Friday, July 29, 2005


Below is my submission on the New Zealand Day Bill:

  1. I oppose the New Zealand Day Bill for the following reasons:
  2. The Treaty of Waitangi is the moral foundation of our constitution and its signing marks the start of the New Zealand project. The name of the day on which we celebrate this event should reflect what it is we are celebrating.
  3. Many have complained that Waitangi Day is "all about guilt". I believe it is important to remember that we have not always lived up to the ideals of partnership and co-operation laid out in the Treaty, so that we do not make similar mistakes in the future. Waitangi Day should therefore be a day of both celebration and reflection.
  4. Changing the name of Waitangi Day to New Zealand Day is a gratuitous denigration of Maori and their place in New Zealand's history. The symbolism of the change is to write Maori out of New Zealand's past and to say that they don't matter. For the New Zealand government to take such action would simply be shameful.
  5. A motivation for the bill is to avoid protests at Waitangi Day celebrations. However, the needless insult to Maori from this bill simply invites further protest, which is likely to continue until the name is changed back.
  6. As a general comment, if the government wants to end protest at Waitangi Day, they should work harder to address the underlying grievances, and avoid creating new, rather than simply trying to sweep the entire thing under the carpet with a name change.
  7. I oppose s5 of the bill. Like ANZAC Day, Waitangi Day should be celebrated on the appropriate date. However, I do not oppose "mondayising" the holiday rather than the celebration, as is done for Christmas and New Years Day.
  8. I do not wish to make an oral submission to the Select Committee.

Lewis also has a submission up here, and its rather better than mine. However, he missed the best alternative for a new national day: declare a republic and celebrate its birth...


Agree 100%. Well said.

Posted by Nigel Kearney : 7/29/2005 05:42:00 PM

Well said I/S, I agree about 95% (think you might have overcooked the emotive language just a tad in 4). I find these submissions of yours very interesting. You've even got me considering making my own submissions, something which had never crossed my mind before. Good job.

Posted by Anonymous : 7/29/2005 09:09:00 PM

Disagree 95% I am particularly bemused by 4 you seem to be living in a parallel universe.

Still I wouldnt rush into changing the name - I dont really want angry protesters disrupting traffic on queen street.

> However, he missed the best alternative for a new national day: declare a republic and celebrate its birth...

Better yet - merge with australia and create a australasia day.

Posted by Anonymous : 7/29/2005 11:15:00 PM

Peter: well, you should have done you own submission then.

BerlinBear: I toned it down substantially. I believe my original phrase was "pissing in their faces"...

I've been trying to encourage people to submit on legislation since the CU and F&S bills. It's not that difficult, and while there's some cynicism about whether politicians actually pay attention to anything they receive, its better than nothing. Democracy is a participatory sport, and if you don't stand up for your views, and get walked all over by people who do, then you have no-one to blame but yourself...

Posted by Idiot/Savant : 7/30/2005 12:24:00 AM

Thanks Idiot... but my submission missed that all important 'don't want to make an oral submission.' Guess they'll just have to call me then.

I've come to agree with your sentiments on the issue however - addressing the underlying issues is far more important, that said, there will always be some form of controversy - you just can't please everyone.

And yes, a Republic Day would be the best option...

Posted by Lewis Holden : 7/30/2005 03:15:00 PM

I think if Labour get in again, the Republic will be on the agenda.

Posted by Unknown : 7/30/2005 05:46:00 PM

Merc: yet another reason to vote for them then.

Posted by Idiot/Savant : 7/30/2005 06:16:00 PM

a marginal vote looser though I would suggest

Posted by Anonymous : 7/30/2005 08:50:00 PM

After 3 terms they know they will never make for a President, we will have to grow one.

Posted by Unknown : 7/31/2005 12:46:00 PM

You didn't say it would be a 'denigration' of Maori?

Was that an intentional double-switchback irony or something uber-sophisticated?

Or did you really mean 'deprecation'?

Posted by Prog Blog : 8/01/2005 12:59:00 AM

Prog: Denigrate: 1 to cast aspersions on; defame 2 to belittle

I think "belittling" is exactly what this bill will do, and its certainly more appropriate than the mild dissaproval implied by deprecation.

Posted by Idiot/Savant : 8/01/2005 09:39:00 AM

Dammit. It's certainly a more appropriate word...

Posted by Idiot/Savant : 8/01/2005 09:41:00 AM