Waitangi Day for Honours?

February 5th, 2013 at 11:00 am by David Farrar

Stuff reports:

New Year honours should be scrapped and replaced with ones, Labour leader David Shearer says.

He wants New Zealanders to make more of a celebration of Waitangi Day – our national day.

“We should celebrate it properly. All over the world, countries celebrate their national day. Surely we have as much – or more – to celebrate as they do.”

Mr Shearer wanted to hear more people saying “Happy Waitangi Day”.

Yeah, like that is going to happen.

Don’t get me wrong. It would be wonderful if it could or did. It would also be wonderful to have rainbows appear in the sky without rain.

There’s a difference between optimism and naivety.

Too often Waitangi Day was defined by conflict and Mr Shearer said he was tired of it.

“While there are legitimate issues to debate for Maori and Pakeha alike, Waitangi Day should be the day where we focus on what we have to celebrate as a country.”

I just do not believe it will ever happen. Waitangi Day is always going to be a focus on the Treaty of Waitangi, and the differing views on that. It is not a unifying document like the US Declaration of Independence. This is because unlike the latter which is aspirational, the former is a major part of politics and law – which means almost by definition it is not unifying.

This is backed up by the UMR poll showing only 23% believe the Crown and Maori relationship is healthy.

I believe we should keep Waitangi Day and it remains a day to both celebrate the Treaty which is the founding document of New Zealand, and to debate the role of the Treaty in life today. So I do not advocate scrapping Waitangi Day, or turning it back into .

What I do advocate is that we establish a separate New Zealand Day. This should be a day to unashamedly celebrate the wonderful country we all live in, our many achievements, ourselves. It should be the equivalent of US Independence Day, Australia Day or French Bastille Day – a day of fun and joy. There are 364 other days to focus on what divides us – but I want one day to focus on what unites us. And that day will never ever ever be Waitangi Day. It hasn’t been for the last 40 years, and it never will be.

So what day could we pick for a New Zealand Day? Possibilities are:

  • Passing of NZ Constitution Act 30 June (1852)
  • Dominion Day 26 September (1907)
  • Balfour Declaration 15 November (1926)
  • Day we adopted the Statute of Westminster 25 November (1947)
  • Full constitutional independence 10 December (1947)
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57 Responses to “Waitangi Day for Honours?”

  1. Pete George (23,594 comments) says:

    Shearer:

    Too often Waitangi Day was defined by conflict and Mr Shearer said he was tired of it.

    Why is he traipsing up there and pandering to the protest pantomime then?

    Peter Dunne backs up his words by not going.

    The annual protest sideshow at Waitangi and the politicians who go along with it by mindlessly trooping up there merely demean what ought to be a genuine national day of which every New Zealander can feel proud.

    He’s spoken to video too: Waitangi Day – time to rethink as we celebrate?

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  2. Manolo (13,837 comments) says:

    Waitangi Day? Pffft. So last century.

    It has become a day appropriated by malcontents and greedy crooks always looking for more public money coming their way. It should be abolished.

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  3. Prince (107 comments) says:

    Keep Waitangi Day for the protesters, but cancel the holiday. Replace the holiday with a mid-winter ‘Matariki’ celebration, late June or early July. Move fireworks to that date.

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  4. tropicana (79 comments) says:

    Not that I would ever be honoured for anything, but IF I were, the last day I would want for it to be liked to, is Waitangi Day.

    Separate but related topic. Is not the name of our country, “New Zealand”?

    So how come the Constitutional Advisory Panel (noting especially the middle word in the name) is repeatedly calling this country in official documents, and correspondence – “Aotearoa”? Or sometimes “Aotearoa New Zealand”.

    What’s next? I am not an “Aotearoan”. I am a “New Zealander”.

    Seems the Constitutional Advisory Panel has bequeathed to itself some grandiloquent powers that were never intended.

    The name of my country is “New Zealand” – not “Aotearoa” – until I decide (along with 4.5 million others) otherwise.

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  5. Carlos (683 comments) says:

    I reckon December 10 1947 is when NZ came into its own. Also the weather is warming up by then and should be good for outdoor fun and activities. December 10, significant and practical.

