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Marking The Queen's Birthday

The Monarchist League of New Zealand Inc.

24 February 2007

Press Release

Marking The Queen's Birthday

The suggestion promoted by the Hon Peter Dunne, MP, that The Queen's Birthday could be renamed New Zealand Day, is surprising. If the intention is to create a new national holiday which is less divisive than Waitangi Day, then the choice of the day on which we currently mark the Sovereign's Official Birthday is rather unusual. To abolish the Queen's Birthday holiday - which is what this would achieve - would be a poor way of encouraging acceptance for a new "non-controversial" national holiday. It would also be a potential source of on-going controversy and resentment.

Waitangi Day is of national importance because it is the anniversary of the signing of the Treaty between Queen Victoria and the Maori chiefs of New Zealand, a Treaty which has been called the founding document of New Zealand. It may have been controversial in the past, but the event it commemorates is integral to making New Zealand what it is today, and cannot be ignored. The Sovereign's Birthday is also of national importance, and reflects part of our heritage. It is the day we mark the anniversary of the birth of the Queen of New Zealand, descendant of Queen Victoria, and the Sovereign of all New Zealanders, Maori and non-Maori. A New Zealand Day celebrated on this day would be a perpetual reminder of a slight on our Queen.

Let us instead follow the example of other countries, such as Canada, and mark the Queen's Birthday more actively.

Ends

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