Thursday, August 04, 2022

Undoing Muldoon's crime

A little over 40 years ago, Falema'i Lesa won her appeal before the Privy Council, which ruled that she - and every other Samoan born under New Zealand colonial rule - was a New Zealand citizen. Then-Prime Minister Rob Muldoon didn't like that, so he had an urgent law passed stripping citizenship from all Samoans outside New Zealand. It has been called "New Zealand's most racist immigration law", and it is a permanent stain on our relations with Samoa.

And now the Greens are planning to fix it. Green MP Teanau Tuiono had a Restoring Citizenship Removed By Citizenship (Western Samoa) Act 1982 Bill in the ballot this morning. The bill isn't online yet, so I'm not sure about the fiddly bits, but if it does what it says on the label and reverses Muldoon's racist law, then it will remove a stain from our history. The Greens have an open letter in support of the bill; you can sign it here.