Instruction: To dry my washing on my neighbour’s clothes line, on Waitangi Day.
Time: 12 noon
Duration: 9 mins
Conditions: Washing (jeans and t-shirt), 4x plastic pegs, stepladder, neighbour’s washing line, gentle breeze, s 3 Trespass Act 1980*
Description: On February 6, 2012, I jumped the neighbouring fence to hang my washing on my neighbour’s clothesline. This action of social and neighbourly transgression was to consider the nature of land ownership in New Zealand and the rhetoric of disagreement that arises every year around Waitangi Day (February 6) and the Treaty of Waitangi. A day that commemorates the 1840 signing of New Zealand’s only and living treat; and an agreement that continues to draw debate as to its future significance to the constitutional, legal and cultural frameworks of this country. With no witnesses to claim offense or loss, this action was my participation in the ongoing debate as to the continued relevance of the Treaty of Waitangi to New Zealand today.
*s 3 of the Trespass Act 1980 states that every person commits an offence who trespasses on any place and, after being warned to leave that place by an occupier of that place, neglects or refuses to do so.