Republic of Canterbury

ROC logo ~ Rebuild

The People’s Republic of Canterbury


April 2011


We, the democratically enfranchised people of Waitaha / Canterbury, do hereby resolve to constitute ourselves as an independent and self-governing populace, by means of the non-violent, egalitarian revolution made herewith.

Article I ~ Non-violence

Whereas the New Zealand state was founded upon imperial conquest, and continues to define itself through participation in imperialist wars, the Republic of Canterbury rejects both the methods and the edifice of state warfare, and every application of violence and persuasive force similar, in every social, inter-social and international realm. We herald the evolutionary, non-violent and rationalist, global democratic revolution.

This thorough-going rejection of violence refuses recognition of historical states formed from the application of violence: including recognition of the New Zealand state as from the Crown and Iwi warrior-chieftainships who were signatory to the Treaty of Waitangi in 1840, or acceptance of subservience to their legal inheritors.

We urge the due formation of the autonomous, self-governing and peaceful New Zealand Republic, and declare the Republic of Canterbury as a preliminary step towards that goal.

A democratic federal republic of New Zealand provinces, and of Aotearoa peoples, and of the peaceful trading world entire is envisaged. This to secure consistency with the non-violent indigenous culture of Rekohu / the Chatham Islands / Moriori, as our relational benchmark.

Article II ~ Democracy

“No taxation without representation.”

We uphold universal suffrage and the New Zealand Bill of Rights Act 1990, and found the Republic of Canterbury because the Bill of Rights was not upheld by the Governor-General, who ignored our appeal, on the occasion of the April 2010 crown executive intervention in the Canterbury Regional Council.

Specifically, ref. “Section 27 [Remedies] (1) Every person has the right to the observance of the principles of natural justice by any tribunal or other public authority which has the power to make a determination in respect of that person’s right, obligations, or interests protected or recognised by law”, where the “right to natural justice affirmed in section 27” – the right to a fair hearing – was not given effect to as part of evidence.

The Canterbury Regional Council – Environment Canterbury (“ECan”) – was the mandated, elected and representative statutory “person” in the 2010 crown breach of Rights instance. The Councillors’ democratic mandate cannot be extinguished by unconstitutional means.

We Cantabrians hereby initiate a major constitutional upgrade of New Zealand governance, to deliver much stronger democratic safeguards, in preference over regional secession.

An elected head of state, as promoted by the Republican Movement of Aotearoa New Zealand (RMANZ), is a primary objective of the Republic of Canterbury; immediate restoration of regional democratic processes is another. Central government abrogated the latter without due cause or hearing in April 2010, when appeal to the Governor-General was also ignored. Both actions were insupportable.

We therefore may initiate our autonomous cycle of representative elections, that will be led by direct democracy through consensus decision-making forums. Representatives are subject to immediate recall, by consensus, should they under-perform in their duties. A policy of averaging a living wage for all Cantabrians is encouraged, and elected representatives cannot exceed this should they be paid. [Goods and Services Tax is to be reduced or abolished. – 5May11 this policy now removed, see comments below.]

Article III ~ Equal rights and opportunity for all

No special classes or castes of citizen are recognised in the Canterbury Republic. Quality housing, health, education, retirement and general public services, and meaningful occupations, are the common right and obligation that mutual aid delivers.

To deprive a fellow human being of their life or its reasonable enjoyment, by violence, is the greatest of all crimes. Therefore we withdraw all recognition from states founded upon martial violence, and instead place acknowledgement in a new and internationalist state of non-violence.

For the good of All.

12 April 2011, the democratic foundation of The People’s Republic of Canterbury is so declared.


Republic of Canterbury RMANZ logo