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State of the Nation speeches ready to roll

Press release
February 3, 2007

State of the Nation speeches ready to roll

Popular poet Dr Glenn Colquhoun is one of four non-Māori speakers who will be reflecting on the current state of the Treaty relationship, to commemorate the signing of the Treaty of Waitangi on Tuesday.

The others are Charmaine Pountney, educator, writer, and community projects co-ordinator; Dr David Williams, historian and Professor in Law, University of Auckland; and Catherine Delahunty, author, environmental activist and social change educator.

The four will offer their insights at a public forum at Forum North in Whangarei at 7pm on February 5, before repeating their performance at Waitangi the next day, along with Māori speakers (Te Tii Waitangi Marae, 10am). The Waitangi event is in collaboration with hosts Te Taumata Kaumatua o Ngapuhi.

The spokeswoman for organising group Network Waitangi Whangarei, Joan Cook, said, "We hope the forum will be a time for us to reflect on the past year's events which are shaping the Treaty relationship, and to offer different perspectives on the challenges and joys of a real dialogue between the parties to the Treaty."

The four have been invited to speak on the relationship as it has evolved over time, highlight events of the past year, and provide ideas for the way forward as a nation, "looking at our country's history with an eye to what the future may hold".

The events are subsidised by the Government's Commemorating Waitangi Day Fund.

The Rev Cook said the forum reflected the Fund's purpose of creating chances "to contemplate the full meaning of the concept of partnership within one nation, two partners, and many cultures", and said the group greatly appreciated the Fund's assistance.


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