Amongst the wealth of useful things that we've been learning about New Zealand over the last few days, there have been a couple of reminders that you can't just pick up ideas/terms/concepts from the UK and translate them over here. A few people have pointed out to us that decentralization/devolution/empowerment is a nice idea, but when the population is only 4 million, the government is pretty local in any case.
And we've also learnt:
- That the 'New Labour' over here was a hard left offshoot of the labour party, led by those who felt the party was selling out to the right
- That 'multi-culturalism' is a right wing term here ' used to try to undermine the special place that the Maori have in New Zealand's society and government.
'and, finally, Simon and I both have a new favourite MP over here ' Nandor Tanzcos, the (opely dope-smoking), World's first Rastafarian MP, who made it into Parliament as a Green MP under the proportional representation system. More of that in Westminster please!
More soon, unless it all gets too much...!