About the Author

Avatar photo

Dr Muriel Newman

New Zealand Day

Print Friendly and PDF
Posted on

NZ Day

Waitangi Day has been steeped in local protest and controversy for years. That’s why Labour Prime Minister Norman Kirk named it New Zealand Day when he turned it into a national holiday in 1973 – he wanted to signify that New Zealand was moving towards a broader concept of nationhood. However, Prime Minister Rob Muldoon ‘didn’t like’ the name and in 1976 changed it back to Waitangi Day. Perhaps, 40 years on, it’s time for our national day to again become New Zealand Day!

Putting aside the politics of a name change, Bill English made the right call in deciding to celebrate Waitangi Day in Auckland this year. More so, now it’s been revealed that Waitangi’s Te Tii Marae was planning to charge media $10,000 for exclusive broadcast rights to the Prime Minister’s event – a move slammed as “cultural extortion” by former Labour MP Shane Jones.

The Marae Organising Committee’s disrespect for the Office of Prime Minister became clear in their correspondence with the Prime Minister’s Chief of Staff.

Wayne Eagleson wrote to the Marae Chairman on December 21st last year requesting clarification of the arrangements that were being made for the Prime Minister:

I was pleased to read media reports in November indicating that the Prime Minister would be invited to Waitangi in 2017 with full speaking rights at the Powhiri to be held at Te Tii Marae on 5 February. Notwithstanding these media reports however, I have yet to receive an invitation for the Prime Minister to attend and speak at the Powhiri.

He very much wants to attend the celebrations on the basis that he can speak at the Powhiri as has traditionally been the case.

Chairman Ngati Kawa Taituha responded on January 4 saying:

I wholeheartedly support your korero that it is in everyone’s best interest that we improve on matters relating to the Prime Minister’s Treaty Commemoration Powhiri to be held at Waitangi Sunday 10am 5th February 2017.

What would definitely help us in our endeavour is if the Government restrains itself from making controversial public announcements that could potentially provoke the Maori Nation and force our people into taking major protest action around the country…

We, the Waitangi Marae Organising Committee are making small but significant changes to this year’s 2017 itinerary and powhiri schedule. We seriously believe it is more appropriate whereby your Maori Representatives speak on the Prime Ministers behalf during the powhiri and then at the conclusion of the powhiri process we will provide a stage and forum for the Prime Minister to engage with Ngapuhi, address the Nation and talk politics freely and uninhibited, if he so wishes…

The imposition of a gagging order sealed the Prime Minister’s decision not to go – as noted in the reply to Mr Taituha:

As you note in your letter, the Committee has indeed made significant changes to the powhiri. In particular, your decision to invite the Prime Minister to attend the powhiiri at Te Tii but not allow him to speak there is of concern.

You will recall that the matter of the Prime Minister being invited to speak at the powhiri on Te Tii Marae was of central importance to this office. On the basis that the Prime Minister has not been invited to speak at the powhiri as has been the long standing tradition prior to 2016, I can advise that the Prime Minister will not be attending.

In justifying his decision, Bill English said the group had failed to conduct their arrangements in a way that’s respectful of the national day: “The marae committee has decided that the prime minister can’t speak on their marae, and that as far as I’m concerned is not respectful of the role. We have the right to decide [whether to attend]… protocol is I don’t have to go onto that marae if the arrangements aren’t respectful for New Zealand and New Zealanders.”

The Prime Minister believes those organising Waitangi Day events need to get to grips with what’s going to be supported by New Zealanders and by governments: “Political discussion at Te Tii Marae is now really about Ngapuhi issues and their own concerns in Northland, but it’s a national day, a day for New Zealanders to be proud of their whole country. A lot of New Zealanders cringe a bit on Waitangi Day when they see the way that the ceremonies are being conducted, the type of protest there has been in recent years, and I’m pretty keen that we have a day when they’re proud.”

Being a proud New Zealander – and wanting the public to feel the same way – has always been important to Bill English.

It underpinned a very thoughtful speech he gave, as Leader of the Opposition, to the New Zealand Centre for Public Law at Victoria University in 2002.

Bill English is this week’s NZCPR Guest Commentator, with the text of that speech, The Treaty of Waitangi and New Zealand Citizenship, in which he outlined how uncontested interpretations of the Treaty of Waitangi were driving public policy.

He began his talk by referring to a documentary “2050 – What If …” that was screened on TV 3 on the 21st of March 2002:

“The show’s premise was that by 2050, Maori sovereignty had been ‘restored’. So if you crossed Maori land in your car, you might have to pay a toll. Crossing from one rohe to another, you might be required to show a passport. Te Reo could become compulsory in schools, and necessary to hold some jobs.”

He explained that sovereignty advocates had re-interpreted the Treaty: “The Treaty, in other words, is not what its words say it is. There is little public debate on the meaning of the Treaty. But there should be. Uncontested assertions are shaping government policy, judicial thinking and political debate. In the manner of the marae, our common interests are best served by robust debate, in an environment of mutual respect. Today I will argue that the Treaty created one sovereignty and so one common citizenship. I say that unless New Zealanders accept Te Tiriti o Waitangi at something much closer to its face value, we could destroy something unique.”

Bill English ended his speech with a warning: “Unless more New Zealanders become aware of the content of modern Treaty discourse, and where that discourse will inevitably take us, we are going to wake up one day, and find that New Zealand has been reconfigured more or less as that shown in the TV3 documentary ‘2050 – What if …’. Then New Zealanders, Pakeha , Pacific and Asian, and Maori too – for most Maori want to be ‘just New Zealanders’ – will ask ‘How could this have happened?’

He concluded, “The solution to the challenges that the Treaty presents to all New Zealanders, lies in a single standard of citizenship for all. And considering the Treaty’s original intent, I for one will not apologise for being proud of being a New Zealander.”

The reality is that over the last few decades, a small but influential group of sovereignty activists have dominated social justice advocacy in this country. Using claims of colonial oppression and racial victimisation they have re-interpreted the Treaty as a partnership with the Crown to justify elitist demands for the ownership and control of public resources.

