Thursday, October 21, 2004

New Zealand Day

This sounds like a good idea:
Waitangi Day would be renamed New Zealand Day and celebrated with a three-day weekend every February under a law change proposed by United Future leader Peter Dunne.
Only National - who voted for the 2000 bill - signalled support this time around. Leader Don Brash said he believed the proposal should at least get past its first reading.

"Waitangi Day, unfortunately, has gained a reputation for being divisive, and not a day of national unification, so this is worth considering.

"I intend to ask the National caucus to support the bill going to a select committee so New Zealanders can have a say on the proposal."
Commemorations at Waitangi would remain an integral part of the day, but not the sole focus.

I'm a little uncomfortable with the political company I seem to be keeping here (United Future? National? Ick). But it does fit nicely with my previous suggestion that we start focussing on integration over divisiveness. If the right-wingers are the only ones offering that, then so much the worse for my partisan loyalty to the Left.


  1. Why not have a new New Zealand Day, that is just integrative in its genesis and intent? Trying to change Waitangi Day into something it's not isn't going to do anyone any good. It won't work.

    A new public holiday is needed sometime in the long gap between Queen's Birthday and Labour Day - there must be a significant date of some sort we can hang a New Zealand Day off. 

    Posted by Jordan

  2. Yeah, I guess that's a possible alternative. But why won't changing Waitangi Day work?

    Presumably the extremists won't be too happy about it, and would continue to protest and such. But I think that the framing effects of the change would really count against them.

    I mean, protesting on "Waitangi Day" is understandable, given the backward-looking nature of that holiday. But if it were changed to "New Zealand Day", with a progressive (in the temporal as well as political sense) and integrative focus... well then, anyone protesting that would just plain look bad.

    So the extremists would lose face and support, and hopefully we'd get the vast majority of Maori on our side instead, taking a much more positive attitude towards our country and our future together.

    Now what would be so bad about that? 

    Posted by Richard


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