Issuing passports to its citizens is a jealously guarded prerogative of the state. When the New Zealand government planned, in the late 1970s and early 1980s, to provide cheap power for an aluminium smelter at Aramoana in Otago, those opposed to the project declared Aramoana ‘independent’. They created an alternative citizenship and sold passports and postage stamps to raise money to try to stop the smelter being built.
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