At first their claims were for lands lost or sold by their distant relatives – and in response successive governments bestowed multiple “full and final” settlements, in the form of  cash and land, houses and schools, Police Stations and Hospitals, mountains and forests, lakes and rivers – even a National Park.

Next they claimed the foreshore and seabed – and in response Bill English’s Government repealed public ownership, leaving New Zealand’s beaches and the sea owned by those Maori tribes that can convince the Courts or the Minister of Treaty Settlements (through fabricated claims lodged before the April 3rd deadline) that they have used the area continuously and exclusively since 1840.

Now they are claiming fresh water – and in response, secret deals between iwi leaders and Cabinet Ministers are slowly but surely facilitating a move from Government management of this crucial public resource, to tribal control.

In response to public outrage at such a possibility, the Environment Minister Nick Smith concocted a complex plan that will deliver policy recommendations for such a law change to the in-coming government. And while iwi leaders are involved in the process every step of the way, the general public has been deliberately excluded and kept in the dark – even though the concept of water being controlled by private vested interests, that stand to make significant profits from the deal in the future, would be deemed to be a corrupt practice in many other jurisdictions.

When National first became the Government in 2008, John Key brought the Maori Party into his coalition, and at their behest, established preferential access for Iwi Leaders to Cabinet. A Communication and Information Exchange Protocol was drawn up ‘to ensure their views are represented in Cabinet and in the policy development process’.

Accordingly on Friday, the Prime Minister, along with twelve of his Cabinet colleagues, attended the first iwi leaders meeting of 2017 at Waitangi: “I am looking forward to meeting with the leaders of the 60 iwi who comprise the Iwi Chair’s Forum, to progress a range of issues of importance to Maoridom and New Zealand.”

Central to their discussions was iwi control of fresh water: They said they now want rights to 100 percent of the water in the tributaries of rivers to “sustain the flow”, with whatever is left to be offered up for allocation.

They probably also discussed their plan to take control of the resource consent process from councils, through their Mana Whakahono a Rohe amendments that were inserted into the Resource Legislation Amendment Bill by Nick Smith late last year – after public submission had closed. In denying public consultation on such a radical change – that will give iwi full control over resource consent applications within their tribal areas – the Minister knowingly manipulated the Parliamentary process to benefit an interest group that stands to make significant financial gains from the measures in the future.

Since this Bill is an affront to democracy and the Parliamentary process, the Prime Minister should withdraw it – and launch an inquiry into why the public were deliberately denied consultation rights on these racist provisions.

Furthermore, since Bill English introduced the “Declaration of Open and Transparent Government” in 2011 – to create a culture of openness and transparency throughout the state sector – it’s clearly time for greater openness and transparency regarding the commitments that Government Ministers are making to iwi leaders at their joint meetings. Accordingly, the NZCPR is calling on the Prime Minister to publish minutes of these discussions – including Friday’s – in the public interest. We also urge the media to add their weight to this call, so that matters of profound importance to all New Zealanders – such as the control of fresh water and the RMA consenting process – will no longer be decided through secret backroom deals aimed at securing Maori Party support.

Following Bill English’s revelation, that if National wins the election they would prefer to work with the Maori Party, this becomes even more important, since there is a growing perception that National is encouraging separatism and racial division through providing Government favours to the tribal elite that back the Maori Party.

By refusing to go to Waitangi, the Prime Minister is no doubt hoping that the unpleasantness that has dogged our national day will come to an end and that it can become a celebration of national pride. With New Zealand now a melting pot of nationalities and cultures, Bill English needs to rekindle his commitment to one standard of citizenship, for its only when all citizens are respected as equals that a country can be truly proud.


Is it time for our national day to again become New Zealand Day?

Vote x 120

*Poll comments are posted below.


*All NZCPR poll results can be seen in the Archive.

