SOUTH ISLAND FIRST
- a political pressure group in the South Island of New Zealand
South Island First is a political pressure group in the South Island of New Zealand, which serves as an umbrella group for various advocates and supporters of South Island self-determination.
Because it focuses on a single issue, members can belong to any political party; issues such as left vs. right politics, the monarchy/republic debate and so on, are sidelined in favour of uniting the self-determination movement. South Island First has no wider political policies whatsoever and the campaign is intended to be wide enough to include every South Islander and those sympathisers who live outside of the South Island.
There is currently discussion as to whether to apply to incorporate a society under the Incorporated Societies Act 1908.
The objective of South Island First is to achieve greater self-determination for the South Island and New Zealand’s possessions south of Cook Strait through the creation of a Southern Parliament and Executive, with powers transferred to them from the New Zealand Parliament. We seek to implement the proposed constitutional arrangements through democratic means and with the consent of the people.
To provide a full answer to the constitutional problems and provide a fairer system of government for all parts of New Zealand, it would also be necessary to create a Northern Parliament and Executive with similar powers. However, that is a matter for the people of the North Island and it is not therefore a specific aim of South Island First.
As well as solving the current constitutional problems, a Southern Parliament would:
- Give the South Island administrative, economic and financial independence whilst still retaining a unified New Zealand.
- Strengthen democratic control and make government more accountable to the people of the South Island.
- Enable the people of the South Island to express their own priorities and direct spending to where it is most needed.
- Better enable the people of the South Island to pursue policies, which help preserve the South Island’s identity and improve its environment.
- Provide a partial realisation of the right to self-government to which the people of all countries aspire.
Members of the Southern Executive would be able to formulate policies that suit the demands and interests of the people of the South Island. They would be able to give priority to local needs within our natural geographic, political and cultural boundary. In addition, the Executive would be able to represent the interests of the South Island to the New Zealand government.
The New Zealand Government would retain responsibility for important reserved matters. The main reserved matters are those that relate to defence and security, foreign and monetary policy.
The Southern Parliament and Executive would have authority in fields connected to its territory in the widest meaning of the term, and include responsibility for important areas of everyday life.
In order to achieve our objectives we support the implementation of the following initiatives:
- Officially registering South Island First as an incorporated organisation;
- Encouraging increased cooperation between Southern local government, government agencies, non-government organisations and businesses;
- Encouraging greater sub-national pride through the adoption of our own South Island Flag.