Author(s): W.David McIntyre
Dominion Day, 26 September 1907, was hailed as New Zealand's Fourth of July. The style 'Dominion of New Zealand' was adopted to symbolise the country's political independence. Dominion status formally marked off the self-governing communities of the British Empire from some fifty colonies and other dependencies. Separate representation of the Dominion at international conferences began in 1912 and, as a signatory of the League of Nations Covenant in 1919, New Zealand became a separate actor on the international stage. Equality of status and free association with Britain and the other Dominions was accepted, if reluctantly, in the 1926 status formula, and when the Statute of Westminster (1931) provided for constitutional independence, it was not made part of the law of New Zealand for sixteen years. But this in no way inhibited freedom of action by the Dominion.