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Waitangi Day: when will the scrapping end?

Media statement
For immediate release
Friday, 3 February 2006

Waitangi Day: when will the scrapping end?

An exasperated United Future leader Peter Dunne today demanded to know when Waitangi Day would become a day of unity for New Zealanders and not a source of infighting and division.

"For years, we've put up with protests, fighting, spitting, mud-throwing and jostling of Prime Ministers on our national day.

"Last year, possibly because of the Maori Party's electoral ambitions, all was sweetness and light.

"Now the election's over and we are seeing a return to infighting between those from the Ngapuhi rohe and the rest of the country; claims that politicians are being excluded from the important ceremonies and accusations that the whole day is being highjacked by the Maori Party.

"We've seen it all before and we don't like it."

Mr Dunne, whose Member's Bill setting up a New Zealand Day is being considered by a parliamentary select committee, said New Zealanders want a day of rejoicing, not a day of whinging and whining.

"It would be nice - just once - to have a national day that we look forward to as a chance to celebrate the great things going on in our country and the contribution all our peoples are making to those, rather than one we approach on tenterhooks with our most optimistic hope being that nothing goes wrong," he said.

ENDS

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