Key’s Colonial Daze



“WE ARE AT THE CORE … a British colony and I thought there was an argument that New Zealanders could be treated in a way which reflected that.”

That was John Key’s pitch to the British prime minister, David Cameron, in a pull-aside at last week’s nuclear summit in Washington DC. The New Zealand prime minister was attempting to soften the treatment being meted out to Kiwis under the UK’s harsh new immigration regime.

Now, we all know our Prime Minister is notoriously loose with the language he uses, so our first impulse is to dismiss Key’s constitutionally and historically nonsensical “We are at the core … a British colony” as just another (particularly bad) example of his verbal and conceptual imprecision.

We would simply assume that he was attempting to play the “How can Mother England treat New Zealanders so badly after everything we’ve done for her?” card. Riffing on that favourite teenage riposte: “I didn’t ask to be born!” Something along the lines of: “Hey! It was your lot who colonised New Zealand in the first place! Remember?”

But if those were our assumptions, then we got it badly wrong. Because this morning (4/4/16) on Paul Henry’s show, with David Cameron nowhere in sight, John Key said it again. Twice.

“We are a British colony.”

Somehow, New Zealand’s Prime Minister has convinced himself that, constitutionally, his country remains a colonial appendage of the United Kingdom. That the granting of Self-Governing Dominion status in 1907 never happened. That the 1931 Statute of Westminster, which the First Labour Government adopted in 1947, thereby signalling this country’s emergence into full and independent nationhood, is but a figment of our historians’ imaginations. That the independent “Realm of New Zealand” – of which Queen Elizabeth II is “Sovereign in Right” – has no legal existence.

TDB Recommends

Can Key really be so ignorant? Can the man who has led this country for eight years truly possess so tenuous a grasp on its political and constitutional realities? Surely not. Because if it’s true; if our 176 year journey as a people towards nationhood and independence means precisely nothing to him; then we are all in much more trouble than we thought.

It must mean that all the Prime Minister’s recent talk about changing the New Zealand flag to “better reflect who we are” was utterly insincere. What would a country that is still “at the core … a British colony” want with a flag that did not proudly display, in its top left-hand corner, the Mother Country’s Union Jack?

Even more puzzling is what the Prime Minister believes himself to be doing all day. Because colonies are not governed by Parliaments and Prime Ministers, they’re ruled by Governors. And these Governors are in no way accountable to the people they rule, but to an imperial government far, far, away.

If New Zealand is “at the core … a British colony”, then it is neither independent, nor a democracy.

It couldn’t be, because, historically speaking, a colony is a place where imperialism rips-in, rips-out and rips-off. A place where the indigenous people are duped, dispossessed and exploited.

Oh, heck, wait a minute …


  1. So; when will I see this column on

    It’s not polite to poke fun at the ignorance of our royal ‘betters’ and Key clearly considers himself as nothing less.

  2. We will have come of age as a nation when we can clap a government of thieves and scoundrels like this in irons without foreign assistance.

    • Great reply Stuart Munroe 1000% because we have proven that we are still a joke allowing a gangster of wall street to run NZ.

      How could we cope in the world without Britain with corrupt Key????

  3. Ah … ?

    But we ARE a British colony. And our head of state IS QE2 represented here by our very own Invisible Man, the Governor General.

    (My apologies to Maori people for my seemingly not including you.)

    I mean… ?? Have I missed something ? Wha’ ? Huh ?

    jonky saying we’re at the core, a British colony is correct. The reason WHY jonky said that is worthy of closer inspection.

    Lets be clear, he’d love to sell us to his U$A Jewish Bro’s and Ho’s for a pile of money so him saying that we’re a British colony sounds more like as a result of a sound telling off followed by the words ” Better pull your fucking head in Mate or you’ll get it chopped fucking off! Best regards HRH QE2 and my increasingly impatient whanau”

    And he is in fact, as I write , doing just that so I can’t make sense of the thrust of your post @ Chris Trotter. I feel weird after reading it. It’s like accidentally putting ones underpants on inside out and back to front. One’s wearing undies, but they just don’t feel right.

    Jonky is more likely playing a game of logical fallacies mixed in with the deviant machinations of a confederate with Machiavellian intentions. Now, does that not sound more like our jonky?

    And if you think we ‘can go it alone’ on the world stage so to speak then you are suffering from what most Kiwis suffer from after being told far too often that we’re far to fancy for our own good. An over inflated National ego unfettered by having been kicked up the arse by foreigners wanting to have what we’ve got and we’ve got quite good stuff and things generally speaking while being raped and pillaged by our own people for their private wealth creation.

    What’s stopping an invading force coming here and just taking over our country anyway?

    To quote a certain good fellow here; “Oh, heck, wait a minute …”

    • It would help if you learned to read & think at the same time then you could make sense of Trotters post. I will give you the benefit of the doubt as maybe you were not here during the Lange nuclear free transition when NZ was an independent nation.

  4. This morning, we read our comment that was on this page. Now it is gone.
    What happened ?
    It was a well thought out bit of writing that took some time and we would like to get a copy of it as many are interested in seeing it.
    If you have chosen not to keep it on, even tho you did publish it for a short while today, is it possible for me to get a copy of it as many want to forward it on and submit it to their facebook page.

    I would really like to know why you would include it here and then decide to delete it after you already published it? What happened ? Please take the time (this time) and respond instead of just slagging us off showing little compassion or responsible journalism. We are not stupid little children needed to be reprimanded and put in our place.

    • I apologize. My comment was published in another article entitled ” God Save The Royal Republic ” and I thought it was submitted in this above article. It was not pro-Royal nor pro-Monarchy and we assumed that it was denied for that reason. It was one of my better works, I felt.


    4. Judges and courts – 34 per cent (down 16 per cent)

    9. Local government – 12 per cent (down 37 per cent)

    10. Corporations and large businesses – 11 per cent (down 37 per cent)

    11. Government ministers – 10 per cent (down 49 per cent)

    12. TV and print media – 8 per cent (down 40 per cent)

    13. Members of parliament – 8 per cent (down 54 per cent)

    • Bloggers rated lower than politicians in terms of trust. At first I felt a bit slighted at that. On deeper reflection, I can understand why.

      1. Bloggers like Slater have done a great disservice in general to our ‘art’.

      2. Unlike elected MPs, bloggers aren’t really accountable to anyone except defamation laws. And again, Slater has done incalcxulable harm to blogging by his muck-raking.

      But since we aren’t accountable, and have no journalistic standards to meet, why should we trusted by the general public?

      Ah well, them’s the breaks, I guess. We’ll just have to work harder to earn that trust. And hopefully we can “leap frog” one position over politicians.

      That would make my day! 🙂

    • Members of Parliament – 8% – and tunnelling. (Alice* of Auckland, coming to a Beehive near you.)

      *The big tunnelling machine that recently finished a tunnel and is being dismantled.

  6. I have heard it said that the not so royal Royal Family refers to itself as “The Firm” in which case its “colonies” would be regarded as its assets to be separately registered, which New Zealand is, as a corporation just like the U.S., which is-also a corporation. Not sure about Canada but I think its a corporation as well.
    Conclusion must be that New Zealand is not a sovereign nation – goodbye title of Prime Minister and replace with the title CEO; not a colony – goodbye title of Governor-General and replace with the word Chairman. This leaves the people of New Zealand standing on a piece of land mortgaged to the hilt by various governments and which the Crown (City of London) can foreclose on at any time. Best to remember that the City of London, Monarchy and Vatican are all kissing cousins.
    Yep, we and our ancestors (indigenous and new-comer alike) have been ripped in, ripped out and ripped off. It seems our loyalty of “going off to war for the mother country” was misplaced as they were nothing more than staged dramas to see how effective new weapons and strategies could be in decreasing populations. Would someone please turn on the light bulb so that the scams can be seen by all.
    Bring on the Republic.

  7. ” i find it pays not to listen too closely to our dear leader.”
    He and his keepers may be counting on that.

    I am so grateful to people with stronger stomachs who do listen, though. I just wish they also published a warning that a picture of the wee fella comes next so I can scroll down past it at eye-blurring speed. 🙂


  8. I personally feel JK’s understanding of New Zealand’s history and sacrifices is limited, hence he gets confused when trying to convey a message.

    Also he has livid his life in the corporate currency bubble so his outlook on life and worldview comes from a totally different perspective to the average person.

  9. 1000% Jack you are so right there,

    This jerk Key is an offspring from a German Jewish immigrant so where did he get his history lesson of NZ from???


Comments are closed.