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  6. Pete George (23,594 comments) says:

    So what day could we pick for a New Zealand Day? Possibilities are:

    Passing of NZ Constitution Act 30 June (1852)

    I’d go with the first choice, god for a middle of winter community or family get together, much better for fireworks than summer and there’s a gap in public holidays if it ever comes to that, but I think Queens Birthday should be moved to it.

    It would take forever to get something done on this through Parliament. I think we should just get enough people to decide on a suitable day and go for it, organise to do something this year.

    The people can take ownership of celebrating our country.

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  7. jaba (2,143 comments) says:

    Waitangi Day, in Waitangi, has been farcical for years.
    I would support a new New Zealand Day. It should be on a Monday or Friday during the summer months .. maybe early December. The problem would be that a group of some sort would disrupt it pushing whatever cause they support.

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  8. tropicana (79 comments) says:

    make that “linked to” in my first line above, sorry.

    I am NOT an Aotearoan.

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  9. RRM (9,933 comments) says:

    Peter Dunne backs up his words by not going.

    LOL – would anyone ever notice the absence of Peter Dunne from something?

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  10. RRM (9,933 comments) says:

    The Waitangi Day honours idea is a good one.

    Rather than just wishing something more positive would happen on Waitangi Day, actually do something positive.

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  11. Peter (1,713 comments) says:

    Too often Waitangi Day was defined by conflict and Mr Shearer said he was tired of it. “While there are legitimate issues to debate for Maori and Pakeha alike, Waitangi Day should be the day where we focus on what we have to celebrate as a country.”

    And moving honors to that day is going to make it so? How, Shearopolis? Waitangi Day is biffo day. It’s when the disaffected get to “have a go” at invited guests.

    Yes, we’re all thoroughly sick of it.

    Let’s have a NZ day.

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  12. RRM (9,933 comments) says:

    And none of those dates that have been suggested are worthy as a replacement national day. Present day recriminations notwithstanding, the signing of the treaty was the beginning of this country as we know it.

    A big problem in this country (IMHO) is that most people know nothing about pre-1840 New Zealand history – including the centuries of Maori history – and don’t seem to think it’s worth knowing about. I know I got nothing at school about it… and I’m from Rotorua where there has been an amazing amount of life going on, for centuries prior to European settlement.

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  13. KiwiGreg (3,255 comments) says:

    New Zealand doesnt need more holidays. We are Greek enough as it is. Get rid of Easter as a public holiday as a trade off maybe.

    What’s wrong with Anzac Day, our one genuinely unifying celebration?

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  14. Pete George (23,594 comments) says:

    Anzac Day is important but it commemorates what our country has done in war.

    We should also have a day that we can celebrate how our country is now, in peace.

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  15. Harriet (4,976 comments) says:

    “……Get rid of Easter as a public holiday as a trade off maybe…..”

    Pick a day you would like us to nail you to a cross Greg…..I know it would be any day that doesn’t end in a ‘y’!

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  16. barry (1,317 comments) says:

    The man is a total wanker.

    Although I hold national honours almost as useless as waitangi day (lets face it – most honours are for people who are paid to do a job) – it would be simply adding insult to injury.

    lets face it – on Feb 6 half the maoris say they dont recognise the govt anyway. And for the very few who really deserve to get the honour, it would be insult to them.

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  17. david (2,557 comments) says:

    Heh, can’t you just imagine the uproar if we didn’t fill the “quota” of Maori descent of people receiving honours of each classification. Surely a knighthood would become a Taonga and as such an entitlement under Te Tiriti. Oh what fun would be in store.

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  18. In Vino Veritas (139 comments) says:

    Sort of like how Labour decided to do away with Honours. And then when they were returned, they all queued up for their gongs.
    Waitangi Day has no relevance any more. The Treaty signed at Waitangi has or should have, limited relevance today. Imagine if you went to Court in the UK claiming something under the Magna Carta? You’d be laughed out of that court, and cop a rather large legal bill.

