| Matt Facts: Matthew dislikes drinking cold drinks from coffee mugs. He also hates plastic forks. | | Did you Know? Toothpicks are overrated. | | Words of Inspiration: "You can tell a lot about a fellow by the way he eats Jelly Beans" – R.Regan | | Did you know? There are no Pez Facts. Pez is, in fact, not factual. | | Matt Facts: Matthew's fortune cookies always predict success. | | Words of Inspiration: When I'm sad I stop being sad and be awesome instead - Barney Stinson | | Did you know? "Buf­falo buf­falo Buf­falo buf­falo buf­falo buf­falo Buf­falo buf­falo” is a gram­mat­i­cally valid sentence. | | Matt Facts: Matthew is best served on the rocks with a slice of lemon. | | Words of Inspiration: "Life is futile." | | Did you Know? Dinosaurs and Dandelions is the name of a popular blog that has been around since the 15 April 2010 | | Matt Facts: Unlike some people, Matthew only celebrates his birthday once a year. | | Words of Inspiration: "I'll be back" - The Terminator. | | Did you Know? The two modern breeds of Cocker Spaniel, American and English, are thought to have been descended from only two dogs? | | Matt Facts: On the second to last full moon of the year, Matthew develops an itch on his right shoulder. | | Words of Inspiration: “You can do it!” - Rob Schneider, in every Adam Sandler movie ever | | Did you know? Lettuce is often eaten raw. | | Words of Inspiration: "Science is always at work and never sleeps – just like Rust" | | Did you Know? When you dream, every­thing you see in that dream, you’ve seen before in real life. | | Matt Facts: Matthew officially endorses the Cadbury's Moro bar as being delicious | | Did You Know? A tadpole is also called a 'pollywog'. | | Matt Facts: Matthew has his own Facebook fan page. Creepy. | | Did You Know? Cats sleep for 70% of their lives. | | Words of Inspiration: "End? No, the journey doesn't end here. Death is just another path, one that we all must take. The grey rain-curtain of this world rolls back, and all turns to silver glass, and then you see it." - Gandalf. | | Did you Know? This is the end. The journey ends here. Then it starts all over again. |

Sunday, 14 April 2013

Empires of the World: New Zealand

Hello and welcome back to Empires of the World - a grand tour of all of the major civilizations of the world.Today, we look at the mighty empire of New Zealand.

New Zealand's rightful Empire
At its Peak

The Empire of New Zealand got off to a shaky start. Following the Declaration of Independence in 1835, New Zealand only lasted as an independent country for five years before the Maori tribes signed the Treaty of Waitangi and became part of the British Empire. We were then governed from New South Wales for a year, leading to everyone in the country hating Australians.

The Empire began with the Premiership of Richard Seddon. While earlier Premiers such as Vogel, Grey and Stout had also promoted New Zealand as the centre of a great South Pacific empire, Seddon was a far more active and noisy imperialist who wanted Fiji and Polynesia to be ruled for Wellington. He famously told the American President William McKinley that Hawaii should be part of our Empire and was furious when Britain agreed to allow America to annex the islands in 1898. Worse still occured in 1899 when Britain commited the ‘great betrayal’ and allowed Samoa to be partitioned between Germany and the United States.

The great and glorious empire finally got kick-started in 1901 when New Zealand annexed Niue and the Cook Islands. Even more glory came in 1914 when New Zealand's lemon squeezers got deployed in anger. On the 29 August 1914 the Expeditionary Force's marching band arrived in Apia and claimed German Samoa for New Zealand, completing a "great and urgent Imperial service" for Britain. In 1926 Britain transferred their administration of Tokelau to New Zealand and the Empire building was complete.


Following World War II the United Nations stuck its sticky beak into New Zealand's affairs, leading to Western Samoa being granted independence in 1962. Niue and the Cook Islands are now in "free association" with New Zealand while Tokelau is one of only sixteen nations listed by the United Nations as a Non self-governing territory, meaning New Zealand is one of only four countries in the world to still have a colony.


Today the Realm of New Zealand includes Tokelau, Niue, the Cook Islands and 450,000 km2 of snow and ice in Antartica. With troops in Timor-Leste and the Solomon Islands, a military dictatorship struggling to retain power in Fiji and the Western Island ripe for the picking, the future surely is bright for the Empire of New Zealand.