Dalziel’s fascinating book The Origins of New Zealand Diplomacy has an abundance of interesting information about early government in New Zealand. We found the information about the position of Agent-General particularly interesting.
1871 First Agent-General appointed
The Agent-General is New Zealand’s first permanent overseas representative. There are five Agent-Generals between 1871 and 1905, including Isaac Earl Featherston, Sir Julius Vogel, Frances Dillon Bell, Westby Brook Perceval and William Pember Reeves. In 1905 the title is changed to High Commissioner. (Dalziel, 1975: 13)
Dalziel, R. M. (1975). The origins of New Zealand diplomacy, p. 13. Wellington: Victoria University Press.
Identifying how an event will be historically significant can be difficult when it is initially unfolding. However, considering current events within an historical framework can be useful for understanding their potential impacts. With this in mind, we have been taking note of some of this year’s key events for possible inclusion into the next edition of Nation Dates:
April: Same sex marriage legalised
The Marriage Amendment Act 2013, which legalises same sex marriage is passed 77 votes to 44.
July: Immigration Amendment Act 2013 passed
The new legislation aims to deter people smuggling. However there are concerns, as the new legislation will allow the court to detain groups of 10 or more people, which some see as a breech of civil rights.
August: Fonterra botulism scare
Tests carried out by AgResearch suggest that botulism causing bacteria are present in whey protein produced by dairy giant Fonterra. The whey protein is commonly used in infant formula and the scare causes some trading partners to block New Zealand dairy products. Further tests by the Ministry for Primary Industries reveal that the initial tests were inaccurate.
August: David Shearer resigns as Labour leader
David Shearer steps down from his position as leader of the Labour party, as he does not believe that he has the full confidence of the caucus. In order to elect a new leader Labour has adopted a new model, where the voting ratio has been split 40% caucus, 40% members and 20% unions.
August: Government Communications Security Bureau and related legislation Bill passed
The controversial bill is passed in the house by two votes. The new legislation extends the powers of the SIS and military to gather data on New Zealand citizens. This had been illegal under the previous legislation.