New Zealand’s dance with division is not over yet

Research output: Contribution to Newspaper/Magazine/BulletinFeatured article


New Zealand’s October 14 election coincided with the Voice referendum where Australians decisively said ‘No’ to enshrining divisive race-based politics in the Constitution. Watching from across the pond, New Zealanders might reflect on the Australian experience that divided and continues to divide the nation as elite activists double down on their pre-referendum positions. However, New Zealanders may have little influence on the outcome as their Mixed Member Proportional (MMP) system forces coalition governments. This may mean the Act Party, the National Party’s junior coalition partner, will expect the government to test the principles of the Treaty of Waitangi by referendum. The decolonising trend that is currently shaking the foundations of Western liberal democracies is still evident in New Zealand politics. Indeed, it may well be a long, slow accident in the making if things don’t go in Chris Luxon’s favour.


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