Thursday, November 09, 2017


Parliament's opening prayer has been changed to drop references to Jesus and the foreign monarch. Here's the new version:

Almighty God, we give thanks for the blessings which have been bestowed on New Zealand.

Laying aside all personal interests, we pray for guidance in our deliberations, that we may conduct the affairs of this House with wisdom and humility, for the public welfare and peace of New Zealand.

Well, that's some progress at least. But its still not appropriate for a Parliament which respects freedom of religion to open with a religious statement, which asks for the guidance of an imaginary being. This is both nonsensical, and sends a message to the huge number of irreligious New Zealanders that they're not real citizens. But progress is made of small steps, and this is certainly better than what we had.

Speaking of progress, the Speaker opened Question Time today by reciting the prayer in te reo. He was bad at at, but the symbolism is important, and I am glad he is making the effort.