Tim's Take: Time For 'New Zealand Day'

Tim Fookes,
Publish Date
Thursday, 5 February 2015, 9:21AM
Newstalk ZB
Newstalk ZB

Do we need a New Zealand Day?

We've got politicians galore up in Waitangi today bracing themselves for potential trouble.

The prime minister in particular is being told that he could be in for a rough ride as he walks onto Te Tii Marae.

With all of this going on and with most of us just seeing Waitangi Day tomorrow as a day off, I think it's time to seriously consider a national day celebrating New Zealand, rather than being embarrassed about New Zealand.

Of course Waitangi Day used to be New Zealand Day, before Rob Muldoon changed its name - and its meaning - in the mid 70s.

But given the stigma attached to February the sixth, I think we need to break away from it.

We need to create a national day where we celebrate living in this piece of paradise, one of the greatest countries in the world.

I want us to celebrate New Zealand like the Australians celebrate on Australia Day, like the Americans celebrate on Independence Day.

I want fireworks at night, I want family and community events, more opportunities for us to feel proud to be kiwis.

It shouldn't be a day about grievances.

It shouldn't be a day where all the talk is about people at Te Tii Marae pushing and shoving, spitting and swearing, and having fish thrown at them.

We are a better country than that.

We deserve a national day, a real national day, that we can truly enjoy.