Friday, February 23, 2007

So much for the New Zealand Day Bill

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!


"New Zealand Day"? And what exactly would that signify? How many of us knows what 'New Zealand' is named after and what it means? At least the Justice and Electoral Committee had the brains to flush that idea down the dunny where it belongs. And anyway, what is wrong with a 'bit of protest', it's what keeps the blood flowing through our veins (and the blogs for that matter)!
Waitangi Day is the only day we have to celebrate unless someone can come up with something more historically meaningful?


Posted by Anonymous : 2/23/2007 10:35:00 PM

I can't help thinking that expecting intellectual coherence from United Future is a little overly-optimistic.

Posted by Anonymous : 2/23/2007 10:57:00 PM

Having a waitangi day as a national day is a bit like having cigarettes. We know it causes bad side effects for us but we can't ban it, it would just kick up too much of a stink. So I'm inclind to oppose getting rid of waitangi day and support having a seperate NZ day.

how about
our first election?
our independance day?

Posted by Anonymous : 2/24/2007 10:21:00 AM

anon: From what I've just discovered, elections were historically held over many months, so there was no official election day for a long time. Also, not much to celebrate because not all Maori and women could vote.
As for an 'independence day' (26. Sept), maybe this would be cause to have the day off, I don't know why we don't already.


Posted by Anonymous : 2/24/2007 11:56:00 AM

aladin - technically speaking September 26th (Dominion Day) isn't really a date of independence, although dominion status did expand New Zealand's independence slightly, removing the right of the Colonial Office to advise the Governor (hence the office was later renamed). See -
Republican Movement website.

Like I/S, I think the day should be to mark the final step to our independence, a republic day.

Posted by Lewis Holden : 2/24/2007 01:21:00 PM

One can but hope they remember to go independent around mid-June to preserve the midwinter holiday of Queen's Birthday.

Posted by tussock : 2/24/2007 03:16:00 PM

"It testifies to the importance of the Treaty of Waitangi and the partnership of maori and Pakeha since 1840,"

All PC bull crap and the committee is obviously full of liberal left handwringing pansies.

The fact is that there is no law that defines this "partnership", it is merely a creature of Labour's Royal Commission of Social Policy back in the 1980s. It is just one more example of Labour bringing in a mass of policy based on their ideologiocal socialist crap that people are sick of like CYFS with the UNCROC rubbish.

People are sick of having all this Treaty crap ramed down their throats. Dunne is on the right track.

Posted by Anonymous : 2/24/2007 08:47:00 PM

"tussock said...

One can but hope they remember to go independent around mid-June to preserve the midwinter holiday of Queen's Birthday. "

Ah, we could make Queen's Birthday Matariki... that would be a truly NZ holiday.

Posted by Lewis Holden : 2/25/2007 08:45:00 PM