chapter  5
20 Pages

New Zealand, National Identity and the Pacific Century

WithMichael Roche

The world of the 1990s would seem to offer empirical evidence to supporters of the 'end of the State thesis' and others advancing theorisations about the accelerating globalisation of economy and culture. New Zealand might be seen as exemplary in this respect, for successive governments since 1984 have vigorously embraced economic deregulation and state sector restructuring. After Britain's entry to the European Economic Community in 1973 the New Zealand government increasingly adopted interventionist regulatory strategies to try and sustain the economy. The Government's desire to reposition New Zealand with respect to the Asia-Pacific economies implies an associated redefinition of national identity and that this alternate sense of identity also clashes with the strands of meaning in older versions of Pakeha national identity. The focus is on the successive representations of national identity shared by the white-settler population, which is numerically the largest group by the mid-19th century.