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  19. cha (4,036 comments) says:

    commemorates what our country has done in war.

    And there I was thinking that Anzac day was about something completely different – silly me.

    They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old;

    Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.

    At the going down of the sun and in the morning

    We will remember them.

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  20. david (2,557 comments) says:

    RRM at 10:47 ” ….. and I’m from Rotorua where there has been an amazing amount of life going on, for centuries prior to European settlement.”
    Sorry to tell you old son, most of “the amazing amount of life” was made extinct by the natives also before European settlement. Go to Rotorua today and try to find anything that is both alive and amazing and pick up your virtual $200 for passing GO.

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  21. Viking2 (11,488 comments) says:

    believe we should keep Waitangi Day and it remains a day to both celebrate the Treaty which is the founding document of New Zealand,

    Its is not.
    It was an agreement between the queen and the tribes to intervene in their wars to stop them killing each other. Giving the sovereign the right to do that.

    Pete George (16,104) Says:
    February 5th, 2013 at 11:14 am

    So what day could we pick for a New Zealand Day? Possibilities are:

    Passing of NZ Constitution Act 30 June (1852)

    Much more like our founding document as a nation. That’s the day our existence as a country became legitimate.

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  22. Viking2 (11,488 comments) says:

    david (2,252) Says:
    February 5th, 2013 at 11:52 am

    RRM at 10:47 ” ….. and I’m from Rotorua where there has been an amazing amount of life going on, for centuries prior to European settlement.”
    Sorry to tell you old son, most of “the amazing amount of life” was made extinct by the natives also before European settlement. Go to Rotorua today and try to find anything that is both alive and amazing and pick up your virtual $200 for passing GO.
    ———————-
    A certain taniwha called Mt. Tarawera sorted a lot of them. Looks like they have dug up the remains at the back of the village.

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  23. emmess (1,428 comments) says:

    First thing to do is to stop playing the racists game by not having politicians attendi Waitangi ‘celebarations’
    Then see what happens

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  24. kowtow (8,524 comments) says:

    Many countries celebrate their national day on a patron saint’s day ,George ,Patrick etc

    I propose 2 of July,Saint Drogo’s Day.

    Many of his causes are ours. Cattle,coffee,the deaf and dumb (our official language) the mentally ill and ugly people. Covers most of the country!

    http://www.catholic.org/saints/saint.php?saint_id=2989

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  25. Jack5 (5,137 comments) says:

    A “multicultural” country can never have anything like Bastille Day.

    Can you imagine France’s Third Estate leaders, or George Washington, or Bolivar, or Cromwell, or Lenin, or Mao, leading a mob of soft-left multiculturalists? They would be singing Kumbaya rather than the Marseillaise and calling for “sharing” talks rather than fighting.

    If you want a strong New Zealand culture, you will need a culture that includes assimilation of minorities. Even that diverse-origins institution, the Foreign Legion, submerges its soldiers’ cultures in its own peculiar,largely French culture.

    Honours on Waitangi day? Would you like to have a Harawira tap you on the shoulder with a sword to make you a knight? “Whoops! The the cops jostled me. They caused the sword to slip through his neck!”

    Meanwhile, in the spirit of Waitangi Day multiculturalism, it’s time it was clarified whether genes responsible for the Waitangi Day bellicosity of the Harawira clan comes from our Maori cousins.

    Could they stem from intermingling of Northland Maori with the Hatfield/Hadfield clan, famous for one of the world’s greatest and most violent feuds – with the McCoys. Both the McCoys and the Hatfields/Hadfields descended from Ulster migrants to Kentucky and Virginia. Ulstermen are a wild mob. A lot like the Harawiras.

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  26. Cunningham (844 comments) says:

    Why can’t we scrap all the regional anniversary days and have a national day instead? That way there are no extra costs of a holiday (on business) but we get a day to celebrate.

