Waitangi Day

February 7th, 2007 at 10:05 am by David Farrar

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.

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38 Responses to “Waitangi Day”

  1. tim barclay () says:

    Waitangi day seems to be a day of protest for a number of maori radicals who have over the years been well pampered by the State at the expense of tax payers. Hence the huge disconnect by ordinary New Zealanders. Those protests have largely been offensive gestures by one person or other and given huge prominance by the media. I admit that is changing especially this year when the weather dampened things somewhat. But many if not most New Zealanders are not fussed about seeing some offensive gesture being played out in their living rooms.

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  2. Murray () says:

    August 8th.

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  3. pdm () says:

    Dominion Day seems a good idea.

    We don’t need an extra public holiday so perhaps it could replace either Queens Birthday or Labour Day, both of which have little significance these days.

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  4. David C () says:

    As long as there is greivance over the treaty, then there will be protests at Waitangi Day.

    I think we allow the protests. It’s kinda fair really isn’t it? To protest something you disagree with?

    Besides, if so many people don’t feel it’s significant to them then really it’s only the media who are making it so by giving it such prominence.

    “Waitangi day seems to be a day of protest for a number of maori radicals who have over the years been well pampered by the State at the expense of tax payers”

    Seriously Barclay you never cease to amaze me with your joining of the dots to make it a leftist conspiracy.

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  5. Hoolian () says:

    I agree. I would go as far as to say that we should have a NZ Day and a Maori Day (which may not have to be a public hol as such). It is important for NZ to celebrate its Maoridom/culture and Waitangi Day is an absolute mess. It is more about Maori getting back at the white men than of any celebration. And even if thats not the case, it is certainly the impression one gets from all the protests etc.

    Does anyone know why Dunne’s bill to get a NZ Day was thrown out?

    And pdm – Are you nuts? We do need another public holiday! There’s no way that pubic hols will ever be regarded as too much of a good thing.

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  6. Ben Wilson () says:

    A New Zealand day would be a target for protesting every bit as much as Waitangi day is.

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  7. R Singers () says:

    Whatever the holiday it should be in that big long gap between holidays in the middle of the year. Apart from Dominion day, Matariki may be another contender of significance. Many people host a ‘mid-winter’ christmas around this time anyway. It could become a NZ version of Xmas\Thanksgiving dedicated to the roasting of large dead animals.

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  8. Sonic () says:

    ” number of maori radicals who have over the years been well pampered by the State at the expense of tax payers”

    I for one object to paying my Maori radical tax surcharge….

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  9. Rex Widerstrom () says:

    pdm… whadarya, a Calvinist? ;-P

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  10. the Swift man () says:

    Expecting Pakeha to pay compensation for the alleged actions of their ancestors is as insane as expecting Maori to pay compensation for the wiping out of the moa and the introduction of the rat.

    Labour voters are vermon.

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  11. Sonic () says:

    “Labour voters are vermon”

    Is that a bluey/green type of colour or more of a red..

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  12. baxter () says:

    This year will be the centennial Dominion Day, perhaps it might be timely to have a name change to New Zealand Day. I also think as Waitangi Day has been captured by Maori it should be turned over to them as a day on which to celebrate their culture.Anniversary days should be cancelled to allow for the new holday created, indeed Sth Canterbury I think already has Dominion Day as its anniversary.

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  13. Barnsley Bill () says:

    There was little protest this year and most commentators are calling the weather as a reason for the calm. The weather certainly helped but another reason IMO is the fact that most of the regular rabble rousers are now members of parliament. Better to have them inside the tent pissing out than outside the tent pissing in.

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  14. Gaz () says:

    How about February 7th? We could get rid of the regional anniversary days and have one “New Zealand” Day. The reason for the 7th is that it’ll give the radical maoris a chance to get protesting out of their system. I particularly think this approach would work if there were no celebrations at Waitangi at all on the 7th. So let the radicals have the 6th – we’ll take the day off and keep the 7th for ourselves.
    Also could make it like Xmas/New Years and if it falls on the weekend have a day off the following monday/tuesday to ensure we get a holiday. It’s also a far better time of year for a 4 day weekend than the end of December (or at least it was here…)

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  15. Lear () says:

    Hear, hear!

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  16. Fred () says:

    Alas, the Waitang’s Treaty has all the appalling unfairness of a pre-nuptual agreement.

    Circumstances have changed…new realities mean unforeseen unfairnesses.

    A bit like commercial law really.

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  17. aladin () says:

    “Even amongst Maori only 74% found the day significant.” only??

    …and almost half of NZers found it significant.

    …and then you say “now this is not a reason not to have Waitangi Day” and that “we should have a day that focuses on the positives of NZ and NZers”.
    Why not be positive of the fact that most Kiwis find Waitangi Day to be significant?

    aladin

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  18. thehawk () says:

    With an NZ day we whiteys wouldn’t have to fawn over all the beneficiaries at Waitangi.

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  19. David Farrar () says:

    Che,

    Firstly of course 74% of Maori thinking the day significant is a substantial majority. I just expected it to be over 90%. Just as I would expect 90% of Catholics to find Easter significant and less so of the non Catholics.

    I agree the day has great significance for most (74%) of Maori. That is why I don’t support changing it.

    Finally you’d do better in discussions if you could get your head around the fact I do not say things to please or displease National.

    I called on them to support the Foreshore repeal bill by the Maori Party, even though I knew they probably wouldn’t. I have attacked the Maori Party when they say dumb things and praised them when I agree with them. My responses are based on my views.

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  20. SPC () says:

    Some polls showed New Zealanders were for Waitangi Day as a national day and also for another national holiday as well.

