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Dunne Unbowed By Aotearoa NZ Day Bill Defeat

24 May 2000

DUNNE UNBOWED BY AOTEAROA NEW ZEALAND DAY BILL DEFEAT

United New Zealand leader, Hon Peter Dunne, is unbowed after Parliament’s rejection of his Aotearoa New Zealand Day Bill this afternoon.

He has vowed to keep up his campaign to change the name and form of New Zealand’s national day.

The Aotearoa New Zealand Day bill proposed renaming Waitangi Day Aotearoa New Zealand Day and celebrating it on the Monday nearest to February 6th.

“I was not surprised the Government opposed the bill, given its reliance on the votes of its Maori bloc, who are resistant to any change in the status of Waitangi Day.”

“However, as Norman Kirk, the original author of the concept of New Zealand Day, pointed out in 1973, Waitangi Day is not just a day for Maori, but for all New Zealanders.”

“Current events in Fiji show clearly the danger to a society of legislating on a racial basis, and provide a timely warning that society’s symbols should be about promoting the things that unite a country rather than those that divide.”

“New Zealand is a modern, multicultural society, and while the legacy of Waitangi Day is an important part of our history we cannot and should not ignore, we need a national day that brings us all together, whatever our ethnic and cultural origins.”

“That was the point of the Aotearoa New Zealand Day Bill, and its validity is undiminished by today’s Parliamentary vote.”

“According to opinion polling, 62% of New Zealanders support some or all of the Bill’s provisions, and in their interests, I will therefore be continuing the campaign for a new national day,” Mr Dunne says.

ENDS
New Zealand’s Liberal Party


MEDIA STATEMENT
HON PETER DUNNE, MP
LEADER UNITED NEW ZEALAND
Parliament Buildings, Wellington 1.
Ph(04)471 9410 or (025) 469 808. Fax (04)499 7266.
e-mail: peter.dunne@parliament.govt.nz. Internet Address: http://www.united.org.nz


New Zealand’s Liberal Party

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