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  27. Richard29 (377 comments) says:

    “It hasn’t been for the last 40 years, and it never will be.”
    That’s a pretty sweeping statement to make – and one I expect will be proven wrong in time. If the HC has been running this mood of the nation polling about attitudes to Waitangi on an annual basis I’d be really keen to see:
    A) Whether attitudes have changed over time (more positive or more negative – I suspect the former)
    B) Whether there is a difference in results by age bracket (I suspect the younger generation are more positive about Waitangi as a national day)

    If people don’t like the theatre that occurs at Waitangi then they don’t have to watch it. I suspect that as the historical treaty settlements are resolved (we are less than half way through them according to the stats DPF posted a few months back) that will take some of the wind out of the protests – but I doubt they will ever go away they may just get refocussed on other contemporary Maori issues that demand action (take your pick – schooling, unemployment, health a lot of these stats are pretty bad). I don’t know that it is such a bad thing that a section of society chooses to use Waitangi to protest against inequalities and demand action from their government. Perhaps that says something of our national character that we strive for a better society for everybody. The Treaty envisaged two peoples brought together on an equal footing – until a better level of equality is achieved between Maori and Pakeha I would expect the protests to continue – as they should.

    In fact there is a part of me that thinks it is a great national past time that sums up our egalitarian spirit that one day a year the Prime Minister, the most powerful person in the country, is escorted onto the fields of Waitangi and ritually attacked and shouted at and told what a terrible person they are and how they are doing an awful job of running the country and that they should be ashamed of themselves. The other 364 days of the year the government gets to tell Maori that they are failing and not living up to expectations and need to work harder – but on that one day the shoe is on the other foot. More leaders of government should face that kind of annual performance review from their nation’s minority groups.

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  28. dime (9,980 comments) says:

    ya cant get rid of easter!

    thats the day the easter bunny died in a helicopter crash for our sins…

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  29. MT_Tinman (3,204 comments) says:

    Swap Waitangi day to Feb 29 (Feb 30 would be better but heh :-) ).

    Then let’s celebrate NZ unity the other 365 days a year by banning anything racist, from anyone.

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  30. Jack5 (5,137 comments) says:

    Further to my 12.21 post:

    For those unaware of the Harawira-Hatfield link, Wikipedia reports Ngapuhi activist David Rankin as saying that that Hone Harawira’s grandfather was a Pakeha, and that “His family even changed their name from Hatfield to Harawira…”

    Hone Harawira was born ” John Puriri Harawira”.

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  31. dime (9,980 comments) says:

    Dime prefers a public holiday in the middle of summer. Feb 6 works well. So a week or two either side of that.

    Dec 10 would be good – as long as the shops were open. could become a big retail event and Dime would make more money :)

    I was thinking earlier we should start using “happy waitangi day” everywhere. it would piss the separatists off no end

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  32. Richard29 (377 comments) says:

    @Tropicana
    Sorry that it offends you that New Zealand is sometimes referred to as Aotearoa / New Zealand. It turns out that there are two official languages in the country and two official names for the country.

    As an English speaker you are welcome to describe yourself just as a New Zealander from New Zealand just as a Maori speaker might choose to describe themselves as Tangata Whenua from Aotearoa.

    I hope you don’t feel too oppressed by that..

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  33. kowtow (8,524 comments) says:

    Hey Richard29, the two official languages are Maori and sign. English is the de facto official languge rather than de jure (I think those are the right terms).

    I don’t believe Aotearoa is official,it’s just being plugged by the broeaucracy and as such should be resisted and avoided.

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  34. thor42 (971 comments) says:

    I agree with Manolo.

    The day should be scrapped. Let the Harawira clan play with their toys up there on their own.

    Any of the proposed replacement days would be fine with me. Heck, even moving it to the same day as John Key’s birthday (whatever that is) would be fine with me.

    ANYTHING but the **complete farce** of “Waitangi Day”.

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  35. Cato (1,095 comments) says:

    A really interesting thing about July 4th is that recent scholarship highlights just how divisive the Declaration of Independence was. Some 20% of Colonial Americans supported continued colonial status and – in any event – the Patriots certainly did not have the active support of a majority of the population. Loyalists (or Tories as they were then called) had property confiscated and were sometimes tarred and feathered. About 20% of them fled the country at the end of the Revolutionary War.

