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New Zealand

Yearbook 1997

1997 New ZealandNew Zealand. According to Countryaah, Jenny Shipley succeeded James Bolger in December as the country's prime minister (New Zealand's first female). She had previously taken over the post of leader of the New Zealand National Party in what was described as a palace revolution during a lengthy foreign trip undertaken by the incumbent prime minister. Shipley represents the right wing within his party.

1997 New Zealand

The New Zealand Commission on GMOs issued a report supporting the use of GMOs in the country's agriculture. It led to a general uproar among consumers, environmentalists and the country's indigenous population, forcing the government to impose a moratorium on its use until October 2003.

Queen Elisabeth II visited the country on the occasion of her golden anniversary. It prompted Prime Minister Clark to say that "it was inevitable that New Zealand would be transformed into a republic. It will simply reflect the country's real situation in the 21st century as fully independent and at a distance of 20,000 km from the UK .

In celebration of Papua New Guinea's 40 years of independence in July, Clark formally apologized for the treatment the Papuans had been subjected to by New Zealanders during the colonial era.

Clark won the parliamentary elections in July 2002. That led to a violent internal showdown in the Nationalist Party, which had the worst election in 70 years. That Clark did not get an absolute majority in parliament was solely due to progress for the Greens and other smaller parties.

In 1983, New Zealand and Australia signed a Trade and Economic Relations Agreement (CER), which should be a first step towards integrating the economies of the two countries. By expanding its trade with the growing Asian economies, Wellington has strengthened its economic participation in Asia. The country has spoken in the ASEAN of the East Asian countries and is actively participating in the Pacific cooperation APEC.

Although the country's economic growth reached its peak since World War II, growth has slowed sharply. This is partly due to the low growth in the UK, which remains the main importer of New Zealand's products and the high tariff for agricultural products in the industrially developed part of the world. Tourism is also an important source of foreign currency. Most tourists are Australians, Japanese, North Americans and British. The crisis in Asia in the late 1990's led to a sharp decline in tourism revenue, which has only slowly risen again in the early 21st century.

Immigrant discrimination has not previously been a topic of debate in the country until the National Human Rights Commission in 2003 published a study showing that 70% of New Zealanders discriminate against Asian immigrants. The Commission therefore led a campaign to increase tolerance towards immigrants. According to official estimates, since the beginning of the 1980's, over 200,000 Asian immigrants have come to the country, and by 2021, statistics believe that 13% of the country's population will have Asian origin. Asians have serious problems finding work even when they are well qualified. In August 2003, the race relations ombudsman, Joris de Bres, declared that rising racism against Asians was a consequence of changes in the immigration pattern. In the 1970's immigration was predominantly from other Pacific countries, and discrimination was therefore directed primarily at these. Today, the majority of immigrants are Asians, and from the beginning of the 21st century, discrimination has therefore turned in this direction.

In July 2004, New Zealand asked for help from the United Kingdom and Norway for the restoration of the Antarctic cabins used early by explorers such as Robert Falcon Scott and Carsten Borchgrevink. The Antarctic Conservation Association is headquartered in New Zealand, and is now submitting a project to preserve the cottages that were already in rapid decline. Expenses rose to several million. US $ even though no precise budgets were available. Helen Clark declared that foreign aid was indispensable, and as the project touched on a piece of shared history between New Zealand, Norway and the United Kingdom, she was optimistic about obtaining the necessary funds.

In August, a Jewish chapel in the Makara cemetery west of Wellington was ignited and destroyed. At the same time, dozens of headstones were destroyed by vandals. The government condemned the attack and characterized it as an unacceptable racist act. Police investigated the possible connection to a similar assault on the Bolton Street cemetery in July. It is also located at Wellington. Before the first attack, New Zealand had imposed diplomatic sanctions on Israel in protest against Israeli Mossad agents' activities on New Zealand territory: Uriel Zosha Kelman and Eli Cara had been sentenced to 6 months in prison for illegally trying to obtain New Zealand passports. Helen Clark stated that the attempts to forge identity constituted an attack on New Zealand's sovereignty.

In December, Parliament passed with 65 votes against the 55 Civil Code Act, until its entry into force in April 2005. The law recognizes male-female cohabitation and grants the couple the same rights as marriages in areas such as authority over children, tax and welfare assistance. The law also applies to gay couples.

 

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