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Sunday, February 06, 2005

Waitangi

Rather than me trying to make sense of our national day I thought I might point you to a few interesting lectures relating to the subject. Today on National radio I heard a lecture from Professor Winiata which looked at the reconciliation of two key words in the Treaty of Waitangi: Kawanatanga or government and Tino Rangatiratanga or chieftainship.

It forms part three of the Waitangi Rua Rau Tau lecture series which is building up to the bi-centennial of the signing of the treaty of Waitangi.

You can hear and read today's lecture here

The previous two lectures can be viewed here

(Waitangi Rua Rautau (Waitangi Bicentenary) was launched by the New Zealand Maori Council in 2001 for Maori, individually and collectively, to set long-term goals, monitor, evaluate and respond to them. It is a commitment by the Maori Council to develop a programme to rebuild harmonious relationships between Maori and Pakeha, culminating in the bi-centennial of the nation in 2040. Each year, an eminent speaker will deliver a public lecture on a topic related to this goal.)


I will say however that in contrast to sections of the media and many prominent figures I am not ashamed that our national day is Waitangi. I would rather we are open about our disagreements and can use the forum of the day that signifies the forging of this nation as a way of seeing, understanding and hopefully resolving the problems that face our people. I am glad we do not hide our disagreements, I heard a talkback radio hosts comment that Australia day is so much nicer in that you don't see a bunch of louts running around and screaming their heads off - No you don't do you? Their 'louts' are all nicely tucked away out of sight and out of mind in settlements and on the streets of Redfern. I would much rather our problems be out in the open. You may not like the fact that there are people in this country that feel aggrieved - but there are, and I want to live in a country where we hear that sense of injustice and not hide from it.

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