    The figures in the poll cited here, are reduced by the use of the word “personally”.

    The problem with a new national day is lack of consensus on what day that would be. The other factor is that most nations choose stable weather summertime for such days, for obvious reasons.

    Queens Birthday (eventually replaced by Matariki?) and Sept have limitations for this reason.

    January to March offer more on the day. In terms of story flow, a day soon after February 6 fits best.

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  21. Kiwi Bohemian () says:

    Some comments on my blog:

    http://www.kiwibohemian.com/2007/02/07/New+Zealand+Day.aspx

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  22. Dale () says:

    Why would I, a New Zealander Of British extraction want to celebrate matariki? Good god, it’s as foreign to me the chinese new year or islam. Btw, I am still happy to have Queens birthday. It helps my children understand their roots, as really, New Zealand may be a nation but its certainly no ethnicity. No, i am not a generic “european” NZ’er. I am English and proud of it as are my children.
    Another holiday breaking the fast between Queens birthday and Labour day would also be rather sweet.

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  23. SPC () says:

    The problem is Dale, we will NOT always be tied to the English Crown – so EVENTUALLY QB will become extinct. Matariki is the available holiday around this time of year replacing it.

    On the theme of another national day, this is unlikely to occur until we become a fully sovereign nation. We can signal that there will be such a national day chosen to partner Waitangi Day (which would then become like our Thanksgiving), this when we are fully independent.

    We the people of New Zealand (Pakeha and Maori)
    are the Crown sovereigns of New Zealand/Aotearoa and accept all the obligations of the Crown tradition. We shall have our elected government nominate someone to hold Crown Governor office (this nomination requiring 2/3 or 3/4 of parliament confirming it) to act on behalf of our collective sovereignty.

    On the day such is enacted (hopefully in late February early March – summertime weather) – a New Zealand Day can then have a legitimacy.

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  24. SPC () says:

    Oh and because Matariki is Maori, is no reason for it not to become recognised as a public holiday – after all we have Christmas and Easter and most don’t go to church even on those days.

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  25. insider () says:

    Yeah right Matariki. I wonder how many Maori let alone non Maori had ever actually heard of this before well meaning bureaucrats basically invented it as a mid year event?

    One kaumatua interviewed on radio basically said each area celebrated at it different times of winter…

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  26. Sonic () says:

    Christmas and Easter, both based on events that happened in Palestine.

    Ever so English!

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  27. SPC () says:

    It can be argued that both Easter and Christmas were invented events (depending on whether one believes in a child conceived by God and a resurrection of a dead person back into lving flesh in this world before being raptured in such a form into heavan)and that the days they are observed on now are not those that the events commemorated occured on.

    But if Rome wanted to retain a spring renewal and mid winter festival once adopting Christianity …

    And Matariki is timed so it could replace QB weekend …

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  28. Ben Wilson () says:

    Personally I spent Waitangi Day chilling out by the beach with my family, not ‘fawning over beneficiaries’. Got no clue what Matariki is, but so long as it doesn’t get in the way of me having fun, whatever.

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  29. insider () says:

    Well sonic they have been celebrated in England since at least about 700ad/ce according to the venerable Bede, so in that sense are probably more English than English (the language that is)

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  30. SPC () says:

    The Welsh “could” claim their language was spoken in England before any Christian commemoration, thus being Welsh was more English than being Christian. Though they “would” say more British.

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  31. Chris () says:

    I’m all for another public holiday! And whats this bollix of not getting a day off if Waitangi Day falls on a weekend – thats not right! And in the distance the sound of employer discontent could be heard rumbling into life…

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  32. Brian (Shadowfoot) () says:

    I favour Dominion day.

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  33. Gaz () says:

    Oh for god’s sake give up on Matariki.
    As I recall it is simply the time of year when Pleiades first appears in the sky and was important for agriculture for the maoris (and other cultures across the world). Leave Queen’s Birthday as that – even if some people don’t think it’s relavent it’s far more relavent than Matariki.

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  34. SPC () says:

    Gaz

    What about this, is so hard to understand?

    “The problem is Dale, we will NOT always be tied to the English Crown – so EVENTUALLY QB will become extinct. Matariki is the available holiday around this time of year replacing it.”

    The same thing applies to a new national day. One is not likely until we become a fully independent nation. When this happens, we can think about a new National day. When this happens whatever day we choose for that day, we can then also consider replacing QB weekend with something more relevant locally.

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  35. Dale () says:

    The problem is SPC, too many people have lost touch with their history/cu;ture and are now trying to create a new culture by mongrelizing several cultures and calling it “kiwi”.
    Maybe if they were taught their roots are deeper than just being “colonials”. A huge amount of our history goes back before 1840…..

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  36. Adellene Coe () says:

    Will we ever get around the issue of debate in regards to Waitangi Day.

    Strange as this may sound. We claim New Zealand to be so far ahead in multiculturalism yet Australia allows the Traditional Owners a week of celebrations NAIDOC
    National Aboriginal and Islander Day of Celebration – this is reconciliation.

    New Zealanders overseas celebrate with pub crawls – when we have issues surrounding alcohol abuse – funny!! But that is Waitangi Day to many people.

    For me – without the radicals Maori people would have lost a great deal more. People who oppose the opinions of these people should look more deeply – but it really does come down to what is more important to the individual, what their personal beliefs are and what do they have to gain – how many protestors have personally gained in comparison to Maori being taught in our schools, Kohanga Reo, land rights and the list goes on!

    When I was younger I never understood what these people were protesting now over 20 years later I realise the bigger picture.

    Maori have a lot to be proud of and if it takes the protestors to recapture some positives for our people HEI HA!!

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