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Not a bad idea

Written By: - Date published: 8:45 pm, February 6th, 2012 - 20 comments
Categories: david shearer, identity - Tags: ,

David Shearer wants to move the New Year’s and Queen’s Birthday honours to Waitangi Day. I reckon that’s a goer. If honourees were advised ahead of time, they could attend a public ceremony at Waitangi, to add to all the other events. With thousands there, it would be a much more public celebration of their contributions to our society and bring a positive focus to the day.

Oh, and you could get rid of the feudal titles at the same time.

20 comments on “Not a bad idea ”

  1. Hilary 1

    I like his idea of using ‘Happy Waitangi Day’ as a greeting.

  2. Bunji 2

    Love the idea (and the greeting!)
    Get rid of both other honours days, have them all on Waitangi, make it a focus. (and while we’re at it, replace Queen’s B’day with Matariki…)

    • ak 2.1

      …and Guy Fawkes with Parihaka Day…..real opportunity for Shearer here, continuing to reach out to Maori, common-sense fresh start suggestions, contrast with the elegant greaseball, happy happy fresh start optimism with depth and empathy.

  3. Colonial Viper 3

    Nice, that’s a very smooth suggestion from Shearer. It will lend Waitangi Day a special and renewed focus as a day we celebrate both New Zealand and her fabulous people.

  4. Campbell Larsen 4

    Another View – Waitangi, Anzac and honour

    The editorial of the Herald on Saturday urged the people of NZ to ‘reclaim Waitangi Day’ and goes on to say that ‘despite all the obstacles it could happen. It should happen, just like Anzac day.’

    The article goes on to explain:

    “For those old enough to remember, Anzac Day once occupied a place in the nation’s calendar that was not unlike what Waitangi Day has become.
    Intended to be a celebration of nationhood and honour, it was transformed into a social battleground because of tensions arising from New Zealand’s participation in the Vietnam War.
    … over time, attitudes did change and Anzac Day has become everything – and more – that the old timers hoped it would be – not just a commemoration of a particular battle fought long ago on foreign soil but a celebration of who we are.”

    Now wait just a minute. I thought the whole point of Anzac day was to remember the fallen and to remember the folly and brutality of war – even a war fought with honour extracts a terrible toll.
    According to the Herald the ‘old timers’ actually just wanted us to have a party.

    The protests regarding NZs involvement in the Vietnam war were totally consistent with the implicit warning provided in the commemorations of Anzac Day – we do not honour the memory
    of the dead by forgetting lessons paid for in blood and tears. Attempting to reframe sorrow as glory and gilded patriotism is a clear indication that the ‘editor’ has already forgotten the true meaning of Anzac day.

    Replacing Waitangi Day with New Zealand Day’ smacks of the misappropriation of pagan festivals by the Christians – just as in the ancient switch-a-roo of faith there is a history that some people would rather forget, and unresolved grievances that some would prefer to ignore.
    While I have no issue with celebrating being a kiwi the diversity and the (aspirational) independence of modern NZ through a holiday set aside for this purpose I cannot endorse the any moves to lessen the significance of Waitangi Day and the signing of the Treaty.
    It feels like there is an anti- protest faction that would have us transform Waitangi Day into being just another NZIdol.

    The New Year’s and Queen’s Birthday honours award dates currently reflect to some degree the nature of the achievement that is being recognised. In the same tradition Waitangi Day honours should be reserved for those whom achieve deeds in the spirit of the treaty: people who understand what it is to offer hospitality, people whose doors and hearts are open, people who strive in word and deed to overcome injustices and heal the wounds they create.

    NZs attempts via the Waitangi tribunal to do the right thing by Maori have earned us accolades and the respect of indigenous peoples the world over – indeed it is one of the best reasons to be proud of being a NZer – The resolution is on-going, and difficult however we should not pretend that we can fix the problem by ignoring it. We need to be reminded that founding a Nation is not easy, we need to be reminded that it takes effort and dedication to ensure that the needs of those without adequate representation are met.

    In short we need Waitangi Day to remind us that that we only deserve as much respect as we grant to others – and that the work of building a Nation is never complete.

    • seeker 4.1

      Well put Campbell L. A deeply thoughtful and necessary (imo) comment. Thanks.

      (Am having difficulty writing my own thoughts at the moment, so to read someone articulating what I would like to say, if I could, is greatly appreciated.)

    • Lanthanide 4.2

      “Now wait just a minute. I thought the whole point of Anzac day was to remember the fallen and to remember the folly and brutality of war – even a war fought with honour extracts a terrible toll.
      According to the Herald the ‘old timers’ actually just wanted us to have a party.”

      This is exactly what my boyfriend said. He no longer goes to dawn services because he thinks that they’ve completely lost touch with their actual point, now that most of the old-timers who were actually in WW2 are dead. It’s been taken over as some sort of nationhood day and he is deeply opposed to that.

    • Hateatea 4.4

      He rawe tou korero!

      I remember ANZAC Day during the Vietnam War years and the way the old soldiers would not allow recognition of the price we were paying for our involvement there. Now I see ANZAC Day becoming, n most places, a day when the terrible cost of wars, anywhere, in human terms is thought about, discussed, remembered.

      It has also become a day when all the generations are able to honour the actions of men and women who have fought and died, kept the peace, helped with reconstruction and aided in times of disaster while wearing the uniform of the NZ Armed Services, including the WRENS, WAACS, Nursing Corp etc.

      Each day has its own mana. Let’s not confuse them 

  5. debatewatcher 5

    Leave Waitangi Day the way it is. I think it’s actually quite healthy to have a day for reflection and discussion about NZ’s founding document. Do we really want a rar-rar day of excessive patriotism which largely ignores the negative impact of historical events, a la Australia Day?

  6. Carol 7

    I’d rather have the Treaty related political protests and discussions than this:


    Kiwi Dylan Clements says up to 1500 drunken New Zealanders took to the streets on Saturday in a shameful display of debauchery.

    He has filed a complaint with New Zealand High Commissioner Derek Leask, saying their antics brought “great shame” on New Zealand.

    Mr Clements, 28, said he watched participants urinating and vomiting on famous religious landmarks, including Westminster Abbey and the historic Jewel Tower, and exposing themselves indecently on the street.

    Others sculled alcohol on the Tube, intimidated Londoners and assaulted Korean tourists with snowballs during the marathon boozing session.

    But kiwis who attended the annual event say everyone was in good spirits, generally well behaved and respectful of police and other Londoners.
    Krystle Field said it was the first time she had truly celebrated Waitangi Day and was proud to take part.

    “At home it is such a negative day full of politics, protesting and drama and is just seen as another public holiday to many. In London it makes us all patriotic and we celebrate by dressing up in kiwiana costumes,” the 26-year-old said.

    And a drunken pub crawl is the best way they can think of to celebrate Waitangi Day?

    We need more politics, protests and discussions in Kiwi life not less.

    Also, those expats are out of touch with current Waitangi Days in Aotearoa. Yesterday there were family-friendly concerts, and picnics (alcohol-free, I believe) as well as the varied activities at Waitangi.

    • Populuxe1 7.1

      While that is appalling behaviour, it’s not as though London is a bastion of well-bred refinement that doesn’t stink of piss and vomit most weekends anyway.

  7. just saying 8

    +1 to numbers 4 to 7

  8. Dr Terry 9

    No, forget the idea. The priority is to rid ourselves of all these English-based “honours” (knighthoods re-created by Key). If we must hand out honours at all, let them be entirely New Zealand based.

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