Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | Video | Questions Of the Day | Search

 


Dunne Speaks: 5 February 2014

Dunne Speaks: 5 February 2014

http://honpfd.blogspot.co.nz/2014/02/5-february-2014-sunny-day-in-wellington.html

A sunny day in Wellington and the line-up of floats for the annual parade marking the start of the madcap Wellington Sevens event is a great reminder of all that is good in our country, and a welcome relief to many of the daily pressures we face.

So too is the opportunity to debate the design of our national flag, to make sure it more accurately reflects the spirit and “vibe” of modern New Zealand. It is not the superficial distraction some dismiss it as, but a chance to think afresh about the New Zealand face of the future. It is an occasion we should relish as bold and confident people.

Another part of that consideration ought to be our stubborn adherence to relics of our colonial past. The Queen’s Birthday holiday is an obvious example. At a time when we healthily debate the issues around our National Day what possible relevance is the commemoration of the birthday, months after the actual event, of a distant hereditary sovereign we seldom see, and who has no impact on our daily lives?

I am no killjoy seeking to deprive people of a welcome mid-winter long weekend, but I seriously doubt its continued relevance to current and future generations of New Zealanders.

All of which brings me back to the theme of positive nationhood with which I began. We should welcome the flag debate and the wider constitutional discussion it will lead to, with its hoped-for outcome of the New Zealand Republic, as positive occasions for our country to shape its destiny. And then the meaningless Queen’s Birthday weekend could be put out of its misery and replaced with a weekend that celebrates the New Zealand of the future, in all its richness and diversity.

As the Wellington Sevens events shows each year, nothing beats a celebration, even at the coldest time of year, to light up the national mood and lift public spirits.

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

 

PARLIAMENT TODAY:

Mt Eden Prison: Serco Inquiry Extended

A two month delay to the Government investigation into prison fight clubs shows the extent of problems within the Serco circus, says Labour’s Corrections spokesperson Kelvin Davis. More>>

ALSO:

Health And Safety: Late Addition Of National Security Provisions A Concern

The New Zealand Law Society has expressed its significant concerns at the last-minute addition to the Health and Safety Reform Bill of provisions for a closed material procedure for court proceedings where national security is involved. More>>

ALSO:

Rugby And Beer: World Cup Alcohol Bill Passes

ACT MP David Seymour’s Sale and Supply of Alcohol (Extended licensing hours during Rugby World Cup) Bill completed its third reading by 99 to 21... More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On The Flag Campaign

So far, the public has treated the government’s flag campaign with something between disinterest and disdain. Most New Zealanders have instinctively seen through the marketing hype involved. More>>

Change For 2017: Local Govt To Decide On Easter Sunday Trading

The Government is to enable local communities, through councils, to decide whether retailers can open on Easter Sunday, Workplace Relations and Safety Minister Michael Woodhouse announced. More>>

ALSO:

(And Targets Worse Than Australia's): Foresters Abandoning Emissions Trading Scheme

The Government’s gutting of the Emissions Trading Scheme has caused foresters to leave and emissions to rise, says Labour’s Climate Change spokesperson Megan Woods. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Parliament
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news