after the Dutch province of Zeeland. James Cook mapped the shores of the North and South Islands in 1769-70. Landings were attempted in several places, but were often met by aggressive Maori; eventually, however, managed to achieve friendly contact. For the next 50 years, it was especially sailors, seal and whale hunters and later traders who settled in the primitive barrack towns. They brought with them spirits, a number of diseases, and not least weapons, which the Maori bought and used against each other in bloody tribal wars. In 1814, the Anglican Church Missionary Society established the first trading and mission station, and later a number of other societies followed, trying with increasing success to influence and change the Maori way of life not only in the religious sphere but also by training them in making salable products.

New Zealand History

In order to organize forestry and agriculture in the fertile area, labor had to be procured from outside, and in the 1830's, European companies enticed poor Europeans to emigrate. In 1839, the private New Zealand Company sent from London a fleet of workers to cultivate land at present-day Wellington. To prevent French expansion and accidental private immigration, naval officer William Hobson annexed New Zealand on behalf of the British government in 1840, which then had approximately 2000 European residents and about 100,000 Maori. Together with a number of Maori chiefs, the British government signed the Treaty of Waitangi in February 1840, which obliged the Maori to partly recognize the British crown, partly only to sell land to the government. The British, in turn, promised to respect and protect the property of the Maori; the Treaty proved difficult to comply with in practice.

New Zealand Company, fortune hunters and missionaries continued to set up new settlements, and around 1855 the number of Europeans exceeded the number of Maori. When gold was found in the 1860's, even greater immigration began. Most of the gold was bound in rocks that first had to be crushed so that the gold could be extracted by chemical means. Capital-intensive mining companies took over the extraction, which, however, created only a few jobs. The many new immigrants wanted land, but it was difficult to meet the demand. The Maori were opposed to selling, because they perceived the earth as a mother and thus a part of itself. There were a series of bloody clashes between, on the one hand, Maori and, on the other, provincial authorities and settlers, who often lacked an understanding of Maori culture. Despite enmity, the various Maori clans were forced to cooperate with each other. In 1862-70, actual wars were fought between Maori and immigrants on the North Island. The war was lost by the Maori, who had large tracts of land confiscated.

Under Julius Vogel (1835-89), who was Prime Minister 1873-75 and 1876, he succeeded in resolving the disputes, expanding the infrastructure and establishing a national identity and a British unitary state. However, the problem of the Maori and their land was never really solved. Around 1905 there were only approximately 40,000 Maori, but over 1 million. European immigrants. The land was undergoing transformation from forest to steppe and agricultural land. Most of the settler families were British, but at times immigrants from other European countries also came. After 1864, a number of southern Jews immigrated, inspired by former council president DG Monradand his family, who in 1866 settled in Palmerston North. Danish dairymen and farmers were pioneers in New Zealand agriculture, who were inspired by the Danish cooperative movement. Political parties first emerged in connection with the introduction of the right to vote for men in 1879. Women were given the right to vote in 1893, and the same year Richard J. Seddon of the Liberal Party came to power. As Prime Minister until 1906, he implemented a series of reforms that laid the foundation for the welfare state.

In 1901, Australia chose to become an independent state union, while the New Zealanders chose to remain a British colony in exchange for a higher degree of autonomy. In 1907, New Zealand became the dominion, autonomous territory, within the British Empire. Around 1900, half the population lived on agriculture and cattle breeding, and after the new refrigeration technology made it possible to ship dairy products and meat to Britain in the 1880's, it became New Zealand's main export market.

It was especially the neo-conservatives and peasants of the cities who were behind the election of William F. Massey from the Reform Party as Prime Minister 1912-25. During his reign, approximately 100,000 young people joined ANZAC, the Australian-New Zealand Army Corps that fought on the Allied side during World War I, in which every third New Zealander between the ages of 20 and 40 died or was wounded. The Labor Party won a majority in Parliament in the 1935 election, and in a short time a number of social and health reforms were implemented. In 1939, ANZAC troops were sent to Egypt, where they joined the Allied side of Europe. When Japan entered the war in 1941, the United States and New Zealand made defense contacts, which were expanded after the war with the ANZUS Pact (1951) and the membership of SEATO(1954). In 1947, New Zealand chose to become an independent nation within the Commonwealth. The Conservative National Party came to power in 1949 and ruled the country with short interruptions until 1984. The welfare state was developed and expanded, which was possible due to low unemployment, steady population growth and a controlled immigration that favored Europeans. In foreign policy, an anti-communist policy was pursued in close cooperation with e.g. Australia and the United States, and in connection with the wars in Korea and Vietnam, New Zealand made troops available.

The oil crises of the 1970's and the international downturn hit the country hard. With the conservative Robert Muldoon as Prime Minister 1975-84, a series of economic horse cures were carried out to rectify the economy. After French agents sank the Greenpeace ship Rainbow Warrior in Auckland Harbor in 1985, David Lange's Labor government teamed up with ANZUS partner the United States and nuclear power France by declaring New Zealand a nuclear - weapon-free zone. That same year, the countries committed to the South Pacific Forum, in which New Zealand plays a prominent role, in order not to possess or have nuclear weapons stationed in the future and not to dump nuclear waste. New Zealand also denied US military access to ports and air bases. However, Prime Minister James Bolger (b. 1935) of the National Party re-established relations with the United States from 1990 and continued the reformation of New Zealand society towards a liberal model state, where most public subsidies were abolished: in the "New Zealand model" everything had to work on the terms of free initiative and free market forces. In practice, however, it has created major social and economic problems. In 1997, New Zealand got its first female Prime Minister, Jennifer Shipley of the National Party.