    So why is July 4th such a day of national pride? Because people got over the past – as people used to do. They moved on with their lives instead of remaining mired in old divisions, hurts and victimhood.

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  36. tas (625 comments) says:

    We could just choose a good date and become a republic on that day.

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  37. Dazzaman (1,140 comments) says:

    There’s a difference between optimism and naivety.

    Yeaaaaahhhhh….there certainly is!

    You’re dreaming if you believe Waitangi Day will be scrapped, or even hallucinating if you believe another day would suddenly be made into….New Zealand day. Ain’t gonna happen.

    You people are as out of the loop as the Harawira clan. Everyone else is planning to attend events to celebrate Waitangi Day or do what they do for any other public holiday. I see the acceptance & celebration of Waitangi Day getting more & more entrenched if last year was anything to go by.

    Keep hand wringing while you’s focus on the “events” up in that tiny corner of the far north…

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  38. projectman (224 comments) says:

    “Happy Waitangi Day”???

    Yeh, right.

    Now, “Happy New Zealand day”, yes, but that will not get widespread uptake while Waitangi Day continues to be little (or nothing) more than a parade ground for Maori issues.

    Australia celebrates their Australia Day very well, it is inclusive and recognises the country as a whole. It would be a good model, but how do we transition to something like that?

    Other than a day off work, I suspect most New Zealanders don’t give a toss about Waitangi Day and are turned off by the posturing in North Auckland.

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  39. Dazzaman (1,140 comments) says:

    As for honours on Waitangi Day……nah. The New Years ones were just, you know,….yesterday!

    If we add another day we’ll run out of worthy people to honour & will have to give gongs to MP’s & their anonymous business brown noser mates….oh wait, we already do that.

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  40. bhudson (4,740 comments) says:

    If we want a national day of celebration, why not institute the [Fred Dagg] “We don’t know how lucky we are” day?

    If it’s to be a Public Holiday, then go for a date in August or early September – it’s a long time between drinks from celebrating the Queen’s birthday to remembering the 40 hour week.

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  41. DJP6-25 (1,388 comments) says:

    Pete George 11:33 am. How about having New-Zealand Day on April 26th. The day after ANZAC Day? Oh, and forget Waitangi day.

    cheers

    David Prosser

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  42. kowtow (8,524 comments) says:

    tas

    April 1st for Establishment of the Republic of Aotearoa Day.

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  43. Manolo (13,837 comments) says:

    The damned Treaty’s divisiveness: http://www.nzherald.co.nz/politics/news/article.cfm?c_id=280&objectid=10863469

    Comrade Joris speaks: “That’s reality. We’re not at the point that everybody has a good sense of indigenous rights and Treaty rights. Race relations in New Zealand is a journey. But given that we continue to make progress, over time people will come to embrace the outcomes.

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  44. kiwi in america (2,454 comments) says:

    NZ lacks a definitive independence day because its independence from Britain was a gradual piecemeal affair stretching over a century (btw the Balfour Declaration was signed in 1917). The US has a clear cut date because the Declaration of Independence was a dramatic definitive moment; its concept is easy to understand and so Americans have rallied around it and stuck with it as the date nationhood began. The Treaty of Waitangi, whilst of great importance at the time of NZ’s early settlement, was not even remotely close to a defining moment of nationhood – it was a management document of most use to the NSW colonial governor to extend the Crown’s juristiction to New Zealand by enabling a simpler interface with native peoples to facilitate broader settlement. Whilst attempting to regulate the relationship between the Crown and the northern tribes was admirable, it was miles away from being the founding document for a nation.

    Because the independence milestones David details were of only minor incremental significance in the days when we were Britain’s farm with little internal cultural pressure to break free from the mother ship, there is no milestone in that gentle journey that has grabbed the nation’s psyche enough to become an Independence day. Waitangi has won by default since it celebrates a cerebral legal document and has no other Constitution of significance to compete against. To some extent February 6th has become a manufactured day of independence particularly since activist courts have elevated the document to a constitution like status. Even Australia can point to the ratification of its Constitution and the creation of the Commonwealth of States making Australia Day a definitive legal and cultural dividing line between the old and the new regimes.

