NZ was conservative moral heartland up until 1981. Rob Muldoon (Piggy Muldoon, or dear Leader) was looking out for everyone with his brand of agrarian socialism. Everything was regulated or censored - porn, literature, movies, HP sauce. Our income was generated by supplying the mother country. We looked on in wonder at kids who had been to Australia and had come back with all sorts of toys and lollies that were unimaginable to us. An excellent teacher at out school was arrested for smoking dope in his house (and never taught again).MarcusAu wrote: ↑ snip the Dog
Since you brought up the subject, then I'm sure that someone would be sure to rise to the occasion - so it might as well be me.
The reaction on the part of the NZ population - is consistent with the national character. Uncharitably, it could be described as 'cuckery' but they like to be seen as nice people (and for the most part genuinely are). Which explains their compassion - and the head scarves for all attitude. On the other hand - there is a degree of conformity expected - so that the place can seem a bit small - which is why they all head off overseas at some point (in the big OE [Overseas Experience] - their cultural equivalent of rumspringa. There is a social cost to going against the consensus - and not everyone is prepared to double down and be considered an arsehole.
So there might be a virtuous / vicious circle (or just an adjectiveless one) with the feed back to the general population from their political and media class betters. In other words they are happy to walk willingly into a brave new and censorious world.
1981 saw that comfort upended. The Springboks were touring and the anti-Apartheid movement cranked into gear. Mass protests, games cancelled (my future wife was a 15 yo protester in the middle of the Waikato rugby ground - and said that she had never been so scared in her life, as the crowd wanted the lions released), families and friends split apart. The country had lost it's innocence.
Muldoon talked tough. The Police had a squad dedicated to cracking down on dissent. Muldoon had the names of members of the Socialist Unity Party published on the front page of every newspaper. There were increasing protests against nuclear weapons.
Come 1984, yours truly was in his last year at High School, and Piggy called a snap election. The Labour Party won in a landslide. David Lange led a ban on nuclear; the US declined to confirm or deny whether its ships had these, so visits by all US military ships were banned. ANZUS became AnUS.
A few years later, the Government signalled its intent to decriminalise homosexuality. Mass protests for and against. The legislation passed (in 1986, IIRC). Gay sex was now mandatory.
Jump forward a few years to 2019, and Governments of both stripes have come and gone, and conservatively did not seek to amend or repeal such legislation. National Governments have tried to water down the Resource Management Act, but that has mainly been tinkering.
NZ is largely conservative, but gets over its inertia to ensure that people get a fair deal every few years. Progressively conservative interspersed with Conservatively progressive, if you like.
The current response is a reaction to an awful and previously unimaginable event (yes, David Gray did go postal over a neighbourly dispute in 1990). Some of the responses are reactive, and true to type for both sides of politics, and are unlikely to achieve the stated community safety aims. They will achieve short term comfort where symbolism and being seen to "do something" are important. The Security Services will look more closely at right wing extremists; the dust will settle. Life will go on in bucolic NZ where live and let live is the norm.