The liberal reform policy pursued by changing governments under the Labor Party and the National Party has had drastic consequences for large groups in society, not least the Maori. The gap between high and low wage incomes has widened and the number of marginalized has increased. The reform policy has led to a break in the political party image: The two old parties have been hit by internal divisions, and new parties have emerged, the populist party New Zealand First, which has gained strong support from the Maori people. The new proportional representation system from 1996, which has meant that no party can rule alone with an absolute majority, has also weakened the stability of earlier times. Thus, New Zealand First had a major influence on government policy, creating internal unrest in the ruling party, the National Party, and opposition to Prime Minister James Bolger. Bolger was ousted, and a new National Party government under Jenny Shipley limited this influence, which, however, contributed to the party losing the election in 1999. Labor formed a government again, this time withHelen Elizabeth Clark as Prime Minister and supported by several smaller parties. Clark was able to begin his third round as prime minister when Labor won a narrow victory in 2005. The party has pursued a tight economic policy that has provided economic growth but has promised to spend more money on education, health and social services. In the 2008 general election, Clark suffered defeat and was succeeded as Prime Minister by John Key of the National Party. John Key regained the post in the 2011 and 2014 elections.

The Maori struggle for independence and land has been radicalized in the context of the crisis and reform policies. In 1987, Maori became the official language along with English, and the language has gained an increasing role in both the education system and the public sphere. Official internet sites are also available in Maori, for example. In the 1990's, the Maori claimed large tracts of land and fishing rights. The government was under political pressure to grant the rights - especially to fishing - to private investors, but the Maori have been given land rights or financial compensation. The government also apologized for the suffering and injustices the Europeans had inflicted on the Maori. However, the social and economic differences between the Maori and the pakeha (whites) are still great, and the Maori are still fighting for their rights and for the preservation of their culture.

New Zealand pursues a less active foreign policy than Australia and has been critical of international coalitions since the 1980's anti-nuclear policy. The Clark government was against the war in Iraq in 2003, which led to a tense relationship with the United States. However, New Zealand has contributed troops to conflict areas, such as East Timor in 1999, Afghanistan and the Solomon Islands in 2003. New Zealand is still characterized by immigration, but today an increasing proportion of immigrants come from Asia. By 2021, it is expected that 13% of the population will be of Asian descent.

New Zealand - economy

New Zealand has a small, open economy in which agriculture plays a fairly large role. The country has had a tradition of significant state interference in the economy. This has involved a high degree of support for agriculture and for the construction of a large number of publicly funded social welfare schemes. In the 1960's, New Zealand experienced major balance of payments problems, and developments worsened in the years following the two oil crises, when a period of low economic growth, high inflation and dramatic foreign debt set in.

Following the 1984 election, the Labor government launched extensive reforms. The exchange rate of the New Zealand dollar was made floating so that it could better reflect the competitiveness of the country, and most capital restrictions were abolished. Export subsidies to agriculture were eliminated, while import controls and tariffs were reduced, leaving business with much stronger competition than before. Tax reforms reduced the highest income tax rates at the same time as VAT was introduced. State-owned trading companies were made profit-oriented, and a number of state-owned enterprises, especially in the fields of transport and communications, were privatized.

Changing governments have since continued the reform policy. Social welfare benefits have been reduced and the labor market deregulated; Among other things, wage formation is made decentralized, and the former compulsory membership of a trade union done voluntarily. It has also, through an active investment policy, succeeded in attracting significant foreign investment to the country. In light of this, however, in 1998 the government downplayed the privatizations of strategically important state-owned enterprises and restricted the right of foreigners to acquire ownership interests in airports, ports and gas and power plants.

The extensive structural changes resulted in a relatively weak economic development in the late 1980's, but from the early 1990's the pace increased significantly, albeit with setbacks associated with the Asian crisis at the end of the decade. Although the higher growth led to unemployment falling from approximately 11% in 1992 to 4% in 2005, inflation was subdued. This is partly due to the reforms in the labor market, and partly to the fact that the central bank, which was made politically independent in 1989, strives to conduct monetary policy so tightly that underlying inflation is kept within the announced target, which since 1997 has been 0-3%. the year. The reform policy, which has led to increased income inequality, has been modified somewhat since the late 1990's; eg the top tax has again increased,

New Zealand's economic interests were previously linked to the UK, but this country's integration into the EU and European agricultural subsidies has led to New Zealand orient themselves with the Pacific, notably Australia and Japan, which together account for 1/3 of the total trade. In particular, relations with Australia are close. Thus, since 1983, the two countries have had a formalized cooperation, Closer Economic Relations, which has led to the abolition of all tariffs and quantitative restrictions on trade between the two countries in 1990. Periodically, the countries have also discussed the possibility of creating a common market between them. New Zealand also has free trade agreements with Thailand and Singapore and negotiates with China.

In 2010, Denmark's exports to New Zealand were DKK 1.17 billion. DKK, and imports were 931 mill. kr.

 

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