    Without a compelling and historically rooted narrative around the day, is it any wonder that it has been so easily hijacked by random Maori activists who use the presence of the Prime Minister, the Governor General and the media to beat up whatever cause is flavour of the month. It’s a shame because celebrating the birth of a nation is a powerful moment and NZ has much to celebrate as a nation.

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  45. meow (20 comments) says:

    This is just a random soundbite from Shearer, who is trying to be relevant and get some traction with something he says.

    Waitangi Day is not our national day, not until (some) Maori start treating the day with a little respect. Shearer’s pronouncement that “we’ll always have some tension and we just have to learn to deal with it” is utter tripe – there doesn’t need to be any tension on Waitangi Day.

    I would rather dispense with the day (and the stat holiday) than have it as our national day.

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  46. OECD rank 22 kiwi (2,752 comments) says:

    New Zealand Day is Australia Day, deal with it.

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  47. Jack5 (5,137 comments) says:

    Re Aotearoa v. New Zealand as mentioned by Tropicana (11.11 and 11.16 posts), Richard29 (12.48) and Kowtow (12.56).

    A solution could be: when Maori language is being used call the country “Aotearoa” and when English is being used call it “New Zealand”.

    From this, when “Aotearoa” crops up in English would be either within quotation marks or printed in italic – either to show the word is from outside the English language. Similarly, when “New Zealand” crops up in Maori, it could be put in quotation marks or italics, or differentiated in any other way Maori grammarians recommend.

    Rows about place names could disappear. In English, “Whanganui” could have remained Wanganui, and in Maori Mt Egmont could always have been “Taranaki”.

    English frequently, perhaps even mostly, allows English versions of non-English place names, for example Rome for “Roma”, Munich for “Munchen”,Cologne for “Koln”, and sometimes still Burma for “Myanmar”.

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  48. Reid (16,509 comments) says:

    I quite liked Key’s comment on this: basically that if you do this, then the grievance du jour which is what Waitangi Day is these days all about (my pick this year it will be about housing) will rub off on those honoured, which is not what honouring those is all about.

    It’s one of the few things Key’s said I agree with.

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  49. big bruv (13,929 comments) says:

    The 8th of November should be a national holiday to celebrate the day we rid ourselves of the corrupt tyrant Helen Klark.

    To really shove it up the left and Klark it should also be the day we hand out knighthoods and the like.

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  50. Viking2 (11,488 comments) says:

    Auckland University Associate Professor Dr Elizabeth Rata, a member of the Independent Constitutional Review Panel, also points to the 1852 New Zealand Constitution Act as the foundation of representative government in New Zealand, in an article in the Herald in which she discredits the comments by government’s Constitutional Advisory Panel member Deborah Coddington, that the Treaty is “New Zealand’s founding document”.

    Dr Rata explains, “I was surprised to read in Deborah Coddington’s recent Herald column that the Treaty of Waitangi is New Zealand’s founding document. Of course some New Zealanders mistakenly believe that is the case. Where the belief becomes a problem is when a member of the Government appointed and funded Constitutional Advisory Panel such as Deborah Coddington states that this is so. In describing the Treaty as our founding document she has jumped the gun somewhat in anticipating the panel’s recommendations about the status of the Treaty.”

    Dr Rata concludes her excellent article – which we have republished HERE – with the following comments: “To simply assert that the Treaty is our founding document, as Deborah Coddington has done, is not good enough. Not only are there other contenders for the status of founding document (if we want one); the 1852 Constitutional Act springs to mind, but the strategic use of the Treaty in iwi politics to undermine democracy at all levels of our political system means that the Treaty is tainted as a symbol of national unity.”

