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Features Australia New Zealand

Maorification of smiling zombies

Labour is remaking New Zealand in its own image

26 June 2021

9:00 AM

26 June 2021

9:00 AM

In his best-selling 1976 book The Passionless People, the late author and journalist Gordon McLauchlan characterised his fellow New Zealanders as ‘smiling zombies’: polite, cheerful and hard-working but smug and compliant. It was cruel but not inaccurate.

It takes a lot to provoke New Zealanders politically. The last time it happened was in 1981, when a tour by the South African Springbok rugby team tore the country apart.

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