A poll on Radio NZ found 55% of NZers do not consider Waitangi Day significant to them personally. Even amongst Maori only 74% found the day significant.
Now this is not a reason not to have Waitangi Day, We should. The 6th of February should always be commemorated, and it should be called Waitangi Day.
What I have always supported is having a New Zealand Day also, on a separate date. Maybe on 26 September – Dominion Day.
Waitangi Day will always to some degree be a day focused on Treaty grievances, and this aspect will dominate.
But it would be nice to have a New Zealand Day which unashamedly focused on the positives and achievements of New Zealand and New Zealanders. Doesn’t have to be jingoistic but there is so much great about this country, it would be nice to be able to celebrate that once a year. Being the first country to give women the vote, the achievements of Hillary and Blake, the film achievements of many Kiwis, our literature, our wine etc.