Click to view x 120


Absolutely. It is for ALL New Zealanders. Jenny
I’m with Norm on this one. Andy
All nationalities make up New Zealand. Maori are not indigenous as they would have you believe. They boated out here a few hundred years before the rest of is got here. It is time for the treaty settlements to end. No one should own the Foreshore or fresh water. Lets get on with each other and stop using cultures to dominate. Wayne
Waitangi Day and all the activities that have happened around it for the past few years are making it divisive, when it should be a unifying event. Laurie
Can we start a petition to have the name changed back to it’s original New Zealand Day to be celebrated by all New Zealanders? Robert
Make it New Zealand Day and remove the event from Waitangi and keep those politions with their own agendas out of it. Ken
Not until we truly have a “nation” – not a mixture of “Tribes” ! Mike
Hopefully it would leg rope Nga Puhi. Bruce
Should never have been changed. Steve
The change to the name to Waitangi Day was another Muldoon cock up. Ray
The Treaty of Waitangi is the most used and abused document in New Zealand and we should get over it and stop all the pay outs that go to just a few of the so called Maori. John
New Zealand day is for everyone to celebrate not just Maori. Carol
We need to be proud of New Zealand again and not keep on reflecting on the past. Get rid of Waitangi Day and move on! Graeme
Finally some sense — John
What difference would a name change make? We have so often been fed the lie “that the Treaty of Waitangi is New Zealand’s founding document” that many or perhaps most people believe it. Let those who want to go to Waitangi or elsewhere and celebrate something which has no relevance in modern New Zealand do so. I do not care! Peter
It doesn’t quite stink enough yet. Ian
Bill English, please listen to our plea and stop the division of races before it is too late. Cabinet is being hoodwinked. Barbara
Absolutely! Barry
The only way we can get back to one nation, is to recognise the day as the Nation’s name. Steve
Yes! and take it away from maoris who want it all their way and the tax payer pay for it. I’m still going to vote for Winston, I like Bill but I don’t think he will be able to change anything. Eric
Our national day always ended on a much happier note and left us feeing proud to be New Zealanders. Each celebration of recent “Waitangi Days” however have ended the weekend with strong anti-Maori feelings and with anything but a love your neighbour feeling. This year, the various celebrations around the country which have taken the focus off both treaty and place, have left us with much more of a feeling of harmony, appreciation for our nation’s multi-ethnicity, and the sense of patriotism I have envied, that most Australians, for example, much more consciously own. I know, I spent ten years there as a NZ visitor. Thank you for proposing this proposed return to a great name and a great day. May it prove to be providentially significant. Arthur
Leave it as is. Could be a good day if our immature tabloid media reported what really goes on instead of the five minutes of “handbag fights” Heres’s a new word for our media to look up then put into practice….OBJECTIVITY!!! Go to it, kiddies!! Hugh
Waitangi Day — the very name brings to mind the rudeness and disrespect displayed by those wishing to make a temporary name for themselves by insulting our national leaders. It seems to inflame the vast majority of our population and is given more fuel by an aggressive media. For my part I would scrap it completely and make ANZAC Day New Zealand day or have a 2 day break at that time, one day for N Z Day and the other for ANZAC Day. Mikke
Waitangi day has become a total disgrace to New Zealand. I can only imagine what other countries must think if they see the sort of disrespectful behaviour that goes on each Waitangi day. Brent
And NO to compulsory Maori language in schools. People can keep their own cultures alive. Schools shouldn’t have to. Sue
Approximately September 2016 I organised a farmer meeting of approximately 10 farmers with Ian mckelvie to voice our concern over nick smiths water management plan with the Maori party and national government separate development based on race.we were assured of a response from govt.to this day we have received no comment.we plan another meeting shortly.Winston peters is looking good as an alternative party vote. Morrie
One country, one people of many cultures, but nz. comes first and Zealand Law is supreme. Not like the USA, African America. Dene
As Waitangi Day it is a complete farce, which the MP’s all buy into. Craig
It is long past the time to bury the Treaty, which has become a vehicle for the expansion of Maori claims and political blackmail of the worst kind. Hopefully the National Party will be elected next election and have to rely upon NZ First for a majority. Only by dumping the Maori Party can we return to a system whereby some equality between all groups can be restored; and the over dominance of Maoridom and the associated Danegeld be removed. The present acceptance of the Indigenous Rights scenario over all New Zealanders is a political crime against us all. Especially so when only half our Members of Parliament can be voted for and the rest merely a adjunct to retaining power. Brian
When will we deal with the real issue and define what is a Maori . Most of these Sh- t stirrers are far more European and other blood running through their veins. In Hawaii unless you can prove at least 50 percent Hawaiian blood you can’t speak on indigenous matters. I note they don’t have all the rubbish we have. Jock
Overdue. Russ
Too right mate! Fred
We the people of NZ should stand together against any move for separate development. Which the elite Maori are seeking to slide opast the public when we are not looking. Shame on them. Catherine
Well overdue! Brian
I talked with a National candidate recently who described a certain Northland town as a white oasis in the middle of a black hole of s*#t. He thought I was on the same page. This appears to be the view of the “nice people” who vote that way. Who cares about what Waitangi day is called? I’m sure if Japan took over during WW2 you’d all be pretty pissed off about having all of your land taken and your language and culture regarded as anachronisms. The lack of respect is staggering. Jim
Perhaps centred near Hamilton instead of Northland. Sue
To not do so is to reinforce separatism on an annual basis, rather than recognize that we are all New Zealanders. John
Waitangi dat a mess and mad maori seem to want to create racial streess and troubles,,,its obsolete today in our multy cultural society. Chris
Most definitely, we are one nation, we ALL belong. Carolyn
Hasn’t enough been taken from Maori? D
We must all urge the PM to return NZ to a society where every citizen is equal and no racial group have rights over the others. One law for all. Ernest
We should be all New Zealanders. Tom
It should not be used as a political platform for political activists. Otherwise just mark it on the calender as an event in our history. Norm
But drop the 6 February so it is no longer associated with the treaty or any specific place . My suggestion is adopt the date of independance from Britain, far more significant to the true New Zealanders. John
The driven division in this country has to end one way or the other. Being 2nd here gives maori no more right than 3rd here. Rick
