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Waitangi Day part of our Christian heritage

7th April 2005

Waitangi Day part of our Christian heritage

Waitangi Day is an important part of our Christian heritage and should be retained. Leader of Christian Heritage NZ Ewen McQueen said Peter Dunne’s bill to replace Waitangi Day with New Zealand Day was a misinformed piece of political populism that dishonoured the spirit of the Treaty and the noble ideals it represented. McQueen stated,

“The Treaty of Waitangi established the basis for civil government in our nation. It is a landmark in our history which should not be moved. It is true that New Zealand is now a more multi-cultural society, but we need to acknowledge the foundations on which our country was built. You never make progress by dishonouring the past.”

The CHNZ leader also pointed out that many Maori chiefs signed the Treaty because it had been commended to them in good faith by the early missionaries. Henry Williams and other missionaries saw the Treaty as the best way to protect Maori interests. Their support for it was unequivocal and crucial to gaining Maori acceptance of it. He stated,

“In light of this, Christian leaders in New Zealand have a special responsibility to see the Treaty is honoured. This does not mean pandering to every radical and inflammatory voice. It does mean however, a steady commitment to face the facts of history and where they clearly show the Treaty articles to have been breached, to support efforts towards restitution and reconciliation. Undermining the significance of the Treaty by abolishing Waitangi Day will not help us to do that.”

Mr McQueen also noted that there were many other more pressing family-values issues that Peter Dunne could have addressed with a members bill such as the need for legislative initiatives to affirm marriage and protect the sanctity of life.

“Not only has Peter Dunne dishonoured an important part of our Christian heritage, he has missed the opportunity to use a member’s bill to address some key family-values issues. This just reinforces that he is more interested in appealing to ‘middle New Zealand’ than he is to making a clear stand for Christian values in this nation.”


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