    Not only is the Treaty tainted as a symbol of national unity, so is Waitangi Day. It is time that our political leaders realise what most of the country already knows, that the only way forward is as a nation united as New Zealanders, not divided by the politics of race.

    http://breakingviewsnz.blogspot.co.nz/2013/02/elizabeth-rata-treaty-is-not-new.html

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  51. tedbear (146 comments) says:

    I thought you to be an intelligent man DPF.
    But after reading these remarks “I believe we should keep Waitangi Day and it remains a day to both celebrate the Treaty which is the founding document of New Zealand, and to debate the role of the Treaty in life today”, I think you’re off your rocker.
    Firstly there’s no “founding document”. Oh sure, there’s heaps of people misnaming it that. but in REALITY the DOCUMENT was signed as a PEACE TREATY. To end the killing of mainly maoris,
    Pure and simple as that.
    Now, don’t you go wandering off the track again DPF by calling it anything other than either THE NZ PEACE TREATY or THE TREATY OF WAITANGI.
    Now what’s this ‘celebrate’ crap? Again, I repeat, the bit of paper is a PEACE TREATY.
    To end the killing of mainly maoris, over 150 years ago.
    What part of ‘get over it’ don’t you understand?

    And then there’s your ‘debate’ crap?
    Debate what for Pete’s Sake?

    I’m utterly sick and tired of all the crap that spews forth that this and this and this and this is part of the PEACE TREATY.
    Like yea, let’s claim the water that started life forming rainclouds in Canada or Zimbabwe or Timbuktoo.

    Or we could debate why the PEACE TREATY must have a place in my JOB CONTRACT.

    Yep, we could debate some meaningful things to improve the lives of all people that live in New Zealand, but first let’s leave this PEACE TREATY to rest peacefully, untouched, unchanged in the National Museum with all the other history artefacts because it has no place in everyday life 2013.
    It’s history.

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  52. SPC (5,643 comments) says:

    So a switch from the pre Maori people myths to reinventing the Treaty gangnam style.

    Viking2 – Rata’s positon is nonsense. She confuses the founding of a nation with the founding of self-government (1852). The USA did not found their constitutional government when they declared independence. Which is their national day?

    tedbear, a Crown role providing for the rule of law was about property rights – for both Maori and Pakeha settlers. Having both equal before the same law was the pre-requisite for peaceful settlement. Thus this day provided for the settlement here of non Maori in peace with Maori.

    As to a New Zealand Day – this was established in 1973 by a Labour government, a National government in 1976 renamed it Waitangi Day. What is novel about this country is that we did not celebrate a national day for over 130 years.

    Is it because we were too much the loyal colony and that Labour’s action in 1973 was only possible because the UK went into the EEC?

    Are we really waiting to wait to take up the 1901 offer of Oz of state membership (we get a January day) or become a republic (we get to pick a day to do this)?

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  53. SPC (5,643 comments) says:

    kia, sure New Zealand Day was manufactured in 1973, so we could begin to cope with the UK in the EEC, but it was only after the renaming in 1976 that efforts began to give the Treaty a place in law (not before).

    Around 1973 one would not have been able to pick that assimilation of Maori would not occur. That we did not go that way and we (some of us grudgingly and with kiwi not iwi resistance still strong) moved to a bi-cultiural nation polity has helped us to cope with the development of a multi-cultural society New Zealand.

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  54. Azeraph (605 comments) says:

    Bah, DPF wants to sound out the mood for this government that wants to do exactly what Canada is doing with bill called C-45.

    And you guys are going to agree with them as you who think you are rational but are not. Led by your feelings and trying to justify them is not rational.

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  55. muggins (3,787 comments) says:

    I say forget about Waitangi Day, and forget about knighthoods as well.
    I mean a bloke gets a knighthood because a French rugby player missed a penalty kick.
    What a joke.

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  56. 3dogknight (2 comments) says:

    Awarding honours at the marai in Waitangi – only a United Nations man like Shearer could come up with such a paradox. Just like Obama being awarded the Nobel Peace prize really!

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  57. mikenmild (11,247 comments) says:

    Perhaps we could showcase the honours system by announcing appointments to the Order of New Zealand, the top honour, on Waitangi Day. I sometimes think that the status of that Order has been a bit undermined by the hullabaloo about knights and dames, not to mention the confusingly named NZ Order of Merit.

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