I can remember when New Zealand Day was implemented and thought it should have been left as Waitangi Day, at the time. With what I know and understand now, it is clear that New Zealand Day is the correct name for our national day, and it needs to be changed to that immediately. Neil
It’s past time, well past time, it’s so overdue it’s bloody near bankrupt! Linc
Absolutely! James
It is for ALL New Zealanders not just the Waitangi Ngapuhi elite!! JOHN
This is only way forward. Richard
The sooner the better not this Waitangi hoo-ha. Ray
We need a new National Day to be called NZ Day. My suggestion is 19th September which is the anniversary of universal suffrage. I am sick of all this Maori so-called culture which no way represents me as a first generation New Zealander. W. Day can stay but should not be a holiday or NZ day. Monica
I believe we should forget the whole thing and come up with a new “New Zealand Day” which can be celebrated by all citizens without the single Racial bias we have now!!! Jim
Time to have a day that is totally inclusive for everybody regardless of background. Salve
Last time I was against NZ Day but now, Waitangi Day is nothing more than an excuse for Maori to protest. Let’s celebrate our country with the correct name. Heather
And sooner the better. Mark
Either that or abolish it. I think that it is time the comments from these votes should be published in ALL our daily papers! Bill
Yes definitely. Brian
The name ‘Waitangi Day’ is at the root of our racist disagreements Yvonne
Asking press media for large fees to report Waitangi is the very last straw.. Boycott it .. It is a disgrace.. Don
It is high time that Maori became New Zealanders and abandoned their culture of lies, theft, murder and utu. Murray
I’m sick of whinging maori activists hijacking our national day. Take it away from them !! Peter
Take the disruptive Maori equation out of our National Day. Tony
To call it NZ day is a better choice than Waitangi Day considering that it it so blatantly obvious by now that this TOW has been transformed by the tribal elite and associated Maori hard line activists into a pseudo legal weapon in order to enable Tribal leaders to force their way into every level of Government .B English 2011 speech is meaningless considering what has happened politically in NZ in recent years. Even more so since he declared that if he wins the election he would prefer to continue working with the Maori Party. In other words : same shit— different day!!!!! That man cannot be trusted — period— National will happily continue to bend over and take it as they have done in the past 8 years. We are desperately in need of fundamental political change. Michael
Waitangi is a place. Who want’s to celebrate a place even if it was where the treaty was signed. The Nation want’s to celebrate the day the Treaty was signed, and therefore needs to be called NEW ZEALAND DAY. Bill
It is also time the fraudulent Geofrey Palmer version of the 70’s made up treaty was dropped. Phil
This government wants two bob each way. Just another way to gather the Maori votes. Lionel
Most certainly. Robert
We should only celebrate some thing that brings the whole country together not the treaty of Waitangi” as it is being pushed by the Maori ELITE these days.This is moveing towards a divided country. Bryan
Regrettably Waitangi has been captured by Racial radicals who don’t appear to be interested in the rest of Aotearoa. Wanting a $10,000 fee for media was the last straw. Wayne
Waitanga Day is just a day when a few Maori activists get to publicise their outrageous claims for money, water or land helped on by the media. All these people who signed are now desceased and we are now living in a different world. Scrub the treaty. We are all New Zealanders, with all the same equal rights. Change the day to NZ Day to celebrate a multicultural nation. Frank
We HAVE to move forward! Hugh
Surely the behaviour this weekend at Waitangi should make us ashamed to be celebrating today as a national day. Ann
Further, New Zealand day should, for at least the foreseeable future, be recognised on another day during the year, i.e. not recognised on 6 February. The Treaty needs to be openly debated and a national consensus reached on exactly what it means to the country and its citizens as a whole. This interpretation should then be ensconsed in law somehow so that the ongoing challenges as to who owns what can disappear and the country can live in peace and the knowledge that the inter racial issues faced for the last 100 or more years will not compromise a healthy integrated multi-cultural society. Hewitt
By whatever name, it will remain “Maori dissident day” Michael
Definitely agree with the statements I have just read regarding these issues. Peter
You bet it is, but NOT on Waitangi Day, the 26th of September when NZ became a Dominion would be more appropriate, Do it Bill, and make all New Zealanders really happy by derailing the Maori gravy train as well. Athol
Waitangi has become a dirty word. Anon
Waitangi Day has never meant anything yo me. As a 65 year old New Zealander of Maori descent, I believe it is time to stop the racially divisive ‘celebrations’ so that all New Zealanders can feel they have something to celebrate on New Zealand Day. Shelley
We are all equal. John
This isn’t the birthday of our nation anyways so I not am sure why tangi ? Nah, poo is always smelly Mac
Because it is for all New Zealanders. Doreen
I assume you refer to Waitangi Day as “our national day”. Dominion Day, 26 September, should become New Zealand Day. Alan
It is worth it if only to diminish the influence of Ngapuhi and the Harawira family. Don
As a New Zealander the mere mention of Waitangi Day makes me feel sick and very annoyed. Bring back New Zealand Day. Albie
Yes Yes Yes ! ! ! Margaret
As the day causes so much detection perhaps another should be chosen as our national day. How about the day we became a country in our own right. Colin
We are supposed to be New Zealanders. Hugh
Bill English need to show his metal and put in place the talk he put forward that we are all new zealanders with out racial distinction. Ian
It is time we as New Zealanders stopped being held to ransom by a greedy divisional group dewho are also New Zealanders by demeaning their people with the continual demands for money and respect. If they wish respect they also need to show respect. Laurel
Waitangi Day and the associated fiasco that has accompanied it in recent years is a complete blot on NZ’s identity. Make it “New Zealand Day”. PLEASE! Phil
Maori stole the land from the Maoriori and ate them.To then sell the stolen land to the Pakeha is a criminal act so the treaty is also a criminal act and therefore Null and void. Theodorus
The National Socialist Coalition is based on undemocratic political backscratching. The electorate should not re-elect them this year unless they expose their secret deals to public scrutiny. Hugh
It should never have had a name change. It is such a nation divider now, I believe it should be abolished. Denis
The name NZ Day will infer that it is for ALL kiwis & not just for the interests of 1 tribe. Nick
Absolutely sick and tired of the ‘Day’ we deem to be a celebration for all NZers being hijacked by halfwits at Waitangi who bully and harass particularly white NZers and public figures. Back to basics and enjoy the day with family, picnics, festivities etc. Neville
It needs to be taken away from Waitangi and the point scoring committee that runs it. Ron
Who’s going to take any notice with media as biased as it so evidently is??? Graeme
One country, one people, one set of Laws. Ross
One country, one people. Peter
