New Zealand's "Waitangi" holiday to stay

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Friday, February 23, 2007

The Waitangi Treaty of Waitangi in the museum on the Waitangi grounds.

Peter Dunne's proposition as the leader of the New Zealand political party, United Future, to have Waitangi Day changed back to New Zealand Day failed.

The New Zealand Day bill would have created disharmony within the society according to parliamentary select committee, the Justice and Electoral Committee. But they do say that it could be a good idea for a completely new holiday to be created called New Zealand Day.

"I welcome the advice from the committee that many of the submitters were in favour of retaining Waitangi Day and having another day set aside for a national day that will celebrate everything that's good about New Zealand and being a New Zealander," said Mr Dunne.

Mr Dunne said the reason for his proposed change was because since New Zealand is multi-cultural, then New Zealand's national day should be one about everybody and not one about grievance.

Mr Dunne says that he is still backing New Zealand Day in some form despite the rejection, as he is now considering many options, including changing the Queen's Official Birthday holiday to New Zealand Day, and starting Dominion Day back up. He says that he is now considering writing up a new bill to submit it to the New Zealand Parliament.

Waitangi day is on February 6, each year and celebrates the Waitangi signing of New Zealand's founding document, the Treaty of Waitangi (Te Tiriti o Waitangi).

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