New Zealand

Wikipedia Commons
Wikipedia Commons

A lot of attention in the political world is focused on tomorrow’s primary elections--from Ohio to Florida. But on the other side of the world, another kind of election is going on—with consequences that will linger for years. HPR’s Bill Dorman has more in today’s Asia Minute.

New Zealand is in the midst of a national election.  Citizens are not choosing a national leader or even a local representative—they’re selecting a FLAG.  You might remember this story—it’s been going on for a while.  In fact the initial discussions date back to the time of the Second World War.

www.facebook.com/threewisecousins
www.facebook.com/threewisecousins

 After surprisingly good numbers at the box office in New Zealand, a comedy shot on a shoestring in Samoa is now set for release in Australia. "Three Wise Cousins" came in at number seven, earning about two hundred thousand dollars in two weeks on just eight screens. More from Neal Conan in the Pacific News Minute.

 

Wikipedia Commons
Wikipedia Commons

One of the more colorful Internet entrepreneurs faces extradition to the United States. Kim Dotcom could serve up to twenty years if convicted on multiple charges including copyright infringement, money laundering and wire fraud.  A week ago, a judge in New Zealand found the evidence against him and three co-defendants overwhelming.  The background, from Neal Conan in the Pacific News Minute.

Sids1 / Flickr
Sids1 / Flickr

Yesterday, New Zealand deported a man who claimed to be a climate refugee...both opposition MPs and Pacific Islanders protested the decision, and said that New Zealand will have to face the reality of climate change sooner or later...details, from Neal Conan in the Pacific News Minute.

JasonParis / Flickr
JasonParis / Flickr

Last week, as people from across the Cook Islands gathered in Rarotonga to celebrate fifty years of free association with New Zealand. Prime Minister Henry Puna continued to raise the possibility of more independence, and a seat at the United Nations. As we hear from Neal Conan in our latest Pacific News Minute, the bid is on hold, at least for now.

Nick Kean / Flickr
Nick Kean / Flickr

Political attention in the United States is already centered on next year’s presidential election.  But a national vote coming next year in New Zealand has a different focus—and new developments this week. HPR’s Bill Dorman has more in today’s Asia Minute.

New Zealanders are getting a chance to change their national flag.

The one in use since 1902 features the British Union Jack in the upper left hand corner, with four red stars representing the Southern Cross constellation on a blue background.

Flickr Commons
Flickr Commons

 

New Zealand is a growing market for Hawai‘i tourism. It also shares Polynesian cultural ties with Hawai‘i. And according to documents released this week, New Zealand also does a lot of sharing with the US National Security Agency. HPR’s Bill Dorman has more in today’s Asia Minute.

Wikipedia Commons
Wikipedia Commons

Additional military forces will be heading to Iraq. They will not be coming from Hawai‘i, and they will not involve US personnel. They’ll be coming from the Asia Pacific. HPR’s Bill Dorman has more in today’s Asia Minute.

www.natureworldnews.com via Creative Commons
www.natureworldnews.com via Creative Commons

Invasive species are always a concern here in the islands. And while culprits here range from the Coconut Rhinoceros Beetle to little fire ants, in New Zealand there’s another focus. HPR’s Bill Dorman has more in today’s Asia Minute.

Wikipedia Commons
Wikipedia Commons

 

   The flag of the state of Hawaii is not the only one to use the British Union Jack as part of its design. Many former colonies and territories use it. New Zealand is one...but that may be changing. HPR’s Bill Dorman explains in today’s Asia Minute.

Flickr Commons/ Nick Kean
Flickr Commons/ Nick Kean

  The British Union Jack has been part of the Hawaiian flag for nearly two hundred years. And for well over a century, it’s been part of New Zealand’s flag as well. But that may be on its way to changing. HPR’s Bill Dorman explains in today’s Asia Minute.

Flickr / PhillipC
Flickr / PhillipC

For the first time in nearly thirty years, a New Zealand navy ship will be docking at a U.S. naval facility. The event is scheduled to take place later this week in the Pacific, and marks a continuing evolution in military relations between the two countries. HPR’s Bill Dorman has more in today’s Asia Minute.

The issue of same-sex marriage is still before the U.S. Supreme Court. In Hawaii, legislation to legalize gay marriage is not likely to pass this session. But in New Zealand, it’s a different story---one that HPR’s Bill Dorman has in today’s Asia Minute.

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