Our Southern Isle
A winding road to freedom
Written and Compiled By Solomon N. Tor-Kilsen
Our People, Our Island, Our Future.
It’s not just a motto or a slogan, it is the heart cry of the Southern Man and Woman.
For generations there has been talk of “Cut the Cable”, ‘Setting the Fish Loose’, ‘Freeing Zealandia (South Island) from Tasmantis (North Island)’ and establishing a Mainlandian Nation.
And every decade or so, some new group comes along to herald the idea only to be turned down by challenge or apathy.
The first bat at Independence in the late 1800s scared the then Government to move the Capital and House of Parliament over 500 kilometers south from Auckland to Wellington and for the most part, that single victory set a standard of respect and understanding between the North and South based on the fact that the South could and would, if necessary, break away.
Since then, for the most part, life as part of New Zealand hasn’t been too bad.
However, in recent years, this respect and understanding seems to have been, not just lost, but completely disregarded. As such, there has been an ever growing sense of malcontent among the Southern people, and justifiably so.
The South, where lacking the size of the North’s economic activities, has always focused on the more practical ‘Export’ sectors such as Logging, Sheep, Beef, Wine, Aluminium, Dairy and other such products that introduce external funds into the country;
In contrast to the oversized ‘Service’ sectors more often found in Auckland and Wellington that simply circulates the money already here.
And of the taxes paid on this Southern Labour and Value? So much of it goes North for the building of Tunnels, Motorways, Sky Bridges and Stadiums for Auckland and not much value ever seems to come back South.
Our roads from Picton to Bluff, and from Invercargill through the inland are constantly in various states of disrepair, our Hospitals and other desperately needed medical ventures are critically underfunded, and, coming up 10 years later, Christchurch, New Zealand’s Third Largest City, is still in ruins…
Many in the South indeed wonder, does Wellington even know there is a South Island?
Other than missing the $63+ Billion we provide in GDP, many doubt they would indeed notice our departure.
All of which raises a very particular question:
If all the South Island is to New Zealand is little more than an unglorified cash cow, undeserving of care, attention or maintenance, why should the South Island remain a part of New Zealand?
Like the battered wife who works tirelessly to support the insatiable thirst of the abusive alcoholic husband, it is time this tireless and hard working South to divorce the proverbial leach that is the North Island.
It is time those of us in the South forge our own destiny and future, free from the shackles and taxes of those who think themselves better than us and think of themselves as our rulers and leaders.
It is time the South stood tall and established itself as a Free Nation. Free to decide our own fate, laws, customs and agreements with those we wish to have dealings with, rather than those thrust upon us by those who think they know better.
Establishing a New Nation is a romantic idea indeed, however, not an impossible one.
To be recognised as a legitimate Nation, a new country must have the following four attributes:
1: A defined territory.
2: A permanent population.
3: A Government.
4: The capacity to enter into relations with other states.
It’s a simple list and we already have two of the four sorted,
1: A defined territory, that would be: The South Island.
2: A permanent population: 1,155,400 (2019)
Numbers 3 & 4 however are going to prove a little more tricky.
First, we need to establish our own South Island Government.
Easier said than done as it would seem.
Second, out of that government, we need to establish the means of which to communicate with other nations around the globe (Australia, the UK and the United States being three such nations we might want to talk to).
Needless to say, we have a lot of work ahead of us if we want to realize this dream of freedom.
First, we need to establish a presence.
This is something I have been slowly working on since 2013 with the establishment of the SIIM Facebook Group and then SIIM Facebook Page in early 2014. Since then, we have appeared in numerous articles, National TV and Radio on multiple occasions and presented in various formats from Youtube videos to blog posts, some negative, however most appear favourable and sympathetic, if not in total support of our ideals.
From here, we need to keep building public recognition. We can do this by engaging in and representing a ‘Southern Voice’ on local issues, in local politics, the general election, writing articles, making videos, putting up posters, delivering Pro-Independence fliers, etc.
Second, we need to establish organization.
We have already started this in regardings to establishing the SIIM, but it needs to become more formalized and structured. We need volunteers, policy writers, strategists, members, and most importantly, bums on seats at local meetings.
We also have the chance to set up a political wing to stand candidates at general elections.
This is something that, while may not gain any form of “political victories” (though that would be nice and would provide us with much needed legitimacy), provides us with massive public attention and presents a neon sign pointing straight back to the movement.
Third, we need to establish local communities.
Even before everything else, we need to build our own communities within the movement, connecting like minded people on a local level on a regular basis.
If we truly want the South to be Free, we as the People of the South need to be united as one people. Social unity and cohesion is the key to this movement going forward.
Simply starting off by committing to regularly meet with other SIIM members, be it for a beer/coffee, a BBQ or collectively working together to organize a local “community pride day” or South Fest to show off what each local community can do. People love a good old fashioned market day with live music and entertainment, local stalls, food trucks and activities. Such things can be organized and run with as little as three people behind the scenes!
Fourth, we need to own the ground we live on.
It sounds hard, but it’s a challenge that we need to be able to overcome. As a movement, we need to establish ownership of the South Island via the legitimate purchasing of land, property and business. It can start small and local, but it is essential that South Islanders own the South Island, be it individually or through some form of Co-Op/Share Ownership.
I will talk about this in more detail in my section about South Zealandia, a project I’m working on for establishing a physical land base here in the South Island.
TedX – “How to Build a Place-Based Economy Where You Live”:
For the rest of the Book: