One law for all day

Rather than doing my own detailed Waitangi Day post, I’ll recommend Peter Cresswell’s post, as he has written it far better than I could (bar his proposal of a new constitution, which I believe is unnecessary).

If you really want to know what Waitangi Day is about, read the treaty. Too many people go on about racist concepts they have invented, ignoring that the Treaty actually says:

In return for the cession of the Sovreignty to the Queen, the people of New Zealand shall be protected by the Queen of England and the rights and privileges of British subjects will be granted to them.

The Maori version is even more explicit

Hei wakaritenga mai hoki tenei mo te wakaaetanga ki te Kawanatanga o te Kuini-Ka tiakina e te Kuini o Ingarani nga tangata Maori; katoa o Nu Tirani ka tukua ki a ratou nga tikanga katoa rite tahi ki ana mea ki nga tangata o Ingarani.

Literally: This is an arrangement for the consent to the Government of the Queen. The Queen of England will protect all the Maoris of New Zealand. All the rights will be given to them the same as her doings to the people of England.

The treaty established one law for all. That is what we should be remembering and celebrating today, the end of tribal warfare and slavery, and the institution of equal rights for all – the legal framework that has given us the country we enjoy today.

EDIT: See also my post on flying a Maori flag on Waitangi day

Maori Flag on Waitangi day

John Key has given the OK to flying a Maori separatist flag on the Auckland Harbour Bridge and government buildings on Waitangi day, provided the iwi can agree on a flag and explain its meaning. The idea seems to be that as there are two flagpoles on the bridge, one would fly the NZ flag and one the Maori one, symbolising that Waitangi was an agreement between Maori and the Crown.

But this is nonsense. If you wanted to symbolise that, you’d fly the Union Jack and the Maori flag – Waitangi was an agreement between the British government and the Maori.

Note however that it was an agreement with the Maori of the day, NOT with the modern separatist movement. The Maori of the day agreed to a union, therefore the majority were NOT separatist and would probably DISAGREE with this Maori flag.

Or you would just fly the NZ flag, as we already do. The NZ flag already symbolises the fact that the British only formed part of the makeup of NZ, as the Union Jack is only a corner of the NZ flag.

Waitangi was when this country became one nation. To start flying flags representing separate groups undermines the entire purpose of the Treaty. We should be flying the flag of the country formed by the Treaty of Waitangi – New Zealand.