Newstalk ZB


Keep up with
Newstalk ZB

Follow Us

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • YouTube

Select region

Site Search

Search Search

Political Report: Food for thought over Waitangi Day

Share |

| Tuesday, February 11, 2014 6:00 AM

Political Report: Food for thought over Waitangi Day

Waitangi Day last week sparked the usual tired debates that we see every year when it comes to race relations. There were those who, as usual, wanted to decry the protests, and there were those who took a shot at the media for daring to even mention or cover protests. And there were those who also accused the media of beating up on the negative parts of our national day.

There are a number of very good reasons that Waitangi Day is a focal point for protest and dissent, but there's one major reason that's often overlooked.

You see Waitangi Day is a very rare occasion in that it's a time, and a place, where all the senior and important politicians are gathered in one place. A captive audience if you will.

So isn't it logical that those with an issue choose to use Waitangi and Waitangi Day as an opportunity to put their point across? It's a legitimate form of dissent, and while we can argue the merits of the individual actions, it's almost inevitable that they occur. And in a democracy it is probably a good thing that they do.

Sure activists can, and do, take their causes to Wellington. But getting to Parliament is a costly proposition and the MPs aren't always there. And even when they are they can sit safe behind locked doors and not engage with those that have come to lobby them.

Waitangi's a much more in your face affair and it's harder to be ignored.

Waitangi also becomes a focus for arguments over the treaty settlement process. Some of the arguments have value, but a lot are really based on ignorance, racism, and an urge to score cheap political points

So let's put it in context; since 1992 the Crown has settled around a billion dollars worth of claims - that's around 50 million dollars a year in value.

Currently the Government is borrowing 78 million dollars a month as part of its fiscal policy. And last year it spent 10.2 billion dollars on superannuation alone.

That's 10 times to totality of all the money spent on Treaty deals. So in terms of what the Government is doing settlement costs are a very small drop in a very large bucket.

It's something to think about if our National Day makes you want to lose your rag.

Photo / Newstalk ZB

Latest Opinion

Larry's Memo: 27 August

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

IMMIGRATION   The pro-vice chancellor at Massey's College of Humani ...

Mike's Editorial: 'Kill the PM' a new lo ...

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

I might have to revisit my comments from the other day over whether or not ...

Rachel Smalley: Pike River families dese ...

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

John Key was brave and perhaps a little ill-advised I think to arrive in Gr ...

Laura McQuillan: Uphill battle for the N ...

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

It’ll take National a lot more than winging in the prime minister for ...

The Soap Box: NZ First is Luigi Peters

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Luigi Peters has often been accused of bringing a bunch of no names into Pa ...

Mike's Editorial: The irony of National' ...

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

If there is one great irony in the National party’s housing package, ...

WIN with iHeartRadio
  • ITM Cup: Taranaki storms to opening win

  • Serious attack on Queen St

  • Study sheds light on NZ genetic origins

  • Peters, Craig rise in latest poll

  • Key dismisses Labour's housing plan

  • Court appearance for Hamilton armed man

  • Auckland Weather

    H:14° L:
    Click for More Weather
    More Weather

    Decriminalising marijuana

    Should cannabis be decriminalised?

    Vote Now

    View Results