Utterly sick of Waitangi Day and the fiasco it has become?
By now another sad, pitiful national disgrace day will be over. Did you paint your face and party? I doubt it.
As southerners I have a simple solution. Next year we ignore it, we bundle together all of our “regional days’ – like Otago Day and Canterbury Anniversary – form a break-away celebration of New Zealand – and leave the North Island to all its PC mudslinging at Waitangi.
In the meantime, our new New Zealand Day will be celebrated by everyone in the South Island, bringing together all cultures, all people – anyone who considers themselves Kiwi – to celebrate and have fun and finally feel good about the country we have ALL built together.
Kids can get involved – there will be special concerts and sports events – all unshackled by the Waitangi legacy – and all designed to celebrate one thing – our nation in its entirety (starting with the South Island!).
You can arrange family parties, pool parties, church events, hangi, Muslim feasts – whatever your family, faith or friends really love – and then get down to whatever turns your dial. The key rule: go for it, and make it Kiwi.
We all know the Treaty of Waitangi is a disputed document of universal interpretation. Therefore in logical consequence, its interpretation will be debated forever.
So why bother celebrating it? Sure, respect it, discuss it and settle it – but it no longer has a place as our true day of national celebration. Australians – who are slightly less guilt-ridden than us about their mass land grab – celebrate Australia Day with a monster booze-up, as only Aussies can do.
It is huge, it is positive, it allows anyone of any denomination to paint their faces, adorn crazy Aussie clothing, rip down the main street with flags blazing like they have just won a World Cup, and just generally have a feel-good day about their nation.
The build-up to Australia Day is huge – booze retailers advertising for weeks – as everyone gets set for the big day. It feels like their Thanksgiving. But at least they have it.
We in effect have nothing, except that self-loathing event we have got ourselves boxed into and politicians are too scared to break away from – for fear of upsetting the king-making Maori Party at the election.
So I say: take the anniversary days of each southern province – and switch these days to a universal date in late January – and make it New Zealand Day South. That avoids all the mucking around with asking the stingy government to give us another public holiday.
And if they want to follow us, up North, they’re welcome, but only when they understand the entire day is about guilt-free universal celebration – and protesters will have eggs thrown at them!
PS: Kids, for fun this week tell mummy and daddy what you can find out about the lovely man Mr Joesph Foveaux. We have named the Foveaux Strait after him. He was recently described in an interview with Australian politician Malcolm Turnbull as being “one of the great sadists of all times immortalised forever in our city.”
We too immortalise him in Bluff, celebrating all the enthusiastic floggings of women and men he enjoyed not so long ago on Norfolk Island.
On the first New Zealand Day South – I would change the name of Foveaux Straight back to Te Ara a Kiwa, before everyone, including local iwi, googles him.
Queenstown-based Phil Smith is the managing director of Great Southern Film and Television