I am sure that if a referendum were to be held tomorrow, the change would be over whelmingly in favour of NZ Day. Chris
Yes and the sooner we ignore the clowns at Waitangi the better. They just want to control the reporters now with their demand for $10,000 to be allowed to report the news. This is the ultimate gimme, gimme, gimme and the sooner the politicians ignore the better. After Sundays performance Little says he won’t be there next year nor will Peters. and the Prime Minister has already said no more. Leave Maoris to stew in their own juice. A complete farce. Chris
Yes it is about time the false treaty was abandoned and the real hobson treaty(the littlewood treaty ) which was for all NEW ZEALANDERS be celebrated as such NZ day for all. James
Drop Waitangi Day completely, it has become nothing more than a breeding ground for anarchists. Bryan
I approve of the Prime Minister’s suggestion that this day should be for all New Zealanders and for him to represent our Country in a different Marae each year. Waitangi should be last in the queue thanks to the appalling behaviour of some Maori.. Peter
Yes – however another option would be to substitute the 16th of November as our National day. It was on this date, in 1840, by virtue of Queen Victoria’s Royal Charter/Letters Patent, NZ became an independent, self-governing colony of the British Crown (under the watchful eye of Great Britain). This superseded the Treaty, separated us from New South Wales and came into force in NZ on the 3rd of May 1841 (this date could serve as an alternative for a real New Zealand Day). I feel that this is a worthwhile alternative to the nonsense we have been putting up with for a number of years now. It would also be a valid issue for a national referendum. However if we lack the collective spine to bring this about, changing Feb 6th to New Zealand Day will help to decouple it from all the negativity and reverse racism that has marred this occasion for some time now – this would be better than doing nothing! Scott
New Zealand Day should be a day of celebration, as Australia Day is. Not focused on one race of people, who are determined to take for themselves as much of NZ as weak Government will allow… and probably still will not be satisfied. It is time this issue was put to bed and NZ and New Zealanders were able to move on as ONE nation of people, with one Government for ALL New Zealanders. Murray
Too late NZ. Since days of David Lange successive Govts, especially Keys National Govt have sold NZ Citizens out to appease Maori. In doing so they have dumbed down NZ schooling where they teach a Language that is good for nothing. They have given, pandered and totally concentrated on what is not even the first nation people. NZ Race relations are stuffed and you all voted for these Govts and let it happen. Start unpacking your grass skirts as that is where you are heading. Chris
It would be step in the right direction towards “one nation”, rather than Waitangi Day’s increasingly being a day of protest and disunity between Maori and all other cozens of New Zealand. Further, to be true to his speech in 2002, Bill English needs to cut National’s ties with the Maori Party and the far too cosy relationship with the iwi leaders group. Laurence
The Maori Party ELITE are getting very worried by placing a full page advertisement in major daily news-papers on Saturday 4th February 2017. David
Most Definitely. Ian
No comment. Edward
If we want it to be a national holiday it must be New Zealand Day. ‘Waitangi Day’ indicates a holiday in Northland. Give it national meaning. Peter
It’s overdue Ted
Most definitely!! June
Yes, yes, yes NZ day. IAN
NZ needs to wake up to the APARTHEID that is rampant in this country. While we have separate Maori seats in Parliament it facilitates APARTHEID. Geoff
Lets drop the maori grievence day once and for all. Shane
It’s time ALL kiwis became ONE NEW ZEALANDER & the govt. STOPPED giving iwi special things they want. Cindy
Should have remained New Zealand Day. This call needs to be taken up by all people in NZ. Jim
Time it reverted back after all as it is now is solely for our Maori Race to have it their way (after all they are only 15% of the population yet they dictate as though they own New Zealand. I am also against the Maori language being discussed as to becoming compulsory taught when it is a DEAD language (let’s face it many Maori;s cannot speak English) I am pleased I do not have children going to school and let it be known If I did I would not allow them to do so. In my years we all got on as friends yes I had Maori children in my school classes and we were ll treated alike not as it is becoming today. –Them and us with them wanting more and more and it appears none is used to assist their own. Marylin
The Treaty was ratified by the borders of New South Wales (NSW) being extended to encompass “all of the islands of New Zealand, There is no record of the Treaty establishing New Zealand a separate and independent British colony. NZ was officially split from NSW to become an independent British colony by Queen Victoria’s Royal Charter of 16-11-1840, ratified on 03-05-1841. This Royal Charter (available from Archives NZ, Wellington) gave us our first constitution, own Government, English law only and with it English language and our own flag which is older than Australia’s in spite of flag change propaganda. New Zealand was born on 03-05-1841 when the Queen’s Royal Charter was ratified. Could this be Governments (plural) closest held secret. Why? George
A well written article by Mr English, but that was back in 2002. Is he strong enough to abide by his then written words now, or will the ‘KEY’ influence have sent him down a different path. He is already indicating that his coalition preference will be the ‘maori-party’.. A.G.R.
Yes Yes Yes. Andrew
It is no longer New Zealand Day in any form or shape, and has been hijacked by militant Maori Leaders into being all about Maori and NOT about the everyday New Zealanders. I would rather the day was abolished altogether because it does NOT represent all New Zealanders in any respect and is now being used purely for Maori self-interest.. The concept has been totally destroyed. Robyn
100% Di
Like the flag, I respect that and this Country, New Zealand Ray
Everyone should be proud to be a New Zealander, and celebrate it as one. Helen
It is the day that the people became ONE. I believe it should be celebrated in all centres throughout New Zealand. It has finally been shown that the general public have had enough of the protesting and ill feeling of maori groups at Waitangi in the past. Dennis
Can someone organise public demonstrations to ensure that no transfer of water rights. Alan
All citizens of this country, maori and non- maori must respect each other and strive to be equals. The fresh water belongs to all of us and the fiasco that is Waitangi Day needs to be religated to history. Jack
Would prefer that we are all New Zealanders and not have Maori sovereignty. Barbara
There are NO full blooded maories left and if they want to continu with their “feel sorry for them selves ” attitude then so be it but leave the rest of us to celebrate our diversity. Jack
