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It's timeout time for Waitangi Day

It's timeout time for Waitangi Day

United Future New Zealand leader, Peter Dunne, today called for an end to the observance of Waitangi Day as New Zealand's national day of celebration.

"The vast majority of New Zealanders want to see a day of celebration that brings New Zealand together, that celebrates our successes, our families and our communities and the unique gift we all possess as New Zealanders," he said.

"Clearly, Waitangi Day is not achieving that. Instead, we are seeing Maori elders take the unprecedented step of banning not only pakeha reporters, but Maori reporters as well, from Te Tii marae.

"We are seeing the nation's Prime Minister refusing to take part in some of the ceremonies because, in her words 'they are a shambles'.

"It has been plain for years that the elders of Ngapuhi have not been able to guarantee that our national celebrations will not be marred by violent demonstrations, the desecration of our flag and the offering of indignities such as spitting to honoured guests at Waitangi.

"No wonder many people see Waitangi Day as just another holiday, or a day to spend at the beach.

"I therefore believe it is time that New Zealand withdraw from Waitangi as a location for celebrating our nationhood and leave the people of Ngapuhi time to get their affairs in order before there is any official return to Waitangi.

"In the meantime, the taxpayer money spent at Waitangi every year could be distributed to all the other communities in New Zealand who want to celebrate our unity and not our differences," said Mr Dunne.

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