Democratia of New Starland
(English: The Good Island)
"Cloud Atlas Sextet"
| Kermadec Islands, Polynesia |
|Demonym||New Starlander (n); New Starlandic (adj)|
|- Grand Protector||Suzuki Akihonaomi|
|- Number of seats||- 9|
|Established||23 July 2015|
|Area claimed||32.72 km²|
|National animal||Kermadec Red-Crowned Parakeet|
The Democratia of New Starland (previously known as the Raoul Commune) is a small micronation that claims the Polynesian island chain of the Kermadecs in the South Pacific, although its land claims have yet to be settled by its citizens. New Starland was founded by Suzuki Akihonaomi following a string of unsuccessful micronations.
The Democratia of New Starland is named in remembrance of a previous micronation founded by Suzuki Akihonaomi in 2005, known as the Starland Republic and New Pamlico, which collapsed in 2013. The prefix of Democratia is Latin for "direct democracy," and so was chosen to reflect New Starland's unique form of government.
New Starland was formerly known simply as Raoul until 28 August 2015, when the name was temporarily changed to Raoul Commune. The official name of New Starland was given on 29 November 2015, and was further lengthened to the Democratia of New Starland on 17 March 2016. The country is still commonly referred to as New Starland, however.
Stone implements of a Polynesian type have been found on Raoul Island, and there is evidence of a prehistoric settlement there. However, the island was found to be uninhabited when first visited by Europeans in the 1700s, and it has been briefly inhabited many times by colonists and shipwrecked sailors. There is currently no civilian population, but a group of volcanologists and New Zealand DOC workers have maintained a permanent station their since 1937. Raoul Island is maintained by New Zealand, and claimed by both New Zealand and New Starland.
Raoul Island is home to at least fourteen shipwrecks, including the Japanese chemical-tanker Kinei Maru 10. In the early hours of 12 August 1986 the ship sailed into Denham Bay at top speed, slamming into the beach and becoming stuck. The fault was blamed solely on the incompetence of the ship's captain. The Kinei Maru 10 remains on Denham Beach to this day, although sand buildup on the shore has mostly buried the tanker.
Prehistory of New Starland
New Starland was preceded by two unsuccessful micronation attempts founded by Suzuki Akihonaomi's former alias Andrew Clingersmith, who was responsible for creating and leading the Starland Republic and New Pamlico from 2005 to 2013. Originally called Drew Star Line until 2007, this precursor country has usually been referred to as DSL-Starland since its collapse. The micronation was dogged by disinterest among citizens, government corruption, and the takeover by rival micronations on five separate occasions (including once by the New Pamlico Federation, which was incorporated into DSL-Starland in April 2012). In the summer of 2013 Clingersmith changed his name to Akihonaomi, coming out as a transgender female, and abandoned DSL-Starland on 13 September 2013, the 8th anniversary of its founding.
Akihonaomi almost immediately created a new micronation attempt called the San Dover Queendom on 15 September 2013, the official successor state to DSL-Starland but with a vastly different legal and economic systems. San Dover officially managed to last (in name at least) until 6 June 2014, but the state collapsed within two weeks of its founding.New Starland's origins hark back to 2008, when Clingersmith discovered a large, mostly uninhabited island in the South Pacific called Raoul Island using Google Earth. Clingersmith did consider claiming this island for DSL-Starland, but eventually decided against it. Raoul Island was, however, continuously brought up as a possible relocation for the people of DSL-Starland in National Council meetings, but was dismissed on each occasion. It was deemed too far away from DSL-Starland's other territorial claims in and around Havelock, North Carolina US. San Dover's Council also considered claiming Raoul Island, but the state collapsed before a decision could be made.
Founding of New Starland
New Starland was founded at 16:00 UTC on 23 July 2015 by Akihonaomi, and is considered to be the successor state of both DSL-Starland and San Dover. Although the micronation claims Raoul Island, its current base of operation lies in Havelock, NC, United States. Akihonaomi says this is only temporary, and that the population will be moved to the island in the next 6 to 8 years. During this time Akihonaomi hopes to have at least 50 citizens, an economic and financial base to grow upon, and supplies to settle Raoul Island. The settlement area is designated as the southern part of Raoul Island, in a heavily forested canyon called Sunshine Valley. The settlement will be called Drewstarcity, in reference to New Starland's origins in Drew Star Line.
