Waitangi – Day of National Pride

It’s been put to bed for another year but I’m counting down for the next thrilling episode of race relations, NZ Style.

You’ve gotta love Waitangi Day. The drama. The brinksmanship. The inevitable showdown between the Harawiras, and well, the rest of New Zealand.

It’s better than an episode of Outrageous Fortune.
 Starring the indomitable Titewhai Harawira and son Hone.
Hone, the Mr Darcy of Maoridom who has no time for “puritannical bullshit”.

There is no failure to deliver on the drama front this year. Titewhai Harawira fronted up to Te Tii Marae yesterday for the traditional welcoming of the PM onto the marae. She sucessfully jostled for position alongside the PM to lead him onto the marae while giving the Stink Eye to the local kaumatua:

“After lengthy negotiations this morning, Mrs Harawira managed to get Mr Key’s left hand first, and other kuia Naida Glavish and Mrs Taurua – the marae’s choice of escort – stood in a line alongside her.”


Titewhai. She’s a bloody hard case. She knew darn well that the choice to accompany Key onto the marae was Te Tii kuia Ani Taurua. But she chose to ignore counsel to stand and desist.
It’s at this point that the rest of New Zealand discovers that Titewhai is actually not a direct representative of Te Tii Marae.

And it’s here we wrap up a season of Maori Shortie Street. The rest of New Zealand wakes up to the fact that the old mare has no real reason to be there. Her presence as the PM’s guide is actually a breach of tikanga (Maori protocol)¬†

Most of the rest of New Zealand have just assumed year on year that Titewhai  speaks for and represents a large section of Maoridom in an official capacity.

I could almost hear the sound of the penny dropping all the way here over in Silicon Valley.

It’s not a question of race relations. It’s not even remotely a race issue. It’s all about one overbearing individual with a severe case of entitilitis.

Titewhai is all loved up on political power and won’t be relegated to the stands. Year on year she has learned to bully her way into the spotlight.
And bully she is.
Bullies always try to distract by  accusing their targets of the same thing they are guilty of. So the Te Tii Kaumatua are woman bashers:
“Titewhai Harawira has accused kaumatua at Te Tii Marae of being “women bashers”.
“She made the remark after leaving the whare this morning following Prime Minister John Key’s powhiri which was delayed by 40 minutes because of a stand-off over whether she or another kuia, Ani Taurua, would bring on the Prime Minister”.
Yet Harawira is the only one with a record of violent protest.

I love Waitangi day and I feel more at home on a marae than many other places. From stripping the meat off duck legs at the age of six to dossing down as a teenager; I love the warm feeling of marae life.

But it is time to get rid of the bullshit surrounding W Day.

We need to establish a day that all New Zealanders can celebrate. A day where we celebrate “What it Means to Be a New Zealander”, regardless of race and creed.
A day that echoes the creed:

“If you’ve made it to these far off shores and are not leaving then you’re a good bastard “.

The only way of doing this is by establishing a New Zealand Day. A day where all those drawn to her opalescent shores can toast to the beauty of HMS Aotearoa. Forget about mondayising Anzac and Waitangi Day. There are very good reasons why those exact dates should be commemorated.

For once, lets not be frugal New Zealanders. Let’s solve the problem of a dearth of public holidays by adding another public holiday into the midst.

If the Americans can have Independence Day, Labour Day, Martin Luther King Day and Presidents Day then we sure as heck should be able to rustle up some National pride with an extra national Day.
Let’s celebrate Waitangi Day and New Zealand Day.
 Early December should fit the bill.

 Cheers Pauas.

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