Absolutely! I am completely fed up with all things “Waitangi”. The true meaning of the Treaty has been lost due to manipulation and distortion by well intentioned but misguided do-gooders and Waitangi Day has become nothing short of a predictable, annual embarrassment. We’re all “New Zealanders” (ethnicity has NOTHING to do with being a NZ citizen) so let’s change the name back to New Zealand Day. This would provide New Zealanders with a real focus for national pride. Bill English really needs to put his money where his mouth is! I suspect however, that as was the case with his predecessor, John Key, he will allow himself to be hi-jacked by the Maori Party in the interests of keeping National in power. I anticipate that Winston Peters will have quite a bit to say on that particular subject in the forthcoming seven months! Martin
In my opinion, this National Day is in the process of being “hijacked” by various Maori “interested” parties. Ronald
All in favour – stop this Maori favouritism NOW! Bryan
We need a day other than that commemorating the signing of the TOW. Perhaps the day that NZ first became a sovereign, independent nation? Alan
Anything that will move us away from apartheid is to be lauded and supported. Whilst the day celebrates the the agreement of Maori to cede their tribal rights in return for citizenship and protection of the crown, it is common citizenship that should be the focus of the day. Michael
Absolutely this PC crap is driving me insane and is crippling our great country, I’m afraid it is not the place it was when I was a kid in the 70’s and 80’s. Jeffrey
Should not have been changed back to Waitangi Day. New Zealand is much larger than just Waitangi, as is Maoridom. New Zealand Day could/ should be observed at any one of the many Maori Maraes in the Country. Ron
Enough of all this division. We are ALL New Zealanders. Lynn
Maori activists distort and divide New Zealand. There can only be one law , one government and one people of New Zealand. Waitangi day just provides a platform for activists to foment dissention and for that reason the name of the Day should be changed again. Harvey
We are all New Zealanders, not two nations occupying one country. The more robust debate the more division! Pierre
Yes make it NZ Day, also stop the gravy train, re the article in the Hearld about the Money Iwi have, Why are they not running there own prisions with all the Money they have been given, so it is no burden on the Tax Payer but on the Iwi instead. Geoff
Yes, yes, yes!!! Janet
Then it might feel like it belongs to all of us. Margaret
Put an end to the them and us. John
We are all New Zealander’s so therefore New Zealand Day!!! Ian
It is New Zealand Day- It is not Waitangi Day. The treaty was never signed at Waitangi and besides new Zealand Day has nothing to do with Waitangi. Waitangi is a Napui northland. The emphasis placed on the Treaty is a Maori slant on the privileged white Maori attempt to take charge politically and legally to impose the northland Maori grab for all they can with the least effort. Most Maori in New Zealand have ha d enough of promises of a slice of the cake for years and see no evidence of the fruits of treaty pay outs. Speak to the many, many Maori who now call Australia home. Ask the question “why live in Australia”? the answer is the same from the majority – because we are disgusted and embarrassed the way the Educated , privileged pale Maori have demeaned the Maori way and their lack of gratitude for what the Pachal has done for them. John
Its more than time up for the Treaty to be used for political ends and aspirations. Paul
Waitangi day has become a day dominated by protests and rudeness by others toward the people of New Zealand. John
Irreversibly – should never have been changed to Waitangi Day when it become a National Holiday. Judy
Certainly our national day must be New Zealand Day. Further, as all New Zealanders are equal (no, not some more equal than others) the Prime Minister is the one who should be in charge of celebrations and I trust he will invite representatives of Maori as well as the rest of us to attend and honour the day. Rob
Enough maori racism already. Kerry
Who pays the the police to stop the media the tax payer they are getting what they want once again.if its not a goverment hand out things might change. James
Bill English doesn’t need to worry about working with the Maori party, with Nationals current process Winston peters will be the next Prime minister! Michael
Yes, but it shouldn’t be 6 February which has been forever tainted with the disgusting behaviour that has long occurred on this day. New Zealand Day, our proud National Day, should be either 16 November (1840) when Queen Victoria’s Royal Charter annexing us from NSW was signed, or 3 May (1841) when it was enacted. This was when we separated from Australia and became a British colony in our own right. Helen
We need proper unity now more than ever so a name change would be a strong signal. Nick
Waitangi day is a farce. Les
Time to stop apartheid in this country. Bruce
So far Waitangi Day has fed a division between some Part Maori and the rest of us. I feel a New Zealand Day would embellish the Treaty and everything else that constructs our ONE Nation. Geoff
Why not? Time to move on. John
And remove the “offcial” celebrations from TeTii marae. Tony
Definitely. Pete
I have always voted National but the ‘back room deals’ being advocated by Nick Smith astounds me. greedy Maori want more, more, more all the time. the more you give them the more they want. Why is the Treaty of waiting being corrupted, time to go back to its original intent. National STOP the pandering to elitist Maori! Peter
I am sick & tired of Maori hijacking this day and making it a protest day. One law for all means ending racist PC activities. Kerry
Time to become ONE NEW ZEALAND and stop this racial nonsence. Mike
Its a National Day for ALL New Zealanders. Where as Waitangi Day is dominated by Maori protests. Tony
Absolutely !! Long overdue, my family have been referring to it as “NZ Day” for as long as I can remember. Trust the maoris to turn it in to a fiasco and their behavior and demands on the day is an absolute insult to the European and other ethnic races who are the majority population in this country. Look at the past when numerous PMs have been verbally and physically assaulted by these clearly racist people. I fully supported Bill English in his refusal to attend their biased function, and not allowed to speak!! What would they do if the govt banned them from speaking in parliament, they would no doubt resort to violence as is their way! Return the name of NZ Day which common sense demands, and politicians stop patronizing the maoris. David
What a good idea. We are all supposed to be one nation together. Sheila
YES, Absolutely, totally YES!! Constance
If it continues to be referred to as Waitangi Day it tends to indicate to most NZers that it is a day for Maori. It has become a day of division rather than inclusion and won’t change until it becomes a day for all ie NZ Day. Allan
A very definite, and loud YES!!! Trevor
Enough is enough NZ wake up. KT
No longer a Maori day but for ALL New Zealanders. Jeff
Yes … but cosmetic window dressing such as the name of a Public Holiday is not the most pressing matter at hand. The most important thing that needs most URGENT attention is to remove all race based reference to legislation from the statute books. And I don’t mean simply by changing the reference from Maori or Iwi or such references to Indigenous People but to eliminate such references and their conferred meanings entirely. Dianna
Take the ‘maoriness’ away and call it New Zealand Day, or perhaps One New Zealand Day to emphasise what the treaty is all about. Alan
It is time this treaty crap was finished and we move on as “one people” instead of a take over by 5th columnists. Noel
Yes share it around NZ. Bruce
Too much Maori bias nowdays. Way, way, way too much. Kevin
