English claims some credit for Waitangi calm

Waitangi day, or more accurately the day before Waitangi Day, has been mired in protest for a number of years. However this year things are running far more amicably. A lot of credit for that has to go to Jacinda Ardern’s efforts to engage over several days.

Bill English is also claiming some of the credit – by staying away. English has gone about as far from Waitangi as he can get, Bluff (ok, Slope Point and Stewart island are further south).

Newstalk ZB: English says his avoidance of ‘shenanigans’ has helped make Waitangi better

The leader of the opposition has his own agenda for Waitangi day.

Bill English is attending the Ngai Tahu Treaty Festival.

A number of his National Party MPs will join him in Bluff – in a bid to commemorate Waitangi in different parts the country.

English told Chris Lynch he is pleased to see changes have been made at Waitangi – but he’s chosen not to attend celebrations there again this year, because of controversy that’s occurred in the past.

He may be right, but even if he had attended Ardern’s presence is likely to have dominated, and I doubt that anyone except Cameron Slater would be interested in protesting against English.

Now the protest bubble may have been burst it would be good to see whoever is Leader of the Opposition next year joining whoever is the Prime Minister in a show of Parliamentary unity at Waitangi.