Gleneagles Agreement


This cartoon* shows three men: the man in the middle shows Rober Muldoon, the man on the left represents the Gleneagles Agreement and the man on the floor represents New Zealand’s reputation.

To understand this cartoon, you need to have a bit of a backgroundinformation which I will give you now:

In den 1970s and 1980s the Apartheid in Africa especially South Africa, was still a sensitive issue.

Many countries tried to show that they do not support apartheid so they stopped any cooperation with South Africa (which also meant no cooperating sporting events). However, New Zealand broke this by letting their rugby team touring through South Africa.

Shortly after, in 1976, the Olympic Games were held in Canada. As a reaction to New Zealands touring, many African countries boycotted their participation. Their call for excluding NZ from the Olympic Games because of their tour in South Africa, remained unheard.

One year later in 1977, the Commonwealth nations met in Gleneagle, Scotland, to sign the Gleneagles Agreement which should make clear once more that the commonwealth nations (including New Zealand!) have to show that they keep together to fight against the apartheid in South Africa and to NOT support it by cooperating  sporting events.

But New Zealand signed it and kind of ignored it: A few years later, a South African rugby team had been invited to New Zealand. This led to massive protests on the island. Former prime minster Robert Muldoon, who also has signed the Gleneagle Agreement, could not understand all that protesting. For him, politics should not involve in sporting events.

Here I ask myself: But why do you then sign this Agreement, which actually says that any sporting-cooperation with South Africa is forbidden?

He knew that he was breaking the international sports ban and he knew that this would lead to protest and anger. And furthermore, the invitation of a South African rugby team is nothing you urgently need for your country. So why all this?

Maybe you have an answer for that?

As the cartoon shows the touring of the NZ team and then the invitation of a touring for South Africa in NZ immensly decreased NZ’s reputation.

*taken from:


We Are All Equal – How the World Celebrates Supreme Court’s Decision on Gay Marriages!

Two days ago, Supreme Court finally legalised gay marriages nationalwide in the US. No doubt that this represents a milestone in the LGBT Rights Movement (LGBT=Lesbian-Gay-Bisexual-Transgender). Germany unfortunately is still way behind and should definately speed up! But how about New Zealand?

Actually NZ allows gay people to marry already since April 2013. Thanks to a woman called Louisa Wall, the LGBT rights movement in New Zealand was driven forward. With her so-called „Marriage (Definition of Marriage) Amendment Bill“ she fought stubbornly for its approval in parliament.

Louisa Wall has been an MP in Parliament and is personally affected by this Bill since she herself is gay. After the assent, her civil union partner Prue Kapuah and her have been more than happy:

baf7011a-ddae-476d-9b6e-b900f9642f9b Louisa Wall (right) and her love Prue Kapuah.

New Zealand has been then the 13th country in the world to allowing gay couples to get married. The voting has been 77 to 44 which expressed a suprising support for Louisa Wall.

I just find this very motivating and inspiring and I hope that many more countries will follow the example of NZ and the US. I absolutely support the legalisation of gay marriages and I would love to congratulate Louisa Wall for her excellent persistence and inspiration for others!


Tino Rangatiratanga

Tino Rangatiratanga (say this five times fast without messing up!) is maori language and means something like „full authority“ or „sovereignty“. It has mainly two meanings: One is the name of the official maori flag (see blog entry below) and one is the meaning of „sovereignty“ in the Treaty of Waitangi.

Interestingly, the meaning of authority/sovereignty is somewhat ambiguous. On I found this:

„In the words of the English translation of the Maori version of the Treaty, the Queen agreed to the rangatira and the iwi retaining full chieftainship (tino rangatiratanga) of their lands, their villages and all their taonga including the Maori way of life.“

„However, the English text of the Treaty which successive governments have relied on to this day for their legitimacy, or their own unilateral proclamation of sovereignty, assumes that Maori gave away all their sovereign power to the Crown. Such an idea would never have been acceptable to Maori“

This sounds as if they Maori were tricked by the British – intentional or unintentional would be the question here, but I think „to trick“ speaks for itself.

So the Maori thought that they would keep all their rights and powers and that the British would only gain the rights to control new settlers whereas the British understood this tino rangatiratanga differently. For them, the Maoris had given away all their power to their sovereign: The Queen of England.

It is kind of cheeky to write an English version and a maori version and then have two different meanings. I mean, they HAVE TO state exactly the same conditions.

