Independent State of Aramoana
fullName = Independent State of Aramoana
shortName = Aramoana
secondImageType = Seal
December 23, 1980
language = English
New Zealand Dollar
timezone = The Independent State of Aramoana was a
micronationthat existed in New Zealandduring the early 1980s.
It was founded in response to a plan by a consortium composed of New Zealand-based
Fletcher Challenge, Australia's CSR Limitedand Swiss firm Alusuisseto build a large aluminium smeltingfacility in an environmentally sensitive area known as Aramoanaat the head of Otago Harbour, near Dunedin, on New Zealand's South Island.
The smelter plan called for the destruction of the
villages of Aramoanaand Te Ngaru, and also threatened a local wildlife reserve. In response to this the residents of the area duly announced their secession from New Zealand on 23 December, 1980, established a "border post" and "travelling embassy", printed passports, citizenship certificates and stamps, and set about using the resultant publicity to build a national grassrootscampaign in opposition to the smelter.
The consortium was strongly endorsed by the New Zealand Government, which initially proposed to subsidise the cost of electricity required for the smelter's operation, leading to fears that the wider population of New Zealand would be faced with significant
electricityprice hikes in the longer term. However, the campaign waged by Aramoana and its supporters eventually forced a Government backdown, calling into question the economic viability of the project.
This development combined with declining aluminium prices on world commodity markets, eventually led to the withrawal of Alusuisse from the consortium in October,
1981. The remaining partners failed to secure additional investment capital, and eventually abandoned the project, paving the way for the peaceful reintegration of the Independent State of Aramoana back into New Zealand.
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