On 27 January 2016 Akihonaomi announced that New Starland would become a direct democracy, with all citizens to be part of a Grand Council. The Grand Council is led by a Grand Protector. Akihonaomi is currently Grand Protector and was elected into office on 1 March 2016.
Pre-Settlement Era (2016 to Present)
One of the Grand Council's first tasks was to establish a set timeline for settlement of Raoul Island. A preliminary settlement date of 2020 was proposed, but this has yet to be approved by all parties.
Furious debates were made regarding the importation of domesticated animals to the island in late March 2016. This move was strongly opposed by Akihonaomi, but on 28 March a finalized plan was made. Pets would be limited to two per person, and livestock would be kept on the isolated Eastern Isles District. Furthermore, the Docland District was renamed the New Starland Wildlife Refuge and was barred from being settled.
On 10 April 2016, New Starland became the base of Project Red Lightning (PRL), a scientific venture founded by Akihonaomi and fellow New Starlander Rialy Newsom in 2012. Among several space endevours planned by PRL, the biggest one by far is the manned exploration of the star systems Alpha Centauri and Sirius by the year 2100. This move was to help strengthen the future economy of New Starland and to give PRL more legitimacy. The rest of the Kermadec Islands of Macauley, Cheeseman, Curtis, and l'Esperance were annexed the same day to provide land for PRL's spaceports.
New Starland is a direct democracy, with all citizens over the age of 16 being part of a legislature known as the Grand Council. The Grand Council's job is to create and enforce laws. The Grand Council also elects the head of state/government, a position known as the Grand Protector. The Grand Protector is elected by a popular vote and retains that position for life. However, the Grand Council can replace the Grand Protector at any time by a popular vote. The Grand Protector's job is to lead New Starland in times of conflict, break up ties in the Grand Council, and act as the head of state at international meetings. New Starland's present Grand Protector is Suzuki Akihonaomi, having been sworn in on 1 March 2016.
New Starland's capital city has been determined to be located in Sunshine Valley, a steep-sloped gully bordered to the north by the Moumoukai Range, to the west by the Prospect Range, to the south by the Mahoe Range, and to the east by South Bay. The area was chosen for it's seclusion and easy access to the sea. It lies at the fork of two unnamed freshwater creeks and is in a heavily forested section of the island. The capital city had no official name until 29 November 2015 when it was christened Drewstarcity.
New Starland is divided into seven internal divisions, known as Districts. Each District has its own Council made up of citizens from that District. These District Councils have a similar structure to the Grand Council, and are responsible for hearing criminal and civil court cases. Additionally each District Council is headed by a District Protector, elected in the same fashion as the Grand Protector, and has similar duties. Docland and the Southern Isles are considered special districts under the direct control of the Grand Council. Each District also has a temporary official flag, most of them having been used by New Starland's past incarnations.
A settlement plan was established on 29 March 2016, giving each citizen a claim to 1 hectare (2.5 acres) of land in their choice of the five habitable Districts. The first to claim land in a District was given the opportunity to design the said District's permanent flag, could name their claim, and additionally any bordering claims from other citizens would become a part of the original claimant's settlement. However, only two citizens have thus far claimed land.
Foreign RelationsNew Starland has diplomatic ties only to those states who recognize the island nation's sovereignty over the Kermadec Islands, the exception being New Zealand. New Zealand has laid claim to the Kermadecs since 1887, and it is currently their northernmost held possession. Although New Starland disputes New Zealand's claim, they will allow the DOC worker facility to remain operational and under New Zealand jurisdiction.
New Starland has also inherited the diplomatic ties with the Republic of Emerald Isle set up during the period of DSL-Starland's heyday and carried on to some extent in San Dover. It was originally devised as a possible merger of the two micronations, but the program bore no fruit. Akihonaomi has made no attempt to revitalize these relations with Emerald Isle's leader Jackson Alexander to date.
