Waitangi Day ‘cringe’

Bill English has not surprisingly provoked some comment when he rsaid “A lot of New Zealanders cringe a bit on Waitangi Day …”, but Waitangi Day ‘cringe’ comes from lack of understanding, Maori Party says

English has attracted controversy while defending his decision to skip Waitangi commemorations due to a lack of speaking rights, saying protests at Waitangi had been “nationally relevant” 15 to 20 years ago but were not anymore.

“Political discussion at Te Tii Marae is now really about Ngapuhi issues and their own concerns in Northland, but it’s a national day, a day for New Zealanders to be proud of their whole country.”

“A lot of New Zealanders cringe a bit on Waitangi Day when they see the way that the ceremonies are being conducted, the ceremonies and welcomes, the type of protest there has been in recent years, and I’m pretty keen that we have a day when they’re proud.”

Maori Party co-leader Marama Fox…

…said English’s comments were “unfortunate” and did not match up with her perspective of the day’s importance.

“A lot of New Zealanders may feel that way, but that comes from a lack of understanding, a lack of education, and a lack of acceptance of the place of Maori in this country, so when that changes, we’ll all have a greater, united Aotearoa.”

Fox said she would have liked English to attend Waitangi commemorations, but his decision would not affect her plans to go.

“We are not the Maori arm of the National Party – we are going to attend as the Maori Party, and I will be taking my place in the powhiri, and I’m pretty sure nobody’s given me an opportunity to have a stage to speak, and I’m not concerned about that.”

Waitangi and Te Tii Marae were “surrounded in Maori protocol”, and it was up to marae leaders to decide whether someone could speak.

There are a number of protocols that I participate in at Parliament that I think are antiquated and should move on – those are my opinions. It is for Maori and the people of Te Tii, the people of Waitangi to decide how the programme should run – it’s their place.”

Fair enough, to an extent, about “Maori protocol” in a Maori forum, but if Waitangi Day is to ever become widely seen and felt to be a national day of significance then the commemorations need to involve and include both partners to the treaty, not just Maori.

Cunliffe fighting words – King of Cringe

Is a David Cunliffe post at The Ruminator playing the billy goat  gruff? I don’t think he’s kidding. A very risky bitchy attack mode when he is presumably trying to establish some support.

David Cunliffe: Them’s fighting words

A couple of months ago I was asked to write a post for the Ruminator and, rather optimistically, I agreed.The original brief was to respond to a post by Judith Collins. My post was going to be about snapper, not trout. But considering that issue, along with Judith’s leadership aspirations, has floundered, I’ll try another hook.

The temperature in Parliament is heating up. The newly united Opposition is revved up and holding the Government to account on multiple fronts. The Government is on the back foot trying to stamp out fires left, right and centre.

We are putting the Government’s crony capitalism in the spotlight. The public is growing tired of John Key looking after his big business mates. They are sick to their stomachs of backroom deals done with for the likes of Warner Brothers, Rio Tinto, Sky City, Pike River and now possibly Chorus, while kids around the country are going to school hungry.

The writing is on the wall for the Government. National MPs are fleeing Parliament like Nats from a sinking ship. In the past few weeks at least half a dozen of the rabble have announced they are calling it quits at the next election. Chris Tremain, Kate Wilkinson, Paul Hutchison, Katrina Shanks, Chris Auchinvole, Cam Calder and Phil Heatley can’t stand the thought of sitting on the Opposition benches.

John Key is desperate. His friends have self-destructed. ACT leader John Banks is in the dock for electoral fraud, Peter Dunne is in the throes of a mid-life crisis and the Māori Party is imploding.

John Key is so desperate he is publicly courting Colin Craig. This is a man that thinks sun spots and the alignment of the planets cause climate change. He is the man that slammed Kiwi women for allegedly being the most promiscuous in the world.

The Conservative Party is New Zealand’s branch of the Tea Party, with Colin our very own Sarah Palin. Just imagine what will come out of his mouth next.

Colin Craig has now become National’s only hope. We could hear all sorts of wacky ideas from the MPs he could bring in on his coattails. It will turn Parliament into even more of a circus.

It is even more galling that in 2009 Colin was John Key’s enemy, funding a march to the tune of $450,000 to highlight National ignoring the smacking referendum.

So expect John Key to be having a cuppa with Colin before next year’s election and urging National voters to back him in a new Auckland seat of North Harbour. Let’s hope it doesn’t go as badly as his 2011 Epsom stunt, for everyone’s sake. Labour won’t do dirty deals to win the election.

We are now a year out from the election and Labour is already in campaign mode. We are energised and fired up. Get ready for a new Government.

Very sad to see such a negative, snarky approach from Cunliffe. It may make some lefties hopeful that he’s ‘the man’ but I can’t see it enticing the 800,ooo non-voters into an interest in politics. Nor the centre voters who usually make a difference in elections.

Them’s fighting words all right, fighting for credibility, but all it’s worthy of is cringe.