Have gone right over the top. Ray
Waitangi Day is driving more New Zealanders apart rather than joining as one nation. With our multicultural population New Zealand Day will make it far more meaningful and create a national feeling of pride in our nation rather than revision as is the case with Waitangi Day. David
As soon as possible will be too late. David
It will be a start towards cleaning up the mess the country is sinking into. Barry
Your article really rocks me to the core. When are the rest of NZ going to wake up to this creeping racism that is sucking the life blood out of the Identity of being one nation of New Zealanders. John
Or we return to the status of two hundred years ago, and equality and democracy go out the window. Jill
Most definitely. Beryl
Waitangi Day is a farce. The Prime Minister of N.Z. of should never be subjected to insult. Insult that office you insult the country. Bruce
Yes, but I don’t see it happening soon. There is becoming such a division between Maori and non-Maori that getting over that hurdle will be difficult. We are well on the way to becoming a divided nation which is exactly what Maori want. Maori get all they want with little or no opposition to their outrageous demands. On reading the Bill English speech as outlined, I thought that maybe there was hope yet, but the final words that if elected he will join with Maori yet again surely seals the fate of New Zealanders becoming a divided nation. I was hoping he would stand firm but I don’t think he is strong enough to do that. Unfortunately under the MMP voting system what alternative is there. Audrey
Definitely. It should also be moved to a different date so that it doesn’t retain the tainted image that goes with the current ‘Grievance Day’ whoo ha! Alan
Definitely! I, for one, am fed up to the back teeth with Waitangi Day and fanatical Maori always holding out their hand and want, want, wanting. Waitangi Day this year was a disaster with them holding their hands out for money from the media. It’s shameful. I will not vote for National if this is the underhanded, secret way they govern. Kerin
Absolutely, and it should be held in a different town/city every year and not on a marae. Stevo
We must stop this Racism by a few Maori the majority want to be NEW ZEALANDERS. Brian
For far too long this day has been all about Maori interests while the reality is that this country has been built by people from many nations all to the ultimate benefit of the country as a whole and especially to the betterment of life for Maori. Rob
It should never have been changed. Graeme
Yes – and should be commemorated on 25th September, the day NZ became a fully independent nation state by ratifying the Statute of Westminster in 1947. Andrew
But a name change will not deter the separationists. As for the idea of moving the formal celebrations around the country each year, it would be wise to remember, ‘Be careful what you wish for, lest it come true.’ The Maori nationalists would soon attempt to hijack each event. Paul
We need to unite as New Zealanders, put the past behind us, yes terrible things occured but not done by anyone alive today, and move forward together as the multi cultured society we are. Nicola
No, it will never be a national celebration day as independence day is in USA. Russell
Way past time. Robert
It should never have been changed. Alan
We should be celebrating what NZ is today, not what it was yesterday. Steve
The celebration should be isolated from the shonky treaty process’ and held as a unifying different day. Roderick
Australia have Australia Day makes sense for NZ to have New Zealand day. Brian
NZ is a single society! Eric
Who do they think they are, the only people in NZ. Jim
Dear Muriel It is not an event for the nation if the prime minister is excluded. It is tie for the prime minister and the governor general to stage an event for the whole country – even if there is little time to organize it. Dene
Otherwise it does not mean a thing to 90% of the NZ population. Margaret
What is it if we are not all New Zealanders? Of course it should be NZ day for all New Zealanders. Get on with it and change it now. Tim
Hopefully that could unite us a bit more. Andrew
Waitangi day is the day all races supposedly acknowledge New Zealand. However it is not working due to minority groups spoiling the day there for I support the change to New Zealand day. John
Enough racial intonation for a day that has only historical value not a inference that it is our basis of political heritage. Ian
It should celebrate the 16th of November 1840 when NZ became a British colony. The treaty was just a preliminary. Arthur
Much more inclusive in 2017. Helen
Whatever it is called is not important as all people of New Zealand get to feel like one nation standing together. Pavithra
It should NEVER have been called Waitangi Day. John
But no Treaty of Waitangi rubbish involved in it. Mike
177 years. When are Maori ever going to grow up? Tom
Calling it Waitangi Day is covert racism. Calling it New Zealand Day is a signal of unity for all NZ citizens. John
It needs to be New Zealand Day, a day all New Zealanders whatever their ethnicity and background can celebrate together as nation. Carol
To much of New Zealand’s identity has been hijacked by certain groups of people for their own interests only. Especially if money is involved. Gary
Better still, ditch 6th Feb as a national day and pick another one that is inclusive of everyone in NZ. It is exactly the sort of secret, two-faced deals by the political establishment discussed in this week’s column that contributed to the Trump victory and the Brexit vote. If NZ continues down the Maori separatist path it is travelling along blindly at the moment then it is only a question of time before a similar protest vote happens here. Gary
Absolutely – and time to stop Waitangi being the “place to celebrate” NZ Day.. Like our Prime Minister has done this year – let other towns big and small have a turn to host celebrations. Elayne
If we had a New Zealand Day instead of Waitangi Day, it would be a day of celebration for all New Zealanders, not just a minority. Gifford
There is too much emotion and baggage attached to the word ‘.Waitangi’. We need to revert to Norman Kirks New Zealand Day. Kevin
NZ day should be held at other venues around NZ. Don
Most definitely. David
Absolutely New Zealand day for all New Zealanders. Peter
Waitangi Day is a rort and a farce – a blot on our landscape get rid of it once and for all. Rob
Having studied Bill English’s 2002 speech given at Victoria University I couldn’t agree more with the content an believe that most of the ‘silent majority’ will also. Alan
Should never have been changed. Graeme
One nation, undivided….. Mark
At the moment and for the past twenty years at least, it could more accurately be called Maori Grievance Day. Enough is enough! Tom
Waitangi has long been a cesspit of discontent and annual opportunity to extract funds from taxpayers to further the cause of Titawhai and her cohorts anti New Zealand endeavours. Time to put a line in the sand and stop this crap. Bill English has started this process. Dont stop now Bill. Nest target has to be abolition of the maori Party as recommended by the Royal Commission into election reform back in the 1990’s. Chris
Yes well past time to have a name that is relevant to the whole country. Russell
