Monday, February 5, 2007

Waitangi Day is not the real New Zealand Day celebration in my book!

Waitangi day is not the real New Zealand Day celebration in my book! Not any more. The divisiveness caused by the radical Maori leadership up in Waitangi for many years now has destroyed for ever any notion that Waitangi Day can be a day for New Zealanders of all races to embrace the concept of real nationhood in this country; radical Maoridom doesn't want it. It has some concept of its own in this regard. It is obsessed with the colonialism of the past - something now despised by non-Maori as much as the present generation of Maori society. I'm of Scandinavian/ Celtic descent and don't hold any brief for the former British empiracal social concept.

Twenty years or so the Waitangi Day holiday was popular by most New Zealanders of all races and was universally celebrated throughout New Zealand. For a short while it was renamed "New Zealand" Day by the late humanitarian prime minister, Norman Kirk, remembered historically for taking the hand of a young Maori boy as he strode up to the Marae at Waitangi. It was quickly changed back to Waitangi Day by Robert Muldoon a few years later; a man and prime minister ironically known for his own particular brand of political divisiveness. Norman Kirk wanted February 6th to be known and remembered for more than just its historical significance - he wanted it to have the same meaning among New Zealanders as Australia Day has with Australians, and Independence Day has with Americans. Sadly it has been demeaned by representatives and descendants of one of the so-called partners of the Treaty of Waitangi - the tangatawhenua - Maori themselves, who lack cultural respect for the descendants of the other partner to the treaty, and all those other non-Maori who have become New Zealands by birth or through immigration to these shores since 1840. It is really of historical significance that Maori are immigrants to New Zealand as well - they are the first people of this country who arrived here in the 13th century and adopted this country as their own after the great migrations during that century; they are not indigenous to New Zealand which was not inhabited by humans until they arrived.. They came from the general South Pacifica area of modern day Rarotonga and Tahiti - migrating here by ocean-going waka or canoes. This fact alone is one of the great migrations of the last millenium.

I personally believe that another day should be set aside to recognize and celebrate New Zealand nationhood, perhaps Dominion Day which commemorates that day in 1901 when NZ ceased to be a colony of England and Britain. Waitangi Day can continue to be celebrated for its historical significance. Once the outstanding treaty claims are resolved during the next ten or so years, the treaty will gradually lose much of its significance and become more of a historical founding document.

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