A day of division and differences

Jami-lee Ross has written a column in his local paper about his feelings on Waitangi Day. He couldn’t be as hardline as Paul Holmes but he clearly is not disposed to continuing Waitangi Day in its present form:

THIS year another Waitangi Day passed with the now traditional protests, screaming and posturing.

Sadly, the day has become more synonymous with newsreels of mud, tears and fists than it is about celebrating our identity.

Most New Zealanders have understandably come to see February 6 as a day of division and differences. Is that what we should be celebrating on our national day?

There is value in recognising and robustly debating our issues. Politicians and Maori leaders should be encouraged to come together and address the state of race relations on the spot where that relationship was formalised.

Waitangi Day, like no other, is a recognition of where we came from as a nation and so it ought to remain.

But I’m not sure it continues to be the best forum for celebrating our New Zealand identity.

Waitangi Day has lost any positive meaning for a great many New Zealanders.

On the same weekend as Waitangi Day, the Auckland Lantern Festival was attended by more than 100,000 people.

Friends and families descended on Albert Park en masse to show how accepting and inclusive we are as a people.

Meanwhile, at Waitangi, we had scenes of hikoi, megaphones and Prime Minister John Key shielded by diplomatic protection.

For everything that divides us, there are countless things that bring us together. While that may sound clichéd, I think it’s too easily forgotten.

New Zealand has a unique history and an understated pride. We should take a day out with our friends and family to celebrate that.

We should come together as a community and acknowledge what brings us together, not what divides us.

At a national level that message is being lost.

He is right in calling for a New Zealand Day. hough I suspect his views are not going to enamour him with the other members of the Maori Affairs Select Committee. Mind you he may just be the person who can hold the endless lines of troughers before the committee to account over the billions that are being spent on them.


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  • Pete George

     We’re not going to get given a Kiwi pride day. There’s no political will for it.

    So it will have to be a real people’s day, one that the people make happen themselves. Let’s do it.

  • Brian Smaller

    There is no point having a NZ Day or any other National celebration day because the same malcontents and protestors will fuck up any ‘official’ celebrations.  

    • Pete George

      Doesn’t have to be a day of ‘official’ celebrations. It can be familiy and local community orientated. And in any case, if some wowsers want to make an issue of it that’s up to them, it would be out of step with the intent of the day and seen as such.

      Not doing something in case some may protest is being held to ransom by small minorities. We should be able to celebrate our country without worrying about that.

  • Mark

    Paul Holmes’ opinion piece was pretty spot on about the day itself although I was uncomfortable about his generalising of all Maori (that was pretty racist). Harawira’s response was more of the “boo hoo poor me” variety. Neither achieved anything of consequence.

    •  c’mon..the measured/rational response by harawira to the unhinged/racist-diatribe from holmes..

      ..only enhanced harawiras’ mana..

      ..and further devalued the/any mana of the holmes..

      [email protected]

      • Super_Guest

        There is nothing measured or rational about Hone. This is a man who approved of people calling Pita Sharples “John Key’s nigger”. Hone is worse than the crap you scrape of the bottom of your boot.

  • Super_Guest

    Wouldn’t work, a NZ day. We have a culture of malcontents who protest everything. So long as Mana and Green parties are politically viable, we’ll always have wankers protesting nothing in particular. They’d protest that oo.

    •  the group lifting of skirts in horror/and calling for smelling-salts..

      ..at the sight of a few demonstrators..always cracks me up..

      ..it’s called democracy..folks..

      [email protected]

    •  super guest..!..you are so right..!..(in the ‘correct-sense’..no.!…in both senses..eh..?)

      ..i awake each morning..and pick my protest-of-the-day..as i do..

      ..and ‘nothing in particular’ regularly features as a viable-option..

      [email protected]

  • Have to agree Super_Guest – you only have to read most of the posts here to see how much of a “culture of malcontents” there is in New Zealand – and we used to call pommies whingers. Give a Kiwi a minute and he/ she will fill it with that horrible nasal sound…..

  • Rockyr

    It could be a day on which a Government sponsored(not Herald) New Zealander of the Year is announced, maybe even the honours usually announced on New Years Day, a few parades, banners, and celebrations honouring the diverse pioneers of the Nation from Missionaries, Chinese Miners, Scandinavian bushmen and Timber Millers, Road and Rail Pioneers etc could easily be arranged with less resource than is now expended on Maori Day.