April 19, 2019 - The History of New Zealand through a Libertarian Anarchist lens. Please enjoy the ideas and let me know what you think.

1851: New Zealand’s First Census

April 10, 2019


On November 1st, 1851, the Settler (European) population of New Zealand had its first national census. It would be a century before Maoris were counted the same by the bean counters of The State.

We were not alone¹. The British Empire conducted a national census upon England, Scotland, Ireland, and Wales in March of the same year and ordered British colonies to do the same². Victoria, South Australia, New South Wales, Van Diemen’s Land were all on time. So was British India. Canada obeyed but had to wait out the winter until 1852 because snow and wet roads were proof against bureaucrats back then.

For the first time, The State was seeking to find out the birthplaces, skills, classes, family make-ups of its tax livestock. They wanted the name of every member of every household. The schedules issued and collected form every home demanded to know Kiwis’ religion, their level of literacy, their age, and when they had entered the colony. Since then the inquisition has only become more demanding.

The Census is the new Domesday book: “It was all about a government trying to – in the words of the Chronicle – “shamelessly” extract as much wealth from the population as possible. Nothing has changed.”- The (almost) pointless, intrusive and even dangerous exercise we call the Census, Julian Lee; Stuff (2018)

The modern image of Government is this Orange Guy blob CGI mascot. For many years now voiced by John Leigh at his non-confrontational best. I don’t think OG has ever been used to promote the census but perhaps his being taken out of circulation a year or two ago is related to a new attitude toward the state by the people.

New Zealand voter ends up being represented by an amorphous orange blob – one that stirs precisely zero national sentiment in the viewer.- VGM (2018)

New Zealanders today care less about the census than ever. In my opinion it is because we are in a Slave Morality phase where the mainstream has huge mistrust and passive resistance to authority. The public will not outright resist the census but they will spoil it and avoid participating wherever they can- this is always enough, eventually, to frazzle and frustrate the Victimhood Culture who try to administer..

Last year’s Census, the first done online, was plagued with controversy around people not receiving their forms and low participation rates.- National demanding release of Census information; Newztalk ZB (today)

In the past The Wizard and Libertarianz etc were ducking and burning and shredding and disappearing on Census Day. This was more in the nature of an active response, not Slave Morality, and it was not effective.

The unique ability to beat a Victimhood Culture in the past has always been that a Slave Culture can out-stare it and Stoically bare the cross of punishment until, finally, VC relents and gives up its power. This is also what I think the new iteration- The Honk Meme– represents. More about that later.

Note: The first census where there was an attempt to collect information about every member of every household like this in the United States of America happened at the same time. Specifically, the USA Census of 1850. They were, of course, not part of the British Empire. Perhaps the directive came from even higher up- the Iron Bank of Braavos?

1 Ref. New Zealander, 1851; Papers Past

2 ref. 14th Victoria, No. 18; aka Census Act (1850)

  • However, the title of this Act is An Act for taking account of the Population of Gret Britain and never mentions or implies application to the Colonies. How it came to be interpreted that way (eg explicitly so in Australia) is a mystery. Did the Colonial Office direct it or was it some kinda of ‘me to’ outbreak?

Ref. An Ordinance for Taking a Census of the Colony of New Zealand (1851); nzlii.org

image ref. Orange Guy and Britania; VGM (2018)

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