This website might also be interesting:, it also explains the term kawanatanga which has been mistranslated or misunderstood.

Where the heck did they get their translator from?!

One flag to rule them all…?

My last blog seems to be ages ago so now, finally, the second part of the flag discussion!

As I promised, I would like to show you a few designs that were posted online for proposition. I actually wanted to say that there are a lot of rubbish propositions, but then I thought those might be made by children, so I keep shush because I love children and it would break my heart if they would read this here (ok no children ever will read this, but anyway) and feel very upset: so children, please keep going, you’re doing great!

Up until today there have been posted over 3000 designs. Great job NZ! Just imagine how awesome it must be if you design a flag for you country and then eventually they chose your design. What a great honor!

So now I show you my favorites:



First of all: I love the silverfern and i love the colour blue (it is my favourite colour). So there is no chance that this is NOT in my personal Top 3.

In class we were shown a version of the white silverfern on black background which is normally used on sporting events. I also like this flagdesign very much, but because of the black-and-whiteness and the closeness to ISIS, this will (in my opinion) probably not make it eventually.

So much the better that now somebody though of combining the common NZ silverfern design with my favourite colour – I probably have to marry this guy (or girl)! 🙂

The stars on the blue background obviously relate to the actual NZ flag, so there is still a connection to it. This mixture of tradition (also the colours of the Union Jack: blue, white, red) and culture (silverfern, sporting events) looks just perfect to me!

So: Go NZ!



So this is my Number 2. As a non-Newzealander, allow me to admit that when I first was thinking about what should be on a New Zealand flag that represents or symbolises the country, I though of the kiwi (I hope New Zealanders don’t hate me for that stereotypical thinking…).

I mean it is the same with Germany. Probably if you ask a New Zealander (or any foreigner, … or a German…) „what should be on the German flag that represents the country and its culture“ they would say „beer“ – or at least I wouldn’t be mad if they’d say it, although I hate beer so bad.

So please NZ, don’t take it personal, I just love this design because this totally represents the first image that came into my mind when I though about a NZ flag. And I mean, one of you New Zealanders at least liked that design, too (yes, the designer, and it wasn’t me!).



Although this is not really one of my favourites, I wanted to find a design that somehow resembles and picks up maori traditions. Unfortunatly there aren’t many designs on the page with maori designs that I personally like, so I chose this one to represent my intention.

For those who don’t know, there is a national maori flag, the flag of „Tino Rangatiratanga“:

maori flag

I don’t really like the colourcombination of red,black and white and to be honest, I don’t really fancy the design, but I like keeping traditions in some way and I would love to find a design that uses the maori design in a nice way. I also really like the meaning behind the maori design, you can look it up here:

I think the most popular designs are those that are not too overloaded but contain common known and cherished designs like the silverfern, the (four) stars, maori designs, and the colours blue/red/white/black (probably green), maybe also the kiwi design. It also needs to be considered that the flag shouldn’t have too many details, because often children at school colour flags and/or for sporting events people colour and draw the flag on their face/cheek so the design shouldn’t be too detailed. It might be best if it is easy to draw.

There a loads of more designs and I highly recommend you to click through them. It is worth it and it made me laugh sometimes because some designs are so cute and some are just funny, like this:


The titel of this flag is „we rock“ – yeah, NZ, you definitely rock!

So keep rocking 😉

PS: the designs were taken from this website, where you can also be creative and upload your own design. If you do so, why don’t you let me be part of your idea and blog your design here as well?

A New Flag?

I’m sure you all know that this is the official NZ Flag:


There is an on-going discussion in NZ whether they should have a new official flag or not. You might ask yourself: Why the heck would they want to change their flag?
At first, I was asking myself the same question. I am from Germany, and I consider the German national flag as a real ugly one – black, red and gold. Not one of my favourite colours, but okay – I personally can live with that.

New Zealanders might argue that a change of their flag has several good reasons: First, their flag can easily be confused with the Australian flag:


To be honest: they really look similar. Okay, New Zealand, you might have a point here! 😉
But still, there are dozens of other countries who have similar flags. Just consider my country: the German Flag and the Belgium Flag have the same colours:


Just to be sure you don’t mix them: the left one is the German flag and the right one is the Belgium flag.

However, the similarity to the Australian flag is not the only reason. If you look at the NZ flag again, you see the Union Jack in the upper-left corner.
This seems quite logical because of the Commonwealth and the fact that NZ was once colonised by Britains(if you are interested in historical stuff you might inform yourself about the Waitangi Treaty of 1840).
So there IS a strong connection to England and the United Kingdom.