Of course it should be New Zealand Day and celebrated throughout the country and away from Waitangi forever – this to stop the high jacking of the day by divisive actions of Maori every year – it has become an annual farce with nothing much worse than denying the PM speaking rights and demanding $10,000 to Televion to film proceedings – what unacceptable nonsense. This is a day to celebrate a successful country made up of many different races and creeds united inourpose – not separatism that Maori continue to seek whilst at the same time taking advantage of all that has become available with their lifestyle since 1840. Hylton
National maturity needed urgently. Catherine
Or disband it entirely. Frank
And do away with all the Maori action associated with it. leave them out of it. JOHN
Yes it should never have changed. Lynette
Get rid of all this childish Maori rubbish about honoring the treaty. Maori have been given far more than they deserve. And hey, they have been born 160 years on after the treaty was signed so they have really lost nothing and should get into the 21st century. Graeme
Yes the majority of New Zealanders are fed up with Maori high jacking Waitangi celebrations. Peter
It is but actually I think that it is too late and the time has come to find another day. Too much has happened and the wounds are deep and too much damage done by mindless activists whose sole objective is chaos. Roger
NZ belongs to all NZers. Graeme
I feel no affinity with Waitangi Day and would welcome a day when we celebrate our full history as New Zealanders. Bruce
I am sick and tired of Waitangi Day and the Maori crap that accompanies it year after year. Peter
Let’s have a NZ day for all New Zealanders. Stewart
But not on the anniversary of the signing of the Treaty of Waitangi. Modern Maori have not honored the spirit or intent of the Treaty. Bob
Long overdue. Vernon
When racism is openly acknowledged, secret meetings held with IWI and co governance preached. This makes a parody of so called New Zealand Day. Bruce
Absolutely. Let the Maoris have their farcical day to bitch and moan amongst them selves. Hopefully some of them will get eliminated. Well done Bill English for not attending New Zealand day. I wish the all other political parties would do the same, but they just have not got the balls to do so as they think that they will benefit from attending this shamble. Would be great if TVNZ gave this crap a miss also, then the tribes will get no publicity and hopefully they will just go away and hide in their caves. Any way, its the Poms that should be attending to this rubbish as it was them who signed the treaty, not a duly elected Government from NZ, simply it is a disgrace to NZ. Graham
Away Waitangi trouble let us celebrate New Zealand Day. Johan
With all the protests and rubbish that has gone on at previous days, Waitangi has become an embarrasment to true New Zealanders. Call it NZ day and lets all be one and be proud of it. Bruce
Changing the national day to New Zealand day would be a step in the right direction. Then remove the Treaty of Waitangi except as an historical document so that non-maori are able to feel they belong in the country as much as those with fractional maori ancestry. John
Time to regain the intent of the Treaty (not by international law – Aotearoa was not a sovereign nation but tribal) and discard the bogus “principles” our conniving bureaucrats (endorsed by a generation or two of spineless politicians. Richard
It should never have been changed to ‘Waitangi Day’ in the first place. It alienates a majority of our population. Frank
Waitangi has ot it’s meaning for the majority of New Zealanders. Dave
Yes please. Michael
It’s time to rid this country of “us and them” politics. Mike
Yes, Waitangi Day is dead. Victor
It’s time to scrap the Treaty of Waitangi and become One Nation of New Zealanders. Peter
Absolutely! And the whole Treaty nonsense put to bed once and for all. Ian Wishart’s ‘The Great Divide’ should be compulsory reading in schools. The original signatories were happy with the outcomes 20 years after signing so 150 years later their descendants are simply climbing aboard a grievance based gravy train. David
Waitangi Day was superseded by Bastion day,in 1860 so lets publicise those discussions as they came after 20m years of experience, living under the Queens Sovereignty with all its benefits for Maori. Christian values, law and order, same for all No more slavery and cannibalism. Maurice
Watangi day has become the day we show to the people of both New Zealand & the world we are a sepratist nation. Held to ransom by a reinvention of the meaning of the treaty of watangi. Tracy
Making Ferbuary 6th New Zealand Day might be a first positive step toward acclaiming “One Law for ALL” and dismantling the whole bogus Waitangi gravy train. Mr English need not emulate Trump in all things, but one thing is very very necessary, we urgently need to Drain the Brown stained Swamp and dispatch any further movement toward apartheid. Richard
Hell yes. Donald
Absolutely. It it is the neatest way to restore widespread loyalty and respect for our nationhood, and reduce the unpleasant divisiveness of so-called “Waitangi” Day. Gordon
Waitangi What????? Sorry didn’t hear anything. There are two other days which seem to suggest themselves. The day went from a Colony to a Dominion, 26 September 1907; or when we ceased to be a Dominion and became an independent country with the adoption of the Westminster Statue on 25 November 1947; among others. I already celebrate both these days in case the government one day comes to their senses and picks one. Michelle
Absolutely! Alastair
Activists have kidnapped this day and taken away the very essence of its value as a National Day for the whole NZ. Therefore let Waitangi keep it as their own precious little holiday for waka racing, poi dancing and hangi, while the rest of us Commemorate Norman Kirk’s bravery in suggesting it should be A New Day Commemoration – or scrub it altogether. Ian
It’s time that we, as a nation, ditched ALL official recognition of these Lietangi rabble rousing shenanigans and relegated them to the same historical dustbin that the Taiwanese immigrants’ “kaitiaki” sent all seven species of Moa and the magnificent Haast’s eagle (along with around 30 other species they exterminated) to. Feb 6th is the birthday of the late, great Bob Marley. Let the separatists play their sad little games on their reservations while real Kiwis get together and head for the beach with a few friends, a couple of bevvies and/or splifs and some chill sounds to celebrate the legacy of fine sounds he left us. Let Feb 6th be officially instated as ‘National One Love Day’ in place of the separatist nonsense we currently have. That will satisfy most people who just want an excuse to come together to party. And we can all ignore the racists. Certainly we need a national day of celebration of our nationhood. Let us celebrate our becoming an independent, self governing nation on Sept 26th, something we can ALL get behind and rid ourselves of the racist, separatist nonsense of the bogus Palmer Lietangi fraud once and for all. https://youtu.be/vdB-8eLEW8g David
Yes, New Zealand Day is what our national day should be called. Matt
Waitangi Day has been spoilt by the protesters. New Zealand Day would better reflect how the country feels. Judy
Bill English did the right thing in avoiding Waitangi – and yes, anything that takes the focus off Maori rights has to be good for the country. David
Yes, yes, yes – NZ Day! Graham
It’s a good idea to call the national day NZ Day. Rob Muldoon was foolish to change it. Any party that proposed it in the lead up to the election, would probably get quite a bit of support. John