This does not mean that you are selfish or isolated, in fact quite the opposite, because if you make your own decisions, you are not told which countries that you can deal with and which you can't. Which was certainly a factor when we were tied to our mother United Kingdom’s apron strings and later becoming a close ally to the United States which of course is reoccurring to this day.
This then opens out to how do we remain/become independent which is inclusive of indigenous people and being independent sets the framework of this interview. The question of independence is central to many New Zealanders.
As an Australian, Matt was very interested in independence, for as the Australia Labour Government of Gough Whitlam in 1972 was closely followed by the Norman Kirk Labour Government here in NZ in the same year, there was a keen interest in charting a more independent course, away from being maneuvered by the interests of the larger Western powers. So that brought about an enormous wellspring of a desire for so many people here to become more independent and these was exciting times.
So what happened?
What is independence?
When NZ took the step of becoming Nuclear Free and banning nuclear weapons, this was frowned on by the Western nuclear powers even though the nuclear non proliferation treaty stated that the major nuclear powers were to commit to gradually and methodically disarm yet, to them NZ's act was totally against their wishes, because we were calling them out! We were making a step to disarm the world and help them in this process, but instead, NZ was treated as a pariah.
Matt agrees that our Nuclear Free Legislation which came about because of around 105 nuclear free towns, councils, boroughs etc - nation wide were set up as Nuclear Free Zones that comprised 76% of the country, these citizen initiated actions gave the then government in power, the mandate to pass into law our Nuclear Free Legislation. Note it can be done for GE and GMO free areas in NZ, as well as climate change initiatives as well.
Matt goes further ... he says when giving talks to people whether they me be about our Nuclear Free status and our Nuke Free process he points out that we are nothing special, that we are no different than other human beings - we are not super human beings - we are just ordinary people who inhabit this world and want a better world, but when the mass of people through a confluence of historical circumstances take an issue to their heart, governments have to quaver ... our actions here in NZ were a contribution to the safety and the security of the world, free of nuclear weapons and it is an on going issue.
This interview is compelling listening, for those of you wishing to clearly understand NZs role in the world, as we endeavour to retain our sense of sovereignty and perspective
NZ’s independence as a sovereign state. Being Free of US and banking hegemony.
Security and intelligence. Five Eyes and that the NZ Law Society went to the UN to register its concerns that New Zealanders are being spied on.
When NZ becomes a Nuclear Free Country, it was seminal event throughout the nation where as with nuclear disarmament today … has NZ lost its political voice as well as its will? Plus, Matt's fact finding trip to North Korea in 2010 for the Parliamentary Network on Nuclear Disarmament (PNND) to learn for himself what the challenges were and are right up until today.
Fukushima and nuclear radiation spewing into the Pacific, and carried by ocean currents across to the North American continent and beyond. Far worse than is being conveyed … Why no MSM coverage?
The secret TPPA and what it exudes for our collective future?
NZ’s increasing $93 billion of debt - How can four and half million people pay this off?
NZ media dumbing us down - Our radio and TV spectrum owned by private interests. Channel 7 TV, and radio - no Government support for the poor, but the rich can buy Sky TV and educate and motivate their children with National Geographic and the History Channel etc.
That New Zealanders once owned their country through Co-ops, mutual societies, trust banks, building societies, a State owned Bank and Insurance Offices, (SAC) State Advances Corporation for housing loans. Now nearly all gone, replaced with Corporate interests.
NZ being increasingly owned by overseas investors …
Why didn’t NZ have far closer relations with the Scandinavian counties so we could have learnt from their many people friendly social policies? Why has the Left in NZ ignored what has been happening in these countries and especially Finland?
This piece below by Matt in the The Daily Blog
""But electors like myself want to vote for a party that in international relations is going to place itself decisively on the side of human rights, is anti – imperialists and does not go along with the usual prevarications and double-talk of the - international community -.
It has taken us a long time to rid ourselves of the puppet tag that followed from our puppy dog role in ANZUS and SEATO and record of voting, mostly, whichever way the USA or Great Britain demanded.
New Zealand was the unquestioning pro-Western ally that could be relied upon to justify the immorality of the war against Vietnam, the massacres of the Suharto regime in Indonesia and East Timor, the apartheid regime in South Africa and whatever other violation of international law or human right required the truth to be the first casualty.
The revolt of New Zealanders against the war in Indo China, nuclear weapons and apartheid changed the rules. In recognition of its cussed new independence of spirit New Zealand was demoted from ally to friend.
All NZ has had to do is sign up to the China containment strategy and continue to downplay its Nuclear Weapon Free Zone status. What does surrendering sovereignty matter between friends? Now, will New Zealand stay out of a future Iraq if summonsed? This craven position gives Labour a great opportunity…
It is now important for progressive MPs (hands up please) not to go along with the farce of a government dominated Privileges Committee inquiry (and having chaired it for 3 years I know how the parties on it protect their own) and to demand a wide ranging, adequately resourced, fully representative select committee enquiry using all its powers to subpoena witnesses and documents.""