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Dunne resubmits New Zealand Day Bill

Media statement

For immediate release

Thursday, 5 February 2004

Dunne resubmits New Zealand Day Bill

United Future leader Peter Dunne will shortly re-submit his New Zealand Day Bill to Parliament as a Member’s Bill “because events of last week and today show there’s a crying need for a national day that will unite and not divide New Zealanders”.

The Bill seeks to rename Waitangi Day and Mondayise the holiday in the week in which February 6 occurs.

It was debated by Parliament in May 2000 and was voted down by 76 – 42 with one abstention, Georgina Te Heu Heu.

“It’s ironic,” said Mr Dunne, “that Mrs Te Heu Heu spoke movingly in that debate about Waitangi Day being part of our national psyche and the Treaty of Waitangi a part of our identity.

“Today, of course, she has been tossed aside by the National Party in its desperate effort to capture the New Zealand First vote and her leader, Dr Brash, has made a major contribution to race relations by storming off Te Tii marae and becoming the target of verbal abuse and clods of dirt.

“This is precisely the sort of hostility and dissension that most New Zealanders are heartily sick of and want to see an end to.

“The passage of my Bill would go a long way towards meeting that demand of the New Zealand voters,” said Mr Dunne.


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