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New Zealand

Yearbook 1998

1998 New ZealandNew Zealand. Despite the 1997 Prime Minister's shift from James Bolger to Jenny Shipley, the ruling New Zealand National Party found it difficult to strengthen its position. Since Bolger became ambassador to the United States, the ruling party in a May election election could hardly defend its mandate. The party and coalition partner New Zealand First (NZF) maintained their government position with 61 of the parliament's 120 seats.

According to Countryaah, the mid-right coalition, however, lost its majority through a NZF drop-off and fell completely short in August after the NZF leader and finance minister Winston Peters were forced to resign after a fight over privatization of Wellington airport. With 44 mandates and parliamentary support from 18 other members, Shipley could still remain as the leader of a minority government.

Asia's financial crisis also slowed the economy in New Zealand. Despite rising unemployment, the government eased its immigration policy in October in the hope that well-educated immigrants would create more jobs and growth.

A brief visit by US Secretary of State Madeleine Albright in August was seen as a sign of better relations after the crisis in 1985. At that time, New Zealand broke the defense alliance with the United States by banning nuclear weapons in its territory.

1998 New Zealand

Pacific as a nuclear weapons-free zone

A 1987 law prohibited the presence of nuclear weapons in the ports of Aotearoa; a law that was a permanent challenge for France and the United States, which used the South Pacific as a test site, and led to a breach of US-Aotearoa defense cooperation.

The National Party won the election in October 1990, but the change of government did not change the country's economic policy. An increasing number of privatizations, less protectionism was witnessed and the health, education and social sectors were sharply cut. The result was lower inflation, but on the other hand increased unemployment.

The National Party's popularity dive was not reflected in the 1993 election results, with the party sitting in 50 of Parliament's 99 seats and Jim Bolger being re-elected prime minister. The leading opposition party, Labor, won 45 seats.

In 1994, Aotearoa managed to make a surplus in the state budget - for the first time in 17 years. The currency strengthened, unemployment fell and inflation stabilized at 2%.

Between 1994 and 1995, the government paid damages and distributed 15,400 hectares of land to the Tainuians from North Island, who had claimed the rights to the colonized areas in the last century. Even the English Queen Elizabeth II officially apologized for the assaults that had taken place in connection with the colonization of the islands. The English crown also paid compensation to the Maori tribe Ngai Tahu in 1996.

Official unemployment rates continued to decline until the rate stabilized at around 6% in 1995. Young people, Maoris and immigrants from other Pacific islands are among those most affected by unemployment, and nearly 10% of the population lives on transfer income. New Zealanders concern and interest in environmental issues reinforced Jim Boulder's position in the 1996 election, when he severely distanced himself from the French nuclear test at the Moruroa Atoll.

Bolger's National Party strengthened compared to Labor, although both parties lost seats to minority parties. The first parliament, where the members were elected by proportional elections, brought the number of Maori in parliament to double, while the number of female parliamentarians increased from 14 to 21 of the parliament's 120 seats.

Between 1988 and 1996, the number of public servants dropped from 71,000 to 32,900, and health and education spending was cut. Aotearoa, New Zealand consolidated its position as a neoliberalist showcase. The consequences of the reforms introduced since the mid-1980's have been followed with great attention in the Western world.

Bolger left his post as prime minister in December 1997, after facing criticism from Winston Peters, deputy prime minister and leader of New Zealand First, the government's support party, which secured the National Party's majority in parliament. Jenny Shipley, former traffic minister, became the country's first female prime minister.

The internal conflicts of the late 1990's in Indonesia and Papua New Guinea increasingly attracted Australia into these regional conflicts. New Zealand has followed a similar policy. troops to the Australian led UN peacekeeping force, which in September 1999 entered East Timor. Ifht. Papua had already in 1997 played the role of peacemaker between the rebels on the island of Bougainville and the government of Papua.

In the December 1999 elections, the Labor Party received 52 of the 120 seats in Parliament. In the parliament are 16 representatives of the Maori people, 2 gays and 35 women. In the latter group we also find Prime Minister Helen Clark, the leader of the opposition and a transsexual - the first MP in the world to have undergone a gender change operation.

The Labor Party entered into a coalition with the Alliance coalition, led by Jim Anderton - former chairman of the Labor Party, which, however, broke with the party in protest of its neoliberal development. The government raised the minimum wage by 8%, adjusted rents according to tenants' incomes, and raised the tax to 39% on the portion of personal income exceeding US $ 30,000. In April 2000, the government decided that the state would no longer recognize the titles "Sir" and "Dame" which had been taken over from the British crown. That same month, the Prime Minister rejected a proposal by Liberal leader John Hewson to form a federation of independent states with Australia.

 

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