Top Scoops

Book Reviews | Gordon Campbell | Scoop News | Wellington Scoop | Community Scoop | Search

 

Stop striving for perfection at Waitangi commemorations: PM

Stop striving for perfection at Waitangi commemorations, says PM

Dissent and protest around Waitangi Day commemorations shouldn't been seen as a sign of failure, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern says.

Waitangi Day got off to a peaceful start in the Bay of Islands, with an estimated 1500 people attending the traditional prayer service on the Treaty Grounds.

The turnout is thought to be the biggest in decades.

A small group of protestors led by Waitangi elder Kingi Taurua has just marched through the congregation assembled for this morning's church service chanting "Hikoi".

The choir kept singing while the protestors kept up their chant for five minutes before moving on.



A small group of protestors led by Waitangi elder Kingi Taurua marched through the congregation assembled for this morning's church service chanting"Hikoi". Photo: RNZ / Lois Williams

Earlier, at the dawn service Ms Ardern gave a reading based on extracts from the Book of Celtic Wisdom by John Donahue.

She asked that those gathered never lose sight of why they had come to Waitangi today and that they might know the wisdom of deep listening.

Leaders of other political parties also read prayers.

Ngāpuhi leader Sonny Tau said New Zealand had a good run under the National Party for the last nine years, but acknowledged the nation might benefit from a young leader.

"We've got a very very young country and a very very young leader and that combination ...is going to be dynamite for this country."

Ms Ardern said it had been an incredibly moving few days for her in the Far North.

She said while the atmosphere at Waitangi this year had been more positive and peaceful than in recent years, she did not think people should shy away from challenging the government.

"I think we should stop striving for perfection at the commemorations of our national day. If people choose to use their voice on this day that does not mean it is a failure, it does not mean the day needs to change or move it just means that we're not complacent."




The crowd at the Waitangi dawn service. Photo: RNZ / Lois Williams

The Prime Minister then hosted a BBQ for the public at the nearby waka shelter.

Ms Ardern, who was on sausage and bacon duty, said they catered for 400 people but were running out of food within half an hour.

In a brief speech to the crowd she said she had been told previous prime ministers held a breakfast at a local hotel, but she opted instead to do something for the public.

Ms Ardern will spend some time at the Waitangi festival before returning to Auckland.

National Party leader Bill English is spending Waitangi Day in Bluff.Last year, when he was prime minister, he opted not to go to Waitangi, saying there was too much disorganisation and disruption at Te Tii Marae.

But this year all of the events have been shifted to the marae on the Treaty Grounds.

Mr English said that decision, made by the Waitangi National Trust board, appeared to have been a good one.

"It's been great to see the dignity restored to that event where people have been able to enjoy the Waitangi Day significance for New Zealand rather than have to put up with what used to happen in the run up to it."

Mr English said he will be attending Ngāi Tahu's official commemoration events at Bluff.

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Top Scoops Headlines

 

Gordon Campbell On Labour’s Timidity:

What an odd post-Cabinet press conference that was yesterday, from PM Jacinda Ardern and Finance Minister Grant Robertson ... More>>

Gordon Campbell: On The Prevailing Media Narratives About The Govt Coalition

The media reports the facts…. but that’s not the end of it, and nor should it be. It also marshals those facts and creates a story from them, usually one with a moral that’s implied or explicit. After six months though, it is still unclear just what the dominant media narrative is of the coalition government. Is it Idealistic But Impractical? Is its Heart in the Right Place, but is it Taking On Too Much? Is the coalition proving to be Fractious And Unstable, or is it Surprisingly Adept at Keeping Its Inherent Rifts Out of the Public Eye? More>>

RNZ Explainer: Why You Should Care About Cambridge Analytica

Facebook's shares have lost billions of dollars in value after something to do with data used by Cambridge Analytica. Confused? Here's what it means, and what could come next...More>>


Gordon Campbell: On The (Looming) Nurses’ Strike

It is (almost) possible to feel a bit sorry for the DHB negotiators engaged in the current nurses pay round. Come next Monday there’s every sign that nurses will resoundingly reject the pay offer the DHBs have put on the table, as being totally inadequate...More>>

Gordon Campbell: On A Trade War With China

As things currently stand, the White House has NOT included New Zealand on its list of allies whose steel and aluminium exports to the US will be exempted from US President Donald Trump’s recent hike in tariffs. More>>

Gordon Campbell: On Credibility In Politics

Credibility is always such a fickle, unstable element in politics. You know it when you see it, though. More>>

Video And Report: Cory Doctorow Talks Machine Learning And Big Data

International internet and digital technology commentator Cory Doctorow talked about machine learning and big data at the Privacy Commissioner’s PrivacyLive event on 13 March 2018 in Wellington. More>>

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
  • PublicAddress
  • Pundit
  • Kiwiblog