The Justice and Electoral Committee has reported back [PDF] on Peter Dunne's New Zealand Day Bill and recommended that it not be passed. The bill would have renamed Waitangi Day "New Zealand Day" in an effort to remove a focus for protest and encourage national unity. However, the committee thought it was misguided, to say the least:
We note that many of the submitters who opposed the bill claimed that renaming Waitangi Day would be a backward and divisive step. They argued that Waitangi Day is a national day that celebrates the signing of the founding document of new Zealand. It testifies to the importance of the Treaty of Waitangi and the partnership of maori and Pakeha since 1840, and remains an important occasion for recognising cultural heritage and history in New Zealand. Submitters suggested that renaming Waitangi Day would diminish the significance of the treaty and that this would be particularly harmful to Maori. Several submitters believed that renaming Waitangi Day would not defuse racial tensions but rather create further social division.
As someone who submitted against the bill, and made similar points in my submission, I'm naturally pleased. Dunne also seems to have got the message, and now looks set to focus his attempts to create a new "New Zealand Day" on a different date, rather than attempting to denigrate Maori. Unfortunately, he still doesn't seem to be considering the obvious option: declare a republic, and celebrate its birth!