Akihonaomi proposed an alliance between the Provisional Government of Salmonia on 20 March 2016. She offered Macauley Island to President Westin Hart in an attempt to protect New Starland's southern flank from possible New Zealand retaliation. This "Kermadec Union" was dissolved following the Grand Council's decision to annex all of the Kermadec Islands, including Macauley, to make way for Project Red Lightning's planned spaceports on 10 April 2016. Diplomatic relations are still maintained despite the annexation, however.
New Starland recognizes and maintains diplomatic relations with the following nations and micronations:
New Starland's national bird and animal is the Kermadec Red-Crowned Parakeet (Cyanoramphus novaezelandiae), a species native only to Kermadec Islands. A mostly bright green bird with blue highlights and a red crown, the Kermadec Red-Crowned Parakeet was hunted to extinction on the Kermadecs by loose domesticated cats. For 172 years the surviving Parakeets lived on the Eastern Isles District, until finally returning naturally to Raoul Island in 2008. They have yet to return to the Southern Isles District, however.
New Starland's flag replace an old one created in 2005 that was used by both DSL-Starland and San Dover. A slight variation of the old flag was in use until the new one replaced it on 29 July 2015, which was itself replaced exactly four months later. The national colors Green, Orange and Yellow have been used in the flags of all three micronations, and were chosen because they are Akihonaomi's favorite colors. The green triangle represents Raoul Island (although not necessarily the island's shape, which is anvil-like). The three stars represent New Starland and the two previous micronations that it is built upon, DSL-Starland and San Dover.
The national symbol is an anchor on a stone pedestal, based on a memorial built on Raoul Island sometime in the early 1900s. The memorial serves an unknown purpose, but could mark a grave of shipwrecked sailors. It has since fallen into disrepair.
New Starland's national anthem is a lyric-less song called the "Cloud Atlas Sextet." It was composed by music director Tom Tykwer for the film adaptation of David Mitchell's 2004 novel Cloud Atlas.
The national seal contains New Starland's national colors of green, orange, and yellow. The seal contains the national motto "Bonum Insula," Latin for "The Good Island." Below are the Roman numerals MMXV, or 2015, the year New Starland became independent, and the name of the country itself.
EconomyNew Starland lacks an economic base, due to the fact that the micronation's claimed lands have yet to be settled. The island does abound in fish, tropical lumber, and volcanic glass, which will likely be harvested to form a small export economy.New Starland also has several large, picturesque beaches and could support a substantial tourist industry. Akihonaomi stresses the need for the island to be entirely self-sufficient from the outside world, however.
New Starland is also home to the space exploration venture Project Red Lightning. PRL plans on building several massive spaceports in the Southern Isles District that will one day provide safe and affordable public travel to space and beyond, as well as launch vehicles and facilities for privately funded satellites.
New Starland does have a determined currency. Called the Denham (
D), it is named for Denham Bay, Raoul Island's largest bay, which is in turn named after Fleetwood Denham, who died in 1854 and is buried on the Bay's shore. The current currency is not yet in mint, although preliminary designs are being put forward. The Denham is seen as a vast move away from the almost worthless currency used by both DSL-Starland and San Dover since 2006, the Rook.
New Starland is located on Raoul Island, a volcanic island located in the South Pacific, and is part of the Kermadec Island chain. Raoul Island is a heavily forested tropical island that is surrounded by dozens of small islets, all of which are claimed by New Starland. New Starland also claims the rest of the Kermadec Islands as part of it's Southern Isles District. The total land area of Raoul Island, the offshore islets, and the remaining Kermadecs is 32.72 km² (12.63 mi²).
Raoul Island is anvil shaped, and is home to five principle mountain ranges and three volcanoes. The highest point on the island is Mt. Moumoukai at 516 m (1693 ft), and it overlooks Raoul Island's central volcanic crater. The crater houses two flooded calderas, called Green Lake and Blue Lake. Both are active volcanoes, the last eruption occurring from Green Lake on 17 March 2006, which was responsible for one death and the evacuation of all DOC workers from the island. The area of forest around the two calderas is known as Devastation Ridge.
