New Zealand. In February, the Government granted three Maori tribes, with a total of about 12,000 persons, compensation for land belonging to the indigenous people but previously seized by the state. Many Maori tribes have now received damages, but for the first time, intellectual property rights were also included in the agreement with the state. The Ngati Toa people (Maoris) received the copyright to their chin dance, which New Zealand’s rugby national team performed long before their matches and which was also used in advertising. The agreement is not expected to give any royalties to the Maoris, but will ensure that the chin dance is not exploited commercially.
According to countryaah, the decline in the country’s economy continued in 2009. The slowdown began in 2008 and was exacerbated by the international financial crisis. Gross domestic product declined throughout 2008 and continued to decline in the first half of 2009, making it the longest recession in the country’s history. Unemployment was just over 6 percent in 2009, the highest in nine years.
A majority of New Zealanders want the right to beat their children. In a referendum in August, 88 percent said that they should be allowed to shower for their children. The background was a law against children’s rights that was introduced in 2007 and which has divided the population. The purpose of the law was to stop the widespread child abuse in the country, but critics believe it is wrong to criminalize parents who reprimand their children. Only more than half of the country’s voters participated in the vote and answered the question: “Should a slab as part of good education be a criminal act in New Zealand?” Many, including Prime Minister John Key, said the issue was confusing and ambiguous. The referendum result is only advisory and John Key has said that he supports the law against child labor and that he does not want to change it as long as it works. In April 2009,
A former government minister, as well as Labor’s MP, was sentenced in October to six years in prison for corruption in connection with immigration matters. Taito Phillip Field was allowed to leave the government in 2005, excluded from the Labor Party in 2007 and lost his seat in Parliament at the 2008 election. He was the first New Zealand MP sentenced to prison for a serious crime. Corruption scandals are rare in New Zealand, which in 2009 was the world’s least corrupt country. This is according to the organization Transparency International’s annual corruption investigation presented in November.
In November, Sweden returned the remains of five Maori to New Zealand. The skeleton, which had previously been displayed at the Gothenburg Museum but which had long been stored, was handed over to Maoris representing the Museum of New Zealand. In connection with the surrender, a Moorish religious ceremony was conducted. For the Maoris, it is important to bring home their ancestors, as they must be buried in their place of residence so that their survivors can regain their dignity. Since 2004, the Maori have returned 149 skeletons and mummified heads from eight countries. Negotiations to recover remnants from Maoris, often brought to explorers’ museums in the 19th century, are handled by a special authority, Karanga Aotearoa, which the government has set up.