Story: Pacific Islands and New Zealand

Fijian independence celebrations, 1970

Fijian independence celebrations, 1970

Fiji’s new flag is raised during independence celebrations on 10 October 1970. Unlike many other Pacific peoples who were eager to cut colonial ties, many in Fiji were reluctant. By the mid-1950s the Fiji Indian population was larger than that of indigenous Fijians. Facing the possibility that Fiji Indians might come to dominate the government, ethnic Fijian leaders demanded that the majority of parliamentarians and the prime minister should always be indigenous Fijians. Although this did not eventuate, an electoral system was put in place that ensured that indigenous Fijian representatives, if allied with Europeans and part-Europeans, would outnumber Fiji-Indian representatives.

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Archives New Zealand - Te Rua Mahara o te Kāwanatanga
Reference: AAEG 626 1 d 4

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How to cite this page:

Jon Fraenkel, 'Pacific Islands and New Zealand - Fiji and Tonga', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, http://www.TeAra.govt.nz/en/photograph/36870/fijian-independence-celebrations-1970 (accessed 13 July 2020)

Story by Jon Fraenkel, published 20 Jun 2012