The third volcano is Denham Caldera, located on the eastern side of the island. It is believed to have destroyed over half of Raoul Island around 2200 years ago. The explosion flooded the caldera and in so doing created Denham Bay, the largest bay on the island. The undersea volcano continues to erupt today, although without as much strength. Several of the islets off the eastern coast were also created by volcanic vents associated with the larger calderas.
The island has about one to two major (7.0 magnitude or higher) earthquakes a year, although can go for a short number of years without one. Minor earthquakes happen on an almost daily basis.
Raoul Island has three lakes. Blue and Green lakes are 117 ha (289 ac) and 16 ha (40 ac) respectively. Both are highly acidic, although Blue Lake is less so than Green, being able to support coral reefs but not fish. Blue Lake is up to 67 m (220 ft) deep, while Green Lake is up to 95 m (312 ft) deep. The third lake is called Tui, and at 0.5 ha (1 ac) contains drinkable freshwater, as well as at least two species of fish not known to exist anywhere else in the world. These fish have yet to be scientifically cataloged, however. The island also contains three freshwater springs and dozens of small, unnamed freshwater streams.
New Starland has 8 named islets and islet chains surrounding it, all of them to the east and south of the main island, as well as around 40 unnamed islets. The largest of the islets are the Meyer Islands, a steep sloped islet that rises up to 100 m (328 ft) above sea level. Meyer has subsequently fractured into about 25 pieces due to shore erosion. Other eastern islets include Nugent Island (New Starland's northernmost claim), Napier Island, Dayrell Island, Egeria Rock, and the three Chanter Islands. The South Bay contains the Milne Islets and Dougall Rocks, which are both large coral reefs exposed to the air. Islets will occasionally form in and around Denham Bay, but they do not last more than a few years before being eroded by the strong surf.
New Starland also claims the four southern islands of the Kermadecs: Macauley, Cheeseman, Curtis and l'Esperance. These steeped cliffed islands have been badly ravaged by goats left over from 19th century sailors to the point of complete deforestation. Native birds once so prevalent on the these islands, including New Starland's national bird the Kermadec Red-Crowned Parakeet, are locally extinct. Although the goats were removed by the 1980s, the attempted reforestation of the these islands has thus far failed.
Flora and Fauna
The interior of the island is home to a dense forest of Norfolk Pines, Kermadec Pohutukawa and Nikau Palms. It is also the southernmost place in the world where Coconut Palms are known to grow wild. The island has no native mammals, although goats, domesticated cats and polynesian rats were brought to the island by Europeans. They caused significant damage to the native plant life and seabird population until their eradication 1986.
Raoul Island is home to 10 native bird species, including the national bird of New Starland, the Kermadec Red-Crowned Parakeet. Other birds include Harriers, Pukekos, Tuis, Terns, Petrels and Boobies. Raoul Island is listed as an Important Bird Area by BirdLife International.
The waters off Raoul Island support coral reefs and hundreds of fish species, and is home to five of the world's seven sea turtle species. Black Gruppers, Drummers and Chocolate Seastars also inhabit the offshore coral reefs. The island and waters surrounding it are part of the Kermadec Islands Marine Reserve, New Zealand's largest marine reservation.
The island is also home to several invasive plant species that New Zealand DOC workers are currently in the process of removing, including the massive Norfolk Pine populations.
On 28 March 2016, the Grand Council created the New Starland Wildlife Refuge. It encompasses the entirety of the Docland District, and is deemed off-limits to settlement. The Refuge was created to solve the issue of bringing domesticated animals to Raoul Island.
New Starland has several national holidays, most of them established during the heyday of DSL-Starland.
|Starland Day||1 March 2007||Celebrates the transition from Drew Star Line to the Starland Republic.|
|Victory Day||20 May 2010||Celebrates Starland's victory over the New Pamlico Federation in the Rice Lane War.|
|Independence Day||23 July 2015||Celebrates the founding of the Democratia of New Starland.|
|Drew Star Line Day||13 September 2005||Celebrates the founding of Drew Star Line, the precursor to New Starland.|
|Red Lightning Day||17 October 2012||Celebrates the founding of the space venture Project Red Lightning.|