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Dunne calls for national identity

Media statement
For immediate release

Tuesday, 10 February 2004

Dunne calls for national identity

United Future leader Peter Dunne today called for a much greater effort to be put into establishing a true sense of New Zealand nationhood.

Replying to the Prime Minister’s address at the opening of this session of Parliament, he pointed out that New Zealanders celebrated the recent successes of the men’s softball team and the sevens rugby team as New Zealand successes.

He contrasted that sense of unity with the scenes at Waitangi where the Prime Minister and the Leader of the Opposition were abused.

Mr Dunne described the scenes as intolerable discourtesy, rudeness and violence and said the nation’s leaders should not return to Waitangi until they could be given assurances such scenes would not recur.

“We are many strands from many different cultures and the challenge before us is to bring those strands together to make us uniquely New Zealanders.

“We are on the verge of becoming the world’s first truly great multicultural nation. We can make that happen or we can shrink from that opportunity.”

Mr Dunne called for what he described as constitutional change by stealth to be carried out only with the consent of the people and outlined the practical achievements United Future wants to see in this term of Parliament, such as cutting GST on rates, giving community volunteers a modest tax break, and getting much tougher on criminal gangs and drug manufacturers and dealers.

ends

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