New Zealand 2006
New Zealand. On August 15, Maori Queen Dame Te Atairangikaahu passed away after over 40 years on the throne. The week after, Moorish elders appointed her son Tuheitia Paki as new king. He thus became the seventh Moorish monarch since 1858. The monarchy has no formal political power in the N., but it has a certain influence on cultural and social issues.
A Yemeni national, Rayed Mohammed Abdullah Ali, was deported to Saudi Arabia in June, partly because of suspicions that he had direct contact with people behind the terrorist attacks against the United States in 2001.
According to CountryAAH, major public holidays in New Zealand include Independence Day (February 6) and New Year (January 1). Another case of suspected terrorist links continued to arouse debate. Algerian Ahmed Zaoui, who had been a candidate for the Islamic Rescue Front (FIS) in the 1991 Algerian election, sought asylum in N. 2002. However, the security service rated Zaoui as a security risk and he was jailed without any trial. It was the first time anyone was detained in N. for that reason. However, the charges against him were not public. In 2004, Zaoui was released but his freedom of movement was limited. Zaoui has been sentenced to death in Algeria in his absence, but he has also been sentenced for membership in an illegal organization in Belgium and France. Human rights organizations have been critical of how the authorities have acted and have questioned the evidence used against him in Europe as well as in N. Zaoui was granted refugee status in 2003.
At the end of November, Don Brash resigned as leader of the bourgeois Nationalist Party after two years in office. He had then tried to legally stop a book about the party, which he said contained emails that had been stolen from his personal computer. His actions were interpreted as having something to hide. Brash denied the book’s claims that the Nationalist Party under his leadership had been influenced by the conservative Christian sect Exclusive Brethren and US neoconservative circles. Exclusive Brethren is suspected to be behind a dirty campaign against the Labor Party and the Green Party ahead of the 2005 election.
Theater in New Zealand
With the European colonization of the 1840s, a kind of touring theater arose in New Zealand. It was mainly melodramas played by the professional companies.
A branch of the British Drama League was established in 1932 and coordinated an extensive amateur theater business. Classics by William Shakespeare, among others, were played by students at Canterbury University College, but failed to establish their own professional theater until the New Zealand Players and Community Arts Service Theater started in the 1950s. The former played in the largest cities, while the latter mainly operated in the north and reached the small places.
However, it was the radio that inspired a new generation of professional playwrights from the late 1950s. With the establishment of the Queen Elizabeth 2 Arts Council in 1964, it became possible to support a new generation of professional theater companies, such as The Southern Comedy Players in Dunedin, Central Theater in Auckland and Downstage Theater in Wellington. A common organization for these theaters was The Association of Community Theaters (ACT), and a theater education was established with the New Zealand Drama School. The experimental Circa group in Auckland has satirical comedy as a specialty.
The development of theaters based on local communities (Community Theater) has laid the foundation for a Maori theater associated with the New Zealand indigenous people.