Dominion status film

This clip tells the story of New Zealand's adoption of dominion status in 1907. It contains images and sound (through the voice of an actor) of Prime Minister Sir Joseph Ward reading the proclamation on 26 September that year and film of Dominion Day celebrations outside Parliament and at Newtown Park in Wellington, taken in 1907 or 1908.


Narrator: Sir Joseph Ward went to the Imperial Conference in 1907, and it was decided that the self-governing colonies would be called dominions. Now of course Australia, the Australian colonies had federated, they were called a commonwealth; Canada was called a dominion, but New Zealand was still called a colony, so he thought it was an advance for New Zealand to be called a dominion.

Sir Joseph Ward (actor's voice): 'And the territories belonging thereto shall be called and known by the title of the Dominion of New Zealand.'

Narrator: But when Ward announced it, Massey said the name was pretentious and would make New Zealand ridiculous. I think he meant that it suggested we were as important as Canada. But you could say that that was a step in the direction of independence even if it was in name only.

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