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Waitangi Day: A time for celebration

Labour Leader
3 February 2012 MEDIA STATEMENT
Waitangi Day: A time for celebration

Waitangi Day should be a time when we come together as a nation to celebrate our cultural diversity and everything that’s so great about New Zealand, says Labour Leader David Shearer.

“It’s a special day when we celebrate the birth of our nation. We should take the opportunity to appreciate all the things that make us unique – our clean, green environment, our relaxed way of life, our innovation and our creativity.

“Often we don’t realise how lucky we are until we are on our OE or travelling offshore on holiday,” David Shearer said. “We should use Waitangi Day as an opportunity to stop, join together with others in our community, and appreciate the country we live in.

“I’m proud of New Zealand. I’ve seen a lot of desperate countries in the world. We are one of the lucky ones and that’s something we should celebrate.

“Protest around Waitangi Day has become a tradition. But I think focusing on grievance devalues the significance of the occasion. There’s certainly always more we can do to improve our relationships with each other. But let’s spend time looking forward, not backward.

“There are issues we all want to protest about, including the Government’s asset sale plan. Labour, along with most other Kiwis, is strongly opposed to that plan.

“But there are 364 other days when we can make our point,” David Shearer said. ”Let’s set aside our differences on Waitangi Day and celebrate being New Zealanders with joy and pride.”

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