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Waitangi Day Is Not New Zealand Day - PM

Prime Minister Helen Clark today wouldn't back calls from some quarters for Waitangi Day to be renamed and more broadly focused as a national “New Zealand Day,” despite her refusal to attend celebrations at Waitangi.

She said that despite many people referring to Waitangi day as a national day, she didn’t personally think the occasion carried that much weight.

Miss Clark said she did not see Government Representation permanently returning to Waitangi on Waitangi day, but said that it may happen in the future “from time to time, if it could be done with dignity.”

Asked what she would like to see Waitangi day become, the Prime Minister said: “I would like to see it as a day that both reflects what happened in 1840 and since, but also looks to the future.”

She said the Waitangi Day events she will be attending on Wellington’s waterfront, organised by the Wellington City Council and the Wellington Tenths Trust showed the spirit of cooperation she wanted to see.

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