local: Most New Zealand politicians (at least in public)
development through youth participation: "Youth participation
isn't difficult ...
postive, healthy lives: The Youth Development Strategy
guiding the Ministry ...
out the local action: Youth councils are one way...
means partnership: Participation depends on citizens wanting
to participate - and ...
for Citizenship Education - empowering citizens: The Ladder
of Citizenship Participation ...
the aspirations of Pacific peoples: The Ministry of Pacific
Island Affairs exists to ...
migrants up to succeed: Experienced senior New Zealand government
officials look forward to the day ...
defines citizenship: National Party leader Bill English says
"we have come up with the notion ...
English defines citizenship
National Party leader Bill
English says “we have come up with the notion of citizenship because
it is an idea which expresses much more what we have in common for the
future, rather than what divides us, from the past. We want to develop
a framework, a policy around the Treaty of Waitangi that enables all New
Zealanders to have a say about how it develops.
Bill English defines “a common citizenship as a collection of rights
and obligations which we all share by virtue of being a citizen of New
Zealand. It is a positive way to talk about what we have in common. It
has the virtue of being applicable whether you are a recently arrived
Sikh or a Māori who has been here for thirty generations."
The National party is not using the words biculturalism and multiculturalism.
It is trying to create a positive way and context in which to discuss
the issues around the Treaty, around the status of Māori and around
government policy, as to whether it is separatist or not. “If you
don’t create a positive context, you just end up with liberals versus
What it means to be a New
Instead of people being forced
to make a choice between multiculturalism or biculturalism, National says,
'let's talk about what it means to be a New Zealander'. "Because
that has to underpin your democracy, and the direction in which you take
these arguments, driving towards a better understanding of what it means
to be a New Zealander. Then you have a better opportunity to deal with
the differences. There are clearly differences," he says.
Meanings of citizenship
Bill English says the meanings
of “citizenship” are interrelated:
- a common citizenship as
a collection of rights and obligations which we all share by virtue
of being a citizen of New Zealand,
- citizenship that new settlers
get when they apply to the Citizenship Unit of the Department of Internal
- citizenship education
in the wider sense, reflected in the approach of the DecisionMaker Guide
to Parliament and Government.
Bill English says that when
people apply to the Citizenship Unit for their citizenship status, “they
believe that the institution of Parliament and government are dealing
with all New Zealanders in an evenhanded way. That’s Parliament’s
and democracy’s intent. What they will find, in fact, is that one
group of citizens increasingly have a set of rights that give them a prior
say about what should happen. So when you apply for citizenship as a new
migrant you don’t actually get the same rights as every other New
Zealand citizen. You get a set of rights, others enjoy a different set."
DecisionMaker asked Bill English to comment on the thrust for more citizenship
education at large in NZ, and for particular groups – as illustrated
by the DecisionMaker Guide to Parliament and Government approach.
“ I think it is a great idea. This is a country that needs a widespread
understanding of the rights and opportunities of being a citizen,”
Citizenship – a policy
for more than one party
Bill English says National
is the only party who can put into practice a direction that is an alternative
to the current New Zealand Labour led government.
“ The smaller parties tend to have stronger, less developed, more
popularised views, sometimes extreme,” he says.
Bill English is working for a position for government “which we
can implement. We need to get popular support, to express what the public
feel, and can't express. We don’t expect the small parties to develop
serious policy. They don’t have the resources, or the need. We do,”
He says the citizenship policy is an alternative from the centre right,
to the positions of the centre-left parties. Centre-right parties have
got a concern about the Treaty of Waitangi and voiced those pretty loudly
in the last election campaign.
" As a larger party we are developing some ideas. We are most concerned.
We are trying to find our way through, especially in a way that takes
account of the large number of New Zealanders who are excluded from the
discussion about the treaty," Bill English says.
He says the Labour-led government takes a different view. “They
see the Treaty as being a discussion between Government and Māori.
This excludes most other people, because they think most other people
are uneducated, or probably racist. They are heading in a direction the
public feel very uneasy about, because they see it separating out the
Māori interests from the wider interests of the community."
" There is an ideology in government that Māori do have a separate
and different status in New Zealand. That’s pretty deep-seated.
We think it is going too far," he says.