Fixing Waitangi

We can talk all we like about the founding of the nation and the bi-cultural partnership and the rest but all most people want from Waitangi day is a holiday, preferably sans politics. Most of us will never get to Waitangi anyway. I mean, it’s not Mecca is it?

I’m sure the sight of massed wakas and all the other cultural activities are wonderful to behold but the truth is, most people think Waitangi is a pain, at least the TV version, and that’s all we will ever see.

Every year the same old thing: politicians allowing themselves to be bullied into attending because being accused of individuality is a more frightening fate, protesters who really do need to come up with something original if they want my attention, and to cap it all, being exposed to both Titewhai Harawira and Kingi Taurua on one day – no thanks.

So let’s leave Waitangi to the politicians and the protesters because, as my mother used to say, ‘as God made them, he matched them,’ and let the rest of us get on with a proper holiday, a New Zealand day.

Here’s how: While the politicians and protesters are rehearsing for their play-acting performance at Waitangi, all the provincial towns could enter a ballot, the winner to have the honour (if you could call it that) of hosting the Governor-General on the next Waitangi day. Imagine the anticipation.

Oh how the energies of Masterton and Oamaru residents would be galvanised with frenetic planning. Wanaka even, what a kerfuffle that would be if the Queen’s man graced us with his presence. It would take a year to prepare for him, but unfortunately, for me at least, even longer to get over him.

I know Jerry seems like a nice bloke but I don’t know if I could endure him being made a fuss of where I live. After all, I didn’t get to vote for the only person with the power to get rid of the government at the stroke of a pen. And even if, quietly, I wouldn’t mind that power for myself, I think that as a diehard republican, I’d have to protest. Follow him around with placard and maybe throw a voter’s roll at him.

But then the usually pacific Wanaka folk would throw things at me for giving Wanaka a bad name, all over the world! So maybe it would be better if Bluff won the honours.

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Chris Horan

Chris is a former social worker, probation officer and Family Court counsellor, living in Hawea in the South Island.