I would like to draw another comparison: Canada was also once colonised by Britain and is still part of the Commonwealth – so just like New Zealand.

Have a look at the former Canadian flag and the new flag wich the maple leaf which was introduced in 1965:



Canada also had the Union Jack in the upper-right corner, just like Australia and New Zealand. Until this weeks NZ course at the University, I didn’t even know that there was a former Canadian flag. So I’d say: mission successfully completed!

So why shouldn’t NZ do the same? If they like to get rid of the Union Jack – why not?
I am not a New Zealander, I haven’t even been there once in my life, so it is not me to decide that. I think no one but the people from New Zealand should be allowed to judge this decision.
Of course, only they are also allowed to vote (everything else would be nonsense) but people around the world suddenly start to discuss and judge this – like the vote about Scotland becoming an independent country. I mean, if you are not living in this country, why should you say „no, don’t do that“ or „yes, you should do that“?

So me as a not-New-Zealander, I have no idea if I would like NZ getting a new flag or not. Of course, it is a far-reaching decision: schoolbooks need to be newly printed and revised, posters and other books as well. And also other people around the world need to get used to it which can take a while.
But the best example is me, who had no idea that Canada had a former flag (shame on me!).

Another question would be: If not this flag – which one should we take then?
In my next upcoming blog entry, I will introduce and discuss some suggested designs for a new flag, but for now I will leave it at that.

If you would like to inform yourself a little more about this topic, I suggest the following links:

Image sources:

In Flanders Fields

In Flanders Fields1

In Flanders fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.

We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders fields.

Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.

Additionally to my previous post, I wanted to post on of the most famous English poems “In Flander’s Fields” by Canadian Lieutenant Colonel John McCrae (1872-1918). This is a memorial poem about WWI. McCrae wrote this poem as a reaction to the death of his friend who died on the day before in the Second Battle of Ypres.

In my previous post, I spoke of the poppies that people often wear on the Remembrance Day in the Commonwealth Nations and also on the ANZAC Day in New Zealand. This poem refers to those poppies.

I really find this poem special and also quite touching because it is written from the perspective of the dead. As a future teacher, this might be a nice poem to discuss in class and I try to keep that in mind.

1 taken from:

Anzac Day

Today is the 25th of April. For most of us – especially people not from New Zealand – this is just a normal day and nothing special. But for New Zealander, this is a bank holiday. On this day, exactly 100 years ago the 25th of April 1915, people not only from New Zealand, but also from Australia and Tonga in particular (where it is also a bank holiday), remember the Battle of Gallipoli.

The 25th of April is also known as the “ANZAC Day” which is short for Australian and New Zealand Army Corps and as the term reveals, it was a military action (to be more precise: a landing) that took place in Gallipoli (today’s Turkey).

This day is a sad day to remember, as it meant a huge loss for soldiers from the three participating countries: Australia, New Zealand and Tonga.

New Zealand commemorates the ANZAC Day since 1920 (Australia already since 1916) and parades take place in many cities.

If you will hear something about the ANZAC Day, you might come across a picture of poppies (see below) which always reminds me of Great Britain’s Remembrance Day on November 11 where the Commonwealth Nation remembers those who died in the First World War. I have lived in England for six months and I have been there in November as well and I do well remember the people who knock on the door or who stand in front of a shop and offer to sell poppies as a symbol of remembering the dead.

I am wondering what the ANZAC Day and especially the Gallipoli landing itself, means for New Zealand. Then I found this quote on the web: “It [the Gallipoli landing] may have led to a military defeat, but for many New Zealanders then and since, the Gallipoli landings meant the beginning of something else – a feeling that New Zealand had a role as a distinct nation, even as it fought on the other side of the world in the name of the British Empire.”

This implies New Zealand could be seen somewhat more important in terms of the World History as they took actually part in WWI (I didn’t know that actually!). To be honest, I detest war in every way, so I am careful when it comes to bank holidays that root in a military action. However, I think – and they also say this on the nzhistory website on page five (“most New Zealanders saw it as a time to express sorrow, not to glorify war”) – that days like these are somehow important because one should never forget to what war leads to: death.

For more detailed information about the ANZAC Day and the Battle of Gallipoli, please have a look on the article (to which I referred) by clicking on the link below:

You’ll find the quote and some more detailed information on this website: