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New Zealand

Yearbook 2004

2004 New ZealandNew Zealand. According to CountryAAH, the total population in New Zealand is 4,822,244 people in 2020. The issue of Maori rights was the subject of intense debate during the first half of the year. It was largely triggered by a bill that gave the state ownership of coast and sea, while at the same time affirming the Maori traditional rights to these areas. However, the Maoris would not be allowed to deny other access to the coasts and the seabed. At the beginning of the year, the Nationalist Party's new leader Don Brash criticized what he saw as unfair discrimination against the Moorish minority. For the first time in six years, the Nationalist Party briefly followed the ruling Labor Party in the opinion polls. In April-May, thousands of Maoris and others gathered in a two-week protest march, hikoi, to highlight their dissatisfaction with the bill, which according to them was contrary to the rights granted to the Maori by the Waitangi Treaty of 1840. Two Labor members also opposed the law, and one of them, Deputy Minister Tariana Turia, was forced to resign at the end of April. A few days later, the opposition issued a declaration of no confidence in the government, which survived by a small margin. The new law was first adopted with the support of the populist New Zealand right-wing party. Turia left the Labor Party in mid-May and the following month was appointed leader of a new party, the Maori Party. In a July 10 general election, she was elected to Parliament as the representative of the new party.

2004 New Zealand

Flag - New ZealandIn July, relations with Israel deteriorated since two Israelis, suspected of belonging to the Israeli security service Mossad, were convicted of trying to trick a New Zealand passport. When the government did not receive the apology demanded from Israel, it took several measures, including: all diplomatic contacts were stopped and a planned state visit by the Israeli president was canceled

Lesley Martin, who was sentenced in April to 15 months in prison for giving his morbidly ill mother an overdose of morphine, was released in December. Martin led a campaign to allow euthanasia in the country.

At the end of the year, Parliament passed a partnership law that would give unmarried cohabiting couples - regardless of gender - the same rights as married when it comes to child custody, taxation and social benefits. The law was to enter into force in April 2005. The law sparked fierce debate, but according to opinion polls, it was supported by a majority of New Zealanders. However, the opposition was strong in conservative circles.

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